Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Josiah M. Lucas [1]

J. M. Lucas, Esq Springfield Ills. April 25, 1849.

Dear Sir: Your letter of the 15th is just received. Like you, I fear the Land Office is not going as it should; but I know nothing I can do. In my letter written three days ago, [2] I told you the Department understands my wishes. As to Butterfield, [3] he is my personal friend, and is qualified to do the duties of the office; but of the quite one hundred Illinoisians, equally well qualified, I do not know one with less claims to it. In the first place, what you say about Lisle Smith, [4] is the first intimation I have had of any one man in Illinois desiring Butterfield to have any office. Now, I think if any thing be given the state, it should be so given as to gratify our friends, and to stimulate them to future exertions. As to Mr. Clay having recommended him, that is ``quid pro quo.'' He fought for Mr. Clay against Gen Taylor to the bitter end as I understand; and I do not believe I misunderstand. Lisle Smith too, was a Clay delegate at Philadelphia; and against my most earnest entreaties, took the lead in filling two vacancies, from my own district with Clay men. It will now mortify me deeply if Gen.

Page  44Taylors administration shall trample all my wishes in the dust merely to gratify these men. Yours as ever A. LINCOLN.


[1]   Copy, DLC-RTL. Copy bears Nicolay's endorsement: ``A true copy J. G. N.'' Josiah M. Lucas was a clerk in the Land Office in Washington. He had formerly resided in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he published the Whig paper, Illinoisan, and served one term as recorder of Morgan County.

[2]   Letter not extant.

[3]   Justin Butterfield of Chicago.

[4]   S. Lisle Smith, attorney and prominent Whig of Chicago.