William G. Anderson to Abraham Lincoln, 30 October 18401Lawrenceville, Oct. 30th 1840—A. Lincoln Esqr.[Esquire]Dr.[Dear] sir:—
On our first meeting on Wednesday last, a difficulty, in words, ensued between us, which I deem it my duty to notice further. I think you were the aggressor. Your words imported insult; and whether you meant them as such is for you to say. [Y]ou will therefore please inform me on this point. And if you designed to offend me, please communicate to me your present feelings, on the subject, and whether you persist in the stand you took.2Your Obt. Sevt[Obedient Servant]W. G. Anderson
2The”difficulty” between Lincoln and Anderson occurred during the final, last hectic days of the presidential campaign of 1840. Lincoln was canvassing the southern counties of Illinois on behalf of William Henry Harrison and the Whig Party. On October 28, Lincoln gave a speech at Lawrenceville. Anderson “repeatedly interrupted” Lincoln, contending that the orator was “falsifying the acts and record of the Democratic party.” Lincoln’s retort was apparently testy enough to prompt Anderson to write this letter. Lincoln diffused the situation with a conciliatory letter on October 31. In 1970, the Lawrence County Historical Society and the Illinois Historical Society erected a marker on the north side of courthouse square in Lawrenceville commemorating the Lincoln/Anderson dispute.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1: 158-59; http://www.historyillinois.org/FindAMarker/MarkerDetails.aspx?MarkerID=144.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Tennessee Historical Society Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives (Nashville, TN),