Ebenezer Z. Ryan to Abraham Lincoln, 11 June 18491Laurenceville Illinois
June 11th 1849.Dear Lincoln
enclosed is a paper containing the names of Several of the most respectable and influential friends of the administration in Vincennes Ind2 indeed There is but one feeling in all this whole Wabash Country, and that is that you should receive the appointment over Mr Butterfield3 he is doubtless a good man, but has never done any thing for the cause, and is not considered Prominent,4 if you had given me notice sooner I would have furnished old Zac with a host of names all good men and true, I hope you may be well enoughf fortified– and receive the appointment5
let me hear from youYours TrulyE. Z. RyanP. S. Dubois & myself sent on letters yesterday
3Justin 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. Presumably, Lincoln made a similar request of Ryan, although no such letter has been located.
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.
4Lincoln and many of his fellow Whigs did not believe Butterfield deserved the appointment due to his lack of effort on behalf of the party, particularly during the 1840 Illinois state election, the presidential election of 1840, and the presidential election of 1848. Lincoln summarized his objections to Butterfield’s appointment in a letter he wrote to William B. Preston May 16, 1849.
5Ryan wrote Lincoln another letter June 24, 1849, repeating his hope that Lincoln would become commissioner. Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).