Abraham Lincoln to George W. Rives, 7 May 18491Springfield, May 7. 1849Hon: G. W RivesDear Sir:
Your letter of the 25th ult was received on the 1st IntYou overrate my capacity to serve you– Not one man recommended by me has yet been appointed to any thing, little or big, except a few who had no opposition–2
Besides this, at the very inaugeration I commenced trying to get a Minesota appointment for Dr Henry, and have not yet succeeded; and I would not ^now,^ lessen his chance, by recommending any living man for any thing in that Teritory–3 It is my recollection that you sent me an application to be P. M.[Postmaster] at Paris– Am I mistaken?4Very truly Yours–A. Lincoln
2As Lincoln intimated in the succeeding paragraph, George W. Rives wrote Lincoln seeking a federal appointment in the Minnesota Territory.
3In March 1849, Lincoln wrote letters to Secretary of State John M. Clayton, Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing, Secretary of the Navy William B. Preston, and others seeking a position for Anson G. Henry in the Minnesota Territory, to no avail. Lincoln continued to recommend him to President Zachary Taylor and members of his administration. On June 24, 1850, Henry received the appointment of Indian agent for the Oregon Territory.
Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing; Abraham Lincoln to William B. Preston; Harry C. Blair, Dr. Anson G. Henry: Physician, Politician, Friend of Abraham Lincoln (Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University, 1944), 8; Edward D. Neill, History of the Minnesota Valley (Minneapolis: North Star, 1882), 118, 123-24.
4Rives’ application to become postmaster of Paris, Illinois, if indeed he sent one to Lincoln, has not been located.
Rives’ name does not appear in the official registers of the officers and agents of the government for 1849, 1851, and 1853, so apparently he did not receive an appointment.
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); 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); 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).
Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York, NY (1953).