Gent. Dec. 14, 1859
Your favor of the 12th. is at hand, and it gives me pleasure to be able to answer it. It is not my intention to take part in any of the rivalries for the Gubernatorial nomination; but the fear of being misunderstood upon that subject, ought not to deter me from doing justice to Mr. Judd, and preventing a wrong being done to him by the use of my name in connection with alledged wrongs to me.
In answer to your first question as to whether Mr. Judd was guilty of any unfairness to me at the time of Senator Trumbull's election, I answer unhesitatingly in the negative. Mr. Judd owed no political allegiance to any party whose candidate I was. He was in the Senate, holding over, having been elected by a democratic constituency. He never was in any caucus of the friends who sought to make me U.S. Senator---never gave me any promises or pledges to support me---and subsequent events have greatly tended to prove the wisdom, politically, of Mr. Judd's course. The election of Judge Trumbull strongly tended to sustain and preserve the position of that portion of the Democrats who condemned the repeal of the
Page 508Missouri compromise, and left them in a position of joining with us in forming the Republican party, as was done at the Bloomington convention in 1856
During the canvass of 1858 for the Senatorship my belief was, and still is, that I had no more sincere and faithful friend than Mr. Judd---certainly none whom I trusted more. His position as Chairman of the State Central committee, led to my greater inter-course with him, and to my giving him a larger share of my confidence, than with, or, to almost any other friend; and I have never suspected that that confidence was, to any degree, misplaced.
My relations with Mr. Judd, since the organization of the Republican party, in our State, in 1856, and, especially since the adjournment of the Legislature in Feb. 1857, have been so very intimate, that I deem it an impossibility that he could have been dealing treacherously with me. He has also, at all times, appeared equally true and faithful to the party. In his position, as Chairman of the Committee, I believe he did all that any man could have done. The best of us are liable to commit errors, which become apparant, by subsequent developement; but I do not now know of a single error, even, committed by Mr. Judd, since he and I have acted together politically.
I had occasionally heard these insinuations against Mr. Judd, before the receipt of your letter; and in no instance have I hesitated to pronounce them wholly unjust, to the full extent of my knowledge and belief. I have been, and still am, very anxious to take no part between the many friends, all good and true, who are mentioned as candidates for a Republican Gubernatorial nomination; but I can not feel that my own honor is quite clear, if I remain silent, when I hear any one of them assailed about matters of which I believe I know more than his assailants.
I take pleasure in adding that of all the avowed friends I had in the canvass of last year, I do not suspect any of having acted treacherously to me, or to our cause; and that there is not one of them in whose honesty, honor, and integrity I, to-day, have greater confidence than I have in those of Mr. Judd.
I dislike to appear before the public, in this matter; but you are at liberty to make such use of this letter as you may think justice requires. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN
[Enclosure] You can use your discretion as to whether you make this public.