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The Great Debate Between Lincoln and Douglas at Ottawa, August 21, 1858


August 24, 1858.

Twelve Thousand Present! The Dred Scott Champion Pulverized!!! Great Republican Demonstration in the Evening!! Powerful Speech of Hon. Owen Lovejoy! Bonfires -- Torch-Light Procession -- Great Enthusiasm!"

Aug. 24, 1858.

Correspondence of the Press and Tribune.

OTTAWA, Saturday Evening, Aug. 21, '58.

The Republicans of Ottawa are in high glee. The triumphant manner in which Lincoln handled Douglas this afternoon has filled them with spirit and confidence, while I write the town is alive with excitement; bonfires are blazing on every corner, and a magnificent torch light procession, accompanied by two bands of music, is parading the streets, and everywhere the cry is "Hurrah for Lincoln!" It is universally acknowledged that Stephen A. Douglas is a used up man -- that Lincoln, to use the expression of the crowd, "chawed him up" completely. I doubt if their is a Douglasite in town who witnessed the manner in which he idol was slain, who does not inwardly feel that the contest in this State is already practically ended -- that Douglas cannot be returned to the U.S. Senate, unless by an interposition of Divine Providence. The Little Giant is doomed.

After being so furiously charged upon, Douglas doubtless found Ottawa an unpleasant field to remain in, and consequently took the earliest train for Chicago. Lincoln remained here in company with Mr. Lovejoy, as the guest of Mayor or Glover, and immediately after supper a large deputation of Republicans, headed by a band of music, called and escorted them to the Court House. The building was brilliantly illuminated and an immense crowd of people, numbering at least 1500 persons, filled the yard in front. Lovejoy, who had promised to speak, was loudly called for, and mounting the steps of the Court House, divested himself of his cravat and collar, opened his vest and shirt, and went at it. The crowd, in view of the events of the day, felt finely, and so did Lovejoy. I never listened to a speech so full of eloquence and magnetic power.

When Lovejoy had finished, it was announced that a torch light procession would be immediately formed, and it is now parading the streets and forms a grand and imposing spectacle.

The Democracy held no meetings this evening, and got up no displays. The truth is, there is not sufficient enthusiasm among them, after the scoring which Old Abe has given their leader this afternoon, to get up a meeting. There are dismayed, disheartened and disgusted, and will not be able to recover themselves before the election.

Yours, &c.