Abraham Lincoln to Walter Davis, 14 April 18481Washington, April 14– 1848Dear Walter:
Your letter, together with the Power of attorney of your mother, and the discharge of ^your^ brother, has been received; I have just been to the proper office with them–2 They got me to certify that I knew Thomas, that Maria Davis was his mother, and was still living, that his father is dead, and that Thomas himself was never married– They took this certificate and the papers you sent me, and promised to investigate the matter as soon as possible, and notify me of the result; which, when they do, I will write you again–3
As to the land part of the matter, a large majority of congress is in favor of it, and it ^would^ pass at any time, were it not that every fellow must say something, and offer an amendment; and so time is wasted, it is shoved by, and is a long while coming up again– I hope and believe it will finally pass–4Very truly Yours.A. Lincoln
2Walter Davis’ letter to Abraham Lincoln has not been located.
Correspondence between Abraham Lincoln and Walter Davis, in the spring of 1848, indicates that Lincoln was offering Davis and his mother, Maria Davis, assistance in getting pension and land warrants due Thomas Davis, Walter’s brother, who died in battle during his service in the Mexican War.
3In a letter dated June 16, Walter wrote Lincoln that he had received the back pay due Thomas--$53.87. Thomas’s claims for bounty land came under provisions of section nine of an act passed by Congress on February 11, 1847. The Pension Office approved the claim for bounty land in March 1849.
“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; James L. Edwards to Maria Davis in Care of Abraham Lincoln.
4Lincoln references a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 29, 1848, which sought to amend section nine of the act of February 11, 1847, which awarded non-commissioned officers, privates, and musicians warrants for 160 acres of land in thanks for their war service. Lincoln delivered a speech concerning the bill on the date it was introduced. As approved by Congress on May 27, the act extended the “relatives” provision of the ninth section of the 1847 act to include brothers and sisters of deceased soldiers who qualified for bounty lands.
“An Act to Raise for a Limited Time an Additional Military Force, and for Other Purposes,” 11 February 1847, 125-26.
Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).