Abraham Lincoln to William B. Warren and Others, 7 April 18491Springfield, Ills, April 7. 1849 Gentlemen:
In answer to your note concerning the General Land-Office I have to say that, if th office can be secured to Illinois by my consent to accept it, and not otherwise, I give that consent– Some months since I gave my word to secure the appointment to that office of Mr Cyrus Edwards, if in my power, in case of a vacancy; and more recently I stipulated with Col Baker that if Mr Edwards and Col[Colonel] J. L. D. Morrison could arrange with each other for one of them to withdraw, we would jointly recommend the other– In relation to these pledges, I must not only be chaste but above suspicion– If the office shall be tendered to me, I must be permitted to say "Give it to Mr Edwards, or, if so agreed by them, to Col Morrison, and I decline it; if not, I accept"– With this understanding, you are at liberty to procure me the offer of the appointment if you can; and I shall feel complimented by your effort, and still more by it's success– It should not be overlooked that Col Baker's position entitles him to a large share of control in this matter; however, one of your number, Col Warren, knows that Baker has at all times been ready to recommend me, if I would consent– It must also be understood that if at any time, previous to an appointment being make, I shall learn that Mr Edwards & Col Morrison have agreed, I shall at once carry out my stipulation with Col Baker, as above sta-Yours trulyA. LincolnCol W. B. Warren, & others–2
2The others signing the note to Lincoln were Anson G. Henry, William Pope, John T. Stuart, and Simeon Francis. Lincoln eventually became a candidate for the job of commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office, but he did not receive the appointment, the job going to Justin H. Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).