David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, 6 June 18491Taylorville. Christian Co.
June 6.2 1849Dear Lincoln–
I recd[received] on yesterday a letter from Dr Henry. telling of the troubles about the Land Office– & that you had gone to Washington, & desiring me & any whigs. hereabouts to join in a letter, addressed to Genl Taylor3
I have written herewith a Letter. which I enclose to you– & if it Suits– & will do any good, of course deliver it–4
The appointment of old Butterfield. would be outrageous–
Is it not strange– that the voice of members of Congress from a State is not taken about appointments
Wishing you success5Your friendDavid DavisEmerson signed the Letter with me– He was the only Whig Lawyer here out of Springfield– The untimely death of my poor friend Colton has overwhelmed me with grief–
20Hon A Lincoln– M.[Member] Congress.(now at) Washington CityD.C.
3Davis references the contest to see 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 among the early contestants. Abraham Lincoln entered the competition after learning that Butterfield was favored over Morrison and Edwards.
As competition for the job intensified, William H. Henderson and Josiah Lucas, Lincoln supporters living in Washington, DC, urged Lincoln to come to the nation’s capital to personally lobby for the position.
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; 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.
4Davis addressed his letter to President Zachary Taylor. Davis’ missive was not enclosed in this letter, and it has not been located.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).