A Divided Nation
One Pivotal Debate
In 1858, slavery and popular sovereignty were the hot button topics facing the candidates for U.S. Senator from Illinois. On October 7, challenger Abraham Lincoln and incumbent Stephen Douglas met outside Knox College’s Old Main to debate, with fiery rhetoric and impassioned voices, their contrasting positions on these issues that were dividing our country.
Through historical commentary and dramatic readings of accrual debate transcripts, LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS AT GALESBURG: THE GREAT DEBATE examines this pivotal debate, its impact on the election and the long-term ramifications to the candidate’s careers. The program features interviews with Rodney Davis and Douglas Wilson, co-directors of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College and co-editors of a new book on all seven of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, as well as historians James McPherson, Bryon Anderson, and Michael Burlingame.
The program is a co-production of Knox College and WTVP 47, Public Television for Central Illinois.