Office Seekers (Chaucer & Lincoln) Anecdotes (Post No.3766)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 28 March 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 15-16


Post No. 3766


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.




A Commissioner to the Hawaiian Islands was to be appointed, and eight applicants had filed their papers, when a delegation from the South appeared at the White House on behalf of the ninth. Not only their man was fit – so the delegation urged – but was also in bad health, and a residence in that balmy climate would be of great benefit to him.


President Abraham Lincoln was rather impatient on that day, and before the members of the delegation had fairly started in, suddenly closed the interview with this remark:

“Gentlemen, I am sorry to say that there are eight other applicants for that place, and they are all sicker than your man”.




Chaucer got a job!

Master Geoffrey Chaucer was a man of law, for he had studied at the Temple, probably about the time when he is said to have cudgelled a friar in Fleet Street; he was a soldier, and had been taken captive in the wars; he was a courier and an ambassador, and had negotiated a royal marriage. There was probably ground, therefore, for supposing that were he given an office of profit under the Crown he would take his pleasure and leave the duties to be performed by others, as was not uncommon in those days. Wherefore he was bound down to this close bargain:

“That the said Geoffrey write with his own hand the rolls touching the same office, and continually reside there, and do and execute all things pertaining to the said office in his own proper person, and not by his substitute.”


Too big a post for him…………………….

An old acquaintance of President Lincoln visited him in Washington. Lincoln desired to give him a place. Thus encouraged, the visitor, who was an honest man but wholly inexperienced in public affairs or business, asked for a high office, Superintendent of the Mint.

The president was aghast, and said:

Good gracious! Why didn’t he ask to be the Secretary of the Treasury (Finance Minister), and have done with it?”

Afterward, he said: “Well, now, I never thought Mr—- had anything more than average ability, when we were young men together. But, then, I suppose he thought the same thing about me, and – here I am!”



Where in the world…………………

To someone who wanted an appointment which was already filled, Lincoln sent the following telegram:

“What nation do you desire General Allen to be made quarter -master-general of? This nation has already has a quarter -master-general – A.Lincoln.

xxx SUBHAM xxx