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Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Ewing, 17 November 18491
All communications made over this Line are confidential, the operators being bound by oath not to divulge the contents of any despatch.
Should the patrons of the Line at any time have occasion to make complaints, they are respectfully referred to the General Superintendent, who will make redress for any neglect on the part of persons employed by the Company.
HENRY J. ROGERS, General Superintendent.
Please reply by carrier promptly—write your despatch plain—use no figures—give address in full of person to whom sent—pre-pay—state if the answer is to be paid by you, and where you are to be found.
BY BAIN’S ELECTRO-CHEMICAL TELEGRAPH,
Hon Thos. Ewing:–
I most anxiously desire that Simon Francis be appointed Surveyor General of Oregon.2
Abraham Lincoln.

<Page 2>
[endorsement]
no such office has yet been created–
ys sr3
1This telegram is attributed to Abraham Lincoln but is not written in Lincoln’s hand.
2Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing replied to this telegram on November 19, 1849, informing Lincoln that no such position existed yet. The first person appointed as surveyor general of the Oregon Territory was John B. Preston, who was appointed by President Millard Fillmore.
Prior to recommending Simeon Francis for this position Lincoln had recommended him for secretary of the Oregon Territory, a position President Zachary Taylor awarded Lincoln on August 9, 1849, but which Lincoln declined. Other Illinois Whigs also pressed for Francis to receive the secretary appointment, but Taylor ultimately appointed Edward Hamilton of Ohio secretary of the Oregon Territory. 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 either, but, by 1863, he was a paymaster in Oregon.
Appointment of Abraham Lincoln as Secretary of the Territory of Oregon; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton; Petition of John T. Stuart and others to John M. Clayton; 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), 139; 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.
3Thomas Ewing wrote this endorsement.

Handwritten Telegram Signed with a Representation, 2 page(s), Thomas Ewing Family Papers, Box 53, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).