Philo E. Reed to Abraham Lincoln, 30 August 18581
Hon A. LincolnDr[Dear] Sir
When I saw you at Peoria I as you will recollect made partial arrangements with you to speak in our place sometime between the 7th of October and the 13–2 I write now to know when you will be with us– We must have you. A large proportion of our Americans are on the fence, and as they go so will the county go–3 Yesterday the Democrats had their county convention and nominated a Democrat for Sheriff and a K. N.[Know Nothing] for coroner. We are going to do the same thing4
I would suggest that you speak here on the 9– or 11– of October
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We are going to make a strong effort here to carry this legislative District.5 We have a large Republican Club in this Town. and are organizing the whole County= so that by the 1st of Oct[October] we will have a list of voters–
I will write Judge Kellogg to day also, so that we may come to some conclusion soon6
Please ans.[answer] at your earliest convenience. I think the 9th of October will suit us full as well=7
Yours &[etc.]Philo E. Reed

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ATT’YS[Attorneys] AT LAW,
Monmouth, Ill.[Illinois]
Hon. A. LincolnPresent.8
1Philo E. Reed wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the envelope.
2Abraham Lincoln had most recently been in Peoria on August 18 and 19, 1858, then passed through the city again on August 28. It is unknown precisely when Reed and Lincoln spoke to each other in Peoria, but both were known to have been in the city on August 19, the date of the Fourth Illinois Congressional District Republican Convention held there. Reed was a delegate at the convention and Lincoln gave a speech following it.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 18 August 1858,; 19 August 1858,; 28 August 1858,; Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 21 August 1858, 2:5.
3Lincoln 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 and Douglas both campaigned extensively and focused their 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. Warren County is located in the northern third of the state of Illinois, which was considered to be safely Republican in the election of 1858.
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.
4In 1858 the Democrats of Warren County nominated a candidate with the surname Riggs for sheriff, likely either David C. Riggs or Jesse Riggs. The two brothers were both Democrats, and David C. Riggs was subsequently elected sheriff of Warren County in 1862, with Jesse Riggs serving as one of his deputies. For coroner, the Warren County Democrats nominated Jamison Leeper, who had earlier been affiliated with the American Party and later became a Democrat. The Democratic candidates for these offices lost the 1858 election to Republican Party sheriff candidate Seth Smith and coroner nominee James C. Crawford. At the end of his life, Smith was described as a Republican who had formerly been a Whig.
The Weekly Chicago Times (IL), 11 November 1858, 4:3; Portrait and Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888), 415-16; Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1886), 335; The Monmouth Review (IL), 31 October 1856, 3:3; The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 215; Wilson County Citizen (Fredonia, KS), 19 April 1901, 3:5; The Monmouth Atlas (IL), 21 September 1860, 2:4.
5Warren County, along with Henderson County, constituted the Fortieth Illinois House District. In the election of 1858 Republican William C. Rice defeated his next closest competitor, Douglas Democrat Charles M. Harris, by several hundred votes in this district. Warren County was in the Ninth Illinois Senate District, where Republican Thomas J. Henderson held over in 1858.
John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 219, 220, 222; Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 1 November 1858, 2:4; 5 November 1858, 1:3; Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield), 15 September 1858, 3:1; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1166; Oquawka Spectator (IL), 4 November 1858, 2:1; 11 November 1858, 2:2.
6Republican William Kellogg had been nominated at the Fourth Illinois Congressional District Republican Convention on August 19, 1858 to run for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives. The Fourth Congressional District of Illinois included Warren County. Kellogg gave a speech in Monmouth on September 22, 1858. He ultimately won reelection, garnering 52.8 percent of the vote, while his Democratic opponent James W. Davidson received 45.7 percent.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 10, 11, 139-40, 142; Chicago Daily Press and Tribune (IL), 21 August 1858, 2:5; 27 September 1858, 2:3.
7No response to this letter has been located, but a date for an appearance by Lincoln in Monmouth was announced in the press by September 2, 1858. Lincoln spoke in Monmouth on October 11, 1858, and Reed introduced him.
The Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 1 September 1858, 2:1; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 2 September 1858, 3:1; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 11 October 1858,; Summary of Speech at Monmouth, Illinois; Summary of Speech at Monmouth, Illinois.
8Reed’s indication that he was present at what he presumed to be Lincoln’s location suggests he intended to hand deliver this letter. On the date of its composition, August 30, 1858, Lincoln was in Tremont to give a speech at a nominating convention of the Tazewell County Republicans.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 30 August 1858,; Summary of Speech at Tremont, Illinois; Summary of Speech at Tremont, Illinois.
9Lincoln wrote this docketing.

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