The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the Making of a President


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About the Book

The Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates of 1858 marked a significant crossroads in the political career of Abraham Lincoln. Though he lost the Unites States senate seat for Illinois to Stephen A. Douglas, the debates launched Lincoln into political prominence and eventually contributed to his successful run for the presidency. This work reveals Lincoln’s political evolution during the debates through a narrative approach, evaluating his debate strategy and seemingly inconsistent views on slavery and racial inequality. Organized chronologically, the book examines each of the seven debates individually, acknowledging Lincoln’s disappointing turns at Jonesboro and Charleston but celebrating his powerful comeback at Alton in the final senatorial debate.

About the Author(s)

Timothy S. Good is a National Park Service employee who lives in Chatham, Illinois. His research interests lie in the history of the Lincoln presidency and in American maritime history.

Bibliographic Details

Timothy S. Good
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3065-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8356-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1

1. Before ’58      5
2. A House Divided: Springfield, Illinois      23
3. The Campaign Begins: Chicago, Illinois      37
4. Douglas Fires Back: Bloomington, Illinois      51
5. The Second Round: Springfield, Illinois      63
6. A Challenge Made, a Challenge Accepted: The Lincoln-Douglas Letters      77
7. The First Debate: Ottawa, Illinois      87
8. The Second Debate: Freeport, Illinois      103
9. The Third Debate: Jonesboro, Illinois      115
10. The Fourth Debate: Charleston, Illinois      127
11. The Fifth Debate: Galesburg, Illinois      139
12. The Sixth Debate: Quincy, Illinois      153
13. The Last Debate: Alton, Illinois      163

Epilogue      181
Appendix A: After ’58      183
Appendix B: The Last Rebuttal      186
Chapter Notes      189
Bibliography      201
Index      205