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Adam's Ale

by H.G. Brown

drama 

cast:  3m,0w

90 minutes

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The year is 1858, and we are present at the Lincoln and Douglass debates.  After a brief prologue, spoken by Mr. Lincoln, Senator Douglas takes the stage to argue that Lincoln and his “abolitionist party” threaten to wreck the Union with civil war, while his own policy of popular sovereignty leaves slavery where it rightly belongs, in the hands of the people.

Then Lincoln takes his turn, arguing that popular sovereignty is a pernicious policy that masks the true intent of slavery’s advocates to expand slavery into every part of the country, instead of limiting it to where it exists. He says the main issue is the divide between those who see slavery as wrong, and those who see it as a right.

Now, Frederick Douglass comes forward to counter both men – decrying the blatant racism of Senator Douglas, but also lamenting Lincoln’s own latent racism, while acknowledging as well his clearly expressed hatred of slavery. Abolition must and will come, but at what cost and what will follow?

An epilogue, spoken by Lincoln, closes the play with both a premonition of the impending conflict and a vision of the future.

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