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David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, 19 January 18491
38
Dear Lincoln
I am here for a few days, trying to get the terms of Court properly arranged–2 Will you continue to practice Law, or will you take some appointment under the administration– If the Land office was would suit you there is nothing would please me better personally than to see you supercede Judge Young– However, you must judge about these things–3
Our friend Col[Colonel] Wm Prentiss, is off for California, provided he can get an Indian Agency–4
I sincerely hope that he may succeed– He seems to me peculiarly fitted for Such an agency, in his temperament– & general character–
As he interferes with nothing in the State, I, presume you will not hesitate to aid him all in your power–
Wishing him success, & you whatever position— if any— you may desire, I remain
Truly Yr friendD Davis
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Hon A LincolnWashington cityD.C.
Wm Prentiss

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[docketing]
3
Indian Agency California 1849
Wm Prentiss
Recommended by D Davis
1David Davis wrote this entire letter, including the address on the last sheet, which was folded to make an envelope.
2Davis was arranging the court dates for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, of which he was the judge.
Robert M. Goldman, "Davis, David," American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 6:181
3Richard M. Young was the incumbent commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office. After the 1848 presidential election put Zachary Taylor in the Executive Mansion, there developed a strong movement to have an Illinois Whig become commissioner of the Land Office. Lincoln would become embroiled in a hotly contested race in the spring and summer of 1849 to become commissioner. See the General Land Office Affair.
J. F. Snyder, “Forgotten Statesman of Illinois: Richard M. Young,” Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society 11 (January 1906), 321-22.
4In April 1849, the Illinois Daily Journal announced that Prentiss received the appointment, and the Niles’ National Register confirmed it on April 11, reporting that Prentiss was to be the sub-agent on the Sacramento and San Joachin Rivers. He is not among the sub-agents named, however, in the official registers of the officers and agents of the government serving the government on September 30, 1849 or on September 30, 1851. In 1850, moreover, he was listed in the census for Shelby County, Illinois, where he was farming and living with his wife and child. He did apparently move to California, as the Journal reported in February 1853 that newspapers in San Francisco had reported his death in December 1852.
Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 6 April 1849, 3:1; Niles’ National Register (Philadelphia, PA), 11 April 1849, 1:3; 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), 134; 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), 147; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 9 February 1853, 3:1; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Town D, Shelby County, IL, 127.

Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Box 104, 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