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Archibald Williams to Abraham Lincoln, 10 December 18491
Dear Sir
Our friend Simeon Francis informs me that he is an applicant for the appointment of surveyor General of Oregon
I should regret his exile but as he deserves it and is fully competent to the discharge of the duties of the office and has by his long and perseverance of efforts in the Whig cause,2 established Strong claims to the paronage[patronage] of the administration I desire to recommend him to the favourable consideration of the Department of the interior and would write to the head of that department if I had any personal acquaintance with him but as I have none and to avoid the appearance of arrogance I take the liberty make the recommendation through you
Your friendArchibald WilliamsA Lincoln Esq[Esquire]
<Page 2>
A Lincoln EsqAt home
[docketing]
5
[endorsement]
Hon: T– Ewing– Secy &c[Secretary etc.], Dear Sir:
The writer of the within, Mr Williams, is our present Whig U.S. District Attorney, and one of the first, if not the very first, man of the State– Besides indorsing his character, as I do, I most cordially unite with him, in the particular object of this letter– I shall be greatly gratified, if Mr Francis shall receive the appointment mentioned–3
Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant]A. Lincoln4
1Archibald Williams wrote and signed this letter as well as the address line in the second image.
2This is a reference to Simeon Francis’ work as editor of the Springfield Whig newspaper, the Illinois Daily Journal.
3Roughly one month before writing this endorsement on behalf of Francis, Lincoln sent Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing a telegram recommending Francis for appointment as surveyor general of the Oregon Territory. In the end, however, the first person appointed to this position was John B. Preston, who was appointed by President Millard Fillmore.
Prior to recommending 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 had also pressed for Francis to receive the appointment, but Taylor ultimately awarded the position to Edward Hamilton of Ohio.
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.
4Lincoln wrote and signed this endorsement.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), RG 48, Entry 15: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1833-1964, Divisional Records, 1843-1943, Records of the Appointments Division, 1817-1922, Field Office Appointment Papers, NACP.