Benjamin C. Lundy to Abraham Lincoln, 10 August 18581
Hon A Lincoln.
You will probably have discovered since you wrote me last, that you have answered my letter and made an appointment to be here August 20th unless the movements of Mr Douglas rendered it impossible.2 You will be in Peoria on the 19th The Delegation from Henry will meet you at Peoria and you will accompany them to Henry on the night train, they will bring you over to Magnolia (8 miles) on the morning of the 20t, and we will take you to Peru in good time to meet
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Mr Douglas in Ottawa on the 21st We do not wish you to fail us if possible to be here.3 Our farming community will be out in strength, and with them you can effect more than you can with the rabble of our large towns. No better point is presented in your canvass.
With respectB C. Lundy4

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MAGNO[LIA] Ill.[Illinois]
Hon A LincolnSpringfieldIllinois
[ docketing ]
Dr Lundy
Not to be.5
1Benjamin C. Lundy wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the envelope.
2Lundy had previously written Abraham Lincoln on July 3 and July 20, 1858, attempting to arrange for the latter’s appearance at a mass meeting in Magnolia, Illinois, of Republicans from Putnam, Marshall, and La Salle counties. No response from Lincoln to either letter has been located.
Lundy’s invitations stemmed from Lincoln’s recent nomination 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. See 1858 Federal Election.
Putnam, Marshall, and La Salle counties, however, were among the northern Illinois counties assumed to be strongly Republican in 1858, and that proved to be the case in the state elections of that year. Putnam and Marshall counties were in the Eight Illinois Senate District, where Republican George C. Bestor defeated Democrat William S. Moss. The two counties were in the Forty-Second Illinois House District, which elected Republican John A. McCall over Democrat Washington E. Cook. La Salle County was located in the Seventh Illinois Senate District, where Republican Burton C. Cook held over in the election of 1858, and was in the Forty-Third Illinois House District, in which Republicans Alexander Campbell and Richardson S. Hick defeated Democratic candidates Samuel C. Collins and William Cogswell.
Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 392-99, 400-401; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:457-58, 476-77; The Ottawa Free Trader (IL), 30 October 1858, 2:1; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 4 November 1858, 3:2; Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 5 November 1858, 1:3; The Weekly Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL), 10 November 1858, 2:1; 24 November 1858, 2:3; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 219-22.
3Lincoln ultimately did not speak in Magnolia on August 20, 1858. In the midst of Lundy’s correspondence with Lincoln regarding the date of the proposed mass meeting, the schedule had been set for a series of debates between Lincoln and Douglas. The first of these debates was scheduled for Saturday, August 21, 1858, in Ottawa, and rather than appearing in Magnolia as Lundy proposed, Lincoln delivered a speech in Peoria on August 19, then spent the night of the 20th in Morris in order to reach Ottawa the following day.
4No response to this letter by Lincoln, nor further correspondence between Lincoln and Lundy on the topic has been located.
5Lincoln wrote this docketing.

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