Daniel G. Hay to Abraham Lincoln, 27 July 18581
Hon A. LincolnDear sir
I have been attending to the case of James Hill in contesting Shawneetown graduation entry No 25. 201 on the ground of actual settlement at the date of the law.2 I wish you to call at the land office3 & get the necessary Notice issued & send it to me or to a proper person to serve.
I sent a second affidavid to Springfield several months ago, since which I have not heard any thing more from Springfield in regard to the matter The first affidavit was sent to Springfield from the Genl Land office at Washington but upon inquiry of the Reg[Register] & Rec[Receiver] at Springfield he replied that he could not find the papers.4 I enclose a letter lately recd[received] from Washington.5
It is owing to the Register & Receiver at springfield having been so very remiss
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in duty which renders it necessary ^for me^ to employ assistance at springfield
I recd a letter from J. E. Whiting of Carmi a few days ago & he said that E. B. Webb would probably be the Dem. Candidate for Legislature
Webb is was Anti Lecompton at first but it is thought that he is now in favor of the Administration.6
Webb has been confined to his room for abt[about] three months. He nor his Phisician dont seem to have much idea opinion as to his disease. I think it is irritation of the bowels from constipation
He was talking of going to Louisville for medical aid when I was last a Carmi (some two weeks ago) He has been "mum" on politics since his illness & it is my opinion that the opposing elements of the "Democracy" are trying to unite on him
I hope Webb may be the candidate if they should only run one Candidate.
The "Democracy" are mistaken as to his present popularity. We have not yet agreed upon a candidate Ferree is my choice
Yours Very truly D G Hay
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strictly confidential
DrBrown— who is my brother in law— who calles himself the King of Know Nothing, in Egypt7 is opposed to running Ferree. I know Brown to be thoroughly Pro slavery & as having no sympathy with the Republican Party upon principle I am well satisfied that he wants to be the candidate of the "opposition to the Democracy"
He says the Democracy fear him that he has expended already over $1.000.00 fighting the Democracy & that he can be elected to the Legislature now but it will cost him another $1.000.00

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I think he would like to be elected to the Legislature as the "opposition Candidate" & would like to find 378 Republicans & 379 Democrats in Leg. ^the Legislature^ without him, & then he would say to the Republicans "I was elected as an American I have expended some $2.000.00 to $3.000.00 fighting the Democracy & now if I go with you you have first to indicate ^to me^ how I am to get my money back." Now the truth is I suppose $25.00 to $50.00 would cover all his expenditures in money in that way
He lives at Carmi & I fear he will give us trouble. I wish he were out of the District10 ^I want you & Judge Trumbull to come down to Mt Carmel Grayville Carmi Liberty11 Fairfield & Albion before the election. ^12^D G Hay13^

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Hon A. LincolnSpringfieldIlls
[ docketing ]
D. G. Hay.15
1Daniel G. Hay wrote and signed this letter. He also wrote Abraham Lincoln’s name and address on the envelope shown in the fifth image.
2Hay references a federal law passed in 1854 that allowed “occupants and settlers” of public lands held by the U.S. federal government to purchase said lands at discounted rates provided that the lands had been “in market” for at least ten years. The purchase prices for the lands graduated downward in connection with the number of years the lands had been in market. Under the law, such occupants and settlers would be granted the right of pre-emption (the right to purchase the land before other applicants) at these graduated prices provided that they applied for entry of the land by making an affidavit before the register or receiver of the appropriate U.S. General Land Office, swearing that they would enter the land for their own use, for “the purpose of actual settlement or cultivation,” and swore that they had not received more than 320 acres under the provisions of the law.
“An Act to Graduate and Reduce the Price of the Public Lands to Actual Settlers and Cultivators,” 4 August 1854, Statutes at Large of the United States 10 (1855):574; “Pre-emption,” Reference, Glossary, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Reference.aspx?ref=Reference%20html%20files/Glossary.html.
3This is a reference to the U.S. General Land Office in Springfield, Illinois.
Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1857 (Washington, DC: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1857), 83-85.
4The specific individual Hay references here is unclear. At the time, several people worked at the U.S. General Land Office in Springfield as registers or receivers.
Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1857, 83-85; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887), 10:423, 424, 431, 457; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 9 June 1858, 2:2; 22 June 1858, 2:4.
5The enclosure Hay references has not been located.
6This is a reference to the administration of President James Buchanan. During the election of 1858, the Democratic Party was split into pro-Buchanan and pro-Stephen A. Douglas factions. The split occurred after Douglas, in December 1857, spoke out against the Lecompton Constitution and criticized President Buchanan for supporting it. See Bleeding Kansas.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:445.
7Egypt was a popular nickname for southern Illinois.
George W. Smith, When Lincoln Came to Egypt (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), 3-4.
8“75” changed to “37”.
9“75” changed to “37” again.
10Hay references the Ninth Illinois House of Representatives District, which included White and Wabash counties. Carmi and White County were also part of the Twenty-Third Illinois Senate District, but Democrat Samuel H. Martin, who won the seat in 1856, was not up for election in 1858. Per the 1848 Illinois Constitution, Illinois senators were not all elected simultaneously. Roughly half were elected biennially, while the other half held over until the next election two years later. Martin held over in the 1858 election.
John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 219; History of White County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1883), 340-41; Ill. Const. of 1848, art. III, § 5-6; Daily State Illinois Journal (Springfield), 13 November 1858, 2:3.
11Since each of the other towns Hay lists here were in southeastern Illinois, this is most likely a reference to Burnt Prairie, which was formerly known as Liberty. There was also a town called Liberty in Illinois at the time, but it was on the other side of the state—in far west central Illinois.
Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary , 3rd ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997), 511; Edward Callary, Place Names of Illinois (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 51-52; The History of Adams County, Illinois (Chicago: Murray, Williamson & Phelps, 1879), 537.
12Hay wrote this script vertically in the left margin of the fourth page of his letter, shown in the fourth image.
If Lincoln replied to this letter, his response has not been located. Hay wrote Lincoln at least one more letter related to politics in 1858.
In a July 26 letter to Lincoln, James I. Ferree wrote that he was mistaken in previously telling Lincoln that his impression was that Morris (Maurice) B. Brown was a man who “could be purchased by the Democracy.” After getting to know Brown through canvassing, Ferree wrote, he believed Brown to be “a strong Republican.” Despite Hay’s assertion above that Brown had “no sympathy with the Republican Party,” the party ran Brown in the state elections of 1858 as its candidate for the Ninth Illinois House District’s seat in the Illinois General Assembly. Ultimately, however, he lost to Democrat John G. Powell. The Republican Party never ran Ferree as a candidate in the elections of 1858. The Democratic Party did not run Edwin B. Webb as a candidate; he died in October, prior to the elections.
Lincoln was attentive to the state legislative races in 1858 because, at the time, he was running as the Illinois Republican Party’s candidate to supplant incumbent Stephen A. Douglas in the U.S. Senate and members of the Illinois General Assembly voted for and elected the state’s representatives in the U.S. Senate. There is no evidence that either Lincoln or Lyman Trumbull delivered political addresses in any of the towns Hay names above, potentially because southern Illinois was a Democratic stronghold and both Lincoln and Douglas focused the bulk of their campaigns on the more competitive battleground of central Illinois.
Republicans won a majority of all votes cast in Illinois in the local elections of 1858, but pro-Douglas Democrats retained control of the Illinois General Assembly, and Douglas ultimately won reelection to the U.S. Senate. The campaign, however, and in particular the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, catapulted Lincoln onto the national political scene, setting the stage for the 1860 Federal Election. See the 1858 Federal Election.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 3 November 1858, 2:2; The Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 17 November 1858, 2:4; Louis L. Emmerson, ed., Blue Book of the State of Illinois 1919-1920 (Springfield: Illinois State Journal, 1919), 541; History of White County, Illinois , 340, 353; Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 394, 404-8, 414-16; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1: 476, 556-57.
13Hay signed his name in the upper-right corner of the margin of the fourth page of his letter, shown in the fourth image.
14The “X” and “Y” are written on the two postage stamps respectively.
An unknown person wrote this docketing on the upper-right portion of the envelope shown in the fifth image.
15Lincoln wrote this docketing vertically on the left side of the envelope shown in the fifth image.

Autograph Letter Signed, 5 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).