Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing, 5 July 18491Springfield, July 5. 1849Hon: Secretary of the Interior:Dear Sir:
I have a friend here, William Porter, who desires the job of examining the Land Offices in the North-West, if such a job is to be given out. I also desire him to have it; and while at Washington I filed a letter of his, with my indorsement upon it to that effect.2 I do not know that a citizen of my district, or even of Illinois, is to receive this little favor; and if not, I have no preference to express between applicants elsewhere. What I do ask is, that, if any citizen of my district, and particularly of my own town, is to receive it, Mr Porter may be the man–3Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant]A. Lincoln–
Answered July 16, 1849,
2Lincoln filed a letter William Porter wrote him, along with his endorsement of Porter, with the U.S. Department of the Interior June 23, 1849.
3Springfield and the other towns in Sangamon County were part of the Seventh Congressional District.
Thomas Ewing replied to this letter on July 16, 1849. Porter does not appear in the official registers of the officers and agents of the federal government for 1849 and 1851, so apparently he did not receive an appointment.
Thomas Ewing to Abraham Lincoln; Thomas Ewing to Abraham Lincoln; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 126.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).
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Thomas Ewing Family Papers, Volume 10, page 4312, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).