To John M. Clayton 
Secretary of State. Augt. 21st. 1849
Dear Sir: Your letter of the 10th. Inst., notifying me of my appointment as Secretary of the Teritory of Oregon, and accompanied by a Commission, has been duly received. I respectfully decline the office.
I shall be greatly obliged if the place be offered to Simeon Francis, of this place. He will accept it, is capable, and would be faithful in the discharge of it's duties. He is the principal editor of the oldest, and what I think may be fairly called, the leading Whig paper of the state,---the Illinois Journal. His good business habits are proved by the facts, that the paper has existed eighteen years, all the time weekly, and part of it, tri-weekly, and daily, and has not failed to issue regularly in a single instance.
Some time in May last, I think, Mr. Francis addressed a letter to Mr. Ewing, which, I was informed while at Washington in June, had been seen by the cabinet, and very highly approved. You possibly may remember it. He has, for a long time desired to go to Oregon; and I think his appointment would give general satisfaction Your Obt. Servt. A. LINCOLN---