Warm, Sincere Friendship

Warm, Sincere Friendship (HM13VH)

Location: Quincy, IL 62301 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 55.986', W 91° 24.206'

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Quincy's Orville Hickman Browning was Lincoln's friend, advisor, and confidant. According to historian David Donald, Lincoln considered Browning an old friend "whom he could absolutely trust. He knew the Illinois senator would never betray a confidence." The two men seemed very dissimilar. Browning was highly educated, a meticulous dresser, and dignified in manner. Lincoln was not. Nonetheless, Lincoln and Browning had much in common. Both were born in Kentucky and moved to Illinois. Both were successful attorneys and served together in the Illinois legislature. Both were in demand as speakers but quite different in style. Lincoln was folksy while Browning was formal. Both Whigs, after 1854 each participated in the founding of the Illinois Republican Party. They shared a love of literature, and even while in the White House Lincoln read poetry to Browning as a diversion. Browning was a civic leader, one of the best-known Illinois lawyer, and a dedicated promoter of Quincy and his Quincy friends, sometimes relying upon his relationship with the President. During the Civil War, he secured federal funds for a clothing factory in Quincy, employing soldiers dependents to keep them from poverty.

Lincoln scholars are forever indebted to Browning for the diary he kept from 1850 until the time of his death in 1881. The diary provided significant insights into Lincoln's thoughts, moods, and concerns during some of his most challenging moments. Lincoln trusted Browning so thoroughly that he revealed his innermost thoughts to his friend. Browning's diary is published as two volumes within the Illinois Historical Collections series.

Browning was Lincoln's close presidential ally. During the months before his inauguration, Lincoln shared with few others details of the policies he would follow as President. Yet he asked Browning to critique his First Inaugural Address. Valuing Browning's advice, Lincoln wanted the Quincy lawyer to accompany him to Washington, but Browning consented to go only as far as Indianapolis. When Browning was appointed in 1861 to the U.S. Senate seat of the deceased Stephen A. Douglas, he became the President's eyes and ears in the Senate. In this role, he performed helpful service to Lincoln in the Potentially destructive Cabinet crisis of 1862. Browning was a frequent visitor to the White House and Lincoln and he openly deliberated many weighty issues. Browning was one of only a few men with whom Lincoln discussed the Emancipation Proclamation before it was announced.

HM NumberHM13VH
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 4:37pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 636418 N 4421552
Decimal Degrees39.93310000, -91.40343333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 55.986', W 91° 24.206'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 55' 59.16" N, 91° 24' 12.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 111-199 N 8th St, Quincy IL 62301, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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