Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To John J. Crittenden [1]

Springfield, July 7, 1858.

Dear Sir: I beg you will pardon me for the liberty in addressing you upon only so limited an acquaintance, and that acquaintance so long past. I am prompted to do so by a story being whispered about here that you are anxious for the reelection of Mr. Douglas to the United States Senate, and also of Harris, of our district, to the House of Representatives, and that you are pledged to write letters to that effect to your friends here in Illinois, if requested. I do not believe the story, but still it gives me some uneasiness. If such was your inclination, I do not believe you would so express yourself. It is not in character with you as I have always estimated you.

Page  484You have no warmer friends than here in Illinois, and I assure you nine tenths---I believe ninety-nine hundredths---of them would be mortified exceedingly by anything of the sort from you. When I tell you this, make such allowance as you think just for my position, which, I doubt not, you understand. Nor am I fishing for a letter on the other side. Even if such could be had, my judgment is that you would better be hands off!

Please drop me a line; and if your purposes are as I hope they are not, please let me know. The confirmation would pain me much, but I should still continue your friend and admirer. Your obedient servant, A. LINCOLN.

P.S. I purposely fold this sheet within itself instead of an envelop.


[1]   NH, III, 17-18. Crittenden replied on July 29 (DLC-RTL) that he had ``openly, ardently and frequently expressed'' in conversation his belief that Douglas' re-election was a necessity, but that he had written no letters to Illinoisans, and only three or four elsewhere, in reply to letters received. He also stipulated that what he had said about Douglas applied as well to Representative Thomas L. Harris.