Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln, 15 June 18491Dear Lincoln
It is said by Merryman on the authority of Bill Pope that you had joined with Baker in recommending Doctor Wallace for Pension Agent–2 Van, swears that if you have done so after the abuse Wallace has heaped upon you, that he will never forgive you for it. I should feel a little sore about it myself, for he & Butler are going it most bitterly against me because I sustained your course– Van Bergen and Francis have been to see me about it. I took the responsibility of saying that it could not be so. I infer from what Butler let fall yesterday that Wallace is expecting it through his, ^(Bakers)^ great & mighty influence at Washington– I have no disposition to engage in a war with any one, but I must fend off the best way I can the illiberal & unjust assaults upon me from that quarter. I have incured their hatred & malice on your account, & what I supposed to be the interests of the party– I have never harmed Wallace in word or deed, & his open & loud denunciation of me in the streets is most unaccountable.Your friendA. G. Henry3
2Abraham Lincoln had recommended William S. Wallace and Orville Paddock as agent for the U.S. Bureau of Pensions in Springfield, Illinois.
3Wallace, Paddock, Charles W. Matheny, and William Butler were vying to replace Charles R. Hurst as agent for the U.S. Bureau of Pensions in Springfield, Illinois. In addition to his endorsement of Wallace and Paddock, Lincoln recommended Butler for the position in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing on April 7. Hurst resigned as agent in June 1849, and Wallace replaced him on June 30. Wallace would hold the position until 1853.
Having already failed to get Lincoln’s endorsement for a job in the U.S. General Land Office, Butler was particularly disappointed and angry with Lincoln over Wallace’s appointment. Butler would spend the next decade opposing Lincoln’s political aspirations. The two would not speak for several years.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:295; William Jayne to William H. Herndon, 15 August 1866, Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds., Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 267; William H. Herndon to Jesse W. Weik, 15 January 1886, 2-4, Abraham Lincoln, The Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana: Group IV: Papers of William Henry Herndon, 1849-1891; 1874, Feb. 9-1886, Manuscript/Mixed Material, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss25791.mss25791-009_0317_0695/?sp=265, https://www.loc.gov/resource/mss25791.mss25791-009_0317_0695/?sp=266; Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1847 (Washington, DC: J. & G. S. Gideon, 1847), 139; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 13 June 1849, 3:1; 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), 140; 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), 151; 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), 152.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).