William Kellogg to Abraham Lincoln, 15 December 18541Canton Dec 15, 1854Hon A LincolnDear Sir
Yours of 11th Inst came duly to hand.2 I have confered with Mr Babcock on the subject of your letter.
Mr Babcock is of the opinion that there will a candidate from this part of the state and in that event would be inclined to support him Should there be no candidate from this side of the River and you should be the choice of the Whigs generally I have no doubt he will cheerfully support you in the election3
I hope the Whigs will be able to induce the Anti Nebraska Democrats to unite on a Whig of the right kind. I now intend to be in Springfield before the election & will [Yours TrulyWm Kellogg
...?]^confer^ with you on the subject.
2Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Kellogg of December 11, 1854, has not been located, but was likely similar to others he wrote around that time requesting his allies’ help in canvassing their Illinois General Assembly members for support of his potential candidacy for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Lincoln had written to Hugh Lamaster on November 29, 1854 asking for Lamaster’s assistance in soliciting the vote of his local Whig member of the General Assembly, Amos C. Babcock. Lincoln had also asked Lamaster if Kellogg would be willing to help with the matter. Lamaster replied in a letter of December 11, 1854 that while he had not seen Kellogg or Babcock, Kellogg had previously expressed his support for Lincoln, and newly-elected Whig representative Babcock was politically inexperienced but would soon learn his duty.
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. Ultimately, Lincoln did not win election to the U.S. Senate; the Illinois General Assembly selected anti-Nebraska Democrat Lyman Trumbull instead. See the 1854 Federal Election.
William H. Randolph to Abraham Lincoln; Robert Boal to Abraham Lincoln; John E. McClun to Abraham Lincoln; Thomas B. Talcott 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; Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 1st sess., 242-55.
3When the Illinois General Assembly met on February 8, 1855, to vote on the state’s next U.S. Senator, Kellogg was himself nominated as a candidate in the first round of voting. The sole vote he received was from Babcock and he did not appear as a candidate in subsequent rounds of voting. Babcock switched his vote to Lincoln for votes two through five, supported Orville H. Browning in round six of voting, then once again supported Lincoln in rounds seven and eight. In the final two rounds of voting, Babcock supported the ultimate victor, Trumbull.
Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 1st sess., 242-55.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).