Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Thomas J. Pickett [1]

T.J. Pickett, Esq Springfield,
My dear Sir. April 16. 1859.

Yours of the 13th. is just received. My engagements are such that I can not, at any very early day, visit Rock-Island, to deliver a lecture, or for any other object.

As to the other matter you kindly mention, I must, in candor, say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency. I certainly am flattered, and gratified, that some partial friends think of me in that connection; but I really think it best for our cause that no concerted effort, such as you suggest, should be made.

Let this be considered confidential. Yours very truly



[1]   ALS, IHi; ALS copy, DLC-RTL. In addition to the authentic originals, there is a spurious copy in the Chicago Historical Society, and at least one other spurious copy bearing the date April 30, 1859, has been sold at auction. Curiously enough, the copy which Pickett enclosed to William H. Herndon, on November 29, 1866, is also spurious and grossly inaccurate, even to being dated March 5, 1859 (DLC-HW). The inference may be that Pickett lost or parted with the original and attempted to copy the letter from memory. Thomas J. Pickett had edited newspapers at Pekin, Illinois, and in 1859 was editor of the Rock Island Register. His letter to Lincoln suggested that he would like to promote the simultaneous announcement of Lincoln for the presidency in the Republican papers of the state (DLC-RTL).