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Petition of Thompson Campbell and Others to Unknown, [November 1844 - April 1845]1
The undersigned Members of the Bar of the State of Illinois desire and would respectfully recommend Col:[Colonel] Robert Allen to the appointment of U:S: Marshal for the District of Illinois aforesaid–
Thompson CampbellM. BraymanB. S. PrettymanA. Lincoln (If new appointment is made).W. H Herndon""James H. MathenyS T LoganJohn T. StuartE. B. HerndonLevi DavisD. B. CampbellA. CampbellC. R. WellesD. LoganGeo. WalkerWm A. Hacker2
1The author of the text of this petition is unknown. Abraham Lincoln and each of the other signatories signed their own names.
The actual date of this petition is uncertain. Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, gave it an inferred date of April 1849, without attribution. Basler’s date is improbable for several reasons. Lincoln and his fellow Whigs, hoping to reap patronage rewards from the election of Zachary Taylor to the presidency in November 1848, were unlikely to recommend Robert Allen, a known Democrat, for a position in the new administration. Lincoln received numerous letters, moreover, in December 1848, January 1849, and February 1849, endorsing Benjamin Bond for the job of marshal, and in March 1849, Lincoln added his endorsement, though he preferred someone else for the job. In addition, Bond enjoyed the support of a majority of Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly (Bond would receive the appointment and hold the office until 1853).
The editors believe this petition was written and signed not in April 1849 but several years earlier, most likely between the election of James K. Polk as president in November 1844 and the appointment of Stinson H. Anderson as marshal in April 1845.
Lincoln’s comment “If new appointment is made” lends credence to our contention. Lincoln’s comment suggests that he did not favor appointment of a new marshal, which implies that the current marshal was politically palatable to Lincoln. This would indicate that a new appointment would be made by the Democrats.
Political events in the 1840s provide additional corroboration. After the Whigs and William Henry Harrison swept to the power in the national elections of 1840, Whigs moved swiftly to reap a political harvest with patronage appointments. In April 1841, the Harrison administration appointed William S. Prentiss as marshal of the District of Illinois. Prentiss held the job until July 1844, when President John Tyler replaced him with Thomas M. Hope. When James K. Polk won the presidency in 1844, Democrats moved swiftly to remove Hope and other Tyler supporters and replace them with Democratic loyalists. Lincoln’s comment and the political context suggests that, if Hope was to be replaced, he and his fellow attorneys preferred Allen to Anderson and other Democrats receiving consideration.
Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 2:36-37, 39; William W. Roman to Abraham Lincoln; George T. M. Davis to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Johnson; 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), 247; 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), 267; 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), 259; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 30 April 1841, 2:6; 3 September 1841, 2:2; 11 April 1844, 2:7; 4 July 1844, 2:6; 3 April 1845, 2:5; 10 April 1845, 3:1.
2Allen would not get the appointment. Anderson would receive the job and remain in the position until 1849.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 3 April 1845, 2:5; 10 April 1845, 3:1; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield, 4 June 1849, 3:1; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1845 (Washington, DC: J. & G. S. Gideon, 1845), 223; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1847 (Washington, DC: J. & G. S. Gideon, 1847), 261; 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), 247.

Handwritten Document Signed, 1 page(s), RG 59, Entry 760: Appointment Records, Applications and Recommendations for Office, Applications and Recommendations for Public Office, 1797-1901, NACP, .