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

To Taylor Committee [1]

House of Representatives,
Gentlemen: Washington, Feb. 9, 1848.

Your letter inviting me to attend a meeting on the 22d instant, at Philadelphia, to nominate General Taylor for the Presidency, subject to the decision of a National Convention, has been received. It will not be convenient for me to attend, [2] yet I take the occasion to say, I am decidedly in favor of General Taylor as the Whig candidate for the next Presidency. I am the only Whig member of Congress from Illinois, so that the meeting will probably hear nothing from that State, unless it be from me through the medium of this letter. For this reason I think proper to say, that during the last summer a convention was held in that State for the purpose of amending her constitution; that, in that convention, there were, as I remember, some more than seventy Whig members; that, at a meeting of those Whig members, they nominated General Taylor for the Presidency; and that, with the exception of a very few, (not more than six I believe,) they subscribed their names to that nomination and published it to the world. These delegates of course were not elected to nominate a candidate for the Presidency, nor did they, in the matter, assume to act in any capacity other than as so many individuals expressing their own preferences; still, coming from all parts of the State as they did, their action, together with other facts falling within my observation, leave no doubt in my mind that the preference of the Whigs of the State is the same.

Those Whig delegates said nothing as to a National Convention, as far as I can remember, nor has any thing transpired since enabling me to determine what is the disposition of the Whigs of Illinois on the subject; still it is my expectation that they will send delegates to the Convention, as I think it will be proper that they should. Very respectfully, A. LINCOLN.


[1]   Great Whig Demonstration in Favor of the Nomination of Gen. Taylor to the Presidency: The Buena Vista Festival, at Philadelphia, February 22, 1848 (Philadelphia, J. & G. S. Gideon, Printers, 1848), p. 26.

[2]   Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas were the Illinois delegation on the committee in charge of the celebration of Washington's birthday, and hence LincolnPage  450

could not well attend the Philadelphia rally. The celebration was, however, postponed because of the impending death of John Quincy Adams, who was stricken in the House on February 21 and died on February 23, Lincoln being a member of the committee in charge of the funeral.