LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph letter signed ("A. Lincoln") to Richard Yates, Springfield, 26 April 1860. 1 page, 4to, very lightly and expertly silked, tipped to another sheet.
FALLOUT FROM THE DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN OF 1858: "YOU NOW HAVE MY ENTIRE CONFIDENCE AS AN HONORABLE MAN"
Lincoln tries to head off any trouble for an important Illinois Republican during the 1860 presidential--and Illinois gubernatorial--election campaign, as he assures Yates that he bears no grudge about Yates's loyalty to him during the 1858 Senatorial contest. "...I never suspected, and did not now suspect you of any want of sympathy, or of any dereliction in supporting me, and our cause in that contest; and that you now have my entire confidence as an honorable man. I added that, if called upon, I would say the same for Mr. Swett, as I had previously done for Mr. Judd. I hope and believe you will be entirely satisfied with my letter to Mr. Waughop, when you come to see it."
Waughrop had written Lincoln on 20 April 1860 saying, "The story has been circulated here for a few days to the prejudice of Honl. Richard Yates that you did not have his sympathy and support in your grate [sic] canvass with Douglas..." Yates was then running for governor of Illinois on the Republican ticket, and eager to refute any notion that he was anything but a strong Lincoln man. On 25 April Yates wrote Lincoln, saying that "John W. Waughop Esq., of Chicago...told me that he had written or was about to write you, to ascertain the truth of a charge to the effect that I had opposed you on the contest with Douglass..." Yates goes on to say that while his campaigning for Lincoln "was confined to a few counties...you had not a more zealous supporter than myself." Yates's candidacy was successful, and he went on to serve as an aggressive, pro-Union governor throughout the Civil War. So firm were his pro-Lincoln principles that when the Democratic controlled Illinois House of Representatives passed a resolution urging a peace treaty with the Confederacy, Yates prorogued the legislature until the next election returned a Republican majority. When his term expired in 1865 he won election to the Senate, where he strongly supported a harsh reconstruction policy towards the South, and voted for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Published in Collected Works, 10:52.