David McKinson to Abraham Lincoln, 11 March 18461Wednesday night.
March 11. 1846.Friend Lincoln,
Your epistle of 8th inst[instant] is before me.2 I fully co[n]cur with you as to the propriety of holding a convention, notwithstanding the Genls withdrawal from the field.3 Several persons have suggested, that there was no necessity for a convention, but I have invariably insisted upon the propriety of one. A notice for a meeting of our precinct will appear in the paper of this week,4 & on the fir[st] day of our Court, we will get together and do up the business.5 I had been into Putnam, "Setting sta[kes]," and looking out for "Signs" and "Mocasin trac[ks"] the week before I recd[received] the Genls[General's] letter of "ret[?]ey". You would have gotten the Vote of Putnam Per the Convention
I have heard that the Genl, in a letter, written to some one here, says, if he is never in Congress again, he will not, Canvass, the district, drumming up his friends.6 This is intended, probably, for a thrust at some one.yours infinitelyDavid [M]cKinsson
<Page 2>LACON Ill.
MAR[March] 13A. Lincoln. Esqr[Esquire]SpringfieldIllinois
1David McKinson wrote and signed the letter. He also authored the address on the back page, which was folded to create an envelope for mailing.
3At a Whig convention in Pekin in May 1843, an agreement was made between Lincoln, Edward D. Baker, and John J. Hardin that seemed to establish a one-term limit on the prospective Whig congressmen. Hardin and Baker having each served one term, Lincoln believed that the 1846 nomination should have been his. While Lincoln set out to solidify his support in the district, Hardin proposed that the convention system for the nomination be thrown out in favor of a primary election. Lincoln rejected Hardin’s proposal on January 19, 1846, and Hardin subsequently declined the nomination entirely.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 2:218, 231; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 26 February 1846, 2:1-2.
4A notice appeared in the March 14 edition of The Illinois Gazette calling for the Whigs of Lacon to meet at the courthouse on March 16 to appoint three delegates to the county convention, proposed to be held in April.
The Illinois Gazette (Lacon), 14 March 1846, 2:1.
5The Marshall County Circuit Court commenced on the third Monday in March; in 1846, that date was March 16.
“An Act Changing the Time of Holding Circuit Courts in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois,” 20 February 1843, Laws of Illinois (1843), 129.
6Lincoln and Hardin were vying to represent the Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The District included the counties of Cass, Logan, Marshall, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Putnam, Sangamon, Scott, Tazewell, and Woodford.
Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 126.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Home National Historic Site (Springfield, IL).