Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  432

To Joseph Gillespie [1]

Hon: Joseph Gillespie Springfield,
My dear Sir: Jany. 19. 1858

This morning Col. McClernand showed me a Petition for a mandamus [2] against the Secretary of State to compel him to certify the apportionment act of last session; and he says it will be presented to the Court to-morrow morning. We shall be allowed three or four days to get up a return; and I, for one, want the benefit of consultation with you. Please come right up. Yours as ever A. LINCOLN---


[1]   ALS, owned by Charles S. Gillespie, Edwardsville, Illinois. Lincoln apparently wrote Gillespie, Republican leader in the state senate, and fearing that the letter might not be promptly delivered if Gillespie were away, then telegraphed George T. Brown (infra) on the same day.

[2]   The mandamus case. People ex rel. Lanphier and Walker v. Hatch, involved Governor Bissell's veto of the apportionment act passed by the last session of the legislature which had gerrymandered the state to Republican disadvantage. Bissell had mistakenly signed the act and then crossed-off his name in deference to the protest from his party leaders in the legislature, after the signed act had been returned to the secretary of state, Ozias M. Hatch. His veto message, under the circumstances, was refused by the Democratic House, and upon adjournment the Democrats carried the act up to the state Supreme Court by mandamus. On February 2, John A. McClernand argued the case for the Democrats; Lincoln and Jackson Grimshaw appeared for Hatch. The court's decision upholding the governor's right to change his mind so long as the act was still in his control was handed down on February 6. See Lincoln's letters to Gillespie and Koerner, February 7, 1858, infra.