America in the 1850s

Abraham Lincoln Appears on the Scene

Why was this political match-up between Douglas and Lincoln given so much attention?

Douglas was a formidable politician: friends called him the “Little Giant.” Lincoln was a relative newcomer, but between them, these two candidates indicated the strength of the State of Illinois in particular and the Western states in general. People were already paying attention, but when Lincoln challenged Douglas to a set of debates, the observations increased.

Lincoln’s family home in Springfield, Illinois, is on the National Register of Historic Places.


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