Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter on July 24, 1858 to Senator Stephen Douglas asking him to meet to debate questions in each of the Congressional Districts. It was Douglas that suggested Freeport, Ottawa, Galesburg, Quincy, Jonesboro and Charleston.
During their Freeport debate, Lincoln confronted Douglas about popular sovereignty and it's contradiction with the Dred Scott decision. Douglas responded.......with what became know has his Freeport Doctrine.
On June 3, 1903 at 9:30 in the morning before a large crowd, a boulder with a bronze plaque attached was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt at the courthouse. The plaque reads:
Within this block was held the second joint debate
in the senatorial contest between
ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND STEPHEN DOUGLAS
August 27, 1858
"I am not for the dissolution of the Union
under any circumstance." - Douglas
"This government cannot endure permanently
half slave and half free." - Lincoln
Erected by Woman's Club, 1903
June 3, 1903