Before Baker  left, he said to me, in accordance with what had long been an understanding between him and me, that the track for the next congressional race was clear to me, so far as he was concerned; and that he would say so publicly in any manner, and at any time I might desire. I said, in reply, that as to the manner and time, I would consider a while, and write him. I understand friend Delahay  to have already informed you of the substance of the above.
I now wish to say to you that if it be consistent with your feelings, you would set a few stakes for me. I do not certainly know, but I strongly suspect, that Genl. Hardin  wishes to run again. I know of no argument to give me a preference over him, unless it be ``Turn about is fair play.''
The Pekin paper  has lately nominated or suggested Hardin's name for Governor, and the Alton paper,  noticing that, indirectly nominates him for Congress. I wish you would, if you can, see that, while these things are bandied about among the papers, the Beards-town paper  takes no stand that may injure my chance, unless the conductor really prefers Genl. Hardin, in which case, I suppose it would be fair.
Let this be confidential, and please write me in a few days. Yours as ever