Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#17: Lincoln-Douglas Square

As seen on the side of the road as you're driving into downtown Alton, you'll likely see statues of two men. Those people are Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. This was the site of the famous debate that took place on October 15, 1858. It was the seventh and final debate between the two men. Stephen Douglas was an incumbent Democrat who believed in state's rights, while a then-unknown Abraham Lincoln (a Whig-turned-Republican) argued that the United States can no longer survive on both slavery and free states.

More than 5,000 people showed up for this event at the time. Lincoln lost to Douglas in the Senate race that year. He would eventually beat Douglas for the 1860 Presidency. Hopefully, you know what happened as a result of Lincoln's win.

The statues as well as the .25-acre square serve as a tribute to the famous debate which got nation-wide attention. It is free all year round, and anyone is invited to visit any time. Usually on the Friday before Thanksgiving in November, there is a lighting for the Christmas tree which sits along the square.

The cake:

Located at the corner of Piasa and Broadway Streets, ALTON, IL, 62002
Cake artist: Genevieve Esson

UPDATE (9/4/2016): The cake is now on private property.

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