Chester Butler to Abraham Lincoln, 18 June 18491Hon. Abm LincolnDr[Dear] Sir
Your letter although dated June 4th did not reach until the 16th–2 Most assuredly I would not only as soon you should have the Genl Land Office as any other Illinoian, but if the appointment was in my power I would give it to you immediately or sooner if possible. I have written a hasty letter and directed it to the Sey. of the Home Departt without knowing whether that is exactly right or not– But if it is such as you would be willing to Show, its direction may not be very material.3 I wish you success.4Very truly
Yours &c[etc]Chester ButlerWilkes Barre June 18, 1849
2Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Butler has not been located. In 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, he made a similar request of Butler.
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.
3The letter Butler references has not been located. Thomas Ewing was secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, sometimes referred to as the Home Department, which was the department that oversaw the U.S. General Land Office. President Zachary Taylor, however, was ultimately responsible for appointing the commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office.
4Ultimately, 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).