Springfield, Ills, Jan. 3, 1861
Hon. Simon Cameron
My dear Sir
Since seeing you things have developed which make it impossible for me to take you into the cabinet. You will say this comes of an interview with McClure; and this is partly, but not wholly true – The more potent matter is wholly outside of Pennsylvania; and yet I am not at liberty to specify it. Enough that it appears to me to be sufficient– And now, I suggest that you write me declining the appointment, in which case I do not object to its being known that it was tendered you. Better do this at once, before things so change, that you can not honorably decline, and I be compelled to openly recall the tender,
No person living knows, or has an intimation that I write this letter
P. S. Telegraph me instantly, on receipt of this, saying
SOURCE: A copy of this letter may be found among the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.