Abraham Lincoln to John T. Stuart, 14 November 18391Springfield, Nov: 14th 1839—Dear Stuart:
I have been to the Secretary's Office within the last hour; and find things precisely as you left them—no new arrivals of returns on either side— Douglass has not been here since you left— A report is in circulation here now, that he has abandoned the idea of going to Washington; though the report does not come in a verry authentic form, so far as I can learn— Though, by the way, speaking of authenticity, you know that if we had heard Douglass say that he had abandoned the contest, it would ^not^ be verry authentic—2 There is no news here— Noah, I still think will be elected verry easily—3 I am afraid of our race for Representative— Dr Knapp has become a candidate; and I fear the few votes he will get will be taken from us—4 Also, some one has been tampering with old Esqr Wycoff, and induced him to send in his name to be anounced as a candidate— Francis refused to announce him without seeing him, and now I suppose there is to be a fuss about it—5 I have been so busy that I have not seen Mrs Stuart since you left, though I understand she wrote you by to day's mail, which will inform you more about her than I could— The verry moment a Speaker is elected write me who he is—6Your friend as ever—A. Lincoln
<Page 2>SPRINGFIELD Il.
NOV[November] 15LEXINGTON KY.
freeHon: John T. StuartLexingtonKentucky^Washington City D.C^7
Nov. 14th 1839
Nov. 14th 1839
2Lincoln is referencing Douglas’s decision not to contest Stuart’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 29 November 1839, 2:3.
3Noah W. Matheny, Whig candidate to succeed his deceased father Charles R. Matheny as county commissioners’ clerk, defeated Edmond D. Taylor, the Democrat candidate, 966 to 653.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 22 November 1839, 2:5.
4Dr. Moses L. Knapp was an early contender for the Menard County seat in the House of Representatives vacated when John Calhoun resigned. John Bennett eventually became the Whig candidate, and in the state election, he defeated Thomas J. Nance, the Democrat candidate by twenty-one votes.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 8 November 1839, 2:1; 22 November 1839, 2:1; 7 August 1840, 2:2; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 344.
5The Illinois State Register announced Samuel Wycoff‘s candidacy as a Whig for the Menard County seat in the House of Representatives in a notice supposedly written and signed by Wycoff on November 11. The Sangamo Journal disputed this, and refused to announce Wycoff’s candidacy until he contacted the paper personally. On November 19, Wycoff announced that he was not a candidate in notice in the Register.
Illinois State Register (Springfield), 16 November 1839, 2:6; 23 November 1839, 2:1; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 22 November 1839, 2:1.
6Robert. M. T. Hunter would be elected speaker on December 16, 1839.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Huntington Library (San Marino, CA).