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Atlanta in Logan County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

"Wide Awakes" March in Atlanta

Looking for Lincoln

 

— 1860 —

 
"Wide Awakes" March in Atlanta Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
1. "Wide Awakes" March in Atlanta Marker
Inscription.  Political parties in 1860 often served as social clubs, as well as electoral organizations. One such group established to support Abraham Lincoln was the "Wide Awakes" - a chapter of which was formed in Atlanta, Illinois on June 22, 1860, with H.N. Estabrook selected as its Captain. These groups, usually made up of young, unmarried men, marched through the streets of downtown Atlanta in support of their candidate in solemn, torch-lit spectacles. At other times, they gathered to sing political songs and rally the party faithful to the polls. Groups like the Wide Awakes were also formed for the purpose of poll watching, to defend against purported attempts of ballot tampering by their political opponents. The Atlanta Wide Awakes adopted two campaign banners to support Abraham Lincoln. One, shown to the right, was titled "The Nation's Choice." It was designed by R.D. Neal and Dr. R.N. Lawrence of Atlanta.

The nation's choice banner was first used by the Atlanta Wide Awakes during a campaign rally in Lincoln, Illinois and is now on display at the Lincoln College Museum located there. The banner consisted of a rough sketch
"Wide Awakes" March in Atlanta Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
2. "Wide Awakes" March in Atlanta Marker
Looking northeast on Arch Street
done in lampblack on a tan, textured fabric, which showed a profile view of Lincoln with his hair in careless disorder. People who knew Lincoln at the time said it was an excellent likeness.

Another banner adopted by the Atlanta Wide Awakes depicted Abraham Lincoln and his running mate, Hannibal Hamlin. This banner was given a place of honor at a political rally held in Springfield on August 8, 1860, when 80,000 people crowded the state capital to celebrate Lincoln's presidential nomination. At 10:00 A.M. that morning a massive parade began with citizens from Atlanta in attendance, carrying their Lincoln/Hamlin banner. The Lincoln/Hamlin banner was also the work of R.D. Neal and Dr. R.N. Lawrence of Atlanta. The banner measures five feet ten inches by four feet ten inches and includes images of a maul, ax, and wedge symbolizing Lincoln as the "railsplitter." This banner is on display at the Lincoln College Museum, in Lincoln, Illinois.
 
Erected 2008 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and City of Atlanta.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists.
 
Location. 40° 15.648′ 
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N, 89° 13.873′ W. Marker is in Atlanta, Illinois, in Logan County. Marker is at the intersection of Northwest Vine Street and SW Arch Street, on the right when traveling east on Northwest Vine Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 108 NW Vine St, Atlanta IL 61723, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Wisteria Café" Mural (a few steps from this marker); Bunyon's Statue (a few steps from this marker); "Palms Grill Café" Mural (within shouting distance of this marker); "Reisch Beer" Mural (within shouting distance of this marker); "Atlanta: Midway on Illinois' Mother Road" Mural (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to the Atlanta Route 66 Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Knights of Pythias "Memorial Tree" Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Marker Stone (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlanta.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 46 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 7, 2021