William H. Gray to Abraham Lincoln, 31 May 18581
Hon A Lincoln EsqrDear Sir,
We have a special Term of our Circuit court commencing the first Monday in June–2 Can you not be present at our meeting on the 8th of June and address us on the political topics of the day? We have strong hopes of being able to send a member to the Legislature from Clinton & Bond Counties– We have a very strong element in this county and Bond of old whigs and Americans and we are in cordial Union with them.3 I hope you will find it convenient to attend our court. There will be a large crowd at our meeting. I enclose you a bill please answer–4
Very Truly YoursW H Gray

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[ enclosure ]
05/03/1858Announcement regarding the Clinton County, Illinois, Republican Party
Notice to Everybody!
The REPUBLICANS of Clinton County, and all others opposed to the misrule of the so-called "Democratic" party, are requested to meet in Convention at the court house in Carlyle, on Tuesday, the 8th day of June next, at 1 o'clock, P.M., for the purpose of appointing delegates to Springfield, on the 16th of June, 1858.
Hon.5 ABE LINCOLN and Gov. KOERNER, and other distinguished gentlemen, will address the meeting.
By order of the
Clinton Co.[County] Republican Com.[Committee]
(Calumet print.)

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CARLYLE Ills.[Illinois]
MAY 31
Hon A. LincolnSpringfield Ills
[ docketing ]
W. H. Gray–7
1William H. Gray wrote and signed this letter, including the name and address on the envelope.
2Clinton County Circuit Court held a special term to try the case of People v. Lance Carter. Carter had been indicted for murder in Washington County. A change of venue took the case to Clinton County.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 11 June 1858, 2:2.
3 Lincoln was the Republican candidate from Illinois for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, the incumbent. 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. See 1858 Illinois Republican State Convention; 1858 Federal Election.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:457-85, 547; Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 392.
4The bill—or printed advertisement—can be found below this letter.
5A manicule is printed just prior to "Hon." before Lincoln’s name.
6In his response to Gray dated June 4, 1858, Lincoln declined Gray's invitation, citing legal commitments elsewhere.
Clinton County sent eight delegates, including Gray, to the 1858 Illinois State Republican Convention held in Springfield on June 16.
Bond 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 defeat Lincoln and win reelection to the U.S. Senate.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 17 June 1858, 2:3; 3 November 1858, 2:2; Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” 393; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Illinois Historical Bond County Biographical, ed. by Warren E. McCaslin (Chicago: Munsell, 1915), 714; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:557.
7Lincoln wrote this docketing as well as the one below.

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