he would be a success. He got a job teaching school and studied
with borrowed books during his free time. He earned his law
license and opened an office in Jacksonville.
Douglas loved politics and became a strong supporter of
the Democratic Party in Illinois. Because he was a first-class
speaker and had an unusual appearance, he was someone people
remembered. He was given the nickname the Little Giant
because he was very short, with a barrel shaped chest and a large
head. He was small, but he had big ideas and the energy to reach
his goals. The Democratic Party rewarded his hard work and
excellent political skills with various state government jobs. In
1843, he was elected to the the U.S. Congress.
In Washington D.C., the young politician met Martha
Martin and they were married. She was from a very wealthy
family in North Carolina. Her family owned a large plantation
and for a wedding present gave the couple their own 2,500 acre
plantation and 100 slaves. Douglas was shocked and did not
accept the gift. Instead Martha’s father
left the property and slaves to his
daughter in his will. Instead of living on a
plantation, the young couple moved to
Chicago to make their new home.
Douglas bought property in Chicago. The
city was growing quickly and he became
rich selling the land. The family grew to
include two sons, Robert Martin Douglas
and Stephen Arnold Douglas, Jr. Life was
good for Douglas, his wife, and sons until
Martha died giving birth to a baby girl.
After his wife’s death and the death of his
baby daughter a few weeks later, Douglas
was very upset and extremely depressed.
He traveled for ten months to various
places all over the world. He returned to
Washington and to a nation with growing
problems. Luckily for Stephen Douglas, a
few years later, he met and married a
beautiful young woman, Adele Cutts
Douglas believed strongly that the
country should develop the western
plantation - a very
Adele Cutts Douglas,
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