Quincy's Judge Douglas
"His name fills the nation; and is not unknown, even in foreign lands" (A. Lincoln, 1856). Stephen A. Douglas, a Jacksonian Democrat, arrived in Quincy in 1841, at twenty-seven the youngest Supreme Court Judge in Illinois history. In 1843 he defeated Quincy Whig Orville H. Browning for the U.S. House of Representatives and became chairman of the powerful House Committee on the Territories. He later held the same post in the U.S. Senate, to which the Illinois legislature elected him in 1846. With a statewide constituency, he moved to Chicago. Douglas seemed unstoppable. Comparing the career of Douglas and himself in 1856, Lincoln stated, "With me the race of ambition has been a failure---a flat failure; with him it has been one of splendid success." Disturbed by Douglas' 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which he believed would spread slavery, Lincoln in 1858 challenged Douglas for his Senate seat. Douglas returned to Quincy, October 13, 1858, for his sixth debate with Republican Lincoln. Douglas won the Senate contest. But in the Presidential contest two years later, he lost to Lincoln.
Stephen A. Douglas was called Judge Douglas in his adopted town of Quincy---and by Lincoln during the debates. Douglas earned the nickname "The Little Giant" for his political acumen. Standing 5'4", he was the most powerful
Douglas courted the Mormons. As Illinois Secretary of State in 1840, Douglas certified a liberal charter for the City of Nauvoo, making the new Mormon community virtually autonomous. Lincoln voted for the charter as a member of the Illinois Legislature. Both parties courted Nauvoo's large new electorate. Never one to miss a political opportunity, Douglas wrote a bill increasing the number of Illinois Supreme Court justices, then had himself appointed justice in Quincy's Fifth Judicial District, which includes the new voters in Nauvoo. During the 1843 Congressional race, Douglas sought Mormon support. After clashes between Mormons and their neighbors in 1845, Congressman Douglas returned from Washington to help resolve the impasse that had led to Joseph Smith's death and turmoil in Hancock County. He helped negotiate the plan which moved the Mormons to Deseret (Utah). Afterward, the Quincy Rifle Company, shown in Washington Square, went to Hancock County to keep the peace.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 55.981′ N, 91° 24.544′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is on Hampshire Street. Touch for map. Marker is in Washington Square. Marker is in this post office area: Quincy IL 62301, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Douglas' Disciple (here, next to this marker); Lincoln's Quincy (a few steps from this marker); Downtown Quincy in 1858 (a few steps from this marker); Lincoln Correspondent (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Promoter (within shouting distance of this marker); Political Campaigning in 1858 (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln-Douglas Debate (within shouting distance of this marker); Lorado Taft (1860 - 1936) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Also see . . . Stephen Arnold Douglas- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. (Submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Mormons
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 411 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.