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

To William B. Preston [1]

Hon: W. B. Preston: Springfield, Ills.
Dear Sir: April 20. 1849.

No member of the cabinet knows so well as yourself, the great anxiety I felt for Gen: Taylor's election, and consequently none could so well appreciate my anxiety for the success of his administration. Therefore I address you. It is seen here that the government advertising, or a great part of it, is given to the Democratic papers. This gives offence to the Whig papers; and, if persisted in,Page  43 will leave the administration without any newspaper support whatever. It causes, or will cause, the Whig editors to fall off, while the Democratic ones will not be brought in by it. I suppose Gen: Taylor, because both of his declarations, and his inclination, will not go the doctrine of removals very strongly; and hence the greater reason, when an office or a job is not already in democratic hands, that it should be given to a Whig. Even at this, full half the government patronage will still be in the hands of our opponents at the end of four years; and if still less than this is done for our friends, I think they will have just cause to complain, and I verily believe the administration can not be sustained. The enclosed paragraph is from the leading Whig paper in this state. I think it is injudicious, and should not have appeared; still there is no keeping men silent when they feel they are wronged by their friends. As the subject of this paragraph pertains to the War Department, I would have written Mr. Crawford, [2] but that it might have appeared obtrusive, I having no personal acquaintance with him. I am sure you will not be offended. Your Obt. Servt.



[1]   ALS, The Rosenbach Company, Philadelphia and New York.

[2]   George W. Crawford was secretary of war; William B. Preston, secretary of the navy.