Document: James H. McDaniel to Abraham Lincoln, October 1, 1858

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Abraham Lincoln Papers


Document: James H. McDaniel to Abraham Lincoln, October 1, 18581

1 Despite the demands of political campaigning, Lincoln still had a law practice to attend to in the Fall of 1858. In the case of Correll et al. v. McDaniel et al., the plaintiffs, daughters of William McDaniel, sued to overturn the will of their father because its terms left land to his sons and grandsons, but not to his daughters. Hence, the plaintiffs argued the incompetence of the testator. Lincoln and Herndon were retained by the defendants, but in the trial in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, the jury found for the plaintiffs. An appeal was taken to the Illinois Supreme Court in December 1857, where the decision of the lower court was reversed and the case remanded. The case dragged on until 1863, but was eventually decided in favor of McDaniel.

Dawson Ill Oct 1 1858

Dere Sir

They Have Avertised to commenced that Suit of ours at this term of court. the Shiriff has not given us notice as yet I dont no whether he has to or not. please to Send us word Immediately what we had better do and if you can at tend to it for us and if you cant who else we had better Employ I dont hardly think they will commence it but we had better be ready

Yours Verry respectfully

James H McDaniel

please to Send word by first mail

Document: Hawkins Taylor to Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 18581

1 Taylor was an Iowa politician who had served in the state legislature.

Keokuk Oct 3rd 58

My Dear Lincoln

I with many others of your old Illinois friends feel great anxiety in your success in the great struggle now going on between Slavery and freedom not only in the State of Illinois but in the whole Union. Of all the enemies of Freedom probably none has done so much harm as the Greatest of Demagogues -- Douglass To him and him alone are we indebted for the Kansas firebrand The late Compromisis had settled all [former?] troubles and they had been brot about by such men as Webster & Clay such as we will not have soon again And by their compromise evry inch of Territory held by the U. S. was either dedicated to freedom or Slavery All were satisfied. No, not all Douglass wanted to be President. he was living in a free State he was a western man he was a ‘Little Giant” he felt secure in the Northern & Western Democracy. he repealed the Missouri restriction against the extension of Slavery expicting by that means to secure the South, he failed so as the Presidency was concerned but he succeeded in arraying the South in favour of the extention of Slavery and now he is trying to get the North to submit to the New demand of Slavery. Will he succeed. God forbid. It appears that as the canvass progresses he (Douglass) discovers that he has attempted more than he contended for after having fully endorsed the Dred Scott decission he now attempts in a sneaking manner to nullify that decission by one of his characterized dodges but I must confess this last one dodge to be the most silly one that he has made. There is no use of Police regulations if the Dred Scott Decission is law to establish Slavery in the Territory Does not the President appoint the Govenor the Judges, the Marshal evry Post Masters, Mail agents &c &c. Now suppose that the Territorial legislature was to pass laws against Slavery does not evry one know that the Govenor would veto them. Does not evry one know that such Judges as [Lecomp?] & Cato would pronounce them unconstitutional & void, does not evry one know that the Judges makes their own Clerks and does not evry one know that these Clerks make out the list of U. S. Grand Jurors & Pettit Jurors and of any of them Jurors als do not attend these places are filled by the Marshal and does not evry one know that these Jurors will all be proslavery men and ready and willing to do the bidding of their masters and put through any one who may in the least interfere with Slavery in the Territory Douglass knows this and so do his Southern Masters

I rejoice that you have so fully sustained the confidence of your friends in this contest

Judge Douglass told a friend (his brother Judge Granger)2 before he left Washington for the canvass in Illinois that he would rather meet & canvass with any other two men in Illin[ois] than “Abe Lincoln” and I have no doubt that he would now be willing to swap you off for any six that could be named

2 Julius N. Granger was married to the sister of Stephen A. Douglas.

I expect to see and hear you at Quincy Illinois3

3 Lincoln and Douglas debated at Quincy on October 13.

Yours truly

Hawkins Taylor

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]


4 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

Hawkins Taylor


Document: E. Stover to Abraham Lincoln, October 5, 18581

1 For earlier correspondence, see Stover to Lincoln, September 1 and September 2, 1858.

Cherry Grove, Ill

Oct 5th 1858

Dear Sir --

I had stated in my letter to you that I had sent the same interogatories to S. A. Douglass that I sent to you-- He never answered them at all. I am much obliged to you, for your plain answers.2 I will say that they were satisfactory. I have been using them, and at the same time stating that Douglass was afraid to commit himself to me--

2 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

I will inform you just how things stand in Carroll Co -- and you can rely on my statements for I can go pretty near it, in the first place the vote will not be so heavy as in (56) all that were Republicans then, will vote for our candidate for Legislature this fall except two that I know of

The American vote in (56) was about 90 --, we will get four fifths of them; take it alltogether our majority will be about the same as in (56) about 850 --, you are aware that we are connected with Jo Daveiss Co-- I am informed that they will at least tie our opponants there, so there is no question about our Representatives-- In regard to the State Senator we are all right. we have a good Man. We will try and get as heavy a vote for the State ticket as we can-- You will hear from us in November. And you will find that it will be as well as I have stated--

Yours Truly

E. Stover

Document: Geneseo Illinois Republican Club to Abraham Lincoln, October 11, 18581

1 This letter was enclosed in Norman B. Judd to Lincoln, October 15, 1858.

Geneseo Henry Co Oct 11, 1858

Dear Sir -- The Geneseo Republican Club respectfully represent that Stephen A Douglass is to address the Citizens of Henry Co on the 28th at this place, and of Rock Island Co at R I on the 29th Inst, and that the most extraordinary efforts are being made by the Douglass party to elect a Representative from this (the 28th) Dist. On the other hand it cannot be denied, but that general apathy and an utter want of enthusiasm pervades the Republican Party. Our Candidate is said to be a very worthy man & popular at home (Mercer County) but he is wholly unknown to us and for some reason or other we can not obtain his consent to visit us nor even get a reply to an invitation for him to meet Judge Kellogg2 here this week.

2 William Kellogg

Our “Republican Paper” has gone into the hands of the Enemy and is quietly tho’ thoroughly at work for Douglass-- We have but a few Buchanan men in this Dist & they are only so on a/c of the Loaves & Fishes--”

In /56 the [Repubicl?] were awake and carried this County handsomely-- Last year we fell on sleep and were badly beaten on County Tickets and we still seem to sleep on. That is to say the masses are asleep and need your voice & presence to wake them up. It is thought by our best judges that Judge Gilman & Judge Gould will come out of Rock Island & Mercer Counties into Henry Even, and that Henry Co must decide the battle. Hence the importance of your coming. We will make all necessary arrangements for you and do all in our power to render your visit of great interests to the cause and also of comfort to yourself.

I shall be very happy to consider you as my Guest and to make my house your home so long as you can tarry here; unless your inclinations are to stop at Hotel--

Respectfully --

J W Hosford

Prest. Gen. Rep Club.

Document: James G. Wright to Abraham Lincoln, October 11, 1858

Naperville, Ill. October 11th 1858.

Honl Sir

I would beg to call your attention to a pamphlet containing what is purported to be the speeches delivered by Judge Douglass & yourself in debate at Charleston, but if I am not much mistaken your speech is so badly mutilated that it is well calculated to work a great injury to yourself & our party’s cause, there are about 10.000 of this pamphlet in this place for Circulation, & I fear will work on the unwary the Democrats are untiring & claiming that this version of your speech is must be correct from the fact that you have never taken the trouble to assert its falsity. You have doubtless seen the pamphlet I refer to, not only is it mutilated but your speech is in small poor type while Douglass’ is in good clear & large, the pamphlet has doubtless issued from the Times office Chicago but contrary to an Established rule with all printers to endorse all their work with their names or the names of the office where the work was done, there is neither one nor the other on this damnable document. Enough to stamp it in the minds of all honest men with the little it deserves.

We look upon this here abouts as the most shameful and dishonest imposition & fraud, yet Committed by our unscrupable opponents, & respectfully suggest that it would be well for you in your next debate to call particular attention that they are Either affraid to or else cannot either speak or print the truth

Most Respfy Your Obd Sevt

Jas. G. Wright

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

J. G. Wright

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]




10524 0

1861 -- 12,628,800 - 67





Document: Henry C. Whitney to Abraham Lincoln, October 14, 1858

(Strictly Confidential)

Chicago Oct. 14, 1858.

Dear Sir

Of course you have seen or heard about the extensive colonization schemes that are now actually being carried out in various parts of the State1 I think that the majority of the illegal voting of that kind will be carried on in the out of the way precincts where our people are not up to matters of that kind & do not know well how to resist them:-- they ought to be posted up by circulars expressly prepared for the purpose by the State Executive Com. teaching them their whole duty & how to do it in full & [unmistakeable?] language which circular should be sent to the leading men of every precinct no matter how small it is:-- also the leading men of each County should visit every precinct & post up the people on this thing:-- if such course is not taken the frauds will be immense:-- Judd2 is at present out of the City I have been to see him & shall go again on this subject:-- In the meanwhile urge the necessity upon every one you see of posting up the Republicans in the Rural Districts as to what they ought to do & how to do it:-- I have no doubt that they wou even in the least populous districts would act vigorously & resolutely if they know just what to do

1 Whitney suggests the
possible employment of illegal, non-resident voters by the Democrats at the forthcoming election.

2 Norman B. Judd

Your Friend

H C Whitney.--

Document: Nathaniel G. Wilcox to Abraham Lincoln, October 21, 1858

Rushville Octr. 21, 1858.

My Dear Sir:

I send you herewith a paper containing the 2nd day’s proceedings of the “Philad Whig Convention” of 1848.

I was not [presant?] yesterday1 when you alluded to my course of action in said convention in contrast to that of “Singleton’s”,2 or I should have most cheerfully corroborated the statement I am informed you made from the stand, -- and I did not know that you made any mention of my name until I was so informed by a gentleman who was riding in my wagon some miles from town on my way home -- and as I had about a dozen miles to ride -- was obliged to leave before you closed.

1 For an account of Lincoln’s October 20, 1858 speech at Rushville, see Collected Works, III, 329.

2 James W. Singleton was a politician and lawyer from Western Illinois. He began his political career as a Whig, but by 1858 was a Democrat.

on reading the proceedings carefully you will not fail to notice the fact that on the vote being taken by “Ayes & Noes” on the first resolution reported by “the Committee of States” -- that Singleton voted with all the balance of our delegation -- to reject said resolution -- (9 votes) and that on the two ballots taken for President only (8 votes) were cast. I declined to vote, (altho my name was called by the sect twice on each vote) Smith, Singleton & Coffing -- voted for Clay.

Success to you, and the good cause;

in haste, Yours Truly

Greene Wilcox

Document: J. Rowan Herndon to Abraham Lincoln, October 25, 18581

1 J. Rowan Herndon had been a friend of Lincoln’s in New Salem. He was a cousin of Lincoln’s law partner, William H. Herndon.

Columbus Adams Coty Oct 25 1858

Friend Lincoln i send the few lines to let you know that Old Row is yet alive and up and a going i am still fiting in the Old Whig Ranks as i Even to fight i have found No Change in you as yet and i hope Nev unless for the Betor Now abe i Will tell you what we are Doing for you in this town we Will give you a mjority of 2 to 1 and that is hard to Beat I have counted all the legal votes and you get 2 to 1 Sertin and some Dutfull the duglasites are stedfast the Lincolites is the same way But going the floting vote i herd a Demacrat say that iff they sent Dug to Congress that he had No Party to goe with that the Bucks2 would Not Save him and the Rep would Not and that he would Be By him self and would Be of N use and he would vote for Lincon thar is may such in this county iff the fact was known now Abe I want to see you and would have Com to Macob but for my buisness old S Renolds speaks in the higst terms of you But the Dugs dont like him i mus close

2 Democratic supporters of the Buchanan Administration

J R Herndon

N B I am practice Law

Document: John J. Crittenden to Abraham Lincoln, October 27, 18581

1 Lincoln’s
response is in Collected Works, III, 335-36. To Crittenden he wrote that to his defeat by Douglas “the use of your name contributed largely.”

Frankfort -- Octr: 27th 1858.

My Dear Sir,

I have just been apprised that a paragraph in the St: Louis Republican (I think, that is the paper) contains some allusion to our private correspondence, and assumes to call on your for it’s publication.

This has given me much pain & surprise. I do not beleive that you would ever have entertained a suspicion that I was capable of betraying that correspondence, & of causing or prompting, in any way, the paragraph above mentioned-- But yet I desire to assure you that I have had no act or part, agency or privity in respect to it, or its publication-- It is wholly unauthorised by me. I should have considered myself dishonored, if I could ever have consented to, or permitted any use to be made of our correspondence, that would have been injurious or embarrassing to you--

I hope that this will be satisfactory to you -- and, furthermore, I hope that you will not permit this publication to annoy you, half as much as it annoys me.

I am,

Very Truly &


yr’s &c

J J Crittenden

Document: Chester P. Dewey to Abraham Lincoln, October 30, [1858]1

1 Chester P. Dewey had covered the Lincoln-Douglas Debates for the New York Post. His letter indicates the national attention that Lincoln had drawn in his campaign against Douglas.

Rochester N. Y. Oct 30.

Dear Sir

My corresponding duties ceased in Illinois last week. & I came home a few days ago, & am here before going to New York. I send you Seward’s recent speech here as being a sort of key note to his present & future position.

I find that the N. Y. Republicans who were in love with Douglas, are rather more inclined to take a different view now. They find much to admire & praise in your conduct of the campaign & be assured that you have made hosts of warm friends at the East. God grant you come out ahead on Tuesday

Respy Yours

C. P. Dewey.

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]


2 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

C. P. Dewey


Document: Henry P. H. Bromwell to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 18581

1 Henry P. H. Bromwell was an attorney and Republican activist in Charleston, Illinois.

Charleston Ills., Nov. 5th 1858.

Dear Sir, --

The Returns are in and we find ourselves beaten as to the main object of this strife, and though I doubt not you are overwhelmed with letters, I hope this may not be unwelcome to you, though cannot bear congratulation upon a complete success in the extraordinary canvass you have just terminated. I know it would be impossible for me to feel worse over any political defeat whatever; for beside the general interest I took in the question at issue I had come to regard you personally with feelings such as I never had towards any man except Henry Clay, and the disappointment and chagrin I feel are very bitter. Yet you have won a victory for the popular voice of Illinois has sustained Lincoln, and when we look at all the states that have voted, we see that every free state has sustained you. Douglas gets to the senate on the bare circumstance of unequal districts in the State, in spite of the popular vote.

But you come out of the fight with Laurals as the champion of those principles for which the free states contend, with the applause of the whole Republican Host.

The way seems paved for the presidential victory of 1860. Douglas can do no more than he has done if he were a candidate for the presidency. You have shown that you can carry the vote of Illinois under the most unfavorable circumstances, and as your Defeat is only due to unfortunate circumstances by which he has had an unfair advantage, I look with anxiety to the nominations of 1860 which will give you a chance upon a wider field to meet our enemies where they Cannot skulk behind gerymandered District lines2 to deprive you of the fruits of honest victory.

2 Bromwell refers to the fact that the boundaries of Illinois’s legislative districts had not been redrawn since 1852, and though gerrymandering was not strictly the issue, old district boundaries probably favored Democratic candidates for the legislature. Furthermore in two statewide elections in 1858, the Republicans won popular majorities. However thirteen senate seats (eight of them held by Democrats) carried over and were not contested in 1858; hence Lincoln needed more than a marginal Republican victory for his Senatorial candidacy to be successful.

We here are Determined to stand at our guns, and will try to disabuse the public mind of the false impression that our Cause is lost or endangered by this loss of the legislature of Ills.

I assure you I feel the deepest regret at the Defeat in the Legislature and I could not help writing you this, which is the only way I can vent my feeling at present. But though it is hard to bear Remember that the Republicans of this Region glory in you yet & will not rest while anything remains to do to that they can do to uphold you.

Yours Truly

H. P. H. Bromwell

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

H. P. H. Bromwell


3 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

Document: William H. Hanna and John H. Wickizer to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 18581

1 The signers of this letter practiced law in Bloomington, Illinois.

Bloomington Ill

Novr 5, 1858

Dear Sir,

The indications are I suppose that we are beat. But I want to say to you that we feel that we have gained much, and that you have planted the seed that will germinate & ripen in to glorious fruit.

The Republicans of this County are a great deal more than satisfied with the manner & great ability with which you have conducted the Canvass.

You took the right ground in the beginning and have maintained it to the satisfaction & gratification of every reading & thinking man.

You have done more. You have made a national reputation that I would much rather have this day, than that of S A. Douglass, or any other Locofoco of them all.

I give you my hand on the next great fight and when it comes shall not fail to be with you.

Yours truly

W H Hanna

J. H. Wickizer

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

W. H. Hanna.


2 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

Document: Horace White to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 1858

Chicago Nov 5 1858

dear friend:

I don’t think it possible for you to feel more disappointed than I do, with this defeat, but your popular majority in the state will give us the privilege of naming our man on the national ticket in 1860 -- either President or Vice Pres’t. Then, let me say assure you, Abe Lincoln will shall be an honored name before the American people. I am going to write an article for the Atlantic Monthly to further that object.

Your friend in distress

Horace White

I believe you have risen to a national reputation & position more rapidly than any other man who ever rose at all.

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Horace White


1 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

Document: William McNeely to Abraham Lincoln, November 6, 18581

1 William McNeely was an old New Salem friend of Lincoln. Lincoln took the case. See Collected Works, III, 343.

Petersburg Ills Nov. 6/ 58

Dear Sir

I am Administrator of the Estate of Lewis Grathoff deceased (Letters of Administration Recd on or about the 3 day of January 1857) the Tonica & Petersburg Rail-Road Co. laid in a claim of 2 Shears vs. said estate I refused to admit it, they sued & gained it in the Probate Court I took an Appeal to the Curcuit Court.

Walker of Havana was my council & Smith of Jacksonville for the Tonica & Petersburg Co. It was tried by the court by Judge Harrit no Jury Smith asked for it to be taken under advisedment & Decided at Beardstown Court which came off a few days ago in concequnce of Some Books which could not be got Here, Walker writes me on the 23 inst from Havana the case was Decided in my favor & that Smith will Probablely take an Appeale to the Supreame court & that I will see to the case as it is doubtful about his being in attendence there this winter, Know I wish you to If this appeal should be taken I wish you to attend to it for me If you cane not be there get some suitable Lawer to do it for & I will make it all right

please drop me a line So I may know you have Received this; your old friend as eaver

Wm McNeely

Document: David Brier to Abraham Lincoln, November 7, 1858

Bloomington Nov 7th 1858

Dear Sir

I have felt a strong impulse for some days (to which I now yield) to drop you a line. Although we are sadly in want of Consolation ourselves & with you are overwhelmed by defeat to me more trying that any since that of Mr Clay in 1844

I felt then as I do now personal regard for the leader mingled with desire for the ascendency of political truth, but with us (at least with many of our party) the present rises as much above the past as moral right above dollars & cents

The extent and arduous labor performed by you as our Captain & one whom we expected to Crown as victor makes it at least our duty to say that from all quarters & from all classes of our friends comes the verdict, that you have done all that zeal & talents could do, to open the eyes of the blind. And the gist of this letter is to say that in your Canvass you have (except in success) more than realized the most sanguine expectation of the party. You stand at this moment amongst men of sense as much higher than Douglass mentally as physacally. I find this by conversing with quiet men who, listened calmly

I say this not to flatter you -- but because no other reward for this present office (but a good conscence) it may be some Consolation to know that our defeated forces are proud of their Commander as if success had crowned us. I do not expect any answer to this as you are likely overwhelmed with such epistles and we can talk it over when we meet. Our county vote will gratify you as well as us, and we must think that we Cultivated our part of the Vineyard better than some of our Neighbours did.

Your Friend

David Brier

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

David Brier


1 Lincoln’s reply has not been located.

Document: David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, November 7, 1858


Novr 7, 1858.

Dear Lincoln --

The result in Illinois, has both astonished and mortified me beyond measure There is one thing certain and that is that you have nothing to blame yourself for-- You have made a noble canvass -- (which, if unavailing in this state) has earned you a National reputation, & made you friends every where-- I doubt whether among your friends in Illinois any one feels your defeat more deeply than I do-- I have regretted for the past month that I had not early in the Summer resigned my judgeship, & entered into the fight for you-- Chained as I have been -- in the midst of the excitement around me, I have felt

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