Vandalia (Illinois)

Vandalia is a city in Central Illinois. The town where Abraham Lincoln began his political career, Vandalia was the state capital of Illinois from 1820 to 1839. As a member of the state legislature, in 1837 Lincoln made his first comments against slavery in Vandalia.

Understand

The state capital moved to Vandalia only two years after Illinois became a state. Three separate buildings in Vandalia served as the Capitol: the first burned, the second was torn down, and the third remains as a historic site, maintained both as a part of Illinois history, and more importantly as a part of the life of Abraham Lincoln. In 1839, the legislature moved to Springfield, leaving the quiet town of Vandalia behind.

Long before the Interstate Highway system, the US federal government began building the National Road in 1811, planned to connect Maryland with Missouri. This was the first federally-funded road in the new country. While funding shortfalls stopped the road in Vandalia in 1839, the National Road served as the gateway to the west for thousands of settlers, bringing them as far as central Illinois. When the "modern" US highway system was developed in 1925, the National Road became a part of US 40.

Today, you may tour the last Vandalia State Capitol, sit in the chamber where Lincoln sat, visit the National Road Interpretive Center, and see Lincoln-era artifacts and antiques at the county museum.

Get in

Vandalia is on Interstate 70, between St. Louis and Indianapolis. US Highway 40 goes through the center of town.

See

Do

Go next

Routes through Vandalia

St. Louis Collinsville  W  E  Effingham Indianapolis
Bloomington Decatur  N  S  Sandoval Carbondale


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, December 18, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.