“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)

Lincoln's 1854 Visit

Lincoln's 1854 Visit Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
1. Lincoln's 1854 Visit Marker
On November 1, 1854 an incensed Lincoln attached the immorality of slavery in a speech at Kendall Hall. Lincoln was awakened from a five-bear political slumber by Douglas's Kansas-Nebraska Act, attacking it in a series of speeches in central Illinois in late 1854. Lincoln's Quincy friend Abraham Jonas invited him to address the Kansas-Nebraska question here on behalf of the Congressional candidacy of Archibald Williams. Jonas predicted a payoff to Lincoln politically. "Whigs would be much gratified if you us a visit while the little giant is here," Jonas wrote. "It is believed by all who know you, that a reply from you, would be more effective than from any other---I trust you may be able to pay us a visit and thereby create a debt of gratitude on the part of Whigs here..." Lincoln accepted, speaking to an enthusiastic crowd at Kendall Hall. He attacked slavery, former Quincyan Douglas, and the idea of popular sovereignty. Quincyans would hear similar themes when Lincoln returned four years later to debate Douglas, October 13, 1858.

Construction of Orrin Kendall's building on the southwest corner of Sixth and Maine was completed on October 5, 1852. The impressive three-story brick building housed his cracker and confectionery business in the basement and featured a large public hall the

Kendall Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 11, 2012
2. Kendall Hall
full size of the building (50' x 80') on the second floor. Meetings were held in Kendall Hall almost every evening in 1854 with politics at a fever pitch. Speakers on the Nebraska question included James W. Singleton, Orville H. Browning, and Lincoln. Lincoln's appearance in 1854 at this site was in support of the Congressional campaign of his long-time Quincy friend Archibald Williams.

Lincoln's political genius was demonstrated by his approach to an attempted political smear. During the 1860 presidential primary campaign, Abraham Jonas wrote Lincoln that local Democrat Issac N. Morris was seeking affidavits from "certain Irishmen" that they saw Lincoln come out of a Quincy Know-Nothing Lodge. The Know-Nothing political party opposed immigration and election of Catholics to political office. Lincoln recognized that such a charge could cost him the vote of the large German and Irish population---and a denial, the vote of the Know-Nothings, who opposed slavery's extension. Lincoln told Jonas, "it must not publicly appear that I am paying any attention to the charge." He suggested that Jonas get affidavits from "respectable men who were always in the lodge and never saw me there." The ploy worked, and the matter never became public.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 55.925′ N, 91° 24.446′ W. Marker is in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Jail Alley and Maine Street on Jail Alley. Touch for map. 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. Lincoln's Honored Friend (here, next to this marker); A Quincy "Copperhead" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Political Campaigning in 1858 (about 400 feet away); Lincoln-Douglas Debate (about 400 feet away); Lorado Taft (1860 - 1936) (about 400 feet away); Lincoln Correspondent (about 500 feet away); Lincoln Promoter (about 500 feet away); Douglas' Disciple (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quincy.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRPolitics

Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 520 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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