Richard M. Young to Abraham Lincoln, 7 May 18491
(Strictly Confidential)Washington City, May 7– 1849–My Dear Sir,
As the time is fast approaching, when it is thought some one may be selected as my successor; and as I feel much concern for the welfare of those who will be left behind me, in this office, with whom I have been in daily intercourse ^now,^ for upwards of two years, I have thought it would not be amiss to address you a line at the present juncture, so that you may per adventure (as Judge Scates would say) by timely interference, prevent, what other wise may happen— that is the appointment of some one who would not be acceptable– You ^know^ what I said to Mr Ewing in regard to the successorship— and why not lay modesty aside and strike for yourself– From what I can learn Mr B. of C.— contrary to what he said to me when you was here, and after having lost the Solicitorship of the Treasury, is now playing a strong game for the Land Office— some think he will succeed— now cant you prevent, by urging the claims of one A. Lincoln— who I am sure, would be more acceptable here than any Whig in Illinois? What say you– Whatever you do, it will be well for it to be done quickly—Your friendR. M. YoungHon. A. LincolnSpringfield. Ill.I understood from Judge Collamer, some week or two ago that he would prefer this Mr Lincoln, he thought– He at the same time asked me what I thought of this Mr B.[Butterfield] of C[Chicago]—2
<Page 2>and I am very sure that you can succeed better with this man Lincoln, than any person else–
2Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to succeed Young as commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Abraham Lincoln would eventually become a candidate for the job, but he did not receive the appointment, the job going to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).