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Ebenezer Z. Ryan to Abraham Lincoln, 24 June 18491
Dear Lincoln.
It has not been until now, that I have wanted the appointment of Register at Palestine, altho[although] my friends have constantly urged my appointment, If you feel at liberty to aid me in that matter, I shall be under renewed obligations,
had McLean not have been an applicant I should have made an effort for myself– McLean would make a good officer– and the only objection that the Whigs have against Mc is that he has ceased to do any thing for the party &2 lets his friends do there own fiting– and consequently dose not occupy a prominat place amongst them,
I wrote to Mr Ewing urgeng McLeans appointment– and it is at the Solicitation of those friends that I am under many obligations, that I consent now to make the application myself– and you can make this explination to the secretary of the Home Department if necessary–
I hope ear this reaches the city to hear of your appointment as Commissioner &c[etc] let me hear from you–3
Yours as everE. Z. Ryan
<Page 2>
Free
Hon. A. Lincoln Washington City D.C
[docketing]
07/20/1849
20 July /49
E Z Ryan for Register at Palestine, Ills[Illinois] applies
1Ebenezer Z. Ryan wrote and signed this letter.
2“he”changed to “&”.
3Abraham Lincoln’s response, if he penned one, has not been located.
James M. McLean would receive the appointment as register of the U.S. General Land Office in Palestine and hold the position until 1853.
Ryan references the contest to see who would replace Richard M. Young 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.
Ryan addresses 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. Ultimately, neither Morrison, Edwards, nor Lincoln received the appointment; the job went to Butterfield instead. See the General Land Office Affair.
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), 135; 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), 140; 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), 138; 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.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Box 252, RG 48, Entry 15: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1833-1964, Divisional Records, 1843-1943, Records of the Appointments Division, 1817-1922, Field Office Appointment Papers, NACP.