Springfield Ills May 14th 1859
M. W. Delahay, Esq.
My Dear Sir; I find it impossible for me to attend your Republican convention at Ossawatan on the 18th. It would have afforded me much personal gratification to see your fine new Country and to meet the good people who have cast their lot there; and still more, if I could thereby contribute anything to the Republican cause. You probably will adopt resolutions in the nature of a platform; and as I think, the only danger will be the temptation to lower the Republican Standard in order to gather recruits. In my judgement such a step would be a serious mistake – would open a gap through which more would pass out than pass in. And this would be in deference to Douglasism, or to the Southern opposition element. Either would surrender the object of the Republican organization – the preventing the Spread and Nationalization of Slavery- This object surrendered, the organization would go to pieces. I do not mean by this, that no Southern man must be
placed upon our Republican National ticket for 1860. There are many men in the Slave states for any one of whom I would cheerfully vote to be either President or Vice President provided he would enable me to do so with Safety to the Republican cause – without lowering the Republican Standard – This is the indispensable condition of a Union with us. It is idle to think of any other – Any other would be as fruitless to the South, as distasteful to the North, the whole ending in common defeat – Let a union be attempted on the basis of ignoring the Slave question, and magnifying other questions which the people just now are really caring nothing about, and it will result in gaining no single electoral vote on the South and loosing every one in the North
Yours very truly A. Lincoln