Saturday, July 23, 2011

Historic Route 66: Bloomington, IL (Part II: David Davis Mansion)

Earlier this week, we posted about our first stop in Bloomington, IL: — the Stevenson graves.

We then headed on over to the historic David Davis Mansion (pictured, right).

As we learned in our tour of the Postville Courthouse, David Davis had served as judge on the same 8th Judicial Circuit (from 1848 to 1862) traveled by then-lawyer Abraham Lincoln. Prior to that, Davis had served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1845 and a delegate to the Illinois constitutional convention in McLean County, 1847.

Davis served as a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago, where Lincoln received the nomination for president. Davis went on to serve as Lincoln's campaign manager in that election.

In 1862, Lincoln appointed Davis to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1972, he received the nomination of the Labor Reform Party to be president of the United States — but then dropped out of the contest when he failed to receive the Liberal Republican Party nomination. Ulysses S. Grant, of course, went on to win that election (the U.S. Grant home in Galena, IL, will certainly be a future stop documented on this blog).

In 1977, the Illinois legislature selected Davis to serve as U.S. Senator (senators were not popularly elected in most states in those days), and resigned his seat on the Supreme Court.

During his first and only term as U.S. Senator, he ascended to the President Pro Tempore position, and then retired in 1883 to his home in Bloomington. He died in 1886, and is actually buried at Evergreen Cemetery, which we visited to find the Stevenson graves earlier on our trip.

I invite you to read the full Wikipedia post on Davis' life, which details some key, historic decisions he handed down while on the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, I arrived at the Davis Mansion after it had closed to visitors for the day. I encourage you to visit the historic site's Web site to learn about the ongoing exhibits and events they feature on a regular basis.

No comments:

Post a Comment