Lincoln–Douglas debates

The Lincoln–Douglas debates (also known as The Great Debates of 1858) were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Illinois, and incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. At the time, U.S. senators were elected by state legislatures; thus Lincoln and Douglas were trying for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois General Assembly. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. Although Illinois was a free state, the main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery in the United States.

In agreeing to the official debates, Lincoln and Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois. Because both had already spoken in two—Springfield and Chicago—within a day of each other, they decided that their "joint appearances" would be held in the remaining seven districts.

Lincoln-Douglas Senatorial Debates in 1858.
Ottawa
Ottawa
Freeport
Freeport
Jonesboro
Jonesboro
Charleston
Charleston
Galesburg
Galesburg
Quincy
Quincy
Alton
Alton
Springfield
Springfield
Chicago
Chicago
Locations in Illinois where Lincoln and Douglas debated. Green denotes debates between Lincoln and Douglas while purple denotes places where they spoke separately within a day of each other.

The debates were held in seven towns in the state of Illinois:

The debates in Freeport, Quincy, and Alton drew especially large numbers of people from neighboring states, as the issue of slavery was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation.[1][2] Newspaper coverages of the debates were intense. Major papers from Chicago sent stenographers to create complete texts of each debate, which newspapers across the United States reprinted in full, with some partisan edits. Newspapers that supported Douglas edited his speeches to remove any errors made by the stenographers and to correct grammatical errors, while they left Lincoln's speeches in the rough form in which they had been transcribed. In the same way, pro-Lincoln papers edited Lincoln's speeches, but left the Douglas texts as reported.

After winning a plurality of the voters but losing in the legislature, Lincoln edited the texts of all the debates and had them published in a book.[3] The widespread coverage of the original debates and the subsequent popularity of the book led eventually to Lincoln's nomination for President of the United States by the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago.

The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder." The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.

Lincoln Douglas
Composite image from portrait photographs of Abraham Lincoln (1860) and Stephen A. Douglas (1859)

Background

Stephen Douglas was first elected to the United States Senate in 1846. In 1858, he was seeking re-election for a third term. During his time in the Senate, the issue of slavery was raised several times, particularly with respect to the Compromise of 1850. As chairman of the committee on territories, Douglas argued for an approach to slavery termed popular sovereignty; electorates at a local level would vote whether to adopt or reject a state constitution which prohibited slavery. Decisions about whether slavery was permitted or prohibited within certain states and territories had been made previously at a federal level. Douglas was successful with passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854. Abraham Lincoln, like Douglas, had also been elected to Congress in 1846. He served one two-year term in the House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Lincoln disagreed with Douglas and supported the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in new territory. Lincoln returned to politics in the 1850s to oppose the Kansas–Nebraska Act, and help develop the new Republican party.

Before the debates, Lincoln said that Douglas was encouraging his fears of amalgamation of the races with enough success to drive thousands of people away from the Republican Party.[4] Douglas tried to convince, especially the Democrats, that Lincoln was an abolitionist for saying that the American Declaration of Independence did apply to blacks as well as whites. Lincoln called a self-evident truth "the electric cord ... that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together" of different ethnic backgrounds.[5]

Lincoln argued in his House Divided Speech that Douglas was part of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery. Lincoln said that ending the Missouri Compromise ban on slavery in Kansas and Nebraska was the first step in this direction, and that the Dred Scott decision was another step in the direction of spreading slavery into Northern territories. Lincoln expressed the fear that the next Dred Scott decision would make Illinois a slave state.[6]

Both Lincoln and Douglas had opposition. Although Lincoln was a former Whig, the prominent former Whig Judge Theophilus Lyle Dickey said that Lincoln was too closely tied to the abolitionists, and supported Douglas. But Democratic President James Buchanan opposed Douglas for defeating the Lecompton Constitution, which would have made Kansas a slave state, and set up a rival National Democratic party that drew votes away from him.[7]

The debates

Lincoln Douglas Debates 1958 issue-4c
U.S. Postage, 1958 issue, commemorating the Lincoln and Douglas debates.

The main theme of the Lincoln–Douglas debates was slavery, particularly the issue of slavery's expansion into the territories. It was Douglas's Kansas–Nebraska Act that repealed the Missouri Compromise's ban on slavery in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and replaced it with the doctrine of popular sovereignty, which meant that the people of a territory could decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. Lincoln said that popular sovereignty would nationalize and perpetuate slavery.[8] Douglas argued that both Whigs and Democrats believed in popular sovereignty and that the Compromise of 1850 was an example of this.[9] Lincoln said that the national policy was to limit the spread of slavery, and mentioned (both at Jonesboro[10] and later in his Cooper Union Address) the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which banned slavery from a large part of the modern-day Midwest, as an example of this policy.[11]

The Compromise of 1850 allowed the territories of Utah and New Mexico to decide for or against slavery, but it also allowed the admission of California as a free state, reduced the size of the slave state of Texas by adjusting the boundary, and ended the slave trade (but not slavery itself) in the District of Columbia. In return, the South got a stronger Fugitive Slave Law than the version mentioned in the Constitution.[12] Whereas Douglas said that the Compromise of 1850 replaced the Missouri Compromise ban on slavery in the Louisiana Purchase territory north and west of the state of Missouri, Lincoln said that this was false,[13] and that Popular Sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision were a departure from the policies of the past that would nationalize slavery.[14][15]

There were partisan remarks, such as Douglas' accusations that members of the "Black Republican" party,[16] such as Lincoln, were abolitionists.[17] Douglas cited as proof Lincoln's House Divided Speech[18] in which he said, "I believe this government cannot endure permanently half Slave and half Free." As Douglas said (audience response in parentheses):

Uniformity in the local laws and institutions of the different States is neither possible or desirable. If uniformity had been adopted when the Government was established, it must inevitably have been the uniformity of slavery everywhere, or else the uniformity of negro citizenship and negro equality everywhere. ...

I ask you, are you in favor of conferring upon the negro the rights and privileges of citizenship? ("No, no.") Do you desire to strike out of our State Constitution that clause which keeps slaves and free negroes out of the State, and allow the free negroes to flow in, ("never,") and cover your prairies with black settlements? Do you desire to turn this beautiful State into a free negro colony, ("no, no,") in order that when Missouri abolishes slavery she can send one hundred thousand emancipated slaves into Illinois, to become citizens and voters, on an equality with yourselves? ("Never," "no.") If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible to office, to serve on juries, and to adjudge your rights, then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro. ("Never, never.") For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. (Cheers.) I believe this Government was made on the white basis. ("Good.") I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity for ever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians, and other inferior races. ("Good for you." "Douglas forever.")

Mr. Lincoln, following the example and lead of all the little Abolition orators, who go around and lecture in the basements of schools and churches, reads from the Declaration of Independence, that all men were created equal, and then asks, how can you deprive a negro of that equality which God and the Declaration of Independence awards to him? ... Now, I hold that Illinois had a right to abolish and prohibit slavery as she did, and I hold that Kentucky has the same right to continue and protect slavery that Illinois had to abolish it. I hold that New York had as much right to abolish slavery as Virginia has to continue it, and that each and every State of this Union is a sovereign power, with the right to do as it pleases upon this question of slavery, and upon all its domestic institutions. ... And why can we not adhere to the great principle of self-government, upon which our institutions were originally based. ("We can.") I believe that this new doctrine preached by Mr. Lincoln and his party will dissolve the Union if it succeeds. They are trying to array all the Northern States in one body against the South, to excite a sectional war between the free States and the slave States, in order that the one or the other may be driven to the wall.[19]

Douglas also charged Lincoln with opposing the Dred Scott decision because "it deprives the negro of the rights and privileges of citizenship." Lincoln responded that "the next Dred Scott decision" could allow slavery to spread into free states.[20] Douglas accused Lincoln of wanting to overthrow state laws that excluded blacks from states such as Illinois, which were popular with the northern Democrats. Lincoln did not argue for complete social equality. However, he did say Douglas ignored the basic humanity of blacks, and that slaves did have an equal right to liberty. As Lincoln said:

I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects—certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.[21]

As Lincoln said:

This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites—causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty—criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.[21]

Lincoln said he himself did not know how emancipation should happen. He believed in colonization, but admitted that this was impractical. Without colonization he said that it would be wrong for emancipated slaves to be treated as "underlings," but that there was a large opposition to social and political equality, and that "a universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded."[21] Lincoln said that Douglas' public indifference to slavery would result in the expansion of slavery because it would mold public sentiment to accept slavery. As Lincoln said:

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.[21]

Lincoln said Douglas "cares not whether slavery is voted down or voted up,"[21] and that, in the words of Henry Clay, he would "blow out the moral lights around us" and eradicate the love of liberty.

At the debate at Freeport[22] Lincoln forced Douglas to choose between two options, either of which would damage Douglas' popularity and chances of getting reelected. Lincoln asked Douglas to reconcile popular sovereignty with the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision. Douglas responded that the people of a territory could keep slavery out even though the Supreme Court said that the federal government had no authority to exclude slavery, simply by refusing to pass a slave code and other legislation needed to protect slavery.[23] Douglas alienated Southerners with this Freeport Doctrine, which damaged his chances of winning the Presidency in 1860. As a result, Southern politicians would use their demand for a slave code for territories such as Kansas to drive a wedge between the Northern and Southern wings of the Democratic Party.[24] In splitting what was the majority political party in 1858 (the Democratic Party), Southerners guaranteed the election of Lincoln, the nominee of the newly formed Republican Party, in 1860.

Douglas' efforts to gain support in all sections of the country through popular sovereignty failed. By allowing slavery where the majority wanted it, he lost the support of Republicans led by Lincoln who thought Douglas was unprincipled. By defeating a pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution and advocating a Freeport Doctrine to stop slavery in Kansas where the majority were anti-slavery, he lost the support of the South.

Before the debate at Charleston, Democrats held up a banner that read "Negro equality" with a picture of a white man, a negro woman and a mulatto child.[25] At this debate Lincoln went further than before in denying the charge that he was an abolitionist, saying that:

I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone.[26]

While denying abolitionist tendencies was effective politics, the African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass remarked on Lincoln's "entire freedom from popular prejudice against the colored race."[27] In spite of Lincoln's denial of abolitionist tendencies, Stephen Douglas charged Lincoln with having an ally in Frederick Douglass in preaching "abolition doctrines." Stephen Douglas said that "the negro" Frederick Douglass told "all the friends of negro equality and negro citizenship to rally as one man around Abraham Lincoln." Stephen Douglas also charged Lincoln with a lack of consistency when speaking on the issue of racial equality,[28] and cited Lincoln's previous statements that the declaration that all men are created equal applies to blacks as well as whites.

Lincoln said that slavery expansion endangered the Union, and mentioned the controversies caused by it in Missouri in 1820, in the territories conquered from Mexico that led to the Compromise of 1850, and again with the Bleeding Kansas controversy over slavery.[29] Lincoln said that the crisis would be reached and passed when slavery was put "in the course of ultimate extinction."

At Galesburg,[30] Douglas sought again to prove that Lincoln was an abolitionist with the following quotations from Lincoln:

I should like to know, if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle, and making exceptions to it, where will it stop? If one man says it does not mean a negro, why may not another man say it does not mean another man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get this statute book in which we find it and tear it out.

Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man—this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position, discarding our standard that we have left us. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.

At Alton, Lincoln tried to reconcile his statements on equality. He said that the authors of the Declaration of Independence:

intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created equal — equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ... They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all: constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even, though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people, of all colors, every where.[31]

Lincoln contrasted his support for the Declaration with opposing statements made by the Southern politician John C. Calhoun and Senator John Pettit of Indiana, who called the Declaration "a self-evident lie." Lincoln said that Chief Justice Roger Taney (in his Dred Scott decision) and Stephen Douglas were opposing Thomas Jefferson's self-evident truth, dehumanizing blacks and preparing the public mind to think of them as only property. Lincoln thought slavery had to be treated as a wrong, and kept from growing. As Lincoln said:

That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.[31]

Lincoln used a number of colorful phrases in the debates, such as when he said that one argument by Douglas made a horse chestnut into a chestnut horse, and compared an evasion by Douglas to the sepia cloud from a cuttlefish. Lincoln said that Douglas' Freeport Doctrine was a do-nothing sovereignty that was "as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death."[32]

Results

1858 United States Senate election in Illinois

November 2, 1858
  Stephen A Douglas - headshot Abraham Lincoln by Byers, 1858 - crop
Nominee Stephen Douglas Abraham Lincoln
Party Democratic Republican
Electoral vote 54 46
Popular vote 211,124[33] 244,242[33]
Percentage 46.4% 53.6%

The October surprise of the election was the endorsement of the Democrat Douglas by former Whig John J. Crittenden. Non-Republican former Whigs comprised the biggest block of swing voters, and Crittenden's endorsement of Douglas rather than Lincoln, also a former Whig, reduced Lincoln's chances of winning.[34]

On election day, as the districts were drawn to favor Douglas' party, the Democrats won 40 seats in the state house of Representatives, and the Republicans won 35. In the state senate, Republicans held 11 seats, and Democrats held 14. Stephen A. Douglas was reelected by the legislature, 54–46, even though Lincoln's Republicans won the popular vote with a percentage of 50.6%, or by 3,402 votes.[35] However, the widespread media coverage of the debates greatly raised Lincoln's national profile, making him a viable candidate for nomination as the Republican candidate in the upcoming 1860 presidential election. He would go on to secure both the nomination and the presidency, beating Douglas (as the Northern Democratic candidate), among others, in the process.

Lincoln also went on to be in contact with editors looking to publish the debate texts. George Parsons, the Ohio Republican committee chairman, got Lincoln in touch with Ohio's main political publisher, Follett and Foster, of Columbus. They published copies of the text, and titled the book, Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois. Four printings were made, and the fourth sold 16,000 copies.[36]

The Lincoln–Douglas debate format that is used in high school and college competition today is named after this series of debates. Modern presidential debates trace their roots to the Lincoln–Douglas Debates, though the format today is remarkably different from the original.

Commemoration

In 1994, C-SPAN aired a series of reenactments of the debates, filmed on location.[37] The locations for the debates in Illinois have established memorials featuring plaques and statuary of Douglas and Lincoln.[38]

The 1940 film Abe Lincoln in Illinois includes an invented version of the debate.[39][40]

Notes

  1. ^ Nevins, Fruits of Manifest Destiny, 1847–1852, page 163 — "As the fifties wore on, an exhaustive, exacerbating and essentially futile conflict over slavery raged to the exclusion of nearly all other topics."
  2. ^ Abraham Lincoln, Speech at New Haven, Conn., March 6, 1860 — "This question of Slavery was more important than any other; indeed, so much more important has it become that no other national question can even get a hearing just at present."
  3. ^ Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
  4. ^ Abraham Lincoln, Notes for Speech at Chicago, February 28, 1857
  5. ^ Speech in Reply to Senator Stephen Douglas in the Lincoln-Douglas debates of the 1858 campaign for the U.S. Senate, at Chicago, Illinois (July 10, 1858).
  6. ^ David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, pages 206–210
  7. ^ David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, pages 212–213
  8. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Abraham Lincoln said, "when the Judge re have often said to him that the institution of slavery has existed for eighty years in some States, and yet it does not exist in some others, I agree to the fact, and I account for it by looking at the position in which our fathers originally placed it-restricting it from the new Territories where it had not gone, and legislating to cut off its source by the abrogation of the slave-trade thus putting the seal of legislation against its spread. The public mind did rest in the belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction. [Cries of "Yes, yes yes, no"] But lately, I think—and in this I charge nothing on the Judge's motives—lately, I think, that he, and those acting with him, have placed that institution on a new basis, which looks to the perpetuity and nationalization of slavery. [Loud cheers.] And while it is placed upon this new basis, I say, and I have said, that I believe we shall not have peace upon the question until the opponents of slavery arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or, on the other hand, that its advocates will push it forward until it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South."
  9. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Stephen Douglas said, "During the session of Congress of 1853–54, I introduced into the Senate of the United States a bill to organize the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska on that principle which had been adopted in the compromise measures of 1850, approved by the Whig party and the Democratic party in Illinois in 1851, and endorsed by the Whig party and the Democratic party in national convention in 1852. In order that there might be no misunderstanding in relation to the principle involved in the Kansas and Nebraska bill, I put forth the true intent and meaning of the act in these words: "It is the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any State or Territory, or to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the federal constitution."
  10. ^ Third Debate: Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858 – Lincoln mentioned that Douglas' fellow Democrats had said that the policy of the framers of the Constitution was to prevent the expansion of slavery beginning with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Lincoln used the following to prove the point: "So again, in that same race of 1850, there was a Congressional Convention assembled at Joliet, and it nominated R. S. Molony for Congress, and unanimously adopted the following resolution: 'Resolved, that we are uncompromisingly opposed to the extension of slavery; and while we would not make such opposition a ground of interference with the interests of the States where it exists, yet we moderately but firmly insist that it is the duty of Congress to oppose its extension into Territory now free, by all means compatible with the obligations of the Constitution, and with good faith to our sister States; that these principles were recognized by the Ordinance of 1787, which received the sanction of Thomas Jefferson, who is acknowledged by all to be the great oracle and expounder of our faith.'"
  11. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Abraham Lincoln advocated returning to the policy of preventing the expansion of slavery, putting it in "the position in which our fathers originally placed it—restricting it from the new Territories where it had not gone." Lincoln expanded on this point especially in hisCooper Union Address, in which he argued that most of the framers of the Constitution voted to prevent slavery expansion by means of the Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise.
  12. ^ Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union: Fruits of Manifest Destiny 1847–1852, pages 219–345
  13. ^ Third Debate: Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858 – Lincoln said, "When that Compromise was made it did not repeal the old Missouri Compromise. It left a region of United States territory half as large as the present territory of the United States, north of the line of 36 degrees 30 minutes, in which slavery was prohibited by act of Congress. This compromise did not repeal that one. It did not affect or propose to repeal it. But at last it became Judge Douglas's duty, as he thought (and I find no fault with him), as Chairman of the Committee on Territories, to bring in a bill for the organization of a Territorial Government—first of one, then of two Territories north of that line. When he did so it ended in his inserting a provision substantially repealing the Missouri Compromise. That was because the Compromise of 1850 had not repealed it. And now I ask why he could not have let that compromise alone?"
  14. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Lincoln said, "Then what is necessary for the nationalization of slavery? It is simply the next Dred Scott decision. It is merely for the Supreme Court to decide that no State under the Constitution can exclude it, just as they have already decided that under the Constitution neither Congress nor the Territorial Legislature can do it."
  15. ^ Third Debate: Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858 – Lincoln said, "I say when this Government was first established, it was the policy of its founders to prohibit the spread of slavery into the new Territories of the United States, where it had not existed. But Judge Douglas and his friends have broken up that policy, and placed it upon a new basis by which it is to become national and perpetual. All I have asked or desired any where is that it should be placed back again upon the basis that the fathers of our Government originally placed it upon. I have no doubt that it would become extinct, for all time to come, if we but readopted the policy of the fathers by restricting it to the limits it has already covered—restricting it from the new Territories." Lincoln added that Douglas "has himself been chiefly instrumental in changing the policy of the fathers."
  16. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Stephen Douglas read articles from one Republican Party group that opposed slavery expansion and the fugitive slave law and said, "Now, gentlemen, your Black Republicans have cheered every one of those propositions, ("good and cheers") and yet I venture to say that you cannot get Mr. Lincoln to come out and say that he is now in favor of each one of them. (Laughter and applause. "Hit him again.)"
  17. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Stephen Douglas said, "Lincoln went to work to abolitionize the Old Whig party all over the State, pretending that he was then as good a Whig as ever; (laughter) and Trumbull went to work in his part of the State preaching Abolitionism in its milder and lighter form, and trying to abolitionize the Democratic party, and bring old Democrats handcuffed and bound hand and foot into the Abolition camp. ("Good," "hurrah for Douglas," and cheers.) In pursuance of the arrangement, the parties met at Springfield in October, 1854, and proclaimed their new platform. Lincoln was to bring into the Abolition camp the old line Whigs, and transfer them over to Giddings, Chase, Fred Douglass, and Parson Lovejoy, who were ready to receive them and christen them in their new faith. (Laughter and cheers.) They laid down on that occasion a platform for their new Republican party, which was to be thus constructed."
  18. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Stephen Douglas said the following about Lincoln's House Divided Speech – Lincoln now takes his stand and proclaims his Abolition doctrines. Let me read a part of them. In his speech at Springfield to the Convention, which nominated him for the Senate, he said: "In my opinion it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure permanently half Slave and half Free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction: or its advocates will push it forward till it shall became alike lawful in all the States—old as well as new, North as well as South."
  19. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, Douglas quote, August 21, 1858
  20. ^ First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858 – Abraham Lincoln said, "Then what is necessary for the nationalization of slavery? It is simply the next Dred Scott decision. It is merely for the Supreme Court to decide that no State under the Constitution can exclude it, just as they have already decided that under the Constitution neither Congress nor the Territorial Legislature can do it. When that is decided and acquiesced in, the whole thing is done."
  21. ^ a b c d e Debate at Ottawa, Illinois, Lincoln quote, August 21, 1858
  22. ^ Debate at Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858
  23. ^ Second Debate: Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858 – Douglas' stated his Freeport Doctrine as follows – "It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution, the people have the lawful means to introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local police regulations. (Right, right.) Those police regulations can only be established by the local legislature, and if the people are opposed to slavery they will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, their legislation will favor its extension. Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the right of the people to make a slave Territory or a free Territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska bill."
  24. ^ James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, page 195
  25. ^ David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, pages 220
  26. ^ Debate at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
  27. ^ David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, page 221
  28. ^ Charleston debate — Douglas said, "Their principles in the north are jet-black, in the center they are in color a decent mulatto, and in lower Egypt they are almost white. Why, I admired many of the white sentiments contained in Lincoln's speech at Jonesboro, and could not help but contrast them with the speeches of the same distinguished orator made in the northern part of the State."
  29. ^ Third Debate: Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858 – Lincoln said, "It is worth while to observe that we have generally had comparative peace upon the slavery question, and that there has been no cause for alarm until it was excited by the effort to spread it into new territory. Whenever it has been limited to its present bounds, and there has been no effort to spread it, there has been peace. All the trouble and convulsion has proceeded from efforts to spread it over more territory. It was thus at the date of the Missouri Compromise. It was so again with the annexation of Texas; so with the territory acquired by the Mexican war, and it is so now. Whenever there has been an effort to spread it there has been agitation and resistance. Now, I appeal to this audience (very few of whom are my political friends), as national men, whether we have reason to expect that the agitation in regard to this subject will cease while the causes that tend to reproduce agitation are actively at work? Will not the same cause that produced agitation in 1820, when the Missouri Compromise was formed—that which produced the agitation upon the annexation of Texas, and at other times—work out the same results always?"
  30. ^ Debate at Galesburg, Illinois, October 7, 1858 — These quotes were originally from a speech made by Lincoln at Chicago, July 10, 1858
  31. ^ a b Debate at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858
  32. ^ Debate at Quincy, Illinois, October 13, 1858
  33. ^ a b "IL US Senate 1858". OurCampaigns.com. OurCampaigns. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  34. ^ Guelzo, Allen C. (2008). Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America. Pages 273–277, 282.
  35. ^ Guelzo, Allen C. (2008). Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 284–285.
  36. ^ Guelzo, Allen C. (2008). Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 305–306.
  37. ^ "C-Span, Illinois re-enact Lincoln-Douglas debates History in the Re-making". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  38. ^ "The Lincoln-Douglas Debates". www.lookingforlincoln.com. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  39. ^ Rothman, Lily. "No Rebuttals: The Top 10 Movie Debate Scenes (Abe Lincoln in Illinois)". Time. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  40. ^ Eidenmuller, Michael E. "Movie Speech from Abe Lincoln in Illinois - Lincoln-Douglas Debate". American Rhetoric. Retrieved 26 October 2018.

Further reading

  • On January 1, 2009, BBC Audiobooks America, published the first complete recording of the Lincoln–Douglas Debates, starring actors David Strathairn as Abraham Lincoln and Richard Dreyfuss as Stephen Douglas with an introduction by Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College. The text of the recording was provided courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Association as presented in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Jaffa, Harry V. (2009). Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln–Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-39118-2.
  • Good, Timothy S. (2007). The Lincoln–Douglas Debates and the Making of a President,. McFarland Press. ISBN 978-0-7864-3065-9.

External links

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area

The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area is a National Heritage Area in central Illinois telling the story of Abraham Lincoln. A National Heritage Area is a federal-designated area intended to encourage historic preservation and an appreciation of the history and heritage of the site. While National Heritage Areas are not federally owned or managed, the National Park Service provides an advisory role and some technical, planning and financial assistance.

The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area was created as part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (S. 2739), an omnibus bill. It was originally introduced in the Senate by Dick Durbin and in the House of Representatives by Ray LaHood, both from Illinois. The legislation also provided $10 million over 10 years, with no more than $1 million awarded in any single year, to make federal grants available for preservation, education and economic development. Grants awarded for Lincoln National Heritage Area activities must be matched dollar-for-dollar in state, local or private funds.

The management authority for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area is the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and follows Lincoln's life from his birth and childhood, to his early life and career, to the Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858.

The legislation protects private property rights and would not require any private citizen or entity to be affiliated with the Lincoln Heritage Area. The bill names the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition as the management authority for the National Heritage Area, but does not grant any zoning or land use power to the Coalition. Up to $10 million in federal grants would be available under this legislation

The Heritage Area includes the following sites:

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site at New Salem, Menard County, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site

Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Courthouse State Historic Site and Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site

Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site

David Davis Mansion State Historic Site

Vandalia State House State Historic Site

Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum

Macon County Log Court House

Richard James Oglesby Mansion

Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial

John Wood Mansion

Beardstown Courthouse

Old Main at Knox College

Carl Sandburg State Historic Site

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

Dr. William Fithian Home

Vermilion County Museum

Abraham Lincoln and slavery

Abraham Lincoln's position on slavery is one of the most discussed aspects of his life. Lincoln often expressed moral opposition to slavery in public and private. Initially, he attempted to bring about the eventual extinction of slavery by stopping its further expansion into any U.S. territory and by proposing compensated emancipation (an offer Congress applied to Washington, D.C.) in the early part of his presidency. Lincoln stood by the Republican Party's platform of 1860 stating that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more U.S. territories. He worried that the extension of slavery in new western lands could block "free labor on free soil."As early as the 1850s, Lincoln had been politically attacked as an abolitionist. Howard Jones says that "in the prewar period, as well as into the first months of the American Civil War itself....Lincoln believed it prudent to administer a slow death to slavery through gradual emancipation and voluntary colonization rather than to follow the abolitionist and demanding an immediate end to slavery without compensation to owners." In 1863, Lincoln ordered the freedom of all slaves in the areas "in rebellion" (the Confederacy) and insisted on enforcement freeing millions of slaves, but he did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U.S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for the 1864 election.In 1842, Abraham Lincoln had married Mary Todd, who was a daughter of a slave-owning family from Kentucky. Lincoln returned to the political stage as a result of the 1854 Kansas–Nebraska Act and soon became a leading opponent of the "Slaveocracy"—the political power of the Southern slave owners. The Kansas–Nebraska Act, written to form the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, included language, designed by Stephen A. Douglas, which allowed the settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery in their region. Lincoln was outraged by the repeal of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36-30' parallel.

During the Civil War, Lincoln used the war powers of the presidency to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, in January 1863. (He had warned in September 1862 he would do so if the Confederate states did not return). It declared "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free" but exempted border states and those areas of slave states not in rebellion and therefore beyond the reach of the constitutional war power to emancipate. It immediately changed the legal status of all slaves in the affected areas, and as soon as the Union Army arrived, it actually did liberate the slaves in that area. On the first day, it affected tens of thousands of slaves. But when the war ended, in April 1865, only about fifteen percent of the slaves had actually been freed. Full abolition was achieved later that year, with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery everywhere in the United States.

Alton Museum of History and Art

The Alton Museum of History and Art, sometimes known as the Robert Wadlow Museum, in Alton, Illinois was founded in 1971 as a not for profit organization. It is located in Loomis Hall, named for Rev. Hubbel Loomis, on the grounds of the former Rock Spring Alton Baptist Seminary established by missionary John Mason Peck, later renamed Shurtleff college, and presently the home of the Southern IL University School of Dental Medicine. The building was constructed as the original chapel/classroom of the seminary c.1820 and the sanctuary was modified in the early 1900s to be a two-story building with a rear classroom and laboratory addition. The building is one of the oldest structures still being used for educational purposes in the state.

Although most known for its collection related to Robert Wadlow (the Alton Giant), it also has exhibits on Lewis & Clark, the Alton Confederate Prison and the Lincoln–Douglas debates. It serves to help preserve the history and heritage of the its community; it continues to demonstrate the artistic interests and achievement of its residents. It is a public museum which relies on memberships, bequests, gifts, and foundation gifts.

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

The Bryant Cottage State Historic Site is a simple four-room house located in Bement, Illinois in the U.S. state of Illinois. It was built in 1856 and is preserved by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as an example of Piatt County, Illinois pioneer architecture and as a key historic site in the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Freeport Doctrine

The Freeport Doctrine was articulated by Stephen A. Douglas at the second of the Lincoln–Douglas debates on August 27, 1858, in Freeport, Illinois. Former one-term U.S. Representative Abraham Lincoln was campaigning to take Douglas' U.S. Senate seat by strongly opposing all attempts to expand the geographic area in which slavery was practiced. Lincoln tried to force Douglas to choose between the principle of popular sovereignty proposed by the Kansas–Nebraska Act (which left the fate of slavery in a U.S. territory up to its inhabitants), and the majority decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, which stated that slavery could not legally be excluded from U.S. territories (since Douglas professed great respect for Supreme Court decisions, and accused the Republicans of disrespecting the court, yet this aspect of the Dred Scott decision was contrary to Douglas' views and politically unpopular in Illinois). Instead of making a direct choice, Douglas' response stated that despite the court's ruling, slavery could be prevented from any territory by the refusal of the people living in that territory to pass laws favorable to slavery. Likewise, if the people of the territory supported slavery, legislation would provide for its continued existence.

Douglas' actual words were:

The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, Can the people of a Territory in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution? I answer emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred times from every stump in Illinois, that in my opinion the people of a Territory can, by lawful means, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution. Mr Lincoln knew that I had answered that question over and over again. He heard me argue the Nebraska bill on that principle all over the State in 1854, in 1855, and in 1856, and he has no excuse for pretending to be in doubt as to my position on that question. It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution, the people have the lawful means to introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local police regulations. Those police regulations can only be established by the local legislature; and if the people are opposed to slavery, they will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, their legislation will favor its extension. Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the right of the people to make a Slave Territory or a Free Territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska bill. I hope Mr. Lincoln deems my answer satisfactory on that point.

By taking this position, Douglas was defending his Popular Sovereignty or "Squatter Sovereignty" principle of 1854, which he considered to be a compromise between pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions. It was satisfactory to the legislature of Illinois, which reelected Douglas over Lincoln to the Senate (this was before the addition of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution). However, the Freeport Doctrine or "Freeport Heresy" as they called it, alienated many Southern Democrats. Douglas had actually stated the essence of the doctrine previous to the debate at Freeport, but its prominent public assertion at Freeport contributed (along with other political disputes, such as over the Lecompton Constitution) to antagonizing those in the Southern United States who were demanding ever-increasing protections for slavery, and who subsequently insisted on the repudiation of the Freeport Doctrine (i.e., the passage of a congressional Slave Code for the territories) in order to block Douglas' presidential bid in 1860. This led to the split of the Democratic party in 1860, and Douglas' loss in the 1860 presidential election.

George Washington Gale

George Washington Gale (1789 – September 13, 1861) was born in Stanford, New York and became a Presbyterian minister in western New York state. A graduate of Union College in 1814, and Princeton Theological Seminary in 1819. in 1827 Gale founded the Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York, an institution where students would pay for their education by doing manual labor.

Under the ministry of Gale, Charles Finney professed faith in Christ and undertook to become a Christian minister.Gale later settled in what would become Galesburg, Illinois, to found Knox College (then called the Knox Manual Labor College) in 1837, site of one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

Harry V. Jaffa

Harry Victor Jaffa (October 7, 1918 – January 10, 2015) was an American political philosopher, historian, columnist and professor. He was a professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University and a distinguished fellow of the Claremont Institute. Robert P. Kraynak says his "life work was to develop an American application of Leo Strauss's revival of natural-right philosophy against the relativism and nihilism of our times."Jaffa wrote topics ranging from Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas to Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and natural law. He has been published in the Claremont Review of Books, the Review of Politics, National Review, and the New York Times. His most famous work, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, written in 1959, has been described as "the greatest Lincoln book ever."Jaffa was a formative influence on the American conservative movement, challenging notable conservative thinkers including Russell Kirk, Richard M. Weaver, and Willmoore Kendall on Abraham Lincoln and the founding of the United States. He debated Robert Bork on American constitutionalism. He died in 2015.

John C. Flanagan House Museum

The Judge John C. Flanagan Residence is a house in Peoria, Illinois, United States. The home was constructed for Judge John C. Flanagan, a Philadelphia native, in 1837. The house was either part of an original 620-acre (250 ha) tract purchased by Flanagan's father from local Native American tribes or part of a 20-acre (8.1 ha) tract purchased by Flanagan when he came to Peoria in 1831. It is believed that Abraham Lincoln was once a guest in the home during the Lincoln-Douglas debates from 1854 to 1860. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 5, 1975.The house is now operated by the Peoria Historical Society as the John C. Flanagan House Museum, a 19th-century period historic house museum. The house also serves as the headquarters for the Peoria Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

L/D

L/D may refer to:

Learning and development, in human resource management

Lift-to-drag ratio, in aerodynamics

Lincoln–Douglas debates, a series of seven debates in 1858 between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate

Lincoln's House Divided Speech

The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln, later President of the United States, on June 16, 1858, at what was then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, after he had accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination as that state's US senator. The speech became the launching point for his unsuccessful campaign for the seat, held by Stephen A. Douglas; the campaign would climax with the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

Lincoln's remarks in Springfield created an image of the danger of slavery-based disunion, and it rallied Republicans across the North. Along with the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, the speech became one of the best-known speeches of his career.

The best-known passage of the speech is this:

A house divided against itself, cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

Lincoln's goals were to differentiate himself from Douglas - the incumbent - and to voice a prophecy publicly. Douglas had long advocated popular sovereignty under which the settlers in each new territory would decide their own status as a slave or free state; he had repeatedly asserted that the proper application of popular sovereignty would prevent slavery-induced conflict and would allow northern and southern states to resume their peaceful coexistence. Lincoln, however, responded that the Dred Scott decision had closed the door on Douglas's preferred option, leaving the Union with only two remaining outcomes: the country would inevitably become either all slave or all free. Now that the North and the South had come to hold distinct opinions in the question of slavery, and now the issue had come to permeate every other political question, the Union would soon no longer be able to function.

List of elections in 1858

The following elections occurred in the year 1858.

O. C. Hackett

Oliver Cromwell Hackett was born March 29, 1822 in Scott County, Kentucky. His father was John Hackett, and his grandfather was noted Kentucky frontiersman and militiaman of the American Revolution, Peter Hackett. John Hackett moved the family, including young O. C., from Kentucky to Coles County, Illinois in 1835. O. C. Hackett married Ellen Roxanne (Wyeth) on March 14, 1854. O. C.'s children included Frederick W. Hackett. O. C. died April 8, 1905 in Tuscola, Illinois. Family legend holds that Abraham Lincoln stayed at the Hackett farm near Charleston Illinois before or after the 4th of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

Old Main, Knox College

Old Main is the oldest building on the campus of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Completed in 1857, it is a distinctive Gothic Tudor design of Swedish architect Charles Ulricson. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 as one of the few surviving sites to host one of the famous 1858 Lincoln–Douglas debates. The building underwent a major restoration in the 1930s, which modernized its interior and restored its exterior.

Robert R. Hitt

Robert Roberts Hitt (January 16, 1834 – September 20, 1906) was an Assistant Secretary of State and later a member of the United States House of Representatives.

He was born in Urbana, Ohio, to Reverend Thomas Smith Hitt and Emily John Hitt. He and his parents moved to Mount Morris, Illinois in 1837. There he was educated at Rock River Seminary and later at DePaul University. An expert shorthand writer (one of few men of his time who represented that skill), he became a very close friend of future President of the United States Abraham Lincoln, and during the famous Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858, at the request of Lincoln, Hitt served as a shorthand note-taker. During Lincoln's legal days in Chicago, he had first employed Hitt as such.

In 1872, Hitt was a personal secretary for Indiana Senator Oliver P. Morton, In December 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him First Secretary of the American Legation in Paris; he served from 1874 to 1881 and as Chargé d'Affaires a part of that time.

He was United States Assistant Secretary of State under James G. Blaine during President James A. Garfield and President Chester A. Arthur's Administrations in 1881 and was elected to represent Illinois' 5th district in the United States House of Representatives in 1882. Hitt became Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the beginning of the Fifty-first Congress and from the Fifty-fourth to Fifty-ninth Congresses.

When the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 came up for renewal in 1892, he argued against the alien documentation provisions of the bill: "Never before in a free country was there such a system of tagging a man, like a dog to be caught by the police and examined, and if his tag or collar is not all right, taken to the pound or drowned and shot. Never before was it applied by a free people to a human being, with the exception (which we can never refer to with pride) of the sad days of slavery. …"He was appointed in July 1898 by President William McKinley as a member of the commission created by the Newlands Resolution to establish government in the Territory of Hawaii.

During the last years of his life, he was Regent of the Smithsonian Institution. He died on September 20, 1906. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Mount Morris, Illinois, along with his parents.

Hitt is the namesake of the community of Hitt, Missouri.

Robert Smith (Illinois politician)

Robert Smith (June 12, 1802 – December 21, 1867) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois, nephew of Jeremiah Smith and Samuel Smith of New Hampshire. Smith founded General Mills in 1856.Born in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Smith attended the public schools and New Ipswich Academy. He taught school. He engaged in mercantile pursuits in 1822 and in the manufacturing of textile goods in Northfield, New Hampshire in 1823. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar and practiced. He moved to Illinois and settled in Alton in 1832 and again engaged in mercantile pursuits.

Smith was elected captain in the state militia in 1832. He was an extensive land owner, and engaged in the real estate business. He served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1836-1840. He was elected enrolling and engrossing clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1840 and 1842.

Smith was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses and reelected as an Independent Democrat to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1849). He served as chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals (Twenty-ninth Congress).

Smith was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1859). He served as chairman of the Committee on Mileage (Thirty-fifth Congress). He served as paymaster during the Civil War. He died in Alton, and was interred in Alton City Cemetery.

Smith attended an event in Greenville, Illinois in 1858 in which Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas gave speeches around the time of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Standish Park Arboretum

Standish Park Arboretum is a 3.3 acre park located in Downtown Galesburg, Illinois. Located just north of Knox College, Standish Park Arboretum has a collection of 137 trees of 67 different species. The park is used by the Galesburg community for many events such as the annual Art in the Park festival. Walkways criss-cross the park and along all four sides of its perimeter. A gazebo at the center serves as the focal point. Surrounding the Standish Park Arboretum are sites such as, to the south, Old Main (on the Knox College campus) which was the location of one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858), the Knox County, Illinois Courthouse (erected in 1884-1886) to the east, and the Galesburg City Hall to the north.

Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 – June 3, 1861) was an American politician and lawyer from Illinois. He was the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 1860 election, but he was defeated by Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln. Douglas had previously bested Lincoln in the 1858 Illinois election for the United States Senate, which is known for the Lincoln–Douglas debates. During the 1850s, Douglas was one of the foremost advocates of popular sovereignty, which held that each territory should be allowed to determine whether to permit slavery within its borders. Douglas was nicknamed the "Little Giant" because he was short in physical stature, but a forceful and dominant figure in politics.

Born in Brandon, Vermont, Douglas migrated to Jacksonville, Illinois in 1833 to establish a legal practice. He experienced early success in politics as a member of the Democratic Party, serving in the Illinois House of Representatives and various other positions. He resigned from the Supreme Court of Illinois upon being elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1843. Douglas became an ally of President James K. Polk, and favored the annexation of Texas and the Mexican–American War. He was one of four Northern Democrats in the House to vote against the Wilmot Proviso, which would have banned slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico.

The Illinois legislature elected Douglas to the United States Senate in 1847, and Douglas emerged as a national party leader during the 1850s. Along with Henry Clay, he led the passage of the Compromise of 1850, which settled some of the territorial issues arising from the Mexican–American War. Douglas was a candidate for president at the 1852 Democratic National Convention, but lost the nomination to Franklin Pierce. Seeking to open the west for expansion, Douglas introduced the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854. Though Douglas had hoped the Kansas–Nebraska Act would ease sectional tensions, it elicited a strong reaction in the North and helped fuel the rise of the anti-slavery Republican Party. Douglas once again sought the presidency in 1856, but the 1856 Democratic National Convention instead nominated James Buchanan, who went on to win the election. Buchanan and Douglas split over the admission of Kansas as a slave state, as Douglas accused the pro-slavery Kansas legislature of having conducted an unfair election.

During the Lincoln–Douglas debates, Douglas articulated the Freeport Doctrine, which held that territories could effectively exclude slavery despite the Supreme Court's ruling in the 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Disagreements over slavery led to the bolt of Southern delegates at the 1860 Democratic National Convention. The rump convention of Northern delegates nominated Douglas for president, while Southern Democrats threw their support behind John C. Breckinridge. In the 1860 election, Lincoln and Douglas were the main candidates in the North, while most Southerners supported either Breckinridge or John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party. Campaigning throughout the country during the election, Douglas warned of the dangers of secession and urged his audiences to stay loyal to the United States. Ultimately, Lincoln's strong support in the North led to his victory in the election. After the Battle of Fort Sumter, Douglas rallied support for the Union, but he died in June 1861.

The Lincoln–Douglas Debates (1994 reenactments)

The 1994 reenactments of the Lincoln–Douglas Debates took place between August 20 and October 15, 1994 and were facilitated and aired by C-SPAN. They featured historical reenactors presenting, in their entireties, the series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas that took place during the 1858 U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois. The debate reenactments were held in the same seven cities as were the 1858 debates, and were performed on dates very close to the anniversaries of the original debates. They were broadcast live on C-SPAN, and have been rebroadcast periodically ever since.

Washington Park Historic District (Ottawa, Illinois)

Washington Park Historic District, also known as Washington Square is a historic district in and around Washington Park in the city of Ottawa, Illinois, United States. Washington Park was the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 and is surrounded by several historic structures. The park was platted in 1831 and the historic district was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

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