J. C. D. Pettijohn to Richard Yates


J. C. D. Pettijohn to Richard Yates


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum




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J. C. D. Pettijohn

Private - ans'd


Washington D.C.

June 3d 1861

Gov Yates

Dear Sir

What an eventful chapter of our Worlds history has been written within the last few Months And each succeeding day brings numerous startling incidents the latest is that of the death of Judge Douglass Your cares and responsibilities were very great before but now doubly so Now Gov. Yates May I confiding in your high honor and integrity as a gentleman May I in confidence and frankness make some suggestions upon the subject of Douglasses successor in the Senate. Not waiting for an affirmative reply but trusting alone in you sense of honor as to retaining alone for your own ear what I have to say 1st Then let me say Now you have the power in your own hands to select some one in whose ability, honor,

and integrity you can confide and make him "A Man" yes a Man in every sense of the word and My first suggestion is to take one who is yet comparatively unknown but one who has the necessary qualifications when called into action to Make a respectable and safe Senator We have numerous Men of ambition and of considerable distinction in our State who will be fully ready to serve their country at all times and especially in the place now made vacant by the common destroyer of all our earthly hopes Amongst our great Men then are those who will consider that this place belongs to them the ones who are excelled by their competitors will feel that their rights and claims have not been respected and they must be avenged Why Not treat all old claims and old heads alike and give this place to one who has not been an old "race horse"

2nd You should controll this vacancy so that at the next election of a State Senator your own way would not be hedged up and all this you now have in your own power

as sure as the world [stands?] and if if you do not avail yourself of it now it is your own fault At that time it would be proper appropriate and just that it should be so for custom & usage has established it and affairs may now be so controlled and put in Motion that all these things will be perfectly safe and secure I wish I could get your ear and I would talk the whole matter over and show you how, but you can imagine as well as I describe And Now Governer let me say that I am fully confident that you can by following my suggestions be the means of confering on of the greatest earthly favors on some one and base would be that heart that would not only appreciate properly such a favor but be always ready to reciprocate and feel themselves ever under a debt of gratitude If you could determine to appoint the person such as I have suggested you would not only secure the best interests and safety of of our free institions and this should be of the first moment in making the appointment

but let me assure you for I know for whom I speak that if you will secure the place for the name I will write or have written if you choose to do so I again doubly and solemnly assure you it shall in no way in no possible contingency be in the way of or opposed to your interests or promotion but on the contrary will be subservient to those things It will in every sense of the word work to your interests I mean just what I say and would say much more if you were here And Now Governor after thinking of these things Please write me and if there is any prospect or your seeing things in the light in which I do please inform me at once and any thing you may say to me upon this subject in Confidence I assure you upon the honor of a Man will never, never be revealed and having the same confidence in you I submit the above for your Consideration Please answer this in the same spirit of candor in which it is written, and believe me ever

Yours Truly J.C.D. Pettijohn

P.S. N.B. If there is any prospect let me know so that I may say what I would then feel at liberty to say




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“J. C. D. Pettijohn to Richard Yates ,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed September 18, 2020, http://alplm-cdi.com/chroniclingillinois/items/show/1318.