2. Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds - Lincoln vs Douglas

Map of Illinois depicting the Lincoln/Douglas Debate Series sites, including the location of debate number 3, which was held in Jonesboro, Illinois

On September 15, 1858, Steven A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln met at this location for the third formal debate in a series of seven. Lincoln was challenging Douglas for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat. This debate was the only one in southern Illinois and was attended by 1,500 people. Lincoln did not win the Senatorial seat; however, the popularity gained by Lincoln due to the media coverage propelled him into the presidential campaign, which he won in 1860. The life sized statues of Lincoln and Douglas that you see here were donated by the City of Jonesboro in 2008 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the third debate. In 1938, the city of Jonesboro sold this site to the U. S. Forest Service to be maintained as part of the Shawnee National Forest.