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

Douglas - Lincoln Debates

 

—Looking for Lincoln —

 
Left Section - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
1. Left Section - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
(Click on any of these photos to see details.)
Inscription. Lincoln wrote Douglas on July 24, 1858, challenging him “to divide time and address the same audiences” during the campaign. The Senator suggested seven locations, adding, “I will confer with you at the earliest convenient opportunity in regard to the mode of conducting the debate, the times of meeting at the several places….” When it was learned that Douglas would speak in Monticello, July 29, 1858, Bryant invited Senator and Mrs. Douglas to an overnight stay. The couples traveled to Monticello early on July 29, 1858. After a successful meeting, they returned to Bement. When the Bryant carriage was about one mile south of Monticello, they met a prairie schooner. Douglas remarked, “There comes Lincoln; I wish to speak to him a moment.” Douglas asked if he had received his letter. Lincoln replied favorably, asking where they might later confer. Bryant invited Lincoln to his home in Bement. After his speech in Monticello, Lincoln hurried to Bement. The meeting in Bryant’s parlor allowed Lincoln and Douglas to confer and agree on debate details.

Douglas’ letter (written from the Bryant home), was headed “Bement, Piatt County, Illinois, July 30, 1858.” It confirmed the details of their evening meeting, designating the dates and places of
Middle Section - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
2. Middle Section - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
the seven debates. It included a description of the mode in which the debates would operate. Lincoln responded to Douglas’ letter on July 31, 1858, writing,
“Although by the terms, as you propose, you take four openings and closes, to my three, I accede, and thus close the arrangement.”

Born in 1818, Francis E. Bryant was the son of a New Hampshire farmer who migrated to the state of Ohio in 1833. Young Francis received little formal education, but he did study the profession of surveying. He left Ohio, settled in Rushville, Schuyler County, Illinois, courted and married Sarah Briscoe of Kentucky. They moved to Bement in 1856. Bryant became a merchant, banker, and civic leader.

Along with Bryant’s economic success came political influence. He served as Bement’s postmaster and mayor. A prominent Democrat, he served two terms in the Illinois legislature. The most striking evidence of Bryant’s political prestige was his friendship with Stephen A. Douglas. Bryant was part of a statewide network of small-town businessmen upon whom Senator Douglas depended for support.
 
Erected 2009 by Sue Plummer Loveridge & Sunshine in Memory of Family, Clark (Dingy), Lyndal, & Ray Plummer.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location.
Close-up Photo - - Copy of Douglas' Letter image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
3. Close-up Photo - - Copy of Douglas' Letter
39° 55.399′ N, 88° 34.312′ W. Marker is in Bement, Illinois, in Piatt County. Marker is on East Wilson Street east of North Macon Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Located to the East of the "Bryant Cottage" (home) - the Illinois State Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Bement IL 61813, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Bement Connection (a few steps from this marker); Bement Goes to War (a few steps from this marker); Bryant Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln - Douglas (approx. 5.8 miles away); Lincoln in Monticello (approx. 7 miles away); Piatt County Veterans Memorial (approx. 7 miles away); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 7 miles away); Monticello Journeys (approx. 7.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bement.
 
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at all ages. (Submitted on October 30, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

2. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S. Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day..."
Right Section - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
4. Right Section - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
(Submitted on October 30, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

3. Travel with Lincoln. Climb into Lincoln’s buggy and take a trip with Lincoln and his fellow lawyers on the job traveling Illinois as Circuit Lawyers. See all the Lincoln Circuit Markers (and a surprise or two), in the order of his travels while a member of the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District (of Illinois) during 1847-1857. Use the “First >>” button in the upper right to see these markers in sequence, starting from Springfield. (Submitted on October 30, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PersonsPolitics
 
Close-up Photo - - Francis E. Bryant image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
5. Close-up Photo - - Francis E. Bryant
Close-up Photo - - Stephen A. Douglas image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
6. Close-up Photo - - Stephen A. Douglas
Full View - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
7. Full View - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
Looking East - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
8. Looking East - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
Brick Walk-ways - - Reclaimed Brick - Village of Bement image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
9. Brick Walk-ways - - Reclaimed Brick - Village of Bement
"P.O.I." - Path of Information - Tom Kinsella - 2009 image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
10. "P.O.I." - Path of Information - Tom Kinsella - 2009
Looking North - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
11. Looking North - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
Obverse View - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
12. Obverse View - - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
Fall Colors - & - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
13. Fall Colors - & - Douglas - Lincoln Debates Marker
Sarah & Francis Bryant - - Bement Home image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 28, 2009
14. Sarah & Francis Bryant - - Bement Home
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,069 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on October 30, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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