“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)

Search for Equality

Looking for Lincoln

Search for Equality Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
1. Search for Equality Marker
"Who shall say, I am the superior, and you are the inferior?" asked Lincoln in July 1858. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates focused on slavery. During the October 13th Quincy debate Lincoln affirmed: " the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else which his own hands earns, he is my equal and the equal of every other man." As President, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and advocated voting rights for African-Americans who fought for the Union. By the standard of his era his views on racial equality, evolving over time, were progressive and changed American attitudes and culture. Lincoln endorsed women having the right to vote in 1836, a dozen years before the outset of the women's suffrage movement. In the 1850's he told a young woman who wanted to vote, "I believe you will vote, before you are much older than I." Lincoln's thirty-year friendship with Quincy's Eliza Caldwell Browning exemplifies his view of women as equals. They share an intellectual vigor and respect for one another's ideas. Lincoln championed equality, believing that everyone was entitled to equal rights and protection
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under the Constitution.

The home of Dr. Richard Eells, an abolitionist, symbolizes the key issue addressed by Lincoln and Douglas during their Quincy Debate. Built in 1835, it is the oldest brick house in Quincy and is a documented Underground Railroad station. It is located four blocks from the Mississippi River and was within sight of the debate. Ironically, Eells, who in April 1843 was convicted by Judge Stephen Douglas of helping a slave escape, was a distant cousin of Lincoln.

Hundreds of slaves escaped across the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri to Quincy by way of the Underground Railroad. In 1839 sixty-five members chartered the Adams County Anti-Slavery Society, the first in Illinois. Credited with assisting more than 200 slaves, Dr. Richard Eells was caught helping a fugitive. Charlie, escape. Eells was bound over for trial by Justice of the Peace Henry Asbury in 1842. Circuit Court Judge Stephen A. Douglas of Quincy convicted Eells, fining him $400 for harboring a runaway slave. Eells became president of the Illinois Anti-Slavery Party in 1843 and a candidate for the Liberty Party in the 1844 presidential election. Although he died before his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, Eell's attorney, including William Seward and Salmon Chase---future members of President Lincoln's cabinet---carried his case through the nation's

Dr. Richard Eells house image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Emily Pursley, February 24, 2019
2. Dr. Richard Eells house
The marker in front of the home says: Quincy Landmark Dr. Richard Eells House Style: Federal-Greek Revival/Italianate Date: circa 1836/circa 1847 Architect: Unknown A Documented Underground Railroad Site Nominated by the Quincy Preservation Commission. Approved by the Quincy City Council, May 29, 1991. Verne W. Hagstrom, Mayor
highest Court, though to an unfavorable verdict.
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: Abolition & Underground RR. 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 1843.
Location. 39° 55.87′ N, 91° 24.57′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is on South 4th Street (Illinois Route 57). Marker is in an alley between Maine and Jersey Streets. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 415 Jersey 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 Lord's Barn (within shouting distance of this marker); Spire Section (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Quincy Senior High School (about 300 feet away); Ruff Brewing Company (about 300 feet away); Crockets from Portico (about 300 feet away); Limestone Capitals (about 300 feet away); The Mormons in Quincy (about 400 feet away); A Quincy "Copperhead" (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Search for Equality Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
3. Search for Equality Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 661 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on May 30, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois.   3. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Apr. 13, 2024