Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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To Elihu B. Washburne [1]

Hon: E. B. Washburne Springfield, Dec: 19. 1854

My dear Sir: Yours of the 12th. just received. The objection of your friend at Winnebago rather astonishes me. For a Senator to be the impartial representative of his whole State, is so plain a duty, that I pledge myself to the observance of it without hesitation; but not without some mortification that any one should suspect me of an inclination to the contrary. I was eight years a representative of Sangamon county in the Legislature; and, although, in a conflict of interests between that and other counties, it perhaps would have been my duty to stick to Old Sangamon; yet it is not within my recollection that the Northern members ever wanted my vote for any interest of theirs, without getting it. My distinct recollection is, that the Northern members, and Sangamon members, were always on good terms, and always co-operating on measures of policy. The canal was then the great Northern measure, and it, from first to last, had our votes as readily as the votes of the North itself. Indeed, I shall be surprized if it can be pointed out that in any instance, the North sought our aid, and failed to get it.

Again, I was a member of Congress one term---the term when Mr. Turner [2] was the legal member, and you were a lobby member from your then District. Now I think I might → appeal to Mr. Turner and yourself, whether you did not always have my feeble service for the asking. In the case of conflict, I might → without blame, have prefered my own District. As a Senator, I should claim no right, as I should feel no inclination, to give the central portion of the state any preference over the North, or any other portion of it. Very truly your friend A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, owned by North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, Illinois.

[2]   Thomas G. Turner, representative 1847-1849.

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