Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813–June 3, 1861) was an American politician and lawyer from Illinois. He was one of two Democratic Party nominees for president in the 1860 presidential election, which was won by Republican Abraham Lincoln. Douglas had previously defeated Lincoln in the 1858 United States Senate election in Illinois, known for the Lincoln–Douglas debates. During the 1850s, Douglas was one of the foremost advocates of popular sovereignty, which held that each territory should be allowed to determine whether to permit slavery within its borders. Douglas was nicknamed the “Little Giant” because he was short in physical stature but a forceful and dominant figure in politics.