Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Joseph Gillespie [1]

Springfield, Feb. 11- 1854

To-day a petition was circulated in Springfield, and signed by some of the citizens, instructing the Sangamon members to vote for Brough's road. [2] Whether this is a movement to force the members to desert us, or to excuse them, being already so inclined, we do not certainly know; but either way, it behoves us, who have been their fast friends, in all things, for the last seventeen years, to have our eyes open. We sincerely hope the movement is too limited to amount to any thing, for we much prefer standing with old friends, to being driven to form new ones. But if Springfield, and Sangamon county, are determined to try their fortunes in other company, we have no power to hinder it; and all we can do is to take care of ourselves as we best may. They, of course, will not complain of us. It probably would help us more than Brough's road would hurt us, to be enabled to tap the East & West line of road running through Springfield, by forming a connection between La Fayette, Indiana and Paris in this state; and we have no doubt that Brough himself would be glad to help us to the connection, in consideration that we should withdraw our opposition to his road. It thus is plain, that if Springfield must sell us to Brough, she may find herself sold in the same market before the end ofPage  212 the session. Being released from Springfield, there are some other matters, of which she is not wholly indifferent, in relation to which we possibly could gain as many votes, even against Brough's road, as it is in the power of Springfield to take from us. It is our interest to be looking about for the means of [indemnity in case she is really] [3] preparing to stab us.


[1]   AL, owned by Charles S. Gillespie, Edwardsville, Illinois. Lincoln pencilled this note in the Senate chamber of the State Capitol, in Gillespie's absence. Gillespie came in as Lincoln was finishing, and hence the note is unsigned.

[2]   John Brough's road, against which Lincoln seems to have been lobbying, was the Atlantic and Mississippi, which had failed for five years to obtain legislation authorizing construction, largely because of the opposition of a ``State policy'' group opposed to any project calculated to benefit a city of another state, in this case St. Louis, since the Atlantic and Mississippi proposed not to build to Alton but to Illinoistown (the present city of East St. Louis). Brough was at this time president of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad.

[3]   A partially illegible line, restored following Angle, p. 122.