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Winchester in Scott County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Winchester, Illinois

Lincoln's First Challenge of Douglas and Destiny

 
 
Winchester, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 7, 2021
1. Winchester, Illinois Marker
Inscription.  Abraham Lincoln first publicly challenged U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas's "Nebraska Bill" during a Whig county convention August 26, 1854, in the Scott County courtroom located at this site. Because the bill allowed for the expansion of slavery, Lincoln was so "aroused" that he re-entered politics to challenge it after five years of political retirement. Drafted by Senator Douglas and coined "popular sovereignty," the Kansas/Nebraska Act gave new territories and emerging states the right to choose by popular ballot if slavery was to be permitted or banned. The bill effectively canceled the Missouri Compromise, which during the previous 34 years had allowed limited expansion of slavery in the nation. Lincoln's anti-Nebraska speeches and historic 1858 debates with Douglas gained him national political recognition. Although he failed twice to become U.S. Senator, first as a Whig and a second as a Republican, Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States in 1860.

Civil War came to the nation in 1861. After the Confederate defeat at Antietam, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing all
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slaves in rebellious states. He signed the 13th Amendment, February 1, 1865. When ratified on December 6, 1865, the law freed 4 million African-American slaves, made the Kansas/Nebraska Act moot, and forever banned slavery. Lincoln concluded his "masterly effort" that day in Winchester with a profound prediction about the Union, one he repeated later in Peoria. "We shall have so saved it (from slavery), that the millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed to the latest generation."
 
Erected 2013 by the citizens of Winchester and Scott County, Illinois, Hardt Pioneer Farms, Inc., Ivan and Doris Hardt, and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil Rights. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Illinois State Historical Society series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1863.
 
Location. 39° 37.702′ N, 90° 27.361′ W. Marker is in Winchester, Illinois, in Scott County. Marker is at the intersection of East Market Street and South Main Street, on the left when traveling west on East Market Street. Marker is located at Central Park. Touch for map.
Winchester, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 7, 2021
2. Winchester, Illinois Marker
Marker is on the left, near the Stephen Douglas statue at Central Park.
Marker is at or near this postal address: 35 W Market, Winchester IL 62694, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stephen Arnold Douglas (here, next to this marker); Lincoln and the Kansas Nebraska Question (a few steps from this marker); Greene Vardiman Black (a few steps from this marker); Old State Road Trail (approx. 6.9 miles away); The Ninety-Ninth Illinois Infantry (approx. 8 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 9.4 miles away); Lime Kiln (approx. 11 miles away); Grant’s March to Naples (approx. 11.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
 
More about this marker. According to the Illinois State Historical Society's website, the marker was dedicated on August 24, 2013.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 17, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 226 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 17, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Mar. 1, 2024