Warning: Unknown: Unable to allocate memory for pool. in Unknown on line 0 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/index.php on line 17 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-blog-header.php on line 12 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-load.php on line 29 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-config.php on line 117 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 21 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 22 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 30 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 71 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 72 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/functions.php on line 8 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 73 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 74 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 75 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 76 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/pomo/mo.php on line 10 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/pomo/translations.php on line 10 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/pomo/mo.php on line 11 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/load.php on line 320 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/load.php on line 412 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 89 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 93 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 94 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/ms-settings.php on line 14 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/ms-settings.php on line 15 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 106 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 112 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 113 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 114 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 115 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 116 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 117 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 118 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 119 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 120 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 121 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 122 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 123 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 124 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 125 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 126 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 127 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 128 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 129 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 130 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 131 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 132 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 133 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 134 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 135 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 136 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 137 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 138 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 139 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 140 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 141 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 142 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 25 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 28 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 31 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 34 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 37 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 143 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 144 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 145 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 146 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 147 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 148 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 149 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 150 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 151 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 152 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 153 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 154 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 158 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 159 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 160 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 171 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 171 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 179 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php on line 47 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php on line 48 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php on line 58 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 179 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 201 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: include(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 51 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/media.php on line 2104 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 214 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 219 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 220 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/functions.php on line 2905 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/plugins/google-maps-embed/cets_EmbedGmaps.php on line 34 Warning: include_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/plugins/google-maps-embed/cets_EmbedGmaps.php on line 35 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 314 Warning: include(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-settings.php on line 328 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/themes/responsive/functions.php on line 12 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/themes/responsive/functions.php on line 13 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/themes/responsive/functions.php on line 14 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/themes/responsive/functions.php on line 15 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/themes/responsive/functions.php on line 16 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-content/themes/responsive/functions.php on line 17 Warning: include(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 51 Warning: include(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/script-loader.php on line 566 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-blog-header.php on line 16 Warning: include(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template-loader.php on line 74 Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 501 Letter to Fillmore Men (September 8, 1856) | Lincoln's Writings
Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 503
Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 503

Letter to Fillmore Men (September 8, 1856)

Ranking

#105 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents

Annotated Transcript

“I understand you are a Fillmore man. Let me prove to you that every vote withheld from Fremont, and given to Fillmore, in this state, actually lessens Fillmore’s chance of being President.”

On This Date

HD Daily Report, September 8, 1856

 Custom Map

Screen shot 2014-01-25 at 2.27.42 PM
View in Larger Map

How Historians Interpret

“Lincoln recognized that the Republican party faced formidable problems in the 1856 presidential contest.  Not only was it a new and imperfectly articulated organization, but it had powerful competition. . .The nativists, now calling themselves the American party, nominated ex-President Millard Fillmore, whose highly respectable Whig antecedents made him attractive to conservatives of all persuasions. . .Lincoln offered low-key, reasonable arguments to persuade American voters opposed to the expansion of slavery not to waste their votes on Fillmore, who had no chance of winning.  In private letters to old Whig friends, Lincoln made the same argument, stressing that a vote for Fillmore was really a vote for Buchanan. . .What effect Lincoln had on the outcome of the 1856 election in Illinois was hard for him or anybody else to determine.  In Republican newspapers his speeches were invariably praised as ‘unanswerable,’ showing ‘great eloquence and power.’  Democratic papers described his speeches as ‘prosy and dull in the extreme.’  He himself was under no illusions about the impact of his campaigning. . .In the end, the canvass verified the prediction Lincoln had made at the start: ‘With the Fremont and Fillmore men united, here in Illinois, we have Mr. Buchanan in the hollow of our hand; but with us divided, . . . he has us.’”

–David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 192-194

“On September 8, Lincoln wrote a form letter to the supporters of the American party’s candidate, arguing that Fillmore could only win if the election were thrown into the House of Representatives, where the former president might prevail as a compromise candidate. But that would never happen if Buchanan carried Illinois, whose electoral votes, when combined with those of the South and of the Democratic standard bearer’s home state of Pennsylvania, would assure his election. Therefore Fillmore backers in Illinois should vote for Frémont because Fillmore had no chance of carrying the state.”

Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 volumes, originally published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) Unedited Manuscript By Chapters, Lincoln Studies Center, Volume 1, Chapter 11 (PDF), pp. 1213

NOTE TO READERS

This page is under construction and will be developed further by students in the new “Understanding Lincoln” online course sponsored by the House Divided Project at Dickinson College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. To find out more about the course and to see some of our videotaped class sessions, including virtual field trips to Ford’s Theatre and Gettysburg, please visit our Livestream page at http://new.livestream.com/gilderlehrman/lincoln

 

Searchable Text

Springfield, Sept. 8, 1856
 
Dear Sir, 
I understand you are a Fillmore man. Let me prove to you that every vote withheld from Fremont, and given to Fillmore, in this state, actually lessens Fillmore’s chance of being President.
 
Suppose Buchanan gets all the slave states, and Pennsylvania, andany other one state besides; then he is elected, no matter who gets all the rest.
 
But suppose Fillmore gets the two slave states of Maryland and Kentucky; then Buchanan is not elected; Fillmore goes into the House of Representatives, and may be made President by a compromise.
 
But suppose again Fillmore’s friends throw away a few thousand votes on him, in Indiana and Illinois, it will inevitably give these states to Buchanan, which will more than compensate him for the loss of Maryland and Kentucky; will elect him, and leave Fillmore no chance in the H.R. or out of it.
 
This is as plain as the adding up of the weights of three small hogs. As Mr. Fillmore has no possible chance to carry Illinois for himself, it is plainly his interest to let Fremont take it, and thus keep it out of the hands of Buchanan. Be not deceived. Buchanan is the hard horse to beat in this race. Let him have Illinois, and nothing can beat him; and he will get Illinois, if men persist in throwing away votes upon Mr. Fillmore.
 
Does some one persuade, you that Mr. Fillmore can carry Illinois? Nonsense! There are over seventy newspapers in Illinois opposing Buchanan, only three or four of which support Mr. Fillmore, all the rest going for Fremont. Are not these newspapers a fair index of the proportion of the voters. If not, tell me why.
 
Again, of these three or four Fillmore newspapers, two at least, are supported, in part, by the Buchanan men, as I understand. Do not they know where the shoe pinches? They know the Fillmore movement helps them, and therefore they help it.
 
Do think these things over, and then act according to your judgment.
Yours very truly,
A. LINCOLN
 
(Confidential)
Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 503
Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Honest Abe
Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1152 Warning: require(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 503
Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 501
About Site

Editor: Matthew Pinsker
House Divided Project
PO Box 1773 / Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013
717-245-1525
hdivided@dickinson.edu

Contributing Editors
Additional Credits
Permissions and Citations
How to Use

Log in

“Best of the Web”
Named "Best of the Web" in Nov. 2013 by NEH EDSITEMENT
House Divided Project
Navigate our highlights here
Warning: require_once(): Unable to allocate memory for pool. in /var/www/housedivided/sites/wp-includes/template.php on line 501