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Abraham Lincoln to James M. McLean, 3 June 18491
Dear Sir.
It is now certain that either Mr Butterfield or I will be commissioner of the General Land office2– If you are willing to give me the preference, please write me to that effect, at Washington, whither I go, in a few days–3 Not a moment of time to be lost–4 Yours truly
A Lincoln.

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A Lincoln M. C[Member of Congress]SPRINGFIELD Ill[Illinois].
JUN[June] 4
J. M. McLean Esq[Esquire]LawrencevilleIlls[Illinois]–5
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.
3As competition for the job intensified, William H. Henderson and Josiah M. 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.
4James M. McLean responded to this letter on June 11 and offered his support to Lincoln. Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
5Lincoln wrote the script on this envelope.

Handwritten Transcription, 2 page(s), University of Chicago (Chicago, IL).