The Department issued this 4-cent stamp, the first in a series of four commemorating the sesquicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln (1809), on the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The stamp was first placed on sale at Freeport, Illinois, on August 27, 1958.
The stamp's central design features a reproduction of a painting by Joseph Boggs that shows Lincoln addressing an outdoor crowd, Douglas standing behind him. The denomination designation "4c" appears in a large shaded oval at the lower left. A thin ribbon forms the border at the top, right, and bottom, and bears the inscription "Lincoln Douglas Debates" across the top, "1858 — 1958" at the right, and "United States Postage" at the bottom, all in dark Gothic.
Designed by Ervine Metzl, the stamp was printed by the rotary process, electric-eye perforated, and issued in panes of fifty stamps each. An initial printing of 120 million copies of the stamp was authorized.
Postal Bulletin (July 24, 1958)