Quincy's Judge Douglas
Looking for Lincoln
"His name fills the nation; and is not unknown, even in foreign lands" (A. Lincoln, 1856). Stephen A. Douglas, a Jacksonian Democrat, arrived in Quincy in 1841, at twenty-seven the youngest Supreme Court Judge in Illinois history. In 1843 he defeated Quincy Whig Orville H. Browning for the U.S. House of Representatives and became chairman of the powerful House Committee on the Territories. He later held the same post in the U.S. Senate, to which the Illinois legislature elected him in 1846. With a statewide constituency, he moved to Chicago. Douglas seemed unstoppable. Comparing the career of Douglas and himself in 1856, Lincoln stated, "With me the race of ambition has been a failure---a flat failure; with him it has been one of splendid success." Disturbed by Douglas' 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which he believed would spread slavery, Lincoln in 1858 challenged Douglas for his Senate seat. Douglas returned to Quincy, October 13, 1858, for his sixth debate with Republican Lincoln. Douglas won the Senate contest. But in the Presidential contest two years later, he lost to Lincoln.
Stephen A. Douglas was called Judge
Douglas courted the Mormons. As Illinois Secretary of State in 1840, Douglas certified a liberal charter for the City of Nauvoo, making the new Mormon community virtually autonomous. Lincoln voted for the charter as a member of the Illinois Legislature. Both parties courted Nauvoo's large new electorate. Never one to miss a political opportunity, Douglas wrote a bill increasing the number of Illinois Supreme Court justices, then had himself appointed justice in Quincy's Fifth Judicial District, which includes the new voters in Nauvoo. During the 1843 Congressional race, Douglas sought Mormon support. After clashes between Mormons and their neighbors in 1845, Congressman Douglas returned from Washington to help resolve the impasse that had led to Joseph Smith's death and turmoil in Hancock County. He helped negotiate the plan which moved the Mormons to Deseret (Utah). Afterward, the Quincy Rifle Company, shown in Washington Square, went to Hancock County to keep the peace.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists.
Location. 39° 55.981′ N, 91° 24.544′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is on Hampshire Street. Marker is in Washington Square. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 North 5th Street, 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. Douglas' Disciple (here, next to this marker); Downtown Quincy in 1858 (here, next to this marker); Lincoln's Quincy (here, next to this marker); Washington Theater (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Correspondent (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Promoter (within shouting distance of this marker); Spread of Slavery Into The Territories (within shouting distance of this marker); Dred Scott Decision (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Also see . . . Stephen Arnold Douglas- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. (Submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Mormons
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 476 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on May 15, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 3. submitted on May 15, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.