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

To Ichabod Codding [1]

(COPY)
I. Codding, Esq Springfield,
Dear Sir Novr. 27. 1854

Your note of the 13th. requesting my attendance of the Republican State Central Committee, on the 17th. Inst. at Chicago, was, owing to my absence from home, received on the evening of that day (17th) only. While I have pen in hand allow me to say I have been perplexed some to understand why my name was placed on that committee. I was not consulted on the subject; nor was I apprized of the appointment, until I discovered it by accident two or three weeks afterwards. I suppose my opposition to the principle of slavery is as strong as that of any member of the Republican party; but I had also supposed that the extent to which I feel authorized to carry that opposition, practically; was not at all satisfactory to that party. The leading men who organized that party, were present, on the 4th. of Oct. at the discussion between Douglas and myself at Springfield, [2] and had full oppertunity to not misunderstand my position. Do I misunderstand theirs? Please write, and inform me. Yours truly A. LINCOLN---

Annotation

[1]   ALS copy, DLC-RTL. Ichabod Codding was a noted abolition and temperance lecturer who was one of the most active leaders in the new Republican party movement in Illinois, often referred to contemporaneously as ``fusionists.'' The predominance of abolitionists among the fusionists gave Lincoln some uncertainty as to his willingness to join forces with them. At this point Lincoln was willing to co-operate with them, but refused to join them.

[2]   An anti-Nebraska Republican convention had been held at Springfield on October 4-5; Lincoln did not attend.