Abraham Lincoln to William B. Preston, 29 March 18491
Hon: W. B. PrestonSecretary of the Navy:Dear Sir:
While at Pittsburg on my way home, Col Dickey of the H. R. overtook me–2I knew he desired some [appoined?] appointment; and I volunteered to ask him how I could serve him– He said, if in any way, it would be by writing to you– I told him I would do so– You knew him in the House as well as I; but, messing with him, gave me a much better oppertunity to know all about him–3 He is of excellent business capacity, and habits– You perhaps remember him, as I certainly do, as one of the strongest opponents of Gen: Taylor’s nomination; but when nominated, he did not hesitate, but at once engaged, and fought actively and efficiently to the end– I hope he may succeed in what he desires–4
One word more– I am especially anxious that Dr Anson G. Henry shall be Register of the Land Office at Minesota– This is not in your Department, but in Mr Ewing’s– I urged the appointment upon him so pressingly, that I believe he will gratify me when he comes to fill the office, if he does not forget my anxiety about it– Now if you will, at some convenient moment, tell him to remember Lincoln’s man for Register at Minesota, it will probably serve my object, and I shall be very grateful to you–
Your Obt Servt[obedient Servant]A. Lincoln5
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CARROLLTON Il.[Illinois]
A Lincoln M. C[Member of Congress]
Hon: W. B. Preston[Se]cretary of NavyWashingtonD.C–
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Col.[Colonel] Dickey, Wants some office– Anson G. Henry for Register Land office Minesota–
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Register Land Office Minesota 1849
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Dr Anson G. Henry Henry Co. Ills
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For some appt[appointment]
Col Dickey of House of Representatives
Recommended by Hon A Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote this letter in its entirety, including the address on the second sheet, which was folded to make an envelope.
2His term in the House of Representatives at an end, Lincoln left Washington, DC for Springfield, Illinois, on March 20. He would make his way home via St. Louis by railroad, steamer, and stagecoach, arriving in Springfield on March 31.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 20 March 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-03-20; 31 March 1849, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1849-03-31.
3Lincoln, William B. Preston, and John Dickey all served together in the House of Representatives, but Lincoln lived with Dickey at Ann G. Sprigg’s boarding house.
U.S. House Journal. 1849. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 5, 7; Charles O. Paullin, “Abraham Lincoln in Congress, 1847-1849,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 14 (April-July 1921), 85.
4Dickey would receive appointment as U.S. marshal for western Pennsylvania, holding that position from January 1852 until his death in March 1853.
Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 939-40.
5In early March, Lincoln wrote two letters, one to Secretary of State John M. Clayton, and one to Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing, urging that Henry be appointed secretary for the Minnesota Territory.
Henry did not receive the appointment; the job went to Charles K. Smith of Ohio, who held the post until 1851. Lincoln continued to recommend him to President Zachary Taylor and members of his administration. On June 24, 1850, Henry received the appointment of Indian agent for the Oregon Territory.
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), 250; Harry C. Blair, Dr. Anson G. Henry: Physician, Politician, Friend of Abraham Lincoln (Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University, 1944), 8; Edward D. Neill, History of the Minnesota Valley (Minneapolis: North Star, 1882), 118, 123-24.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Box 372, 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.