The Genius of America’s Institutions, the Principles of the Declaration of Independence, and the Tendencies of the Age! –By Daniel W. Sheridan
Subtitle – How Chicago went from a hand drawn map to a world center for expressing the freedom principles as set forth in our founding documents.
On this day, August 4, 1830, James Thompson created Chicago’s first map with plot layouts. The map shows 80 foot wide streets with 18 foot wide alleys.
By the late 1800s Chicago grew into an enormous city and the growth of the state’s other cities, counties and townships were a political marvel. People who witnessed Illinois’ rapid expansion exclaimed, “Illinois is a miracle!”
—Frederick Douglass Nominated For President In Chicago
Chicago played a huge role in the struggle for Civil Rights. It was in Chicago where Frederick Douglass became the first African American to be nominated for President at the 1888 Republican National Convention held in the Auditorium Building. The nomination went to Benjamin Harrison.
Frederick expressed this hope in the 1840s:
“The arm of the Lord is not shortened, and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.”
Surely being considered for the Presidency was proof that his hopes were being confirmed and the “tendencies of the age” were moving toward freedom and justice for all.
—- President Barack Obama
Then, on this day, August 4, 1961, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. He moved to Chicago in the 1980s and the rest is history! He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 then became a United States Senator in 2005. Obama loves his city and cheers on his favorite Chicago team, the White Sox, whose field once drew thousands of African Americans to watch the segregated Negro League teams and greats like Satchel Paige. Then, on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American elected to the Presidency with 365 electoral votes. He gave his victory speech from Chicago’s Grant Park.
—-The Tendencies of the Age
August 4 saw the beginnings of Chicago, victories in the struggle for civil rights, and the birthday of the man who would become the first African American President.
So let us draw encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, the genius of American Institutions, and let our spirits be cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.