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Stephen A. Douglas: Champion of the Union

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Overview

This skillful Vermont politician and great orator was born in Brandon, Vermont, in 1813. Stephen Arnold Douglas was interested in debating and politics while growing up. After a brief career as a schoolteacher, Stephen obtained his law license in Illinois. Thus began a long career that centered on politics and public service. Stephen met fellow representative Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois House of Representatives. These two men would challenge each other for almost 20 years. They would continue their rivalry on...
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Overview

This skillful Vermont politician and great orator was born in Brandon, Vermont, in 1813. Stephen Arnold Douglas was interested in debating and politics while growing up. After a brief career as a schoolteacher, Stephen obtained his law license in Illinois. Thus began a long career that centered on politics and public service. Stephen met fellow representative Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois House of Representatives. These two men would challenge each other for almost 20 years. They would continue their rivalry on a national level in 1858 when both men ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate, leading to their famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Douglas was also involved in the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1853, both of which would affect the debate over slavery as the country headed for civil war.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This selection from the "Famous Figures of the Civil War Era" series traces the life of Stephen Douglas from his humble Vermont roots to his years as a United States senator and presidential candidate. Though short in stature, his great oratorical skills earned him the nickname, "The Little Giant." Perhaps most famous for his stirring debates with Abraham Lincoln, Douglas was a staunch supporter of Manifest Destiny and Popular Sovereignty, which proposed that individual states decide the question of slavery. Though enormously popular for a time, Douglas's pro-slavery views, coupled with the ultimate failure of his policies, forever relegated Douglas to the shadows of history, far removed from the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln. Related in simple, readable prose, this biography includes a glossary, chronology, Civil War timeline, black-and-white photographs and index. 2002, Chelsea House, $20.85 and $8.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Christopher Moning
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Straightforward but flawed overviews. Douglas was born and educated in New England and migrated in the 1830s to Illinois, where he achieved success as a judge and politician. He played a vital role in the Compromise of 1850, debated Abraham Lincoln in the 1858 Senate elections, and unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in 1860. The Connecticut-born Brown held a series of jobs throughout his life, raised a large family, and dedicated himself to the abolition of slavery. In 1859, he led an unsuccessful attempt to capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. He was convicted of treason and hanged. McClellan served as commander of the Army of the Potomac during the early years of the Civil War. The titles contain good-quality archival photos and reproductions; several of the images are repeated in the different volumes. The same map and caption appears in Bonner's and in Brackett's books. In the discussion of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Ottawa is said to be in southern Illinois, which it is not. McClellan includes a photo of Apaches, while the caption refers to Native Americans living in the Northwest; and a photo caption in Brown cites his meeting with Frederick Douglass as "1948," instead of "1848." And it should be noted that the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, not the Emancipation Proclamation, freed the slaves. The individual problems with these books may be small, but there are enough of them to warrant mention.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791064023
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Series: Famous Figures of the Civil War Era Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Green Mountain Boy 7
2 The Road to Illinois 21
3 Politics and the Law 35
4 Senator Douglas 49
5 The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 63
Glossary 74
Chronology 75
Civil War Time Line 76
Further Reading 77
Index 78
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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    Reviewed by Hampton reviews

    This short novel is a tongue-in-cheek look at the dismal economic situation currently taking place on a small California college campus, where tough financial decisions bring about severe disruption and hilarity to a once very proud institution of higher learning, the home of the Famous Union Fighting Orchids, whose motto is and always has been, "Just wait until next year." In a land of severe economic straitjackets, the college, as the result of an executive decision in late August, was forced to forever abolish its entire freshman composition program two weeks before the newly hired coordinator reports for duty. The decision is a landmark one, Famous Union College having been the first and only institution of higher learning in the entire country to disband the writing program that is a strict requirement everywhere else under the American flag, and always has been. The colorful characters find themselves in a fast paced read of opposing but intersecting motives and desires, the strains of the financial devastation the college now suddenly finds itself in bringing terrible toil to all those impacted, which is everybody. Though the tone is light, the characters are well drawn and the struggles they undergo are not far removed from what is actually taking place in our economically strapped nation today. Their idiosyncrasies and strong passion for their often-conflicting desires humanly demonstrate much of what society is indeed feeling in the country today, making this a very timely contribution to the foibles of living with the terrible money throes we find ourselves having to endure in today's strange and wonderful world of the United States.

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