Lincoln-Douglas Debate Statues

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Statues

Field review by the editors.

Alton, Illinois

Life-size bronze statues of Senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Steven Douglas stand on the exact spot of their seventh and last debate on October 15, 1858. A crowd of 6,000 watched the two perform; an engraved plaque at the site claims that Douglas "was flat and unsatisfactory, unredeemed by a single sparkle of wit," while home-state hero Lincoln "took the charges of Douglas and scattered them to the winds."

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Statues.

The statues, by Jerry McKenna, are similarly Lincoln-skewed, with Abe portrayed as thoughtful and handsome while Douglas is an apoplectic pipsqueak with a pot belly. Unveiled on the anniversary of the debate in 1995, the steps leading to the statues have "Keep Off" warnings engraved into them, which seem archaic in this age of shameless pose-with-me Selfie statues.

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Lincoln-Douglas Debate Statues

Address:
Market St., Alton, IL
Directions:
Just north of Piasa St./US Hwy 67 at Market St. in a small park with its own parking lot.
Admission:
Free
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Historic Museum of Torture DevicesHistoric Museum of Torture Devices, Alton, IL - < 1 mi.
The Piasa BirdThe Piasa Bird, Alton, IL - < 1 mi.
Robert Wadlow, World's Tallest ManRobert Wadlow, World's Tallest Man, Alton, IL - 2 mi.
In the region:
Talking Ben Franklin at Money Museum, St. Louis, MO - 18 mi.

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June 25, 2017

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