William H. Henderson to Abraham Lincoln, 13 May 18491Washington City Sunday May 13th 1849My dear Lincoln
I have concluded to trouble you with a letter, in which I wish to say to you, that we have a rumor here that the Honl[Honorable] Cyrus Edwards has declined applying for Commissioner of the Genl Land office in your favour, this information is said to have been brought here by _____ Chambers Edr[Editor] Republican of St Louis I hope it is so, and in that case I am clearly of opinion that you should come on here without delay, for you know much more about this than I do, but your success would be better secured by your presence, It is said that the President is for you, & perhaps a majority of the Cabinet, and that Mr. T. Ewing is warmly in favour of Friend Butterfield of Chicago, If you wish to be commissioner I am satisfied you should come to Washington without delay I want you to have it in preference to any one else, and this is the Genl[General] feeling of the Clerks, but their is here a very powerful N. York, & Yankee influence, which is too formadable I think to be managed unless you come on, I am ready to serve you in any way that I can, If I only knew how it could be done, I believe it is the wish of the Whig Clerks in the land office, & our Whig acquaintances here, that who-ever may be successful of our Illinois friends, that I should have old Father Robbs place as Clerk, all of which would be very gratifying to me, as well as advantageous, as I have not yet applied for any thing, nor cannot now with propriety do so.2 I should be glad to see you here, or hear from you, & do hope you will get the appointment. the office will soon be vacant,3Your friend in hasteWm H. Henderson
2Henderson hoped to replace John Robb as principal clerk of public lands in the U.S. General Land Office, but Justin H. Butterfield retained Robb. Robb relinquished the job sometime between September 1849 and September 1851, but Henderson did not replace him. Henderson’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 in the General Land Office or any other federal department.
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), 128; 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), 134; 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).
3Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to replace Richard M. Young as commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. As Henderson 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.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).