A Quincy "Copperhead"
Looking for Lincoln
Singleton had succumbed "Hook and Line" to the Democrats, stated Lincoln in 1854. He and Quincyan James W. Singleton had been fellow Whigs and disciples of Henry Clay. They had campaigned together in 1848 during Whig Zachary Taylor's successful run for the presidency but parted ways in 1854 over the divisive Kansas-Nebraska Act. Lincoln embraced the Republicans, while Singleton cast his lot with Stephen A. Douglas and the Democrats. In the 1858 debates at Galesburg and Alton, Douglas cited Singleton as testifying that Lincoln had abandoned Henry Clay's principles, siding with abolitionists. Recognizing Singleton's political expertise, Douglas appointed him to serve as a campaign manager in Douglas' unsuccessful bid for the 1856 Democratic presidential nomination and again in 1860 when Douglas was nominated but saw Lincoln elected President. Singleton declined a commission as a cavalry officer from Governor Richard Yates when the Civil War began. He led the "Peace Democrats" in Illinois and criticized the war. As the war progressed and casualties mounted, he became an increasingly strident opponent of the conflict, calling
The Flagg & Savage Building located on this site, housed James W. Singleton's office when he was president of the Quincy and Toledo Railroad. Singleton practiced law in Mt. Sterling until 1854, then moved to Quincy. Commissioned Brigadier General in the Illinois Militia, he played a significant role in the Mormon War. Singleton served six terms in the state legislature and was twice elected to Congress after the Civil Way. He was known for his fine horses and hospitality at his Quincy estate, Boscobel.
Singleton maintained political contact with President Lincoln, though Singleton remained a dedicated Democrat. In 1862 he and fellow Quincyans Orville Browning and William Richardson gained Lincoln's help in reopening trade with Missouri, which the administration had banned. Unable to influence the choice of the 1864 Democrat candidate for President, Singleton met with Lincoln to discuss directions the administration would take if reelected. He later confided to Browning his meaningful role in Lincoln's reelection by rejecting the candidacy of Democrat George B. McClellan. After Singleton went to Richmond with Lincoln's approval and tried to secure Confederate support for reunion. He said, "My intercourse with (Lincoln) for the past six months has been
so free, frequent and confidential that I was fully advised of all his plans, and thoroughly persuaded of the honesty of his heart and wisdom of his humane intentions."
Erected by State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 55.911′ N, 91° 24.512′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of North 5th Street and Maine Street on North 5th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 440 Maine 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. The Mormons in Quincy (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Political Campaigning in 1858 (about 300 feet away); Lincoln-Douglas Debate (about 300 feet away); Lorado Taft (1860 - 1936) (about 300 feet away); Lincoln's Honored Friend (about 300 feet away); Lincoln's 1854 Visit (about 300 feet away); Stephen A. Douglas in Quincy (about 400 feet away); Search for Equality (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Categories. • Government & Politics • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,169 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.