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Quincy in Adams County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lincoln's 1854 Visit

Looking for Lincoln

 
 
Lincoln's 1854 Visit Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
1. Lincoln's 1854 Visit Marker
Inscription.  
On November 1, 1854 an incensed Lincoln attacked the immorality of slavery in a speech at Kendall Hall. Lincoln was awakened from a five-bear political slumber by Douglas's Kansas-Nebraska Act, attacking it in a series of speeches in central Illinois in late 1854. Lincoln's Quincy friend Abraham Jonas invited him to address the Kansas-Nebraska question here on behalf of the Congressional candidacy of Archibald Williams. Jonas predicted a payoff to Lincoln politically. "Whigs would be much gratified if you could...pay us a visit while the little giant is here," Jonas wrote. "It is believed by all who know you, that a reply from you, would be more effective than from any other---I trust you may be able to pay us a visit and thereby create a debt of gratitude on the part of Whigs here..." Lincoln accepted, speaking to an enthusiastic crowd at Kendall Hall. He attacked slavery, former Quincyan Douglas, and the idea of popular sovereignty. Quincyans would hear similar themes when Lincoln returned four years later to debate Douglas, October 13, 1858.

Construction of Orrin Kendall's building on the southwest corner

Lincoln's 1854 Visit Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, May 11, 2020
2. Lincoln's 1854 Visit Marker
of Sixth and Maine was completed on October 5, 1852. The impressive three-story brick building housed his cracker and confectionery business in the basement and featured a large public hall the full size of the building (50' x 80') on the second floor. Meetings were held in Kendall Hall almost every evening in 1854 with politics at a fever pitch. Speakers on the Nebraska question included James W. Singleton, Orville H. Browning, and Lincoln. Lincoln's appearance in 1854 at this site was in support of the Congressional campaign of his long-time Quincy friend Archibald Williams.

Lincoln's political genius was demonstrated by his approach to an attempted political smear. During the 1860 presidential primary campaign, Abraham Jonas wrote Lincoln that local Democrat Issac N. Morris was seeking affidavits from "certain Irishmen" that they saw Lincoln come out of a Quincy Know-Nothing Lodge. The Know-Nothing political party opposed immigration and election of Catholics to political office. Lincoln recognized that such a charge could cost him the vote of the large German and Irish population---and a denial, the vote of the Know-Nothings, who opposed slavery's extension. Lincoln told Jonas, "it must not publicly appear that I am paying any attention to the charge." He suggested that Jonas get affidavits from "respectable men who were always in the lodge and

Kendall Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
3. Kendall Hall
never saw me there." The ploy worked, and the matter never became public.
 
Erected 2009 by State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRGovernment & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists.
 
Location. 39° 55.91′ N, 91° 24.443′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Maine Street and 5th Street on Maine Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 516 Maine St, Quincy IL 62301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln's Honored Friend (here, next to this marker); A Quincy "Copperhead" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln-Douglas Debate (about 400 feet away); Racial Equality (about 400 feet away); Political Campaigning in 1858 (about 400 feet away); Lorado Taft (1860 - 1936) (about 500 feet away); Morality of Slavery (about 500 feet away); Changing Slavery (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 600 times since then and 39 times this year. Last updated on May 11, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. Photos:   1. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on May 11, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.   3. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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Nov. 30, 2020