Abraham Lincoln to Walter Davis, 5 January 18491Washington, Jan: 5. 1849Friend Walter:
Your letter is received.2 When I last saw you I said, that if the distribution of the offices should fall into my hands, you should have something; and I now say as much, but can say no more– I know no more now than I knew when you saw me, as to whether the present officers will be removed, or, if they shall, whether I shall be allowed to name the persons to fill them. It will perhaps be better for both you and me, for you to say nothing about this–3Yours as everA. Lincoln
2Walter Davis’ letter has not been located.
3President Zachary Taylor named Davis receiver of the General Land Office in Springfield, a position he held until 1853. Davis replaced Archer G. Herndon, a Democrat, who became receiver in 1842. In April 1849, Lincoln wrote Secretary of Interior Thomas Ewing endorsing Davis for the job.
John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 373; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1849 (Washington, DC: Gideon, 1849), 137; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1851 (Washington, DC: Gideon, 1851), 141; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1853 (Washington, DC: Robert Armstrong, 1853), 139; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing; Illinois Journal (Weekly) (Springfield), 6 June 1849, 2:1.
4Correspondence between Lincoln and Davis indicates that Lincoln was offering Davis and his mother, Maria Davis, assistance in getting Thomas’ pension and land warrants due him for his service in the Mexican War. The land claim 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; Abraham Lincoln to Walter Davis; Certification of Abraham Lincoln to Commissioner of Pensions Concerning Thomas Davis; Walter Davis to Abraham Lincoln ; Abraham Lincoln to Walter Davis; James L. Edwards to Maria Davis in Care of Abraham Lincoln.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Private Collection (Raab Collection, 2014).