Abraham Lincoln to James Berdan, 26 April 18461Springfield, April 26th 1846Jas Berdan Esqr[Esquire]Dear Sir:
I thank you for the promptness with which you answered my letter written from Bloomington–2 I also thank you for the frankness with which you comment upon a certain part of my letter; because that comment affords me an oppertunity of trying to express myself better than I did before, seeing, as I do, that in that part of my letter, you have not understood me as I intended to be understood– In speaking of the "dissatisfaction of men who yet mean to do no wrong &c.[etc]'' I meant no special application of what I said, to the whigs of Morgan, or of Morgan & Scott– I only had in my mind the fact, that previous to Genl Hardin's withdrawal, some of his friends and some of mine, had become a little warm; and I felt, and meant to say, that for them now to meet face to face and converse together, was the best way to efface any remnant of unpleasant feeling, if any such existed–3 I did not suppose, that Genl[General] Hardin's friends were in any greater need of having their feelings corrected than mine were– Since I saw you at Jacksonville, I have had no more suspicion of the whigs of Morgan than of those of any other part of the District–4 I write this only to try to remove any impression that I distrust, you & the other whigs of your county–Yours trulyA Lincoln
<Page 2>[SPRING]FIELD Ill.[Illinois]
[AP]R 27PAID5James Berdan Esq[Esquire]JacksonvilleIllinois–
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed the letter. He also authored the address on the back page, which was folded to create an envelope for mailing.
3At a Whig convention in Pekin in May 1843, an agreement was made between Lincoln, Edward D. Baker, and John J. Hardin that seemed to establish a one-term limit on the prospective Whig congressmen from the Seventh Congressional District. Hardin and Baker having each served one term, Lincoln believed that the 1846 nomination should have been his. While Lincoln set out to solidify his support in the district, Hardin proposed that the convention system for the nomination be thrown out in favor of a primary election. Lincoln rejected Hardin’s proposal on January 19, 1846, and Hardin subsequently declined the nomination entirely.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 2:218, 231; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 26 February 1846, 2:1-2.
4Lincoln and Hardin were vying to represent the Seventh Congressional District, which included the counties of Cass, Logan, Marshall, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Putnam, Sangamon, Scott, Tazewell, and Woodford.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 126.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Andre De Coppet Collection, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ).