Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln, [29 May 1849]1
Tuesday Evening 7 ocl[o'clock],
The enclosed has just been recd[received]. You must go on Post Haste– The State may be saved yet– Francis will write direct to Genl. Taylor– Go on– Telegraph Genl.[General] Taylor or Some body else to hold off untill you reach there
The mail is waiting– I write in OfficeA G Henry2Stewart & Francis have seen the letter They say go by all means
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Lucas, Josiah M.Washington, D.C.Edwards, Benjamin S.Springfield, IllinoisHenry, Anson G.Springfield, IllinoisWashington May 22/49Dr[Dear] HenrySir–
It is important that immediate action be had in Springfield and elsewhere in the State, in relation to the Comr[Commissioner] of Genl Land Office. I called upon Genl Taylor yesterday and had a good talk with him on the subject. I showed him some letters in my possession on the subject, the Genl read them with deep attention and expressed much astonishment. They informed him that Butterfield was the last man in the State that Whigs would go for, for any office. I told him it would give great dissatisfaction to the people of the State, and that his firm friend Lincoln was the choice– he expressed great partiality for Lincoln– and was astonished to find that Butternuts was not their choice– the tru facts is Taylor has been deceived by Ewing and the Smiths C. B. & Truman– these Gents.[Gentlemen]Yours in hasteLucasBe sure and let the Journal speak out– mark the piece and send me 3 or 4 No.s3
<Page 3>have assumed the guardianship of our State– they are both rascals and C. B. in particular– If Lincoln will come on immediately he can beat Butterfield easy without doubt– and he is the only man in the State th that can Collamer is for him all over and so is Taylor. Edwards and Morrison are fooling away their time– but either is preferable to to Butterfield. Get Let your citizens give an immediate expression of their views– by letters and every other way– but whatever is done must be done instantly– if There is time, if done now! now Let nothing stop an immediate expression of opinion– Taylor is waiting for it– I told him it would be done go to work and write letters– Telegraph Taylor to defer action until the State can be heard– I tell you all will be well if you do as I tell you. Write to Taylor– not to Ewing– he is for Mr B.
<Page 4>Genl Taylor will certain for . . .salt if he can hear from . . . I told him that Illinois woul[d] . . . down with a perfect avalanch of concentrated public opinion in favor of Lincoln and against B. That it would parolise the Whigs if B. was appointed– I have written Edwards of Alton, also to Yates and to Singleton of Mt Sterling. If Lincoln is the man he will se that his friends are not trampled on by this Yankie clique,– I am doing all I can for Lincoln and have set the ball in motion here good A certain satelite of C. B. Smith and Warren have Telegraphed Butterfield to come on, They are getting alarmed. Judge Young will hold on as long as he can to give Lincoln a chance– But the 30th June is the last day he can hold on. Dont allow my name to be used in this matter, as Butterfield may succeed and then my head goes– and then he will get thrashed
<Page 5>BALTIMORE RAIL RD[ROAD]
10Ben Edwards Esqr[Esquire]or Dr. A. G. HenrySpringfieldIllinois
1Anson G. Henry wrote and signed this letter.
The date “May 24 (?) 1849” is written in pencil in the top left corner of the first sheet, but this is not in Henry’s hand and was presumably written by Library of Congress staff.
2Henry joined William H. Henderson and Josiah M. Lucas in urging Abraham Lincoln to go Washington, DC, to personally lobby to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were the first Illinoisans vying to replace Richard M. Young, the incumbent. Lincoln entered the competition after learning that Butterfield was favored over Morrison and Edwards.
On June 4, Lincoln learned that the appointment had been delayed three weeks to allow him time to promote his candidacy.
On June 9, Butterfield wrote Lincoln suggesting that neither go to Washington. Lincoln did not respond to this suggestion, and on June 10, both set out for the capital. Lincoln arrived on or before June 19. See the General Land Office Affair.
William H. Henderson to Abraham Lincoln; William H. Henderson to Abraham Lincoln; Josiah M. Lucas to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Willie P. Mangum; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 10 June 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-06-10; 19 June 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-06-19.
3Josiah M. Lucas wrote and signed this letter. He also wrote the address on the last sheet.
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 registers for 1851 and 1853, so apparently he did not receive another federal appointment while the Whigs held power.
As 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.
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; 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).
Autograph Letter Signed, 5 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).