SPRINGFIELD – Officials at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield have acquired an 1854 letter marking a key transition for the prairie lawyer.
The letter was donated Thursday by Bloomington collector Guy Fraker. In it, the future President Lincoln tells a friend he won’t accept a seat in the state Legislature so that he can remain available for a U.S. Senate seat.
His decision to decline House re-election allowed him to oppose slavery’s expansion in a legendary 1858 Senate race against Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln lost, but gained national stature that won him the White House two years later.