[Sidenote] Lincoln to Judd, Feb. 9, 1860.
MS. Also printed in a
Not long after these letters, at some date near the middle of the winter 1859-60, the leaders of the Republican party of Illinois met at Springfield, the capital of the State, and in a more pressing and formal manner requested him to permit them to use his name as a Presidential candidate, more with the idea of securing his nomination for Vice-President than with any further expectation. To this he now consented. His own characteristic language, however, plainly reveals that he believed this would be useful to him in his future Senatorial aspirations solely, and that he built no hopes whatever on national preferment. A quarrel was going on among rival aspirants to the Illinois governorship, and Lincoln had written a letter to relieve a friend from the imputation of treachery to him in the recent Senatorial contest. This act of justice was now used to his disadvantage in the scramble for the Illinois Presidential delegates, and he wrote as follows: “I am not in a position where it would hurt much for me not to be nominated on the national ticket; but I am where it would hurt some for me not to get the Illinois delegates. What I expected when I wrote the letter to Messrs. Dole and others is now happening. Your discomfited assailants are most bitter against me; and they will for revenge upon me, lay to the Bates egg in the South, and to the Seward egg in the North, and go far towards squeezing me out in the middle with nothing. Can you not help me a little in this matter in your end of the vineyard?”
The extra vigilance of his friends thus invoked, it turned out that the Illinois Republicans sent a delegation to the Chicago Convention full of personal devotion to Lincoln and composed of men of the highest standing, and of consummate political ability, and their enthusiastic efforts in his behalf among the delegations from other States contributed largely to the final result.