Stephen A. Douglas Is Born

U.S. congressman, senator, and presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas was born in Brandon, Vermont, on April 23, 1813.

Short in stature but influential in Congress, Douglas was nicknamed the "Little Giant."

Douglas left New England at the age of twenty, settling in Illinois where he quickly established himself as a leader in the Democratic Party. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1843 and to the U.S. Senate in 1847, serving there until his death in 1861. A strong advocate of national expansion, he supported the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War.

Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 – June 3, 1861; son of Stephen Arnold Douglas and Sarah Fisk) was an American politician from the western state of Illinois, and was the Democratic Party nominee for President in 1860. He lost to the Republican Party's candidate, Abraham Lincoln, whom he had defeated two years earlier in a Senate contest following a famed series of debates. He was nicknamed the "Little Giant" because he was short but was considered by many a "giant" in politics. Douglas was well-known as a resourceful party leader, and an adroit, ready, skillful tactician in debate and passage of legislation.