Abraham Lincoln to Andrew McCallen, 19 June 18581
(Copy)Springfield June 19, 1858 Hon A. M’Callen My dear Sir,
Yours of the 12th by the hand of Mr Edwards was duly received. I conversed several times quite freely with Mr Olney.2 I do not perceive that we here, or the general convention here could rightfully determine any thing between Messrs[Messieurs] Olney & Wiley. You in the District must fix that3
Let me make a remark not suggested by your letter. I think too much reliance is placed in noisy demonstrations importing speakers from a distance and the like. They excite prejudice and close the avenues to sober reason. The “home productions” principle in my judgement is the best. You and Sexton and Olney and others whose hearts are in the work should quietly form your plans and carry them out energetically among your own neighbors. You perceive my idea; and I really think it the best.Yours very trulyA Lincoln4
1This letter is attributed to Abraham Lincoln but is in an unidentified hand and no manuscript version in his hand has been located.
2John W. Edwards and John Olney, Sr. were in Springfield as delegates from Gallatin County to the 1858 Illinois Republican Convention, having been chosen for the role at the county convention on June 5, 1858. McCallen had also been selected as a delegate from Gallatin County to the state convention, but despite being listed as having been in attendance at the convention in Springfield on June 16, 1858, he apparently was not present. Lincoln was a delegate from Sangamon County.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 15 June 1858, 2:2; 17 June 1858, 2:3-4.
3In his letter to Lincoln of June 12, 1858, McCallen had expressed a hope that the delegates at the state convention would settle the question of who should be the candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Illinois Ninth Congressional District in the election of 1858. The Republicans of Gallatin County had passed a resolution at their county convention requesting that Olney be named the candidate. Other counties in the district endorsed Benjamin L. Wiley for the office. Wiley was selected to run, but dropped out of the race in September 1858 citing business obligations that prevented him from canvassing. David L. Phillips was chosen to replace him as candidate. Phillips lost the election to Democrat John A. Logan in a resounding defeat, earning only 14.8% of the vote compared to Logan’s 84.2%.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 15 June 1858, 2:2; 7 September 1858, 2:3; 21 September 1858, 3:1; The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL), 26 May 1858, 1:1; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 11, 143.
Handwritten Transcription, 1 page(s), Volume Volume 2, Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).