Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vandalia in Fayette County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Ebenezer Capps’ Store

1837

 
 
Ebenezer Capps' Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
1. Ebenezer Capps' Store Marker
Inscription.
The store of Ebenezer Capps was located just north of this site at the northeast corner of Main and Fourth streets.

The location of Main street is not the same today as when Lincoln was here. Vandalia existed long before the coming of railroads. When the St. Louis, Vandalia and Terre Haute Railroad was constructed, it ran down what had been Main Street under an easement from the city of Vandalia. Capps Store likely stood in the middle of what is now Main Street.

Ebenezer Capps arrived in Vandalia in the late 1820's. He was granted a grocery license by the Fayette County court of commissioners in 1828. Members of the legislature would have frequented his establishment. It is said that Ebenezer Capps bought everything anyone had for sale and sold everything from a needle to an elephant. For many years, Capps' market quotations set the price of commodities from Vandalia all the way to New Orleans. This store served as the site for a celebration by the Long Nine in February of 1837 after they were successful in passing legislation removing the capital to Springfield.

Supporters of Vandalia attempted on several occasions to reverse the February 1837 vote. The last such effort was a meeting held in Vandalia in July 1838.

Some historians suspect there was a connection between the removal
Ebenezer Capps' Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
2. Ebenezer Capps' Store Marker
4th Street Bridge over railroad cut at left of photo
of the capital and the passage of an internal improvements act. Some have also accused Lincoln and the Long Nine of "log rolling." The vote on the removal of the capital no doubt involved the usual horse trading and political wrangling. However, most historians agree that it did not involve any illegal or improper acts. After the February 28, 1837 vote, the victorious Long Nine immediately staged a celebration at Ebenezer Capps' tavern, near the state house, and invited the entire legislature. Most of the members came and partook generously of free champagne, cigars, oysters, and other delights. The bill for the celebration was paid for by the wealthy Ninian W. Edwards and is reproduced above.

Ebenezer Capps operated one of the largest wholesale and retail establishments in Illinois during the time that Vandalia served as the state capital.
 
Erected 2008 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 38° 57.697′ N, 89° 5.674′ W. Marker is in Vandalia, Illinois, in Fayette County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Street and the railroad cut south of Main Street, on the right when traveling north on 4th Street. Touch for map.
Drawing of Ebenezer Capps' Store on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale Timmermann, undated
3. Drawing of Ebenezer Capps' Store on Marker
Marker is at the northwest corner of the Old State Capitol grounds. Marker is in this post office area: Vandalia IL 62471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln and the "Long Nine" (within shouting distance of this marker); First Elective Office (within shouting distance of this marker); First Protest Against Slavery (within shouting distance of this marker); Second State Capitol (within shouting distance of this marker); Third State Capitol (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert K. McLaughlin Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Cumberland Road (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Madonna of the Trail (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vandalia.
 
Also see . . .
1. Looking For Lincoln Story Trail. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Ebenezer Capps Bio in 1876 History of Sangamon County, Illinois. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommercePoliticsSettlements & Settlers
 
Recepit on Ebenezer Capps' Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1837
4. Recepit on Ebenezer Capps' Store Marker
Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Ebenezer Capps' Store Rubbing Medallion image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
5. Ebenezer Capps' Store Rubbing Medallion
Looking For Lincoln Story Trail Logo image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
6. Looking For Lincoln Story Trail Logo
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 484 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Paid Advertisement