While learning all about Lincoln in Springfield, we asked the kids to pick something they saw that they were curiuous about. At the museum we saw a video about the Lincoln / Douglas debates and we were all a bit shocked by the rhetoric Stephen Douglas used when defending slavery. The kids said he was evil. We had a discussion surrounding this. We talked about political viewpoints and how hindsight lets you see things very differently. When we visited the IL State Capitol Building there was a large statue of Douglas right in the front. Charlie could not believe it. He decided to learn more about Stephen Douglas. Here is his report.
STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS
Stephen a Douglas was a man who helped people, but he also wanted slavery.
Did you know his nickname was ‘The Little Giant’? He was only as tall as my mom (who is not tall at all)!
Did know that he was born in April 1813?
Douglas was 100% in favor of slavery. He thought that if you bought slaves you could do whatever you wanted with them because they were your property. He never felt bad because I think he thought slaves were pets.
Although he wanted slavery, Abraham Lincoln and The Little Giant wanted to above all, preserve the union. Stephen A. Douglas beat Lincoln to become a U.S. senator. He died in 1861 in Chicago. His last words to his sons were, “obey the laws and uphold the constitution”.