Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square — Alton, Illinois

When I decided earlier this year that I’d like to visit the sites of all seven of Lincoln’s debates with Stephen A. Douglas, I never thought I’d have opportunities to visit four of them within the next three months.

The seventh, and final, debate was held in Alton on October 16, 1858 before approximately 6,000 people in front of city hall.

For some bizarre reason, the city of Alton saw fit to engrave the words “KEEP OFF” into the steps of the monument. There was nobody around, and I’m sure I could have posed with the statues without hindrance, but when given the chance, I normally obey the law. So I KEPT OFF. It said nothing about chairs, however …

The monument is just about a hundred yards from the Mississippi. A garishly-painted riverboat casino presents an obnoxious backdrop.

Even the statues were sweating in the oppressive heat and humidity, so I didn’t stay long.

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