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

Republican Wigwams

Republican Wigwams Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 9, 2012
1. Republican Wigwams Marker
During the 1860 election Illinois Republicans held conventions in temporary wood and canvas structures dubbed "Wigwams."
"Wigwams" were reminiscent of the "Log Cabins" from the 1840 presidential campaign. They quickly became symbols of the young Republican party's vigor. Cheap, easy to construct, spacious, and conducive to generating party spirit, they made ideal political assembly halls. "Every Republican club in every considerable town will have its Wigwam," party leaders boasted. In Decatur's Wigwam state Republicans nominated Lincoln for the Presidency.

In Chicago's two-story, wood-frame Wigwam the country's Republicans nominated Lincoln as their national candidate. Springfield Republicans had a Wigwam, too. They erected it on the southeast corner of Sixth and Monroe Streets. Here on numerous occasions during the summer and fall of 1860, local party leaders and distinguished out-of-towners whipped the party faithful to a frenzy. Candidate Lincoln visited on occasion, but following the tradition of his day he did not give a campaign speech here - or anywhere else.

During the Civil War Illinois built a "Soldiers' Home" where the Wigwam had stood. Used as barracks and a receiving station for sick soldiers, its second-floor balcony was filled with cots, and on the ground floor were offices, a kitchen, dining

Photo of the Soldiers' Home image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 9, 2012
2. Photo of the Soldiers' Home
room, and a room where women of the Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society made bandages, splints, and other first aid items.

The U.S. government owned the corner lot on which the Home was built. President Lincoln authorized its use for a Soldiers' Home "with the understanding that the government does not incur any expense." When invited to attend the dedication in April 1864, the President had to send his "regrets" due to pressing War matters.

Letter and Photo
Lincoln's letter authorizing the construction of a Soldier's Home on federally owned land.
Illinois' war-time governor, Richard Yates, a Republican ally of Lincoln's, stands in front of the Soldiers' Home during the Civil War, wearing a Lincoln-like stovepipe hat.

Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 47.958′ N, 89° 38.863′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is at the intersection of East Monroe Street and South 6th Street on East Monroe Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Animal Problems (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices (about 400 feet away); Lincoln's Carriage Maker (about 400 feet away); The American House (about 400 feet away); Leaping Lincoln (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices (about 400 feet away); Lincoln's Springfield (about 400 feet away); In Their Springfield Prime (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Categories. PoliticsWar, US Civil

Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 2, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 397 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 2, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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