Exact Definition Edit
A series of debates around 1858 between Congressman Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. There were a total of 7 debates between August and October. Douglas was unbiased by slavery and had no interest really in it (basically like a free-soiler) but he used the debate to try to "expose" Lincoln as an abolitionist. Lincoln responded by saying he was not one and even went as far as to say congress did not have the authority to remove or prohibit slavery. He countered further by trying to pin Douglas to the wall with issues such as slavery in new territories. Neither of them had a decisive victory in the debates.
A good preview of the issues that dominate Lincoln's presidential career. Made Lincoln famous in the north and infamous in the South.