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

To John Addison [1]

John Addison, Esq- Springfield,
Dear Sir: Augt. 9. 1850

Your letter of the 31st. of July was received yesterday. The substance of the matter you speak of, in detail, has long been known to me; and I have supposed, if I would, I could make it entirely plain to the world. But my high regard for some of the members of the late cabinet; my great devotion to Gen: Taylor personally; and, above all, my fidelity to the great whig cause, have induced me to be silent; and this especially, as I have felt, and do feel, entirely independent of the government, and therefore above the power of it'sPage  92 persecution. I also have long suspected that you were being persecuted on account of this piece of villiany, by, or for the benefit of, the original villian; and, I own, this fills me with indignation. [2] A public expose, however, though it might confound the guilty, I fear might also injure some who are innocent; to some extent, disparage a good cause; reflect no credit upon me, and result in no advantage to you.

Mr. Bates [3] I see declines a place in the Cabinet; so that it is not yet apparant how I can serve you, which I am anxious to do so soon as I shall perceive the way. Write me again.

One part of your letter induces me to say I would not now accept the Land Office, if it were offered to me. Yours as ever



[1]   ALS, InFtwL.

[2]   Lincoln probably alludes to the suppression of some of his letters of recommendation for the Land Office. See his letter to Josiah M. Lucas, November 17, 1849, supra.

[3]   Edward Bates of Missouri, to whom President Millard Fillmore offered the secretaryship of the War Department.