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

To Nathaniel P. Paschall [1]

Private & confidential. N. P. Paschall Esq Springfield Nov 16th. 1860.

My dear Sir Mr. Ridgely [2] showed me a letter of yours in which you manifest some anxiety that I should make some public declaration with a view to favorably affect the business of the country. I said to Mr. Ridgely I would write you to-day, which I now do.

I could say nothing which I have not already said, and which isPage  140 in print and accessible to the public. Please pardon me for suggesting that if the papers, like yours, which heretofore have persistently garbled, and misrepresented what I have said, will now fully and fairly place it before their readers, there can be no further misunderstanding. I beg you to believe me sincere when I declare I do not say this in a spirit of complaint or resentment; but that I urge it as the true cure for any real uneasiness in the country that my course may be other than conservative. The Republican newspapers now, and for some time past, are and have been republishing copious extracts from my many published speeches, which would at once reach the whole public if your class of papers would also publish them.

I am not at liberty to shift my ground---that is out of the question. If I thought a repetition would do any good I would make it. But my judgment is it would do positive harm. The secessionists, per se believing they had alarmed me, would clamor all the louder.

Yours &c A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   Copy, DLC-RTL. Paschall, editor of the Missouri Republican, replied, November 18, that his paper had advocated that Lincoln, being elected, be given a fair trial, but he added that if Missouri was to be kept in the Union a statement from Lincoln would be needed. Lincoln's previous speeches had little effect in the South because they came from papers such as the New York Tribune and Times and the Chicago Tribune and Democrat, all enemies of the South. Paschall suggested that Lincoln authorize Herndon or some other friend to condense all his speeches of the past three years for publication (DLC-RTL).

[2]   Probably Nicholas H. Ridgely or Charles Ridgely, Springfield bankers.