Picturing history: Washington Park, Quincy, Ill.

Published: Thursday, April 17 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Many Latter-day Saints set up a camp in what is now Washington Park in downtown Quincy, Ill., after being driven from Missouri in the winter of 1838-39.

Kenneth Mays

One of the most uplifting stories in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that of the kindness shown by the citizens of Quincy, Ill., to the Mormon refugees who had been driven from the state of Missouri in the winter of 1838-39.

Although some of the suffering Saints were taken into the homes of the locals, there were many more Mormons than local residents of Quincy. Consequently, a good number of the Latter-day Saints had to stay outside. Many of them set up a camp in what is now Washington Park in downtown Quincy.

This historic park was later the site of one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. A monument in the park commemorates that event on Oct. 13, 1858. A Lincoln-Douglas Debate Interpretive Center is situated immediately across the street at 128 S. 5th St. in Quincy.

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