Agreement Regarding the Missouri Democrat 
We, the undersigned, each agree to be one of ten persons to furnish five hundred dollars, to be used in giving circulation, in Southern and Middle Illinois, to the newspaper published at St. Louis, Missouri, and called ``The Missouri Democrat''---said sum of five hundred dollars to be paid over to John G. Nicolay, so soon as he shall furnish evidence that he has made arrangements with the proprietors of that paper, giving promise of a reasonable degree of success in the enterprize.
July 3. 1857. A. Lincoln L. Trumbull
O. M. Hatch John Wood
Jesse K Dubois William Ross  pr O. M. H.
John Williams 
 ADS-P, ISLA. John G. Nicolay had edited the Pike County Free Press in 1856, and in 1857 was active as agent for the Chicago Tribune. The agreement drawn by Lincoln to promote the circulation of the Democrat, a staunch Republican paper, in the part of Illinois where Republican support would be badly needed the following year, seems to fit in with Nicolay's similar soliciting for the Tribune, and suggests that Nicolay was in the employ of Republican party leaders even before he became a clerk in the office of Ozias M. Hatch, secretary of state, a few months later. The verso of the agreement bears two endorsements by Nicolay, recording receipt of twenty-five dollars on the within from Hatch and the same amount from Dubois.
 John Williams, Springfield merchant.
 William Ross, prominent Republican of Pike County, Nicolay's home.