“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Quincy in Adams County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Quincy's Judge Douglas

Looking for Lincoln

Quincy's Judge Douglas Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
1. Quincy's Judge Douglas Marker
"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

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Judge Douglas in his adopted town of Quincy---and by Lincoln during the debates. Douglas earned the nickname
"The Little Giant" for his political acumen. Standing 5'4", he was the most powerful Democrat and legislator when the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government was the most influential. The Compromise of 1850 that he brokered helped preserve the Union for a decade.

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.

Stephen A. Douglas image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
2. Stephen A. Douglas
2010 by State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionGovernment & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is October 13, 1854.
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 Promoter (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Correspondent (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.
Quincy's Judge Douglas Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, May 11, 2020
3. Quincy's Judge Douglas Marker
Underneath the restrooms shelter
(Submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Mormons
Credits. This page was last revised on January 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 605 times since then and 11 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.

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May. 21, 2024