John H. Morrison to Abraham Lincoln, 14 June 18491Wyoming 14th June 1849Hon. A LincolnDr[Dear] Sir,
Immediately on my return from Tazewell I conferred with our good Whig friends at Toulon upon the subject of your appointment.2 Mr T. Henderson said that he would address you by this mail on the subject.3 I thought that it would be too late notwithstanding I considered it best to attend to it.4
Now Sir as to my own interests– Could you obtain for me some appointment to California? This is what I would most desire. If ^you^ cannot find any in that quarter could you get an assurance that when a Territorial Government is formed for California I would then get the Surveyor Generalship or some other good office. In the event of not succeeding in that quarter, I would accept of a clerkship in Washington. Do your best & let me hear from you soon.5 I hope that the administration may not be so ungrateful & absurd as to prefer Butterfield to you.6 The Jews however once so manifested a preference. I think that it was in bad tasteyoursJ H Morrison
10Hon. A. LincolnWashington CityD.C.
2This is a reference to Abraham Lincoln seeking 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.
4Morrison addressed Lincoln in Washington, DC, because Lincoln, at the urging of William H. Henderson and Josiah Lucas, had decided to travel to the nation’s capital to personally lobby for the position of commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. Lincoln left for Washington on June 10 and arrived on or before June 19.
Morrison also wrote Lincoln a letter on June 11, 1849, offering his support for Lincoln’s appointment.
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.
5Morrison also wrote Lincoln in March 1849, on the topic of Lincoln helping him obtain a government 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 that his name be withdrawn from further consideration. 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; John H. Morrison to Abraham Lincoln.
6Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).