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Friday, February 16, 1855.+-

Springfield, IL.

Lincoln writes to Illinois Congressman Jesse Olds Norton eight days after Lincoln lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat. At a time when U.S. Senators were elected by state legislatures, Lincoln explains to Norton how various Illinois legislators voted. Lincoln, a Whig, ultimately lost the race to Anti-Nebraska Democrat Lyman Trumbull, an Illinois Supreme Court justice. Lincoln attributes his loss to the "manoevering" of Governor Joel A. Matteson, who also sought the Senate seat, and "forced upon me and my friends the necessity of surrendering to Trumbull." Lincoln lost, he explains, in spite of the fact that he "finally surmounted the difficulty with the extreme Anti-Slavery men, and got all their votes, [Owen] Lovejoy's included." Trumbull was elected on the tenth ballot after Lincoln advised his backers to vote for Trumbull in order to avoid the "imminent danger of Matteson's election." Lincoln writes that his supporters "were taken by surprise" by his directive, "Trumbull quite as much as any one else." Lincoln explains that in spite of his loss, he is "very happy to find myself quite convalescent." Abraham Lincoln to Jesse Olds Norton, 16 February 1855, IHi, Springfield, IL.