Abraham Lincoln became close friends with Elizabeth Abell and her husband in New Salem, Illinois. Elizabeth introduced Lincoln to her sister Mary Owens. Another sister, Nancy, had married John Vineyard and was a partner with Mark Aldrich in the Warsaw Land Company. Elizabeth, Mary and Nancy Owens were sisters of Samuel Owens the leader of the Anti-Mormon mobs in Jackson County Missouri.
After his election to the Illinois Legislature, Lincoln became a strong advocate for the many state internal improvement projects especially the Northern Cross Railroad planned to connect with Quincy, his town of Springfield and the Illinois Michigan Canal.
The wife of Samuel Owens was Francis Young, the sister of the wife of Missouri Governor Reynolds and the cousin of Illinois Senator Richard M. Young. Even though Lincoln had friends and political associates (referred to as the Springfield Junto) related to or familiar with Samuel Owens, Lincoln showed no sympathies to any Anti-Mormon efforts. Instead, Lincoln supported the Mormons in their attempts to pass legislation regarding the Nauvoo Charter and sought Mormon votes for himself and other Whig Party friends. After the wedding engagement was broken off between Lincoln and Mary Owens he met Mary Todd whom he later married.