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Thursday, September 16, 1858.+-

Centralia, IL.

State Fair is in progress. Lincoln arrives at noon and stops at Centralia House. Douglas is also in town. Neither speaks, but crowds gather when they appear at fair grounds. Lincoln takes refuge in Illinois Central superintendent's office and writes three letters. He asks Washburne if, as Douglas charged at Jonesboro, Washburne has been opposing admission of new slave states. He tells Martin P. Sweet that, at Jonesboro, in a long, involved sentence, he found himself saying something about Sweet that might sound disparaging in the hands of "those villainous reporters Douglas has with him. . . . I write this to assure you that nothing can be farther from me than to feel, much less, intentionally say anything disrespectful to you." He writes Joseph Gillespie urging action to unite Republicans and "Americans" in Madison County. Abraham Lincoln to Elihu B. Washburne, 16 September 1858, CW, 3:144-45; Abraham Lincoln to Martin P. Sweet, 16 September 1858, CW, 3:144; Abraham Lincoln to Joseph Gillespie, 16 September 1858, CW, 8:416.

Lincoln takes evening northbound train on his way to Charleston for fourth debate. Herndon & Weik, II, 118; Chicago Tribune, 20 September 1858; Greenville Advocate, 23 September 1858.