Clinton in DeWitt County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Lincoln's Friends and Foes
Looking for Lincoln
This satirical February 1863 editorial illustration, titled “The Copperhead Party, “ depicts three Copperheads advancing on Columbia. Copperheads were Southern sympathizers who saw themselves as “Peace Democrats,” opposed to Lincoln and the forced preservation of the Union. Many Copperheads resided in DeWitt County, which is not surprising, considering so many DeWitt County settlers had deep Southern roots.
Not everyone in DeWitt County personally befriended or politically supported Lincoln. DeWitt County was home to numerous Copperheads. In March 1863, a disgruntled group met at Eads Schoolhouse in Barnett Township. It was written, “The meeting was composed of some seventy opposition and ten or twelve true and law abiding citizens. Thus you see the matter was carried on like a jug handle - - all on one side.”
The Lincoln antagonists compiled a long list of strongly worded anti-Lincoln, anti-war, anti-Union resolutions. These were printed in ‘The Clinton Public’ newspaper. In retaliation, a group of Union supporters met at the Center Schoolhouse in Barnett Township
The enlisted men of the 107th Illinois Volunteer Regiment from DeWitt County learned of the Copperhead activity occurring back home. While encamped at Glasgow, Kentucky, the soldiers released their own resolutions for publication. In part they resolved, “That we will give our united and undivided support to the President in his efforts to crush and suppress this unholy rebellion.”
In 1860, Thomas Snell a wealthy and influential Clinton businessman and staunch Lincoln adversary, was a candidate for Illinois Lieutenant Governor on the pro-Southern Breckenridge ticket. After the election, however, and much to his friends’ astonishment, Snell’s political allegiances changed.
He was outraged by the attack on Fort Sumter, which proved a catalyst for the Civil War - - and Snell’s newfound Unionist loyalties. In August of 1862, Snell raised the 107th Illinois Volunteer Regiment. He served as self-appointed Colonel a few months, but was so overzealous and disobedient he was placed under military arrest and faced court martial. Snell was granted a Presidential pardon by non other than his former political foe, Lincoln.
Erected 2009 by First National Bank and Trust Co., and Lincoln Heritage of DeWitt County.
Topics and series. This War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
Location. 40° 9.127′ N, 88° 57.637′ W. Marker is in Clinton, Illinois, in DeWitt County. Marker is on South Center Street south of Lincoln Square Drive, on the right when traveling south. located immediately South of 'Lincoln Square' on South Center Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clinton IL 61727, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abraham Lincoln (within shouting distance of this marker); Humorous Moments (within shouting distance of this marker); DeWitt County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln at Work and Play (within shouting distance of this marker); “You can fool all the people part of the time . . .” (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln and The Law (about 600 feet away); Warner's Memories / Lawyers and Book Lovers (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clinton.
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area website homepage:
Many resources for tracking Lincoln through History and Illinois, for all ages. (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S. Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day..." (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,768 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 10. submitted on June 5, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.