Letter to the Editor of the Chicago American
SPRINGFIELD, June 24th, 1839
Mr. Editor: From present indications we have every reason to believe that Mr. Douglass will contest the right of Mr. Stuart to a Seat in Congress. We deem it a matter of great importance to the Whig party of this District that they should be prepared to meet such contest. The importance of the decision of that contest is increased by the doubt which at present exists as to which party will have the ascendency in the next Congress. In this state of uncertainty one vote may become of the utmost importance to the sustaining of those great principles for which the Whig party are now contending. To prepare ourselves for the contest and to solicit your aid in so doing by engaging your assistance in the collection of proofs to the following facts, are the objects of this communication.
1st. Whether there are any mistakes for or against Mr. Stuart in the addition of columns
97or otherwise, apparent on the face of the Poll Books of your County?
2nd. Whether any person voted for Mr. Douglass in your County who were minors, or who had not been Residents of the State Six months preceding the Election?
3rd. Whether any unnaturalized foreigners voted for Mr. Douglass in your County?
After you shall have examined into the preceding questions, we will thank you to write us the result without delay together with the names of the illegal voters referred to in the two last questions; the names of the individuals by whom the fact of their illegality can be proved and the name and the residence of a Justice of the Peace before whom depositions can be taken and a proper place to take them. When informed by you of the fact will immediately take steps to procure the proofs. We would suggest the propriety of your consulting the political Friends you may think proper in your County and solicit their assistance in procuring the above facts, or the appointment of precinct committees as you may think the most advisable.
Respectfully yours, &c.,
JOSHUA F. SPEED,
E. D. BAKER,
JAMES H. MATHENY,
N. B.—Would it not be as well to keep the knowledge of this investigation, as well as any discoveries you may make, confined to as few as possible?
P. S.—Let letters on this subject, be addressed to "Stuart & Lincoln," as business letters.