Peoria, Illinois, in Search of Robert G. Ingersoll, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln, Part 3

Peoria, Illinois, July 28th, 2017, continued From the 200 block of N Jefferson Ave between Hamilton Blvd and Fayette St, I zigzag my way south past Courtyard Square. According to Lewis Lehrman’s Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point, ‘Douglas and Lincoln probably stayed at Peoria House… at the corner of Adams and Hamilton Streets.’ Peoria House was […]

Peoria, Illinois, In Search of Robert G. Ingersoll, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln, Part 2

Peoria, Illinois, July 28th, 2017, continued ~ Dedicated to Shannon Harrod Reyes I leave the library and begin my afternoon’s site searches at the Peoria County Courthouse. Abraham Lincoln visited this courthouse many times over the years, on some occasions in his capacity as a lawyer and other times in association with his political career. […]

Peoria, Illinois, In Search of Robert G. Ingersoll, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln, Part 1

  Peoria, Illinois, July 28th, 2017 I awake in a spotlessly clean, perfectly comfortable, aggressively unimaginative Motel 6 hotel room on the north end of Peoria, Illinois. I’ve noticed that Motel 6’s are much better than they used to be when I was a child and young adult, at least in terms of cleanliness and […]

Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois – Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debate

Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, July 27, 2017 After exploring Fort Robinson for a couple of hours yesterday morning, I washed my face, changed my clothes, ate a hearty cooked breakfast in the restaurant in the main lodge, and drove east across Nebraska. The drive was beautiful, vast blue-blue-blue skies with towering puffy clouds and occasional gray […]

To the Great Plains and Illinois I Go, in Search of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Abraham Lincoln, and Other American Histories

Hello, friends of Ordinary Philosophy! From time to time, I take a trip to some corner of the globe, to explore the lives and ideas of great thinkers in the places where they lived and worked. For this series, I follow in the footsteps of thinkers who are no longer alive, since those who are […]

Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

Let’s remember and salute the great Abraham Lincoln, father of our nation reborn in liberty, on his birthday. Born on February 12th, 1809, this child of a poor Kentucky farm family was largely self-educated yet rose to become our most revered President since George Washington. He was a hard-working man, from farm laborer and rail splitter to […]

Happy Birthday, Julia Ward Howe!

Julia Ward Howe, poet, and activist, was born on May 27, 1819, and lived a long life ever dedicated to social reform. She’s best known as the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the stirring Civil War anthem still sung at military events and in churches today; I remember singing it at Mass growing […]

Happy Birthday, Robert Ingersoll!

Robert G. Ingersoll, orator, lawyer, politician and Civil War veteran often called ‘The Great Agnostic’, was a very famous man in his time but rather forgotten today. He was born on August 11, 1833 and died almost 66 years later. Among other things, he was a vocal and consistent advocate for abolitionism, women’s rights, freethought, […]

Happy Birthday, Julia Ward Howe!

Julia Ward Howe, poet and activist, was born on May 27, 1819, and lived a long life ever dedicated to social reform. She’s best known as the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the stirring Civil War anthem still sung at military events and in churches today; I remember singing it at Mass growing […]

Happy Birthday, John Muir!

In honor of John Muir’s birthday, April 21, 1838, I’ll share the story of my visit to an important place in his life almost two years ago. It was June 26th, 2016, a hot, bright day in Martinez, CA. The John Muir National Historic Site is just south of the Carquinez Strait, which links San Pablo […]