Fragment of Andrew Johnston to Abraham Lincoln, 10 March 18461Quincy Illinois March 10th 1846 Dea[r] . . .
. . .an letter, enclosing the poe[m] . . .earnest . . . rea. . .[wi]th undiminis[hed] . . . once . . . . . .lson’s house, where I happ[ened] to be . . . ter. My auditors2 were as much pleased . . .[a]ll agreed that the author of su[ch] poetry . . .. Can you tell me who it is . . .
[on]e of your own, I shall be ve[ry] happ[y] . . . you will gratify me– By no. . .ear. . .ly last mail a parody of . . . our . . .[published in the?] Whig–3. . .Johnston. . . Mrs Browning . . . She has not been dangerous[ly] . . . health is very poor– Her goo. . . well, and is gone on the Cir[cuit]. . . some shakes after we go[t]. . . rid of them– I have h[ad]. . . all the time almost, . . . getting over it finely– . . . health . . .
<Page 2>a certain tone of dissatisfacti[on] Your . . . ly seems to come from . . ., not . . .[be]ware of the disadvantages . . .[ta]ken, . . . to joke, rather . . . . . . written . . . reckon, . . . over the disapp[ointment] . . . come . . .nt again– Were I in you[r ]. . . soon have Hardin for representative as any . . .like him . . .[str]ongly, both in private and . . . think, as . . .[q]uestion of "give and take", . . . to have . . . inside track this time, and . . . it up . . .ce– If you had not possesse[d] . . . ce, had . . .d no serv[ices] to the part[y]. . .sims4
<Page 3>alwa[ys] . . .
5PAID . . . [Lin]coln Esq[Esquire]
1This badly damaged letter was written and signed by Andrew Johnston. It is likely a response to Abraham Lincoln’s letter of February 24, which enclosed a copy of the poem “Mortality” by William Knox. Lincoln responded to this letter on April 18, 1846.
3The parody mentioned here was “The Polecat,” a parody of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”
4At 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.
Lincoln and Hardin were vying to represent the Seventh Congressional District, which included the counties of Cass, Logan, Marshall, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Putnam, Sangamon, Scott, Tazewell, and Woodford.
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; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 126.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Lincoln Home National Historic Site (Springfield, IL).