Samuel Wilkinson to Abraham Lincoln, 26 May 18581
Hon A LincolnSir
It has been reported in this part of the country that an effort would be made to unite the Republican & Buchanan parties in order to defeat Douglass and you are given as authority in the matter and such report is being made use of to make capital for Douglass..2 The feeling of the Republican party in this section is that we are strong enough ourselves in the now divided C3ondition of the Opposition4 & any such Coalition would do us more injury than good as many Democrats who have joined us would in the event above stated go at once over to the Douglass party,5 in fact we are not sure but some who are prominent in Rep party are waiting a good opportunity to do so if they can be at all sure that it will succeed as we are in a minority in this County and some Reps feeling very gracious to Douglass6
We do not write this for the purpose of dictating but of stating the Condition of things in this part of Fulton Co. our Co[County] Convention comes off next week7 when we expect to send a full delegation to Springfield.8 We would be glad to hear from you
I remain dear Sir most respectfully your friend and acquaintance of9 '44[1844]10Sam'l Wilkinson

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FARMINGTON Ills.[Illinois]
MAY 27
Hon A LincolnSpringfieldIlls
[ docketing ]
Saml. Wilkinson
[ docketing ]
1Samuel Wilkinson wrote and signed this letter. He also wrote Abraham Lincoln’s name and address on the envelope shown in the second image.
2Stephen A. Douglas was up for re-election to the U.S. Senate in the 1858 Federal Election.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:445-46.
3"C" written over "S".
4Wilkinson is referring to the recent split of the Democratic Party into pro-Douglas and pro-James Buchanan factions. The split occurred after Douglas, in December 1857, spoke out against the Lecompton Constitution and criticized President Buchanan for supporting it.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life ,1:445.
5After passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, some members of the Democratic Party who opposed the act left the party and joined the newly-formed Republican Party.
Jeannette E. Nichols, "Kansas-Nebraska Act," Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), 4:29.
6Some Republicans were excited by Douglas’ repudiation of the Lecompton Constitution to the extent that they considered supporting his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate. Although Douglas later denied it, he courted Republican support—meeting in person with prominent men such as Horace Greeley and hinting in correspondence to Republicans that he was finished with the Democratic Party.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:446-48.
7The 1858 Fulton County Republican Convention took place on June 2.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 31 May 1858, 2:1.
8Wilkinson is referring to the 1858 Illinois Republican Convention, which was held in Springfield, Illinois in June. Fulton County sent fourteen delegates to the convention. Wilkinson was one of the county’s alternate delegates.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 17 June 1858, 2:3.
9"in" changed to "of"
10Wilkinson is most likely referring to the 1844 Federal Election, during which Lincoln stumped throughout Illinois for Whig presidential candidate Henry Clay.
Lincoln replied to this letter on June 10. Ultimately, Douglas won reelection to the U.S. Senate. Through the campaign, however, and in particular through his participation in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Lincoln gained recognition as well as standing within the national Republican Party.
Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life ,1:224-25, 556-57.
11Lincoln wrote this script as well as Wilkinson's name directly above. See the envelope pictured in the second image.

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