Henry Eddy to Abraham Lincoln, 22 March 18491Shawneetown, 22d March '49.Dear Sir,
Your friends here have been hoping to see you, on your return from Congress, but so long a time has elapsed since the adjournment, that we presume you must have passed in the night, or taken some other route home.2 There are several of us office seekers, (I must use the opprobrious term in connection with myself,) would like to know our prospects, and what competition may be in the field. I doubt not but "their name is legion." Did you lay my name before ^the^ proper Secy[Secretary] that I ^as one that^ would like to be register of the Land Office here, and that of my friend Norton, for Receiver? What chance for McCallan, who wanted to be Marshal for California? I presume he saw you, as he went on to witness the inauguration, but he has not yet returned.3
Will the president be inclined to remove either Mr Sloo or Mr Parish, if their terms should not expire till next winter, on very full and conclusive proof of their active partizanship?4 If so, we would be glad you would look into the "State Register" of the 21st of Aug.[August] 1846, where you will see the proceedings of two political meetings, in this county, where they both figure; ^in^ one, however, they are censured by a branch of their own party. You will ^also^ see them referred to, in the same paper, in no very complimentary terms, by Wm H. Stickney, Esq.[Esquire] in his letter to the editor, informing him of the result of the Election in this county.5
Lest you might not have named me, as an applicant for the Office of Register, when it becomes vacant, I took the liberty, a few days since, of doing it, direct, in a line to the Secy of the
<Page 2>Home Department, in pursuance ^of^ a recent intimation from the President ^to that effect.^ Several of my friends here & hereabouts will urge my appointment with earnestness, but with what effect, of course remains to be seen.
Having had no means of making our wishes known at Washington, this last Session, except through you, makes us anxious to see or hear from you, confidentially, on these points, that we may profit by your suggestions if you can make any of use to us.6With sentiments of esteem,
I remain your friend, &c.[etc]Henry Eddy.Hon. Abm Lincoln,Springfield, Ill.
2Abraham Lincoln was en route to Springfield, having left Washington, DC, on March 20. He would make his way home via St. Louis by railroad, steamer, and stagecoach, arriving in Springfield on March 31.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 20 March 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-03-20; 31 March 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-03-31.
3Eddy addressed a letter to Abraham Lincoln the previous January urging the appointment of Andrew McCallen. In February, Lincoln received similar letters from Joseph T. Eccles, Samuel D. Marshall, and David M. Woodson.
4James C. Sloo was register and Braxton Parrish was receiver of the U.S. General Land Office in Shawneetown.
Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1847 (Washington, DC: J. & G. S. Gideon, 1847), 29, 31; Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia, PA), 6 June 1849, 1:1.
5Democrats in Gallatin County split into two warring factions in the summer of 1846. Disagreement over President James K. Polk’s policy on Oregon and dissatisfaction with the county convention system divided the party faithful. Relations became so strained that the regular and independent Democrats nominated separate slates of candidates in the state elections. William H. Stickney, an independent Democrat who won election to the Illinois House of Representatives, accused Sloo, in a letter to Charles H. Lanphier dated August 5, of using the editorial pages of the Shawneetown Gazette to slander him and target him for defeat. On August 11, the regular Democrats held a mass meeting and passed several resolutions opposing President Polk and his Oregon policy. The independent Democrats staged a mass meeting of their own, lauding the president and censuring Sloo and Parrish for trying to lead the party into condemning Polk. The meeting also passed a resolution accusing Sloo and Parrish of bringing the power of government patronage to bear against Stickney and other independent Democrat candidates.
Illinois State Register (Springfield), 21 August 1846, 1:5-6, 7; 3:2.
6Lincoln’s response, if he penned one, has not been located.
Eddy did not get the appointment; Lincoln and Edward D. Baker instead endorsed McCallen for the position of register. McCallen received the appointment and held the job from June 1849 to May 1853. John W. Norton received the appointment as receiver, holding that position from June 1849 to 1853.
Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia, PA), 6 June 1849, 1:1; 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), 135, 137; 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, 141; 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), 138, 139; John W. Norton to Abraham Lincoln; Arthur Charles Cole, ed., The Constitutional Debates of 1847, vol. 14 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Constitutional Series (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1919), 2:969.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).