Abraham Lincoln to Richard S. Thomas, 1 March 18481Washington March 1, 1848.Friend Richard:
Your letter of the 12th Feb.[February], together with the petition for a mail route was received last night. Strange it was on the road so long. I shall present the petition, and give it my best attention.2
Your second letter was received; and I thought I had answered it.3
I am not a candidate for re-nomination or election–4
Excuse the shortness of this letter; I am really very much hurried–Yours as Evera. Lincoln R. S. Thomas, Virginia, Ills–
1This letter is attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but is not in his hand. The original letter in Lincoln’s hand has not been located.
2Richard S. Thomas’s letter has not been located. The editors located the petition in the records of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dated January 17, 1848, the petition was from citizens of Cass County requesting a mail route between Virginia and Petersburg. Lincoln endorsed the petition and introduced it in the House on March 1. The House referred it to the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, of which Lincoln was a member. The House included the requested route in the act passed in August 1848 establishing postal routes.
U.S. House Journal. 1848. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 480-81.
4Lincoln represented the Seventh Congressional District, which included the counties of Cass, Logan, Marshall, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Putnam, Sangamon, Scott, Tazewell, and Woodford. He had pledged to serve only one term, but many Whigs in the district favored his renomination. Lincoln was not averse to running again, but Stephen T. Logan received the nomination. In August 1848, Logan would lose to Thomas L. Harris in a close race.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:271; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 8, 126.
Handwritten Transcription, 1 page(s), Volume Volume 2, Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).