The Phoenix Block

The Phoenix Block (HM130X)

Location: Bloomington, IL 61701 McLean County
Buy Illinois State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 40° 28.779', W 88° 59.629'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
"Herewith is a little sketch...there is not much of it...I suppose, that there is not much of me." Lincoln thus fulfilled Jesse Fell's 1858 request for an autobiography. Catching Lincoln as he emerged from the courthouse, Fell invited Lincoln to meet in his brother's law office on the second floor of the Phoenix Block. Lincoln had gained national attention because of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas senatorial election debates, a race which he lost. Fell told Lincoln that if his views became better known " can be made a formidable, if not a successful, candidate for the presidency." Lincoln protested, insisting the services of William A. Seward and Salmon P. Chase made them more deserving. They had, he insisted rendered greater service to the new Republican Party. Fell replied that they needed a man who could be elected, not one with more party service. Fell's travels, as corresponding secretary of the Republican Party, had convinced him that Lincoln was the most acceptable presidential candidate. By late December 1859, Fell had persuaded Lincoln to write his first autobiography.

Kersey Fell's desk was used in his Phoenix office, the site where Jesse Fell first asked Lincoln to write and autobiography. The autobiography would provide information about the man who so ably debated the nation's leading Democrat, Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas. The autobiography was enhanced by Jesse Fell, of Bloomington, and Joseph W. Lewis, of Westchester, Pennsylvania. Lewis' brother was the editor of the Bloomington Pantagraph. It was originally published in Pennsylvania and provided the nation with the first details of Lincoln's life.

"Mr. Lincoln is probably the fairest and most honest political speaker in the country," wrote the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph the day after he delivered his last major speech to a capacity audience in Phoenix Hall, before his nomination to the presidency. "Several of his home thrusts, last night, went through the sophisms and duplicities of the Shamocracy with a terribly damaging offset." This April 10, 1860 speech attacked Stephen Douglas's support of Popular Sovereignty.

Lincoln represented Dr. Crothers (at right) and Dr. Rogers in the "Chicken Bone Case," named for his use of such bones in his plea to the jury. Lincoln said to the plaintiff, "I would advise you to get down on your knees and thank your Heavenly Father...that you have any legs to stand on..." Dr. Crothers' office was in the building on the far left.

HM NumberHM130X
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 4:58am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 330999 N 4482905
Decimal Degrees40.47965000, -88.99381667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 28.779', W 88° 59.629'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 28' 46.74" N, 88° 59' 37.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)309
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 W Washington St, Bloomington IL 61701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?