The Lincoln-Douglas Society of Freeport, Illinois

The Sokup Lecture Series

Richard F. Sokup (1935-2004) began portraying Stephen A. Douglas in reenactments in 1958 while a student at Knox College. He continued in that role the rest of his life, earning him the nickname “The Senator.”

Upon his passing, a legacy from his estate was given to the Lincoln-Douglas Society. The decision of the Society’s Board of Directors was to utilize that legacy to fund a lecture series in Sokup’s honor that is held in odd-numbered years.

The purpose of the series is to host lectures by eminent scholars on matters related to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Lincoln or Douglas and the era in which they lived, as well as promotion of political debate in a democratic society.

Past presenters of lectures in the Sokup Series:

  • 2005 – Frank Williams
  • 2007 – Harold Holzer
  • 2009 – Vernon Burton
  • 2011 – Antonio Delgado
  • 2013 – John F. Marszelak
  • 2015 – Craig L. Symonds
  • 2017 – Edna Green Medford