Warm, Sincere Friendship
Looking for Lincoln
Quincy's Orville Hickman Browning was Lincoln's friend, advisor, and confidant. According to historian David Donald, Lincoln considered Browning an old friend "whom he could absolutely trust. He knew the Illinois senator would never betray a confidence." The two men seemed very dissimilar. Browning was highly educated, a meticulous dresser, and dignified in manner. Lincoln was not. Nonetheless, Lincoln and Browning had much in common. Both were born in Kentucky and moved to Illinois. Both were successful attorneys and served together in the Illinois legislature. Both were in demand as speakers but quite different in style. Lincoln was folksy while Browning was formal. Both Whigs, after 1854 each participated in the founding of the Illinois Republican Party. They shared a love of literature, and even while in the White House Lincoln read poetry to Browning as a diversion. Browning was a civic leader, one of the best-known Illinois lawyer, and a dedicated promoter of Quincy and his Quincy friends, sometimes relying upon his relationship with the President. During the Civil War, he secured federal funds for a clothing
Lincoln scholars are forever indebted to Browning for the diary he kept from 1850 until the time of his death in 1881. The diary provided significant insights into Lincoln's thoughts, moods, and concerns during some of his most challenging moments. Lincoln trusted Browning so thoroughly that he revealed his innermost thoughts to his friend. Browning's diary is published as two volumes within the Illinois Historical Collections series.
Browning was Lincoln's close presidential ally. During the months before his inauguration, Lincoln shared with few others details of the policies he would follow as President. Yet he asked Browning to critique his First Inaugural Address. Valuing Browning's advice, Lincoln wanted the Quincy lawyer to accompany him to Washington, but Browning consented to go only as far as Indianapolis. When Browning was appointed in 1861 to the U.S. Senate seat of the deceased Stephen A. Douglas, he became the President's eyes and ears in the Senate. In this role, he performed helpful service to Lincoln in the Potentially destructive Cabinet crisis of 1862. Browning was a frequent visitor to the White House and Lincoln and he openly deliberated many weighty issues. Browning was one of only a few men with whom Lincoln discussed the Emancipation Proclamation
Erected by State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. 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 1854.
Location. 39° 55.985′ N, 91° 24.209′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Hampshire Street and North 8th Street, on the right when traveling east on Hampshire Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 733 Hampshire St, Quincy IL 62301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln's Confidante (here, next to this marker); The J. H. Brockschmidt Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Ernest M. Wood Office and Studio (within shouting distance of this marker); St. John's Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Browning House (about 300 feet away); Lincoln Recuperates (about 500 feet away); Original Site of St. Peter Church (about 500 feet away); Original Site of Quincy College (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Also see . . . Orville Hickman Browning. (Submitted on August 24, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 24, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 609 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 24, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.