A Lincoln-Douglas Debates Book, Inscribed by Abraham Lincoln in Ink to His Old Law Partner Logan: A Great Rarity

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Beginning in August 1858, and going on through mid-October of that year, the incumbent Democratic Senator from Illinois met, in his campaign for reelection, on seven separate occasions with his Republican challenger - a lawyer and one-term Congressman - to debate, one on one, the momentous issue of the day: slavery. All in all, the very short Stephen Douglas and the very tall Abraham Lincoln shared a platform for some twenty-one hours – and when the speeches, the rebuttals, the rejoinders, the cheering, jeering and shouting were all over, Stephen Douglas was elected Senator and Abraham Lincoln became a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1860.

What happened in those prairie debates is part of American folklore – and certainly, they occasioned, in Lincoln, the most audacious rise from obscurity to political prominence in American history. The press, of course, was the means by which the drama of the debates, and Lincoln’s apotheosis, were chronicled: but it was the printing of Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephan A Douglas a few months later that kept the discussion, and the participants, before the public. Douglas was gearing up to take the Democratic nomination; Lincoln was bidding, improbably, for the Republican: not surprisingly, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates became a bestseller. Lincoln was given a hundred copies - by the Republican publisher Follet, Foster and Company – to distribute to friends. Today, 19 presentation copies are known to exist. Only four are signed in ink; this great rarity is one of them.

Stephen T. Logan was Lincoln’s second law partner, a close political associate and, in Lincoln’s words, one of his “most distinguished, and highly valued friends.”

Signed Book (“A. Lincoln”), Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephan A Douglas, in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858 In Illinois. Inscribed in ink on flyleaf to the Honorable S.T. Logan, "from his friend, A Lincoln." First edition, Columbus, 1860.

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Transcript

Hon. S. T. Logan
From his friend

A. LINCOLN