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April 30, 1848.-LETTER TO E. B. WASHBURNE.
WASHINGTON, April 30, 1848.

Dear Washburne: I have this moment received your very short note asking me if old Taylor is to be used up, and who will be the nominee. My hope of Taylor's nomination is as high-a little higher than it was when you left. Still, the case is by no means out of doubt. Mr. Clay's letter has not advanced his interests any here. Several who were against Taylor, but not for anybody particularly, before, are since taking ground, some for Scott and some for McLean. Who will be nominated neither I nor any one else. can tell. Now, let me pray to you in turn. My prayer is that you let nothing discourage or baffle you, but that, in spite of every difficulty, you send us a good Taylor delegate from your circuit. Make Baker, who is now with you, I suppose, help about it. He is a good hand to raise a breeze.

General Ashley, in the Senate from Arkansas, died yesterday. Nothing else new beyond what you see in the papers.

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WASHINGTON, April 30, 1848. Dear Williams: I have not seen in the papers any evidence of a movement to send a delegate from your circuit to the June convention. I wish to say that I think it all-important that a delegate should be sent. Mr. Clay's chance for an election is just no chance at all. He might get New York, and that would have elected in 1844, but it will not now, because he must now, at the least, lose Tennessee, which he had then, and in addition the fifteen new votes of Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. I know our good friend Browning is a great admirer of Mr. Clay, and I therefore fear he is favoring his nomination. If he is, ask him to discard feeling, and try if he can possibly, as a matter of judgment, count the votes necessary to elect him.

In my judgment we can elect nobody but General Taylor; and we cannot elect him without a nomination. Therefore don't fail to send a delegate. Your friend as ever,




A bill for the admission of Wisconsin into the Union had been passed.

Mr. Lincoln moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed. He stated to the House that he had made this motion for the purpose of obtaining an opportunity to say a few words in rela

tion to a point raised in the course of the debate on this bill, which he would now proceed to make if in order. The point in the case to which he referred arose on the amendment that was submitted by the gentleman from Vermont [Mr. Collamer] in Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, and which was afterward renewed in the House, in relation to the question whether the reserved sections, which, by some bills heretofore passed, by which an appropriation of land had been made to Wisconsin, had been enhanced in value, should be reduced to the minimum price of the public lands. The question of the reduction in value of those sections was to him at this time a matter very nearly of indifference. He was inclined to desire that Wisconsin should be obliged by having it reduced. But the gentleman from Indiana [Mr. C. B. Smith], the chairman of the Committee on Territories, yesterday associated that question with the general question, which is now to some extent agitated in Congress, of making appropriations of alternate sections of land to aid the States in making internal improvements, and enhancing the price of the sections reserved; and the gentleman from Indiana took ground against that policy. He did not make any special argument in favor of Wisconsin, but he took ground generally against the policy of giving alternate sections of land, and enhancing the price of the reserved sections. Now he [Mr. Lincoln] did not at this time take the floor for the purpose of attempting to make an argument on the general subject. He rose simply to protest against the doctrine which the gentleman from Indiana had avowed in the course of what he [Mr. Lincoln] could not but consider an unsound argument.

It might, however, be true, for anything he knew, that the gentleman from Indiana might convince him that his argument was sound; but he [Mr. Lincoln] feared that gentleman would not be able to convince a majority in Congress that it was sound. It was true the question appeared in a different aspect to persons in consequence of a difference in the point from which they looked at it. It did not look to persons residing east of the mountains as it did to those who lived among the public lands. But, for his part, he would state that if Congress would make a donation of alternate sections of public land for the purpose of internal improvements in his State, and forbid the reserved sections being sold at $1.25, he should be glad to see the appropriation made; though he should prefer it if the reserved. sections were not enhanced in price. He repeated, he should be glad to have such appropriations made, even though the reserved sections should be enhanced in price. He did not wish to be understood as concurring in any intimation that they would refuse to receive such an appropriation of alternate sections of land because a condition. enhancing the price of the reserved sections should be attached thereto. He believed his position would now be understood; if not, he feared he should not be able to make himself understood.

But, before he took his seat he would remark that the Senate during the present session had passed a bill making appropriations of land on that principle for the benefit of the State in which he resided-the State of Illinois. The alternate sections were to be given for the purpose of constructing roads, and the reserved sections were

to be enhanced in value in consequence. When that bill came here for the action of this House-it had been received, and was now before the Committee on Public Lands-he desired much to see it passed as it was, if it could be put in no more favorable form for the State of Illinois. When it should be before this House, if any member from a section of the Union in which these lands did not lie, whose interest might be less than that which he felt, should propose a reduction of the price of the reserved sections to $1.25, he should be much obliged; but he did not think it would be well for those who came from the section of the Union in which the lands lay to do so. He wished it, then, to be understood that he did not join in the warfare against the principle which had engaged the minds of some members of Congress who were favorable to the improvements in the western country.

There was a good deal of force, he admitted, in what fell from the chairman of the Committee on Territories. It might be that there was no precise justice in raising the price of the reserved sections to $2.50 per acre. It might be proper that the price should be enhanced to some extent, though not to double the usual price; but he should be glad to have such an appropriation with the reserved sections at $2.50; he should be better pleased to have the price of those sections at something less; and he should be still better pleased to have them without any enhancement at all.

There was one portion of the argument of the gentleman from Indiana, the chairman of the Committee on Territories [Mr. Smith], which he wished to take occasion to say that he did not view as unsound. He alluded to the statement that the General Government was interested in these internal improvements being made, inasmuch as they increased the value of the lands that were unsold, and they enabled the government to sell the lands which could not be sold without them. Thus, then, the government gained by internal improvements as well as by the general good which the people derived from them, and it might be, therefore, that the lands should not be sold for more than $1.50 instead of the price being doubled. He, however, merely mentioned this in passing, for he only rose to state, as the principle of giving these lands for the purposes which he had mentioned had been laid hold of and considered favorably, and as there were some gentlemen who had constitutional scruples about giving money for these purchases who would not hesitate to give land, that he was not willing to have it understood that he was one of those who made war against that principle. This was all he desired to say, and having accomplished the object with which he rose, he withdrew his motion to reconsider.

May 21, 1848.-LETTER TO REV. J. M. PECK.


WASHINGTON, May 21, 1848.

Dear Sir: On last evening I received a copy of the "Belleville Advocate," with the appearance of having been sent by a private hand;

and inasmuch as it contained your oration on the occasion of the celebrating of the battle of Buena Vista, and is post-marked at Rock Spring, I cannot doubt that it is to you I am indebted for this courtesy.

I own that finding in the oration a labored justification of the administration on the origin of the Mexican war disappointed me, because it is the first effort of the kind I have known made by one appearing to me to be intelligent, right-minded, and impartial. It is this disappointment that prompts me to address you briefly on the subject. I do not propose any extended review. I do not quarrel with facts-brief exhibition of facts. I presume it is correct so far as it goes; but it is so brief as to exclude some facts quite as material in my judgment to a just conclusion as any it includes. For instance, you say, "Paredes came into power the last of December, 1845, and from that moment all hopes of avoiding war by negotiation vanished." A little further on, referring to this and other preceding statements, you say, "All this transpired three months before General Taylor marched across the desert of Nueces." These two statements are substantially correct; and you evidently intend to have it inferred that General Taylor was sent across the desert in consequence of the destruction of all hopes of peace, in the overthrow of Herara by Paredes. Is not that the inference you intend? If so, the material fact you have excluded is that General Taylor was ordered to cross the desert on the 13th of January, 1846, and before the news of Herara's fall reached Washington-before the administration which gave the order had any knowledge that Herara had fallen. Does not this fact cut up your inference by the roots? Must you not find some other excuse for that order, or give up the case? All that part of the three months you speak of which transpired after the 13th of January, was expended in the orders going from Washington to General Taylor, in his preparations for the march, and in the actual march across the desert, and not in the President's waiting to hear the knell of peace in the fall of Herara, or for any other object. All this is to be found in the very documents you seem to have used.

One other thing. Although you say at one point "I shall briefly exhibit facts, and leave each person to perceive the just application of the principles already laid down to the case in hand," you very soon get to making applications yourself,-in one instance as follows: "In view of all the facts, the conviction to my mind is irresistible that the Government of the United States committed no aggression on Mexico." Not in view of all the facts. There are facts which you have kept out of view. It is a fact that the United States army in marching to the Rio Grande marched into a peaceful Mexican settlement, and frightened the inhabitants away from their homes and their growing crops. It is a fact that Fort Brown, opposite Matamoras, was built by that army within a Mexican cotton-field, on which at the time the army reached it a young cotton crop was growing, and which crop was wholly destroyed and the field itself greatly and permanently injured by ditches, embankments, and the like. It is a fact that when the Mexicans captured

Captain Thornton and his command, they found and captured them within another Mexican field.

Now I wish to bring these facts to your notice, and to ascertain what is the result of your reflections upon them. If you deny that they are facts, I think I can furnish proof which shall convince you that you are mistaken. If you admit that they are facts, then I shall be obliged for a reference to any law of language, law of States, law of nations, law of morals, law of religions, any law, human or divine, in which an authority can be found for saying those facts constitute "no aggression."

Possibly you consider those acts too small for notice. Would you venture to so consider them had they been committed by any nation on earth against the humblest of our people? I know you would not. Then I ask, is the precept Whatsoever ye Iwould that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" obsolete? of no force? of no application?

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I shall be pleased if you can find leisure to write me.

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WASHINGTON, June 12, 1848. Dear Williams: On my return from Philadelphia, where I had been attending the nomination of "Old Rough," I found your letter in a mass of others which had accumulated in my absence. By many, and often, it had been said they would not abide the nomination of Taylor; but since the deed has been done, they are fast falling in, and in my opinion we shall have a most overwhelming, glorious triumph. One unmistakable sign is that all the odds and ends are with us-Barnburners, Native Americans, Tyler men, disappointed office-seeking Locofocos, and the Lord knows what. This is important, if in nothing else, in showing which way the wind. blows. Some of the sanguine men have set down all the States as certain for Taylor but Illinois, and it as doubtful. Cannot something be done even in Illinois? Taylor's nomination takes the Locos on the blind side. It turns the war thunder against them. The war is now to them the gallows of Haman, which they built for us, and on which they are doomed to be hanged themselves.

Excuse this short letter. I have so many to write that I cannot devote much time to any one. Yours, as ever,




In Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union, on the Civil and Diplomatic Appropriation Bill:

Mr. Chairman: I wish at all times in no way to practise any fraud upon the House or the committee, and I also desire to do

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