#77 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents
On This Date
How Historians Interpret
“Lincoln’s natural talents for party leadership appeared early. Writing to Captain Andrew McCormick, one of the legendary Long Nine in the Illinois legislature who had helped him move the state capital to Springfield in the late 1830s, a thirty-one-year-old Lincoln noted in a letter that was first published in 1957, ‘I have just learned, with utter astonishment, that you have some notion of voting for Walters.’ William Walters was a Democratic newspaper editor who was competing for a patronage contract from the assembly as state printer, vying against Lincoln’s close friend and Whig ally Simeon Francis. ‘It can not be,’ Lincoln wrote emphatically, ‘that one so true, firm, and unwavering as you have ever been, can for a moment think of such a thing.’”
—Matthew Pinsker, “Boss Lincoln: A Reappraisal of Abraham Lincoln’s Party Leadership” in The Living Lincoln, Ed. Thomas A. Horrocks, Harold Holzer, and Frank J. Williams, (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), 22.
NOTE TO READERS
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