Abraham Lincoln to James Berdan, 15 January 18491Washington, Jany 15. 1849Dear Sir:
Your letter of the 2nd was received last night.2 I went this morning to the folding room, and made enquiry for the documents you desire– They told me, (what I had forgot) that our House has ordered the printing of 10–000 copies of Emory's and Abert's reports together, and that 8 copies for each member will be ready in about two weeks–3 The first lot I receive, I will provide you and Mr Harkness out of– I was very glad to receive your letter, and shall be pleased at any time to have another– We have the news here, that Shields was nominated for the Senate, from which we infer, that he was elected, as a matter of course–4 How do you suppose this, as a fruit of the glorious Mexican war, tastes to Breese, McClernand et al?– Do you suppose they are in a mood of blessing the war about now?
Write me again–Yours as ever–A. Lincoln
2Berdan’s letter of January 2, 1849 has not been located.
3On January 17, 1848, the House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on Secretary of War William L. Marcy to provide copies of the reports of Emory, Abert, and others that accompanied General Stephen Kearny from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean at the outset of the Mexican War. Emory, Abert, and others were members of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, and they issued scientific reports on the southwestern border, California, and New Mexico. On February 17, the House passed a resolution calling for the printing of 10,000 extra copies of these reports. On December 21, the House passed a resolution ordering that the report of Emory be printed in one volume, and those of Abert and others in a separate volume.
U.S. House Journal. 1849. 30th Con., 1st Sess., 243, 425; U.S. House Journal. 1849. 30th Con., 2nd Sess., 130; S. Exec. Doc. No. 7, 30th Cong., 1st Sess. (1849); H.R. Exec. Doc. No 41, 30th Cong., 1st Sess. (1849).
4The Illinois General Assembly elected Shields to the U.S. Senate on January 13, 1849.
Illinois House Journal. 1849. 16th G. A., 90-91.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Brown University (Providence, RI)