Illinois Whig Legislators to Zachary Taylor, 1 January 18491Springfield Jany. 1st 1849To His Excellency Genl[General] Zachary Taylor
The Undersigned members of the Legislature of the State of Illinois, take great pleasure in tendering to your Excellency, on behalf of near a Million of free people, our sincere Congratulations on your Elevation to the Presidency of this great and growing Republic—and to express our confidence in your ability and determination to give to the Country an administration that shall secure the permanent welfare & prosperity of the whole Union.
Entertaining the Opinion that in the formation of your Cabinet your Excellency may feel disposed to select One from the free States of the North West; we would most respectfully direct your attention to our distinguished fellow Citizen Col.[Colonel] E. D. Baker, as a Gentleman every way qualified to render you that assistance in the Administration of the government, which you have a right to expect from a Cabinet Minister. Should your Excellency see proper to confer so great a distinction upon Col. Baker, it would be highly gratifying to your friends in this State,With sentiments of high Consideration, we remain
<Page 2>and in our opinion give very general satisfaction to the Whigs of this section of the Union.
Dear Sir Your friends
And Obdt.[Obedient] Servants(Signed by all the Whig members of the Legislature,)2
I have such evidence as enables me to say I know the within recommendation was signed by all the Whig members of the Illinois LegislatureA. Lincoln3
1Abraham Lincoln enclosed this petition in a letter to President Zachary Taylor along with similar petitions from Whig legislators from Iowa and Wisconsin.
2There were thirty Whigs in the Illinois General Assembly--eight in the Senate, and twenty-two in the House of Representatives.
Illinois Journal (Springfield), 13 September 1848, 3:2.
3Lincoln wrote and signed this endorsement.
President Zachary Taylor did not offer Baker a cabinet position. Like his predecessor James K. Polk, Taylor apportioned his cabinet selections geographically. Thomas Ewing of Ohio represented the “Old Northwest” as secretary of the interior.
Elbert B. Smith, The Presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988), 52-55; Paul H. Bergeron, The Presidency of James K. Polk (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987), 23-24.
Handwritten Document, 2 page(s), RG 59, Entry 760: Appointment Records, Applications and Recommendations for Office, Applications and Recommendations for Public Office, 1797-1901, NACP.