At the age of thirty-one Mr. Lincoln understood that success at the polls depended on the efficiency of a grass roots organization. He penned this roster in January of 1840
1st. Appoint one person in each county as county captain, and take his pledge
to perform promptly all the duties assigned him.
DUTIES OF THE COUNTY CAPTAIN
1st. To procure from the poll-books a separate list for each precinct of all the
names of all those persons who voted the Whig ticket in August.
2nd. To appoint one person in each precinct as precinct captain, and, by a
personal interview with him, procure his pledge, to perform promptly all
the duties assigned him.
3rd. To deliver to each precinct captain the list of names as above, belonging
to his precinct; and also a written list of his duties.
DUTIES OF THE PRECINCT CAPTAIN
1st. To divide the list of names delivered him by the county captain, into
sections of ten who reside most convenient to each other.
2nd. To appoint one person of each section as section captain, and by a
personal interview with him, procure his pledge to perform promptly
all the duties assigned him.
3rd. To deliver to each section captain the list of names belonging to his
section and also a written list of his duties.
DUTIES OF THE SECTION CAPTAIN
1st. To see each man of his section face to face, and procure his pledge
that he will for no consideration (impossibilities excepted) stay from the
polls on the first Monday in November; and that he will record his vote
as early on the day as possible.
2nd. To add to his section the name of every person in his vicinity who did
not vote with us in August, but who will vote with us in the fall, and take
the same pledge of him, as from the others.
3rd. To task himself to procure at least such additional names to his section.
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.