Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln, 7 May 18491Washington May 7. 1849Dear Sir
I have received your favors,–2 I believe from all that I can gather, and I get my information from a semi official source, that Judge Young will be removed by between this and the end of the fiscal year. I believe, that, could you be present in Washington that you could defeat Butterfield– I come pretty nigh knowing it. As it regards Morrison, he is out of the question— and it is nonsense for him to think about it– I verily believe that you could get it— and if my old friend Edwards was out off the track your chance is the best of any— because Collamer is for you and so is old Rough & tumble–3 My advice is that you come on immediately— to ^and^ work for Edwards as long as there is hope for him with the written understanding with Edwards, that, provided, he cannot succeed, for him to transfer his strength to you– This done my word opinion is that the thing will go as right– I feel it in my bones, and where that sign is right, I am sed seldom mistaken. I know that you are under obligations to Edwards, but I know enough of that good old gentleman, that he is reasonable, and will do
<Page 2>what is right,— by the by, no man has a higher regard for Cyrus Edwards that myself–
If you will have an immediate understanding with Edwards to the effect suggested and come on here with all possible dispatch– I am next to certain the thing will work— there is no mistake about it. Let Browning, D. Davis, Woodson, Yates, Williams, and such leading Whigs as you know immediately address the President If the thing is pushed immediately, the thing is settled right— otherwise old Butternuts gets it– Who in the thunder wants him? I am ready to swear that Illinois does not— and if I could be in Illinois 3 weeks I could defeat him if the voice of the Whigs there are to be regarded.
We are all for you here— as soon as a fellow comes here from Illinois or Missouri I set him— I have got the boys together on several occasions and they are all for you to a man— and it is a strong game, and Ewing feels it sensibly I hope you got Davis' letter— he has written a strong editorial and sent home– I hope it will have its effect– By all means come on– Young has written you. Send me the letter to Y Ewing, Taylor, Warren & Collamer &c[etc] &c I can help my friends better.
As to myself I do not know whether I am entirely safe or not– I think, however, my chances for permanency is good. Any help you can throw in will be thankfully received.
Please write me immediately– I will write Dr Henry in a few days–Your friendJ. M. Lucas4
WASHINGTON D.C.[District of Columbia]
MAY 7WASHINGTON D.C.
10Hon. A. LincolnSpringfieldIllinois
1Josiah M. Lucas wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the fourth sheet, which was folded to create an envelope.
2Lucas could be referring to a letter from Abraham Lincoln dated April 25, 1849.
3Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. See the General Land Office Affair.
4Lincoln’s response, if he penned one, has not been located.
Lincoln 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 Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Richard M. Young, incumbent commissioner of the General Land Office, 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 register for 1851, but he is listed in the official register for 1853 as a clerk in the U.S. General Land Office.
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 (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), 134.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).