Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, 30 November 18571
Hon: Lyman Trumbull.Dear Sir:
Herewith you find duplicates of a notice which I wish to be served upon the Miss French, or now Mrs Gray, who married the late Franklin C. Gray– You understand what person I mean–
Please hand her one copy, and note on the other that you have done so, the date of se service, and your signature & return it to me at Springfield2
What think you of the probable "rumpus" among the democracy over the Kansas constitution? I think the Republicans should stand clear of it– In their view both the President and Douglas are wrong; and they should not espouse the cause of either, because they may consider the other a little the farther wrong of the two–
From what I am told here, Douglas tried, before leaving, to draw off some Republicans on this dodge, and even succeeded in making some impression on one or two–3
Yours very trulyA. Lincoln

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[ docketing ]
[Liverige V. Bradly?]4
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2The duplicates of the notice Lincoln references were not enclosed with this letter, and their whereabouts are unknown.
Franklin C. Gray married Mary Anna (Ann) Pitts in 1834, but the couple eventually separated. Mary Anna sued Franklin for divorce in 1851 on the grounds of adultery and was awarded $5,000 in alimony when he failed to appear in court. In March 1853, Franklin married Matilda C. French. In July 1853, Franklin stepped in front of a train in New York and was killed. In December 1856, Gray's first wife Mary Anna retained Lincoln and William H. Herndon and filed a writ of error in the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse the divorce decree and acquire more alimony. The court later dismissed the suit after Mary Anna failed to join the issue on the plea.
Texas, U.S., Marriage Index, 1824-2019, 12 November 1834, Brazoria County (Lehi, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, 2005); Washington, D.C., U.S., Marriage Records, 1810-1953, 23 March 1853 (Lehi, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, 2016); Alton Daily Morning Courier (IL), 25 July 1853, 2:5; Gray v. Gray, Martha L. Benner and Cullum Davis, et. al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2nd ed. (Springfield, Ill.: Illinois Historical Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=139084; Gray v. Gray et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=139085.
3Lincoln is referencing the conflict within the Democratic Party over the Lecompton Constitution. During the agitation over whether to admit Kansas as a free or slave state, pro-slavery Kansans held a constitutional convention in Lecompton from September 7 to November 8, 1857, drafting a constitution guaranteeing slaveholders already in the territory their property rights and leaving the decision whether to allow new slaves into the territory to voters in a referendum. Voters could vote for the “constitution with slavery” or the “constitution without slavery,” but were not offered the opportunity to accept or reject the constitution as a whole. On December 21, 1857, Kansans voting in the referendum on the Lecompton Constitution--free state Kansans abstained from participating--cast 6,226 votes for Lecompton with slavery and 569 for it without slavery amid charges of voter fraud. On January 4, 1858, however, Kansans voting in elections called by the anti-slavery legislature--pro-slavery Kansans abstained from participating-- overwhelmingly rejected the Lecompton Constitution. Despite opposition in Kansas and considerable backlash from Republicans and the anti-slavery faction in the Democratic Party, President James Buchanan supported the Lecompton Constitution, urging that Kansas be admitted into the Union under the its terms. Stephen A. Douglas opposed it, however, bringing him into conflict with Buchanan. Buchanan warned Douglas that he faced political reprisals if he opposed the administration, but Douglas defied the president, arguing in a speech before the U.S. Senate that the Lecompton Constitution did not reflect the will of the actual inhabitants of Kansas, citing the December 21, 1857 vote that allowed voters to vote for the constitution but not against it. The Senate approved the Lecompton Constitution, but Republicans, Democratic allies of Douglas, and others, with Douglas as floor leader of the opposition, defeated it in the U.S. House of Representatives. See Bleeding Kansas.
David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War 1848-1861 (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 307, 315-16, 318, 320, 325; Wendell H. Stephenson, “Lecompton Constitution,” Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 4:130-31; Cong. Globe, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., Appendix, 195 (1858).
4An unknown person wrote this note in pencil; it is not known to what or whom it refers.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Huntington Library (San Marino, CA).