Lincoln challenged Douglas, the nation’s most
devastating debater, to a series of seven debates, which the Senator accepted, and despite expectations of failure, Lincoln held his own. The most famous debate came at Freeport, Illinois, where Lincoln asked, “Mr. Douglas, if the people of a territory voted slavery down, despite the Supreme Court saying that they could not do so, which side would you support?" Douglas replied with his Freeport Doctrine, sealing his fate in the elections.