Abraham Lincoln was twenty-three-years-old and working as a clerk in a store in the small village of New Salem, Illinois (situated about 20 miles north of Springfield along the Sangamo or Sangamon River) when he announced himself in 1832 as a candidate for the Illinois state house of representatives. Lincoln competed against twelve other candidates for four at-large seats. He finished eighth in the August election, falling short of victory by only about 150 votes. His well-crafted campaign statement from March, which detailed his policy positions on issues such as river improvements, may have contributed to what was a reasonably strong showing for someone who had only been living in the district for less than a year. (By Matthew Pinsker)
"Communication to the People of Sangamo County," in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols., New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 1: 5-10, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/.
Transcription adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), edited by Roy P. Basler
Adapted by Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College