Springfield in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The 1858 Senate Campaign
Looking for Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln accepted the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate on June 16, 1858. To open his campaign, Lincoln delivered the famous House Divided speech from Springfield that evening. Upon hearing the speech, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, the incumbent knew he would be involved in a reelection battle. Senator Douglas opened his campaign with a speech in Chicago on July 9l Lincoln was in the audience but declined to address the crowd. Instead, he spoke the following evening at the same location. On July 17, Lincoln and Douglas would again speak in the same city - Springfield. In the morning, Douglas spoke from the Benjamin Edwards property known as Edwards Grove, while Lincoln spoke that evening from the State Capitol. On July 24, Lincoln wrote to Douglas formally challenging him to a series of nine debates. When Douglas replied, he agreed to the debates but suggested seven as both had delivered dual speeches in Chicago and Springfield. Although Lincoln ultimately lost the senate seat, the debates gave him national recognition.
On July 17, 1858, cannons announced the arrival of Stephen Douglas to Edwards
Political rallies during Lincoln's time were a popular form of entertainment. Electioneering or campaigning became popular during the early nineteenth century. The political rally was an opportunity for candidates to discuss issues and for community members to socialize. Early rallies attracted small numbers of voters, and the speakers were usually community or party leaders. The candidates rarely made appearances. By the 1840's however, political rallies were attracting thousands of potential voters, so candidates relied on public appearances rather than word of mouth to attract support. Rallies became all-day affairs, featuring banners and flags, bands, torch-lit parades, food, and most importantly, public speeches. If voters were unable to attend the event, they simply had to pick up the daily newspaper for a full description and text of all of the speeches.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & PoliticsFormer U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is June 16, 1858.
Location. 39° 48.584′ N, 89° 39.008′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on North 4th Street just north of Union Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. General John A. McClernand (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lithuanians in Springfield (approx. 0.3 miles away); The History of Union Station (approx. 0.4 miles away); Acts of Intolerance (approx. 0.4 miles away); Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Train (approx. half a mile away); Stuart and Lincoln Law Office (approx. half a mile away); The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotus (approx. half a mile away); Lincoln's Final Journey (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Also see . . . Edwards Place Historic Home. Website homepage (Submitted on September 22, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 2, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 451 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 2, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.