Lincoln-Douglas Debates

The 1858 series of seven "joint discussions," as they were first called, between U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas and Illinois Republican Party leader Abraham Lincoln were unprecedented.  Never before had men openly campaigned for senator, especially by engaging in a direct public contest filled with dramatic debates.  People turned out by the thousands to hear these two political rivals debate the future of slavery in America, and newspapers across the country covered the exchanges. Democrats ultimately retained control of the assembly and reelected Douglas, but Lincoln knew he had done well for the new Republicans and for the anti-slavery cause, assuring correspondents afterward that the issue was "not half-settled." (By Matthew Pinsker)
On
Date Title
Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, December 28, 1857
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, January 3, 1858
John Wentworth to Abraham Lincoln, April 19, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Thomas A. Marshall, April 23, 1858
Norman Buel Judd to Abraham Lincoln, June 1, 1858
John Wentworth to Abraham Lincoln, June 6, 1858
New York Times, “Senator Douglas and the Republicans of Illinois,” June 8, 1858
Ward Hill Lamon to Abraham Lincoln, June 9, 1858
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, June 12, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, "A House Divided'': Speech, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858
Recollection by Henry Villard, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, June 16-November 2, 1858
Recollection by Shelby Cullom, House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858
Recollection by Julian M. Sturtevant, House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, June 16, 1858
New York Times, "Illinois Republican State Convention," June 21, 1858
John L. Scripps to Abraham Lincoln, June 22, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to John L. Scripps, June 23, 1858
Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, June 23, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Joseph Medill, June 25, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Charles H. Ray, June 27, 1858
Richmond (VA) Dispatch, “A Crumb of Comfort for Mr. Seward,” June 26, 1858
Charles H. Ray to Abraham Lincoln, July 1, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Passage at Arms between Lincoln and Douglas in 1854," July 1, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “New Orleans Delta on the Illinois Republican Convention,” July 5, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Douglas Coming Home," July 7, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Politics in Kane County,” July 8, 1858
Recollection by Clarke E. Carr, Stephen A. Douglas, July 9, 1858
Recollection by Lew Wallace, Senator Stephen A. Douglas
Recollection by Julian M. Sturtevant, Abraham Lincoln
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Lincoln To-Night,” July 10, 1858
- Recollection by Gustave Koerner, Lincoln-Douglas Debates
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, "Mr. A. Lincoln," July 11, 1858
New York Herald, “Senator Douglas at Chicago,” July 12, 1858
New York Times, "Senator Douglas at Chicago," July 13, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Supreme Court," July 16, 1858
Gustave Philipp Koerner to Abraham Lincoln, July 17, 1858
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, July 19, 1858
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, "The Progress of Judge Douglas Through Illinois," July 19, 1858
Milwaukie (WI) Sentinel, "Douglas in the South," July 20, 1858
Abraham Smith to Abraham Lincoln, July 20, 1858
Bangor (ME) Whig and Courier, "Speech of Mr. Lincoln," July 21, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Douglas on the Stump," July 23, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Douglas, July 24, 1858
Charles H. Ray to Abraham Lincoln, July 27, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Douglas, July 29, 1858
John Jordan Crittenden to Abraham Lincoln, July 29, 1858
Charleston (SC) Mercury, "Douglas Tottering!," July 29, 1858
Stephen Douglas to Abraham Lincoln, July 30, 1858
New York Herald, "The Illinois Champions on the Same Stump," July 30, 1858
Ripley (OH) Bee, "The Most Dangerous Foe," July 31, 1858
Thomas J. Pickett to Abraham Lincoln, August 3, 1858
New York Times, "Douglas and Lincoln on the Stump," August 3, 1858
New York Times, "Political Items," August 4, 1858
Owen Lovejoy to Abraham Lincoln, August 4, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Campaign Press and Tribune,” August 10, 1858
Thomas C. Sharp to Ozias Mather Hatch, August 11, 1858
Gustave Philipp Koerner to Abraham Lincoln, August 12, 1858
New York Herald, “The Illinois Campaign,” August 13, 1858
David Davis to Ozias Mather Hatch, August 16, 1858
New York Herald, “The Illinois Campaign,” August 16, 1858
Ozias Mather Hatch to Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858
John W. Shaffer to Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858
New York Times, “Democratic Prospects In Illinois,” August 18, 1858
New York Times, "Hot Work in Illinois," August 19, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Signs of Fright,” August 20, 1858
Recollection by J.K. Magic, Ottawa Debate, August 21, 1858
Recollection by John W. Forney, Abraham Lincoln
- Recollection by John M. Palmer, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "All Aboard For Ottawa!," August 21, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, First Debate with Stephen Douglas, Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858
Recollection by Henry Villard, Ottawa Debate, August 21, 1858
New York Herald, “The Illinois Campaign,” August 22, 1858
Chicago (IL) Times, "The Campaign-- Douglas Among the People," August 22, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Joseph O. Cunningham, August 22, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Great Debate Between Lincoln and Douglas At Ottawa," August 23, 1858
New York Times, "Meeting of Douglas and Lincoln," August 23, 1858
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "Lincoln and Douglas at Ottawa," August 24, 1858
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, August 24, 1858
Quincy (IL) Whig, "Lincoln and Douglas," August 25, 1858
B. Lewis to Abraham Lincoln, August 25, 1858
Schuyler Colfax to Abraham Lincoln, August 25, 1858
Recollection by Ingalls Carleton, Freeport Debate, August 27, 1858
Recollection by A.A. Terrell, Freeport, August 27, 1858
Recollection by Henry Villard, Freeport Debate, August 27,1858
Recollection by Horace White, Freeport Debate, August 27, 1858
Recollection by Joseph Medill, Freeport Debate, August 27, 1858
Recollection by Carl Schurz , Freeport Debate, August 27, 1858
Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858
Recollection by Elihu Benjamin Washburne, Freeport Debate, August 27, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, Second Debate with Stephen Douglas, Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858
New York Evening Post, "Senatorial Canvass in Illinois," August 27, 1858
Richard James Oglesby to Abraham Lincoln, August 29, 1858
Chicago (IL) Times, "The Campaign - The Discussion at Freeport," August 30, 1858
New York Herald, “No Quarter to Douglas,” August 30, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Douglas and Lincoln," September 1, 1858
Norman Buel Judd to Abraham Lincoln, September, 1858
New York Evening Post, “The Senatorial Contest in Illinois,” September 2, 1858
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, "Douglas - Lincoln," September 2, 1858
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “The Three Points in Douglas’ Creed,” September 7, 1858
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, “Judge Douglas at Belleville,” September 9, 1858
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, “Serenade,” September 11, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Macoupin County,” September 14, 1858
Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, September 14, 1858
Recollection by Horace White, Jonesboro Debate, September 15, 1858
Recollection by Henry Clay Whitney, Jonesboro Debate, September 15, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, Third Debate with Stephen Douglas, Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858
Recollection by Usher F. Linder, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Elihu B. Washburne, September 16, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Martin P. Sweet, September 16, 1858
Chicago (IL) Times, "The Campaign.--Douglas at Jonesboro," September 17, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Jonesboro Debate," September 17, 1858
New York Evening Post, "Senatorial Canvas in Illinois," September 18, 1858
Recollection by Henry Clay Whitney, Charleston Debate, September 18, 1858
Recollection by Lew Wallace, Charleston Debate, September 18, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, Fourth Debate with Stephen Douglas, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Douglas Puffers and Valets," September 20, 1858
Chicago (IL) Times, "The Audience at Charleston," September 21, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Charleston Debate," September 21, 1858
Lowell (MA) Journal and Courier, "The Senatorial Canvass in Illinois," September 22, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Audience at Charleston,” September 22, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Who Furnishes the Audiences?," September 23, 1858
(Montpelier) Vermont Patriot, “Untitled,” September 24, 1858
David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, September 25, 1858
New York Times, “Mr. Buchanan’s Troubles,” October 1, 1858
Quincy (IL) Whig, "Lincoln at the South," October 5, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Galesburg Debate," October 5, 1858
Recollection by Mary Hastie Boutelle, Galesburg Debate, October 7, 1858
Recollection by Lydia A. Titus, Galesburg Debate, October 7, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, Fifth Debate with Stephen Douglas, Galesburg, Illinois, October 7, 1858
Recollection by Horace White, Galesburg Debate, October 7, 1858
Galesburg (IL) Democrat, "The Galesburg Debate," October 9, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Galesburg Debate,” October 9, 1858
James G. Wright to Abraham Lincoln, October 11, 1858
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “A Peep Behind the Curtain!,” October 12, 1858
(Springfield) Illinois State Register, "The Galesburg Debate," October 12, 1858
New York Herald, "Exhausted to the Dregs," October 13, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, Sixth Debate with Stephen Douglas, Quincy, Illinois, October 13, 1858
Recollection by Horace White, Quincy Debate, October 13, 1858
Quincy (IL) Whig, "The Friends of Hon. Abraham Lincoln," October 13, 1858
Recollection by David Patterson Dyer, Quincy Debate, October 13, 1858
Recollection by Carl Schurz, Quincy Debate, October 13, 1858
Quincy (IL) Whig, "Lincoln Gets Douglas Down!," October 15, 1858
Chicago (IL) Times, “Sixth Great Debate,” October 15, 1858
Recollection by Jeriah Bonham, Alton Debate, October 15, 1858
Abraham Lincoln, Seventh and Final Debate with Stephen Douglas, Alton, Illinois, October 13, 1858
Recollection by Gustave Koerner, Alton Debate, October 15, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Quincy Debate," October 15, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Last of the Series," October 15, 1858
Recollection by Edmond Beall, Alton Debate, October 15, 1858
Seventh Debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858
Quincy (IL) Herald, “The Discussion of Wednesday,” October 16, 1858
Quincy (IL) Whig, "Disappointed," October 16, 1858
Chicago (IL) Times, “The Campaign – The Last Joint Debate,” October 17, 1858
New York Herald, “Our Richmond Correspondence,” October 17, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Rascality Confessed," October 18, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Alton Debate," October 18, 1858
New York Evening Post, “Political,” October 20, 1858
New York Times, “A Georgia Douglas Man,” October 20, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Norman Buel Judd, October 20, 1858
New York Times, “Vice-President Breckenridge for Douglas,” October 23, 1858
John Jordan Crittenden to Abraham Lincoln, October 27, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Freemen, Remember," October 29, 1858
Chester P. Dewey to Abraham Lincoln, October 30, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to John Jordan Crittenden, November 4, 1858
Philadelphia (PA) Press, “The Latest But Not The Last Lesson,” November 4, 1858
New York Times, "The Illinois Election," November 5, 1858
Horace White to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 1858
David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, November 7, 1858
New York Herald, “Douglas for the Presidency,” November 7, 1858
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “The Popular Majority,” November 9, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Abraham Lincoln,” November 10, 1858
William A. Grimshaw to Abraham Lincoln, November 11, 1858
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, "Rejoicing for Douglas," November 11, 1858
Norman Buel Judd to Abraham Lincoln, November 15, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Norman Buel Judd, November 15, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Norman Buel Judd, November 16, 1858
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "A House Divided, &c.," November 17, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Henry Asbury, November 19, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Eleazar A. Paine, November 19, 1858
Norman Buel Judd to Abraham Lincoln, November 20, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Charles H. Ray, November 20, 1858
Louisville (KY) Democrat, “From Abroad,” November 23, 1858
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, “Judge Douglas,” November 25, 1858
New York Herald, “Mr. Douglas On His Travels,” November 28, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Mr. Douglas’ Chattels,” December 3, 1858
Raleigh (NC) Register, “Douglas Stock Rising,” December 8, 1858
Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, December 11, 1858
New York Times, “Senator Douglas and the City Government,” December 20, 1858
(St. Louis) Missouri Republican, “Senator Douglas,” December 31, 1858
Recollection of Jesse W. Fell, Conversation with Abraham Lincoln in early 1859
Recollection by Gustave Koerner, Senator Douglas Reelected, January 5, 1859
Recollection by Horace White, Senator Douglas Reelected, January 5, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Re-election of Senator Douglas," January 6, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Douglas Reception at Washington,” January 11, 1859
Memphis (TN) Appeal, “The Chicago Times, Senator Douglas and the Administration,” January 18, 1859
San Francisco (CA) Evening Bulletin, “The Douglas and Fitch Row in Congress,” February 18, 1859
San Francisco (CA) Evening Bulletin, “The National Disgrace of “Honorable” Squabbling,” February 25, 1859
William A. Ross to Abraham Lincoln, March 18, 1859
Abraham Lincoln to William A. Ross, March 26, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Drawing it Mild,” April 9, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Lincoln in New York,” April 21, 1859
Abraham Lincoln to Salmon Portland Chase, April 30, 1859
Abraham Lincoln to Samuel Galloway, July 28, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Mr. Lincoln in Ohio,” September 19, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Northern Sentiment,” December 19, 1859
Abraham Lincoln to Alonzo J. Grover, January 15, 1860
Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, “Kellogg on Douglas,” March 17, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “A Prophecy Fulfilled,” May 2, 1860
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, "The Black Republican Nominees," May 21, 1860
Stephen A. Douglas to Follett Foster & Company, June 9, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Mr. Lincoln’s Majority in 1858,” June 11, 1860
Ripley (OH) Bee, “Mr. Lincoln’s Foresight,” August 23, 1860
Abraham Lincoln to John A. Gilmer, December 15, 1860
Israel Washburn Jr. to Abraham Lincoln, January 21, 1861
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How to Cite This Page: "Lincoln-Douglas Debates," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/9602.