Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln, 10 May 18491Washington May 10./49Dear Sir
If you are not worn out with my letters you can read this–2 Chambers of the Republican is here and he informs that he has been informed by letter from St. Louis, that Cyrus Edwards has withdrawn in your favor– I hope it is so. Chambers, inclines towards Morrison, but says between you and him— he has no preference– he is decidedly, however against Butternuts— and says he won't do at all.3 Mr. Chambers, showed me a letter purporting to be the proceedings of a meeting held at the court house of Randolph County which urges the appointment of Morrison– I judge the court of that county was in cession, and a few loafers, having little else to do, got up the thing.4 The proceedings contained no doubt all the names that endorsed it, the number is five, with Col Servants, at its head, the letter was written by Servants I noticed that one of the signatures was a written thus "_____, Edwards, of Perry County." Now I still am of the opinion, from all that I can learn, that you can get the appointment. I would give it as my opinion if it is worth any thing— viz: Come on immediately
<Page 2>bring with you all the strength you can— of course you know all about such things, and will please excuse me for my zeal in your behalf may be plead as the excuse I am thinking that I will get up those from the West here present to write letters to the President in your behalf. I don't see that it can have any bad effect, if properly mang managed.
Judge Young, I am certain, will resign— at least he told me that he would not hold the office— my impressions are that the cabinet are treating him cavalier[ly] and are making the place too hot for him, I think a great deal of Young and it is wrong to abuse so good a man.5
I assure you there is not a moment to loose and if you do any thing, let it be done quick[ly] Pocket your modesty, as the preacher did his religion– until you thrash Butternut[s] I just know you can do it, if you will come on–Your friendJ M Lucas6
2Between April 12 and May 10, 1849, Lucas posted four other known letters to Abraham Lincoln.
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.
4The Randolph County Circuit Court met on the first Monday in April 1849.
“An Act Changing the Time of Holding the Circuit Courts in the Second Judicial Circuit,” 13 February 1847, Laws of Illinois (1847), 29.
5Richard 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.
6As Lucas hoped, 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.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).