To Walter Davis 
Your letter, together with the Power of Attorney of your mother, and the discharge of your brother, has been received. I have just been to the proper office with them. They got me to certify  that I knew Thomas, that Maria Davis was his mother, and was still living, that his father is dead, and that Thomas himself was never married. They took the certificate and the papers you sent me, and promised to investigate the matter as soon as possible, and notify me of the result; which, when they do, I will write you again.
As to the land part of the matter, a large majority of congress is in favor of it, and it would pass at any time, were it not that every fellow must say something, and offer an amendment; and so time is wasted, it is shoved by, and is a long while coming up again. I hope and believe it will finally pass.  Very truly Yours,