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Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln, 15 April 18491
Dear Sir
Excuse me for again troubling you with any another letter– but believing it to be my duty I take the responsibility. Since my last letter things have come to my knowledge which convince me almost beyond a dobt that the strongest efforts are making to make Butterfield the Commissioner2 I do know positively that he has been telegraphing Warren on the subject– I do know that a letter has been forced out of Mr. Clay in his favor– I do know that Ewing & Johnson are his friends and I do know that a strong eastern Eastern influence is at work for him and I further know that Lyle Smith was telegraphed to come on here, and that he is here urging his appointment in every conceivable shape– and that it is with Butterfield's knowledge and solicitation that he does it–and that I have good reasons for believing that Truman Smith and Danl Webster are backing Butterfield– Do do not call me an alarmist– but sir, I ask you if it does not look squally. Things are moved here by personal importunity– And allow me to inform you, that in my humble opinion, unless something is done by youyou, sir, the aforesaid Butterfield will succeed. The reason why I emphasise the word you is, because you possess an influence hereBaker has little, or no influence, and the wind has been taken out of his sails, until they flop
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you may doubt me, but I believe I am right in my predictions.– Butterfield, you know was asking to be solicitor,– that place, I am credibly informed is to be given to a man in Alabama– I know that Butterfield told Judge Young that he was not after his place, but that he was anxious for him to remain—now why, this double dealing—you know too, that he opposed Williams, and ^that^ he previously disavowed any intention to do so.– I for one, and I know that it is the choice ^desire^ of the Whigs, that you should be the man– and I must confess I feel much solicitude in your behalf– I fear that friend Edwards stands no chance– Morrison is out of the question, I think,—you, I think, can foal foil Mr. B.
If you, intend to make an effort, I should like to be apprised of it. You can confide in me, having
I hope ^ask^ that what I here write will be considered confidential– for should Butterfield be the Commissioner, it I shall, of course be at his mercy, nothing however exists between us but friendship, but individually, I prefer some one else– and I do know that he would not be the choice of the Whigs of Illinois. Baker has, from cause, injured himself, and has no influence, I regret this very much.
Bond will be Marshall. Prentice's commission has been annulled– on account of being behind with the Government3he I could inform you of certain rumors about places appointments &c[etc] but will decline, as it may not be interesting
Yours in hasteJ. M. Lucas4
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WASHINGTON CITY D.C.
APR[April] 16
10
Hon. Abram LincolnSpringfieldIllinois
1Josiah M. Lucas wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the fourth sheet, which was folded to create an envelope. Abraham Lincoln responded on April 25.
2Lucas references the contest to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. See the General Land Office Affair.
3Lucas’ information on Benjamin Bond, William S. Prentiss, and the position of U.S. marshal for Illinois was not entirely accurate. President John Tyler had removed Prentiss as marshal in July 1844 and replaced him with Thomas M. Hope. When James K. Polk won the presidency in 1844, Democrats moved swiftly to remove Hope and other Tyler supporters and replace them with Democratic loyalists. In April 1845, Polk appointed Stinson H. Anderson marshal. Bond would replace Anderson in May 1849 and hold the position until 1853.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 4 July 1844, 2:6; 3 April 1845, 2:5; 10 April 1845, 3:1; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 4 June 1849, 3:1; Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia), 9 May 1849, 1:1; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1845 (Washington, DC: J. & G. S. Gideon, 1845), 223; 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), 261; 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), 247; 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), 267; 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), 259.
4Lincoln eventually became a candidate for the job of commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office, but he did not receive the appointment, the job going to Justin H. Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Commissioner of the General Land Office, Richard M. Young, had appointed Lucas as a temporary clerk in the Land Office in March 1849, but Lucas was worried about his tenure with rumors swirling that Young was to be replaced. Lucas held onto his job through the spring, and he sent Lincoln a steady stream of letters informing Lincoln on the contest for commissioner and on appointments to land offices throughout Illinois. Lucas’ name does not appear in the official register of the officers and agents of the government employed as of September 30, 1849, so he must have lost his position. His name also does not appear in the official registers for 1851 and 1853, so apparently he did not receive another federal appointment while the Whigs held power.
Abraham Lincoln to George W. Crawford; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas 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; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1851; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1853.

Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).