Port of Quincy
Review and History

The Port Of Quincy Is The Seat Of Adams County In Western Border Of The State Of Illinois In The United States. The Port Of Quincy Is About 225 Kilometers (140 River Miles) Upstream From St. Louis, Missouri, On The Mississippi River. It Is About 83 Kilometers (52 Miles) West Of The Illinois Port Of Beardstown. The Port Of Quincy Is Part Of The United States' Mississippi River System. In 2010, over 40 thousand called the Port of Quincy home.

In 1858, the Port of Quincy played host to the sixth Lincoln-Douglas debate. A busy river port during the steamboat era, the Port of Quincy was part of the famous Underground Railroad during the American Civil War. Today, the economy of the Port of Quincy is based largely on agriculture and manufacturing. With a cost of living far below the national average, the Port of Quincy was recognized in 2010 by Forbes magazine as the eighth best small city in the United States for families.

Port History

The area that would become the Port of Quincy was once home to the indigenous Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo Nations. French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette and French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet first stopped here in 1673 as they investigated the Mississippi River.

In 1818, John Wood came to the site of the Port of Quincy from New York to settle in the Illinois Military Tract. The land had been set aside by the United States Congress for veterans of the War of 1812.

Wood bought a 160-acre plot from a veteran for just $60. He therefore became the first European settler in the new village of Bluffs. By 1825, the new town was called the Port of Quincy. In 1860, John Wood became the Governor of the State of Illinois after having served as the Lieutenant Governor since 1856.

The Port of Quincy became the seat of Adams County in 1825 when it was renamed for John Quincy Adams who was President of the US at that time. The first settlers to arrive at the Port of Quincy moved there mainly from New England to find good agricultural land. In the 1840s, German immigrants joined the flow of settlers into the Port of Quincy, bringing skills that helped the new community grow.

In the winter of 1838, five thousand Mormons arrived at the Port of Quincy after they had been driven out of Missouri. The residents of the Port of Quincy, although greatly outnumbered, offered the refugees food and shelter. While the Mormons left the Port of Quincy to go upriver to Nauvoo, Illinois, they have continued to recognize the kindness of the Port of Quincy. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed in the Port of Quincy in 2002, donating the proceeds to the city in gratitude for that long-ago help.

The 1850s brought an era of growth to the Port of Quincy as steamboats traveled the Mississippi River system. The river became a focus of activity in the Port of Quincy, and the town's riverfront became a relatively cosmopolitan business center. During the city's first years, slavery was an important social and religious issue in the Port of Quincy. Although it was part of the non-slave State of Illinois, the Port of Quincy was separated from slave-state Missouri only by the Mississippi River. The house of Dr. Eells in the Port of Quincy was the first station on the Underground Railroad where slaves escaped and then traveled from Quincy to Chicago. In addition, river traffic during the American Civil War brought new growth to the Port of Quincy.

In the 1860s, a railroad bridge across the Mississippi was completed, bringing rail traffic that linked the Port of Quincy to Omaha, Kansas City, and other western towns. Trade and shipping increased significantly, and the Port of Quincy became the second biggest city in Illinois in 1870, surpassing Peoria. During the 1870s, the era of the steamboat came to an end, bringing economic decline to the Port of Quincy. The town remained fairly stagnant for decades until industrial development brought renewed growth in the 1920s.

The Mississippi River Flood of 1993 caused severe damage to businesses and industries located at the Port of Quincy's riverfront. Again in 2008, much of the riverfront in the Port of Quincy was submerged in a flood, and the Adams County area was declared a natural disaster.

Review and History    Port Commerce    Cruising and Travel    Satellite Map    Contact Information