Stephen Douglas Statue

Former Governor Joel Matteson commissioned sculptor Leonard Volk to make this marble statue of Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln's long-time political rival. It was rescued from a fire at Matteson's home in 1873 and now stands outside Representatives Hall.

Douglas made one of his most famous speeches here to a joint session of the legislature on April 25, 1861, shortly after the Civil War began. Although Douglas had opposed Lincoln for the presidency, on this evening he urged his audience to put aside partisan differences to save the Union.

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