The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858Debate Text from Nicolay and HayDebate Commentary from NewspapersMapsImagesVideoLesson Plans

Debate Text from Newspapers

Since neither Lincoln nor Douglas wrote down the complete text of their speeches, citizens relied on newspaper accounts. In general, newspapers at that time were expressly party-affiliated, so accounts differed based upon which candidate the reporter was rooting for. It is interesting to examine these debates by comparing the texts offered by Republican (R) and Democratic (D) newspapers. This site offers debate texts from a wide variety of newspapers throughout the state including debate-city papers: Freeport Weekly Bulletin (D), Freeport Weekly Journal (R), Galesburg Semi-Weekly Democrat (R), Quincy Daily Whig and Republican (R), Alton Weekly Courier (R), as well as papers from other towns: Galena's Weekly North-Western Gazette (R), Rockford Republican (R), Bloomington's The Daily Pantagraph (R), Urbana's Central Illinois Gazette (D), Paris' Prairie Beacon News (R), Springfield's Illinois State Journal (R), The Jacksonville Sentinel (D), Dixon's Republican and Telegraph (R), and the Weekly Belleville Advocate (R).

Click on a city to link to the newspaper accounts of that debate:

Click here to search debate texts and commentary.

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