Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To W. H. Wells [1]

W. H. Wells, Esq. Springfield, Ills.
My dear Sir: Jany. 8, 1859.

Yours of the 3rd. Inst. is just received. I regret to say that the joint discussions between Judge Douglas and myself have been published in no shape except in the first newspaper reports; and that I have no copy of them, or even of the single one at Freeport, which I could send you. By dint of great labor since the election, I have got together a nearly, (not quite) complete single set to preserve myself. I shall preserve your address, and if I can, in a reasonable time, lay my hand on an old paper containing the Freeport discussion, I will send it to you.

All dallying with Douglas by Republicans, who are such at heart, is, at the very least, time, and labor lost; and all such, who so dally with him, will yet bite their lips in vexation for their own folly. His policy, which rigourously excludes all idea of there being any wrong in slavery, does lead inevitably to the nationalization of the Institution; and all who deprecate that consummation, and yet are seduced into his support, do but cut their own throats. True, Douglas has opposed the administration on one measure, and yet may on some other; but while he upholds the Dred Scott decision, declares that he cares not whether slavery be voted down or voted up; that it is simply a question of dollars and cents, and that the Almighty has drawn a line on one side of which labor must be performed by slaves; to support him or Buchanan, is simply to reach the same goal by only slightly different roads. Very Respectfully A. LINCOLN---

Annotation

[1]   ALS, The Rosenbach Company, Philadelphia and New York. W. H. Wells, ``a young man and a `jour printer,' '' wrote from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, for a copy of the debates, particularly the debate at Freeport, to use in answering the editor of the county paper, a Republican turned anti-Lecompton Democrat (DLC-RTL).