The Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum

Experience The Turning Point and discover hidden history about one of America’s most iconic Presidents in Quincy, IL.

Visit the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum Today!

With five all-new interactive video exhibits, including The Turning Point and a fully renovated facility, make plans to visit today!

There is no cost for admission. All are welcome.

** NEW **
Attend our free History Happy Hour program series the third Thursday of each month.

History Happy Hour

A free ongoing program series


Thursday, March 21, 2024

Hidden History: Lincoln’s Rum Sweat (Speaker Iris Nelson)

Iris Nelson led an engaging discussion on a piece of little-known Lincoln history: the rum sweat treatment he received in Quincy following his debate with Stephen A. Douglas. Once the debate in Washington Park ended Oct. 13, 1858, Lincoln was “completely exhausted” and on the verge of collapse. He was initially taken to a local tavern — Saloon No. 9 in the 500 block of Hampshire — where he had a couple of beers with his supporters.

A rum sweat is an old folk remedy. It involves setting a bowl of rum on fire and absorbing the vapors while wrapped in heavy blankets. Profuse sweating results, which supposedly rids the body of impurities and restores vitality.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Slavery and Freedom in the Tri-States: A Case Study of The September 1853 Dedication of Canton’s Christian University (Speaker Dr. Scott Giltner)

Watch Video on Facebook

170 years ago, September 14th 1853, saw one of the greatest celebrations in the history of Northeast Missouri—the dedication of the Christian Church’s new university on the hilltop in Canton. Thousands were in attendance to celebrate the achievement, including numerous notable personages from Canton, Quincy, Hannibal, and the surrounding areas. But the religious, educational, and civic unity displayed in the celebration that day belies tremendous divisions amongst the speakers and the audience assembled that day in Canton regarding the issue of slavery. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Stephen A. Douglas, American Apostle or Apostate? (Speaker Reg Ankrom)

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When Stephen A. Douglas died on June 1, 1861, President Lincoln wept, and the nation mourned. The president ordered flags flown at half staff and black bunting hung at the White House and federal buildings. Dozens of U.S. Senators and Congressmen, Republican and Democrat, North and South, lamented Douglas’s death. In Illinois, legislators eulogized him and funded a towering granite obelisk to memorialize him. Newspapers across the nation regretted his loss, and residents from prairie to palatial urban homes posted his picture in windows. The honor of the man today is tarnished. Quincy’s Reg Ankrom, whose biography of the Little Giant has earned national praise, will examine Douglas’s fall from grace, its reasons, and its merits.

Tides of Freedom: Slavery and Emancipation in the Mississippi River Valley

During the Civil War

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Doors open at 5 p.m.; Talk to begin at 5:15 p.m.

Quincy, Illinois is not only famous for the sixth debate in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, but as a city in the Mississippi River Valley during the Civil War Era, it continues to be important and influential. Quincy holds a unique position during the Civil War because although it was a free state, just across the Mississippi slavery was in full swing. How did slavery affect the lives of people living in these border cities? What were their views on slavery? Did the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 change anything for these people and their communities?

Dr. J. Matthew Ward addresses this topic and much more on Thursday, April 18. Dr. Ward is the Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Quincy University. He received his PhD focusing on US 19th century history in 2021. His research focuses on American military occupation, political development, gender studies, and the Civil War.

There is no cost to attend.

Donations to the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum will be accepted.

Upcoming Speaker

Dr. J Matthew Ward

Assistant Professor of History, Quincy University


Monday through Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM.

Closed Sunday, most major holidays and during severe weather.

Also, by appointment using the form below.


There is no cost to visit the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum.

The Museum relies on the support of generous donors.

Please consider a donation of cash or personal check during your next visit.

Contact the Museum

Use this form for general inquiries or to request a special appointment time to visit the Museum.


128 N 5th St. Quincy, IL 62301

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