Abraham Lincoln to Josiah B. Herrick, 3 June 18491Springfield, June 3. 1849Dr J. B. HerrickDear Sir:
It is now certain that either Mr Butterfield or I will be Commissioner of the General Land-Office–2 If you are willing to give me the preference, please write me to that effect, at Washington whither I am going–3 There is not a moment of time to be lost4Yours trulyA. Lincoln
From A. Lincoln to Dr J B Herrick.
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter. He most likely enclosed it in an envelope postmarked Springfield. Lincoln sent very similar letters to numerous people in early June 1849. Mary Lincoln also wrote and signed a similar letter on Lincoln’s behalf.
Abraham Lincoln to Robert C. Schenck; Abraham Lincoln to Joseph R. Underwood; Abraham Lincoln to William A. Minshall and Robert S. Blackwell; Abraham Lincoln to Willie P. Mangum; Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward; Abraham Lincoln to Duff Green; Abraham Lincoln to Unknown; Abraham Lincoln to David Rumsey; Abraham Lincoln to William Nelson; Abraham Lincoln to Nathaniel Pope.
2Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Lincoln entered the competition after learning that Butterfield was favored over Morrison and Edwards. See the General Land Office Affair.
3On June 6, Josiah B. Herrick wrote Lincoln promising to “scribble a few lines” to President Zachary Taylor and wishing him success.
As competition for the job intensified, William H. Henderson and Josiah Lucas, Lincoln supporters living in Washington, DC, urged Lincoln to come to the nation’s capital to personally lobby for the position.
On June 9, Butterfield wrote Lincoln suggesting that neither go to Washington. Lincoln did not respond to this suggestion, and on June 10, both set out for the capital. Lincoln arrived on or before June 19.
William H. Henderson to Abraham Lincoln; William H. Henderson to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 10 June 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-06-10; 19 June 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-06-19.
4Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Andre De Coppet Collection, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ).