“Sitting with Lincoln” in front of the Old State Capitol in Vandalia, Illinois. This full-size bronze by John McClarey of Decatur, Illinois, is in front of the restored Old State Capitol, where Lincoln first served as a member of the General Assembly. Abraham Lincoln began his political career here, making $4 a day. Lincoln is said to be responsible for getting the Capitol moved from Vandalia to Springfield.
Many are not aware that Illinois had two other capital cities before Springfield. Kaskaskia, which was in a flood plain on the Mississippi River and now is primarily underwater, and the small town of Vandalia, which is still home to the Oldest State Capitol building in the state.
This Federal-style building was the Illinois State Capitol building for a very short time, from 1836-1839. It is the third capitol building to be built in Vandalia. Unfortunately, the first one was lost in a suspected arson fire, and the other was dismantled so parts could be reused for this new building.
Copyright 2022 Susan Rissi Tregoning
August 24th, 2022
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