It was near here, at a grove of maple trees, that Illinois Senatorial Candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas spoke in September of 1858. During the height of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the men came to Danville to greet the people of Old Vermilion between their formal encounters in Charleston and Galesburg. Banners and flags adorned the town, and spanned the streets of Danville in support of the candidates. Parades led supporters here. Stephen Douglas spoke at a rally on September 21st, and Abraham Lincoln addressed those at a barbecue in his honor the next day. The Democratic Press stated that Douglas drew the largest crowds, and as would be expected, the Republican Papers said the same about the attendance at Lincoln's Speech. Both events claimed more attendees than the entire population of Danville at the time, as people from throughout the area came to see and hear the candidates. Lincoln lost the Senate Seat to Douglas in 1858, but he did carry Vermilion County. Two years later, Lincoln would not only receive the most votes here, but also win the State and the Nation to become America's Sixteenth President.