"Lincoln Gets Douglas Down!," Quincy (IL) Whig, October 15, 1858, p. 2.
Quincy (IL) Whig
Lincoln Gets Douglas Down
Zak Rosenberg, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Lincoln Gets Douglas Down!!!
Great Enthusiasm Among the Republicans!!
The Douglasites Flaxed Out!
Wednesday was a day that will long be remembered by the citizens of Quincy, and by the great crow of people who were in attendance to listen to the joint discussion between Lincoln and Douglas. They came from all quarters-from all parts of the District, and from lowa and Missouri.
Douglas arrived on Tuesday night, and the Douglassites got up a kind of torch light procession to receive him. The thing was a most miserable fizzle. About fifty boys carried the torches, and the crowd itself did not number more than two hundred, many of whom were Republicans. They went to the depot, got Douglas, and brought him up to the Quincy House. They then assembled at the public square. Douglas was called for, but didn't make his appearance. Dr. Bayne addressed the people in attendance' but it is generally conceded by Democrats that he didn't do much for himself or the cause in which he is engaged. So ended the Douglas demonstration.
On Wednesday morning, at an early hour, our streets were thronged with people. The Republican procession formed on Broadway for the purpose of receiving Mr. Lincoln. It was one of the finest demonstrations that ever occured in this city. It is impossible to arrive at anything like a reliable estimate of the number in the procession.
Mr. Lincoln was received at the depot and greeted with enthusiastic cheers by the crowd. The procession then proceeded through the principal streets of the city to the residence of Hon. O.H. Browning, where a beautiful and elegant bouquet was presented by the Republican ladies of Quincy, through the hands of John Tillson, Esq., our candidate for Senator, in a neat and appropriate speech, which elicited much applause. Mr. Lincoln replied in a few brief remarks, saying that it was a source of much gratification to him to find that the ladies, everywhere, took such a deep interest in the contest. Before and at the clsoe of the presentation, a choir of young ladies and gentlemen present sang to the air of "Columbia, the gem of the ocean," a very appropriate campaign song. The procession was then dismissed for dinner.
Long before the speaking commenced, the public square literally swarmed with people. The number present is variously estimated at from eight to fourteen thousand. Mr. Lincoln opened the debate. We shall not endeavor to give a synopsis of his speech now, as a full report is to be published in the Chicago Tribune & Press. In the half hour which Mr. Lincoln had to close, he gave Douglas one of the severest skinnings that he has received in the course of this canvas. In fact, he made the fur fly with every word. We never heard any speaker say as much in the space of half an hour-and that half hour was greated curtailed by the enthusiastic applause which followed every telling that he made upon Douglas.
As for the speech Judge Douglas, no one seems to have heard anything of it. He spoke so indistinctly that not one in a hundred of those present could understand him; and we heard many democrats express their chagrin and disappointment. "Old Abe's" voice, however, rang out clear as a bell, and those even on the outskirts of the crow were able to hear him.
We should very much like to give a detailed account of the procession, and of the incidents of this grand demonstration. Notwithstanding the great efforts of the Douglassites to get up a crowd-sending their hanbills into Missouri, and calling upon the people there to help them-the Republicans largely outnumbered them on the ground. The cheers for Douglas were faint and few; while those for Abe Lincoln-rang out with a hearty good will from thousands of earnest and determined freemen. The Republicans have reason to congratulate themselves upon the success of the day. Yesterday, wherever we met a Republican, he was looking as happy as a bridegroom. The Douglassites, on the contrary, are awfully cut up. They were disappointed in the speech of Judge Douglas. Those who heard it-and they were very few, confined principally to those on the platform-say it did not come up to their expectations.
The only incident of a disagreeable character was the falling of the seats which had been put up for the ladies. They were crowded at the time, and the fall created great consternation. Two or three ladies were injured-but no one seriously or severely.