Abraham Lincoln to William H. Young, 17 February 18481Washington– Feb. 17. 1848.Dear Sir:
Your letter in relation to various claims for bounty lands, has been received, and laid before the Commissioner of Pensions,– So soon as he shall examine them and give me an answer, I will write you, enclosing it–2Yours trulyA LincolnWm H. Young
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter. The original letter has not been located. Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, claims this is a pencil tracing of the original made by Herbert W. Fay.
Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 1:453.
2William H. Young’s letter to Lincoln has not been located.
Young was seeking bounty lands as remuneration for his service in the Mexican War. Young’s claims for bounty land came under provisions of section nine of an act passed by Congress on February 11, 1847.
Lincoln wrote Young in August 1848 regarding the disposition of his land claims and his request for three months extra pay.
“An Act to Raise for a Limited Time an Additional Military Force, and for Other Purposes,” 11 February 1847, Statutes at Large of the United States 9 (1862):125-26.
3Lincoln references the movement to draft Zachary Taylor as the Whig Party’s candidate in the presidential election of 1848.
Lincoln had been actively working to advance Taylor’s candidacy as a member of the so-called “Young Indians,” a Whig Executive Committee founded by Truman Smith in the spring of 1847 to provide the Whig Party with a unified national organization for the imminent presidential campaign. Including principally but not exclusively Southern Whigs, the Young Indians made it their goal to nominate Zachary Taylor as the Whig Party standard bearer in 1848.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:275-76; Holman Hamilton, Zachary Taylor: Soldier in the White House (Hamden, CT: Archon, 1966), 63-64; Michael F. Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 309-30, 333-39; K. Jack Bauer, Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985), 233-34.
Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).