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The Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates: Known and Unknown

William G. McGowan Theater
Washington, DC

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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Join us for an unusual and lively performance featuring Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by George Buss) and political opponent Stephen A. Douglas (portrayed by Tim Connors) as they look back to their famous debates over slavery and equality in the 1858 U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois. Following the first debate, we will present the “Unknown Lincoln-Douglass,” an “imagining” of a debate between Lincoln (as portrayed by Buss) and Frederick Douglass (portrayed by Phil Darius Wallace). This is the Lincoln-Douglass debate that never happened—using words from their actual correspondence and commentary.  Historian Harold Holzer will moderate and bring Lincoln and Douglass face-to-face for an unprecedented confrontation.

Presented in partnership with the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia with support from the Illinois State Society, the Lincoln Forum, the Abraham Lincoln Association of Springfield IL, and the Pascal Collection, in commemoration of the bicentennials of Illinois statehood and the birth of Frederick Douglass.​

This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of United Airlines.


All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.