Ansel Tupper to Abraham Lincoln, 19 July 18581
Hon. A LincolnDear Sir
It is the general wish of our Citizens that you should visit our place this week, if you can make it convenient to do so, and talk to them upon the political questions of the day.2 It is decidedly important that we should send a member from this District to the Legislature this winter; which I think can be done if we only commence the work in season.3 We have a very large number of Americans in this County, and at this ^present^ time are very equally divided.4 I have no doubt, that with their vote we should be able to elect our member; hence the importance of commencing the work; and more particularly at this time, for the reason that there
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has been an attempt made here during the last week to cajole the American Whigs, by the distribution of some cart loads of Crittendens Speaches under Douglases frank.5
I think that if the old Whigs here could be talked to immediately, a very favorable impression might be made to counteract the insidious wire workings of Douglases little satellites who are continually flashing their sickly light in our midst.6 I have understood that quite a number of Democratic Speaches will be made here during this week; and as our Court will be pretty generally attended by the Community at Large, it seems to me, that it will be a very advantageous occasion, from the opportunity it will afford, to talk to the people living in the County, who are not generally very well posted; and for that reason more than any other, they have been made the willing prey of the designing demagogues, who having been [feed?] from the public concels leading
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from the public Treasury, have been able to flood the County with fals doctrins and lying documents.7 If you can come please inform me at your earliest opportunity, and I will see that due notice is given in all the precincts, and that an effort is made to bring out the old Americans whigs or old whigs & Americans.8
Very RespectfullyAnsel TupperHon. A LincolnSpringfield Ills

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JUL[JULY] 19 1858
Hon. A. LincolnSpringfieldIllinois
[ docketing ]
1Ansel Tupper wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the envelope.
2There is no evidence that Abraham Lincoln visited Decatur in July 1858, although he may have dined with Stephen A. Douglas there on July 28 during a stopover on his trip from Clinton to Springfield. He doesn't speak in Decatur until November 1.
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.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, July 1858,; 28 July 1858,; 1 November 1858,; 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.
3Macon County, the location of Decatur, belonged in the Thirty-sixth District of the Illinois House of Representatives along with De Witt, Piatt, and Champaign counties. District Republicans ultimately selected Daniel Stickel of Piatt County as their candidate for the Illinois House in the election of 1858. Stickel was duly elected to the position on November 2, 1858, defeating Douglas Democrat candidate William N. Coler, and Buchanan Democrat candidate William Prather by several hundred votes. Stickel cast his ballot for Lincoln in the election for 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; Henry C. Whitney to Abraham Lincoln; Henry C. Whitney to Abraham Lincoln; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 3 November 1858, 2:1-2; The Central Transcript (Clinton, IL), 28 October 1858, 2:3; Weekly Central Transcript (Clinton, IL), 12 November 1858, 1:2; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220, 222; Illinois Senate Journal. 1859. 21th G. A., 30.
4In the Illinois race for U.S. Senate in 1858, both Lincoln and Douglas focused their campaign efforts on the former Whig stronghold of central Illinois, where the state legislative races were the closest. Among the former Whigs whose votes were courted were those who had moved into the American Party following the dissolution of the Whig Party.
There was also concern by Republicans during the 1858 election that Douglas would win votes from their party. Douglas criticized the Lecompton Constitution and James Buchanan’s support of it in December 1857, causing a rift in the Democratic Party. Some Republicans were excited by Douglas’ repudiation of the Lecompton Constitution and although Douglas later denied it, he courted Republican support. Lincoln and other Republicans were concerned by these developments and urged fellow party members to remain loyal in the upcoming election.
Allen C. Guelzo, “House Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 394, 400-1; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:445-50, 457-58, 476-77.
5An eminent former Whig, Senator John J. Crittenden was widely regarded as the natural successor to Henry Clay. Lincoln worried that a Crittenden endorsement for Douglas would hurt his chances with his former Whig brethren in Illinois. Crittenden welcomed Lincoln's rise to political prominence, but had little sympathy with the Republican Party. Hearing rumors that Crittenden favored Douglas's reelection , Lincoln wrote Crittenden on July 7 asking if the rumor was true. Crittenden did not share any political affinity with Douglas, but he nevertheless shared a strong aversion to the Lecompton Constitution with Douglas. The Administration's harsh response to Douglas brought sympathy from Crittenden, who expressed his support of Douglas in a letter to Lincoln on July 29, though expressing "no disposition for officious intermeddling" in the election.
Tupper is undoubtedly using the term "frank" to refer to Douglas' privilege of sending free mail under his signature as a United States senator.
Robert J. Dole, Historical Almanac of the United States Senate (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989), 137; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:542.
6A wire-worker, also called a wire-puller, in the nineteenth-century referred to a politician who was moving the strings, or wires, of his lackeys or "puppets."
Richard H. Thornton, An American Glossary: Being an Attempt to Illustrate Certain Americanisms Upon Historical Principles (London: Francis, 1912), 2:949-50.
7Douglas had commenced his reelection campaign with a speech in Chicago on July 9, 1858, with Lincoln following up with a speech in Chicago on July 10.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:467-72; Report of Speech at Chicago, Illinois; Report of Speech at Chicago, Illinois; Report of Speech at Chicago, Illinois.
8No response from Lincoln has been found.
9Lincoln wrote this docketing.

Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).