Lincoln's Religion

Lincoln's Religion (HM133E)

Location: Jacksonville, IL 62650 Morgan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 44.057', W 90° 14.524'

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Abraham Lincoln was often accused by his detractors—-and even by some of his friends—-of not being a Christian.
Just before becoming President, Lincoln shared the following with his friend Dr. Newton Bateman: "I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me—-and I think He has—-I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know that I am right because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Christ and reason say the same; and they will find it so. (Stephen) Douglas don't care whether slavery is voted up or voted down, but God cares, and humanity cares, and I care; and with God's help I shall not fail. I may not see the end; but it will come, and I shall be vindicated; and these men will find that they have not read their Bibles aright."

Dr. Newton Bateman was serving as Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Illinois when Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President in June 1860. From that time until Lincoln left for Washington to assume his duties in February 1861, he used the Executive Chamber in the Capitol Building as his office and almost daily borrowed Dr. Bateman's adjoining office for the overflow crowd. Lincoln generally introduced Dr. Bateman to his callers as follows: "This is my little friend, and big schoolmaster of Illinois."

Illinois College was central to the life of Dr. Bateman. Bateman first met Lincoln in 1842 while he was a student at I.C. In 1843, Bateman helped found Sigma Pi Society, an I.C. fraternal-literary group, which made Lincoln an honorary member. Bateman served as teacher and principal in schools in the St. Louis area. In 1851, he returned to Jacksonville, where he married and continued as a school principal. He bought the house on this site in 1851 and expanded it over the years. The Gothic Revival structure is a most unusual survivor of that early period. Dr. Bateman served five terms as Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Illinois, beginning in 1859, shortly after he moved to Springfield. From 1875 to 1893, he was president of Knox College in Galesburg, building that institution into one of the great midwestern colleges.

HM NumberHM133E
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 3:38pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 736343 N 4401903
Decimal Degrees39.73428333, -90.24206667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 44.057', W 90° 14.524'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 44' 3.42" N, 90° 14' 31.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 907 W State St, Jacksonville IL 62650, US
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