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Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858


Primary Sources

Documents

The Nominating Process

  • Excerpt from “Republican State Convention,” Jacksonville (Ill.) Sentinel, June 25, 1858.
  • Excerpt from “The Republican Convention,” Quincy Daily Whig and Republican, June 21, 1858.
  • Charles Wilson to Abraham Lincoln, May 31, 1858, in The Lincoln Papers, ed. David C. Mearns (2 vols., Garden City, 1948), I, 208.
  • Abraham Lincoln, “‘A House Divided’: Speech at Springfield, Illinois,” June 16, 1858, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (8 vols., New Brunswick, 1953), II, 461.
  • Abraham Lincoln to John L. Scripps, June 23, 1858, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (8 vols., New Brunswick, 1953), II, 471.
  • “Mr. Lincoln Showing His Spots,” Springfield Illinois State Register, June 26, 1858.

The Polling Place

  • Illinois newspaper masthead ticket, Quincy Daily Whig and Republican, Sept. 30, 1858.
  • “Preparing to Colonize,” Chicago Press and Tribune, Sept. 6, 1858.
  • “How to Vote for Lincoln,” Freeport Weekly Journal, Oct. 14, 1858.
  • Norman Judd to Elihu Washburne, Sept. 20, 1858, in Elihu Washburne Papers (Volume 4), Library of Congress.
  • Norman Judd to Elihu Washburne, Oct. 22, 1858, in Elihu Washburne Papers (Volume 4), Library of Congress.
  • Henry C. Whitney to Abraham Lincoln, Oct. 14, 1858, in Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress.
  • Excerpt from “Illegal Voting—An Explanation,” Chicago Press and Tribune, Oc. 29, 1858.
  • Excerpt from “More Indications of Fraud,” Chicago Press and Tribune, Oct. 25, 1858.
  • Excerpt from “The Result in Peoria,” Peoria Daily Transcript, Nov. 4, 1858.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

  • Joseph Gillespie to William H. Herndon, Jan. 31, 1866, in Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln, ed. Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis (Urbana, 1998), 184.
  • William H. Herndon to Truman Bartlett, July 19, 1887, in The Hidden Lincoln: From the Letters and Papers of William H. Herndon, ed. Emanuel Hertz (New York, 1938), 191—92.
  • “Congressional Eloquence,” North American Review, 52 (Jan. 1841), 109–48
  • “Of Gesture,” in The Columbian Orator, by Caleb Bingham (Boston, 1832), 19–29.

Lincoln and Race

  • Excerpt from “What Would Be the Effect of Negro Equality?,” Springfield Illinois State Register, Oct. 9, 1858.
  • Abraham Lincoln, “Speech at Chicago,” July 10, 1858, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Roy P. Basler (8 vols., New Brunswick, 1953), 499–502
  • Thomas A. Marshall to Abraham Lincoln, July 22, 1858, in Abraham Lincoln Papers (Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.).
  • Abraham Lincoln, “Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois,” Sept. 18, 1858, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (8 vols., New Brunswick), III, 145–46.
  • Abraham Lincoln, “Seventh and Last Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Alton, Illinois,” Oct. 15, 1858, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (8 vols., New Brunswick), III, 315.

Who Voted for Whom?

  • Maps of the Illinois state house and state senate districts, showing the counties where Whig, Democratic, and Republican support was the strongest.
    1. Illinois in 1858, showing state senate districts.
    2. Illinois in 1858, showing state house districts.
    3. Phase one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (July 17–August 21).
    4. Phase two (August 24–September 4).
    5. Phase three (September 5–September 23).
    6. Phase four (September 24–October 7).
    7. Phase five (October 9–October 29).
  • Table showing the overall voting for the Illinois state legislature on November 2, 1858.
  • Tables showing Republican and Democratic voting in the “Whig belt” on November 2, 1858.

From the article

  • Illinois in 1858, showing state senate districts.
  • Illinois in 1858, showing state house districts.
  • Phase one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (July 17–August 21).
  • Phase two (August 24–September 4).
  • Phase three (September 5–September 23).
  • Phase four (September 24–October 7).
  • Phase five (October 9–October 29).

Further Reading

Albert J. Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1858 (Boston, 1928), volume two.

Rodney O. Davis and Douglas L. Wilson, The Real Issue: Debates between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln in 1858 (Urbana, 2008).

Don E. Fehrenbacher, Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s (Stanford, 1962).

Richard Allen Heckman, Lincoln vs. Douglas (Washington, 1967).

Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (Garden City, 1959).

Robert W. Johannsen, Stephen A. Douglas (New York, 1973).

Edwin Earle Sparks, ed., Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, vol. III: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Springfield, 1908).

Damon Wells, Stephen Douglas: The Last Years, 1857–1861 (Austin, 1990).

David Zarefsky, Lincoln, Douglas and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate (Chicago, 1990).

Links to Related Web Sites

The Abraham Lincoln Association: Electronic text of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. The texts of the seven debates and of Lincoln’s other campaign speeches are contained in volume three.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/

The Lincoln/Douglas Debates of 1858: Northern Illinois University Web site with political maps of Illinois and the sites where Lincoln and Douglas appeared during the campaigns, plus electronic texts of Illinois newspaper coverage of the campaigns and lesson plans.
http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/lincolndouglas/index.html

The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln: Maintained by the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, this site tracks Lincoln’s daily activities,
http://www.thelincolnlog.org/view

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln-Douglas Society offers documents and student resources on the debates.
http://www.lincoln-douglas.org/

Stephen A. Douglas Association: Offers electronic texts of notable Douglas speeches outside the debates.
http://www.stephenadouglas.org/speeches.html

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Resources: Describes the format for modern Lincoln-Douglas–style forensic debates at the high school and college level and offers a free handbook.
http://www.lddebate.net/

The Library of Congress: Offers access to electronic images of Lincoln’s own scrapbook of the debate texts,
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trm124.html
and to Lincoln’s correspondence throughout the debates.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/malhome.html.

Debate Locations