Three days after his first melancholy letter to John T. Stuart, Lincoln is still sorely depressed over his broken engagement to Mary Todd.
January 23, 1841
Yours of the 3rd is received and I proceed to answer it as well as I can, tho' from the deplorable state of my mind at this time, I fear I shall give you but little satisfaction. About the matter of the congressional election, I can only tell you, that there is a bill now before the Senate adopting the general ticket system; but whether the party have fully determined on its adoption is yet uncertain. There is no sign of opposition to you among our friends, and none that I can learn among our enemies; tho', of course, there will be, if the general ticket be adopted. The Chicago American, Peoria Register, & Sangamo Journal, have already hoisted your flag upon their own responsibility; & the other Whig papers of the district are expected to follow immediately. On last evening there was a meeting of our friends at Butler's; and I submitted the question to them & found them unanimously in favour of having you announced as a candidate. A few of us this morning, however, concluded, that as you were already being announced in the papers, we would delay announcing you, as by your own authority for a week or two. We thought that to appear too keen about it might spur our opponents on about their general ticket project. Upon the whole, I think I may say with certainty, that your reelection is sure, if it be in the power of the Whigs to make it so.
For not giving you a general summary of news, you must pardon me; it is not in my power to do so. I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me. The matter you speak of on my account, you may attend to as you say, unless you shall hear of my condition forbidding it. I say this, because I fear I shall be unable to attend to any business here, and a change of scene might help me. if I could be myself, I would rather remain at home with Judge Logan. I can write no more. Your friend, as ever-
This document is a copy of the unedited text of a written work by Abraham Lincoln. Some typographical errors which were present in the original text appear here as well. This document was copied in its entirety from The Living Lincoln, edited by Paul M. Angle and Earl Schenck Miers, published by Marboro Books Corp.