Lincoln, Abraham. Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois; including the Preceding Speeches of Each, at Chicago, Springfield, etc.; also, the Two Great Speeches of Mr. Lincoln in Ohio, in 1859, as Carefully Prepared by the Reporters of Each Party, and Published at the Times of Their Delivery. Columbus: Follett, Foster, 1860. First edition, first issue, presentation copy, inscribed and signed by Lincoln. On the front free endpaper, in pencil, Lincoln writes in full: “To Hon. Jesse K. Dubois / with respects of / A. Lincoln.” (9 1/8 x 6 1/8 in.; 232 x 155 mm). “Correspondence” leaf including Lincoln’s letter to the Republican State Central Committee of Ohio acceding to the publication of his speeches, fourth leaf blank and genuine; prior coating of wax protectant expertly removed leaving Lincoln’s inscription and signature in fine condition, some foxing, a few lower fore-edge corners turned, library stamp effaced from rear blank. Publisher’s brown cloth, covers paneled in blind, spine lettered in gilt; worn in extremities, spine torn and repaired with minor loss, rear free endpaper excised. Lincoln received one hundred copies of the Debates from the publisher, a number of which he inscribed. Between Harry Pratt’s census of “Autographed Debates” in the Summer 1954 issue of Manuscripts and copies that have surfaced at auction since then, approximately twenty-five inscribed copies can either be located or assumed to have been inscribed by Lincoln. Virtually all the recorded examples, like the present copy, are signed in pencil, which Lincoln apparently adopted because the paper of the edition tended to feather the ink. Interesting to note, a copy cleanly signed and inscribed in ink to Dr. J. B. Fox was sold at Sotheby’s on 31 January 1990, lot 2528 in The Library of H. Bradley Martin for $187,000. Only a precious few of the recipients of inscribed copies of the Debates were as closely associated with Lincoln amid the presidential campaigns as was Jesse Kilgore Dubois. A close political ally of Lincoln, Dubois served with the future President in the Illinois state legislature. Both men changed their political affiliation from the Whig to the fledging Republican party. Dubois was elected Illinois State Auditor in 1856 and in that position, offered advice and guidance to Lincoln during the 1860 nominating convention and the subsequent campaign. The Lincoln-Douglas confrontations are without question the most famous and important series of debates in American history. They helped to galvanize sectional attitudes about slavery and although he lost the 1858 Illinois Senate campaign of which they were a part, the debates catapulted Lincoln towards the 1860 Republican presidential nomination. References: Howes L338; Monaghan 69; Monaghan, “The Lincoln Douglas debates,” in Lincoln Herald 45:2-11; Pratt, “Lincoln Autographed Debates, in Manuscripts 6:194-201; Sabin 41156 Provenance: Sotheby’s New York 16 June 1992, lot 248..