Page images
PDF
EPUB

January [1], 1840.-CIRCULAR FROM WHIG COMMITTEE.

[blocks in formation]

Gentlemen: In obedience to a resolution of the Whig State Convention, we have appointed you the Central Whig Committee of your county. The trust confided to you will be one of watchfulness and labor; but we hope the glory of having contributed to the overthrow of the corrupt powers that now control our beloved country will be a sufficient reward for the time and labor you will devote to it. Our Whig brethren throughout the Union have met in convention, and after due deliberation and mutual concessions have elected candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency not only worthy of our cause, but worthy of the support of every true patriot who would have our country redeemed, and her institutions honestly and faithfully administered. To overthrow the trained bands that are opposed to us, whose salaried officers are ever on the watch, and whose misguided followers are ever ready to obey their smallest commands, every Whig must not only know his duty, but must firmly resolve, whatever of time and labor it may cost, boldly and faithfully to do it. Our intention is to organize the whole State, so that every Whig can be brought to the polls in the coming presidential contest. We cannot do this, however, without your cooperation; and as we do our duty, so we shall expect you to do yours. After due deliberation, the following is the plan of organization, and the duties required of each county committee:

(1) To divide their county into small districts, and to appoint in each a subcommittee, whose duty it shall be to make a perfect list of all the voters in their respective districts, and to ascertain with certainty for whom they will vote. If they meet with men who are doubtful as to the man they will support, such voters should be designated in separate lines, with the name of the man they will probably support.

(2) It will be the duty of said subcommittee to keep a constant watch on the doubtful voters, and from time to time have them talked to by those in whom they have the most confidence, and also to place in their hands such documents as will enlighten and influence them.

(3) It will also be their duty to report to you, at least once a month, the progress they are making, and on election days see that every Whig is brought to the polls.

(4) The subcommittees should be appointed immediately; and by the last of April, at least, they should make their first report.

(5) On the first of each month hereafter we shall expect to hear from you. After the first report of your subcommittees, unless there should be found a great many doubtful voters, you can tell pretty accurately the manner in which your county will vote. In each of your letters to us, you will state the number of certain votes both for and against us, as well as the number of doubtful votes, with your opinion of the manner in which they will be cast.

(6) When we have heard from all the counties, we shall be able to tell with similar accuracy the political complexion of the State. This information will be forwarded to you as soon as received.

(7) Inclosed is a prospectus for a newspaper to be continued until after the presidential election. It will be superintended by ourselves, and every Whig in the State must take it. It will be published so low that every one can afford it. You must raise a fund and forward us for extra copies,-every county ought to send fifty or one hundred dollars,—and the copies will be forwarded to you for distribution among our political opponents. The paper will be devoted exclusively to the great cause in which we are engaged. Procure subscriptions, and forward them to us immediately.

(8) Immediately after any election in your county, you must inform us of its results; and as early as possible after any general election we will give you the like information.

(9) A senator in Congress is to be elected by our next legislature. Let no local interests divide you; but select candidates that can succeed.

(10) Our plan of operations will of course be concealed from every one except our good friends who of right ought to know them.

Trusting much in our good cause, the strength of our candidates, and the determination of the Whigs everywhere to do their duty, we go to the work of organization in this State confident of success. We have the numbers, and if properly organized and exerted, with the gallant Harrison at our head, we shall meet our foes and conquer them in all parts of the Union.

Address your letters to Dr. A. G. Henry, R. F. Barrett, A. Lincoln, E. D. Baker, J. F. Speed.

January 20, 1840.-LETTER TO JOHN T. STUART.

SPRINGFIELD, January 20, 1840.

Dear Stuart: Yours of the 5th instant is received. It is the first from you for a great while. You wish the news from here. The legislature is in session yet, but has done nothing of importance. The following is my guess as to what will be done. The internal improvement system will be put down in a lump without benefit of clergy. The bank will be resuscitated with some trifling modifications. Whether the canal will go ahead or stop is very doubtful. Whether the State House will go ahead depends upon the laws already in force. A proposition made in the House to-day, to throw off to the Territory of Wisconsin about fourteen of our northern counties, decided: ayes, eleven; noes, seventy. Be sure to send me as many copies of the "Life of Harrison" as you can spare from other uses. Be very sure to procure and send me the "Senate Journal" of New York of September, 1814. I have a newspaper article which says that that document proves that Van Buren voted against raising troops in the last war. And, in general, send me everything you think will be a good "war-club."

The nomination of Harrison takes first-rate. You know I am

never sanguine; but I believe we will carry the State. The chance for doing so appears to me twenty-five per cent. better than it did for you to beat Douglas. A great many of the grocery sort of Van Buren men, as formerly, are out for Harrison. Our Irish blacksmith, Gregory, is for Harrison. I believe I may say that all our friends think the chance of carrying the State very good. You have heard that the Whigs and Locos had a political discussion shortly after the meeting of the legislature. Well, I made big speech which is in progress of printing in pamphlet form. To enlighten you and the rest of the world, I shall send you a copy when it is finished. I can't think of anything else now.

Your friend, as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

January 21, 1840.- LETTER TO JOHN T. STUART.

SPRINGFIELD, January 21, 1840.

Dear Stuart: A bill bringing on the congressional elections in this State next summer has passed the House of Representatives this minute. As I think it will also pass the Senate, I take the earliest moment to advise you of it. I do not think any one of our political friends wishes to push you off the track. Anticipating the introduction of this bill, I wrote you for your feelings on the subject several weeks since, but have received no answer. It may be that my letter miscarried; if so, will you, on the receipt of this, write me what you think and feel about the matter? Nothing new except I believe I have got our Truett debt secured. I have Truett's note at twelve months, with his brother Myers as security.

Your friend, as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

March 1, 1840.-LETTER TO JOHN T. STUART.

SPRINGFIELD, March 1, 1840.

Dear Stuart: I have never seen the prospects of our party so bright in these parts as they are now. We shall carry this county by a larger majority than we did in 1836, when you ran against May. I do not think my prospects individually are very flattering, for I think it probable I shall not be permitted to be a candidate; but the party ticket will succeed triumphantly. Subscriptions to the "Old Soldier" pour in without abatement. This morning I took from the post-office a letter from Dubois inclosing the names of sixty subscribers; and on carrying it to Francis, I found he had received one hundred and forty more from other quarters by the same day's mail. That is but an average specimen of every day's receipts. Yesterday Douglas, having chosen to consider himself insulted by something in the "Journal," undertook to cane Francis in the street. Francis caught him by the hair and jammed him back against a market-cart, where the matter ended by Francis being pulled away from him. The whole affair was so ludicrous that Francis and everybody else (Douglas excepted) have been laughing about it ever since.

I send you the names of some of the Van Buren men who, have come out for Harrison about town, and suggest that you send them some documents: Moses Coffman (he let us appoint him a delegate yesterday), Aaron Coffman, George Gregory, H. M. Briggs,Johnson (at Birchall's book-store), Michael Glynn, Armstrong (not Hosea, nor Hugh, but a carpenter), Thomas Hunter, Moses Pilcher (he was always a Whig, and deserves attention), Matthew Crowder, Jr., Greenberry Smith, John Fagan, George Fagan, William Fagan (these three fell out with us about Early, and are doubtful now), John Cartmel, Noah Rickard, John Rickard, Walter Marsh (the foregoing should be addressed at Springfield). Also send some to Solomon Miller and John Auth at Saulsbury; also to Charles Harper, Samuel Harper, and B. C. Harper; and T. J. Scroggins, John Scroggins, at Pulaski, Logan County.

Speed says he wrote you what Jo. Smith said about you as he passed here. We will procure the names of some of his people here and send them to you before long. Speed also says you must not fail to send us the New York journal he wrote for some time since. Evan Butler is jealous that you never send your compliments to him. You must not neglect him next time.

Your friend, as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

March 26, 1840.-LETTER TO JOHN T. STUART.

SPRINGFIELD, March 26, 1840.

Dear Stuart: In relation to the Kinzie matter, I can say no more than this, that the check was taken from the bank by you, and on the same day you made a note in our memorandum-book stating you had sent it by mail to Kinzie; but there is no memorandum concerning it at Irwin's. Kinzie has ceased writing about it, and consequently I have some hope that he has received it.

We have had a convention for nominating candidates in this county. Baker was put on the track for the Senate, and Bradford, Brown of the Island Grove, Josiah Francis, Darneille, and I for the House. Ninian was very much hurt at not being nominated, but he has become tolerably well reconciled. I was much, very much, wounded myself at his being left out. The fact is, the country delegates made the nominations as they pleased; and they pleased to make them all from the country, except Baker and me, whom they supposed necessary to make stump speeches. Old Colonel Elkin is nominated for sheriff. That 's right.

The Locos have no candidates on the track yet except Dick Taylor for the Senate. Last Saturday he made a speech, and May answered him. The way May let the wind out of him was a perfect wonder. The court-room was very full, and neither you nor I ever saw a crowd in this county so near all on one side, and all feeling so good, before. You will see a short account of it in the "Journal." LINCOLN.

Japh Bell has come out for Harrison. Ain't that a caution?

[ocr errors]

October 31, 1840.-LETTER TO W. G. ANDERSON.
LAWRENCEVILLE, October 31, 1840.

W. G. ANDERSON.

sor.

Dear Sir: Your note of yesterday is received. In the difficulty between us of which you speak, you say you think I was the aggresI do not think I was. You say my "words imported insult." I meant them as a fair set-off to your own statements, and not otherwise; and in that light alone I now wish you to understand them. You ask for my present "feelings on the subject." I entertain no unkind feelings to you, and none of any sort upon the subject, except a sincere regret that I permitted myself to get into such an altercation. Yours, etc.,

A. LINCOLN.

November 28, 1840.-RESOLUTION IN THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE.
In the Illinois House of Representatives, November 28, 1840, Mr.
Lincoln offered the following:

Resolved, That so much of the governor's message as relates to fraudulent voting, and other fraudulent practices at elections, be referred to the Committee on Elections, with instructions to said committee to prepare and report to the House a bill for such an act as may in their judgment afford the greatest possible protection of the elective franchise against all frauds of all sorts whatever.

December 4, 1840.-REMARKS IN THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE.

In the House of Representatives, Illinois, December 4, 1840, on presentation of a report respecting petition of H. N. Purple, claiming the seat of Mr. Phelps from Peoria, Mr. Lincoln moved that the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on the question, and take it up immediately. Mr. Lincoln considered the question of the highest importance, whether an individual had a right to sit in this House or not. The course he should propose would be to take up the evidence and decide upon the facts seriatim.

Mr. Drummond wanted time; they could not decide in the heat of debate, etc.

now.

Mr. Lincoln thought that the question had better be gone into In courts of law jurors were required to decide on evidence, without previous study or examination. They were required to know nothing of the subject until the evidence was laid before them for their immediate decision. He thought that the heat of party would be augmented by delay.

The Speaker called Mr. Lincoln to order as being irrelevant; no mention had been made of party heat.

Mr. Drummond said he had only spoken of debate.

Mr. Lincoln asked what caused the heat, if it was not party? Mr. Lincoln concluded by urging that the question would be decided

« PreviousContinue »