|Chase's speech, delivered on the evening of November 1, compared the position of each major political party toward slavery. The Tribune reprinted it from the Cincinnati Commercial, November 2. New York Daily Tribune, Nov. 7, 1860.|
Autograph letter. Lyman Trumbull Papers, Library of Congress ( micro 14:0068).
Columbus, Nov. 12, 1860.
My dear Sir,
Your letter came tonight.1 When I read that "some districts are so close that nothing but the official count can determine the result," as to the majority in the Senate of your General Assembly, I felt bad enough I assure you; for, in common with many of the truest Republicans I regarded your reelection as second in importance not even to the Presidential election itself. But the papers of today have relieved me. The Chicago Tribune says that the Republicans have certainly elected thirteen Senators giving one majority for you.2 This is glorious. Now we are sure of your return; and we are sure of the ability of our Republican friends in Illinois so to redistrict the state as to rectify the injustice of the old apportionment.3 And I have always [said] that to secure these results for the Republicans in Illinois, the Chicago nomination should be given to the man of their choice.
Perhaps I ought to explain to you why I declined going to Illinois until Mr. Babcock told me I could be of service to you and that you wished me to come.4 You are aware that at the request of some of the prominent Anti-Nebraska men I went to Illinois in 1854, after we had achieved our great victory in Ohio, and did what I could towards the inauguration of Republicanism there and the election of the Legislature by which you were first returned to the Senate. In 1858 upon the urgent call of the State Committee I went again,5 though at that time many leading Republicans had determined to favor the reelection of Douglas, and again did what I could. On both occasions such was my interest in the cause that I declined allowing the State Committee even to reimburse my expenses, thinking my labor & my expenditure abundantly rewarded by the consciousness of honest endeavor to serve a good cause. When, therefore, I received, at the commencement of this campaign & when it was well known that the votes of my friends in the Convention had decided the nomination in favor of the Republicans of Illinois, a mere printed circular asking me to speak in the state & to say what time I could give, I confess I felt not a little hurt & my first impulse was not to reply at all. On reflection, however, I thought it best to reply &, as my time would be fully occupied by the acceptance of invitations to other fields of labor, to decline on the ground which that acceptance would furnish. I may have been wrong in thus declining;