Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Annotation

[1]   ALS, ICHi.

[2]   Hardin was made a brigadier general of militia on November 9, 1840.Page  358

[3]   As published in the Sangamo Journal, February 26, 1846, Hardin's proposals were as follows:

Proposals for the selection of a candidate for Congress by the Whig voters of this District:

[1]   Each county to have double as many voters as it has members in the House of Representatives---being the same number allowed in the two last Conventions---that is:

Sangamon, 8 votes Logan, 1 vote

Morgan, 8 do Mason, 1 do

Tazewell, 4 do Woodford, 1 do

Scott, 4 do Marshall, 1 do

Cass, 2 do Putnam, 1 do

Menard, 2 do

[2]   The Whigs to meet at the various precincts in the District, and appoint two Judges (who shall have power to select a third in case of difference of opinion on any question) and vote by ballot for the person they prefer for candidate.

[3]   The Judges to take a list of the names of voters, and keep and open the ballots after all the votes are given, and then to return a written or printed statement of the number of votes for each candidate to a central committee at Springfield.

[4]   A central committee of three persons at Springfield, shall open and examine the returns, and within two weeks after the vote is taken, or sooner if all the returns are in, or any person has a majority of the votes, they shall make out and publish the result, and state who has been selected as the Candidate of the Whigs of the district.

[5]   The election to be held on one day, and no person to vote by proxy. And in counting the votes, the Central Committee to exclude no vote for informality, if they can fairly ascertain for whom it was intended to be given.

[6]   Whoever gets the most votes in a county shall be entitled to the vote in that county in the general result made out by the central committee.

[7]   Should it happen that no candidate has a majority of the thirty-three votes, by reason of there being more than two candidates---then the hindermost candidate is to decline or be dropped, and the committee shall order a new election in those counties which voted for the hindermost candidate.

[8]   The central committee to prepare a handbill stating this plan, and to circulate it in every precinct of the District.

[9]   All whig voters to be entitled to vote.

[10]   Each person who is spoken of as a candidate to give a pledge to the committee and the public, that he will not go into any other county than the one in which he resides for the purpose of influencing the voters---and to further pledge himself that as far as is practicable he will restrain his friends from going out of their counties to electioneer, or attempt to influence voters. The object of this being to prevent excitement between the candidates and their friends, and to leave the voters of the counties to their unbiased choice.

[11]   The expenses of the central committee in printing circulars, and in postage, shall be paid by the person getting the nomination.

[12]   The vote to be taken on Saturday the --- day of March.

[4]   The convention system, for which Lincoln had labored so heartily and which many Whigs, Hardin among them, had opposed as undemocratic because it restricted party candidacy. Prior to the adoption of the system, any Whig could announce, as a Whig, for any office. Consequently, the Democrats, who had first adopted the convention system, were often able to elect candidates even in Whig territory, by reason of their uniting on one candidate while Whig support was divided among several. Hardin was nominated by convention in 1843, Edward D. Baker in 1845, and Lincoln now regarded it to be his turn. That Hardin's proposals were not merely in the interest of party harmony is obvious.