— Looking for Lincoln —
While sitting up late the night of January 27, 1860,
in the Pontiac home of Jason
Strevell, Abraham Lincoln
predicted he would be nominated for the vice presidency of the young Republican party. In a letter to his son in 1901, Strevell said; "The time of which I am speaking was in the troublous days of slavery and anti-slavery, and one portion of the country was in sentiment entirely arrayed against the other, the North against the South, and the heated condition of the public mind soon eventuated in the clash of arms. . . ."
Strevell predicted that Lincoln would be nominated for the presidency at the Republican National Convention in Chicago on May 16, 1860 and that Stephen A. Douglas would be nominated by the pro-slavery Democrats. Lincoln responded: "I have thought that I might be named for the second place on the ticket, but not for anything higher."
Strevell confided he had not seen Lincoln alive after his election, but he and his wife had received a letter "written entirely in his own hand, urging us to visit him at the White House, but that visit was never made."
"You can take my height if you wish," Abraham
Lincoln told his friend Jason W. Strevell (pictured on left) while conversing with him at his home. Six-foot Strevell had indicated it was not possible that Lincoln was four inches taller. In a letter to his son, Strevell described how he carefully measured Lincoln, who was standing in his stocking feet with his back to the door casing. Using a two-foot rule on top of his head, he found Lincoln to be "exactly six feet four."
Lincoln was entertained January 27, 1860, at a reception
at the home of Jason Strevell, 401 W. Livingston St., following a speech at the Presbyterian Church. The house was built in 1854 in the Carpenter Gothic Style. Strevell was born in New York of Dutch stock, was admitted to the bar in 1855, and "came west"
to Illinois that year, opening a law practice in Pontiac. He was elected to the board of trustees when Pontiac was incorporated as a village Feb.12, 1856. He attended the state convention that nominated Lincoln in Decatur in 1860. He was elected to two terms as a state representative and one in the state senate, where he drafted a bill for the state reform school at Pontiac. After twenty-four years in Pontiac, Strevell again moved "west,"
this time to Montana, in 1879.