Carthage in Hancock County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Historic Carthage Jail
Looking for Lincoln
Alexander Sympson knew Lincoln when they were small boys in Kentucky. Like Lincoln, he moved to Illinois in the 1830's, and arrived in Carthage in early 1844, just as contention with the Mormons was peaking. In 1858 Sympson was the most optimistic of local Lincoln enthusiasts during the Senate race. He hosted Lincoln in his home in Carthage on October 22, 1858. The house became a focal point of the grand procession of wagons and carriages that streamed into Carthage from all directions. Multitudes marched by the house, sheering Lincoln in a parade stretching "over three miles long" that "wound all around and through town and around the public square." Sympson was on Lincoln's short list of "confidential friends." Lincoln trusted him with a delicate political task; to quietly encourage local supporters of President James Buchanan in his intraparty feud with Stephen Douglas in hopes of splitting the Democratic Party and weakening Douglas. The strategy failed.
Alexander Sympson was new to Carthage in 1844 when Illinois Governor Thomas Ford paraded Joseph and Hyrum Smith as prisoners before assembled
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Government & Politics • Notable Events. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #15 James Buchanan, the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists.
Location. 40° 24.906′ N, 91° 8.358′ W. Marker is in Carthage, Illinois, in Hancock County. Marker is on Walnut Street near Fayette Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Carthage IL 62321, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln in Hancock County (within shouting distance of this marker); The "Old Jail" (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln's Failed Murder Case (approx. ¼ mile away); Lincoln's Carthage Speech (approx. ¼ mile away); Masonic Lodge Building of 1887 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lincoln and Agriculture (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hamilton House (approx. 0.3 miles away).
Additional keywords. Joseph Smith, Mormon
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 378 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.