Justin Harlan to Abraham Lincoln, 3 May 18491Charleston, Illinois
May 3. 1849Dr[Dear] Sir
I expected to have seen you at this Term of the court, and spoken to you personally about our crony Chas H. Constable.2 He is very solicitous to receive an appointment of some kind from which some money and the more the better, is to follow. He says he is embarrassed from which he thinks it is impossible for him to extricate himself, unless he receives aid from such a quarter. He would I judge prefer an appt[appointment] to some of the S.[South] American Republics but is willing to receive any from which more money is to be received than paid out. He is low spirited this Spring because he has not been sufficiently noticed as he thinks. I would be more than well pleased, if he can receive the aid he seems so much to need. If you can consistently with your sense of duty aid him, I hope you will use your name to give him assistance.
I hope you will [answer?] me and say whether in your opinion any thing can be done for him, if you write within ten days and I hope you will, direct to Olney in Richland Co. where I shall be at that time the letter will reach me so that I can let him know the resultYours &c[etc]J Harlan3
<Page 2>CHARLESTON Ill.[Illinois]
[MAY?] 4Hon. A. LincolnSpringfieldSangamo Co.[Sangamon County]Ills.
1Justin Harlan wrote this letter, including the address on the second sheet, which was folded to create an envelope. He also signed the letter.
2Reference to the Coles County Circuit Court. The spring session of the court was held in April 1849.
“An Act Fixing the Times of Holding Courts in the Fourth Judicial Circuit,” 30 January 1849, Laws of Illinois (1849), 60.
3In May and June 1849, Abraham Lincoln received additional letters requesting his help in getting Charles H. Constable an appointment. On May 5, Constable himself wrote Lincoln to solicit his assistance. In early May, Constable and Lincoln met in Charleston to discuss Constable’s options--a meeting that left Constable disappointed. Constable wanted either a diplomatic appointment to South America or a judicial appointment in a territorial government. On May 13, Lincoln wrote a letter of introduction on Constable’s behalf to Secretary of State John M. Clayton. Constable’s name does not appear in the official registers of the officers and agents of the 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); Edwin B. Webb to Abraham Lincoln.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).