Benjamin F. James to Abraham Lincoln, 16 April 18491Dear Lincoln–
You are indebted to me for two letters, and I give you notice that you will be prosecuted in the court of conscience unless you satisfy in full the demands upon you, I should like to hear from you much in relation to your doings the past winter,2 Morrison informed me that my name with others had been handed to some of the departments at Washington for consideration, Can you say any thing as to the prospects &c[etc], and what salary the great disideratum can be obtained,–3 I would write more fully, and at length but time will not admit, My wife has been very sick for nine weeks, I am very much confined at home, and know very little of the affairs of the world without, I wish you to enlighten me, and hope some business or pleasure will induce you soon to visit this part of your political vineyard, where you have reaped abundantly of those things, so necessarily dear to a politician– You know our County Seat is removing and I wish to consult with you upon the propriety of bringing some suits vs[versus] the County &c–4Truly Yrs[Yours],B. F. JamesApl 16th 1849
2James’ letters to Abraham Lincoln have not been located. He wrote to Lincoln again on April 29 and requested a response. Just as James was preparing to post his letter, he received a response from Lincoln, but that letter has not been located.
3In March 1849, Lincoln wrote letters recommending James for a federal appointment to Secretary of State John M. Clayton, Secretary of War George W. Crawford, and other cabinet members. James does not appear in the official registers of the officers and agents of the federal government for 1849, 1851, and 1853, so apparently he did not receive an appointment.
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); 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); 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); Abraham Lincoln to Unknown; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton; Abraham Lincoln to George W. Crawford.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s) , Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).