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A Little-known Eyewitness Account From the 1858 Lincoln-douglas Senate Campaign

By Bryon Andreasen, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

A visibly inebriated Stephen Douglas and an awkward Abraham Lincoln, who punched his head through the top of a platform canopy, are two of the more arresting features from an obscure eyewitness account recalling the momentous 1858 United States Senate race between Lincoln and Douglas. Making the account even more interesting is the identity of the man who gave it—Joseph Smith III, the oldest surviving son of the founding Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr.

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