To William H. Seward.


SPRINGFIELD. ILL., January 3, 1861.


DEAR SIR:--Yours without signature was received last night. I have been considering your suggestions as to my reaching Washington somewhat earlier than is usual. It seems to me the inauguration is not the most dangerous point for us. Our adversaries have us now clearly at disadvantage on the second Wednesday of February, when the votes should be officially counted. If the two houses refuse to meet at all, or meet without a quorum of each, where shall we be? I do not think that this counting is constitutionally essential to the election, but how are we to proceed in the absence of it? In view of this, I think it is best for me not to attempt appearing in Washington till the result of that ceremony is known.

It certainly would be of some advantage if you could know who are to be at the heads of the War and Navy departments, but until I can ascertain definitely whether I can get any suitable men from the South, and who, and how many, I can not well decide. As yet, I have no word from Mr. Gilmer in answer to my request for an interview with him. I look for something on the subject, through you, before long.

Yours very truly,