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Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) to James Berdan

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03190 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Springfield, Illinois Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 July 1849 Pagination: 1 p. : docket : free frank ; 25.2 x 20.2 cm.

Summary of Content: Relates that he recently received a letter from the Clerk to the General Land Office John Addison indicating that their commissioner Justin Butterfield considers Berdan eligible to gain an appointment to the Office. States that if Berdan indeed desires such an appointment, their friendship could either "help or hurt" him, depending on Butterfield's views of Lincoln. Offers his assistance to Berdan in obtaining an appointment to the Land Office. Free frank by Lincoln.

Background Information: The General Land Office was created by Congress in 1812 as a way of surveying the vast amount of land in America which had not yet been charted.

Full Transcript: Springfield, July 22. 1849
James Berdan, Esq
My dear Sir:
Last night I received a Washington letter from Mr. John Addison, in which, among other things he says: "Lucas tells me this ...morning that Mr. Butterfield was making very particular enquiries about our friend Berdan & expressed a wish to have his services in the Dept., remarking that he considered him one of the best land lawyers in the West &c. Would he like an appt.? I feel satisfied that he could obtain a good one if he applied."
I took the precaution to withdraw the letters filed in my favor for Com[missione]r.; so that the very pretty one you wrote for me, can not rise in judgment against you, if indeed, being seen, it would affect Mr. B's feelings towards you. Now, my dear Sir, I do not know whether you have thought of going to Washington, or, if you have, whether my friendship would help or hurt you with Mr. B; still I write this to put myself at your service in the matter; and to say I shall be pleased to act as you may desire. Please write me by return mail.
Your friend as ever
A. Lincoln.
[2] [Free frank on address panel:]
A Lincoln M. C.
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People: Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Berdan, James, fl. 1849
Butterfield, Justin, 1790-1855

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PresidentOffice SeekerLetter of Introduction or RecommendationGovernment and CivicsLand TransactionWestward ExpansionImmigration and MigrationPolitics

Sub Era: Lincoln

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