The Little Giant

Known as “The Little Giant,” Stephen A. Douglas stood barely five feet four inches tall, but he had a commanding voice and presence. Douglas moved to Illinois from Vermont in 1833, studied law, entered state politics as a Democrat, and won election to the U.S. Senate in 1846. A champion of national expansion, Douglas authored a bill creating the Illinois Central Railroad in 1851 and sponsored the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which opened the western territories to slavery.