Charles Hoyt to Abraham Lincoln, 27 November 18541Aurora Kan C Nov 27/54 Hon A LincolnSpringfield IllsDr[Dear] Sir
Sinc writing you you a few days sinc2 I have through my Friend Hon A. C. Gibson of our place (and who by the way will write you within a few days at my request giving you points & facts) I have got at the notions of our Deligation they had a meting a few days sinc and a gread to be non Comital My friend urged the Importance of their uniting on you as being the most reliabel on the greater Points at Issue3 My Friend Gibson will do all he Can for you he is Whig all over and of our Stamp–4
I hope to hear from you Soon on our Water Wheal matter5yours TrulyC Hoyt
1Charles Hoyt wrote and signed this letter. He also wrote the address on the envelope, shown in the second image.
3The “Deligation” Hoyt references here and in his letter of November 20 is Kane County’s recently-elected representatives in the Illinois General Assembly: Benjamin Hackney, Augustus Adams, and William Patten.
Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 2 January 1855, 2:3.
4Hoyt references support for Lincoln’s candidacy for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its effective repeal of the Missouri Compromise reawakened Lincoln’s passion for politics, and he threw himself into the congressional election campaign in the fall of 1854, crisscrossing Illinois to deliver speeches against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and in support of anti-Nebraska candidates. He even allowed himself to become a candidate for the Illinois General Assembly (albeit unwillingly at first). As the election campaign reached its climax, Lincoln’s name began to circulate as a possible nominee for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats. In November and December 1854, he wrote confidential letters to political allies, including Hoyt, seeking support for his candidacy and information about his prospects.
Alexander C. Gibson wrote Lincoln on November 30, discussing the views of the Kane County delegation to Lincoln’s candidacy.
In late-November 1854, Lincoln declined to serve in the Illinois General Assembly in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Ultimately, however, he did not win election to the U.S. Senate; the General Assembly selected anti-Nebraska Democrat Lyman Trumbull instead. Adams cast seven ballots for Lincoln before switching his vote to Trumbull. Hackney shifted his allegiance back and forth from Lincoln to Martin P. Sweet and J. Young Scammon until deciding on Trumbull in the ninth ballot. Patten cast his ballot for William B. Ogden, Sweet, and Trumbull before finally committing to Trumbull in the seventh ballot. See the 1854 Federal Election. Stung and disappointed by his loss, Lincoln made no political speeches or public statements for an entire year after his defeat and reinvested his energies in his law practice.
David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 167-73, 185; Autobiography of Abraham Lincoln Written for John L. Scripps; Abraham Lincoln to Hugh Lamaster; Abraham Lincoln to Joseph Gillespie; Abraham Lincoln to Horace W. Fay; William H. Randolph to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Charles Hoyt; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 10 November 1854, 2:5; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:392, 401-2; Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 242-55.
5Hoyt is referring to the case between he and Zebulon Parker. Parker sued Hoyt in the U.S. Circuit Court, District of Illinois for violating Parker’s patent, obtained in October 1829, for a reaction percussion waterwheel. Lincoln first became involved in the case in 1849, and the case was still in progress when Hoyt wrote this letter.
Lincoln and Hoyt exchanged at least two more letters related to this case after this November 20 letter.
For additional information on the case, see Parker v. Hoyt, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=137697; Grant Goodrich to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Charles Hoyt; Abraham Lincoln to Charles Hoyt.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).