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Stephen A. Douglas Tomb and Memorial

This scenic park south of downtown Chicago is the burial place of distinguished statesman Stephen Arnold Douglas (1813-1861). The Douglas Monument Association was organized in 1861 to build a suitable memorial at the gravesite. In 1864 the Association adopted the design of Illinois sculptor Leonard W. Volk.

Construction of the 96-foot-tall granite structure was begun in 1866 and completed in 1881. Three circular bases are topped by a 20-foot diameter octagonal mausoleum. Inside, a Vermont marble sarcophagus holds Douglas’ remains, surmounted by a marble bust of the Senator. At the four main corners of the mausoleum, pedestals hold large bronze allegorical figures portraying “Illinois,” “History,” “Justice,” and “Eloquence.” Above the main base of the column are four bronze bas reliefs representing stages in “the advance of American civilization.” Atop the 46-foot column is a nine-foot bronze statue of Douglas gazing over Lake Michigan. The grounds surrounding the Tomb are landscaped with numerous trees and flower beds.

The offices of the Bronzeville Historical Society are in the cottage building located on-site; the Society preserves, collects and presents African American history and culture that documents Black life in Chicago. An African heritage garden and a Migratory Bird Oasis are open seasonally to the public.

 

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Regular Events

The Stephen A. Douglas Association co-sponsors special ceremonies commemorating Douglas’ April 23 birth and June 3 death on the Saturdays nearest those dates. Contact the site for details.

Available Interpretation

Open areas of the site can be visited at any time. During operating hours visitors may enter the Tomb and view the sarcophagus containing the Senator’s remains. Staff are available to provide information concerning Douglas and aspects of the Tomb’s history. The Tomb’s burial chamber is not accessible to persons with disabilities. The Bronzeville Historical Society provides Civil War era narratives and portrayals by reservation only. Underground Railroad and historic site tours are offered year-round.

Plan Your Visit

Admission Fee

Free

Hours

Friday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm

Phone

(312) 225-2620

Website

http://www.illinois.gov/ihpa/Experience/Sites/Northeast/Pages/Douglas-Tomb.aspx »

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Email: cwdt@civilwar.org

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