Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln, 5 December 18571
Hon. A. Lincoln,My Dear Sir,
Miss French alias Mrs Gray does not reside in Washington, but with her mother in Brooklyn, N.Y. as I am informed. I therefore return you the notice which you desired me to serve on her. 2
I do not think the “Rumpus” among the bogus Democracy will amount to much, except to help us a little with the people.3 I have no faith in the Leaders who talk so boldly, but through their papers they have told some honest
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truths which may be of benefit to us hereafter– Forney will be driven out of the party4 & Gov. Walker may be sacrificed, but our little man will keep within the ring in my opinion– He will be permitted to oppose the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton constitution & to vote against it, provided his vote is not necessary to carry the measure, upon his assurance that it is necessary to save himself at home; but I do not believe he will do any thing which will cut him off from the South & the administration– We shall see.5 The administration are undoubtedly in great trouble but will probably be able to
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patch up something on which to hold together–
Shall be pleased to hear from you often– Please write–
Truly Your FriendLyman Trumbull
1Lyman Trumbull wrote and signed this letter.
2Franklin 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: Operations, 2005); Washington, D.C., U.S., Marriage Records, 1810-1953, 23 March 1853 (Lehi, UT: Operations, 2016); Alton Daily Courier (IL), 25 July 1853, 2:5; Gray v. Gray et al., 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),; Gray v. Gray et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition,
3Trumbull 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 U.S. 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; Wendall 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).
4John W. Forney officially moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 1858; however, he returned to being a Democrat in 1880.
Daniel W. Pfaff, "Forney, John Wien," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 8:259.
5Douglas did vote against the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution.
James L. Huston, Stephen A. Douglas and the Dilemmas of Democratic Equality (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), 140.

Autograph Letter Signed, 3 page(s), folder 8, Box 1, Trumbull Family Papers, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).