Abraham Lincoln to Richard W. Thompson, 25 May 18491
ConfidentialSpringfield, Ills– May 25– 1849– Hon: R. W. Thompson:Dear Sir:
I am about to ask a favor of you— one which, I hope, will not cost you much– I understand the General Land-Office is about to be given to Illinois; and that Mr Ewing desires Justin Butterfield of Chicago to be the man–2 I will not trouble you with particulars, but will assure you, that the appointment of Mr Butterfield will be an egregious political blunder– I believe it will gratify no single whig in the state, except it be Mr B. himself– Now, the favor I wish of you is, that you will write Gen: Taylor at once, saying that in your opinion, ^either^ I, or the man I recommend, should be appointed to that office, if any one from Illinois shall be–3 I restrict my request to Illinois, because I think it probable you have already recommended some one, probably from your own state; and I do not wish to interfere with that–4Yours trulyA. Lincoln
2Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. See the General Land Office Affair.
3Lincoln joined the competition to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office after learning that Butterfield was favored over Morrison and Edwards. See the General Land Office Affair.
4Lincoln wrote an almost identical letter to Elisha Embree the same date as this letter to Richard W. Thompson. Thompson did not respond to this letter directly, but wrote Lincoln a letter in June 1849 offering his support for Lincoln’s efforts to win the position of commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Thompson also wrote Zachary Taylor in support of Lincoln for commissioner. Ultimately, however, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Lincoln Manuscripts, Indiana University (Bloomington, IN).