Rich in heritage and haunted by history, many threads of our nation's past can be discovered here in Alton.
Located at the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri rivers, Alton is one of America's great river towns. It was the biggest city in southern Illinois in its heyday. Its steep-sloped streets, filled with silos, railroad tracks, brick commercial buildings, and stately Victorian mansions, bustled with people and energy.
Alton played a pivotal role in the Civil War. Here, abolitionist editor Elijah P. Lovejoy became the first casualty of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas debated the issue of slavery. Confederate prisoners were held, died, and buried and Lyman Trumbull co-authored the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
— Abraham Lincoln