Stephen A. Douglas

American politician and lawyer (1813–1861)

Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 – June 3, 1861) was an American politician from Illinois. He was a U.S. Representative, a U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party nominee for President in the 1860 election, losing to Republican Abraham Lincoln.

Stephen A. Douglas
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
March 4, 1847 – June 3, 1861
Preceded byJames Semple
Succeeded byOrville H. Browning
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th district
In office
4 March 1843 – 3 March 1847
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byWilliam A. Richardson
Personal details
Stephen Arnold Douglas

April 23, 1813
Brandon, Vermont
DiedJune 3, 1861(1861-06-03) (aged 48)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Martha Martin
Adele Cutts

Douglas had previously defeated Lincoln in a Senate contest, noted for the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. He was nicknamed the "Little Giant" because though short in physical stature, he was a forceful and even dominant figure in politics.

Douglas was born on April 23, 1813 in Brandon, Vermont.[1] He was raised in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was married to Martha Martin from 1847 until her death in 1853. They had three children. Then he was married to Adele Cutts from 1856 until his death in 1861. They had one child. Douglas died from pneumonia caused by Typhoid fever in Chicago, Illinois on June 3, 1861, aged 48.


  1. "''Stephen A. Douglas and the American Union'', University of Chicago Library Special Exhibit, 1994". Retrieved 2012-08-21.

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