Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mark A. Plummer  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1929 in

-- Mark A. Plummer on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mark A. Plummer is Professor of History Emeritus, Illinois State University.

Biographical and Professional Information


Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Frontier Governor: Samuel J. Crawford of Kansas,
ISBN: 0700600809

University Press of Kansas. 1971

Book by Plummer, Mark A

Robert G. Ingersoll : Peoria's Pagan Politician (Western Illinois Monograph Series No. 4)

Western Illinois University. 1984

Lincoln's Rail-Splitter: GOVERNOR RICHARD J. OGLESBY
ISBN: 0252026497

University of Illinois Press. 2001

Richard James Oglesby is best known for introducing the rail-splitter image into Abraham Lincoln's successful presidential campaign of 1860, and in many ways his career ran parallel to Honest Abe's. This biography of the three-time governor of Illinois offers the first detailed view of a key figure in the great changes that swept Illinois and the country from the Jacksonian era through the Gilded Age.
Like Lincoln, Oglesby was born in Kentucky and spent most of his youth in central Illinois, apprenticing as a lawyer in Springfield and standing for election to the Illinois legislature Congress, and U.S. Senate. Oglesby participated in the battles of Cerro Gordo and Vera Cruz during the Mexican-American War and made a small fortune in the gold rush of 1849. A superlative speaker, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in a campaign that featured the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, then was elected to the Illinois senate as Lincoln was being elected president.
When the Civil War came, Oglesby resigned his senate seat to lead a regiment of the Union Army. Critically wounded at the Battle of Corinth, he was promoted to major general before resigning his commission to run successfully for governor of Illinois. Oglesby was at Lincoln's deathbed and led the effort to build the sixteenth president's tomb in Springfield, delivering the major oration at its dedication. In the postwar years, Oglesby drew on his popularity, his association with the martyred Lincoln, and his extraordinary stump-speaking skills to rescue the Illinois Republican Party in a time of political crisis. In his third term as governor, Oglesby faced massive labor unrest in the aftermath of the Haymarket affair.



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