The Senatorship, Chicago Tribune


The Senatorship, Chicago Tribune


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum




The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum holds all rights and permissions.








[Chicago Tribune.] Wednesday, December, 14, 1864.


Our Illinois exchanges are discussing the question of the Senatorship with considerable animation. Some are advocating the claims of Major-General Logan, others those of Gov. Yates, Hon. E. B. Washburne, or Major-General Palmer. The ultimate decision of the matter, however, is with the Legislature, which will assemble inside of three weeks at the State Capital.

The TRIBUNE has expressed no preference for either of the gentlemen whose names are prominently associated with the Senatorship. It hopes and believes that the Union members of the Legislature will make a satisfactory selection, and it contends that they are perfectly at liberty to choose the best man wherever he may be found. The Legislature is untrammeled by pledges or instructions; the people have left the selection entirely to the discretion and good judgment of their representatives. We make these remarks not to aid the chances of one candidate or injure the prospects of another, but to refute an idea which has been advanced that the Legislature is by some sort of previous understanding committed to one candidate against all others. Certainly no such pledge was exacted by [the?] people from any of the nine representatives for Cook county. At the State Convention the 500 delegates refused peremptorily and almost unanimously, to pass a resolution expressing a preference for any man for Senator. Resolutions may have been passed at some County Conventions, but this was done in few instances, and those mostly counties in which the Republicans are in the minority. The only thing connected with the Senatorship which was in issue, was the proposition to rid the Senate Chamber of the presence of Dick Richardson and supply his place with some suitable Union man. And in making a selection we deny that "shrieks of locality" should be allowed to influence the choice. The Senatorship belongs to the State at large, and not to any particular section of it. If geographical claims should control, then the claims of this county ought to be considered. It is Douglas' vacancy that is to be filled. If he were alive he would be the Senator, and he was a citizen of Chicago. Hence, it might be argued that his successor should be a citizen of Chicago. But we do not recognize the force of this reasoning. We contend that if Jacksonville presents the best man, he ought to be taken from there, or if Carbondale or Galena, or Carlinville has the man best qualified and worthy, let him be elected. The people of all parts of the State are equally interested, because a Senator represents the whole State. It makes no difference in what particular county he happens to live. He must reside somewhere, but after he is chosen he votes and speaks for us all. We have a large number of letters pro and con on the Senator question which we decline publishing, not chosing to make our columns the medium of a verbose controversy that might degenerate into acrimonious personalities. We think the proper course is, to leave the decision of the question with the Legislature, believing that it will impartially weigh the merits and qualifications of the various candidates, and finally select the one, all things considered, who will make the best Senator, for we insist that the members are unpledged and untrammeled, and should only be influenced and governed by the dictates of their conscience and judgment, acting under the solemnities of an oath, with a view to best serve a great and intelligent constituency.



Percent Completed




Original Format



“The Senatorship, Chicago Tribune,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed January 17, 2021,