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

Memorandum to Zachary Taylor [1]

June [15?] 1849

Nothing in my papers questions Mr. B.'s competency or honesty, and, I presume, nothing in his questions mine. Being equal so far, if it does not appear I am preferred by the Whigs of Illinois, I lay no claim to the office.

But if it does appear I am preferred, it will be argued that the whole Northwest, and not Illinois alone, should be heard. I answer I am as strongly recommended by Ohio and Indiana, as well as Illinois; and further, that when the many appointments were made for Ohio, as for the Northwest, Illinois was not consulted. When an Indianian was nominated for Governor of Minnesota, and another appointed for Commissioner of Mexican claims, as for the Northwest, Illinois was not consulted. When a citizen of Iowa was appointed Second Assistant Postmaster General and another to a Land Office in Minnesota, Illinois was not consulted. Of none of these have I ever complained. In each of them, the State whose citizen was appointed was allowed to control, and I think rightly. I only ask that Illinois be not cut off with less deference.

It will be argued that all the Illinois appointments, so far, have been South, and that therefore this should go North. I answer, that of the local appointments every part has had its share, and Chicago far the best share of any. Of the transitory, the Marshall and Attorney are all; and neither of these is within a hundred miles of me, the former being South and the latter North of West. I am in the center. Is the center nothing?---that center which alone has ever given you a Whig representative? On the score of locality, I admit the claim of the North is no worse, and I deny that it is any better than that of the center.

Annotation

[1]   Joseph H. Barrett, Abraham Lincoln and His Presidency, I, 107-108.