Abraham Smith to Abraham Lincoln, July 20, 1858

    Source citation
    Abraham Smith to Abraham Lincoln, July 20, 1858, Ridge Farm, IL, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/malhome.html.
    Author (from)
    Smith, Abraham
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Ben Lyman, Dickinson College
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

    Ridge Farm Ill. 7th mo. 20, 1858

    Friend Lincoln

    It is said that the campaign is regularly opened between thee & Douglas

    Thou art perhaps not aware of the great solicitude with which I look on -- nor does it matter much to thee how much interest I may take in it he-- But I want to say to thee that while some republicans -- good men & true but cautious will say thou hast taken too high ground -- (too near up to the standard of the Christianity of the day)-- I am rejoicd that by thy speeches at -- Springfield & Chicago thou are fairly mounted on the eternal invulnerabl bulwark of truth -- the same that the bible teaches the same that is taught by the declaration of Independance -- by the Constitution of the U. S. and by the fathers of the republic -- the Christianity of the age demands -- a higher stand than dont care whether the "sum of all vilianies" should deluge the land

    But Douglas is a cuning dog & the devil is on his side-- As I view the contest (tho we say it is between Douglass [Douglas] & Lincoln --) it is no less than a contest for the advancement of the kingdom of Heaven or the kingdom of Satan -- a contest for an advance or a retrograde -- in civilization -- and the fate of Douglas or Lincoln is comparatively a trifle But it is not for the gratification of boring thee with my abstractions that I write But I rember of hearing an anecdote which I think will be of servise to thee -- in answering Douglasses -- Meniel veneration for supreme judges-- The

    The anecdote is something like this While William Penn was governer of Pennsylvania -- he had commissioned a J. P. in some back settlement -- so circumstanced that it was hardly possible to have any appeal from his decisions -- in course of time this J. P. commenced playing the tyrant at such a rate that complaint came to the governor -- Penn and his attorney -- after disgusing themselves in a hunters suit started on a visit to the tyrant -- it so happened that they arrived in time of a rain and called in as tho they wanted merely shelter from the rain-- Bt the attorney in his own way commenced the investigation by alluding to the rumors of tyrany and when he was satisfied of the squires malpractice from his own mouth -- he began to hint at the danger the squire was in when the squire became very indignant and soon ordered the hunters from his cabin -- but the atorney advised him his companion -- siting so demurely there in the corner -- was the man that made squires in short that he was in presence of the governor -- and that he would probably make a new squire for that settlement

    It occured to me on reading Douglass' sneers at town meetings -- that the people who compose these town meetings sometimes sometimes make new judges -- and if I remember the history of the case correctly -- Douglass was made judge by a political freak of the people of Illinois

    If my anecdote should be of no servise to thee please -- receive it as an emenation from kind intention

    Thy friend

    Abraham Smith

    How to Cite This Page: "Abraham Smith to Abraham Lincoln, July 20, 1858," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/27493.