This marker replaces an older marker located on the same site. It is located in Ottawa on the west side of IL. Rt. 23, (Columbus Street) between Jackson and Lafayette in the City Park.
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society
On August 21, 1858, the first of the famous joint debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas was held in this park. At this site 10,000 people heard the two candidates for the United States Senate discuss the question of slavery. Lincoln rebuffed attempts to paint him as an abolitionist, one opposing the immediate end to slavery. Lincoln maintained that slavery was morally wrong. Douglas, however, refused to address the morality of slavery. He insisted that the people in the individual states should be left to decide the question. Slavery remained an issue throughout the campaign.
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