Illinois hero Stephen Douglas managed slaves

Jim Klag

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We also went to his law office and o/c their home as well. It was part of one of my "around the horn" history trips that first started in Chi-town--a family reunion and w/ side trips to Wrigley-ville cuz I timed it while the Reds were there--and circled back home. I always travel w/ a sense of history.
I am always taken aback, in his residential neighborhood, that the wooden sidewalks have been preserved and you can literally walk in his footsteps. I find that very cool.
 

byron ed

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Am I to take from this that you object to this removal or that you may agree that it as the choice of the overall population of the entire Great state of Illinois to decide...
I don't know how to feel about it. Good question.

I've rubbed Lincoln's (statue) nose too but don't recall there being a similar opportunity to rub Douglas' (statue) nose. I was part of the reenactment of the anniversary of Lincoln's coming home a few years back. The funeral train, horse-drawn carriage, parade to Lincoln's tomb, my unit's cannon fire there, etc. Memorable.
 

5fish

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I just read this article and Douglas threw the election for a Lincoln victory... He stopped campaigning in the North and Campaign only in the South, Why?


This sectional split of the Democratic party contributed to Lincoln’s election. The potential four-way contest in reality became two, two-way contests: one between Lincoln and Douglas for the free states and the second between Breckenridge and Constitutional Unionist John Bell for the slave states. Unlike Lincoln, Douglas emphasized in his speeches that the United States was on the verge of a crisis with this election: Douglas told northerners that disunion was a very real possibility not simply a baseless southern threat and he reminded southerners that talks of secession were treasonous and would lead to disaster. Historians argue that in these speeches, the Little Giant showed a level of personal responsibility that was unmatched by any other candidate; after all, it was his legislation that aggravated sectional tensions and contributed to the fragility of the Union. In early October 1860, when Douglas heard that Republicans won the gubernatorial elections in Pennsylvania and Indiana, he immediately changed his campaign plans, saying “Mr. Lincoln is the next president. We must try to save the Union. I will go South.” This decision to campaign in the South where Douglas had almost no chance of winning damaged Douglas in the polls. Unlike the Republicans, Douglas recognized and actively communicated that the Union was in peril.
 

O' Be Joyful

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I just read this article and Douglas threw the election for a Lincoln victory... He stopped campaigning in the North and Campaign only in the South, Why?


This sectional split of the Democratic party contributed to Lincoln’s election. The potential four-way contest in reality became two, two-way contests: one between Lincoln and Douglas for the free states and the second between Breckenridge and Constitutional Unionist John Bell for the slave states. Unlike Lincoln, Douglas emphasized in his speeches that the United States was on the verge of a crisis with this election: Douglas told northerners that disunion was a very real possibility not simply a baseless southern threat and he reminded southerners that talks of secession were treasonous and would lead to disaster. Historians argue that in these speeches, the Little Giant showed a level of personal responsibility that was unmatched by any other candidate; after all, it was his legislation that aggravated sectional tensions and contributed to the fragility of the Union. In early October 1860, when Douglas heard that Republicans won the gubernatorial elections in Pennsylvania and Indiana, he immediately changed his campaign plans, saying “Mr. Lincoln is the next president. We must try to save the Union. I will go South.” This decision to campaign in the South where Douglas had almost no chance of winning damaged Douglas in the polls. Unlike the Republicans, Douglas recognized and actively communicated that the Union was in peril.

He certainly split the Dems and he was always a All for the Union guy. Purposely threw it?, I'm not so sure.
 

5fish

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He certainly split the Dems and he was always a All for the Union guy. Purposely threw it?, I'm not so sure.
He died saving the Union by rallying... He was all in for the Union... His last days...


During the presidential campaign, Douglas conducted a national speaking tour that left him physically and mentally exhausted. Rather than rest, however, he threw himself into efforts to find one more compromise to keep the South from seceding. After the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861, Douglas realized that the time for compromise had ended. He declared, “There can be no neutrals in this war; only patriots and traitors.”

Traveling back to Illinois, he stopped to make speeches throughout the Midwest, rallying Northern Democrats to stand behind Lincoln and the Union. When he addressed the Illinois state legislature, which was then filled with his political opponents, he told them: “You all know that I am a very good partisan fighter in partisan times. And I trust you will find me equally a good patriot when the country is in danger.” They gave him a cheering, standing ovation.

Senator Douglas addressed his last public audience in Chicago on May 1. Worn out from his efforts, his health steadily declined. He died in his hotel room on June 3, 1861, at the age of 48, and might be listed as one of the first casualties of the Civil War.


 

5fish

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He certainly split the Dems and he was always a All for the Union guy. Purposely threw it?, I'm not so sure.
So I can not prove he threw the election toward Lincoln but it is clear he stopped campaigning against Lincoln and promoted the Union. I like to argue, that he became a surrogate indirectly for Lincoln.

The campaign that followed witnessed none of the candidates except Douglas on the public stump. Breckinridge gave only one speech, Bell said nothing, and Lincoln, in keeping with campaign traditions, stayed at home in Springfield receiving delegations who came to pay their respect. Douglas, on the other hand, broke with tradition and campaigned all over the nation. He traveled from New England to the Deep South, shaking hands and giving speeches. Most of his appearances, to his dismay, were peppered with questions about what would happen should Lincoln be elected. In answering, he always affirmed the President's duty to enforce the laws. By October, concluding that the election was lost to Lincoln, Douglas began urging people to reject secession and work within the system.
 

O' Be Joyful

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So I can not prove he threw the election toward Lincoln but it is clear he stopped campaigning against Lincoln and promoted the Union. I like to argue, that he became a surrogate indirectly for Lincoln.

The campaign that followed witnessed none of the candidates except Douglas on the public stump. Breckinridge gave only one speech, Bell said nothing, and Lincoln, in keeping with campaign traditions, stayed at home in Springfield receiving delegations who came to pay their respect. Douglas, on the other hand, broke with tradition and campaigned all over the nation. He traveled from New England to the Deep South, shaking hands and giving speeches. Most of his appearances, to his dismay, were peppered with questions about what would happen should Lincoln be elected. In answering, he always affirmed the President's duty to enforce the laws. By October, concluding that the election was lost to Lincoln, Douglas began urging people to reject secession and work within the system.

Yes a 4-way split of the vote. Do Ross Perot and Ralph Nader ring a bell? we could even go back to 1948 and the Dixiecrats.
 

5fish

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Stephen Douglas was a friend, colleague, and opponent of Lincons. They hung out at Joshua Speed Place and in 1839 they held a series of debates... They came up together in their careers and politics.

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Douglas and Mr. Lincoln were better friends than they appeared to be, argued Douglas biographer Gerald M. Capers. “In political fights they hit each other with all they had, but they actually held a genuine regard and respect for one another.


Four years younger than Mr. Lincoln, Douglas got the quicker start in life and early moved farther ahead. Mr. Lincoln moved to Illinois when he was 21, Douglas when he was 20. Mr. Lincoln got to know Douglas when they served together in the state legislature in the late1830s in Vandalia and subsequently hung out together at night at the general storeowned by Joshua F. Speed in Springfield, There the issues of the day were debated. Lincoln scholar Joseph E. Suppiger wrote that “in December, 1839, he joined Douglas, Baker and several others in front of a roaring fire at Speed’s store and proceeded to warm things up even more by debating the issues (bank, internal improvements, sub-treasury, etc.) again. Finally Douglas bounced out of his chair, declaring: ‘Gentlemen, this is no place to talk politics. We will discuss the questions publicly with you. The Whigs took up the gauntlet, and on December 11thth made public their determination to debate the ‘Locos’ before the people. The following evening the two parties chose their spokesmen: ‘Douglas, John Calhoun, Josiah Lamborn, and Jesse B. Thomas, Jr. for the Democrats; and Lincoln, Stephen T. Logan, Edward D. Baker, and Orville H. Browning for the Whigs.”4 It was a formidable group. For the final two weeks of the year, the opposing sides met regularly at the Second Presbyterian Church with Mr. Lincoln attacking the Van Buren Administration subtreasury scheme and Democratic corruption. The “great debate” served as a warm-up for the 1840 presidential campaign in which Douglas and Mr. Lincoln actively participated and for the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

At Stephen's funeral, Lincoln took no visitors that day...


The funeral of Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois took place in Washington on the 7th. In Douglas’s honor, government buildings, businesses, and public schools closed throughout the North, and the White House was draped in black. President Lincoln received no visitors on the day of Douglas’s funeral. The War Department declared Douglas’s death “a national calamity” and issued orders for regiments to drape their colors in black crepe.
 
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