The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of seven joint discussions between Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat, held during the summer and fall of 1858 in Illinois. Lincoln and Douglas had been debating each other for more than twenty years before their famous contest for the U.S. Senate in 1858. They were...
Two hundred years after his birth, Abraham Lincoln’s historical importance endures. . . . A man for all times, Lincoln has become a global figure. People around the world take inspiration from the principles, words, and resolute leadership of the sixteenth President of the United States.
This online exhibition is narrated by James G. Basker, the president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. It explores Lincoln’s legacy through letters and speeches written in his own hand.
On October 16, 1859, John Brown and a band of followers, black and white, attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The raid was part of a larger plan to destroy the slave system by freeing and arming slaves. The raiders were captured and John Brown was executed on December 2, 1859. The unique documents discussed here examine John Brown’s beliefs and actions in the context of growing national divisions over slavery in the 1850s.