Friday, December 30, 2011

"Mem's of 7th day B'pt Church"

Dissenting took a bit more political courage in the days before the secret ballot. In "Abraham Lincoln and Pope County" C.A. Crisp, who has a "hobby of finding cemeteries" in Pope County in southernmost Illinois, notes reference to an 1860 voter who was distinctly in the minority — and proud of it.
"…The 1860 election records show that Abraham Lincoln received only 127 votes in Pope County, while Stephen A. Douglas, received 1,202 votes…Opposition to Lincoln’s election in 1860 was so strong that one farmer in the northwestern section of the county was assaulted physically at the polls when he showed up to vote for the 'Rail Splitter.' Matthew Bracewell lived to a ripe old age and never regretted the way he cast his vote…" Pope County History and Families, Vol. 2, page 16, ‘The Civil War in Pope County’ - submitted by Ricky T. Allen.

The small cemetery where Matthew Bracewell and Irenne, his wife, were buried is located almost 4 miles west of Delwood. It is in a small grove of trees surrounded by a field. On his tombstone it reads:

"Mem’s of 7th day B’pt Church" ....

Matthew’s ripe old age was 81 years 1 month and 5 days.
Abraham Lincoln and Pope County | Pope County, Illinois Cemeteries