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

To Richard S. Thomas [1]

Dear Richard: Washington, March 30, 1848

Having a few leisure moments, I employ them to say a word about your petition concerning school lands. The petition was referred to the Land Committee, of which I am not a member; so that, while in committee, I can have no direct agency in the matter. McClernand [2] of our state, is on that committee; and he told me yesterday, or the day before, that the committee had unanimously determined to do nothing in the matter, so far as concerns the townships which have entire sixteenth sections, but which are of little or no value; because to enter upon this, would be to break up the entire present system of school lands throughout the United States, which would be immensely inconvenient, and which, after all, could never result in any thing much nearer equality than the present system. He says the committee are for the petition, so far as concerns fractional townships, which have no sixteenth section, or only fractional ones, containing less than a thirtysixth of the land of the township. He says they think there is already an old law concerning the case; and that they are investigating it, and if necessary to effect the object, they will report a bill accordingly.

Yours as ever A. LINCOLN.


[1]   Copy, DLC-HW.

[2]   John A. McClernand.