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

Lincoln Promoter

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln Promoter Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
1. Lincoln Promoter Marker
"You are one of my most valued friends" (Lincoln letter to Abraham Jonas, 1860). Their friendship began in 1843 in Springfield when Lincoln and Jonas served together in the Illinois House of Representatives. Jonas became an early and ardent supporter of Lincoln in the newly formed Republican Party. He promoted Lincoln's first Quincy visit in 1854 to speak against Stephen A. Douglas' Nebraska bill and to campaign for Archibald Williams. continuing to promote Lincoln, Jonas in 1858 headed the Republican Arrangements Committee for the Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Quincy and introduced Lincoln for his opening debate address. At the 1860 Republican Convention Jonas worked the floor to help secure Lincoln's nomination. When Jonas learned that William H. Seward's supporters planned to pack Chicago's Wigwam hall, he helped fill the Wigwam with Lincoln backers while Seward's demonstrators were parading in the streets. With an outcry of enthusiasm for Lincoln, delegates abandoned Seward and elected Lincoln on the third ballot. After winning the presidency in November, an appreciative Lincoln soon appointed Jonas Quincy postmaster.


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Jonas, Quincy's first Jewish settler, arrived in Adams County in 1838. He had been elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and four times to the Kentucky Legislature. Jonas became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1840 and a representative in the 1842 Illinois General Assembly. Said to aspire to higher office, Jonas organized a Masonic Lodge in Mormon Nauvoo but didn't seek political office.

An early recommendation of Lincoln for President occurred in December 1858. Law partners Jonas and Asbury met in their office on the southeast corner of Fifth and Hampshire with Quincy Republican leaders and Horace Greeley, anti-slavery New York Tribune editor and prominent Republican. Asbury recommended Lincoln as a presidential candidate, later writing with embarrassment " suggestion fell flat." After moments of silence, Jonas helped: "Gentlemen, there may be more in Asbury's suggestion than any of us now thing." Lincoln said he would rather be senator than president. But Jonas, an organizer, noted "...that with proper exertions and judicious selections in June, we shall be able to carry the day and in November proclaim victory to all the world." and in April 1860, with support for him growing, Lincoln wrote, "The taste is in my mouth a little."
Erected by State of Illinois

Abraham Jonas image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
2. Abraham Jonas
Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsGovernment & 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 month for this entry is April 1860.
Location. 39° 55.982′ N, 91° 24.511′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of North 5th Street and Hampshire Street on North 5th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Hampshire Street, 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 Correspondent (here, next to this marker); William L. King Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln's Quincy (within shouting distance of this marker); Downtown Quincy in 1858 (within shouting distance of this marker); Political Campaigning in 1858 (within shouting distance of this marker); Changing Slavery (within shouting distance of this marker); Quincy's Judge Douglas (within shouting distance of this marker); Douglas' Disciple (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 584 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Sep. 25, 2023