Abraham Lincoln to Artemas Hale, 28 July 18561Springfield, July 28. 1856Hon. Artemas HaleBridgewater– Mass.My dear Sir:
Yours of the 24th Inst is just received–2 I very cheerfully give you my opinion as to the prospects of the Presidential election in this state & Indiana; premising that I am a Fremont man, so that you can make due allowance for my partiality–3
I have no doubt, then, that the opposition to Buchanan, are the majority in both these states; but, that opposition being divided between Fremont & Filmore, places both states in some danger– I think the danger is not great in Indiana; but some greater here– The Filmore men have no power in either state, beyond dividing strength, and thereby bettering the chances of Buchanan– They know this; and I still hope the bulk of them will think better than to throw away their votes for such an object–4Your obt[obedient] ServantA. Lincoln
3In the 1856 Federal Election, the Democratic Party nominated James Buchanan to head its presidential ticket. Republicans gathered for their first national convention in Philadelphia considered John McLean and other candidates before nominating John C. Fremont. The American Party, in its final participation in a presidential election, nominated Millard Fillmore. Buchanan defeated Fremont and Fillmore to become the fifteenth president of the United States.
William E. Gienapp, The Origins of the Republican Party 1852-1856 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 307-8; David M. Potter and Don E. Fehrenbacher, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 261, 264; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 10.
4Lincoln attempted to unite the opposition to Buchanan in Illinois by proposing a combination of Fremont and Fillmore onto one ticket. The plan was unsuccessful, and Buchanan captured Illinois with 44.1 percent of the vote to 40.2 percent for Fremont and 15.7 for Fillmore. Buchanan also won Indiana’s electoral votes, garnering 50.4 percent of the vote to 40.1 percent for Fremont and 9.5 percent for Fillmore.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990, 10; Cong. Globe, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess., 652 (1857); 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), 1:652.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), MA 810.4, Morgan Library and Museum (New York, NY).