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Abraham Lincoln to John Addison, 22 July 18491
Dear Addison:
On the other half of this sheet is what I hope may be both satisfactory and serviceable to you–2 If any thing I have written for any body should be turned to your disadvantage, I could hardly ever forgive myself for the carelessness of so writing– Give my respects to my friends about you, particularly Lucas; and tell him I am truly glad he is at a good understanding with the new Commissioner3 If letters have come to the Dept in my favor since the appointment, may they not be sent to me? I should like to see them– I have now about forty such, nineteen (I believe) of which are from M. C.’s[Members of Congress]4
I shall write Berdan to-day on the matter of which you speak concerning him– He is as much of a gentleman as lives–5
Yours very trulyA. Lincoln

<Page 2>
[Envelope]
Free
A Lincoln M.C[Member of Congress]
FREE
SPRINGFIELD [I?]
JUL[July] 23
John Addison, Esq[Esquire]Washington DC
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter. The text of the letter is from the original autograph letter signed. The envelope is a photocopy of the original, which has not been found.
2Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, presumed Lincoln was referring here to a letter of recommendation which John Addison tore off from this letter and used for his purposes. The original letter, however, shows no evidence of a portion being torn off, and Lincoln’s supposed letter of recommendation for Addison has not been located, so it is impossible to verify Basler’s assertion.
No letter from Addison to Lincoln in the months of May through July 1849 has been located; therefore, some of the context for this letter is missing.
3President Zachary Taylor appointed Justin H. Butterfield commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office in June 1849, following a lengthy competition for the position against James L. D. Morrison, Cyrus Edwards, and, eventually, Lincoln. See the General Land Office Affair.
Josiah M. Lucas, who held a temporary position as a clerk in the U.S. General Land Office during the affair, supported Lincoln in the competition for the appointment. After Butterfield won the appointment, Lucas wrote Lincoln, concerned that Butterfield might not retain him as a clerk. In a November 1849 letter to Lucas, Lincoln wrote that he was glad Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing had “sustained” Lucas in his position. Yet Lucas’ name does not appear in the official register of the officers and agents of the government employed as of September 30, 1849, nor does it appear in the official registers for 1851 and 1853.
Abraham Lincoln to George W. Crawford; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; 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); Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1853 (Washington, DC: Robert Armstrong, 1853).
4Lincoln wrote Ewing June 22, 1849, requesting that all letters of recommendation and reference filed with the U.S. Department of the Interior pertaining to his candidacy for commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office be returned to him. Ewing complied, returning all but three of the letters from Lincoln’s file.
5Lincoln wrote James Berdan the same day as this letter, informing him that Butterfield was interested in giving him an appointment in the U.S. General Land Office.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Gilder Lehrman Collection (New York, New York).