lincoln-dounglas debates

some of the debates

  • In 1858, as the country moved ever closer to disunion, two politicians from Illinois attracted the attention of a nation. From August 21 until October 15, Stephen Douglas battled Abraham Lincoln in face to face debates around the state.
    • The prize they sought was a seat in the Senate. Lincoln challenged Douglas to a war of ideas. Douglas took the challenge. The debates were to be held at 7 locations throughout Illinois. The fight was on and the nation was watching.
    • The spectators came from all over Illinois and nearby states by train, by canal-boat, by wagon, by buggy, and on horseback.
    • Neither Abraham Lincoln nor Stephen Douglas won a popular election that fall.