To John Addison 
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.  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  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
 ALS, InFtwL.
 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.
 Edward Bates of Missouri, to whom President Millard Fillmore offered the secretaryship of the War Department.