Illinois Republican State Central Committee

State: Illinois

On October 4, 1854, anti-Nebraska delegates held a statewide convention in Springfield, Illinois, in the senate chamber of the statehouse. The event, scheduled concurrently with the state fair and a speech by pro-Nebraska Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, emphasized unity rather than party. The Whigs opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in agreement with Republicans but also abhorred abolition, a point of contention with Republicans. Speakers at the convention included Ichabod Codding and John F. Farnsworth, who invited Abraham Lincoln as well. Lincoln, hesitant to be connected with abolitionist sentiment, did not attend. The delegates nevertheless elected him to a twelve-man Illinois Republican State Central Committee along with three former Whigs, three longtime abolitionists, one former Know-Nothing, two former Democrats, and two men without strong political affiliations. Almost two months later, on November 27, Lincoln wrote to Codding asking why he had been added to the committee without his approval and confirmed that he was not a member.

Victor B. Howard, "The Illinois Republican Party: Part I: A Party Organizer for the Republicans in 1854," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 64 (Summer 1971), 144-51; Ichabod Codding to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Ichabod Codding.