“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ottawa in La Salle County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The First Lincoln-Douglas Debate

The First Lincoln-Douglas Debate Marker image. Click for full size.
May 11, 2013
1. The First Lincoln-Douglas Debate Marker
Inscription. On August 21, 1858, the first of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and United States Senator Stephen A. Douglas took place in this park. Approximately 10,000 people gathered to hear the two candidates discuss the question of slavery in America. Candidate Lincoln rebuffed attempts to portray him as an abolitionist, one advocating the immediate emancipation of all slaves in the United States. Although Lincoln said he personally believed slavery was morally wrong, he maintained that the institution was protected by the Constitution. Senator Douglas, however, refused to address the morality of slavery. He insisted that the people in the individual states should be allowed to decide the question for themselves. Lincoln lost the election, but two years later he and Douglas were rivals again in the Presidential race. Two other Democratic candidates who favored slavery, John Bell and John C. Breckenridge, entered the race and took votes that probably would have gone to Douglas. His opposition fractured, Lincoln won a majority in the electoral college with a minority of the popular vote and became our 16th president.
Erected 2007 by LaSalle County Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the
The First Lincoln-Douglas Debate Site image. Click for full size.
By Michael, May 11, 2013
2. The First Lincoln-Douglas Debate Site
Illinois State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 41° 20.967′ N, 88° 50.482′ W. Marker is in Ottawa, Illinois, in La Salle County. Marker is on Columbus Street (Illinois Route 71) just south of Lafayette Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located in Washington Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 E Lafayette St, Ottawa IL 61350, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lincoln and Douglas Debate (a few steps from this marker); Washington Square (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named First Lincoln-Douglas Debate (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln the Litigator (approx. 0.2 miles away); William D. Boyce (approx. 1.4 miles away).
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsPolitics
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 13, 2013. This page has been viewed 525 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 13, 2013. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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