To William H. Herndon

1848.  Lincoln is a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held for only one term.  The president is James K. Polk, but this is an election year.  “Old Rough” is “Old Rough and Ready”, Zachary Taylor, destined to be the next president.  Herndon is Lincoln’s law partner in Springfield.

Dear William                Washington, June 12. 1848-

On my return from Philadelphia, where I had been attending the nomination of “Old Rough”—I found your letter in a mass of others, which had accumulated in my absence. By many, and often, it had been said they would not abide the nomination of Taylor; but since the deed has been done, they are fast falling in, and in my opinion we shall have a most overwhelming, glorious, triumph. One unmistakable sign is, that all the odds and ends are with us—Barnburners, Native Americans, Tyler men, disappointed office seeking locofocos, and the Lord knows what. This is important, if in nothing else, in showing which way the wind blows. Some of the sanguine men here, set down all the states as certain for Taylor, but Illinois, and it as doubtful. Can not something be done, even in Illinois? Taylor’s nomination takes the locos on the blind side. It turns the war thunder against them. The war is now to them, the gallows of Haman, which they built for us, and on which they are doomed to be hanged themselves.

Excuse this short letter. I have so many to write, that I can not devote much time to any one.

Yours as ever



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