Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Resolutions at a Whig Meeting [1]

March 1, 1843

Resolved, That a Tariff of duties on imported goods, producing sufficient Revenue, for the payment of the necessary expenditures of the National Government, and so adjusted as to protect American Industry, is indispensably necessary to the prosperity of the American people. Resolved, That we are opposed to Direct Taxation for the support of the National Government. Resolved, That a National Bank, properly restricted, is highly necessary and proper to the establishment and maintainance of a sound currency; and for the cheap and safe collection, keeping, and disbursing the public revenue. Resolved, That the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of Public Lands, upon the principles of Clay's bill, [2] accords with the best interests of the Nation, and particularly with those of the State of Illinois.Page  308Resolved, That we recommend to the whigs of each Congressional District of the State, to nominate and support, at the approaching election, a candidate of their own principles, regardless of the chances of success. Resolved, That we recommend to the whigs of all portions of this State to adopt, and rigidly adhere to, the Convention System of nominating candidates. Resolved, That we recommend to the whigs of each Congressional District to hold a District Convention on or before the first Monday of May next, to be composed of a number of delegates from each county equal to double the number of its Representatives in the General Assembly, provided each county shall have at least one delegate. Said delegates to be chosen by primary meetings of the whigs, at such times and places as they in their respective counties may see fit. Said District Conventions, each, to nominate one candidate for Congress, and one delegate to a National Convention, for the purpose of nominating candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. The seven delegates so nominated to a National Convention, to have power to add two delegates to their own number, and to fill all vacancies. Resolved, That A. T. Bledsoe, [3] S. T. Logan, and A. Lincoln, be appointed a committee to prepare an address to the People of the State. Resolved, That N. W. Edwards, A. G. Henry, James H. Matheny, John C. Doremus, and James C. Conkling, [4] be appointed a Whig Central State Committee, with authority to fill any vacancy that may occur in the committee.


[1]   Quincy Whig, March 15, 1843. The meeting was held in the hall of representatives in the Statehouse (see letter to John Bennett, March 7, 1843). Although Lincoln specifies the printing of the resolutions in the Journal, no files of the Journal are available for the specified date (March 9).

[2]   Henry Clay's distribution bill, first introduced in 1832, provided that 10 per cent of the net proceeds of the sale of public lands be distributed to the states in which they were located. Before the bill was adopted a provision was added for pre-emption---a policy sponsored by Thomas H. Benton for the protection of so-called ``squatters.'' A further provision made distribution contingent upon maintenance of tariff rates at a level below 20 per cent. When the 20 per cent level was reached in 1841, Clay's measure was automatically suspended. See Lincoln's discussion in the ``Campaign Circular from Whig Committee,'' March 4, 1843.

[3]   Albert Taylor Bledsoe, whose law office adjoined Lincoln's, and whose later varied career included the ministry, a professorship at the University of Virginia, and the position of assistant secretary of war in the Confederacy.

[4]   Of these, two perhaps require initial identification: John Caldwell Doremus and James Cook Conkling were Springfield attorneys active in Whig politics. Conkling married Mercy Levering, close friend of Mary Todd Lincoln, and was among Lincoln's closest associates.