Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing, 22 June 18491Washington, June 22. 1849Hon: Secretary of the InteriorSir:
Please transmit to me the papers on file in your Dept recommending me for Comr[Commissioner] of Genl Land Office, if not inconsistent with the rules of the Department–2Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant]A. Lincoln
A Lincoln– ask papers to be withdrawn
Ansd[Answered] & papers sent. to him June 223st 1849
2This is a reference to letters of recommendation for Lincoln to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Originally, only Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner. Lincoln entered the competition after learning that Butterfield was favored over Morrison and Edwards. Supporters of each candidate sent letters of reference and recommendation to both President Zachary Taylor and Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing. Although the U.S. Department of the Interior oversaw the U.S. General Land Office, President Taylor was ultimately responsible for appointing the commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office.
Ewing replied to this letter the same day Lincoln wrote it. Lincoln was in Washington, DC, because, as competition for the job intensified, William H. Henderson and Josiah Lucas, Lincoln supporters living in Washington, DC, had urged Lincoln to come to the nation’s capital to personally lobby for the position. Lincoln arrived on or before June 19. Ewing and Lincoln corresponded several more times on the topic of letters of recommendation Ewing and the Department of the Interior received concerning Lincoln’s candidacy for commissioner. Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
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; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing; Thomas Ewing to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).