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Fourth Debate  • Charleston, September 18

Following a rollicking parade to the county fairgrounds, Lincoln and Douglas met in front of an audience of 12,000 or more.  Lincoln declared that he was not “in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races,” but asserted “I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”  Douglas accused Lincoln of political pandering—changing his position depending on the audience.  Douglas also declared that the government could exist as the founders intended, with some states slave and others free.

Charleston Today
To commemorate the great Lincoln Douglas Debates of 1858, the community of Charleston completed the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum in 2000 on the Coles County fairgrounds, the original site of the historic event.  On the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Debate Museum, visitors can pose for a photo with the lift-size bronze sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, watch a film that tells the story of the Charleston debate, explore interactive displays and even try on Abe’s boots and hat!

© Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition • #1 Old State Capitol Plaza • Springfield, IL 62701 • 217.782.6817