Friday, July 22, 2011

Ft. Madison, IA to Quincy, IL - 64 miles

We enter our 9th state today [Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and now Illinois]. We are on our way to Quincy, IL.
 A bird sits on the BNSF swing span bridge over the Mississippi River while waiting for a boat to traverse underneath.
 A bird's eye view of the grand Mississippi River.
 The route took us through historic Nauvoo, Illinois where the Mormans had settled before being expelled.
 A very interesting town. Wish I had had more time to explore.
 Informational signs about Lincoln and the town of Nauvoo, IL.
 Another informational sign about Nauvoo, IL.
This informational sign explains how the original town was laid out.
 This informational sign explains that Nauvoo, IL was originally an indian village.

 The Great River Road along the Mississippi River.
 The story of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette.
 Another view of the Missippi River from the Illinios side.
 A huge barge navigates the Mississippi River.
The vanished town of Montebello marker on the Illinois Great River Road.
Quincy, IL, known as the "Gem City", is located on the Mississippi River and is the county seat of Adams County, Illinois. It was built on top of limestone bluffs.

During the winter of 1838-1839, five thousand members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints [Mormons], on their way west were driven from their homes in Missouri and arrived in Quincy. The residents of Quincy provided them food and shelter. Joseph Smith then led his followers 40 miles up the river to Nauvoo, IL.

In 1858, Quincy was the site for the sixth Senatorial debate by U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas and his challenger, Abraham Lincoln. Quincy was the largest city in which Lincoln and Douglas appeared, as the debates in Freeport, Quincy, and Alton drew the largest crowds due to the size of the cities (at the time) as well as the fact that Quincy and Alton border Missouri, bringing the importance of slavery into greater spotlight in those cities with Missouri being a bitterly divided slave state and Illinois a non-slave state.

Lincoln and Douglas again competed during the 1860 Presidential campaign. Although there was substantial support for Douglas in the County, Quincy had a local chapter of the 'Wide Awakes', the paramilitary organization that supported Lincoln and the other Republican candidates. The Quincy Wide Awakes were involved in a violent confrontation in a monster political rally on August 25, 1860, in Payson, IL.
Slavery was a major religious and social issue during Quincy’s early years. The Illinois city’s location, separated only by the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri, which was a hotbed of political controversy on the issue, made Quincy itself a hotbed of political controversy on slavery. Dr. Eells House, at 415 Jersey, was considered station number one on the Underground Railroad from Quincy to Chicago.
 Rich G and Bill K heading down the Illinois Great River Road. During the 2008 X-C Ride, this road was closed due to flooding of the Mississippi River.
Bill K makes it look so easy as he pedals down the Illinois Great River Road.
We are staying at the Microtel Hotel.

Tomorrow we are off to Louisiana, MO via Hannibal, MO.

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