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  • The Lincoln–Douglas Debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. At the time, U.S. senators were elected by state legislatures; thus Lincoln and Douglas were trying for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois legislature. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery. In agreeing to the debates, Lincoln and Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois. Because both had already spoken in two—Springfield and Chicago—within a day of each other, they decided that their "joint appearances" would be held only in the remaining seven districts. The debates were held in seven towns in the state of Illinois: Ottawa on August 21 Freeport on August 27 Jonesboro on September 15 Charleston on September 18 Galesburg on October 7 Quincy on October 13 Alton on October 15

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