The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5 by Abraham Lincoln
To J. Gillespie.
SPRINGFIELD, July 16, 1858.
HON. JOSEPH GILLESPIE.
MY DEAR SIR:--I write this to say that from the specimens of Douglas Democracy we occasionally see here from Madison, we learn that they are making very confident calculation of beating you and your friends for the lower house, in that county. They offer to bet upon it. Billings and Job, respectively, have been up here, and were each as I learn, talking largely about it. If they do so, it can only be done by carrying the Fillmore men of 1856 very differently from what they seem to [be] going in the other party. Below is the vote of 1856, in your district:
Counties. Buchanan. Fremont. Fillmore. Bond ............ 607 153 659 Madison ......... 1451 1111 1658 Montgomery ...... 992 162 686 ---- ---- ---- 3050 1426 3003
By this you will see, if you go through the calculation, that if they get one quarter of the Fillmore votes, and you three quarters, they will beat you 125 votes. If they get one fifth, and you four fifths, you beat them 179. In Madison, alone, if our friends get 1000 of the Fillmore votes, and their opponents the remainder, 658, we win by just two votes.
This shows the whole field, on the basis of the election of 1856.
Whether, since then, any Buchanan, or Fremonters, have shifted ground, and how the majority of new votes will go, you can judge better than I.
Of course you, on the ground, can better determine your line of tactics than any one off the ground; but it behooves you to be wide awake and actively working.
Don't neglect it; and write me at your first leisure. Yours as ever,