George W. Rives to Abraham Lincoln, 15 May 18581
I received your letter Some time since that you sent me from Urbana. on the Subject of our Senatorial election.2 I had my eye on that— ere I received your letter–I immediatly wrote Davis at Danville— on the Subject and urged him to become our Candidate I also wrote Marshall. I have not up to this day recd[received] any reply from Davis Marshall Says: that Davis is the man, my County is for Davis & so is Cumberland.
My object is to call on you, to write to Davis & urge him to become the Candidate3 I know he is the Strong man in the Dist.[District] & we can beat the Democracy with him— with any other man— I fear.— Tom Marshall & Jno. W. Blackburn are both willing to be Candidates. if it is the wish of our party. Both are good— men, But neither of them are the men for this Race— they are both too objectionable to the masses. One a Banker & the other, no personal popularity, aside from his party & not even a favorite with them— & looking over the whole Dist from the stand point— I do. O L Davis is the man–4
Now write him— & urge him to come out
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at once– I shall write him again this day upon this Subject–Dick Oglesby is a candidate for Congress– I will just say one word as to that—He is not our man– We are for Bromwell5James Steele I think will be our Candidate I think for the legislature6 I am annoyed to death with, requests— & urgeings— to be the Candidate for the legislature myself— they say that no doubt would be about my election
But I cant— run; I am doing all that one man can do for the party— & I say that we can & will elect a Republican
Now let me urge you to write Davis— this is important–We will hold our Co. Convention on the 29 Inst. to elect Delegates to State Convention7 we have a full Delegation Munsell & myself will be on hand as 2 of the 7.
Yours TrulyG W Rives8

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PARIS Ill.[Illinois]
MAY 16
Hon. A. LincolnSpringfieldIllinois
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G. W. Rives9
[ docketing ]
1George W. Rives wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the envelope.
2Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Rives has not been located, but it was likely similar to his letter to Thomas A. Marshall from April 23, 1858. In that letter, Lincoln discussed the 1858 Illinois Senate race in his bid to find supporters of his U.S. Senate run against Stephen A. Douglas. Abraham Lincoln was the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. At the time, state legislatures chose members of 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, 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, 547, 557; Allen C. Guelzo, “House Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 392.
3Rives references potential Republican candidates for the Illinois Senate in the Eighteenth district, which was comprised of Edgar, Vermilion, Coles, and Cumberland counties.
Lincoln wrote to Oliver L. Davis on May 20, 1858; however, the letter has not been found. Davis responded to Lincoln on June 3, informing him that the candidate for the Illinois senatorial race would be Thomas A. Marshall, despite Rives’ endorsement of Davis himself.
Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” 392; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 219.
4In the end, Marshall became the candidate and won the state senate seat.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 4 November 1858, 2:3; The History of Coles County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., 1879), 526.
5Richard J. Oglesby, a Republican, lost to Democrat James C. Robinson in the race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the Illinois Seventh Congressional District. Robinson garnered 53.5 percent of the vote to 46.2 percent for Oglesby.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 11.
6James H. Steele did not obtain a seat in the Illinois General Assembly. Robert Moseley received the Republican party nomination, and he represented Edgar County in the Illinois House of Representatives during the Twenty-First Illinois General Assembly.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 29 September 1858, 2:4; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 222; Illinois House Journal. 1859. 21st G. A., 4-5.
7Edgar County elected seven delegates to the 1858 Republican State Convention.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 22 May 1858, 1:3.
8Rives wrote Lincoln four additional letters related to the election campaign of 1858.
George W. Rives to Abraham Lincoln; George W. Rives to Abraham Lincoln; George W. Rives and Others to Abraham Lincoln; George W. Rives to Abraham Lincoln.
9Abraham Lincoln wrote this and the following docketing.

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