Abraham Lincoln to William B. Preston, 5 November 18491Lexington, Ky. Novr 5. 1849Hon: W. B. PrestonSecretary of the Navy.Dear Sir:
Being here in Kentucky on private business, I have learned that the name of Dr John T. Parker is before you as an applicant for the Hemp Agency of the State–2 I understand that his name has been presented in accordance with the wish of the hemp-growers, rather than his own– I personally know him to be a gentleman of high character, of excellent general information, and, withal, an experienced hemp grower himself– I disclaim all right of interference as to the offices out of my own state; still I suppose there there is no impriety in my stating the facts as above; and I will venture to add that I shall be much gratified, if Dr Parker shall receive the appointment.3Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant]A. Lincoln–
2In the middle of October 1849, Abraham and Mary Lincoln traveled from Springfield, Illinois to Lexington, Kentucky to attend to business associated with the settling of Robert S. Todd’s estate and to participate with other Todd heirs in a lawsuit against Robert Wickliffe in the Fayette County Circuit Court. The Lincolns arrived in Lexington on October 20, and returned to Springfield on November 15.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 18 October 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-10-18; 15 November 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-11-15; William H. Townsend, Lincoln and His Wife’s Home Town (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1929), 208-9; Todd et al. v. Wickliffe, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141847; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 19 November 1849, 2:1.
3John T. Parker is not among the U.S. Navy Department’s agents for inspecting, testing, and purchasing hemp in the official registers of the officers and agents of the government for 1849 and 1851, and is not on the civilian list in 1853, so apparently he did not receive the appointment.
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), 230; 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); 245; 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), 236-37.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s) Lincoln Collection, Brown University (Providence, RI).