John C. Champlin to Abraham Lincoln, 9 February 18491Ottawa, Feby, 9, 1849,Honle[Honorable] Abraham Lincoln,Dear Sir,
My friend, William H. L. Wallace Esq[Esquire], of this town, is a gentleman who was admitted to the Bar some three years since, served his country honorably in Mexico, and is a gentleman, who in respect to intelligence and integrity, and in fact in every quality that constitutes the character of a gentleman, is worthy of filling a better station than, I fear it is in the power of his friends to procure for him. The prospects in regard to the pursuit of his profession, here, at this time, are not flattering; and could he now obtain such an appointment, as it is in the power of the incoming administration to give him, it would place him in a position that would justify every confidence that may be placed in him, and be a cause, hereafter, of gratification to such friends as may aid in giving him a position.
If, therefore, Mr. Lincoln, you can, and will take the case of my friend in hand, you will lay him and myself
<Page 2>under obligations that we shall feel glad of an opportunity to repay; and speaking for Mr. Wallace I can truly say, that by once acquiring a position, he is capable of showing, and has every disposition to do it, that he can render substantial returns for any service that may be now rendered him.
I can refer you to your fellow member, Col.[Colonel] Richardson, for testimony in regard to the character & worth of Mr. Wallace.
The position of Register of the Dixon Land office would be most desirable to Mr. Wallace; but if it should be found that his position as an applicant is preoccupied, with better prospects of success, by a more fortunate party, that of Receiver of the same office, or Marshal, would be desirable.
I should be glad if it would not trouble you too much, to hear from you on this subject– and I need not add, on any subject of interest to yourself.I am, dear Sir, truly yours,J. C. Champlin,2
2Wallace did not get an appointment in the U.S. General Land Office at Dixon; Silas Noble received appointment as register, and Cyrus Aldrich as receiver. Both held these positions until 1853. Benjamin Bond received appointment as marshal, holding the position until 1853. Wallace’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), 135, 137, 247; 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, 141, 267; 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, 139, 259.
Autograph Letter Signed, 3 page(s), Box 251, 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