Saturday, April 13, 2024

Marker Details

The marker is located in Vandalia at the Visitors' Center on US 51.
No coordinates identified
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
For twenty years this city on the west bank of the Kaskaskia River was the capital of Illinois. In 1819, a year after Illinois gained statehood, the General Assembly voted to move state offices to Vandalia from Kaskaskia. The Second General Assembly convened at Vandalia, December 4, 1820, in the first state-owned capitol. A second statehouse was used from 1824 to 1836. A third, built by Vandalia citizens in 1836 in an attempt to retain the seat of government at Vandalia, is still standing. Ownership of the building was accepted by the state in February, 1837, only a few weeks before the assembly voted to relocate in Springfield, nearer the center of the state. Officers of the first six administrtions served in Vandalia. Here in 1836 Abraham Lincoln was admitted to the bar of Illinois. Here also he began his political career in 1834 as a member of the General Assembly. Other prominent Illinoisans at Vandalia included legislators Stephen A. Douglas and James Shields, and James Hall, State Treasurer, 1827-1831, and editor of Illinois Monthly Magazine, the first literary magazine in the state. The Illinois artist James W. Berry made his home here. Vandalia was the terminus of the National Road, which began in Cumberland, Maryland. Authorized during Thomas Jefferson's administration, the National Road was the first highway built with Federal funds. Vandalia is today the principal city and county seat of Fayette County. The restored third capitol is owned and maintained by the State of Illinois.

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