John S. Wright to Abraham Lincoln, 12 April 18491Chicago 12th Apl 1849–My dear Sir,
Last night I recd[received] a letter from Hon– Truman Smith; & as I supposed, papers in my behalf have been fast accumulating in the last few days– I intended to keep mine back till the last, & have them all come in together, & they all go on dated after the other applicants had got thro'[through] with their efforts, And I have been able to send on strong papers, far stronger than I had supposed I should be able to get, after the other applicants had got our leading citizens committed to one or the other– Those who do not write for me as their first-choice, most of them put me on an equality with Dole & Boone—between us three, the rest of the Whigs—moral, good citizens—have very little choice, tho'[though] friendship, makes some prefer one rather than another–
Dr. Boone I know has been your first-choice, at least he says so, tho' I had flattered myself with having your aid for me, But you cannot take back what you have done, & I am satisfied that you should put me second to him– And will you please write to me at Washington, care Rev. W. M. Lain, under cover to Hon. Truman Smith, ^directed to myself–^ enclosing a letter to Judge Collamer, saying what you can consistently in my favor for the Post Office– Any other letters you can write for me, will be very acceptable, & I will endeavor some day to repay your kindness– I leave for Washn[Washington] in the morning–
The object with all is to defeat Wilson, whom they consider unqualified on acct[account] of his habits, And we cannot learn
<Page 2>that anything of consequence is on file against him on this score– Between, Boone, Dole & myself, there is little choice preference expressed– And from what I have heard from Washn, I think my chances next best to Wilson’s–
I have a strong expression in my favor from all over the country, among friends of the Pr. Farmer, & being supported from here, by as strong recommendations as any one, or having Mr. Smith, Preston, Gen. Walter Jones & several other friends at Washington, & numerous letters from leading Whigs all over the country, & particularly, some strong influences upon Mr. Warren, 2d ass.[assistant], I think my chances quite good– I know from what I heard last night from W.[Washington] that I am only second to Wilson–
What you do for me, must be done immediately– & I shall be under very, great obligations, which I will try hereafter to repay, if you can do anything for me–
Please present me very cordially to Ms. L.Sincerely yoursJ. S. WrightHon, A. LincolnM. C.[Member Congress]
S. Lisle Smith left last week for Wash,, & he has gone chiefly to secure the appointment for Wilson. My object is to counteract that baleful influence if possible– And should I find that my chances are doubtful—which, however, I do not in the least anticipate, or I should not go,—then I shall do what I can for Boone or Dole– which, I have not determined.2
2Wright and the others were vying for appointment as postmaster of Chicago. Wright would not get the appointment; President Zachary Taylor appointed Richard L. Wilson postmaster on April 23. Wilson would hold the post until September 1850, when George W. Dole replaced him. Dole held the job until March 1853.
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), 470*; 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), *527; 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), *499; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971, NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1845-1855, 18:34, National Archives Building, Washington, DC.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).