Lincoln-Douglas Debates!

Lincoln-Douglas Debates! (HM2GEF)

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N 38° 53.393', W 90° 11.139'

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Lincoln's Rise to Prominence

The two life-like statues represent a monumental event in our nation's history—the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

For a decade, the Illinois U.S. Senate seat was held by Stephen A. Douglas, one of the most famous politicians of his time. That is, until a little-known country lawyer named Abraham Lincoln challenged him to a series of debates.

The seventh and final took place in front of Alton's old city hall on October 15, 1858. The Alton debate drew national attention and about 6,000 visitors from across Illinois and neighboring states. It summarized the arguments that began four months before.

Douglas spoke first, repeating his belief in the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, the right of each state to do as it pleased about slavery and other issues. Lincoln asserted that it was the struggle between two eternal principles—right and wrong.

"A house divided
against itself
cannot stand.

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free."
—Abraham Lincoln

"Our
Government
can endure
forever, divided

into Free and Slave States as
our fathers made it."
—Stephen A. Douglas

Who Won the Debate?
Douglas won the



senate seat, but the debates launched Lincoln into the national spotlight. Just two years later, Lincoln beat Douglas in the 1860 presidential election.
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HM NumberHM2GEF
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 744097 N 4308322
Decimal Degrees38.88988333, -90.18565000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 53.393', W 90° 11.139'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 53' 23.58" N, 90° 11' 8.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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