On Friday July 23, Reg Ankrom, author and historian, will present a program on Stephen A. Douglas. This free presentation is open to the public and will start at 2 p.m. in the Dairy Building. The Dairy Building is located at 410 North Erickson Street in Bishop Hill, IL. Please contact the Bishop Hill Heritage Association at email@example.com or by calling 309 927-3899 for more details about this program. The BHHA is the sponsor for this presentation.
An intensive, five-year study of Stephen A. Douglas’s first years in Congress revealed to Douglas’s biographer, Reg Ankrom, a number of surprises about this Western Illinois politician. Douglas neither owned slaves nor appreciated slavery. Although strong and often critical political opponents, Douglas and Abraham Lincoln remained friends for 26 years. Douglas lost only one political contest to friend Lincoln. However, he lost Mary Todd to Lincoln. Douglas was engaged to Todd before Lincoln was. This talk considers several surprises the speaker discovered in his research for the three-volume biography he is writing about the Little Giant. This talk may lead listeners to re-examine what they know about Douglas, including his surprising effort to organize almost single-handedly the continent west of the Mississippi River.