Robert Green Ingersoll

Robert Green Ingersoll

Dresden, Yates County, New York, USA
Death 21 Jul 1899 (aged 65)
Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, New York, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 3, Grave 1620
Memorial ID 2668 · View Source
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Philosopher, Civil War Union Army Officer. Born in Dresden, New York, he was the son of a Congregational minister, who discarded the teachings of the Bible when he was still a boy. After growing up in Illinois, and despite a lack of formal education, he was admitted to the Illinois bar and began a lucrative law practice in Peoria. His masterful oratory in the courtroom contributed to his reputation as an outstanding trial lawyer. He was also known for his cutting barbs. During the Civil War he was commissioned as Colonel and commander of the 11th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, and as captured near Corinth, Mississippi. Although soon released, he still made time to treat his Confederate captors to a rousing antislavery speech. After the war he turned to politics, becoming a staunch Republican. He served as Illinois Attorney General from 1867 to 1869, and stumped for the party's presidential candidates, making notable contributions to the Republican cause. He hoped for but was never awarded a Cabinet post. Quite simply, the Republicans administrations, while quick to accept his oratorical contributions to their campaigns, were afraid of his unorthodox religious views. They viewed him as a political liability. He never hesitated to acknowledge his agnosticism or to cast doubt on the Bible. He was decried as a "moral leper" by clergymen at the same time as he was lauded by such literary giants as Mark Twain and Walt Whitman who hailed his fresh attitude toward humanity. The cornerstone of his beliefs was the family; he revered his own wife and daughters. He strongly advocated equal rights for blacks and women. He defended Susan B. Anthony from hecklers when she spoke in Peoria; when every hotel in the city refused to house Frederick Douglass, he welcomed him into his home. Despite his highly unorthodox views on religion and social order, he enjoyed great popularity as a public speaker. After his death in Dobbs Ferry, New York, his writings, published posthumously, filled 12 volumes.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway

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"Nothing is grander than to break chains from the bodies of men — nothing nobler than to destroy the phantoms of the soul".

Gravesite Details Cremation At Fresh Pond



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2668
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Green Ingersoll (11 Aug 1833–21 Jul 1899), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2668, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .