National Archives, McGowan Auditorium
Constitution Avenue near 7th Street
Join us for an unusual and lively performance featuring Abraham Lincoln (played 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 (portrayed by George Buss) and Frederick Douglass (portrayed by Phil Darius Wallace). Though they met at the White House several times, Abraham Lincoln and African American leader Frederick Douglass never publicly argued about the crucial issues of slavery, freedom, and racial justice. This is the Lincoln-Douglass debate that never happened—using words from their actual correspondence and commentary, historian Harold Holzer moderates and brings Lincoln and Douglass face-to-face for an unprecedented confrontation.