Abraham Lincoln to John T. Stuart, 17 December 18401Springfield, December 17, 1840.Dear Stuart:
McRoberts was elected senator yesterday. The vote stood: McRoberts, seventy-seven; Cyrus Edwards, fifty; E. D. Baker, one; absent, three.2 This affair of appointment to office is very annoying—more so to you than to me, doubtless. I am, as you know, opposed to removals to make places for our friends. Bearing this in mind, I express my preference in a few cases, as follows: For marshal, first, John Dawson; second, Dr. B. F. Edwards.3 For postmaster here, Dr. Henry; Carlinville, Joseph C. Howell.4 There is no question of the propriety of removing the postmaster at Carlinville. I have been told by so many different persons as to preclude all doubt of its truth, that he boldly refused to deliver from his office during the canvass all documents franked by Whig members of Congress.Yours,Lincoln.
1Roy P. Basler, John Hay, and John G. Nicolay attributed this text to Abraham Lincoln, but the manuscript version in Lincoln’s hand has not been found.
2Lincoln voted for Edwards. McRoberts succeeded John M. Robinson, and was the first native born Illinoisan elected to the U.S. Senate.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 126-27.
3Neither Dawson or Edwards would receive the appointment. President John Tyler appointed William S. Prentiss to the post.
Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, from the Thirtieth September, 1841, to the Thirtieth September, 1843 (Washington, DC: J. & G. S. Gideon, 1843), 257.
4Henry did not get the appointment. President Tyler appointed George W. Spotswood to the post. Howell did get the appointment, replacing Daniel Anderson in July 1841.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 27 August 1841, 2:1; History of Macoupin County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1879), 106; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, from the Thirtieth September, 1841, to the Thirtieth September, 1843, 536*.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), John G. Nicolay and John Hay, ed., Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, new and enlarged ed. (New York: Francis D. Tandy, 1905), 1:156.