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Lincoln Douglas Debates Presented to Chancellor Gilliam to Commemorate the 125th Anniversary of UNC Greensboro

On September 13, Abraham Lincoln's Political Debates Between the Honorable Abraham Lincoln and the Honorable Stephen A. Douglas was presented to Chancellor Gilliam to commemorate the 125th anniversary of UNC Greensboro. The book was chosen by the members of the Walter Clinton Jackson Society at the Third Annual Members Choice event in April along with the other volumes that were added to the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives.

When published as a presidential campaign tool in April 1860, the collected speeches became a best-seller, and by the time of Lincoln’s official nomination, some 30,000 copies were in circulation.

The book is a first edition and was published in 1860. The debates were Lincoln's springboard to fame and feature the publisher's original embossed cloth and gilt engraved spine. The Lincoln–Douglas debates are unquestionably the most famous, and most important, of such confrontations to have been staged in the history of American politics.

Also known as the Great Debates of 1858, this series of seven debates between Lincoln and Douglas presaged the core issues that Lincoln would face when he became president. Although Illinois at the time was a free state, the main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery in the United States.

The text of the Lincoln–Douglas Debates was set from Lincoln’s own scrapbook of clippings of the candidates’ remarks as reported by the Chicago Press & Tribune and the Chicago Times. The book was presented to the Chancellor by Martin Halbert, Dean of University Libraries, Keith Gorman, Assistant Dean of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives and Leigh Seager, Chair of the Jackson Society.