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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858

150th Anniversary Edition

Edited by Robert W. Johannsen and Introduction by James L. Huston

Publication Date - March 2008

ISBN: 9780195339420

368 pages

In Stock

This series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas communicates the eloquence, urgency, and immediacy of its historical moment.


To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the most famous political argument in U.S. history, The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 is now available in a special commemorative edition. As Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas fiercely competed for the Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate, they debated many of the crucial and controversial issues--including slavery--that would later come to define Lincoln's political career. Thoughtfully edited by acclaimed historian Robert W. Johannsen, this essential manuscript captures a groundbreaking and provocative moment in American politics.

Framed by an insightful new foreword by Johannsen's former student James L. Huston, this series of debates communicates the eloquence, urgency, and immediacy of its historical moment. To make these arguments more relevant to contemporary readers, Huston discusses the historiography of the debates since 1965, how various historians have addressed the debates, and why the debates remain so important today. This indispensable resource also includes Douglas's Chicago speech and Lincoln's "House Divided" speech. Providing a timely and engrossing look at this dynamic event, the 150th anniversary edition of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 remains the authoritative presentation of these lively, landmark orations.

About the Author(s)

Robert W. Johannsen is J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Stephen A. Douglas (OUP, 1973; Francis Parkman Prize); To the Halls of the Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American Imagination (OUP, 1985); The Frontier, the Union, and Stephen A. Douglas; and Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension.

Previous Publication Date(s)

December 1965

Table of Contents

    Introduction to the Anniversary Edition
    Speech of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, June 16, 1858
    Speech of Stephen A. Douglas, Chicago, July 9, 1858
    First Joint Debate, Ottawa, August 21, 1858
    Second Joint Debate, Freeport, August 27, 1858
    Third Joint Debate, Jonesboro, September 15, 1858
    Fourth Joint Debate, Charleston, September 18, 1858
    Fifth Joint Debate, Galesburg, October 7, 1858
    Sixth Joint Debate, Quincy, October 13, 1858
    Seventh Joint Debate, Alton, October 15, 1858
    Suggestions for Further Reading

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