The partisan support in Illinois was fully evident during the 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. The Douglas-supporting Chicago Times reported on a large crowd of mostly Douglas supporters at the fourth debate in Charleston. The crowd first listened to Lincoln without interruption in a display of their tolerance for free speech. According to the Times, Lincoln spoke as well as usual but was no match for the energy of Douglas, whose speech drew enthusiastic cheers from supporters. So few remained to hear Lincoln again that the Times concluded the area of Illinois known as “Egypt” was sick of him, and he of them. (By Ben Lyman)
"The Audience at Charleston," Chicago (IL) Times, September 21, 1858, in Edwin Erle Sparks, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1908), 322.
The Audience at Charleston
Transcription adapted from The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (1908), edited by Edwin Erle Sparks
Adapted by David Park, Dickinson College