Nathan K. Hall to Abraham Lincoln, 13 June 18491Buffalo June 13. 1849My dear Sir,
Yours of the 5th inst. was recd[received] this morning.2
I think I gave last winter to Mr. Butterfield of Chicago a letter recommending him for some place– it may have been Comr[Commissioner] of the G. L. Office for which I understood he is a candidate– and I cannot therefore consistently write for you such a letter as you desire.3
I have known Mr Butterfield for many years & have a high opinion of his competency & should hate therefore to do any thingIn great haste
<Page 2>which might seem to be opposed to the letter I gave him last winter4
Very truly YoursN. K. HallThe Hon A. LincolnWashn
3In 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. Presumably, Lincoln made a similar request of Hall.
Originally, only Justin H. Butterfield, James L. D. Morrison, and Cyrus Edwards were vying to become commissioner. 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. Hall addressed Lincoln at Washington, DC, because Lincoln had decided to travel to the nation’s capital to personally lobby for appointment as commissioner. He left Springfield on June 10 and arrived in Washington 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.
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, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).