Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To James E. Harvey [1]

(Private and confidential.)
October 2, 1860.

My dear Sir: To comply with your request to furnish extracts from my tariff speeches is simply impossible, because none of those speeches were published. It was not fashionable here in those days to report one's public speeches. In 1844 I was on the Clay electoral ticket in this State (i.e., Illinois) and, to the best of my ability, sustained, together, the tariff of 1842 and the tariff plank of the Clay platform [2]. This could be proven by hundreds---perhaps thousands---of living witnesses; still it is not in print, except by inference. The Whig papers of those years all show that I was upon the electoral ticket; even though I made speeches, among other things about the tariff, but they do not show what I said about it. The papers show that I was one of a committee which reported, among others, a resolution in these words:

``That we are in favor of an adequate revenue on duties from imports so levied as to afford ample protection to American industry.''

But, after all, was it really any more than the tariff plank of our present platform? And does not my acceptance pledge me to that? And am I at liberty to do more, if I were inclined? Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   NH, VI, 61-62. Harvey's letter of September 25 referred to the visit of James Leslie, Jr., as correspondent of Harvey's paper, the North American and U.S. Gazette (see Lincoln to Cameron, August 6, supra) and his search for newspaper reports of Lincoln's speeches of 1844: ``It is of very great importance to us, to have extracts from these speeches, as pointed as possible, with the dates and attending circumstances. . . . '' (DLC-RTL).

[2]   Vide supra, June 19, 1844. See also the reports of Lincoln's speech at Sugar Creek, March 1, 1844, and his debates with John Calhoun and Alfred W. Cavarly, March 20-25, 1844, supra. These reports are so fragmentary and biased that even if Lincoln knew of them he would scarcely have used them.