Benjamin F. James to Abraham Lincoln, 12 June 18491Tremont June 12th 1849Dear Lincoln–
The recommendations from Pekin go to you by this mail, I hope they will prove sufficient for the purpose,2 I see many of our good Whigs upon it, Baker [indited?] the [Captian?], and in the latter part of it, as you will see gives Butterfield a centre shot, this may be of doubtful policy, and thinking so avoided it in the one I wrote.3 I trust to hear ere many days that you are snugly ensconced in your chair, and hope you will inform me betimes of the result– and if successful is it your intention to take your family on this season–4Truly YoursBen. F. James–
2In 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 requested James’ assistance in gathering letters of recommendation, although no letter from Lincoln to James with such a request has been located.
Originally, only 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. 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.
4Lincoln’s response to this letter, if he wrote one, has not been located. 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).