Letter to E. B. Washburne
My Dear Sir: Yours of the 12th just received. The objection of your friend at Winnebago rather astonishes me. For a senator to be the impartial representative of his whole State is so plain a duty that I pledge myself to the observance of it without hesitation, but not without some mortification that any one should suspect me of an inclination to the contrary. I was eight years a representative of Sangamon County in the legislature; and although in a conflict of interests between that and other counties it perhaps would have been my duty to stick to old Sangamon, yet it is not within
270my recollection that the northern members ever wanted my vote for any interest of theirs without getting it. My distinct recollection is that the northern members and Sangamon members were always on good terms, and always cooperating on measures of policy. The canal was then the great northern measure, and it from first to last had our votes as readily as the votes of the north itself. Indeed, I shall be surprised if it can be pointed out that in any instance the north sought our aid and failed to get it.
Again, I was a member of Congress one term--the term when Mr. Turner was the legal member and you were a lobby member from your then district. Now I think I might appeal to Mr. Turner and yourself, whether you did not always have my feeble service for the asking. In the case of conflict, I might without blame have preferred my own district. As a senator I should claim no right, as I should feel no inclination, to give the central portion of the State any preference over the north, or any other portion of it.
Very truly your friend,