Page:Lincolndouglas2184linc.djvu/26

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vi
PREFACE

by each participant, both before and after the set debates; some have added explanatory footnotes; but none have attempted to reproduce the local color from the press of the day. In this edition an effort is made by newspaper extracts and by reminiscences to give a picture of the crude though virile setting in this contest of two men so evenly matched in polemical power, yet so unlike in temperament and in physical appearance. Only those speeches are here reprinted which were delivered at the seven set meetings constituting in reality the Great Debate. The gist of the prior speeches is woven into the introduction.

The Columbus, Ohio, edition of 1860 is followed in this text, but the speeches as there reprinted have been compared with the originals—those of Lincoln with the files of the Chicago Press and Tribune, and those of Douglas with the Chicago Times—and the changes which the Columbus edition made in the official reports are here shown in the footnotes; and there has been also incorporated in the text the numerous interruptions of the speeches by the audiences. In the present edition, the largest type indicates the editor's explanatory comments; the next largest shows quotations, the source being indicated at the head; and the smallest size of type denotes quoted matter within a quotation.

The descriptions and comments reprinted from the newspapers of the day are by no means exhaustive; fully one-half the matter originally collected was rejected for lack of space; but much of it was immaterial, being made up of denunciation and attempts to belittle the other side, predictions of victory, and general comment, which threw no light on the events of the debate. The amount of reminiscential matter was reduced by the same test. Such illustrations were selected as lent themselves to