Daniel A. Cheever to Abraham Lincoln, 20 July 18581
Hon. A LincolnSpringfieldDear Sir
Will you address a county mass meeting at Tremont, called as a Lincoln meeting, some time within a month? It is deemed very important to settle the minds of many Americans and some Replicans who may be induced to vote for Douglass.2 We have a hope to carry the Americans with us, which will give us a majority of some 400 in the county.3
We shall issue a call signed by men of all parties
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who are favorable.
The time should be as early as possible allowing for notice. It seems to us that such a meeting at an early day with an address from you would do more than any thing else to turn the tide in our favor & fix the wavering.
Please reply by return mail4
Respectfully Yours
In behalf of Rep. cen. com.[central committee]
D. A. Cheever Secty.[Secretary]

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[ docketing ]
D A Cheever Sec.[Secretary]
Pekin July 20. 18585

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Hon. A. LincolnP^S^pringfieldIll.
[ endorsement ]
Mr Cullom will please hand this to Mr. Lincoln or forward to him if absent.6D A Cheever
Secty Rep. cen. com.7
[ docketing ]
D. A. Cheever
Tazewell.8
1Daniel A. Cheever wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the last sheet, which was folded to create an envelope.
2Lincoln had recently been nominated at the 1858 Illinois Republican Convention to run against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. 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. Lincoln and Douglas both 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.
3The result of the 1858 race for Illinois House of Representatives in Tazewell County was that Democrat Robert B. M. Wilson garnered 1,955 votes, defeating Republican Richard N. Cullom who received 1,783 votes. Tazewell County was in the Seventeenth Illinois Senate district, where Democrat Samuel W. Fuller held over in the 1858 election.
John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 222; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 4 November 1858, 3:2; The Weekly Chicago Times (IL), 11 November 1858, 2:5; The Biographical Encyclopedia of Illinois of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Galaxy, 1875), 481-82; Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 5 November 1858, 1:3.
4Lincoln responded to Cheever on July 25, indicating his intention to speak in Tazewell County. He wrote Cheever again on August 9 to say that he could not speak in Tremont on August 14 as had been proposed in a letter from Cheever of August 3, 1858, which has not been located. The Republicans of Tazewell County ultimately held their convention in Tremont on the morning of August 30, and Lincoln gave a two-hour speech there at the mass meeting that followed in the afternoon. Notice of the meeting was spread by announcement as early as August 19.
Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 21 August 1858, 2:5; 27 August 1858, 1:1; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 30 August, 1858, https://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1858-08-30; Summary of Speech at Tremont, Illinois; Summary of Speech at Tremont, Illinois.
5An unidentified person wrote this docketing.
6The Mr. Cullom who was to deliver this letter was likely either Richard N. Cullom or Shelby M. Cullom.
7Cheever wrote and signed this endorsement.
8Lincoln wrote this docketing.

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