Robert Green Ingersoll, who was known throughout the world as Col. Robt. G. Ingersoll, was born in the year 1833 in the city of Dresden, State of New York.
He was the son of a Congregational minister who had a good church and was very broad in his views. This accounts in a great measure for the vast fund of biblical knowledge possessed by Robert, as even when a boy, he displayed remarkable powers of argument among his acquaintances.
Early in life, he, with his brother, took up the study of law and located at Shawneetown, Illinois, where they had a prosperous practice.
In 1857 he was induced to take up his home in Peoria, Illinois, and up to the time of his demise, Peoria was his home city.
During the civil war, from 1862 to '65, he held the commission of colonel in the U.S. Calvary, and on his retirement from that commission, he was appointed state attorney general for Illinois.
His early training brought out all those remarkable traits of biblical knowledge which he used to such advantage on the lecture platform that his opponents regarded him with admiration, though differing with him in all phases of theology.
Col. Ingersoll's views were those of the Agnostic school of thought as exemplified by Hume and Kent with a mingling of the philosophy of Berkley.
Agnosticism is a long way from Atheism, but a member of Ingersoll's critics fail to take this into account, and have unhesitantingly sent him to their devil, irrespective of their christianlike spirit "judge not, lest ye be judged."
Col. Ingersoll departed this life with the same convictions that he held all through his career, both as soldier and citizen, a true patriot, a lover of home, mourned by all who knew him, and his writings will live long after his critics have been forgotten.