Famous Illinoisians with Civil War Ties
Stephen Arnold Douglas
Lawyer - Orator - Political Leader
Douglas County, Illinois [formed 8 Feb 1850] is named for him.
- Born 23 Apr 1813 near Brandon, Vermont
- nicknamed "The Little Giant" for his short stature, large head, &
- migrated to Illinois at age 20
- joined the bar (became a lawyer) at Jacksonville, Illinois
- Wealthy land speculator
- Helped make Chicago a major hub of railroads
- Elected to Illinois legislature in 1836
- Judge of Supreme Court of Illinois 1841-1843
- Elected to US House of Representatives in 1843
- Elected to US Senate in 1847 [Senator until 1861]
- Supported the Compromise of 1850 (Missouri Compromise)
- In US Senate, sponsored the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
which was Popular Sovereignty
[Right of People in each state to choose between slave state -
free state status]
Resulted in "Bleeding Kansas"
- Series of Debates with Abraham Lincoln during US Senate election campaign in 1858
- Nominated for US Presidency in 1860
[not supported by southern Democrats who nominated John C. Breckenridge]
- Offered his services to President Lincoln after the outbreak of the Civil War
Douglas toured border states to arose enthusiasm for Union cause
- Stricken with typhoid in 1861
- Died 3 June 1861 in Chicago, two months after Fort Sumter Incident
- Buried at 36th Street near Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois [Douglas
Tomb State Historic Site]
- World Book Encyclopedia, v. 4 (1970) Field Enterprises Educational Corp
- Illinois Blue Book (1989-90)
- The 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, v. 7.0
- Photo from The Era of the Civil War, 1848-1870, vol. III of "The Centennial History of Illinois " by Arthur
C. Cole, 1919, published by the Illinois Centennial Commisssion, Springfield, IL.
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