Abraham Lincoln to Alexander B. Morean, 7 September 18541Springfield, Sept 7– 1854A. B. Morean, Esq[Esquire]Sir:
Stranger tho,, I am, personally, being a brother in the faith, I venture ^to^ write you– Yates can not come to your court next week– He2 is obliged to be at Pike court where he has a case, with a fee of $500, $200 already paid– To neglect it would be unjust to himself, and dishonest to his client– Harris will be there ^with you^, head up and tail up, for Nebraska– You must have some one to make an anti-Nebraska speech–3 Palmer is the best, if you can get him, I think–4 Jo. Gillespie, if you can not get Palmer— and somebody anyhow, if you can get neither– But press Palmers hand– It is in his Senatorial District I believe–Yours &c[etc.]A. Lincoln–5
<Page 2>A. B. Morean, EsqJerseyvilleIllinois–
3Lincoln was spurred by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise to campaign for the reelection of Whig congressional candidate Richard Yates in the autumn of 1854. He was unable to appear on Yates’s behalf in Jerseyville himself due to speaking and court engagements in Bloomington the same week.
David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 167-73; Autobiography of Abraham Lincoln Written for John L. Scripps; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 12 September 1854, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1854-09-12; 16 September 1854, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1854-09-16.
4Lincoln wrote a letter of this same date to anti-Nebraska Democratic State Senator John M. Palmer suggesting that he give speeches outlining his reasons for opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and asking that he not publicly support Democrat Thomas L. Harris in the congressional race against Yates.
5 Despite Lincoln’s efforts on Yates’ behalf, Harris unseated Yates in the general election, winning by 200 votes. Harris garnered 50.5 percent of the vote to Yates’ 49.5 percent.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 10.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Box 4, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).