Robert W. Briggs to Abraham Lincoln, 12 February 18491Tremont Feby 12th/49Mr A. LincolnSir
as I understand the Registers Office at Springfield will be given to some person in Tazewell County I have no hesitation in saying if the appointment [in haste
...?] falls on T. R King of Pekin it would give more general satisfaction than any other man in the County & if you aid Bej. F James in getting that Office I think it would be a very upopular move on your part any thing you can do for Mr King would much oblige Many Friends yours &c[etc.] if there is an Office in California worth having at your disposal I woud like to have the appointment as I intend going thare in the Spring as I flatter myself that I have done something for you I would be glad
if you could do some thing for me2
yrs[yours] &c[etc.]R. W. Briggs
2From December 1848 to February 1849, Abraham Lincoln received several letters urging him to help Turner R. King secure a job at the U.S. General Land Office. On April 7, 1849, Lincoln wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing recommending King for the job of register. On April 13, he wrote another letter reversing himself, recommending King for the job of receiver. On May 10, Lincoln reversed himself again, penning a letter recommending King for register. In late May, King received the appointment as register and held the job until 1853.
There is no evidence that Lincoln took similar pains to get Briggs a position. Briggs’ 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.
Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia, PA), 23 May 1849, 1:2; 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; Philo H. Thompson to Abraham Lincoln; Samuel R. Baker to Abraham Lincoln; William B. Doolittle to Abraham Lincoln; Richard T. Gill to Abraham Lincoln.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 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.