At times Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas exhibited the nastiest practice of campaigning politicians—mudslinging. In his letter to Republican Congressman Elihu Washburne, Lincoln addressed an attack made by Douglas that involved Lincoln’s relationship to Washburne. According to Lincoln, Douglas claimed that the two Republicans stood on “different ground” when it came to admitting new slave states. Here Lincoln asked Washburne for written confirmation to the contrary so that he “may make [it] public.” However, he never received such a reply. (By David Park)
Abraham Lincoln to Elihu B. Washburne, September 16, 1858, Centralia, IL, in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols., New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 3: 144-145, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/.
Transcription adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), edited by Roy P. Basler
Adapted by Ben Lyman, Dickinson College