Seth Kaller, Inc.

Inspired by History

Other Abraham Lincoln Offerings


Other Civil War and Reconstruction Offerings


Lincoln’s Vice President Talks Local Politics
Click to enlarge:
Select an image:

Lincoln’s first vice president, discusses local Maine politics regarding the replacement of a longstanding U.S. District Court Judge.

HANNIBAL HAMLIN. Autograph Letter Signed, to Sidney Perham, Boston, May 4, 1866. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in., marked “Private” and docketed “H Hamlin.”

Inventory #22863       Price: $600

Complete Transcript

May 4, 1866

            My Dear Sir

                        I hear that Judge Ware has sent his resignation to Washington. It is also said that the appointment of a successor probably lies between Fox and Talbot, Dist Atty.

            Now my preference is for Mr. Godfrey of Bangor. He is the man whom I would be glad to see appointed. But if it is to be either Fox or Talbot then it is clear to my mind that Talbot ought to be the man. He is a whole Republican. Fox never was but half a one at most. If it comes to that I hope yourself and Mr. Rice will aid Talbot in preference to Fox, as I believe T. the most deserving man. Will you show this letter to Mr. Rice.

            I sympathise with you in this day of our political afflictions and rest assured the people will sustain you.

                                    Yours truly,

                                                H Hamlin

            Hon S. Perham

Sidney Perham (1819-1907) was a U.S. congressman from Maine, 1863-1869, and Maine governor, 1871-1874.

Ashur Ware (1782-1873) was educated at Harvard and Bowdoin, receiving his law degree from the latter institution. He practiced in Boston, then moved Portland, Maine. He edited the Eastern Argus (1817-1820), which advocated separation from Massachusetts, and when this was accomplished via the Missouri Compromise (1820), Ware was the new state’s first secretary of state. In 1822, James Monroe nominated him for a judgeship in U.S. District Court for Maine. He resigned in 1866 after serving one of the longest tenures of any U.S. federal judge.

George F. Talbot (1819-1907) graduated from Bowdoin and became an attorney in East Machias, Maine. He was twice the Free Soil Party’s nominee for governor (1849-1850), and attended the 1860 convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for president. Lincoln, in 1861, appointed him U.S. attorney for Maine (presumably Hamlin is referring to the federal court district of Maine when he calls Talbot the “Dist Atty”). Talbot was Solicitor of the Treasury 1876-1877.

Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891) served in the Maine state legislature before entering Congress in 1843 as a Democrat. In 1848 he was elected by the anti-slavery wing of the Democratic party to fill a vacancy in the Senate and served until 1857 when he resigned to become the Republican governor of Maine. In 1860, Hamlin was picked as Lincoln’s running mate to “nationalize” the Republican party. Both Lincoln and Hamlin shared an opposition to the expansion of slavery.

In 1864, Republican convention delegates replaced him on the ticket with Andrew Johnson, the Union military governor of Tennessee. As a War Democrat and Southern Unionist, Johnson provided strategic and symbolic power for the Republicans that Hamlin could not. The vice president would later observe that he had been “dragged out of the Senate, against my wishes – tried to do my whole duty, and was then unceremoniously ‘whistled down the wind’” (Hatfield, 203-209). He later accepted a position as collector of the port of Boston, returning to the Senate in 1869. From 1881-82, Hamlin was U.S. minister to Spain, before devoting the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits.

Add to Cart Ask About This Item Add to Favorites