The Civil War Governor

The Civil War Governor (HM1332)

Location: Jacksonville, IL 62650 Morgan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 44.055', W 90° 13.353'

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Richard Yates moved from Kentucky to Jacksonville in 1831. Four years later he became the first graduate of Illinois College. Abraham Lincoln and Yates admired Henry Clay and actively supported the Whig Party. Both strongly opposed Stephen A. Douglas and his Kansas-Nebraska Act. Yates claimed that Lincoln's speech against this act was "the strongest speech I ever heard on the subject." Yates served in the Illinois House and the U.S. House of Representatives but is best known as the Radical Republican Governor of Illinois during the Civil War.

Called the "Soldier's Friend," he ensured Illinois soldiers were well equipped. The opposition party complained the uniforms supplied to Illinois soldiers were more expensive than the uniforms the U.S. government supplied to its troops. Yates made trips to visit and encourage Illinois troops, including traveling twice by steamboat to give support to the sick and wounded at Pittsburg Landing. After the Civil War, Yates became a member of the U.S. Senate. He was among the last persons with whom Mr. Lincoln visited on the day before his death.

Both Abraham Lincoln and Richard Yates ran for major offices on the Republican ticket in 1860, Lincoln for President and Yates for Governor. Yates received 1,000 more votes in Illinois than Lincoln. the popularity of Richard Yates with Illinois voters helped his good friend Lincoln carry the State. With Yates as Governor, Illinois was able to raise more troops for the Civil War than any other state.

Governor Yates supported Abraham Lincoln's war policies. Yates decided on his own to send the Illinois militia down to St. Louis to take possession of the arsenal for the Union Army. Peace Democrats in the Illinois legislature strongly disagreed with the Governor's independent action. These Democrats, who controlled the Illinois House of Representatives also refused to support the Governor's attempts to raise troops for the Union Army. Tired of facing constant opposition, Yates took action that no Illinois Governor had taken since: he prorogued the legislature. Although the House Democrats stayed on for two weeks, they could do nothing because Yates had suspended the General Assembly.

HM NumberHM1332
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 10:40am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 738016 N 4401951
Decimal Degrees39.73425000, -90.22255000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 44.055', W 90° 13.353'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 44' 3.30" N, 90° 13' 21.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 400-464 E State St, Jacksonville IL 62650, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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