Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln1Washington May 10 ^9^,/49Sir
This is the second letter which I have written you to-day–2 I found out the following when too late to take No 1 out of the office so I send after it No 2.
I have just learned from Chambers that Ewing insists upon Butterfield– and that he is his man– he is Ewing used this language, vz[viz]’ “That he anticipated much trouble in land titles– and that as the man was to come from Illinois,” that he chooses Butterfield for the reason that he is the most profound lawyer in the state, especially as a Land lawyer" this is his language– Morrison is writing to Chambers but C.[Chambers] told me he intended to write to Morrison to knight that he need not come on that Butterfield would get the appointment.
Now, sir, you have the case before you, and I doubt not, that you can see how the land lies. Taylor is for you, I think, and so is Collamer. What ever you do, do quicklyYours &c[etc]Lucas3
3Lucas references the battle over who would replace Richard M. Young as commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were all vying to succeed Young. As Lucas hoped, Abraham Lincoln would eventually become a candidate for the job. Neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment, the job going to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
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 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, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).