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21
THE SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1858

that Lincoln was to be used as a stalking-horse for the defeat of Douglas in the legislative campaign.

Mr. A. Lincoln is the special object of admiration among the Black Republicans of Illinois at this time. How long it will last no one knows. Two years ago he occupied much the same position, but he was diddled out of the place of Senator by the friends of Trumbull, and the same thing may happen to him again.[1]

Lincoln's prospects for the senatorship were further menaced by the danger that the Republicans of the state might deem it wise to lend their support to Douglas, reelect him to the Senate, and by his victory impair the chances of Buchanan securing a second term. Greeley suggested that the Illinois senatorship should be allowed to go to Douglas by default and thus by increasing the breach between Douglas and Buchanan prepare the way for the Republicans to carry the state in 1860. Lincoln himself expressed his fears lest Douglas should shift from his true Democratic principles, and "assume steep Free Soil ground and furiously assail the Administration on the stump." This very possible action would take away the support of the anti-Nebraska Democrats and of many Republicans from Lincoln and center it on the Little Giant. Against such a coalition Lincoln took the precaution of sending letters to prominent Republicans throughout the state, before the Republican convention met at Springfield in June, 1858, and they soon acknowledged the danger of indorsing so uncertain a man as Douglas upon no other recommendation to Republicanism than his quarrel with Buchanan. The situation might be foreguarded if the Republican convention would indorse Lincoln as its candidate, thereby pledging the legislators elected on its ticket in the November election to vote for Lincoln in the joint session to be held during the winter of 1859.

  1. Missouri Republican, St. Louis, July 11, 1858.