The Wearin' o' the Whigs Lincoln joined the nascent Whig Party in the 1830s when he was a still-rough, frontier-raised, twentysomething, because he disagreed with Democratic President Andrew Jackson's policy against a national bank and Jackson's opposition to the "American system" of internal improvements (infrastructure such as roads and canals) that would have required federal support.
But Jackson was popular, and, after Lincoln moved with his family from Kentucky to Indiana and thence to Illinois, he was surrounded by Democrats, and Democrats had a dominant hold on the state for most of his political life.
But because he could not sue for his freedom, he would have to remain a slave, subject only to his master's desire to manumit him.He certainly did not need to take the trouble to work up and to introduce any bill to end slavery in the District – not for any reason back home in his conservative and racially prejudiced district, and not for any discernible reason for his own future either in Illinois or on the national stage…. 277), which repealed the Missouri Compromise and permitted the extension of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska territories, was so explosive an issue across the North that it effectively crowded out discussion of anything else during both of Lincoln's senatorial races.So we may be permitted to infer that he went to the trouble to work it up and present it because he was indeed convinced that slavery in the capital of a nation conceived in liberty was a particularly egregious evil. But the Democrats still dominated politics in Illinois, which meant that Lincoln's candidacy would be a struggle.During the first senate contest in early 1855, Lincoln was just a few votes short of victory. There were five anti-Nebraska Democrats who consistently withheld their votes from Lincoln out of party loyalty.To prevent the election of a Democrat who was probably not reliably anti-Nebraska (Governor Joel Matteson), Lincoln stepped aside and endorsed Lyman Trumbull, a strong anti-Nebraska Democrat.On December 22, 1847, he submitted what would become known as the "Spot" Resolutions, which asked, among other things, "…whether the particular spot of soil on which the blood of our , at that time…."(The emphases are Lincoln's.) He was called "Spotty Lincoln" for a good while after that and, although he voted for the troops' supplies, his anti-war position disappointed the voters in his district, including his law partner, Billy Herndon.