Leavenworth, Kansas, May 6, 1860
Dear Sir. You will probably have observed that the Kansas delegation to Chicago were instructed by the Convention by which they were selected to cast their votes (if they should have any) for Mr. Seward – and that Mr. Wilder, who is for Mr. Seward from choice, was chosen as the delegate from Leavenworth, over Col Delahay who was understood to be strongly in favor of your nomination. I have desired that you should know how both those things happened – and as I can not be at Chicago, where I had expected to talk the matters over with you or with some of your personal friends, I shall take the liberty explaining them to you directly by letter.
Here as nearly every where in the North Mr. Seward has more ardent, zealous & earnest admirers than any other candidate – and they are in the radical wing of the party which
has possession of nearly all the presses, and controls all the minor conventions and less important movements of the party. As it was by no means certain that the Kansas delegates would be accorded seats in the National Convention, or the right to vote, the great majority of the party took no interest in the movement – and the meetings called to appoint delegates to the Territorial Convention were scarcely attended at all except by the managers. In that convention no interest was taken in any subject except in selecting the delegates – three of whom are first for Mr. Seward from choice but all of whom regard you as a highly acceptable and available candidate. The Convention selected men who had done good service for the party and received no honor or reward – and who well merited the compliment of an appointment – none of whom were selected with reference to their preferences among the gentlemen named for the Chicago nomination –
In the apportionment Leavenworth was accorded but one delegate –
Wilder, who has done a great deal of hard work for the party here, had announced himself as a candidate for the place more than a year ago – and the place had been accorded to him without dissent, until the time for selecting delegates to the Territorial Convention was near at hand. Col Delahay then, feeling assured that the great majority of the Republicans of Leavenworth favored your nomination, became a candidate in opposition to Wilder – The Colonel was on all hands regarded as one of our best men and as representing truly the preferences of the majority of our republicans—but he had just had one of the best offices of our poor Territory – Wilder had worked as hard, had held no office, and had all along been accorded this place – and as he had a big start, and the most money, the Colonel could not make the race against him.
Our delegation at Chicago will, in perseverance of instructions, if given a vote, cast it for Mr. Seward. Three of them will adhere
to him pretty tenaciously. Mr. Seward & Chase dropped, I think you would be the next choice of every man in the delegation –
Yours very truly Thomas Ewing Jr
Hon Abraham Lincoln Springfield Ills.