Abraham Jonas to Abraham Lincoln, 5 August 18581
Hon A LincolnSpringfield IllsMy dear Sir
There will be no difficulty in the world in your getting to Freeport on the 27th after being at Augusta on the 25th– I have therefore had it announced that you will be there— and you may expect the tallest kind of a croud–2
Things look well here, and the split is widening daily between the two branches of the unterrified– The Buccaneers supporting Jac Davis and the Douglasites I N Morris3 the latter will poll by far the largest vote, but the stink fingers are daily gaining strength4—the great difficulty with us is in getting a Candidate for CongressBrowning could I think be elected, but he will not consent to run under any circumstance,5 what we shall do on the 25th I can hardly6—but like Macawber—hoping that something will turn up–7
I remain yrs[yours] truelyA Jonas8

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QUINCY Ill.[Illinois]
AUG[AUGUST] 6 1858
Hon A. LincolnSpringfieldIlls
[ docketing ]
A. Jonas9
[ docketing ]
Aug 5/58[1858]10
1Abraham Jonas wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the envelope.
2Jonas is responding to a letter from Abraham Lincoln, in which the latter conveyed his intention to speak in Augusta on August 25 following the Republican Fifth Congressional District Convention, provided it would be possible for him to travel to the second Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Freeport on time afterwards.
Lincoln had been nominated in June 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 campaigned extensively in Illinois in the summer and fall of 1858, delivering speeches and campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates for the General Assembly. He and Douglas both focused their campaign efforts on the former Whig stronghold of central Illinois, where the state legislative races were the closest.
Lincoln spoke in Augusta for two hours on August 25, to a crowd that was estimated to consist of 1,200 people, roughly two thirds of whom were reportedly former Henry Clay Whigs.
Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 28 August 1858, 1:2; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 142; Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 392-94, 400-401; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:457-58, 476-77; Summary of Speech at Augusta, Illinois; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 25 August 1858, https://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1858-08-25.
3“Unterrified” was a derisive term applied to the Democratic Party in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The two branches of the Democratic Party referred to by Jonas were the supporters of President James Buchanan and the backers of Stephen A. Douglas. A rift had formed in the party after Douglas criticized the Lecompton Constitution and Buchanan’s support of it in December 1857. See Bleeding Kansas. Illinois Republicans saw the rift as potentially benefitting their party, and some worked behind the scenes to exacerbate the split.
Richard H. Thornton, An American Glossary: Being an Attempt to Illustrate Certain Americanisms Upon Historical Principles (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1912), 2:920-21; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:445-50, 454-56.
4Democrats were referred to in print as “stink fingers” or “stink fingered” as early as 1842. Newspaper editor Austin Brooks of the Quincy Herald, a Douglas Democrat, used the phrase in late 1857 and with increased frequency during the election of 1858 to refer negatively to Democrats who supported Buchanan. In 1858, newspapers in other cities and states discussed the appellation and attributed the popularization of the term to the Quincy Herald. After 1858 the Quincy Herald continued to use the phrase, apparently to mean Democrats who opposed Douglas or who were considered to be disloyal to the party.
The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia), 4 November 1842, 3:3; The Weekly Chicago Times (IL), 12 November 1857, 3:1; The Daily Quincy Herald (IL), 15 June 1858, 2:2; 27 October 1858, 3:3; Louisville Daily Courier (KY), 25 June 1858, 2:1; Glasgow Weekly Times (MO), 8 July 1858, 3:5; The Caledonian (St. Johnsbury, VT), 10 July 1858, 2:7; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 23 July 1858, 3:1; The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA), 3 August 1858, 2:1; The Quincy Herald (IL), 6 June 1860, 2:3; 23 July 1860, 2:1; Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 291.
5On the date of the August 25, 1858 Republican Fifth Congressional District Convention in Augusta, Orville H. Browning recorded in his diary: “Republican convention to nominate candidate for Congress meets at Augusta to day. I did not go up—having declined all solicitations to become a candidate”.
Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 28 August 1858, 1:2; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 , 142; Theodore Calvin Pease and James G. Randall, eds., The Diary of Orville Hickman Browning: Volume I, 1850-1864, vol. 20 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Lincoln Series II (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1925), 334.
6Jackson Grimshaw was nominated as the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives at the Republican Fifth Congressional District Convention on August 25. Incumbent Democrat Isaac N. Morris won reelection to the seat in the election of 1858, garnering 52.7 percent of the vote, defeating Grimshaw who earned 45.4 percent of the vote, and independent Democrat Jacob C. Davis, who received just under 2 percent of the vote.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 30 July 1858, 2:2; Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 28 August 1858, 1:2; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 , 10, 11, 142; Ozias M. Hatch to Abraham Lincoln.
7Wilkins Micawber, a fictional character in David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, is notable for his persistent optimism and belief that something would “turn up” to make his fortune, despite previous schemes having failed to do so.
Adrian Room, rev., Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (London: Cassell, 1999; repr. London: Cassell, 2002), 767.
8No response to this letter by Lincoln has been located.
9Lincoln wrote this docketing.
10An unidentified person wrote this docketing.

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