The American House

The American House (HMWQV)

Location: Springfield, IL 62701 Sangamon County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 48.027', W 89° 38.865'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
Social galas and political functions were common at the American House. Stephen A.Douglas sometimes used the hotel as headquarters for the Democrats. (Below Left) A newspaper published Springfield's newest hotel under the direction of J. Clifton, a former Bostonian. (Below Right) Lampoon of former U.S. President Martin Van Buren who stayed here in 1842. Springfield voters never gave him a majority in any of the three elections in which he ran for president. But most found him congenial on a personal level.

For many years the grandest hotel in Lincoln's Springfield was the American House. When it opened in November 1838, an Ohio editor extolled the "Turkish splendor" of its interior, stating that the carpeting, papering, and furniture "weary the eye with magnificence." On winter evenings when Springfield was full of visitors attending the state legislature, the hotel housed popular Cotillion parties. A December 1840 guest recorded in her diary a scene from the "Ladies' Parlor" during a party:
"a number of the ladies carried bundles in their arms and were accompanied by maids. The bundles, which were a mystery to me, were deposited on the bed, where the mystery soon developed, for the bundles began to kick and squeal, as hungry babies will. The mothers, after performing their maternal duties, wrapped the infants up again and left them with many changes to nursemaids not to mix them up. The ladies were handsomely dressed, but not in the latest style. They wore handsome gowns of silk and satin, made with low necks and short sleeves."

Tradition holds that Lincoln escorted former president Martin Van Buren here in June 1842. Van Buren was a Democrat. Lincoln was a Whig. But Lincoln's renown for humor purportedly earned him an invitation to meet with Van Buren at the nearby village of Rochester. For one enjoyable evening, the future president is said to have entertained the former president with his wit and stories. The next day local citizens escorted Van Buren into the city. Here at the American House the former president received crowds of callers and enjoyed a party in his honor. Van Buren had been portrayed as something as a "dandy" by political opponents. Many in Springfield were surprised to find him "an open, frank, plainly dressed man."

Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 7:49am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 273317 N 4408963
Decimal Degrees39.80045000, -89.64775000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 48.027', W 89° 38.865'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 48' 1.62" N, 89° 38' 51.90" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 600 E Adams St, Springfield IL 62701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?