Samuel C. Parks to Abraham Lincoln, 13 December 18541Mt. Pulaski,
Dec 13th 1854.Hon A LincolnDear Sir
I received a few lines from you about ten days since to which I should have replied immediately had I not expected to be in Springfield before this time & see you personally2
All I wish to say now is that you are right in supposing that I am friendly to your election to the US Senate And as I am very desirous to have some man there who can sustain himself & the Whig & Anti Nebraska party against Douglas and who cannot
<Page 2>be bullied or wheedled out of his principles I am not likely to go off upon any new man in preference to you
My influence in the Legislature as a green member without experience and without friends will of course be very little if any but you can rely upon my vote with confidence3Very Respectfully Yrs[Yours]Saml C. Parks.
2Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Parks to which this is a response has not been located but it was likely similar to others that Lincoln wrote in November and December of 1854 soliciting the support of newly-elected members of the Illinois General Assembly for his potential candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its effective repeal of the Missouri Compromise had 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 reluctantly 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. Lincoln won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in the 1854 election, but declined the seat in late November in order to run for U.S. Senate. See the 1854 Federal Election.
Abraham Lincoln to Hugh Lamaster; William H. Randolph to Abraham Lincoln; Robert Boal to Abraham Lincoln; John E. McClun to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas J. Henderson; Thomas J. Turner to Abraham Lincoln; David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 167-73; Autobiography of Abraham Lincoln Written for John L. Scripps; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 10 November 1854, 2:5.
3The General Assembly met in a joint session on February 8, 1855, to make their selection for the U.S. Senate. Parks cast his vote for Lincoln in all of the first nine rounds of voting. After the ninth vote, with his share of votes declining, Lincoln dropped out of contention and urged his remaining supporters to vote for anti-Nebraska Democrat Lyman Trumbull to ensure that an anti-Nebraska candidate would be elected. Parks voted for Trumbull in the tenth round of voting, at which point Trumbull was declared the victor. See the 1854 Federal Election.
Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 242-55; Victor B. Howard, “The Illinois Republican Party: Part I: A Party Organizer for the Republicans in 1854,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 64 (Summer 1971), 153-54; Abraham Lincoln to Elihu B. Washburne.
Autograph Letter Signed, 3 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).