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NOTES FROM LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE AT GALESBURG LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. Autograph Manuscript Signed, "Lincoln," in the third person within the text, 5-lines of notes relating to his response to the speech of Stephen A. Douglas during the fifth joint debate at Galesburg, IL. 2 3/4x7 1/4 inches; mounted to a sheet trimmed to size, scattered faint dampstaining, minor toning overall, folds. Np, circa 1858
"At Ottawa, in order to fix extreme abolitionism upon me, Judge Douglas read a set of resolutions which he declared had been adopted by a Republican State Convention in October 1854, at Springfield, Illinois, and that I, Lincoln, had taken part in that convention." The present text differs slightly from that published in 1860 (Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas). The published text: "I want to call to the Judge's attention an attack, . . . at Ottawa, on the 21st of August. In order to fix extreme abolitionism upon me, Judge Douglas read a set of resolutions which he declared had been passed by a Republican State Convention, in October, 1854, at Springfield, Illinois, and he declared I had taken part in that Convention." In the "House Divided" speech, Lincoln predicted that eventually the nation would arrive at a crisis on the question of slavery, forcing it to become a nation permitting slavery everywhere or one that abolishes it. In the fifth debate, Lincoln declared on which side he stood: "I . . . desire a policy that looks to the prevention of [slavery] as a wrong, and looks hopefully to the time when as a wrong it may come to an end." In the present notes, however, Lincoln distances himself from the published resolutions of a radical abolitionist party that Douglas claimed were championed by Lincoln. The resolutions were found to have been those passed at a convention in which Lincoln did not participate; public knowledge of this fact suited Lincoln, because he wanted to court Illinois conservatives. In the debate response, Lincoln suggests that Douglas was partly responsible for the "mistake," and that this fraud made Douglas unreliable. The only known autograph items from the fifth debate at Galesburg are those found in the scrapbook that Lincoln prepared in 1858 for the publication of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (Stern Collection, LOC), containing newspaper clippings, holograph notes and corrections.
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