"A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND": FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, OF THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES, 1860
(LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES) LINCOLN, Abraham. Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, In the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois. Columbus: Follett, Foster, 1860. Octavo, original blind-stamped brown cloth. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $8500.
First edition, first issue, of the most famous debates in American history, the event that transformed Lincoln into a national presidential candidates, in original cloth.
Running as a little-known candidate for the Illinois senatorship in 1858, Lincoln challenged incumbent and Democratic leader Stephen Douglas to a series of debates. The result was a memorable chain of lively arguments in front of cheering crowds. Though Lincoln lost the senatorial race, "he began collecting a scrapbook of his best speeches, particularly those from the just-concluded campaign against Douglas, for possible inclusion in a book. Assiduously pasting newspaper accounts of the debates into the scrapbook, Lincoln cast about for a publisher. Initial efforts failed, mainly because Lincoln wanted the book printed in Springfield, which had no local publishing or printing facilities. Eventually, however, the Columbus, Ohio, firm of Follett, Foster & Company showed interest, and he began preparing the first edition… Somewhat surprisingly for an attorney, Lincoln did not seek Douglas' permission to publish a book of their combined speeches, although Douglas was later given the last-minute opportunity—he declined—to make corrections to his own remarks" (Morris, 121). First issue, with no advertisements, no rule above the publisher's imprint on the copyright page, and with numeral 2 at the bottom of page 17. Monaghan 69. Wessen, Debates of Lincoln and Douglas, 91-106. Howes L338. Sabin 41156. See McMurtry, Different Editions (1934).
Text with light scattered foxing, title page with expert restoration to small corner loss not affecting text, expert restoration to spine ends of original cloth, scratch marks to cloth. An attractive copy.