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Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln Thanks a Supporter for Chicago News, with Republican Convention Materials (SOLD)
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In June 1860, Lincoln had only recently gained the nomination as Republican Presidential candidate. A month earlier, he had been locked in a tight battle with heavy favorite William Seward. Lincoln’s surrogates packed the Chicago Republican convention hall with supporters and enlisted the help of a local newspaper editor to secure the votes of the Ohio delegation. After a raucous debate and inside dealings worthy of Chicago’s political reputation, Lincoln won the nominated on the third ballot.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Autograph Letter Signed, to P.A. Hackleman. Springfield, Ill., June 8, 1860. 1 p. 5 x 8 in. With a 5 ½ x 3 in. envelope postmarked “Rushville Ills. June 13” and “Springfield, Ill.” With: A pair of exceedingly rare broadsides from the Chicago convention that nominated Lincoln for the Presidency.

Inventory #22613; 22557.01-.02       SOLD — please inquire about other items

[REPUBLICAN PARTY]. Broadside, “Roll of the National Republican Convention, Chicago, May 16th, 1860,” Chicago, 1860, 14 ⅜ x 20 ½ in.

# 22557.01

Some notable names on the roster include David Wilmot and Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania; John A. Andrew and John S. Keyes from Massachusetts; Gideon Welles of Connecticut; and Horace Greely of New York City, but voting for the newly-created State of Oregon.

[REPUBLICAN PARTY]. Broadside, “National Republican Platform Adopted by the National Republican Convention Held in Chicago, May 17, 1860,” printed by the Press and Tribune, Chicago, 1860, 8 ¼ x 13 ⅛ in.

# 22557.02 

Also with: [REPUBLICAN PARTY]. Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 19, 1860. Centerfold, “The Republicans in Nominating Convention in Their Wigwam at Chicago, May 1860.”

Republicans saw an opportunity to seize the White House from the fractious Democratic Party, which split over the issue of extending slavery into new states and territories. Delegates met in Chicago to debate a platform that squarely addressed the issue. Their platform also rejected secession and sectionalism, and encouraged industry and infrastructure.

Complete Transcript

                                    Springfield, Ills. June 8, 1860

Hon: P.A. Hackleman

Dear Sir

Your letter of the 5th is duly received, and for which I thank you. The account you give of the doings at Chicago is very much the same as that given me by the delegates of our own state. I shall be pleased to hear from you at any time.

Yours very truly, A. Lincoln

[Envelope] M & F/ Hon. P.A. Hackleman/ Rushville Indiana.

[Verso, in light pencil] Present State of the County/ The remedy

Historical Background

Abraham Lincoln, as all Presidential candidates before and after him until Franklin D. Roosevelt, did not attend his party’s national nominating convention. Instead, he relied on supporters, friends, and sympathetic journalists to spread his political message. The 1860 Republican Convention was only the second nominating convention of the newly-formed Republican Party. New York Senator William Seward was favored going into the convention, which met May 16 to May 18, 1860, at the “Wigwam,” the campaign’s Chicago headquarters. Most delegates thought Seward had the nomination in well in hand, but Illinois favorite son candidate Abraham Lincoln blocked Seward’s clear majority on the first two ballots. Lincoln, the dark horse, packed the crowd with supporters, and for insurance, the Illinois Republican chairman seated New York’s delegation far from any swing-state delegates. As votes were tallied on the third ballot, Lincoln remained a few votes shy of the nomination. Chicago Press and Tribune editor Joseph Medill leaned towards the Ohio delegation, which had backed Salmon P. Chase, and whispered “Swing your votes to Lincoln and your boy can have anything he wants.”  The Ohio chairman jumped up and changed his delegation’s votes, delivering the nomination to Lincoln and all but guaranteeing Chase a Cabinet position.

Although Lincoln received the nomination on May 18, 1860, he had not left Springfield, Illinois, during the month of May 1860 except for the three days (May 8-10) he spent in Decatur, Illinois, to attend the Illinois State Republican Convention. After his convention victory, Lincoln learned of the nomination at the offices of Springfield’s Sangamon Journal. After a round of congratulations at the newspaper office, Lincoln went home to inform his wife. As news spread, a large crowd gathered in front of Lincoln’s house to cheer the nominee.

The next three weeks were demanding for Lincoln as he laid the groundwork for his presidential bid and mended fences with fellow Republicans. He wrote letters thanking supporters, supplied autographs when asked, responded to journalists’ requests for biographical information, and received politicians and eastern political bosses. Hackleman, a delegate to the Republican nominating convention from neighboring Indiana, evidently wrote to Lincoln during this time, offering him a firsthand account of the convention’s machinations. Lincoln’s brief response to Hackleman’s report of the “doings at Chicago” corroborates the tales Lincoln had heard from the Illinois delegation. After this flurry of political activity, Lincoln, remarkably, returned to his law practice just two days before he wrote this letter.

Much like the nomination process, Lincoln followed traditions dating back to George Washington by not campaigning directly. Instead he conducted a “front porch” campaign: he obliged journalists to come to him, recommended that voters read his published works, and relied on supporters to make his case for him.  

Pleasant Adam Hackleman (1814-1862) was an Indiana farmer who studied law, passed the bar in May 1837, and moved to Rushville, Indiana to begin practicing law. From 1837 to 1841, he was Judge of Probate Court of Rush County and in August 1841, he was elected to the Indiana General Assembly. Hackleman ran for Congress as a Whig in 1847 and as a Republican in 1858, although he lost both times. He served as a delegate to the National Republican Convention in Chicago that nominated Abraham Lincoln as a Presidential candidate in 1860. In February 1861, after Lincoln’s election sparked talk of secession, Hackleman attended the Washington Peace Conference, a failed attempt to avert the impending Civil War. After the war started, he was commissioned a colonel in the 16th Indiana Infantry and ordered to Harpers Ferry, where his unit joined a brigade under the command of General N. P. Banks. In October 1861, the 16th Indiana fought in the battle at Ball’s Bluff. Hackleman was promoted to brigadier general, serving under Ulysses S. Grant in Tennessee. On October 3, 1862, as Hackleman tried to rally his troops at the Battle of Corinth, Mississippi, he was shot through the neck. Even so, he was able to utter the lst last words “I am dying, but I die for my country.” His body was returned to Rushville for burial. Hackleman was the only Union General from Indiana.


Treated by a professional paper conservator. Horizontal split mended, well clear of text.


“The 1860 Republican Convention: Politics Chicago-Style Puts Lincoln Over the Top.”,0,3413059.story

“The Republican Convention of 1860.”

“The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln.”

Roy P. Basler. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), The Abraham Lincoln


Henry Bascom Rankin. Abraham Lincoln: The First American - Personal Recollections of

Abraham Lincoln (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1916).

Conkling, Clinton L. “How Mr. Lincoln Received the News of His First Nomination: Address

Before the Illinois State Historical Society, 1909,” Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society offprint (Springfield, IL: Journal Co. Printers, 1909).

“Pleasant Adam Hackleman.”

“Gen Pleasant Adam Hackleman.”