Lincoln took part in historic
debates with Stephen A. Douglas.
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In 1858, Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. Lincoln
lost the election, but debating with Douglas won him a national reputation.
That same year they debated over slavery. On January 1st 1863, he
issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves
in the Confederacy. The campaigning between them during the summer
of 1858 was to capture the attention of the entire nation. In July,
Lincoln challenged Douglas to a series of public debates. Douglas
accepted to the challenge agreed to seven 3-hour debates in small Illinois
towns. The striking contrast between Douglas and Lincoln - the little giant
and long Abe, as reporters called them – added color and excitement to
the contest. Douglas was Lincoln’s opposite in every way. He was
barely 5’ 4” tall. He had a huge round head planted on massive shoulders,
a booming voice, and an aggressive and self-confident manner.
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