William T. Page to Abraham Lincoln, 11 June 18491
Dear Lincoln
I have given Constable a letter to Mr. Collamer with whom I have a slight acquaintance saying all I could in favour of your appointment.2 Mr. McDowell who is also acquainted with M. Ewing has also written him.3 Constable went to Vincennes to day & you will receive these letters one day before this. Having a little leisure to day I drew up the enclosed letter to James Brooks M. C.[Member of Congress] from Washington City New York City. I wish it to be understood as expressing my sentiments & that of our Whigs here. If you desire you can forward it to him, if not throw it in the fire & say no more about it– Wishing you all the success you can have, & that is to receive the office you wish & for you prosperity in all other respects I remain4
truly yoursWm T PageI might as well said that C. showed me your letter hence my letter to Collamer & Brooks–5
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Hon A. Lincoln–Washington City
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06/11/1849James Brooks Esq[Esquire]–Dear Sir
Some remarks of yours occasioned by the appointment of the Marshall for New York has induced me to address you on the subject of an appointment now pending at Washington.6 I beleive it is conceded that the Com[Commissioner] of the Land Office is to be taken from this State. The appointment rest between two individuals Hon. A. Lincoln, late M. C. from this State & a Mr. Butterfield from Chicago. If the administration pays any regard to the wishes of the Whigs & more particularly the working Whigs Mr. L. will receive the appointment. Mr. Lincoln from the first organisation of our party in 1839 to this day has been active in the cause: was a candidate for Elector in /40 & /44: traversed the state from one end to the other, addressed the people in almost every County, & with great effect. I speak but the universal sentiment of the Whigs when I say that he has contributed more to sustain the Whig cause than any other man in the State.7 And while he has been thus active he has at all times retained the respect & confidence of the Democrats, & probably there is no man in our ranks whose appointment would be more satisfactory to them than Mr. Lincolns. Mr. L. fitness in point of ability will not be denied. all of which, together with his general acquaintance would make
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it a suitable & extremely popular appointment with all parties in this State.
On the other hand if Mr. Butterfield has even aided the Whigs in any way I have yet to learn it. Indeed I never heard of him as a Whig, never met him in Convention, never knew of his addressing the people at anytime. But he may have done some service in the cause, yet it is so slight as not to be remarked. I have been familiar with all prominent political movements in this State from the first organisation of the party in 1839 to the present day: was present at the first convention in that year, a member of the one that formed the ticket in /44[1844] & at others in /47[1847]. & /48[1848]. And in all that time from viz from /39[1839] to /49[1849] in constant correspondence with Whigs in all parts of the State, & while Mr. Lincoln was frequently refered to as addressing or about to address meetings. I never heard Mr Butterfield mentioned as in any way connected with our party. I do not wish to be understood as saying that Mr. B is not a Whig. I presume he is: but being a gentlemen of decided ability has taken good care to husband the talents given him for some other purpose than advancing the interest of the party to which he belonged.8
I have taken the liberty addressing you on on this subject because I know you feel an anxious desire for the success of Whig principles: and hope if not inconsistent with your views will aid us Working Whigs in securing the appointment of Mr. Lincoln.

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Mr. Lincoln is now in Washington City.9 For myself I refer you to my brother in Law R. H. Waller Esq.[Esquire] of your city
I am yours respectfullyWm. T. Page10
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Hon James BrooksNew York City
1William T. Page wrote and signed this letter.
2Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. 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. Presumably, Lincoln made a similar request of Page, although no such letter from Lincoln to Page has been located.
3Thomas Ewing was the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, but President Zachary Taylor was ultimately responsible for appointing the commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office.
4Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
5No letter from Lincoln to Constable on this topic has been located.
6In 1849, President Taylor appointed Palmer V. Kellogg marshal for the northern district of New York and Henry F. Talmadge marshal for the southern district of New York. It’s unclear whether James Brooks made remarks about Kellogg or Talmadge. It's also unclear what those remarks were.
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), 243-44.
7In 1840 and 1844, Lincoln served as a presidential elector for the state of Illinois. In addition, at the end of the first session of the Thirtieth Congress, Lincoln spent eleven days in Massachusetts stumping for Taylor to win the presidential election of 1848. Throughout the fall of 1848, he also stumped for Taylor in other locations throughout the Northeast and in the Midwest.
Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 534; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:280-84.
8Page’s objections to Butterfield mirror those Lincoln made in a May 16, 1849 letter to William B. Preston.
9As competition for the job intensified, William H. Henderson and Josiah M. 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.
10William T. Page wrote and signed this letter.

Autograph Letter Signed, 6 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).