After his victory in the 1860 election, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln quickly started to work on filling the positions in the federal government that were political appointments. While selecting cabinet members was an important task, historian Harold Holzer explains that “Lincoln understood” how critical it was “to purge [the] Democrats” and “guarantee the loyalty of the federal bureaucracy.” Even as Lincoln considered the appropriate response to the secession crisis, he held countless meetings with office seekers who showed up at his temporary office in the Illinois Statehouse (see image to the right – it is #1 on this map). Those unable to travel to Springfield sent numerous letters to recommend either themselves or their friends. Other letters offered Lincoln advice on the appointment process. “Do not be led astray by corrupt Politicians,” as one anonymous author warned. The significant amount of incoming mail even caught the eye of at least one reporter. After a meeting in December, the reporter’s only comment about Lincoln’s office was to note that “[the secretary’s] desk [was] heaped up with letters and documents.” The political activity in Springfield did not escape the notice of Democratic papers like the New York Herald, which used the opportunity to portray their rivals as corrupt. The Herald predicted a “great republican feast” on all “the fat things” and identified the two “cooks” who would direct “the distribution of federal offices” in Pennsylvania.