Abraham Lincoln to John T. Stuart, 26 March 18401Springfield, March 26 1840Dear Stuart:
In relation to the Kinzie matter, I can say no more than this, that the check was taken from the Bank by you, and on the same day you made a note in our memorandum book, stating you had sent it by mail to Kinzie; but there is no memorandum concerning it at Irwin's— Kinzie has ceased writing about it, and consequently I have some hope that he has received it—2
We have had a convention for nominating candidates in this county— Baker was put on the track for the Senate, and Bradford, Brown of the Island Grove, Josiah Francis, and Darnielle, & I for the House— Ninian was verry much hurt at not being nominated; but he has become tolerably well reconciled— I was much, verry much, wounded myself at his being left out— The fact is, the country delegates made the nominations as they pleased; and they pleased to make them all from the country, except Baker & me, whom they supposed necessary to make stump speeches— Old Col[Colonel] Elkin is nominated for Sheriff— That's right—3
The Locos have no candidates on the track yet, except Dick Taylor for the Senate— Last saturday he made a speech, and May answered him— The way May let the wind out of him, was a perfect wonder— The court room was verry full, and neither you nor I ever saw a crowd in this county so near all one side, and all feeling so good before— You will see a short account of it in the Journal—4Lincoln
<Page 2>Japh. Ball has come out for Harrison— aint that a caution?5
<Page 4>SPRINGFIELD IL.
fHon J. T. StuartWashingtonD.C.
March 26th 1840
March 26th 1840
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the body of the letter, signature, postscript, and address. John T. Stuart penned the docketing on page four.
2Robert Kinzie’s Chicago companies Kinzie & Hall and Kinzie & Forsythe held two debts totaling $1,271.40 against Samuel Musick’s estate. After Musick’s death in 1836, the estate distributed various payments on the debts, and on October 10, 1839, Stuart sent a check for $80 to Kinzie in Chicago.
Promissory Note of Samuel Musick to Kinzie & Hall, 10 September 1835; Promissory Note of Samuel Musick to Kinzie & Forsythe, c. 1835, both in case file 269, Sangamon County Probate Justice of the Peace, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, University of Illinois Springfield; Copy of Stuart & Lincoln Office Fee Book, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL; Stuart & Lincoln collected debt for Kinzie & Forsythe, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141173; Stuart & Lincoln collected debt for Kinzie & Hall, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141172.
3On March 14, 1840, the Whigs of Sangamon County held a convention to nominate candidates for the upcoming state elections.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 20 March 1840, 2:6-7.
4These speeches took place on March 21. In his speech, Taylor took credit for the prosperity of Sangamon County during his time in the state legislature from 1830 to 1836, and he boasted that he wished to return to the legislature to bring the county out of the economic difficulty it has suffered since he had left office. In his response, William L. May attacked Taylor’s “vanity and egotism” and, according to the Whig newspaper, left Taylor in tears. In the state election, Edward D. Baker would defeat Taylor by a narrow margin, 2600 votes to 2009 votes. In the contest for representatives, the Whigs would win all five seats.
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), 333, 344; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 27 March 1840, 2:2.
5Ball was a Democrat and William Henry Harrison was the Whig presidential candidate in 1840, so this may have been curious to Lincoln and/or a warning of some kind for Sangamon County Whigs. In the presidential election, Harrison would carry Sangamon County with 62 percent of the vote, but Martin Van Buren would carry Illinois with 51 percent of the vote.
Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, 117, 119.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).