“The Discussion of Wednesday,” Quincy (IL) Herald, October 16, 1858, in Edwin Erle Sparks, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1908), 440-441.
The Discussion of Wednesday
Transcription adapted from The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (1908), edited by Edwin Erle Sparks
Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (1908).
THE DISCUSSION OF WEDNESDAY
Douglas and Lincoln.—Twenty Thousand Persons in Quincy!
The Democracy of Illinois have reason to be proud of the demonstration in this city on Wednesday last—the day that had been appointed for a joint discussion between Senator Douglas and Mr. Lincoln. At an early hour in the morning, the crowds that everywhere thronged the streets of our city, gave indication that a great day was before us. At nine o'clock in the morning, the black republicans went into procession to the railroad depot to receive Mr. Lincoln. Their procession was probably half a mile in length, and numbered four or five hundred persons, on foot, on horseback, and in carriages and wagons.—They spent the greater part of the forenoon marching and countermarching through the city, displaying their banners and whatever enthusiasm they managed to manufacture for the occasion. At about the hour of 10 o'clock, a procession of the Democracy, composed exclusively of delegations from the country townships, under the direction of Dr. Wilson, the Chief Marshal, made its appearance upon the public square. This procession was over an hour passing the Quincy house, and is thought to have been not less than two miles in length. In the lead were thirty-two young ladies on horseback, bearing that number of flags with the name of each State upon them. In the black republican procession, we are told there were but seventeen young ladies with banners representing only the seventeen free States. In the Democratic procession, there were twenty large American flags, and an almost countless array of smaller ones. A likeness of Judge Douglas, handsomely ornamented with a beautiful wreath, was carried at the head of the procession, and along the line were a great number of similar likenesses, and several bands of music. As the procession passed the Quincy House, Judge Douglas made his appearance at a second story window, were he was greeted with cheer after cheer along the whole line. The procession was afterwards joined by large delegations from Brown county and from various points in Missouri. It was the largest procession that was ever seen in Quincy, and probably larger than any that has ever before been seen in the State. At about twelve o'clock, the procession was disbanded, in order to give those who participated in it an opportunity to make themselves ready for hearing the speeches. At two o'clock, some twelve or fifteen thousand persons assembled around the stand upon the public square, when they were addressed for an hour by Mr. Lincoln, who was followed in a speech of an hour and a half by Judge Douglas, and the debate closed with a response of half an hour by Mr. Lincoln.