With two of the nation’s finest orators locked in debate, all eyes focused upon the Illinois Senatorial campaign of 1858. Illinois Republican Congressman Elihu Washburne recalled this “battle of giants” with great admiration for both candidates. He travelled to Freeport to watch Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas engage in their second joint discussion. The report showcased the fanfare surrounding the debate as Democrats and Republicans swarmed their respective candidate, seeking autographs, a few words, or even a glimpse of their political champion. According to Washburne, the actual debate lacked flare and ended in a stalemate with neither side “fully satisfied.” (By David Park)
Elihu Benjamin Washburne, “Abraham Lincoln,” Chicago (IL) Tribune, October 17, 1885, p. 12: 7.
Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College