Debate Square

Inside E. Douglas St., N. Adams Ave, E. Clark Street and the Freeport Pulbic Library

A park, monument and statue commemorating the Freeport Debate between Douglas and Lincoln.



Photo taken by J.R. Manning



On August 27, 1858, the second of a series of seven debates was held in Freeport, Illinois. The debates were over an election for Senate between incumbent, Steven A. Douglas and the challenger, Abraham Lincoln.

The two men agreed to meet in seven of the nine Illinois Congressional Districts. The format was that one man would open and speak for one hour. The opponent spoke for an hour and a half, then the opening speaker had a half an hour for rebuttal. Douglas went first four times, but Lincoln opened the Freeport Debate. He answered questions that had been posed by Douglas in the first debate, held August 21 in Ottawa.

Douglas won the re-election to the senate, but the transcripts of the debates were published nationwide, catapulting Lincoln into national prominence. In 1860, Lincoln Defeated Douglas in the presidential election.

Stephen A. Douglas contracted typhoid fever and died in Chicago on June 3, 1861. Lincoln was mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865 and he died on April 15, 1865.

Update Log 

  • August 31, 2011: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com