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

To Thomas Ewing [1]

Washington, June 22. 1849

Hon. Secretary of the Interior

Dear Sir,

This morning, on my mention[ing to] you, I had an intimation my old friend, Cyrus Edwards, [2] had placed on file something illnatured against me, you had the kindness, as I remember, to volunteer the remark, in my defense, that but for my devotion to Mr. Edwards, manifested by withholding my own name for his benefit, I would now, in your opinion, be the Commissioner. If, in this, my memory serves me correctly, you will greatly oblige me, by saying as much on paper, with anything additional to the same point, which may occur to you. It will enable me, I think, to remove from the mind of one of my most highly valued friends, a bad impression, which is now the only thing much painful to me personally, in this whole matter. Your Obt Servt A. LINCOLN


[1]   Facsimile in Sale Catalog, Paul Richards Autograph Catalogue 84 (April 1978): 10-11. The next five letters all refer to Lincoln's bid for Commissioner of the General Land Office. The incident is most recently discussed by Thomas F. Schwartz,'' `An Egregious Political Blunder': Justin Butterfield, Lincoln and Illinois Whiggery,'' Papers of the Abraham Lincoln Association 8 (1986): 9-19.

[2]   Cyrus Edwards was the brother of Ninian Wirt Edwards, Mary Todd Lincoln's brother-in-law. He also was a lawyer in the area of Alton, Illinois.