Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, September 10, 1859

    Source citation
    Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, September 10, 1859, Chicago, IL, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

    Office Chicago Press & Tribune

    51 Clark Street,


    Chicago, Sept 10 1859

    Dr Sir

    I send you Douglas' late speech in Columbus Ohio. You will see the new grounds he takes and the new coloring he gives to his old dogmas I observe that you are invited to make speeches in Columbus & Cincinnati. You will draw big crowds and be well received. I know the Buckeyes well -- being raised in that state.

    Do not consider me presumptious for offering a suggestion or two, viz: As you are not a candidate you can talk out as boldly as you please. There is no Egypt in Ohio Any doctrine you can teach in Bloomington will take in Columbus. Cincinnati is nearly as radical as Chicago. They are willing to obey the Fugitive law but want it repealed or modified and have so declared in their platform.

    Dont act on the defensive, but pitch hot shot into the back of doughface and pro slavery democracy. Rake down the swindling pretension of Douglas that his Kansas Nebraska bill guarantees or permits popular sovignty. We have made a leading article on that subject in our today's paper. If you will lay bare the fraud, delusion and sham of squatter sovrignty, you will do our cause in Ohio much service, as it will break the back of the Democratic pretense. You made some strong points in your Chicago speech a year ago on the drift and tendency of the principles of the Democracy, and the duty of patriots to resist the aggressions of the oligarchy Your peroration to the spirit of Liberty was capital. Look over that speech again. Do not fail to get off some of your "anecdotes & hits" -- no people relish such things more than the Buckeyes. I have only one word more of advice to offer viz: Go in boldly, strike straight from the shoulder, -- hit below the belt as well as above, and kick like thunder.

    Yours in haste

    J. Medill

    You can describe the alarming strides the doctrine of opening the African slave trade is making The northern democracy are sore on that score.

    P. S. I guess the state Treasurer trouble will over without doing us any material harm. It was a bad egg, but there is nothing like taking time by the foretop, and cutting off the deceased limb. Don't you think our article in regard to the matter was about the best that could have been said in the face of the charges Long John was making? You tell Butler that there must be no more skulduggery with the public moneys.

    J M

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