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The Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates: Known and Unknown
  • Date: Thursday, February 22, 2018
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: William G. McGowan Theater, Washington, DC

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 George Buss) and Frederick Douglass (portrayed by Phil Darius Wallace).  Though they met at the White House several times, Abraham Lincoln and African-American leader Frederick Douglass never publicly argued the crucial issues of slavery, freedom, and racial justice. 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.

Registration is currently at capacity. Sign up below to join the waitlist.

 
All public programs at the National Archives are free and streamed live online via the National Archives’ YouTube channel. Reservations are recommended; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program. Use the Special Events entrance on the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. Click here for more information on getting to the National Archives and parking.

Live captioning will be available online and in the William G. McGowan Theater. If you require an alternative or additional accommodation for an event (such as a downloadable transcript or a sign language interpreter), please send an email to public.program@nara.gov or call 202.357.5000 in advance.