Let Us All Be United

Let Us All Be United (HM12JJ)

Location: Decatur, IL 62523 Macon County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 50.475', W 88° 57.361'

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Inscription
By 1856 Abraham Lincoln had realized that his former political party, the Whigs, was in ruins. The political landscape had changed to the point that Lincoln accepted an invitation to attend an Anti-Nebraska Editors Convention held at the Cassell House in Decatur, Illinois, on George Washington's birthday, February 22, 1856. Lincoln was the only politician invited to attend. The rest of the delegates were Illinois newspaper editors who were opposed to the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act had repealed the 1820 Missouri Compromise prohibiting slavery in federal territory north of a designated geographic line. The repeal would effectively allow slavery to spread into any federal territory voting for it. The Anti0Nebraska Editors therefore stated that they were "in favor of restoration of the Missouri Compromise: and "the restriction of Slavery to its present authorized limits." Later that May a second convention was held in Bloomington, Illinois. With the principles established by the Anti-Nebraska Editors Convention in February as its guide, the Bloomington Convention formally established the Republican Party in Illinois with Abraham Lincoln as its acknowledged leader.

Letter
In 1820 the Missouri Compromise was passed by Congress. The Compromise had placed the spread of slavery into the federal territories on a course that Abraham Lincoln felt would lead to its "ultimate extinction." After the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed many Congressional leaders, chiefly Lincoln's Illinois political adversary and sponsor of the 1854 Act, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, tried to allow for the question of slavery to be "voted up or voted down." Senator Douglas' "Popular Sovereignty" doctrine had become a national issue.

During the early part of the 1850's, national and Illinois politics were in turmoil. With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, the old political division of the Democratic and the Whig parties had been destroyed. Nowhere was this more evident than in Illinois. Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon had attempted to join a new party, but many of Lincoln's friends wand relatives, especially John Todd Stuart, had told Lincoln he would be ruining his political future by joining the "Abolition" party that Herndon supported. Lincoln declined the invitation to join, but by 1855 he wrote to his good friend Joshua Speed, "I think I am a whig; but others say there are no whigs." Lincoln was at his political crossroads.

Details
HM NumberHM12JJ
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 6:57pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 332643 N 4411968
Decimal Degrees39.84125000, -88.95601667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 50.475', W 88° 57.361'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 50' 28.50" N, 88° 57' 21.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101 S Main St, Decatur IL 62523, US
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