Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Remarks in Illinois Legislature
Concerning Appointment of Members of Legislature to Federal Office [1]

January 25, 1839

Mr. Lincoln would not like to see the abstract question of right to a seat in this legislature blinded with any personal interests. He should therefore vote against laying the resolution on the table till the 4th of July; and if this motion were lost, he would move to lay it on the table---with the intention of letting it lie there till near the close of the session; when it could be taken up without wearing the appearance of being a personal attack.


[1]   Quincy Whig, February 2, 1839. A resolution offered by Vital Jarrot of St. Clair County called for an investigation of whether any member of the legislature had accepted a federal appointment in violation of the Illinois constitution, which prohibited members of the legislature from holding ``any lucrative office under the United States, or this State,'' but excepting postmasters, and a few other offices. A Whig move aimed at William G. Flood's appointment to the Quincy Land Office, the resolution nevertheless dealt with a vital point, and Lincoln apparently wished to have the question settled in principle even though willing to avoid a clash over Flood's right to his seat in the legislature.