Brandon native took on Honest Abe

The debates, each three hours long, started on Aug. 21 and finished on Oct. 15, 1858. Douglas attempted to brand Lincoln as a dangerous Republican radical who was advocating racial equality. Whereas Lincoln concentrated on the immorality of slavery and attempts to restrict its growth.

The Democratic Party that met in Charleston in April, 1860, were deeply divided. Most delegates from the Deep South argued that the Congress had no power to legislate over slavery in their territory. The Northerners disagreed and won the vote. As a result the Southerners walked out of the convention and another meeting was held in Baltimore. Again the Southerners walked out over the issue of slavery. With only the Northern delegates left, Douglas won the nomination.

Southern delegates now held another meeting in Richmond and John Beckenridge was selected as their candidate. The situation was further complicated by the formation of the Constitutional Union Party and the nomination of John Bell of Tennessee.

Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election with with 1,866,462 votes (18 free states) and beat Douglas (1,375,157 - 1 slave state), John Beckenridge (847,953 - 13 slave states) and John Bell (589,581 - 3 slave states). Between election day in November 1860 and inauguration the following March, seven states seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Douglas died in June 1861, a mere two months after the bloody U.S. Civil War began.

Article courtesy of Spartacus Educational

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