Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln, 11 June 18491Springfield June 11th "49Dear Lincoln
Enclosed you will find a paper containing the names of almost every Whig in Sugar Creek Precinct, If time had been given us, a similar result could have been obtained in all the others– But this one should satisfy Genl Taylor what the real sentiments of the Whigs of the County are towards you, Butlers petition to the contrary notwithstanding–2 If I have an oportunity I will obtain a still further expression, although it certainly cannot be necessary– Almost every name obtained by Butler, recommending Butterfield, was obtained through mis-representation, and I have the first man yet to see, who does not regret having signed it3Yours TrulyA. G. Henry
2Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Abraham Lincoln entered the competition after learning that Butterfield was favored over Morrison and Edwards. See the General Land Office Affair. In early June 1849, Lincoln sent a series of letters to numerous people requesting letters in support of his candidacy for commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Although no such letter from Lincoln to Henry has been located, it is likely Lincoln made a similar request of him since Henry states that he has gathered the signatures of Whigs on a letter to send to President Zachary Taylor.
Abraham Lincoln to Josiah B. Herrick; Abraham Lincoln to James M. McLean; Abraham Lincoln to Robert C. Schenck; Abraham Lincoln to Joseph R. Underwood; Abraham Lincoln to William A. Minshall and Robert S. Blackwell; Abraham Lincoln to Willie P. Mangum; Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward; Abraham Lincoln to Duff Green; Abraham Lincoln to Unknown; Abraham Lincoln to David Rumsey; Abraham Lincoln to William Nelson; Abraham Lincoln to Nathaniel Pope.
3William Butler was one of two supporters of Butterfield who circulated a petition for his appointment to the position. Butler’s opposition to Lincoln may well have stemmed from Butler’s disappointment over not receiving a federal appointment. In February 1849, William F. Elkin wrote Lincoln that Butler was an applicant for the office of receiver at the U.S. General Land Office in Springfield, urging Lincoln to act on his behalf. Lincoln, however, had already committed to Walter Davis and Turner R. King for receiver and register, respectively. Lincoln instead wrote Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing recommending Butler for pension agent in the Springfield office of the U.S. Bureau of Pensions. Lincoln, however, also recommended William S. Wallace and Orville Paddock for the position of pension agent. Davis and Wallace received the offices of receiver and pension agent, respectively, leaving Butler disappointed and angry with Lincoln. Butler would spend the next decade opposing Lincoln’s political aspirations. The two would not speak for several years.
Henry wrote Lincoln several other letters related to the U.S. General Land Office. Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:295, 300; Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia, PA), 23 May 1849, 1:2; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 6 June 1849, 2:1; 13 June 1849, 3:1; 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), 135, 137, 140; William Jayne to William H. Herndon, 15 August 1866, Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds., Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 267; William H. Herndon to Jesse W. Weik, 15 January 1886, 2-4, Abraham Lincoln, The Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana: Group IV: Papers of William Henry Herndon, 1849-1891; 1874, Feb. 9-1886, Manuscript/Mixed Material, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss25791.mss25791-009_0317_0695/?sp=265, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss25791.mss25791-009_0317_0695/?sp=266; Anson G. Henry and Others to Abraham Lincoln; Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln; Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln; Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln; Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).