James Miller to Abraham Lincoln, 15 August 18561
A Lincoln Esqr[Esquire]Dear Sir
I am down here making some acquaintances in this and the Adjoining Counties and find the sovereigns a good deal divided,2 quite a sprinke[sprinkle?] of Fillmore Men.— from the Signs of the times, they may be Called on to Choose between Buchanan & Freemont, Fillmore being out of the question3Allow me my dear Sir to say that. that if ever your services were needed in a political Struggle it is here in this part of Illinois Just now, to Settle down, the alarming Fillmoreites
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in a Knowledge of political truth as it is in Freemont
It is asking too much for you. to spend your time for thank pay, I trust the Executive Committee will, if they have not already done so make arrangements to, meet all such contingencies,–4 please let me hear from you at Bloomington, about our prospects generally–5
Respectfully YoursJames Miller
1James Miller wrote and signed this letter.
2Lawrence County is bordered by Crawford, Jasper, Richland, and Wabash counties in southeastern Illinois.
Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997), 511.
3In the 1856 Federal Election, Republicans nominated John C. Fremont as their first presidential candidate, while Democrats nominated James Buchanan. The American Party, in its final participation in a presidential election, nominated Millard Fillmore. Republicans, concerned that two opposition tickets would favor the Democrats, explored campaign strategies to ensure their candidate, Fremont, would be elected. In a letter to James Berdan in July 1856, Lincoln suggested a possible fusion ticket, bringing together supporters of the American and Republican parties. In the end, Lincoln implemented a mail campaign, sending form letters to Fillmore supporters informing them that every vote for their candidate in Illinois lessened his chance of becoming president.
Lincoln and his fellow Republicans failed to convince Fillmore’s supporters to unite, allowing Democrats to label their opponents as both nativists and worshippers of African Americans. Lincoln’s prediction proved prophetic. Buchanan won Lawrence County with 54 percent of the vote, with Fillmore coming in second at 39.5 percent. Buchanan also won Crawford County with 57.1 percent (Fremont second with 28.4), Jasper County with 63.5 percent (Fremont second with 21.8), and Richland County with 62.1 percent (Fillmore second with 34.8). Fillmore won Wabash County in a very tight race, overtaking Buchanan 44.6 percent to 44.2 percent. Buchanan captured Illinois with 44.1 percent of the vote to 40.2 percent for Fremont and 15.7 for Fillmore and became the fifteenth president of the United States. Indeed, if the votes received by Fremont and Fillmore in Illinois had been combined, Buchanan’s vote would not have been sufficient to carry the state.
Thomas A. Marshall to Abraham Lincoln; Thomas F. Schwartz, “Lincoln, Form Letters, and Fillmore Men,” Illinois Historical Journal 78 (Spring 1985), 66; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Hull; Abraham Lincoln to Edward Lawrence; Abraham Lincoln to William Ryan; Abraham Lincoln to Harrison Maltby; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:432-33; Philip G. Auchampaugh, “Campaign of 1856,” Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), 1:420-21; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990, 10, 136-37.
4Between July and November 1856, Lincoln crisscrossed the state canvassing on behalf of Republican Party candidates for political office. He delivered over fifty speeches in support of the Republican cause. Lincoln spoke in Lawrenceville on September 19, 1856. See the 1856 Federal Election.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 19 September 1856, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1856-09-19; 1 November 1856, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1856-11-01; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:425-33.
5A response letter from Lincoln to Miller has not been found. However, Lincoln wrote to Jesse K. Dubois on August 19, 1856, mentioning this letter and promising to try to visit Lawrenceville.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Volume Volume 2, Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).