Abraham Lincoln to William Schouler, 28 August 1848.1
Friend Schooler,—
Your letter of the 21st was received two or three days ago, and for which please accept my thanks, both for your courtesy and the encouraging news in it.2 The news we are receiving here now from all parts is on the look-up. We have had several letters from Ohio to-day, all encouraging. Two of them inform us that Hon. C. B. Smith, on his way here, addressed a larger and more enthusiastic audience, at Cincinnati, than has been seen in that city since 1840. Smith himself wrote one of the letters; and he says the signs are decidedly good.3 Letters from the Reserve are of the same character. The tone of the letters—free from despondency—full of hope—is what particularly encourages me. If a man is scared when he writes, I think I can detect it, when I see what he writes.4
I would rather not be put upon explaining how Logan was defeated in my district. In the first place I have no particulars from there, my friends, supposing I am on the road home, not having written me. Whether there was a full turn out of the voters I have as yet not learned. The most I can now say is that a good many Whigs, without good cause, as I think, were unwilling to go for Logan, and some of them so wrote me before the election. On the other hand Harris was a Major of the war, and fought at Cerro Gordo, where several Whigs of the district fought with him. These two facts and their effects, I presume tell the whole story. That there is any political change against us in the district I cannot believe; because I wrote some time ago to every county of the district for an account of changes; and, in answer I got the names of four against us, eighty-three for us. I dislike to predict, but it seems to me the district must and will be found right side up again in November.5
Yours truly,A. Lincoln.
1No handwritten version of this letter has been located.
2William Schouler’s letter of August 21 has not been located. On August 8, Lincoln wrote Schouler asking the latter’s opinion of Massachusett’s and New England’s intentions in the upcoming presidential election of 1848.
3Caleb B. Smith’s letter has not been located.
4Despite Lincoln’s positive feelings, Ohio followed most of the Old Northwest and went for Lewis Cass, the Democratic Party candidate, over Zachary Taylor, the Whig Party standard bearer. Cass received 47 percent of the vote to Taylor’s 42.1 percent.
John L. Moore, Jon P. Preimesberger, and David R. Tarr, eds., Congressional Quarterly’s Guide to U.S. Elections, 4th ed. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2001), 1:650.
5Lincoln references the election in August to replace him as representative of the Seventh Congressional District. He had pledged to serve only one term, but many Whigs in the district favored his renomination. Lincoln was not averse to running again, but Stephen T. Logan received the nomination. In August 1848, Logan lost to Thomas L. Harris in a close race.
As for the presidential canvass in November, Lincoln proved prescient: although Illinois as a whole went for Cass, voters in the eleven counties in the Seventh Congressional District opted for Taylor, casting 8,188 ballots for him, 6,684 for Cass, and 712 for Martin Van Buren, candidate of the Free Soil Party. Taylor won seven counties, Cass three, and Van Buren one.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:271; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 8, 121-23, 126.

Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), James Schouler, "Abraham Lincoln at Tremont Temple in 1848," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 42 (October 1908-June 1909), 80.