Reunion Tour: The Sixth Debate, Quincy
It was, wrote Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer of the Quincy Debate between U.S. Senate candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, “the nastiest of the campaign.” Lincoln advisors had told him he had been too defensive, too easy, on the former Quincyan in the first five debates. Only Quincy and Alton remained for Lincoln to hit Douglas hard..
Lincoln charged that Douglas’s actions, when considered with the recent Dred Scott decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, were not only advancing the extension of slavery into the territories but into the states, as well. As he had done in earlier debates, Douglas accused Lincoln of tailoring his view of slavery for the audience they addressed. For three hours, the two men traded shots in oratorical combat.
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Quincy once again will replay its role in the 1858 U.S. Senate contest with reenactments of portions of the debate. Mr. George Buss, who will portray Lincoln, and Mr. Tim Connor as Douglas, will recreate the colloquy of the day’s most proficient orators.
Quincy’s celebration will occur from October 10 through 13, 2008. It will be part of a statewide “Reunion Tour” of Lincoln and Douglas.
Buss has portrayed Lincoln for more than fifteen years in venues that include Gettysburg and Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He also played Lincoln in two of the seven C-SPAN broadcasts of the debate reenactments in 1994. Local actors Jack Inghram as Lincoln and Gary DeClue as Douglas performed the roles in Quincy. Buss is president of the Stephen A. Douglas Association of Chicago and vice president of the Lincoln Douglas Society. Honored for his work as Director of AVID for Freeport Public Schools, Buss is a doctoral candidate at National-Louis University.
Connor is director of theater and head coach of the Freeport High School speech team. He is active in theatrical and educational programs throughout his community. Connor also has portrayed Franklin D. Roosevelt in several programs of great speeches from history.
Abraham Jonas and Other Quincy Friends
Stephen A. Douglas
Debate Site Redevelopment
Why This Debate?
Stream Quincy’s Douglas Symposium