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).

Ottawa Debate — August 21, 1858.

The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois. (R)

Weekly North-Western Gazette, Galena, Illinois. (R)

The Jacksonville Sentinel (D)

Quincy Daily Whig and Republican (R)

Rockford Republican (R)

Illinois State Journal, Springfield, Illinois. (R)

Freeport Debate — August 27, 1858.

Alton Weekly Courier (R)

Weekly Belleville Advocate (R)

Freeport Weekly Bulletin (D)

Weekly North-Western Gazette, Galena, Illinois. (R)

Galesburg Semi-weekly Democrat (R)

The Jacksonville Sentinel (D)

Quincy Daily Whig and Republican (R)

Illinois State Journal, Springfield, Illinois. (R)

Jonesboro Debate — September 15, 1858.

Weekly North-Western Gazette, Galena, Illinois. (R)

Illinois State Journal, Springfield, Illinois. (R)

Charleston Debate — September 18, 1858.

Weekly Belleville Advocate (R)

Quincy Daily Whig and Republican (R)

Rockford Republican (R)

Galesburg Debate — October 7, 1858.

The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois. (R)

Galesburg Semi-Weekly Democrat (R)

Quincy Debate — October 13, 1858.

In the newspapers reviewed by this site, there were no articles which published transcriptions of the Quincy debate.

Alton Debate — October 15, 1858.

The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois. (R)

Campaign speeches from other cities

Alton Weekly Courier (R)

The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois. (R)

Republican and Telegraph, Dixon, Illinois. (R)

Freeport Weekly Bulletin (D)

Weekly North-Western Gazette, Galena, Illinois. (R)

Illinois State Journal, Springfield, Illinois. (R)

Lapsley, Arthur Brooks, ed. The Writings of Abraham Lincoln. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1905.

Browne, Francis, F. The Every-Day Life of Abraham Lincoln. New York: N.D. Thompson, 1886.

  • This biography of Lincoln contains speeches of Lincoln relating to the campaign of 1858.