Stephen A. Douglas

Photo by Mathew Brady
Stephen A. Douglas
Adele Cutts, c. 1860
The United States in 1849, with Texas's land claims on New Mexico shown
The United States after the Compromise of 1850
Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler – An 1856 cartoon depicts a giant "Free Soiler" being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass standing on the Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard as Douglas shoves a black man down his throat. A victim of lynching can also be seen in the background.
Stephen A. Douglas, photograph by Mathew Brady
Abraham Lincoln was Douglas's opponent in both the 1858 Senate election in Illinois and the 1860 presidential election.
Statue of Douglas at the site of the 1858 debate in Freeport, Illinois
Douglas (dark blue) had the support of most Northern delegates on the presidential ballot of the 1860 Democratic National Convention.
Douglas was defeated by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election, as he won electoral votes from just two states.
Plaque at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, commemorating Douglas's "Protect The Flag" speech of April 25, 1861
Douglas's tomb
Douglas's widow, Adele, in mourning dress. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Douglas depicted on the Series 1875 $10,000 Certificate of Deposit

American politician and lawyer from Illinois.

- Stephen A. Douglas

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Abraham Lincoln

American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.

Portrait by Alexander Gardner, November 1863
The farm site where Lincoln grew up in Spencer County, Indiana
Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois
Lincoln in his late 30s as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Photo taken by one of Lincoln's law students around 1846.
Lincoln in 1857
Lincoln in 1858, the year of his debates with Stephen Douglas over slavery
A portrait of Dred Scott, petitioner in Dred Scott v. Sandford
Abraham Lincoln (1860) by Mathew Brady, taken the day of the Cooper Union speech
A Timothy Cole wood engraving taken from a May 20, 1860, ambrotype of Lincoln, two days following his nomination for president
Headlines on the day of Lincoln's inauguration portended hostilities with the Confederacy, Fort Sumter being attacked less than six weeks later.
March 1861 inaugural at the Capitol building. The dome above the rotunda was still under construction.
Lincoln with officers after the Battle of Antietam. Notable figures (from left) are 1. Col. Delos Sackett; 4. Gen. George W. Morell; 5. Alexander S. Webb, Chief of Staff, V Corps; 6. McClellan;. 8. Dr. Jonathan Letterman; 10. Lincoln; 11. Henry J. Hunt; 12. Fitz John Porter; 15. Andrew A. Humphreys; 16. Capt. George Armstrong Custer.
Running the Machine: An 1864 political cartoon satirizing Lincoln's administration – featuring William Fessenden, Edwin Stanton, William Seward, Gideon Welles, Lincoln, and others
Lincoln and McClellan
Lincoln, absent his usual top hat, is highlighted at Gettysburg.
An electoral landslide for Lincoln (in red) in the 1864 election; southern states (brown) and territories (gray) not in play
A poster of the 1864 election campaign with Lincoln as the candidate for president and Andrew Johnson as the candidate for vice president
Lincoln's second inaugural address in 1865 at the almost completed Capitol building
A political cartoon of Vice President Andrew Johnson (a former tailor) and Lincoln, 1865, entitled The 'Rail Splitter' At Work Repairing the Union. The caption reads (Johnson): "Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever." (Lincoln): "A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended."
Shown in the presidential booth of Ford's Theatre, from left to right, are assassin John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Harris, and Henry Rathbone.
Funeral of Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, painting by George Peter Alexander Healy in 1869
Lincoln in February 1865, two months before his death
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Lincoln cent, an American coin portraying Lincoln
Lincoln's image carved into the stone of Mount Rushmore|alt=See caption
Abraham Lincoln, a 1909 bronze statue by Adolph Weinman, sits before a historic church in Hodgenville, Kentucky.|alt=See caption
The Lincoln memorial postage stamp of 1866 was issued by the U.S. Post Office exactly one year after Lincoln's death.
Painting of Abraham Lincoln for the U.S. Capitol, by Ned Bittinger

He reentered politics in 1854, becoming a leader in the new Republican Party, and he reached a national audience in the 1858 Senate campaign debates against Stephen Douglas.

Kansas–Nebraska Act

Territorial organic act that created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

Missouri Compromise line (36°30′ parallel) in dark blue, 1820. Territory above this line would be reserved for free states, and below, slave states
The United States after the Compromise of 1850 and the Gadsden Purchase. Douglas sought to organize parts of the area labeled as "Unorganized territory."
Stephen A. Douglas – "The great principle of self-government is at stake, and surely the people of this country are never going to decide that the principle upon which our whole republican system rests is vicious and wrong."
Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler. An 1854 cartoon depicts a giant free soiler being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass, standing on the Democratic platform of making slave states out of "Kansas," "Cuba," and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard, as Stephen A. Douglas shoves a black man down his throat.
Sam Houston from Texas was one of the few southern opponents of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. In the debate, he urged, "Maintain the Missouri Compromise! Stir not up agitation! Give us peace!"
Alexander Stephens from Georgia – "Nebraska is through the House. I took the reins in my hand, applied the whip and spur, and brought the 'wagon' out at eleven o'clock P.M. Glory enough for one day."
Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri – "What is the excuse for all this turmoil and mischief? We are told it is to keep the question of slavery out of Congress! Great God! It was out of Congress, completely, entirely, and forever out of Congress, unless Congress dragged it in by breaking down the sacred laws which settled it!"
Charles Sumner on Douglas – "Alas! too often those principles which give consistency, individuality, and form to the Northern character, which renders it staunch, strong, and seaworthy, which bind it together as with iron, are drawn out, one by one, like the bolts of the ill-fitted vessel, and from the miserable, loosened fragments is formed that human anomaly—a Northern man with Southern principles. Sir, no such man can speak for the North."
This 1856 map shows slave states (gray), free states (pink), U.S. territories (green), and Kansas (white)

It was drafted by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas, passed by the 33rd United States Congress, and signed into law by President Franklin Pierce.

1860 United States presidential election

The 19th quadrennial presidential election, held on November 6, 1860.

Chicago Wigwam, site of the Republican Convention
The South Carolina Institute located in Charleston. The Institute hosted the Democratic National Convention and December Secession Convention in 1860.
Douglas/Johnson campaign poster
Maryland Institute Hall, Baltimore. The bolting delegates nominated Breckinridge before Richmond vote
A Constitutional Union campaign poster, 1860, portraying John Bell and Edward Everett, respectively the candidates for president and vice president. Once Lincoln was inaugurated and called up the militia, Bell supported the secession of Tennessee. In 1863, Everett dedicated the new cemetery at Gettysburg.
Map of presidential election results by county
Former Representative Abraham Lincoln
Senator William H. Seward from New York
Senator Simon Cameron
Governor Salmon P. Chase
Former Representative Edward Bates from Missouri
Associate Justice John McLean
Senator Benjamin Wade from Ohio
Former Senator William L. Dayton from New Jersey
Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois
Former Treasury Secretary James Guthrie
Senator Joseph Lane from Oregon
Former Senator
Senator Andrew Johnson
Senator Jefferson Davis from Mississippi
Former Senator John Bell of Tennessee
Governor Sam Houston of Texas
Senator John J. Crittenden from Kentucky
Former Senator Edward Everett from Massachusetts
Former Senator William A. Graham from North Carolina
Former Senator William C. Rives from Virginia
Former Representative Gerrit Smith from New York
Map of Republican presidential election results by county
Map of Northern Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of Southern Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of Constitutional Union presidential election results by county
Map of "Fusion" slate presidential election results by county
Cartogram of presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Republican presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Northern Democratic presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Southern Democratic presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Constitutional Union presidential election results by county
Cartogram of "Fusion" slate presidential election results by county

The 1860 Democratic National Convention adjourned in Charleston, South Carolina, without agreeing on a nominee, but a second convention in Baltimore, Maryland, nominated Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas.

Brandon, Vermont

Town in Rutland County, Vermont, United States.

Statesman Stephen A. Douglas was born in Brandon, and his birthplace is now the Brandon Museum as well as the town's Visitor Center.

John C. Breckinridge

American lawyer, politician, and soldier.

Breckinridge in an undated photo
Breckinridge, circa 1850
Former Governor Robert P. Letcher was unable to unseat Breckinridge in 1853.
A campaign poster for Buchanan and Breckinridge
John C. Breckinridge, photograph by Mathew Brady
A marble bust of Breckinridge from the Senate's vice-presidential bust collection
Breckinridge in 1860 by Jules-Émile Saintin
States' electoral votes by candidate; Lincoln states are red, Breckinridge states are green, Bell states are orange, and Douglas states are blue
John C. Breckinridge by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews
Bust of Breckinridge by T.A.R. Kitson, Vicksburg National Military Park
Breckinridge as a Confederate general
Breckinridge's statue formerly located at Cheapside Park in downtown Lexington
Breckinridge's party hijacking a larger boat
Breckinridge in exile in Paris
Breckinridge after the war
Breckinridge's gravestone

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1851, he allied with Stephen A. Douglas in support of the Kansas–Nebraska Act.

James Buchanan

American lawyer, diplomat and politician who served as the 15th president of the United States from 1857 to 1861.

Photograph by Mathew Brady, 1850–1868
1834 portrait of Buchanan at age 42–43 by Jacob Eichholtz
Buchanan (second from the left) in Polk's cabinet, 1849
Bust of James Buchanan by Henry Dexter at the National Portrait Gallery
1856 Map of electoral votes
President Buchanan and his Cabinet
From left to right: Jacob Thompson, Lewis Cass, John B. Floyd, James Buchanan, Howell Cobb, Isaac Toucey, Joseph Holt and Jeremiah S. Black, (c. 1859)
The balance of free and slave states and territories in 1858, after the admission of Minnesota
John C. Breckinridge, Vice President of the United States under Buchanan
Buchanan in his later years. c. mid-1860s
James Buchanan (1859) by George Healy as seen in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC
James Buchanan's House, Wheatland.
William Rufus DeVane King, Buchanan's roommate and speculated partner
Buchanan memorial, Washington, D.C.

He was finally nominated in 1856, defeating incumbent Franklin Pierce and Senator Stephen A. Douglas at the Democratic National Convention.

1860 Democratic National Conventions

The 1860 Democratic National Conventions were a series of presidential nominating conventions held to nominate the Democratic Party's candidates for president and vice president in the 1860 election.

Stereoscopic image of South Carolina Institute Hall by George Norman Barnard
Wood engraving illustrating the Charleston convention
Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois
Former Secretary of the Treasury James Guthrie of Kentucky
Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia
Joseph Lane for vice president
Former Senator Daniel S. Dickinson of New York
Senator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee
1st presidential ballot
2nd presidential ballot
3rd presidential ballot
4th presidential ballot
5th presidential ballot
6th presidential ballot
7th presidential ballot
8th presidential ballot
9th presidential ballot
10th presidential ballot
12th presidential ballot
13th presidential ballot
14th presidential ballot
15th presidential ballot
16th presidential ballot
17th presidential ballot
18th presidential ballot
Former Governor Horatio Seymour of New York
Senator Benjamin Fitzpatrick of Alabama
Former Governor Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia
John C. Breckinridge for President

Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois entered the Charleston convention as the front-runner for the presidential nomination, and while he won a majority on the first presidential ballot of the convention, the convention rules required a two-thirds majority to win the nomination, with Douglas's adherence to the Freeport Doctrine regarding slavery in the territories engendering strong opposition from many Southern delegates: opponents of Douglas's nomination spread their support among five major candidates, including former Treasury Secretary James Guthrie of Kentucky and Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia.

1858 and 1859 United States Senate elections

The 1858 and 1859 United States Senate elections were elections which had the Republican Party gain five additional seats in the United States Senate, but the Democrats retained their majority.

U.S. postage stamp, 1958 issue, commemorating the Lincoln and Douglas debates

In Illinois, incumbent Stephen A. Douglas (D) and challenger Abraham Lincoln (R) held a series of seven debates, known as the "Lincoln–Douglas debates."

Constitutional Union Party (United States)

United States third party active during the 1860 elections.

A Constitutional Union campaign poster for the 1860 election in which are shown John Bell (left), the presidential nominee; and Edward Everett, the vice presidential nominee
Results by county in the 1856 presidential election. Shades of yellow indicate counties that voted for American Party candidate Millard Fillmore. Many Fillmore supporters would later join the Constitutional Union Party.
Senator John J. Crittenden founded the party
Presidential nominee John Bell of Tennessee
Electoral votes in the 1860 presidential election
Bell's share of the vote by county in the 1860 presidential election.
During the American Civil War, some states from the Constitutional Union base in the Upper South seceded, but Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri all remained in the Union

The 1860 election essentially consisted of two campaigns, as Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln competed with Northern Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas in the North, and Bell competed with Southern Democratic candidate John C. Breckinridge in the South.

Whig Party (United States)

Political party that espoused traditionalist conservatism in the United States during the middle of the 19th century.

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, became a Whig congressman later in his career.
Henry Clay, a founder of the Whig Party in the 1830s and its 1844 presidential nominee
Daniel Webster, a leading Whig from New England
William Henry Harrison, a two-time presidential candidate who became the first Whig president in 1841 but died just one month into office
William Henry Harrison defeated Martin Van Buren in the 1840 presidential election, thereby becoming the first Whig president
President John Tyler clashed with congressional Whigs and was expelled from the party.
Zachary Taylor served in the Mexican-American War and later won the 1848 presidential election as the Whig nominee.
The United States settled the Texas-Mexico border and acquired portions of seven current states in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Portions of present-day Arizona and New Mexico were later acquired in the 1853 Gadsden Purchase.
A political cartoon satirizing the candidacy of either Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott in the 1848 presidential election
Millard Fillmore, the last Whig president
Gen. Winfield Scott, the unsuccessful Whig candidate in the 1852 presidential election
Whig journalist Horace Greeley
John J. Crittenden, an influential Whig leader who later established the short-lived Constitutional Union Party to contest the election of 1860
U.S. presidential election results from 1828 to 1852. Darker shades of blue indicate states that generally voted for the Democratic Party, while darker shades of yellow/brown indicate states that generally voted for the Whig or National Republican Party.
Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery "Conscience Whig" who later joined the Republican Party
Edward Everett, a pro-South "Cotton Whig"
Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig congressman, won the 1860 presidential election on the Republican ticket.
John Marshall Harlan, who began his career as a Whig officeholder, served on the Supreme Court from 1877 to 1911.

Fillmore, Clay, Daniel Webster, and Democrat Stephen A. Douglas led the passage of the Compromise of 1850, which helped to defuse sectional tensions in the aftermath of the Mexican–American War.