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Eleazar A. Paine to Abraham Lincoln, 28 December 18541
Dear Sir,
Yours of the 21st came this morning.
I have made my arrangements to start to Cincinnati on next Wednesday, Janry[January], 3d and I cannot now easily change my business. From your preceding letter I concluded that your prospects were such that there would not be much difficulty, and I think now from all I can learn ^think^ that you will be elected.2
The great effort should be, to unite all Anti Nebraska men, and then unite on a man. If Judge Logan will assist you, and I presume he will, there can
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be but little doubt of your success.3 If I can arrange it so as to spare a couple of days I will go to Springfield next week.
Have some man or member to consult the Chicago members–4
O. H. Browning Esq[Esquire] may be in your way. Coax him off if you can, and obtain the Quincy interest. Peoria, I have no doubt is right now.5
If the business which calls me away was my own I would defer it–
Yours very sincerelyE. A. Paine
Nov[November] 28/54[1854]6
1Eleazar A. Paine wrote and signed this letter.
2Neither Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Paine of December 21, 1854 nor Lincoln’s preceding letter of an unknown date have been located, but they may have been similar to others he wrote in November and December of 1854 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. Paine had previously written Lincoln on December 9, 1854, expressing his support for Lincoln’s bid for the 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; David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 167-73; Autobiography of Abraham Lincoln Written for John L. Scripps; William H. Randolph to Abraham Lincoln; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 10 November 1854, 2:5.
3Lincoln’s former law partner, Stephen T. Logan, who represented Sangamon County in the Illinois House of Representatives during the Nineteenth General Assembly, acted as Lincoln’s floor manager in the election of U.S. Senator in a joint session of the General Assembly on February 8, 1855. Lincoln was among the leading contenders, but despite the efforts of Logan and his other allies, he failed to garner a majority of votes. 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. Trumbull was elected Illinois’ new U.S. senator on the tenth round. See the 1854 Federal Election.
John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; Matthew Pinsker, “Senator Abraham Lincoln,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 14 (Summer 1993), 12-13; 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.
4Members of the General Assembly representing Chicago and Cook County split over which candidate to support for U.S. Senate. State Senator Norman B. Judd voted for Trumbull on all ten ballots. Among Cook County’s Representatives, Matthias L. Dunlap cast his ballot for Lincoln in the first three rounds, switched to Trumbull in the fourth, back to Lincoln in the fifth, and finally settled on Trumbull on the eighth ballot. Thomas Richmond supported Lincoln until the ninth ballot, when he switched to Trumbull. George F. Foster and Robert H. Foss supported Lincoln in the first three ballots before shifting between Trumbull, Archibald Williams, William B. Ogden, and Lincoln, ultimately siding with Trumbull in the eighth and ninth ballots, respectively.
John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968, 220-21; Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 242-55.
5Orville H. Browning did not ultimately draw many votes away from Lincoln in the General Assembly’s joint ballot for U.S. senator. He was not nominated in the initial round of voting and was only considered in the fifth and sixth rounds of balloting, where he earned two and three votes respectively out of the ninety-eight ballots cast in those rounds. Lincoln’s success with obtaining the support of General Assembly members from Adams County, where Quincy is located, was mixed. Senator William H. Carlin and Representative Eli Seehorn both supported James Shields in the first six rounds of voting and Joel A. Matteson in the final four votes. Henry V. Sullivan supported Lincoln in the first round and in three additional non-consecutive ballots, interspersing his votes for Lincoln with votes variously for Williams, Browning, and in the final round, Trumbull. Paine was correct that the members from Peoria County were firmly in Lincoln’s camp. Senator John D. Arnold and Representative Henry Grove supported Lincoln through the first eight and first nine ballots respectively, before shifting their support to Trumbull.
John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968, 220-21; Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 242-55.
6An unknown person wrote this docketing.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).