Henry W. Wells to Abraham Lincoln, 28 August 18581
Hon Abram LincolnDear Sir
At a Republican meeting held in this place a committee was appointed, and instructed earnestly to solicit you speak in this place, on the political questions of the day I therefore present our requst sincerly hoping that you may find time to fulfill it. we are centrally situated in a large county, and will give you a large audience.2 If this should meet with your approval, will you do us the favor to appoint the day suiting your own convenience best. and advise us of the time3
Your Very Respy[Respectfully]H. W. Wells
for Committee
P. S.
Allow me to suggest that our circuit court meets on 1st Monday in October which will be a favorable time for us4

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Hon Abram LincolnSpringfieldIlls5
[ endorsement ]
H. W. Wells.6
1Henry W. Wells wrote and signed this letter.
2The Republicans of Henry County had held a meeting in Cambridge on the evening of August 26, 1858.
Lincoln had been nominated at the 1858 Illinois Republican Convention to run against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. Both candidates campaigned extensively in the autumn of 1858. 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. Henry County in northwestern Illinois was considered to be safely Republican at this time.
Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 31 August 1858, 2:7; 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.
3No response to this letter has been located. No evidence has been found that Lincoln spoke in Cambridge during the 1858 election campaign. He was also invited in October 1858 to speak in the Henry County town of Geneseo, but is not know to have appeared there. Towards the end of the campaign Lincoln made brief remarks at the train station at the town of Kewanee in the county.
Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” 404-8; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 28 October 1858, https://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1858-10-28.
4Rather than appearing in Cambridge on the first Monday in October, Lincoln spoke in Metamora on that day, then spent the night in Peoria.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 4 October 1858, https://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1858-10-04.
5Wells wrote Lincoln’s name on the envelope and an unidentified person added the address location.
6Lincoln wrote this docketing.

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