Evening Journal Office
Chicago, Nov 21, 64
Hon Richard Yates:
Dear Sir: I write to you in reference to a matter that is entirely personal to myself, and at the outset therefore express the trust that you will excuse the act---and also that you will treat the matter of which I write as a secret between us.
Previous to the nomination of Col. F. A. Eastman as the candidate for Senator in this district, that gentleman, who has always professed and does still profess, to be a special friend of mine, (and I have regarded this profession for his part as something more than mere political influence-seeking)---came to me
with the volunteered proposition that if nominated and elected to the Senate, he would resign his office of Penitentiary Commissioner and request you to appoint me to the vacancy. As a reason for the offer, he alleged that having been an editor himself, he can appreciate the hard labor pro bono publico of any position as the working and writing and superintending editor of the Evening Journal, and being aware, as he said, that the position of Commissioner is one that I could fill faithfully and without necessitating a resignation of my editorial position, he would do all he could to get it for me, believing that I was deserving of it.
"So much, so good." In a
private conversation with Norman Williams, a friend of mine, last eve'g, I was astonished by the information that Col. Eastman had promised the same thing to him that he had clearly promised me!
Now, I am astounded at this double dealing towards friends, under such peculiar circumstances, and it has opened my eyes to Col. Eastman's unreliable character. I helped to nominate him, and did more than any other man in his district, personally and editorially, to insure his election not as by any agreement between us especially, but because of the personal interest I felt in him, and because of the knowledge I had
of the extra intent of the Democracy to beat him, if nobody else.
Now as a matter of honor, Col. Eastman sought to resign and recommend me to your consideration for appointment to fill the vacancy. He promised me, only the day previous to your recent visit here, that he would see you and ascertain whether the things could be done, and whether you would get an understanding with Sen. Oglesby in the matter, to insure the adoption of the appointment by him, after you go out of office. I feel satisfied now that he has not kept these promises, and never intended to.
And yet, Governor, you know who I am---know how arduously I have labored as the editor of the Journal for the past four years---and know, I presume, that if party service should entitle a man to public reward, I am entitled to this. If you can bring this matter around in my favor---for I am a poor man, getting but a limited salary---you will confer a great and lasting favor upon one who has been, is and will be,
Evening Journal Chicago Nov 21st 1864
Hopes you will consider the contents of his a secret
When Col. Eastman was nominated he made a promise to him to aid him in obtaining the position of Penitentiary Commissioner when he resigned---and he says that Eastman professed to be---& he always so considered him---his fast friend. But he subsequently learned that he had made the same promise to another---hence he has lost all faith in him and he now asks your influence with Gen'l
Oglesby to obtain this position as he is a poor man & the fruits of his labors with the Journal do not afford sufficient means for support of his family &c