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Stephen Douglas
Douglas
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1813
Date of Death: 1861
Cause of Death: Typhoid fever
Religion: Baptist
Occupation: Politician, Lawyer
Spouse: Martha Martin (d. 1853);
Adele Cutts
Children: Robert, Stephen Jr., others who died young
Political Party: Democratic Party
Turtledove Appearances:
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references throughout series
"Lee at the Alamo"
POD: December 13, 1860
Type of Appearance: Oblique contemporary reference
The Disunited States of America
POD: July, 1787
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Nationality: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unrevealed
Date of Death: Unrevealed


The Two Georges
POD: c. mid-1760s
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Nationality: North American Union
Date of Death: Unrevealed


Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 - June 3, 1861) was a politician in the United States in the period leading up to the American Civil War. A Democrat, Douglas's career closely coincided with that of Abraham Lincoln (a Whig, later a Republican), and the two were lifelong rivals. They ran against one another in elections for a wide variety of elected offices and even competed for the hand of Mary Todd.

In 1860, Douglas lost the Presidential election to Lincoln when the Southern wing of the Democratic Party refused to support him as the national nominee in punishment for his rejection of Scott versus Stanford and split the Democratic vote along regional lines with the Southern Democrats choosing incumbent Vice President John Breckinridge.

Douglas urged the South to accept the result of the election and denounced secession as criminal. He promised to support Lincoln during the American Civil War, ensuring that the war would be a bipartisan effort.

Douglas died of typhoid on June 3, 1861, about a month and a half after the Civil War began.

Stephen Douglas in Southern VictoryEdit

In later generations, many Americans believed Stephen Douglas to have been a reasonable man who could have prevented the War of Secession had he won the 1860 election. However, this notion was not necessarily realistic, given the political conditions of the time and Douglas' own record for acquiescing to Southern interests.

Douglas was not so well-regarded among his contemporaries. For instance, when Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were debating Lincoln's intent to revise the platform of the Republican Party, Lincoln quipped that after all these years he was once again in "a Lincoln-Douglass debate," in reference to his long-ago 1858 Senatorial debate against his rival in which he forced Douglas to choose between maintaining his advocacy in popular sovereignty and supporting the Supreme Court's recent Scot v Sanford decision, thus ensuring that his upcoming Presidential run would fracture the Democratic Party along regional lines and open the door for a Republican victory.

For his part, Douglass testily informed Lincoln that he did not appreciate being compared to Douglas.

One Ohio family named their son Stephen Douglas Martin after the Little Giant whom they admired.

Stephen Douglas in "Lee at the Alamo"Edit

In the face of Benjamin McCulloch's appeals to Robert E. Lee's Southern identity to support the right of Texas to secede from the Union before the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President, Lee privately reflected that he would have preferred for any of Lincoln's three opponents (Stephen Douglas, John Breckinridge, or John Bell) to have won the election. Nevertheless, he was determined to perform his duty to the United States government no matter who headed it.

Literary noteEdit

None of the three losing candidates' names are used in the story.

Stephen Douglas in The Disunited States of AmericaEdit

Stephen Douglas was a prominent figure in an alternate where the United States fell apart during the early 1800s. When Beckie Royer observed that Justin Monroe (who was really from the home timeline) acted as if he'd never heard of the rounders player George Herman, Ted Snodgrass cited Stephen Douglas as a person, like Herman, that everyone had heard of.

Literary commentEdit

As Stephen Douglas is a fairly common name, and the novel gives no context for this character, it cannot be confirmed that he bears any relation to the historical figure. He is included in this article for convenience.

Stephen Douglas in The Two GeorgesEdit

During Stephen Douglas' tenure as Governor-General, the North American Union expanded its borders past the Rocky Mountains. In 1995, his portrait was one of a number of former Governors-General displayed in America's Number 10, the Governor-General's residence in Victoria.[1]

Literary commentEdit

While Governor-General Douglas' first name is not given, the description of him as "short, roly poly" is consistent with the general appearance of the historical Little Giant.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Two Georges, p. 430 PB, 281 HC.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
New District
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois's 5th congressional district
1843–1847
Succeeded by
William Alexander Richardson
Preceded by
James Semple
United States Senator from Illinois
1847-1861
Succeeded by
Orville H. Browning
Party political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
James Buchanan
Democratic Party presidential candidate¹
1860 (lost)
Succeeded by
George McClellan
Political offices
(The Two Georges)
Preceded by
Last known is
Andrew Jackson
Governor-General of the North American Union
Mid 19th century
Succeeded by
Next known is
Martin Roosevelt
Party political offices
(Southern Victory)
Preceded by
James Buchanan
Democratic Party presidential candidate¹
1860 (lost)
Succeeded by
Next known is Samuel J. Tilden
Notes and references
1. The Democratic party split in 1860, producing two presidential candidates. Douglas was nominated by Northern Democrats; John Breckinridge was nominated by Southern Democrats.

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