Abraham Lincoln to J.R. Underwood, June 3, 1849, in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln: Second Supplement (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1990), p. 2, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/.
Transcription adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), edited by Roy P. Basler
Adapted by Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
June 3, 1849
Hon. J.R. Underwood
You may remember that while at Washington I sought to have you recommend Mr. Cyrus Edwards, of this state, for Commissioner of the General Land Office. Though not much disinclined, I believe you had not done so when I left. I think it probable you have since. I have received a Telegraphic despach from Washington of the 1st Inst saying a Mr. Butterfield of Chicago, will be appointed, unless prevented by the use of my own name. Mr. B. though entirely competent, so far as I know, is not recommended by any citizen of this state directly for the office, and we feel that should he receive it, we are emphatically under a foreign guardianship. This, you know, men rebel against. The despach says the appointment has been postponed three weeks in order that our state may be heard from. As against him, I desire the office; and while I shall rely chiefly upon recommendations from home, I wish to make it appear, if I can, that I was not greatly under par, for one of my limited acquaintance, and brief career, while at Washington. For the latter object, I shall be very grateful if you will write the President as pretty a letter for me, as in your judgment the truth will permit. If you write, so frame the letter as to save whatever chance, Mr. Edwards, or anyone else you may have recommended, may yet have. Not a moment of time is to be lost.