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Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Corwin, 1 September [1850]1
Hon: Thomas Corwin:
This will introduce to your acquaintance, my friend, Simeon Francis, Editor of the Illinois Journal– He will desire an interview with the new Secretary of the Interior, with whom I am not acquainted–2 I shall be greatly obliged, if you will procure him a favorable introduction to that gentleman; and show him any other attention which the press of your duties will permit–3
Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant] A. Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter. Although he did not include a year in his date for this letter, since he wrote related documents on the same topic in 1850, the editors have determined that Lincoln wrote this letter September 1, 1850.
2Following the death of President Zachary Taylor, President Millard Fillmore appointed Thomas M. T. McKennan secretary of the interior. He replaced Thomas Ewing in that position on August 15, 1850.
Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, identified Alexander H. H. Stuart as secretary of the interior at the time of this letter. This is incorrect. McKennan served as secretary of the interior from August 15, 1850 to September 12, 1850, when he resigned. President Fillmore then appointed Stuart to the position, but not until September 16, 1850.
Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1492, 1901.
3In November 1849, Lincoln had sent the previous secretary of the interior, Ewing, a telegram recommending Simeon Francis for appointment as surveyor general of the Oregon Territory. Ewing had replied, noting that such a position had not yet been created, but probably would be soon. After President Fillmore replaced Ewing with McKennan, Lincoln sent McKennan a letter reasserting his desire that Francis receive the position.
Prior to recommending Francis for this position, Lincoln had also recommended him for secretary of the Oregon Territory, a position 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.
The U.S. Congress did not pass legislation creating the office of surveyor general of the Oregon Territory until September 27, 1850, and the first person appointed to the position was John B. Preston. 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 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.
Sylvia Larson, “McKennan, Thomas McKean Thompson,” American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 15:108-9; 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; “An Act to create the Office of Surveyor-General of the Public Lands in Oregon, and to provide for the Survey, and to make Donations to Settlers of the said Public Lands,” 27 September 1850, Statutes at Large of the United States 9 (1862):496; 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.

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).