Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas.
Springfield, July 29, 1858.
Dear Sir: Yours of the 24th in relation to an arrangement to divide time and address the same audiences is received; and in apology for not sooner replying, allow me to say that when I sat by you at dinner yesterday I was not aware that you had answered my note, nor certainly that my own had been presented to you. An hour after I saw a copy of your answer in the Chicago "Times," and reaching home, I found the original awaiting me. Protesting that your insinuations of attempted unfairness on my part are unjust, and with the hope that you did not very considerately make them, I proceed to reply. To your statement that "It has been suggested
194recently that an arrangement had been made to bring out a third candidate for the United States Senate, who, with yourself, should canvass the State in opposition to me," etc., I can only say that such suggestion must have been made by yourself, for certainly none such has been made by or to me, or otherwise, to my knowledge. Surely you did not deliberately conclude, as you insinuate, that I was expecting to draw you into an arrangement of terms, to be agreed on by yourself, by which a third candidate and myself "in concert might be able to take the opening and closing speech in every case".
As to your surprise that I did not sooner make the proposal to divide time with you, I can only say I made it as soon as I resolved to make it. I did not know but that such proposal would come from you; I waited respectfully to see. It may have been well known to you that you went to Springfield for the purpose of agreeing on the plan of campaign; but it was not so known to me. When your appointments were announced in the papers, extending only to the 21st of August, I for the first time considered it certain that you would make no proposal to me, and then resolved that, if my friends concurred, I would make one to you. As soon thereafter as I could see and consult with friends satisfactorily, I did
195make the proposal. It did not occur to me that the proposed arrangement could derange your plans after the latest of your appointments already made. After that, there was before the election largely over two months of clear time.
For you to say that we have already spoken at Chicago and Springfield, and that on both occasions I had the concluding speech, is hardly a fair statement. The truth rather is this: At Chicago, July 9, you made a carefully prepared conclusion on my speech of June 16. Twenty four hours after, I made a hasty conclusion on yours of the 9th. You had six days to prepare, and concluded on me again at Bloomington on the 16th. Twenty-four hours after, I concluded again on you at Springfield. In the mean time, you had made another conclusion on me at Springfield which I did not hear, and of the contents of which I knew nothing when I spoke; so that your speech made in daylight, and mine at night, of the 17th, at Springfield, were both made in perfect independence of each other. The dates of making all these speeches will show, I think, that in the matter of time for preparation the advantage has all been on your side, and that none of the external circumstances have stood to my advantage.
I agree to an arrangement for us to speak at the seven places you have named, and at your
196own times, provided you name the times at once, so that I, as well as you, can have to myself the time not covered by the arrangement. As to the other details, I wish perfect reciprocity, and no more. I wish as much time as you, and that conclusions shall alternate. That is all.
Your obedient servant,
P. S. As matters now stand, I shall be at no more of your exclusive meetings; and for about a week from to-day a letter from you will reach me at Springfield.
Mr. Douglas to Mr. Lincoln.
BEMENT, PIATT Co., ILL., July 30, 1858.
Dear Sir: Your letter dated yesterday, accepting my proposition for a joint discussion at one prominent point in each congressional district, as stated in my previous letter, was received this morning.
The times and places designated are as follows:
Ottawa,La Salle County…August 21, 1858
Freeport, Stephenson County…August 27, 1858
Jonesboro, Union County…September 15, 1858
Charleston, Coles County…September 18, 1858
Galesburg, Knox County…October 7, 1858
Quincy, Adams County…October 13, 1858
Alton, Madison, County…October 15, 1858
I agree to your suggestion that we shall alternately open and close the discussion. I will speak at Ottawa one hour; you can reply, occupying an hour and a half, and I will then follow for half an hour. At Freeport, you shall open the discussion and speak one hour; I will follow for an hour and a half, and you can then reply for half an hour. We will alternate in like manner in each successive place. Very respectfully,
your obedient servant,
Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Douglas.
SPRINGFIELD, July 31, 1858.
Dear Sir: Yours of yesterday, naming places, times, and terms for joint discussions between us, was received this morning. Although by the terms, as you propose, you take four openings and closes to my three, I accede, and thus close the arrangement. I direct this to you at Hillsboro, and shall try to have both your letter and this appear in the "Journal" and "Register" of Monday morning.
Your obedient servant,