Alton Museum of History and Art, Alton, Illinois

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Bronze Statues of Lincoln and Douglas

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Recreated in bronze in downtown Alton

     October 15, 1858 found the  City of Alton the site of the seventh and final debate between Abraham  Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. The debate was a prelude for the 1858 Congressional  elections, in which both men were candidates. Over 6,000 people gathered  for the event which was in front of the City Hall. State and national  figures were present as well as press representatives from Boston, St.  Louis, New York and Chicago. The debate carried on for three and one half  hours.

     In 1908, a committee was formed  in Alton to sponsor a parade and festival in honor of the event. A commerative  bronze plaque was presented and mounted at Alton City Hall. The area then  became known as Lincoln Douglas Square. When the building burned in 1924  the plaque was mounted on a granite boulder.

     Today Lincoln Douglas Square  has been transformed into a monument to this historic event. Full size  bronze replicas of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, convey the intensity  and compassion both men felt for their values and ideals.

     Funds for the memorial project  were raised by the selling of engraved bricks. Hundreds of bricks were  used to create a walkway around the platform on which the statues stand.  Each brick is engraved with the name of the donor or sponsoring organization.


[Exhibits] [Robert Wadlow] [Piasa Bird] [Lincoln Douglas Debates] [Civil War]
 

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Alton Museum of History and Art
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2809 College Avenue
Alton, IL 62002

 

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