Serious, by Robert L. Crowe, 2006

The Ottawa, Illinois, debate between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln provides the dialogue and issues for this fictional discussion.

Price includes 2 scripts.


15 minutes

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Product Id: #275

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An excerpt …

(opening remarks)

MR. DOUGLAS: Mr. Lincoln and I appear before you for the purpose of discussing the leading political topics which now agitate the public mind. We are present here today for the purpose of having a joint discussion, as the representatives of the two great political parties of the State and Union, and upon the principles in issue between those parties.

MR. LINCOLN: We do not intend to imply the lack of knowledge or schooling of the audience today but remind you that that a few key events have brought us to this point in history. In 1820 the Missouri Compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state with the stipulation that all future northern states would be free. While not universally accepted, it did provide for 11 free states and 11 slave states. This compromise held until Judge Douglas, who was chairman of the Committee on Territories in the United States Senate, introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act which repealed the Missouri Compromise. It is my contention that this act, championed by Judge Douglas, opened the wounds of the nation and pushes us toward the specter of armed conflict between our own citizens.

(the slavery question has been with us since the inception of the country)

MR. LINCOLN: It is historically evident that the founders of our country never intended slavery as a permanent condition.

MR. DOUGLAS: I contend to the contrary. Many of our founders were slave holders and I don’t believe you can specify their intent just to serve the purposes of argument.

 MR. LINCOLN: The institution of slavery has existed for eighty years in some States, and yet it does not exist in some others. I account for it by looking at the position in which our fathers originally placed it -- restricting it from the new Territories where it had not gone, and legislating to cut off its source by the abrogation of the slave-trade, thus putting the seal of legislation against its spread. I think, that Judge Douglas, and those acting with him, have placed that institution on a new basis, which looks to the perpetuity and nationalization of slavery.  I believe if we could arrest the spread, and place it where Washington and Jefferson and Madison placed it, it would be in the course of ultimate extinction. 


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