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Philo H. Thompson to Abraham Lincoln, 19 April 18491
Hon A LincolnDr Sir
I wrote Dr Henry a day or two since in relation to our P. office matters. The truth is our people have been imposed upon by the appointment of Daniel M Bailey. The whole matter has been kept secret by Bailey and his friends, and we presume although we do not know, that Bailey[']s commission comes from Cave Johnson2 At any rate not a single business firm in town was consulted upon the matter. Bailey lives out of Town and the arrangement is, that Tackaberry who is a relation of Bailey[']s, is to keep the office. Bailey is a clever man, as you know, but could not obtain the office fairly as he is not by any means the choice of our citizens. John Gridley has been spoken of, and would give satisfaction, indeed Tackaberry agreed last winter to resign in his favor. He is poor, out of health, and has a large family, Bailey is rich, and is a confirmed old Bachelor, Gridley, I am confident could obtain the signatures of three quarters of our voters for the office. I write you upon the subject presuming that a
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word from you, to Mr Collamer, would set every thing right. If however, you think it best to go through the old manner by petition, will you be kind enough to say so, although I hope your influence at head quarters will be sufficient without going through the old process.3
I have been looking for a good appointment for our mutual friend Dr Henry. He richly deserves a good office, and his appointment to almost any office would I am confident give great satisfaction to the Whigs of Illinois4 It is reputed here that T. R. King has an appointment at Springfield. I trust the report may be true. King is now at Bloomington5 We have no local news. The removal of the County Seat from Tremont has caused considerable excitement, but the majority is so decided that we look upon the matter as now permant.6
Very truly
Yr[Your] friend
P. H. Thompson
1Philo H. Thompson wrote and signed this letter.
2Daniel M. Bailey received appointment as postmaster of Pekin on February 17, 1849, replacing Middleton Tackaberry.
Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971, NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1845-1855, 18:186, National Archives Building, Washington, DC.
3Abraham Lincoln responded to this letter sometime before April 23. Lincoln’s letter has not been located, but he apparently advised Thompson to circulate a petition on Gridley’s behalf. Thompson wrote Lincoln on April 23 that a petition supporting Gridley, addressed to Postmaster General Jacob Collamer, was in circulation in Pekin. On May 15, 1849, Gridley replaced Bailey as postmaster and held the position until April 1853.
Fitz Henry Warren to Abraham Lincoln; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971, NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1845-1855, 18:186, National Archives Building, Washington, DC; 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), *485; 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), 544*; 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), 514*.
4In March 1849, Lincoln wrote a letter and petition to Secretary of State John M. Clayton recommending Anson G. Henry for appointment as secretary of the Minnesota Territory. Lincoln and other Whigs in Congress endorsed Henry, but he did not get the appointment. Lincoln continued to recommend him to President Zachary Taylor and members of his administration. On June 24, 1850, Henry received the appointment of Indian agent for the Oregon Territory.
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; Harry C. Blair, Dr. Anson G. Henry: Physician, Politician, Friend of Abraham Lincoln (Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University, 1944), 8; Edward D. Neill, History of Minnesota Valley (Minneapolis: North Star, 1882), 118, 123-24.
5In December 1848, Thompson wrote Lincoln urging him to get Turner R. King a job with the U.S. General Land Office in Springfield, Illinois. From December 1848 to February 1849, Lincoln received several letters urging him to help King secure a position with the General Land Office. On April 7, 1849, Lincoln wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing recommending King for the job of register. On April 13, he wrote another letter reversing himself, recommending King for the job of receiver. On May 10, Lincoln reversed himself again, penning a letter recommending King for register. In late May, King received the appointment as register and held the job until 1853.
Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia, PA), 23 May 1849, 1:2; 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; 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), 140; 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; Samuel R. Baker to Abraham Lincoln; William B. Doolittle to Abraham Lincoln; Robert W. Briggs to Abraham Lincoln; Richard T. Gill to Abraham Lincoln.
6In 1849, residents of Tazewell County voted to move the county seat from Tremont to Pekin.
History of Tazewell County Illinois (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman, 1879), 249-50.
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Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC), .