The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2 by Abraham Lincoln
On the Danger of Third-Parties
TO JOHN BENNETT.
DEAR SIR:--I understand you are a Fillmore man. If, as between Fremont and Buchanan, you really prefer the election of Buchanan, then burn this without reading a line further. But if you would like to defeat Buchanan and his gang, allow me a word with you: Does any one pretend that Fillmore can carry the vote of this State? I have not heard a single man pretend so. Every vote taken from Fremont and given to Fillmore is just so much in favor of Buchanan. The Buchanan men see this; and hence their great anxiety in favor of the Fillmore movement. They know where the shoe pinches. They now greatly prefer having a man of your character go for Fillmore than for Buchanan because they expect several to go with you, who would go for Fremont if you were to go directly for Buchanan.
I think I now understand the relative strength of the three parties in this State as well as any one man does, and my opinion is that to-day Buchanan has alone 85,000, Fremont 78,000, and Fillmore 21,000.
This gives B. the State by 7000 and leaves him in the minority of the whole 14,000.
Fremont and Fillmore men being united on Bissell, as they already are, he cannot be beaten. This is not a long letter, but it contains the whole story.
Yours as ever,