As the Lincoln-Douglas Debates made their way to the anti-slavery setting of northern Illinois, Lincoln’s supporters urged him to take the offensive. Here, Republican journalist Joseph Medill wrote to Abraham Lincoln with advice he and a group of fellow Republicans such as campaign advisor Norman Judd brainstormed after the Freeport debate. They wanted Lincoln to be hard on Douglas especially in regards to his contradicting opinions of the Dred Scott decision and popular sovereignty. In addition to proposing questions for Lincoln to ask Douglas, Medill told him to “never take the defensive” but instead “be bold, defiant and dogmatic.” (By David Park)
Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/malhome.html.
Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College