Years ago a good friend shared a story …
As part of a program for local history teachers he attended a class at a local public university. During the course the teacher arrived at the Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates and began retelling one of the seminal campaign moments of antebellum American. Something struck my friend as odd; the teacher was referring to Frederick Douglass and not incumbent Illinois Senator Stephen “Little Giant” Douglass as being former one-term Congressman Abe Lincoln’s combatant. My friend rose his hand and kindly suggested the correction to which he was strongly rebuked. It’s a story which many may not find funny but it has stuck with me these many years later.
Just in time for the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial, the National Archives and the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia have partnered to offer an innovative program that looks at an alternative history, or one that a local university professor already knew.
William G. McGowan Theater
Thursday, February 22, 2018 – 7:00pm to 8:00pm / Reserve a Seat
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 and the Lincoln Forum, in commemoration of the bicentennials of Illinois statehood and the birth of Frederick Douglass.
All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.