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Sunday, January 14, 1855.+-

Springfield, IL.

Lincoln writes to Illinois Congressman Richard Yates about Lincoln's chances of winning the upcoming election to the U.S. Senate. U.S. Senators were elected by the state legislatures at this time. Lincoln is the Whig candidate, and incumbent Senator James Shields is the Democratic candidate. Lincoln surveys the legislature and speculates on which legislators will or will not support him: "At the meeting of the Legislature we had 57 to their 43, nominally. But [William C.] Kinny did not attend which left us only 56. Then [A. H.] Trapp of St. Clair went over, leaving us only 55, and raising them to 44. Next [Uri] Osgood of the Senate went over, reducing us to 54 and raising them to 45." Lincoln comments on the treachery and on the messy business of politics: "What mines, and pitfalls they have under us we do not know; but we understand they claim to have 48 votes. If they have that number, it is only that they have already got some men whom we have all along suspected they would get; and we hope they have reached the bottom of the rotten material. In this too, we may be mistaken. This makes a squally case of it." As to when the issue will be settled, Lincoln concludes, "If the election should be protracted, a general scramble may ensue, and your chance will be as good as that of any other I suppose... I suppose the election will commence on the 31st. and when it will end I am sure I have no idea." Abraham Lincoln to Richard Yates, 14 January 1855, CW 10:25-26.