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did not hear, and of the contents of which I knew nothing when I spoke; so that your speech made in daylight, and mine at night, on the 17th, at Springfield, were both made in perfect independence of each other. The dates of making all these speeches will show, I think, that in the matter of time for preparation, the advantage has been all on your side; and that none of the external circumstances has stood to my advantage.
I agree to an arrangement for us to speak at the seven places you have named, and at your own times, provided you name the times at once, so that I, as well as you, can have to myself the time not covered by the arrangement. As to the other details, I wish perfect reciprocity, and no more. I wish as much time as you, and that conclusions shall alternate. That is all. Your obedient servant,
P. S. As matters now stand, I shall be at no more of your exclusive meetings; and for about a week from to-day a letter from you will reach me at Springfield A. L.
Mr. Douglas to Mr. Lincoln.
BEMENT, PIATT Co., ILL., July 30, 1858.
Dear Sir-Your letter, dated yesterday, accepting my proposition for a joint discussion at one prominent point in each Congressional District, as stated in my previous letter, was received this morning.
The times and places designated are as follows:
I agree to your suggestion that we shall alternately open and close the discussion. I will speak at Ottawa one hour, you can reply, occnpying an hour and a half, and I will then follow for half an hour. At Freeport, you shall open the discussion and speak one hour, I will follow for an hour and a half, and you can then reply for half an hour. We will alternate in like man
ner at each successive place.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Hon. A. LINCOLN, Springfield, Ill.
S. A. DOUGLAS.
[Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas.]
SPRINGFIELD, July 31, 1858. Hon. S. A. DOUGLAS: Dear Sir-Yours of yesterday, naming places, times, and terms, for joint discussions between us, was received this morning. Although, by the terms, as you propose, you take four openings and closes, to my three, I accede, and thus close the arrangement. I direct this to you at Hillsboro, and shall try to have both your letter and this appear in the Journal and Register of Monday morning.
Your obedient servant,
Of the joint debates which followed this correspondence the press of the entire country has spoken, and it is the highest praise of Mr. Lincoln to say, as the press everywhere said, that he held his ground in every encounter with Mr. Douglas, as a debater and as an orator. He had truth on his side to be sure, which is always a great advantage, but neither in repartee nor in argument did Mr. Douglas for once confuse or confute his opponent./An Illinois correspondent of a Boston journal, said to be the President of an Illinois College,
wrote, after witnessing the joint debate at Galesburgh, as follows:
"The men are entirely dissimilar. Mr. Douglas is a thick-set, finely-built, courageous man, and has an air of self-confidence that does not a little to inspire his supporters with hope. Mr. Lincoln is a tall, lank man, awkward, apparently diffident, and when not speaking has neither firmness in his countenance nor fire in his eye.
"Mr. Lincoln has a rich, silvery voice, enunciates with great distinctness, and has a fine command of language. He commenced by a review of the points Mr. Douglas had made. In this he showed great tact, and his retorts, though gentlemanly, were sharp, and reached to the core the subject in dispute. While he gave but little time to the work of review, we did not feel that anything was omitted which deserved attention.
"He then proceeded to defend the Republican party. Here he charged Mr. Douglas with doing nothing for freedom; with disregarding the rights and interests of the colored man; and for about forty minutes he spoke with a power that we have seldom heard equalled. There was a grandeur in his thoughts, a comprehensiveness in his arguments, and a binding force in his conclusions, which were perfectly irresistible. The vast throng were silent as death; every eye was fixed upon the speaker, and all gave him serious attention. He was the tall man eloquent; his countenance glowed with animation, and his eye glistened with an intelligence that made it lustrous. He was no longer awkward and ungainly; but graceful, bold, commanding.
"Mr. Douglas had been quietly smoking up to this time; but here he forgot his cigar and listened with anxious attention. When he rose to reply he appeared excited, disturbed, and his second effort seemed to us vastly inferior to his first. Mr. Lincoln had given him
a great task, and Mr. Douglas had not time to answer him, even if he had the ability.".
Mr. Lincoln, on the evening before the Freeport debate, upon informing a few of his friends of the queries he was going to put to Mr. Douglas (including that, in reference to the power of the territorial legislature, notwithstanding the Dred Scott decision, to exclude slavery), was told by his friends that if he cornered Douglas on that question, the latter would surely "take the bull by the horns," and, making a virtue of necessity, assert his Squatter Sovereignty in defiance of the Dred Scott decision; "and that," remarked Mr. L.'s friends, "will make him Senator." "That may be," said Lincoln, and his large gray eye twinkled; "but if he takes that shoot, HE never can be President." All that has transpired since has but justified Mr. L.'s prediction. The Republicans, after the Supreme Court had made their decision, and Douglas had unreservedly endorsed it, saw the advantage they had over the Democrats in the canvass, for they could quote Dred Scott as a knock-down argument against Popular Sovereignty. Mr. Douglas, too, saw this, and said very little in his first speeches about popular sovereignty, but assumed the offensive, and attacked the Republican party, charging it with negro equality, &c. If he could have got through with that canvass without expressing his opinion as to the power of a territorial legislature over the subject of slavery-which opinion he had sedulously avoided expressing during all the Lecompton controversy in the Senate-he un
doubtedly could now have been able to reconcile all other differences of opinion between himself and the Southern Democracy. But Mr. Lincoln's logical mind was more eager to probe this gigantic sophistry, with which the American public were being cheated, than to be Senator. So, while Douglas was making ad captandum appeals to the prejudices of the people, Lincoln was weaving around him, slowly but surely, the web in which, at Freeport, he became entangled, and from which he has ever since been vainly endeavoring to extricate himself. +
Of this great contest the Philadelphia North American, always conservative and cautious, remarks:
"Stephen A. Douglas had ten times his education. Mr. Lincoln was mostly engaged in his profession, mastered amidst great discouragements, but practised with ominent success. He had some experience, however, as a general politician, besides serving for a while in the Illinois Legislature, and for two years in Congress. Mr. Douglas, on the other hand, a man of great native force, and possessing ten times the scholastic training of his rival, had been for full fifteen years in the very heart of national politics. Indeed, he is the strongest among the representatives of democracy under its northern phase, and we doubt if Toombs, Stephens, Benjamin, or Davis, bright luminaries of its southern hemisphere, can rank at all before him.
"With all these differences in political and other education, in a State that has been democratic ever since its admission into the 'happy family,' and in opposition to a popular dogma, Lincoln stumped Illinois against Douglas, and carried it. The speeches on both sides were many and able.
"Lincoln was, on several occasions, partly foiled or, at least, badly bothered. In most cases it seemed to