To Thomas J. Henderson 
Dear Sir: Decr. 15. 1854
Yours of the 11th. was received last night, and for which I thank you.  Of course I prefer myself to all others; yet it is neither in my heart nor my conscience to say I am any better man than Mr. Williams.  We shall have a terrible struggle with our adversaries. They are desperate, and bent on desperate deeds. I accidentally learned of one of the leaders here writing to a member South of here, in about the following language. ``We are beaten. They have a clear majority of at least nine, on joint ballot. They outnumber us, but we must outmanage them. Douglas must be sustained. WePage 294 must elect the Speaker; and we must elect a Nebraska U S. Senator, or elect none at all.'' Similar letters, no doubt, are written to every Nebraska member. Be considering how we can best meet, and foil, and beat them.
I send you, by this mail, a copy of my Peoria speech. You may have seen it before; or you may not think it worth seeing now.
Do not speak of the Nebraska letter mentioned above; I do not wish it to become public, that I received such information. Yours truly A. LINCOLN---