Abraham Lincoln to William G. Anderson, 31 October 18401Lawrenceville, Oct 31st 1840.W. G. AndersonDear Sir:
Your note of yesterday is received— In the difficulty between us, of which you speak, you say you think I was the aggressor— I do not think I was— You say my "words imported insult"— I meant them as a fair set-off to your own statements, and not otherwise; and in that light alone I now wish you to understand them— You ask for my "present" feelings on the subject—" I entertain no unkind feeling to you, and none of any sort upon the subject, except a sincere regret that I permitted myself to get into such an altercation—2Yours &c[etc]A. Lincoln
2The”difficulty” between Lincoln and Anderson occurred during the final, last hectic days of the presidential campaign of 1840. Lincoln was canvassing the southern counties of Illinois on behalf of William Henry Harrison and the Whig Party. On October 28, Lincoln gave a speech at Lawrenceville. Anderson “repeatedly interrupted” Lincoln, contending that the orator was “falsifying the acts and record of the Democratic party.” Lincoln’s retort was apparently testy enough to prompt Anderson to write a sharply-worded letter on October 30. Lincoln diffused the situation with this conciliatory letter. In 1970, the Lawrence County Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society erected a marker on the north side of courthouse square in Lawrenceville commemorating the Lincoln/Anderson dispute.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:158-59; Illinois State Historical Society, Historical Marker: Lincoln in Lawrenceville, accessed 7 July 2020, https://www.historyillinois.org/FindAMarker/MarkerDetails.aspx?MarkerID=144.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Tennessee Historical Society Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives (Nashville, TN),