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Abraham Lincoln to Richard S. Thomas, 14 February 18431
Friend Richard:
. . . Now if you should hear any one say that Lincoln don't want to go to Congress, I wish you as a personal friend of mine,
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would tell him you have reason to believe he is mistaken. The truth is, I would like to go very much. Still, circumstances may happen which may prevent my being a candidate.2
If there are any who be my friends in such an enterprise, what I now want is that they shall not throw me away just yet.
Yours as ever,A. Lincoln.
1The original handwritten version of this document has not been located. This transcription is taken from the transcription in Gilbert A. Tracy, Uncollected Letters of Abraham Lincoln (1917). Tracy provides no information about the document; presumably, either it was damaged or Tracy’s transcription has been abridged.
2On May 1, 1843, delegates to a Whig convention (including Abraham Lincoln) unanimously chose John J. Hardin as their candidate for the seventh district. At the election on August 7, Hardin won the seat.
Proceedings of Whig Convention at Pekin, Illinois regarding Candidates for Congress; 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), 141.

Printed Transcription, 2 page(s), Gilbert A. Tracy, Uncollected Letters of Abraham Lincoln (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1917), 9-10