This week’s letter is a Letter to the Editor with the intended audience being the readers of the newspaper to which it was written. Abraham Lincoln was the author and the year in which it was written was 1836, twenty five years before he was inaugurated President. What’s interesting about this Letter to the Editor is how Lincoln explains his early political views. Especially interesting is his call for women’s right to vote, a statement that was made nearly one hundred years before the 19th Amendment was passed allowing the right to vote without a basis on gender.
“TO THE EDITOR OF THE "JOURNAL"—In your paper of last Saturday I see a communication, over the signature of "Many Voters," in which the candidates who are announced in the Journal are called upon to "show their hands." Agreed. Here's mine.
I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its burdens. Consequently, I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms (by no means excluding females).
If elected, I shall consider the whole people of Sangamon my constituents, as well those that oppose as those that support me.
While acting as their representative, I shall be governed by their will on all subjects upon which I have the means of knowing what their will is; and upon all others I shall do what my own judgment teaches me will best advance their interests. Whether elected or not, I go for distributing the proceeds of the sales of the public lands to the several States, to enable our State, in common with others, to dig canals and construct railroads without borrowing money and paying the interest on it. If alive on the first Monday in November, I shall vote for Hugh L. White for President.
Very respectfully, A. LINCOLN.”