Letter to Alexander McClure (August 30, 1860)

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#97 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents

Annotated Transcript

“When you say you are organizing every election district, do you mean to include the idea that you are ‘canvassing’ – ‘counting noses?'”

On This Date

HD Daily Report, August 30, 1860

The Lincoln Log, August 30, 1860

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How Historians Interpret

“Lincoln also asked Alexander K. McClure, chairman of the Pennsylvania State Republican Committee, to keep him informed of the status of the campaign at the local level. On August 27, Lincoln responded to McClure report on the campaign by asking, ‘When you say you are organizing every election district, do you mean to include the idea that you are ‘canvassing’—‘counting noses?’’ Lincoln’s inquiry reveals the keen interest that he took in local party organization during the 1860 campaign. A New York visitor reported after a meeting with Lincoln: ‘He sat down beside me on the sofa and commenced talking about political affairs in my own State with a knowledge of details which surprised me.’”

William C. Harris, “Lincoln’s Role in the 1860 Presidential Campaign” in Exploring Lincoln: Great Historians Reappraise Our Greatest President, Ed. Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams, (New York: Fordham University Press, 2015).

 

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Searchable Text

Private
Springfield, Ills. Aug. 30, 1860
 
A.K. McClure, Esq.
My dear Sir,
 
Yours of the 27th was received last evening; as also was one only a few days before.  Neither of these bears quite so hopeful a tone as your former letters.  When you say you are organizing every election district, do you mean to include the idea that you are “canvassing” – “counting noses?”
 
I am always glad to see your letters.   
Yours very truly, 
A.Lincoln
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