Stephen A Douglas

The Illinois Senator who is best known today for his debates with Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas spent the majority of his political career in step with Irish voters - and pretty much out of step with everyone else.

His worst moment in Chicago took place on September 1, 1854, when he was supposed to speak in favor of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. The Bill, which would have allowed states to decided themselves whether they went free or slave, was highly opposed by the majority of Chicagoans. Some 10,000 showed up at his speech to shout him down.1

Never one to back down from a good fight, Douglas batted with the angry mob from his pulpit for about four hours, trying to have his voice heard. The mob began the chant, "We won't go home until morning." To this, Douglas replied, "It is now Sunday Morning - I'LL GO TO CHURCH AND YOU MAY GO TO HELL."2

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