Abraham Lincoln to James A. Pearce, 13 January 18511Springfield, Jany 13. 1851–Hon: James A. Pearce:Sir:
It is believed here, by myself & some others, that your influence, if we could enlist it, would secure the appointment of Charles H. Constable to a Judgeship in Oregon– Mr Constable is a native of Maryland ; and I understand you have some personal acquaintance with him, or his family– He is now, and for several years has been, a resident of this State– He is well qualified to do the duties of a Judgeship; and I be[
liver?] ^lieve^ it would give universal satisfaction to the whigs of this State for him to receive such an appointment– I shall be greatly obliged,
if you shall find it agreeable to interest yourself in his behalf–2
You will probably not remember me; and therefore, as an appology for addressing you, I have to say that I had an introduction to you while I was a member of the H. R. of the 30th Congress–3Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant]A. Lincoln
2In the spring and summer of 1849, Lincoln received several letters asking him to help Charles H. Constable receive a patronage appointment from President Zachary Taylor‘s administration. Constable also wrote to Lincoln in May 1849, soliciting his assistance in gaining “any Territorial judicial appointment, Government Agency, or a Diplomatic Appointment to any of the South American States or minor Governments.” On May 13, 1849, Lincoln wrote a letter of introduction on Constable’s behalf to Secretary of State John M. Clayton. However, Constable did not receive an appointment.
Despite Lincoln’s efforts in this January 13, 1851 letter to James A. Pearce, Constable also did not receive a federal judgeship in the Oregon Territory. Later, however, in 1861, he was elected circuit court judge in Marshall, Illinois.
Edwin B. Webb to Abraham Lincoln; Justin Harlan to Abraham Lincoln; Edwin B. Webb 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); Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County, ed. by Charles L. Hostetter (Chicago: Munsell, 1913), 1:117.
3Lincoln represented the Seventh Congressional District, which included Sangamon County and Springfield, as a Whig in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-1849.
Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 8; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1395.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), RG 59, Entry 760: Appointment Records, Applications and Recommendations for Office, Applications and Recommendations for Public Office, 1797-1901, NACP.