David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, 14 June 18491Bloomington. Ills
June 14th 1849Dear Lincoln–
I wrote you from Taylorville–2 A parcel of friends from here have also written you enclosing letter to Genl Taylor– I enclosed one to him, in mine to you from Taylorville–
I hope, sincerely, you may be successful,3 Plea– I have just recd[received] a letter from John,, H, Morrison– He is hungry & fretful– Thinks he has deserved an office, as much as many who have got one–
Cant you recommend him & get him some subordinate place in some of the offices there–
I wish that you could, He says his affairs have become deranged through the rascality of others, and that he has to commence the world anew4In great haste
Yr[your] friendDavid Davis
10Hon. A LincolnMember of CongressWashington cityD.C
2Davis wrote Abraham Lincoln a letter June 6, 1849, enclosing a letter to President Zachary Taylor in support of Lincoln receiving appointment as commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office.
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.
Davis wrote to Lincoln at Washington, DC because, as competition for the job intensified, William H. Henderson and Josiah 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.
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.
3Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair. Lincoln wrote Davis a letter July 6, 1849, expressing some of his feelings about the outcome of the affair.
4On March 13, 1849, John H. Morrison wrote Lincoln an emotional letter asking for help obtaining a government patronage job. On March 11, 1849, Abraham Lincoln wrote letters to Secretary of War George W. Crawford, Secretary of State John M. Clayton, and others on Morrison’s behalf. Morrison apparently traveled to Washington, DC, to press his claim, before requesting his name be withdrawn from further consideration. In June 1849, however, Morrison wrote again asking Lincoln for help in getting the surveyor generalship of California or, failing that, a clerk position in Washington. Morrison’s name does not appear in the official registers of the officers and agents of the government for 1849, 1851, and 1853, so apparently he did not receive an appointment.
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); Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1851 (Washington, DC: Gideon, 1851); Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1853 (Washington, DC: Robert Armstrong, 1853); Abraham Lincoln to George W. Crawford; Abraham Lincoln to Unknown; Stephen T. Logan to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).