Abraham Lincoln/ Stephen Douglas Debate Site » Attractions

Abraham Lincoln/ Stephen Douglas Debate Site » Attractions

Abraham Lincoln/ Stephen Douglas Debate Site

Washington Square Park Ottawa IL 51350 Phone: 815-434-2737

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Photo of Abraham Lincoln/ Stephen Douglas Debate Site

The first Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debate was held in Ottawa’s historic Washington Square on August 21, 1858. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas stood in this beautiful park to deliver the first of seven senatorial debates. It was estimated that 20,000 spectators gathered to witness this famous debate. The site of the debate is marked by a boulder and plaque, and a fountain topped by bronze statues of the “Railsplitter” and “The Little Giant” forms the centerpiece of the beautifully landscaped square.

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