View up to date information on how Illinois is handling the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Illinois Department of Public Health


Petition of John T. Stuart and Others to John M. Clayton, 15 September 18491
Hon: J. M. ClaytonSecretary of State–Sir:
Understanding that Simeon Francis, of this city would accept the office of Secretary of the Teritory of Oregon, and that his name has been presented to you for that appointment,2 we most cheerfully join in bearing testimony to his worth and qualifications, and in the expression of a desire that the place may be conferred upon him–3
John T. StuartTurner R. King,Walter DavisBen: BondA. Y. EllisWm S. Wallace.
[endorsement]
John T. Stuart, Whig member of the 26th & 27th Congresses
Turner R. King—Present Register of the Land office here–
Walter Davis—Present Receiver of Public Monies here–
Ben: Bond—Present U.S. Marshal of this state
A. Y. Ellis—Present Post-Master here
Wm S. Wallace—Present Pension Agent of this state–
Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the text of this petition. Each signer signed his own name.
2This is a reference to Lincoln recommending Simeon Francis for appointment as secretary of the Oregon Territory. President Zachary Taylor had appointed Lincoln secretary of the Oregon Territory August 9, 1849, less than a month after he appointed Justin H. Butterfield commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office, a position Lincoln had sought after learning that Butterfield was favored for the job. See the General Land Office Affair. As Lincoln explained in a May 16, 1849 letter to William B. Preston, he believed the appointment of Butterfield to such a valuable patronage position would represent an affront to Whigs in Illinois who had worked so hard to get Taylor nominated and elected president. Many Illinois Whigs were indeed upset by Butterfield’s appointment and criticized both President Taylor and Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing. The administration hoped that by offering Lincoln the position of secretary of the Oregon Territory, it would appease any angry Illinois Whigs and prevent additional attacks upon Butterfield’s appointment. But in a letter to Clayton dated August 21, 1849, Lincoln declined the appointment for secretary of the Oregon Territory and recommended Francis for the position instead. Although other Whigs in Illinois urged Lincoln to recommend Hart Fellows for the position, Lincoln declined to do so and reiterated his endorsement of Francis for the appointment in two other letters to Clayton in late September 1849. Lincoln did, however, write to Clayton and endorse Fellows as “worthy” of either a judgeship or appointment as secretary of the Oregon Territory, while stipulating that Francis was his personal choice for the latter.
3In the end, Taylor appointed Edward Hamilton of Ohio secretary of the Oregon Territory. On September 20, 1849, in a final effort to ease any tensions caused by Butterfield’s appointment, the Taylor administration also offered Lincoln appointment as governor of the Oregon Territory. After serious consideration of this offer, Lincoln also turned this position down, at least in part because Mary Lincoln had no desire to live in such a remote location. Taylor appointed John P. Gaines of Virginia governor of the Oregon Territory instead.
Francis’ name does not appear in the official registers of the officers and agents of the government for 1849, 1851, 1853, 1855, 1857, or 1859, so apparently he did not receive any other appointment during this period. The 1861 official register shows Francis worked in Oregon as a printer for the U.S. government and as a paymaster for the U.S. Army. In July 1861, he also wrote Lincoln requesting appointment as commissioner of Indian Affairs. Francis did not receive this appointment, but, by 1863, he was a paymaster in Oregon.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, 1:307; Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing; 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), 250; 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); Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1855 (Washington, DC: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1855); Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1857 (Washington, DC: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1857); Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1859 (Washington, DC: William A. Harris, 1859); Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1861 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1862), 118, 199; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1863 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1864), 151; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1865 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1866), 193.

Handwritten Document Signed, 1 page(s), RG 59, Entry 760: Appointment Records, Applications and Recommendations for Office, Applications and Recommendations for Public Office, 1797-1901, NACP.