The Lincoln-Douglas Debates "Great Debates of 1858", August 21st - October 15th, 1858


Between August 21st and October 15th in 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas engaged in a series of seven debates focusing on the controversial subject of slavery in the United States. The two men were vying for a spot in the US Senate as a representative from the state of Illinois. Illinois was a free state, but the future of slavery across new U.S. territories was at stake. Slavery was rapidly declining in popularity across the country and both men had distinctly different responses to the issue.