LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed (''A Lincoln'') as President, to ''Sec[retary] of Treasury [Salmon P. P. Chase] and Com[missione]r of Revenue,'' [Washington D.C.]., 18 August 1862
LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed ("A Lincoln") as President, to "Sec[retary] of Treasury [Salmon P. P. Chase] and Com[missione]r of Revenue," [Washington D.C.]., 18 August 1862
2 pages, oblong (2 x 3 5/16 in.) comprising 8 lines plus date and signature on two sides of a small blank card. Fine condition, the ink clear and dark.
RECOMMENDING THE APPOINTMENT OF "ONE OF THE BEST MEN THERE IS" AND "ONE THAT THEY WOULD LIKE BETTER THAN THEY DO ME"
Hastily, Lincoln pens a humorous note on behalf "one of the best men there is": Wait Talcott, and old political friend from Illinois, directing that a government post be found for him. He writes: "Sec. of Treasury & Com[issione]r of Revenue, please see Mr. Talcott, one of the best men there is; and--if any difference--one that they would like better than they do me...."
In response to Lincoln's recommendation, Secretary Chase was able to offer a lucrative governmental appointment that suited Talcott, and on 27 August 1862 Lincoln named Talcott to the coveted post of Collector for the Department of the Treasury Department in Illinois. To Lincoln, always a shrewd judge of character, Talcott may well have qualified as "one of the best men there is," but there are suggestions that Talcott may have had an argumentative or resentful streak. When Lincoln wrote to inform him that "I have determined to appoint you Collector," he felt it necessary to add an admonishment: "I now have a very special request to make of you, which is that you will make no war upon Mr. [Elihu] Washburn[e] who is also my friend, and of longer standing than yourself. I will even be obliged if you can do something for him if the occasion presents" (see Basler 5:397). Washburne (1816-1887), an Illinois Congressman, was a long-time supporter of Lincoln who had worked energetically to secure Lincoln's election. Published in Basler 5:379