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Stephen A. Douglas: The Political Apprenticeship, 1833-1843

When newly elected Illinois State Representative Abraham Lincoln first saw his diminutive colleague Stephen A. Douglas, he sized him up as ""the least man I ever saw."" With the introduction of Douglas' first bill in 1834, Lincoln soon thought differently. The General Assembly not only passed the bill, it appointed the 21-year old Douglas State's Attorney of Illinois' largest judicial district, replacing John J. Hardin, one of Lincoln's most powerful political allies. It was the first of many Douglas-Lincoln contests in the decade ahead. Struggles over banking, internal improvements, party organizations, the seat of government and slavery--even romantic rivalry--put them on opposing sides long before the 1860 presidential election. These battles were Douglas' political apprenticeship and he would use what he learned to obstruct Lincoln--his friend and nemesis--while becoming the most powerful Democrat in the nation. 

The book deals with his history, but not his genealogy. For that, you must study the Douglas Archives!

Reg Ankrom, "Stephen A. Douglas: The Political Apprenticeship, 1833-1843." Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Press,

Buy the book: Stephen A. Douglas

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

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