Jediah F. Alexander to Abraham Lincoln, 1 May 18581
Hon. A. Lincoln:Dear Sir:—
I am about to make a request of you, in behalf of the leading Republicans, and also of several leading Fillmore men, of this County, which I have not much hope you will comply with. It is that you will attend the Republican County Convention to be held here, to elect delegates to the State Convention, and make us a speech.2 The politics of this County are in a peculiar condition. The vote at the last Presidential election stood: Fillmore, 657; Buchanan 6,05; Fremont, 153. At the election last fall, the Fillmore & Fremont men united and elected their Ticket for County Officers by from 150 to 200 majority, which shows that but few of the Fillmore men went over to the Democrats. At the present time, I think some of the Fillmore men are at a loss to know which to do, follow Douglas, or join and act with the Republicans. A large majority of them will doubtless go with the latter; but a good, timely speech might have a good
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effect on the wavering.3And as you are well-known by reputation here, I think, and so do those in whose behalf I write, that a speech from you at our County Convention would do more to set things right, than anything else that could be done. And further, it is generally known by those who read, that it is the intention of the Republican party, generally, to make you their next candidate for United States' Senate, and many of the people here would like to see you. Douglas' name is in everybody's mouth, and it is time the people were beginning to talk about the opposition candidate.4 It would be a spendid[splendid] achievement to elect a Republican Representative ^to the Legislature^ from this district, (Bond & Clinton,) and with proper efforts, I believe it can be done.5
Please to let me hear from you soon. If you possibly can come, do so; and appoint your own time, if you wish, any day about the first of June, and let us know, and we will get up the meeting.
Very Truly Yours,J. F. Alexander6

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GREENVILLE Ills[Illinois]
1 May
Hon. A. Lincoln,Springfield, Illinois.
[ docketing ]
J. F. Alexander
1Jediah F. Alexander wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the envelope.
2Abraham Lincoln declined Alexander’s invitation, stating he could not take the time away from his law business. He offered to visit Bond County closer to the election, and he did give a speech in Greenville on September 13. Alexander was among the delegates representing Bond County at the Republican State Convention.
Daily State Illinois Journal (Springfield), 17 June 1858, 2:3.
3Bond County was part of the Illinois Eighth Congressional District. In a modern tabulation of the vote in the presidential election of 1856, Millard Fillmore received 659 votes, James Buchanan, 607 votes, and John C. Fremont, 153 votes. In the 1858 Federal Election, Democratic candidate Phillip B. Fouke defeated Republican candidate Jehu Baker with 57.2 percent of the vote to 41.8 percent of the vote, but in Bond County, Baker received 51 percent of the vote to 48.8 percent for Fouke.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 11, 135, 143.
4Abraham Lincoln was the Republican candidate from Illinois for the U.S. Senate. In the summer and fall of 1858, he crisscrossed Illinois delivering speeches and campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates for the Illinois General Assembly. At this time the Illinois General Assembly elected the state’s representatives in the U.S. Senate, thus the outcome of races for the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate were of importance to Lincoln’s campaign. He ran against, and lost to, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, the incumbent. See 1858 Illinois Republican Convention; 1858 Federal Election.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:457-85, 557; Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 392.
5Bond and Clinton counties comprised the Illinois Thirteenth House District. Charles Hoiles, a Democrat and friend of Douglas, won the election to represent Bond and Clinton counties, and he helped Douglas win reelection to the U.S. Senate.
Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 393; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Illinois Historical Bond County Biographical, ed. by Warren E. McCaslin (Chicago: Munsell, 1915), 714.
6Alexander and Lincoln corresponded in July and August 1858 concerning Lincoln's appearance in Bond County.
7Lincoln wrote this docketing.

Autograph Letter Signed, 3 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).