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

Lincoln & Governor Duncan

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln & Governor Duncan Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. Lincoln & Governor Duncan Marker
Abraham Lincoln won his elected office, a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1834. That same year Joseph Duncan of Jacksonville was elected Governor of Illinois. Before you stands the home of Joseph Duncan, which became the official Governor's residence from 1835-1838. It is the only remaining Governor's mansion in Illinois other than the one in Springfield. Lincoln and Duncan both belonged to the Whig Party, which was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported a strong central government, a national bank, a protective tariff, and internal improvements at governmental expense. In 1840, Lincoln and Duncan spent a considerable amount of time together, promoting the principles of the Whig Party in southern Illinois. Governor Duncan was defeated, however, in 1842 in his second bid for the governorship, the only political defeat in his career. Poll book records show Abraham Lincoln cast his ballot for Duncan both times he sought the governorship.

Construction began on the Duncan Mansion in 1833. It was one of the earliest

Governor Duncan's Mansion image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
2. Governor Duncan's Mansion
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and grandest homes on the Illinois prairie. Governor Duncan and his wife, Elizabeth, hosted many famous people, including Daniel Webster, General John J. Hardin, and Stephen Douglas. From 1865 to 1875, the Mansion was home for an experimental state school for the education of
"feeble-minded children." In 1920, the Rev. James Caldwell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution purchased the mansion, and they have maintained it ever since.

Joseph Duncan is noted for his heroic service in the War of 1812, his contributions as a state senator and United States Representative (1827-1834)---and his term as Illinois sixth governor. During his career Duncan was a strong advocate for free public education. He also helped in passing federal and state legislation for the construction of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi. Joseph met Elizabeth Caldwell Smith in 1828 at a dinner hosted by President John Q. Adams. In her diary, Mrs. Duncan recalled the evening and wrote: "I wore to dinner a crimson-silk dress, thread-lace ruffle at my throat, embroidered-silk stockings, and satin slippers, the color of my dress. My hair I wore in three puffs on the top of my head, three puffs on each side and a high carved tortoise-shell comb."
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics

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Notable Buildings. 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 1834.
Location. 39° 44.132′ N, 90° 14.959′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Illinois, in Morgan County. Marker is on Duncan Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jacksonville IL 62650, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lincoln's Religion (approx. 0.4 miles away); I. C. Honors Mr. Lincoln (approx. half a mile away); William Jennings Bryan (approx. one mile away); The Farmers State Bank and Trust Company (approx. one mile away); 1858 Senate Race Here (approx. 1.1 miles away); Lincoln and Slavery (approx. 1.1 miles away); Potawatami Indians (approx. 1.1 miles away); Greene Vardiman Black (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 20, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 417 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 20, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Sep. 30, 2022