William Thomas to Abraham Lincoln, 11 June 18491Jacksonville
11 June 1849.D. Sr.[Dear Sir]
I have no acquaintance with any of Genl Taylors Cabinet– nor with any one now in Washington,– except the General,– I do not write him because I suppose it would do no good, if you can use the letter enclosed, do so.2 I shall send a copy to ^[Your friendWm Thomas
your?]^ Mr Underwood who will probably enclose it to Washington3
2The enclosed letter that Thomas references was not found with this letter, and has not been located. In early June 1849, Abraham 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. Presumably, Lincoln made a similar request of Thomas, although no such letter has been located. Justin 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. Thomas 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. See the General Land Office Affair.
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.
3On January 27, 1849, Thomas wrote Lincoln a letter informing him that he had asked Joseph R. Underwood to recommend Edwards for commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. On June 3, 1849, Lincoln wrote Underwood a letter asking if he could write President Taylor in an effort “to save” Edwards’ chances of defeating Butterfield and recommend Lincoln for the job over Butterfield in the event that Edwards was not successful. In a June 6, 1849 letter, William W. Bishop and Alexander P. Dunbar wrote Lincoln to warn him that people were “prejudicing” Underwood in favor of Butterfield. As 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. Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. 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.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).