Lincoln, Douglas, and Their Historic Debates

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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 US Senate in 1858. They were longtime rivals with contrasting styles and sharp differences in philosophy. But from the beginning almost everyone realized the 1858 debates would be historic.

Take a look at Lincoln, Douglas, and their historic debates with our slide show.

Inline body image(s): 
Lincoln-Douglas, The Sequel (1860 Campaign) (Library of Congress Prints and Phot
The Highest Compliment (Library of Congress)
Not Half-Settled (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Election Results (1858 Election Map, Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Pro
Seventh Debate:  Alton October 15, 1858  (Alton, Illinois, 1908.  From Edwin Spa
Sixth Debate:  Quincy October 13, 1858  (New York Herald, October 13, 1858, ProQ
Fifth Debate:  Galesburg October 7, 1858  (Photograph of Lincoln by H. W. Fay ta
Fourth Debate: Charleston September 18, 1858 (Library of Congress; Dickinson Col
Third Debate:  Jonesboro September 15, 1858  (ProQuest Historical Newspapers; Di
Second Debate:  Freeport August 27, 1858  (Library of Congress Geography & Map D
First Debate:  Ottawa August 21, 1858  (ProQuest Historical Newspapers, with spe
Lincoln to Douglas, July 24, 1858 (in Norman Judd's hand) (Library of Congress M
House Divided Speech (Gilder Lehrman Collection, GLC 02533)
Lincoln’s Unprecedented Endorsement  (Illinois Map Courtesy of Dickenson College
Illinois State House (c. 1898) (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divis
Horace Greeley Weighs In (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
James Buchanan (left) vs. Stephen Douglas (right) (Dickinson College and Library
A Time of Intense Politics (Political Cartoon Courtesy of Stern Collection, Libr
Images courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Collection (Lincoln), the Library of Congr
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