Norman B. Judd to Abraham Lincoln, 7 July 18561Iowa City 7 July 1856Friend Lincoln
I have just had a long conversation with Gov. Grimes upon the Subject of politics– He thinks and in that I most fully concur that the result of the Iowa election will have a most telling influence upon the other states elections–2 There are a large number of old fashioned Clay whigs in the Southern Counties from Burlington westward who are in doubt what to do— and amongst others is Brownings brother who resides at Burlington
The Gov. is very anxious that you should make some speeches for them in that region and if you could get Browning to come with you it would be a most excellent thing– He will make the appointments for you and see that there are good meetings– Unless you have engagements that you cannot postpone, the cause would gain very much by your speaking a week or two in that region– I really hope you can ^&^ will do it— if So write to the Gov.[Governor] addressed to Burlington naming about the time you can be there–
I have just heard of your telling speech at Princeton— and accept my thanks for the big licks you are giving them3Your friendN. B. Judd
[ endorsement ]
I am here as you see at Iowa City, and write with friend Judd, in pressing you to come into this state, accept the invitation and fail not–4Yours in HasteE Peck5Judd and I write in a letter to Browning, so say nothing to him–6E P
2This is a reference to Iowa’s state general election, which was scheduled to take place on August 4, 1856.
N. Howe Parker, Iowa As It Is In 1856; A Gazetteer for Citizens, and a Hand-Book for Immigrants (Chicago, IL: Keen and Lee, 1856), 236.
3Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech in Princeton, Illinois on July 4, 1856. Ebenezer Peck was present at this speech. Princeton was the hometown of Owen Lovejoy, whom the Republican Party nominated over Leonard Swett as its candidate for U.S. representative in Illinois’ Third Congressional District. As he wrote in a July 7 letter to David Davis, upon learning of Lovejoy’s nomination while en route to Princeton, Lincoln was so upset that he almost turned back for home.
Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 11 July 1856, 2:1; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 10; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:426.
4Judd and Peck are urging Lincoln to come to Iowa as part of Lincoln’s speaking tour on behalf of Republican candidates during the 1856 Federal Election campaign. No reply from Lincoln to either Judd or Peck has been located. However, in a July 12 reply to James W. Grimes, Lincoln mentions receiving this July 7 letter from Judd and Peck and outlines the reasons that he believed he should not travel to Iowa to stump on behalf of the Republican candidates. In the end, although Lincoln stumped extensively throughout Illinois in July and August, he did not speak in Iowa. Lincoln did, however, deliver one speech beyond Illinois’ borders that year—in Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 27, at the invitation of Hezekiah G. Wells. Orville H. Browning gave speeches at a Republican meeting in Keokuk, Iowa, on July 31 and August 1, 1856, and appeared in Burlington, Iowa on August 2, 1856, but was so hoarse from the previous two days of speaking that John Wentworth gave a speech in his place.
In Iowa’s state general election of August 4, both men that voters elected to the U.S. Congress were Republicans, and the Republican Party gained control of the Iowa General Assembly as well as all departments of the state government that were up for election.
In the end, the Democratic Party triumphed in the 1856 presidential race: James Buchanan won the presidency. In Illinois, Buchanan won 44.1 percent of the vote to Republican John C. Fremont’s 40.2 percent and American Party candidate Millard Fillmore’s 15.7 percent. Iowa, however, cast its electoral ballots for Fremont and his running mate, William L. Dayton. In Des Moines County, Iowa—in which Burlington was located—the race was close. Buchanan won 1,413 votes to Fremont’s 1,338, and Fillmore garnered just 522 votes. Other southern counties in Iowa west of Burlington reflected a similar pattern. Voters in Van Buren County, Iowa, for instance, awarded Buchanan 1,396 votes, Fremont 1,093 votes, and Fillmore 303 votes. Voters in Monroe County, Iowa cast a comparable proportion: 622 ballots for Fremont, compared to 603 for Buchanan, and 98 for Fillmore.
In the contest for Illinois’ Third Congressional District’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lovejoy defeated his Democratic opponent, Uri Osgood, with 59.4 percent of the vote to Osgood’s 40.5 percent.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:426-28; Abraham Lincoln to Hezekiah G. Wells; Abraham Lincoln to Hezekiah G. Wells; Report of Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan; Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st through 105th Congresses (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1998), 176; Benjamin F. Gue, History of Iowa from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (New York: Century History, 1903), 1:284; Theodore Calvin Pease and James G. Randall, eds., The Diary of Orville Hickman Browning: Volume I, 1850-1864, vol. 20 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1925), 247-49; The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA), 31 July 1856, 2:1; Weekly Hawk-Eye and Telegraph (Burlington, IA), 6 August 1856, 2:3, 19 November 1856, 3:3; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990, 10; Cong. Globe, 34th Cong., 3rd Sess., 652 (1857).
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Volume Volume 2, Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).