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tSEv.Fi J. Williams. 

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Life and Works of Abraham Lincoln 

Commemorative Edition 

Edited by Marion Mills Miller, Litt. D. 

In Ten Volumes: Volume X 


In Lincoln Park, Chicago 

and Telegrams 

Meredith to Yates 

Including Messages to Congress, 
Military Orders, Memoran- 
da, etc., Relating to 
Individual Persons 


Abraham Lincoln 

New York 
The Current Literature Publishing Co. 


Copyright, 1907, Current Literature Publishing Company 


Letters and Telegrams : 

Meredith, W. M., i. Miles, D. S., I. Miller, 

Anson, 2. Miller, James, 2. Milroy, R. H., 3. 
Miner, Edward G., 5. Moorhead. J. K, 5. Moreau, 
A. B., 6. Morgan, E. D., 6. Morgan, R. P., 7. 
Morris, George U., 7. Morris, I. N., 8. Morris, 
Martin M., 9. Morris, W. M., 12. Morrison, 
William R.. 13. Morton, Oliver P., 13. Moulton, 
, 17. Murphy, Isaac, 17. 

O'Conner, Henry, 19. Ord, Edward O. C, 20. 
Owens, Miss Mary, 20. 

Palmer, J. M., 25. Parker, Joel, 26. Parsons, 
G. M., and Others, 29. Paschall, N. P., 30. Paul, 
E. A., 31. Peck, J. M.. 31. Phillips, John, 34. 
Pickett, George E., 35. Pickett, T. J., 36. Pierce, 
H. L., and Others, 37. Pierpoint, F. H., 39. Pol- 
lock, James, 40. Pomeroy, S. C., 40. Pope, John, 
41. Pope, Nathaniel, 43. Porter, David D., 44. 
Porter, Fitz-John, 45. Prentice, George D., 46. 

Quincy, Josiah, 48. 

Ramsey, Alexander, 48. Ramsey, Major, 49. 
Ray, C. H., 49. Raymond, Henry J., 49. Reed, 
Alexander, 52. Reed, J. H., 53. Reynolds, J. J., 
S3- Rice, A. H., 55. Ripley, E. H, 55. Robert- 
son, George, 55. Rockwell, N. J., 57. Rogers, 
John, 58. Rosecrans, W. S., 58. Rosette, John E., 
78. Ross, John, 78. Russell, Caleb, and Fenton, 
Sallie A., 79. 

Sands. , 80. Sanford, Porter & Striker, 81. 

Saxton, Rufus, 81. Scates, Walter B., 83. Schaadt, 
Captain, 83. Schenck, Robert C, 84. Schenck, 
Robert C, and Blair, Frank P., Jr., 87. Schermer- 
horn, I. M., 89. Schofield, John M., 90. Schooler, 

, 99. Schurz, Carl, 99. Scott, Winfield, 104. 

Scripps, John L., 112. Segar, Joseph, 113. Seward, 
William H., 114. Seymour, Horatio, 131. Sharpe, 
H. D., 138. Sheahan, James W., 138. Shepley, G. 


R, 139. Sheridan, Philip H., 141. Sherman, F. C, 
and Hayes, J. S., 142. Sherman, William T., 143. 
Shields, James, 147. Sickles, Daniel E., 158. Sigel, 
Franz, 159. Smith, Benjamin G., and Smith, 
Franklin W., 160. Smith, Caleb B., 161, Smith, 
J. Gregory, 162. Smith, Truman, 162. Somers, 
James W., 163. Spears, George, 165. Speed, 
James, 165. Speed, Joshua F., 166. Speed, Mrs. 
Joshua F., 195. Speed, Miss Mary, 195. Speer, 
William S., 198. Spring, Sydney, 199. Stafford, E., 
199. Stager, Anson, 200. Stanley, Edward, 200. 
Stanton, Edwin M., 201. Steele, Frederick, 227. 
Stellwagen, Henry S., 230. Stephens, Alexander 
H., 231. Stephens, John A., 232. Stone, Charles 
P., 233. Stone, William M., 233. Stuart, John T., 
234. Sumner, Charles, 243. Swann, Thomas, 244. 
Swett, Leonard, 245. Sympson, Alexander, 245. 

Talcott, Washington, 246. Tarns, G. Yoke, 247. 
Taylor, Hawkins, 248. Thayer, J. M., 249. Thomas, 
George H., 249. Thomas, Lorenzo, 250. Thomas, 

William B., 252. Thompson, , 253. Thornton, 

James T., 254. Tobey, S. B., 254. Tod, David, 
255. Treat, S. H., 256. Trumbull, Lyman, 256. 

Usher, John P., 258. 

Vanderbilt, Cornelius, 259. Van Dyke, John, 259. 

Wadsworth, James, 260. Wakeman, Abram, 261. 
Walker, Robert J., 262. Wallace, Edward, 263. 
Wallace, Lew, 265. Warren, W. B., and Others, 
266. Washburne, E. B., 267. Washburne, Israel, 
and Other New England Governors, 281. Washing- 
ton "Chronicle," 282. Watson, Gillet F., 283. Wat- 
son, P. H., 283. Webster, Thomas, 284. Weed, 
Thurlow, 284. Weitzel, Godfrey, 289. Welles, 
Gideon, 291. Welling, J. C, 293. Whitney, Henry 
C, 294. Williams, Archibald, 296. Williams, John, 
and Taylor, N. G., 298. Wilson, Charles, Sr., 299. 
Winslow, John A., 300. Wood, Fernando, 301. 
Woodruff, T., 302. Wool, John E., 303. Worden, 
John L., 304. Working-men of Manchester, Eng- 
land, 304. Working-men of London, England, 306. 
Wright, C. J., and Hawkes, C. K., 307. Wright, 
J. A., 308. 

Yates, R., and Butler, Wm, 309. 

Unknown Addressees, 310. 


Meredith, W. M. 

Washington, March 9, 1849. 
Hon. Secretary of the Treasury. 

Dear Sir : Colonel E. D. Baker and myself 
are the only Whig members of Congress from 
Illinois — I of the Thirtieth, and he of the Thirty- 
first. We have reason to think the Whigs of that 
State hold us responsible, to some extent, for the 
appointments which may be made of our citi- 
zens. We do not know you personally ; and our 
efforts to see you have, so far, been unavailing. 
I therefore hope I am not obtrusive in saying 
in this way, for him and myself, that when a 
citizen of Illinois is to be appointed in your de- 
partment, to an office either in or out of the State, 
we most respectfully ask to be heard. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Methodist Conference of East Baltimore. 
[See Gere, I. A.] 

Miles, D. S. 

War Department, May 24, 1862. 1.30 p. m. 
Colonel Miles, Harper's Ferry, Virginia: 

Could you not send scouts from Winchester 
who would tell whether enemy are north of 


Banks, moving on Winchester ? What is the lat- 
est you have? 

A. Lincoln. 

Miller, Anson. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 6, 1864. 
Hon. Anson Miller, Rockford, 111. : 

If you will go and live in New Mexico I will 
appoint you a judge there. Answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

Miller, James. 

Springfield, 111., July 11, 1859. 
Hon. James Miller, Treasurer of the State of 
Dear Sir: We suppose you are persistently 
urged to pay something upon the new McCallis- 
ter and Stebbins bonds. As friends of yours and 
of the people, we advise you to pay nothing upon 
them under any possible circumstances. The 
holders of them did a great wrong, and are now 
persisting in it in a way which deserves severe 
punishment. They know the legislature has again 
and again refused to fully recognize the old bonds. 
Seizing upon an act never intended to apply to 
them, they besieged Governor Bissell more than 
a year ago to fund the old bonds ; he refused. 
They sought a mandamus upon him from the 
Supreme Court; the court refused. Again they 
besieged the governor last winter; he sought to 
have them go before the legislature ; they refused. 
Still they persisted, and dogged him in his af- 
flicted condition till they got from him what the 

MILROY, R. H. 3 

agent in New York acted upon and issued the 
new bonds. Now they refuse to surrender them, 
hoping to force an acquiescence, for Governor 
Bissell's sake. "That cock won't fight," and they 
may as well so understand at once. If the news 
of the surrender of the new bonds does not reach 
here in ten days from this date, we shall do what 
we can to have them repudiated in toto, finally and 
forever. If they were less than demons they 
would at once relieve Governor Bissell from the 
painful position they have dogged him into ; and 
if they still persist, they shall never see even the 
twenty-six cents to the dollar if we can pre- 
vent it. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln, 
S. T. Lo^an, 
O. M. Hatch. 

MlLROY, R. H. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 29, 1863. 
Major-General Milroy. 

My dear Sir : Your letters to Mr. Blair and 
to myself are handed to me by him. I have never 
doubted your courage and devotion to the cause. 
But you have just lost a division, and, prima 
facie, the fault is upon you ; and while that re- 
mains unchanged, for me to put you in command 
again is to justly subject me to the charge of 
having put you there on purpose to have you 
lose another. If I knew facts sufficient to satisfy 
me that you were not in fault or error, the case 
would be different; but the facts I do know, 


while they are not at all conclusive (and I hope 
they may never prove so), tend the other way. 

First, I have scarcely seen anything from you 
at any time that did not contain imputations 
against your superiors, and a chafing against 
acting the part they had assigned you. You 
have constantly urged the idea that you were 
persecuted because you did npt come from West 
Point, and you repeat it in these letters. This, 
my dear general, is, I fear, the rock on which 
you have split. 

In the Winchester case you were under Gen- 
eral Schenck, and he under General Halleck. I 
know by General Halleck's order-book that he, 
on the nth of June, advised General Schenck to 
call you in from Winchester to Harper's Ferry; 
and I have been told, but do not know, that Gen- 
eral Schenck gave you the order accordingly on 
the same day; and I have been told, but do not 
know, that on receiving it, instead of obeying it, 
you sent by mail a written protest against obey- 
ing it, which did not reach him until you were 
actually beleaguered at Winchester. 

I say I do not know this. You hate West 
Point generally and General Halleck particu- 
larly; but I do know that it is not his fault 
that you were at Winchester on the 13th,' 14th, 
and morning of the 15th — the days of your dis- 
aster. If General Schenck gave the order on the 
nth, as General Halleck advised, it was an easy 
matter for you to have been off" at least on the 
12th. The case is inevitably between General 
Schenck and you. 

Neither General Halleck nor any one else, as 
far as I know, required you to stay and fight 60,- 
000 with 6000, as you insinuate. 


I know General Halleck, through General 
Schenck, required you to get away, and that in 
abundant time for you to have done it. 

General Schenck is not a West-Pointer, and 
has no prejudice against you on that score. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
[Dec. 19, 1863. See Grant, Ulysses S.] 

Miner, Edward G. 

Springfield, February 19, 1858. 

My dear Sir: Mr. G. A. Sutton is an appli- 
cant for superintendent of the addition to the 
Insane Asylum, and I understand it partly de- 
pends on you whether he gets it. 

Mr. Sutton is my fellow townsman and friend, 
and I therefore wish to say for him that he is a 
man of sterling integrity and as a master me- 
chanic and builder not surpassed in our city, or 
any I have known anywhere as far as I can 

I hope you will consider me as being really 
interested for Mr. Sutton and not as writing 
merely to relieve myself of importunity. 

Please show this to Colonel William Ross and 
let him consider it as much intended for him 
as for yourself. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Moorhead, J. K. 

Washington, June 18, 1863. 10.40 a. m. 
To Hon. J. K. Moorhead, Pittsburg, Pa. : 
If General Brooks, now in command at Pitts- 


burg, finds any person or persons injuriously- 
affecting his military operations, he is authorized 
to arrest him or them at once if the case is urgent. 
If not urgent, let him communicate the particu- 
lars to me. General Brooks is the man to now 
manage the matter at Pittsburg. Please show 
this to him. 

A. Lincoln. 

Moreau, A. B. 

Springfield, March 23, 1855. 
Sir : Stranger though I am, personally, being 
a brother in the faith, I venture to write to you. 
Yates cannot come to your court next week. He 
is obliged to be at Pike court where he has a 
case, with a fee of five hundred dollars, two hun- 
dred dollars already paid. To neglect it would 
be unjust to himself, and dishonest to his client. 
Harris will be with you, head up and tail up, 
for Nebraska. You must have some one to make 
an anti-Nebraska speech. Palmer is the best, if 
you can get him; I think Joe Gillespie, if you 
cannot get Palmer, and somebody, anyhow, if 
you can get neither. But press Palmer hard. 
It is in his Senatorial district, I believe. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Morgan, E. D. 

Washington, May 22, 1861. 
Governor E. D. Morgan, Albany, N. Y. : 

I wish to see you face to face to clear these 
difficulties about forwarding troops from New 

A. Lincoln. 



War Department, July 2, 1862. 
Governor E. D. Morgan, Albany, New York: 

It was thought safest to mark high enough. It 
is 300,000. 

A. Lincoln. 
Morgan, R. P. 

Springfield, February 13, 1856. 
Dear Sir : Says Tom to John : "Here's your 
old rotten wheelbarrow. I've broke it, usin' on 
it. I wish you would mend it, case I shall want 
to borrow it this arter-noon." 

Acting on this as a precedent, I say, "Here's 
your old 'chalked hat.' I wish you would take 
it, and send me a new one, case I shall want 
to use it the first of March." 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Morris, George U. 
[Message to Congress.] 

To the Senate and House of Representatives : 

In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I 
most cordially recommend that Lieutenant-Com- 
mander George U. Morris, United States Navy, 
receive a vote of thanks of Congress for the de- 
termined valor and heroism displayed in his de- 
fense of the United States ship of war Cumber- 
land, temporarily under his command in the naval 
engagement at Hampton Roads on the 8th of 
March, 1862, with the rebel iron-clad steam-fri- 
gate Merrimac. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
Washington, D. C, December 10, 1862. 


Morris, I. N. 

Springfield, 111., Dec. 24, i860. 
Hon. I. N. Morris, Quincy, 111. 

My dear Sir: Without supposing that you 
and I are any nearer together, politically than 
heretofore, allow me to tender you my sincere 
thanks for your Union resolution, expressive of 
views upon which we never were, and, I trust, 
never will be at variance. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 26, 1863. 
Hon. I. N. Morris. 

Dear Sir : Your note asking what you were 
to understand was received yesterday. Monday 
morning 1 sent the papers to the Secretary of 
the Interior, with an indorsement that my im- 
pression of the law was not changed, and that 
I desired him to take up the case and do his duty 
according to his view of the law. Yesterday I 
said the same thing to him verbally. 

Now, my understanding is that the law has 
not assigned me, specifically, any duty in the 
case, but has assigned it to the Secretary of the 
Interior. It may be my general duty to direct 
him to act — which I have performed. When he 
shall have acted, if his action is not satisfactory, 
there may or may not be an appeal to me. It 
is a point I have not examined ; but if it be shown 
that the law gives such appeal, I shall not hesi- 
tate to entertain it when presented. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 18, 1863. 
Hon. I. N. Morris. 

Sir: Please carefully put the argument in 
writing, with reference to authorities, in the mat- 
ter intended to show that the law gives an appeal 
to me in the case referred to. When that is ready 
to be presented, I will try to give you the per- 
sonal interview about Illinois matters generally. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Morris, Martin M. 

Springfield, Illinois, March 26, 1843. 
Friend Morris : Your letter of the 23d was re- 
ceived on yesterday morning, and for which (in- 
stead of an excuse, which you thought proper to 
ask) I tender you my sincere thanks. It is truly 
gratifying to me to learn that while the people 
of Sangamon have cast me off, my old friends 
of Menard, who have known me longest and best, 
stick to me. It would astonish, if not amuse, the 
older citizens to learn that I (a stranger, friend- 
less, uneducated, penniless boy, working on a 
flatboat at ten dollars per month) have been put 
down here as the candidate of pride, wealth and 
aristocratic family distinction. Yet so, chiefly, 
it was. There was, too, the strangest combina- 
tion of church influence against me. Baker is a 
Campbellite ; and therefore, as I suppose, with 
few exceptions got all that church. My wife 
has some relations in the Presbyterian churches, 
and some with the Episcopal churches ; and there- 
fore, wherever it would tell, I was set down as 
either the one or the other, while it was every- 
where contended that no Christian ought to go 


for me, because I belonged to no church, was 
suspected of being a deist, and had talked about 
fighting a • duel. With all these things, Baker, 
of course, had nothing to do. Nor do I com- 
plain of them. As to his own church going for 
him, I think that was right enough, and as to 
the influences I have spoken of in the other, 
though they were very strong, it would be gross- 
ly untrue and unjust to charge that they acted 
upon them in a body, or were very near so. I 
only mean that those influences levied a tax of a 
considerable per cent, upon my strength through- 
out the religious controversy. But enough of 

You say that in choosing a candidate for Con- 
gress you have an equal right with Sangamon, 
and in this you are undoubtedly correct. In 
agreeing to withdraw if the Whigs of Sangamon 
should go against me, I did not mean that they 
alone were worth consulting, but that if she, with 
her heavy delegation, should be against me, it 
would be impossible for me to succeed, and there- 
fore I had as well decline. And in relation to 
Menard having rights, permit me fully to recog- 
nize them, and to express the opinion, that if 
she and Mason act circumspectly, they will in the 
convention be able so far to enforce their rights 
as to decide absolutely which one of the candi- 
dates shall be successful. Let me show the rea- 
son of this. Hardin, or some other Morgan 
candidate, will get Putnam, Marshall, Wood- 
ford, Tazewell and Logan — making sixteen. 
Then you and Mason, having three, can give 
the victory to either side. 

You say you shall instruct your delegates for 
me, unless I object. I certainly shall not object. 


That would be too pleasant a compliment for me 
to tread in the dust. And besides, if anything 
should happen (which, however, is not proba- 
ble) by which Baker should be thrown out of the 
fight, I would be at liberty to accept the nomi- 
nation if I could get it. I do, however, feel my- 
self bound not to hinder him in any way from 
getting the nomination. I should despise my- 
self were I to attempt it. I think, then, it would 
be proper for your meeting to appoint three 
delegates, and to instruct them to go for some 
one as a first choice, some one else as a second, 
and perhaps some one as a third; and if in 
those instructions I were named as the first 
choice, it would gratify me very much. If you 
wish to hold the balance of power, it is impor- 
tant for you to attend to and secure the vote of 
Mason also. You should be sure to have men 
appointed delegates that you know you can safe- 
ly confide in. If yourself and James Short were 
appointed from your county, all would be safe; 
but whether Jim's woman affair a year ago might 
not be in the way of his appointment is a ques- 
tion. I don't know whether you know it, but 
I know him to be as honorable a man as there 
is in the world. You have my permission, and 
even request, to show this letter to Short; but 
to no one else, unless it be a very particular 
friend, who you know will not speak of it. 
Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
P. S. — Will you write me again? 
To Martin M. Morris, Petersburg, Illinois. 

April 14, 1843. 
Friend Morris : I have heard it intimated that 


Baker has been attempting to get you or Miles, 
or both of you, to violate the instructions of the 
meeting that appointed you, and to go for him. 
I have insisted, and still insist, that this cannot 
be true. Surely Baker would not do the like. 
As well might Hardin ask me to vote for him 
in the convention. Again, it is said there will 
be an attempt to get up instructions to your coun- 
ty requiring you to go for Baker. This is all 
wrong. Upon the same rule, why might not I 
fly from the decision against me in Sangamon, 
and get up instructions to their delegates to go 
for me? There are at least 1200 Whigs in the 
county that took no part, and yet I would as 
soon put my head in the fire as to attempt it. 
Besides, if any one should get the nomination 
by such extraordinary means, all harmony in the 
district would inevitably be lost. Honest Whigs 
(and very nearly all of them are honest) would 
not quietly abide such enormities. I repeat, such 
an attempt on Baker's part cannot be true. Write 
me at Springfield how the matter is. Don't show 
or speak of this letter. 

A. Lincoln. 

Morris, W. M. 

Springfield, March 28, 1859. 
W. M. Morris, Esq. 

Dear Sir : Your kind note inviting me to de- 
liver a lecture at Galesburg is received. I re- 
gret to say I cannot do so now. I must stick 
to the courts awhile. I read a sort of lecture to 
three different audiences during the last month 
and this ; but I did so under circumstances which 
made it a waste of no time whatever. 

Yours very truly, A> Lincoln . 


Morrison, William R. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 5, 1862. 
Colonel William R. Morrison, Waterloo, Illinois : 
Your letter of September 23 is this moment 
received. While your words of kindness are 
very grateful, your suspicions that I intend you 
injustice are very painful to me. I assure you 
such suspicions are groundless. I cannot even 
conjecture what juniors of yours you suppose I 
contemplate promoting over you. True, senior- 
ity has not been my rule in this connection ; but 
in considering military merit, the world has 
abundant evidence that I disregard politics. 

A. Lincoln. 
Morrow, R. 

[See Fleming, J. M.] 

Morton, Mrs. Mary E. 
[See Reynolds, J. J.] 

Morton, Oliver P. 


Washington, D. C, August 15, 1861. 
Governor Morton, Indiana : 

Start your four regiments to St. Louis at the 
earliest moment possible. Get such harness as 
may be necessary for your rifled guns. Do not 
delay a single regiment, but hasten everything 
forward as soon as any one regiment is ready. 
Have your three additional regiments organized 
at once. We shall endeavor to send you the arms 
this week. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, September 29, 1861. 
His Excellency, Governor O. P. Morton : 

Your letter by the hand of Mr. Prunk was re- 
ceived yesterday. I write this letter because I 
wish you to believe of us (as we certainly believe 
of you) that we are doing the very best we can. 
You do not receive arms from us as fast as you 
need them; but it is because we have not near 
enough to meet all the pressing demands, and 
we are obliged to share around what we have, 
sending the larger share to the points which ap- 
pear to need them most. We have great hope that 
our own supply will be ample before long, so 
that you and all others can have as many as you 
need. I see an article in an Indianapolis news- 
paper denouncing me for not answering your let- 
ter sent by special messenger two or three weeks 
ago. I did make what I thought the best an- 
swer to that letter. As I remember, it asked for 
ten heavy guns to be distributed, with some 
troops, at Lawrenceburg, Madison, New Albany, 
and Evansville; and I ordered the guns and di- 
rected you to send the troops, if you had them. 
As to Kentucky, you do not estimate that State 
as more important than I do, but I am compelled 
to watch all points. While I write this I am, 
if. not in range, at least in hearing of cannon- 
shot from an army of enemies more than 100,000 
strong. I do not expect them to capture this city ; 
but I know they would if I were to send the men 
and arms from here to defend Louisville, of 
which there is not a single hostile armed soldier 
within forty miles, nor any force known to be 
moving upon it from any distance. It is true, 
the army in our front may make a half-circle 
around southward and move on Louisville, but 


when they do we will make a half-circle around 
northward and meet them; and in the meantime 
we will get up what forces we can from other 
sources to also meet them. 

I hope Zollicoffer has left Cumberland Gap 
(though I fear he has not), because, if he has, I 
rather infer he did it because of his dread of 
Camp Dick Robinson, reinforced from Cincinnati, 
moving on him, than because of his intention to 
move on Louisville. But if he does go round 
and reinforce Buckner, let Dick Robinson come 
round and reinforce Sherman, and the thing is 
substantially as it was when Zollicoffer left Cum- 
berland Gap. I state this as an illustration ; for, 
in fact, I think if the Gap is left open to us Dick 
Robinson should take it and hold it; while In- 
diana and the vicinity of Louisville in Kentucky 
can reinforce Sherman faster than Zollicoffer can 

You requested that Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, 
of the army, should be appointed a brigadier- 
general. I will only say that very formidable 
objection has been made to this from Indiana. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
War Department, 
Washington, D. C, June 28, 1862. 
Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Ind. : 

Your despatch of to-day is just received. I 
have no recollection of either John R. Cravens 
or Cyrus M. Allen having been named to me for 
appointment under the tax law. The latter par- 
ticularly has been my friend, and I am sorry to 
learn that he is not yours. No appointment has 
been or will be made by me for the purpose of 
stabbing you. A. Lincoln. 


[Telegram in Cipher.] 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, February i, 1863. 
Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Ind. : 

I think it would not do for me to meet you at 
Harrisburg. It would be known and would be 
misconstrued a thousand ways. Of course if 
the whole truth could be told and accepted as 
truth, it would do no harm, but that is impos- 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, May 21, 1864. 
Governor O. P. Morton : 

The getting forward of hundred-day troops to 
sustain General Sherman's lengthening lines 
promises much good. Please put your best ef- 
forts into the work. 

A. Lincoln. 

Same to Governor Yates, Springfield, Illinois; Gov- 
ernor Stone, Davenport, Iowa; Governor Lewis, 
Madison, Wisconsin. 


Washington, D. C., October 13, 1864. 
Governor Oliver P. Morton, Indianapolis, In- 
diana : 
In my letter borne by Mr. Mitchell to General 
Sherman, I said that any soldiers he could spare 
for October need not to remain for November. 
I therefore cannot press the general on this point. 
All that the Secretary of War and General Sher- 
man feel they can safely do, I, however, shall be 
glad of. Bravo for Indiana and for yourself 
personally ! 

A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 31, 1863. 
My dear Sir : There has been a good deal of 
complaint against you by your superior officers 
of the Provost-Marshal-General's Department, 
and your removal has been strongly urged on the 
ground of "persistent disobedience of orders and 
neglect of duty." Firmly convinced, as I am, of 
the patriotism of your motives, I am unwilling 
to do anything in your case which may seem un- 
necessarily harsh or at variance with the feelings 
of personal respect and esteem with which I have 
always regarded you. I consider your services 
in your district valuable, and should be sorry to 
lose them. It is unnecessary for me to state, how- 
ever, that when differences of opinion arise be- 
tween officers of the . government, the ranking 
officer must be obeyed. You, of course, recognize 
as clearly as I do the importance of this rule. 
I hope you will conclude to go on in your present 
position under the regulations of the department. 
I wish you would write to me. I am very truly 
your friend and obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Muller, James N. 
[See Chase, Salmon P., May 9, 1861.] 

Murphy, Isaac. 
[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, February 6, 1864. 
Governor I. Murphy: 

My order to General Steele about an election 


was made in ignorance of the action your con- 
vention had taken or would take. A subsequent 
letter directs General Steele to aid on your own 
plan, and not to thwart or hinder you. Show 
this to him. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, March 12, 1864. 
Governor Murphy, Little Rock, Arkansas : 

I am not appointing officers for Arkansas now, 
and I will try to remember your request. Do 
your best to get out the largest vote possible, 
and of course as much of it as possible on the 
right side. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C., March 18, 1864. 
Governor Murphy, Little Rock, Arkansas : 

Yours of yesterday received and thanks for 
it. Send further returns when you receive them. 
Will do my best to protect people and new State 
government, but can act with no better intentions 
than have always done. Tell General Steele I 
have Randolph's pardon, and will send by mail 
if he says so. 

A. Lincoln. 
[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, D. C., April 27, 1864. 
Governor Murphy, Little Rock, Arkansas : 

I am much gratified to learn that you got out 
so large a vote, so nearly all the right way, at 
the late election ; and not less so that your State 
government, including the legislature, is organ- 
ized and in good working order. Whatever I can 
I will do to protect you; meanwhile you must 


do your utmost to protect yourselves. Present 
my greeting to all. 

A. Lincoln. 

Murray, Bronson. 
[See Dixon, James.] 

New England Society. 
[See Choate, Joseph H.] 

Nichols and Crosby. 
[See Crosby and Nichols.] 

North American Review. 
[See Crosby and Nichols.] 

O'Conner, Henry. 

Springfield, September 14, 1856. 
Dear Sir : Yours inviting me to attend a mass 
meeting on the 23rd inst. is received. It would 
be very pleasant to strike hands with the Fre- 
monters of Iowa, who have led the van so splen- 
didly, in this grand charge which we hope and 
believe will end in a most glorious victory — 
all thanks, all honor to Iowa ! ! But Iowa is out 
of all danger, and it is no time for us, when the 
battle still rages, to pay holy-day visits to Iowa. 
I am sure you will excuse me for remaining in 
Illinois, where much hard work is still to be done. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Ohio Democrats, Committee of. 
[See Birchard, M.] 


Ord, Edward O. C. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1865. 
Major-General Ord : 

You have a man in arrest for desertion pass- 
ing by the name of Stanley. William Stanley, I 
think, but whose real name is different. He is 
the son of so close a friend of mine that I must 
not let him be executed. Please let me know 
what is his present and prospective condition. 

A. Lincoln. 

Owens, Miss Mary. 

Vandalia, December 13, 1836. 

Mary : I have been sick ever since my arrival, 
or I should have written sooner. It is but little 
difference, however, as I have very little even 
yet to write. And more, the longer I can avoid 
the mortification of looking in the post-office for 
your letter and not finding it, the better. You 
see I am mad about that old letter yet. I don't 
like very well to risk you again. I'll try you 
once more, anyhow. 

The new State House is not yet finished, and 
consequently the legislature is doing little or 
nothing. The governor delivered an inflamma- 
tory political message, and it is expected there 
will be some sparring between the parties about 
it as soon as the two Houses get to business. 
Taylor delivered up his petition for the new 
county to one of our members this morning. I am 
told he despairs of its success, on account of all 
the members from Morgan County opposing it. 
There are names enough on the petition, I think, 
to justify the members from our county in go- 


ing for it; but if the members from Morgan 
oppose it, which they say they will, the chance 
will be bad. 

Our chance to take the seat of government to 
Springfield is better than I expected. An inter- 
nal-improvement convention was held here since 
we met, which recommended a loan of several 
millions of dollars, on the faith of the State, to 
construct railroads. Some of the legislature are 
for it, and some against it; which has the ma- 
jority I cannot tell. There is great strife and 
struggling for the office of the United States 
Senator here at this time. It is probable we shall 
ease their pains in a few days. The opposition 
men have no candidate of their own, and con- 
sequently they will smile as complacently at the 
angry snarl of the contending Van Buren can- 
didates and their respective friends as the Chris- 
tian does at Satan's rage. You recollect that 
I mentioned at the outset of this letter that I 
had been unwell. That is the fact, though I be- 
lieve I am about well now; but that, with other 
things I cannot account for, have conspired, and 
have gotten my spirits so low that I feel that 
I would rather be any place in the world than 
here. I really cannot endure the thought of stay- 
ing here ten weeks. Write back as soon as you 
get this, and, if possible, say something that will 
please me, for really I have not been pleased 
since I left you. This letter is so dry and stupid 
that I am ashamed to send it, but with my pres- 
ent feelings I cannot do any better. 

Give my best respects to Mr. and Mrs. Able 
and family. 

Your friend, 



Springfield, May /, 1837. 
Miss Mary S. Owens. 

Friend Alary : I have commenced two letters 
to send you before this, both of which displeased 
me before I got half done, and so I tore them 
up. The first I thought was not serious enough, 
and the second was on the other extreme. I 
shall send this, turn out as it may. 

This thing of living in Springfield is rather 
a dull business, after all; at least it is so to me. 
I am quite as lonesome here as I ever was any- 
where in my life. I have been spoken to by but 
one woman since I have been here, and should 
not have been by her if she could have avoided 
it. I've never been to church yet, and probably 
shall not be soon. I stay away because I am 
conscious I should not know how to behave my- 

I am often thinking of what we said about 
your coming to live at Springfield. I am afraid 
you would not be satisfied. There is a great 
deal of flourishing about in carriages here, which 
it would be your doom to see without sharing 
it. You would have to be poor, without the 
means of hiding your poverty. Do you believe 
you could bear that patiently ? Whatever woman 
may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do 
so, it is my intention to do all in my power to 
make her happy and contented ; and there is noth- 
ing I can imagine that would make me more 
unhappy than to fail in the effort. I know I 
should be much happier with you than the way 
I am, provided I saw no signs of discontent in 
you. What you have said to me may have been 
in the way of jest, or I may have misunderstood 
it. If so, then let it be forgotten; if otherwise, 


I much wish you would think seriously before 
you decide. What I have said I will most posi- 
tively abide by, provided you wish it. My opin- 
ion is that you had better not do it. You have 
not been accustomed to hardship, and it may be 
more severe than you now imagine. I know 
you are capable of thinking correctly on any sub- 
ject, and if you deliberate maturely upon this 
before you decide, then I am willing to abide 
your decision. 

You must write me a good long letter after 
you get this. You have nothing else to do, and 
though it might not seem interesting to you after 
you had written it, it would be a good deal of 
company to me in this "busy wilderness." Tell 
your sister I don't want to hear any more about 
selling out and moving. That gives me the 
"hypo" whenever I think of it. 
Yours, etc., 


Springfield, August 16, 1837. 
Friend Mary: You will no doubt think it 
rather strange that I should write you a letter 
on the same day on which we parted, and I can 
only account for it by supposing that seeing you 
lately makes me think of you more than usual ; 
while at our late meeting we had but few ex- 
pressions of thoughts. You must know that I 
cannot see you or think of you with entire in- 
difference; and yet it may be that you are mis- 
taken in regard to what my real feelings to- 
ward you are. If I knew you were not, I should 
not trouble you with this letter. Perhaps any 
other man would know enough without further 
information ; but I consider it my peculiar right 


to plead ignorance, and your bounden duty to 
allow the plea. I want in all cases to do right, 
and most particularly so in all cases with women. 
I want at this particular time, more than anything 
else, to do right with you ; and if I knew it would 
be doing right, as I rather suspect it would, to 
let you alone, I would do it. And for the purpose 
of making the matter as plain as possible, I now 
say that you can now drop the subject, dismiss 
your thoughts (if you ever had any) from me 
forever, and leave this letter unanswered, with- 
out calling forth one accusing murmur from me. 
And I will even go further, and say that if it 
will add anything to your comfort or peace of 
mind to do so, it is my sincere wish that you 
should. Do not understand by this that I wish 
to cut your acquaintance. I mean no such thing. 
What I do wish is that our further acquaintance 
shall depend upon yourself. If such further 
acquaintance would contribute nothing to your 
happiness, I am sure it would not to mine. If 
you feel yourself in any degree bound to me, I 
am now willing to release you, provided you wish 
it; while, on the other hand, I am willing and 
even anxious to bind you faster, if I can be con- 
vinced that it will, in any considerable degree, 
add to your happiness. This, indeed, is the whole 
question with me. Nothing would make me more 
miserable than to believe you miserable — nothing 
more happy than to know you were so. 

In what I have now said, I think I cannot 
be misunderstood, and to make myself under- 
stood is the only object of this letter. 

If it suits you best to not answer this, fare- 
well. A long life and a merry one attend you. 
But if you conclude to write back, speak as 



plainly as I do. There can be neither harm nor 
danger in saying to me anything you think, just 
in the manner you think it. 
My respects to your sister. 

Your friend, 

[See also Browning, Mrs. O. H.] 

Palmer, J. M. 

Springfield, Sept. 7, 1854. 
Hon. J. M. Palmer. 

Dear Sir : You know how anxious I am that 
this Nebraska measure shall be rebuked and 
condemned everywhere. Of course I hope some- 
thing from your position, yet I do not expect 
you to do anything which may be wrong in your 
own judgment; nor would I have you do any- 
thing personally injurious to yourself — You are, 
and always have been, honestly and sincerely, a 
democrat; and I know how painful it must be 
to an honest, sincere man to be urged by his 
party to the support of a measure, which in his 
conscience he believes to be wrong — You have 
had a severe struggle with yourself, and you 
have determined not to swallow the wrong — Is 
it not just to yourself that you should, in a few 
public speeches, state your reasons, and thus 
justify yourself? I wish you would; and yet I 
say, "Don't do it, if you think it will injure you" 
— You may have given your word to vote for 
Major Harris; and if so, of course you will stick 
to it — But allow me to suggest that you should 
avoid speaking of this, for it probably would 
induce some of your friends, in like manner, to 


cast their votes — You understand — And now let 
me beg your pardon for obtruding this letter 
upon you, to whom I have ever been opposed 
in politics — Had your party omitted to make 
Nebraska a test of party fidelity, you probably 
would have been the Democratic candidate for 
Congress in the district — You deserved it, and 
I believe it would have been given you — In that 
case I should have been quite happy that Ne- 
braska was to be rebuked at all events — I still 
should have voted for the whig candidate; but 
I should have made no speeches, written no let- 
ters; and you would have been elected by at 
least a thousand majority. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Parker, Joel. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 30, 1863. 
Governor Parker, Trenton, N. J. : 

Your despatch of yesterday received. I really 
think the attitude of the enemy's army in Penn- 
sylvania presents us the best opportunity we 
have had since the war began. I think you will 
not see the foe in New Jersey. I beg you to 
be assured that no one out of my position can 
know so well as if he were in it, the difficulties 
and involvements of replacing General McClellan 
in command, and this aside from any imputa- 
tions upon him. Please accept my sincere thanks 
for what you have done and are doing to get 
troops forward. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 20, 1863. 
His Excellency Joel Parker, Governor of New 

Dear Sir: Yours of the fifteenth has been 
received, and considered by the Secretary of 
War and myself. I was pained to be informed 
this morning by the Provost-Marshal-General 
that New Jersey is now behind twelve thousand, 
irrespective of the draft. I did not have time 
to ascertain by what rules this was made out; 
and I shall be very glad if it shall, by any means, 
prove to be incorrect. He also tells me that 
eight thousand will be about the quota of New 
Jersey on the first draft; and the Secretary of 
War says the first draft in that State would not 
be made for some time in any event. As every 
man obtained otherwise lessens the draft so 
much, and this may supersede it altogether, I 
hope you will push forward your volunteer regi- 
ments as fast as possible. 

It is a very delicate matter to postpone the 
draft in one State, because of the argument it 
furnishes others to have postponement also. If 
we could have a reason in one case which would 
be good if presented in all cases, we could act 
upon it. 

I will thank you, therefore, to inform me, if 
you can, by what day, at the earliest, you can 
promise to have ready to be mustered into 
the United States service the eight thousand 

If you can make a reliable promise (I mean 
one which you can rely on yourself) of this sort, 
it will be of great value, if the day is not too re- 


I beg you to be assured, I wish to avoid the 
difficulties you dread as much as yourself. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 25, 1863. 
His Excellency Governor Joel Parker. 

Sir: Yours of the 21st is received, and I have 
taken time and considered and discussed the sub- 
ject with the Secretary of War and Provost-Mar- 
shal-General, in order, if possible, to make you a 
more favorable answer than I finally find myself 
able to do. 

It is a vital point with us to not have a spe- 
cial stipulation with the governor of any one 
State, because it would breed trouble in many, 
if not all, other States ; and my idea was when 
I wrote you, as it still is, to get a point of time 
to which we could wait, on the reason that we 
were not ready ourselves to proceed, and which 
might enable you to raise the quota of your 
State, in whole, or in large part, without the 
draft. The points of time you fix are much 
farther off than I had hoped. We might have 
got along in the way I have indicated for twenty, 
or possibly thirty, days. As it stands, the best 
I can say is that every volunteer you will pre- 
sent us within thirty days from this date, fit and 
ready to be mustered into the United States serv- 
ice, on the usual terms, shall be pro tanto an 
abatement of your quota of the draft. That 
quota I can now state at eight thousand seven 
hundred and eighty-three (8783). No draft 
from New Jersey, other than for the above quota, 
will be made before an additional draft, com- 



mon to [all] the States, shall be required ; and 
I may add that if we get well through with this 
draft, I entertain a strong hope that any further 
one may never be needed. This expression of 
hope, however, must not be construed into a 

As to conducting the draft by townships, I 
find it would require such a waste of labor al- 
ready done, and such an additional amount of 
it, and such a loss of time, as to make it, I fear,, 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

P. S. Since writing the above, getting addi- 
tional information, I am enabled to say that the 
draft may be made in subdistricts, as the enrol- 
ment has been made, or is in process of making. 
This will amount practically to drafting by town- 
ships, as the enrolment subdistricts are gener- 
ally about the extent of townships. 

A. L. 

Parsons, G. M., and Others. 

Springfield, Illinois, December 19, 1859. 
Messrs. G. M. Parsons and Others, Central Ex- 
ecutive Committee, etc. 
Gentlemen : Your letter of the 7th instant, ac- 
companied by a similar one from the governor- 
elect, the Republican State officers, and the Re- 
publican members of the State Board of Equali- 
zation of Ohio, both requesting of me, for pub- 
lication in permanent form, copies of the politi- 
cal debates between Senator Douglas and myself 
last year, has been received. With my grateful 
acknowledgments to both you and them for the 


very flattering terms in which the request is 
communicated, I transmit you the copies. The 
copies I send you are as reported and printed by 
the respective friends of Senator Douglas and 
myself, at the time — that is, his by his friends, 
and mine by mine. It would be an unwarranta- 
ble liberty for us to change a word or a letter 
in his, and the changes I have made in mine, you 
perceive, are verbal only, and very few in num- 
ber. I wish the reprint to be precisely as the 
copies I send, without any comment whatever. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Paschall, N. P. 
[Private and Confidential] 

Springfield, Illinois, November 16, i860. 
N. P. Paschall, Esq. 

My dear Sir: Mr.'Ridgely showed me a letter 
of yours in which you manifest some anxiety that 
I should make some public declaration with a 
view to favorably affect the business of the coun- 
try. I said to Mr. Ridgely I would write you 
to-day, which I now do. 

I could say nothing which I have not already 
said, and which is in print, and accessible to the 
public. Please pardon me for suggesting that if 
the papers like yours, which heretofore have per- 
sistently garbled and misrepresented what I have 
said, will now fully and fairly place it before their 
readers, there can be no further misunderstand- 
ing. I beg you to believe me sincere when I 
declare I do not say this in a spirit of complaint 
or resentment ; but that I urge it as the true cure 
ior any real uneasiness in the country that my 

PECK, J. M. 31 

course may be other than conservative. The Re- 
publican newspapers now and for some time past 
are and have been republishing copious extracts 
from my many published speeches, which would 
at once reach the whole public if your class of 
papers would also publish them. I am not at 
liberty to shift my ground — that is out of the 
question. If I thought a repetition would do 
any good, I would make it. But in my judg- 
ment it would do positive harm. The seces- 
sionists per se, believing they had alarmed me, 
would clamor all the louder. 

Yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 

Paul, E. A. 

E. A. Paul: 

The [N. Y.] "Times," I believe, is always true 
to the Union, and therefore should be treated 
at least as well as any. 

A. Lincoln. 
May 24, 1864. 

Peck, J. M. 

Washington, May 21, 1848. 
Rev. J. M. Peck. 

Dear Sir : On last evening I received a copy 
of the Belleville "Advocate," with the appearance 
of having been sent by a private hand; and in- 
asmuch as it contained your oration on the occa- 
sion of the celebrating of the battle of Buena 
Vista, and is post-marked at Rock Spring, I 
cannot doubt that it is to you I am indebted 
for this courtesy. 


I own that finding in the oration a labored 
justification of the administration on the origin 
of the Mexican war disappointed me, because 
it is the first effort of the kind I have known 
made by one appearing to me to be intelligent, 
right-minded, and impartial. It is this disap- 
pointment that prompts me to address you briefly 
on the subject. I do not propose any extended 
review. I do not quarrel with facts — brief ex- 
hibition of facts. I presume it is correct so far 
as it goes ; but it is so brief as to exclude some 
facts quite as material in my judgment to a just 
conclusion as any it includes. For instance, you 
say, "Paredes came into power the last of De- 
cember, 1845, an d from that moment all hopes 
of avoiding war by negotiation vanished." A 
little further on, referring to this and other pre- 
ceding statements, you say, "All this transpired 
three months before General Taylor marched 
across the desert of Nueces." These two state- 
ments are substantially correct; and you evi- 
dently intend to have it inferred that General 
Taylor was sent across the desert in conse- 
quence of the destruction of all hopes of peace, 
in the overthrow of Herara by Paredes. Is not 
that the inference you intend? If so, the ma- 
terial fact you have excluded is that General 
Taylor was ordered to cross the desert on the 
13th of January, 1846, and before the news of 
Herara's fall reached Washington — before the 
administration which gave the order had any 
knowledge that Herara had fallen. Does not 
this fact cut up your inference by the roots ! 
Must you not find some other excuse for that 
order, or give up the case? All that part of 
the three months you speak of which transpired 

PECK, J. M. 33 

after the 13th of January, was expended in the 
orders going from Washington to General Tay- 
lor, in his preparations for the march, and in 
the actual march across the desert, and not in 
the President's waiting to hear the knell of peace 
in the fall of Herara, or for any other object. 
All this is to be found in the very documents 
you seem to have used. 

One other thing. Although you say at one 
point "I shall briefly exhibit facts, and leave 
each person to perceive the just application of 
the principles already laid down to the case in 
hand," you very soon get to making applica- 
tions yourself, — in one instance as follows : 'Tn 
view of all the facts, the conviction to my mind 
is irresistible that the Government of the United 
States committed no aggression on Mexico." 
Not in view of all the facts. There are facts 
which you have kept out of view. It is a fact 
that the United States army in marching to the 
Rio Grande marched into a peaceful Mexican 
settlement, and frightened the inhabitants away 
from their homes and their growing crops. It 
is a fact that Fort Brown, opposite Matamoras, 
was built by that army within a Mexican cot- 
ton-field, on which at the time the army reached 
it a young cotton crop was growing, and which 
crop was wholly destroyed and the field itself 
greatly and permanently injured by ditches, em- 
bankments, and the like. It is a fact that when 
the Mexicans captured Captain Thornton and 
his command, they found and captured them 
within another Mexican field. 

Now I wish to bring these facts to your no- 
tice, and to ascertain what is the result of your 
reflections upon them. If you deny that they 


are facts, I think I can furnish proof which shall 
convince you that you are mistaken. If you ad- 
mit that they are facts, then I shall be obliged 
for a reference to any law of language, law of 
States, law of nations, law of morals, law of 
religions, any law, human or divine, in which 
an authority can be found for saying those facts 
constitute "no aggression." 

Possibly you consider those acts too small 
for notice. Would you venture to so consider 
them had they been committed by any nation on 
earth against the humblest of our people ? I know 
you would not. Then I ask, is the precept 
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to 
you, do ye even so to them" obsolete? of no 
force? of no application? 

I shall be pleased if you can find leisure to 
write me. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Phelps, John S. 
[See Cameron, Simon, Aug. 7, 1861.] 

Phelps, J. W. 
[See Johnson, Reverdy, July 26, 1862.] 

Phillips, John. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 21, 1864. 
Deacon John Phillips. 

My dear Sir: I have heard of the incident at 
the polls in your town, in which you acted so 
honorable a part, and I take the liberty of writ- 
ing to you to express my personal gratitude for 


the compliment paid me by the suffrage of a 
citizen so venerable. 

The example of such devotion to civic duties 
in one whose days have already been extended 
an average lifetime beyond the Psalmist's limit, 
cannot but be valuable and fruitful. It is not 
for myself only, but for the country which you 
have in your sphere served so long and so well, 
that I thank you. 

Your friend and servant, 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Pickens, Francis W. 
[See Chew, R. S.] 

Pickett, George E. 
[Extracts from "Pickett and His Men."} 
February 22, 1842. 
To George E. Pickett. 

I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, es- 
pecially if you have got a bad memory, is the 
worst enemy a fellow can have. The fact is 
truth is your truest friend, no matter what the 
circumstances are. Notwithstanding this copy- 
book preamble, my boy, I am inclined to suggest 
a little prudence on your part. You see I have 
a congenital aversion to failure, and the sudden 
announcement to your Uncle Andrew of the suc- 
cess of your "lamp-rubbing" might possibly pre- 
vent your passing the severe physical examina- 
tion to which you will be subjected in order to 
enter the Military Academy. You see, I should 
like to have a perfect soldier credited to dear old 


Illinois — no broken bones, scalp wounds, etc. So 
I think perhaps it might be wise to hand this let- 
ter from me, in to your good uncle through his 
room-window after he has had a comfortable 
dinner, and watch its effect from the top of the 

I have just told the folks here in Springfield 
on this i nth anniversary of the birth of him 
whose name, mightiest in the cause of civil lib- 
erty, still mightiest in the cause of moral reforma- 
tion, we mention in solemn awe, in naked, death- 
less splendor, that the one victory we can ever call 
complete will be that one which proclaims that 
there is not one slave or one drunkard on the 
face of God's green earth. Recruit for this vic- 

Now, boy, on your march, don't you go and 
forget the old maxim that "one drop of honey 
catches more flies than a half-gallon of gall." 
Load your musket with this maxim, and smoke it 
in your pipe. 

Pickett, T. J. 

Springfield, April 16, 1859. 
T. J. Pickett, Esq. 

My dear Sir : Yours of the 13th is just re- 
ceived. My engagements are such that I can- 
not at any very early day visit Rock Island to 
deliver a lecture, or for any other object. As 
to the other matter you kindly mention, I must 
in candor say I do not think myself fit for the 
presidency. I certainly am flattered and grati- 
fied that some partial friends think of me in that 

PIERCE, H. L. 37 

connection; but I really think it best for our 
cause that no concerted effort, such as you sug- 
gest, should be made. Let this be considered 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Pierce, H. L., and Others. 

Springfield, 111., April 6, 1859. 

Gentlemen : Your kind note inviting me to 
attend a festival in Boston, on the 28th instant, 
in honor of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, 
was duly received. My engagements are such 
that I cannot attend. 

Bearing in mind that about seventy years ago 
two great political parties were first formed in 
this country, that Thomas Jefferson was the head 
of one of them and Boston the headquarters of 
the other, it is both curious and interesting that 
those supposed to descend politically from the 
party opposed to Jefferson should now be cele- 
brating his birthday in their own original seat 
of empire, while those claiming political descent 
from him have nearly ceased to breathe his 
name everywhere. 

Remembering, too, that the Jefferson party 
was formed upon its supposed superior devotion 
to the personal rights of men, holding the rights 
of property to be secondary only, and greatly in- 
ferior, and assuming that the so-called Democ- 
racy of to-day are the Jefferson, and their oppo- 
nents the anti-Jefferson party, it will be equally 
interesting to note how completely the two have 
changed hands as to the principle upon which 
they were originally supposed to be divided. 


The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one 
man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict 
with another man's right of property; Repub- 
licans, on the contrary, are for both the man and 
the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before 
the dollar. 

I remember being once much amused at see- 
ing two partially intoxicated men engaged in a 
fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after 
a long and rather harmless contest, ended in 
each having fought himself out of his own coat 
and into that of the other. If the two leading 
parties of this day are really identical with the 
two in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they 
have performed the same feat as the two drunken 

But, soberly, it is now no child's play to save 
the principles of Jefferson from total overthrow 
in this nation. One would state with great con- 
fidence that he could convince any sane child 
that the simpler propositions of Euclid are true ; 
but nevertheless he would fail, utterly, with one 
who should deny the definitions and axioms. The 
principles of Jefferson are the definitions and 
axioms of free society. And yet they are denied 
and evaded, with no small show of success. One 
dashingly calls them "glittering generalities." 
Another bluntly calls them "self-evident lies/' 
And others insidiously argue that they apply 
to "superior races." These expressions, differ- 
ing in form, are identical in object and effect — 
the supplanting the principles of free government, 
and restoring those of classification, caste, and 
legitimacy. They would delight a convocation 
of crowned heads plotting against the people. 
They are the vanguard, the miners and sappers 

P1ERP0INT, F. H. 39 

of returning despotism. We must repulse them, 
or they will subjugate us. This is a world of 
compensation ; and he who would be no slave 
must consent to have no slave. Those who deny 
freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, 
and, under a just God, cannot long retain it. 
All honor to Jefferson — to the man who, in the 
concrete pressure of a struggle for national in- 
dependence by a single people, had the cool- 
ness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a 
merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, 
applicable to all men and all times, and so to 
embalm it there that to-day and in all coming 
days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block 
to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny 
and oppression. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 
Messrs. H. L. Pierce and others. 

Pierpoint, F. H. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 21, 1863. 
Governor Pierpoint, Alexandria, Va. : 

I would be glad to have your opinion whether 
it would be good 'policy to refund the money 
collected from the people of East Virginia, as 
indemnity for the light-house depredation. I 
believe you once gave me your opinion on the 
point, but I am not entirely sure. Please an- 

swen A. Lincoln. 

Washington City, D. C., October 16, 1862. 
Governor Pierpoint, Wheeling, Va. : 

Your despatch of to-day received. I am very 


sorry to have offended you. I appointed the 
collector as I thought, on your written recom- 
mendation, and the assessor also, with your testi- 
mony of worthiness, although I know you pre- 
ferred a different man. I will examine to-mor- 
row whether I am mistaken in this. 

A. Lincoln. 
[Aug. 8, 1863. See Foster, J. G.] 

Pillow, Fort, Massacre. 
[See Cabinet, The, May 3, 1864.] 

Pollock, James. 

Washington, Aug. 15, 1861. 
Hon. James Pollock. 

My dear Sir: You must make a job for the 
bearer of this — make a job of it with the col- 
lector and have it done. You can do it for me 
and you must. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Pomeroy, S. C. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May 12, 1864. 
Hon. Senator Pomeroy. 

Sir : I did not doubt yesterday that you de- 
sired to see me about the appointment of assessor 
in Kansas. I wish you and Lane would make 
a sincere effort to get out of the mood you are 
in. It does neither of you any good. It gives 
you the means of tormenting my life out of 
me, and nothing else. 

Yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 


Pope, John. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 10, 1862. 
Major-General Pope, St. Paul, Minnesota : 

Your despatch giving the names of 300 In- 
dians condemned to death is received. Please 
forward as soon as possible the full and com- 
plete record of their convictions ; and if the 
record does not fully indicate the more guilty 
and influential of the culprits, please have a care- 
ful statement made on these points and for- 
warded to me. Send all by mail. 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, Washington, April 11, 1863. 
Major-General Pope, Milwaukee, Wis. : 

The President directs that under no circumstances 
will our troops cross the boundary line into British 
territory without his authority. 

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 12, 1865. 
Major-General Pope, St. Louis, Missouri: 

I understand that provost-marshals in different 
parts of Missouri are assuming to decide that 
the conditions of bonds are forfeited, and there- 
fore are seizing and selling property to pay 
damages. This, if true, is both outrageous and 
ridiculous. Do not allow it. The courts, and 
not provost-marshals, are to decide such ques- 
tions unless when military necessity makes an 

A. Lincoln. 




Executive Mansion, 

Washington, February 14, 1865. 
Major-General Pope, St. Louis, Missouri: 

Yours of yesterday about provost-marshal 
system received. As part of the same subject, 
let me say I am now pressed in regard to a 
pending assessment in St. Louis County. Please 
examine and satisfy yourself whether this assess- 
ment should proceed or be abandoned; and if 
you decide that it is to proceed, please examine 
as to the propriety of its application to a gen- 
tleman by the name of Charles McLaran. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 15, 1865. 
Major-General Pope, St. Louis, Missouri : 

Please ascertain whether General Fisk's ad- 
ministration is as good as it might be, and an- 
swer me. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 7, 1865. 
Major-General Pope, St. Louis, Missouri: 

Please state briefly, by telegraph, what you 
concluded about the assessments in St. Louis 
County. Early in the war one Samuel B. 
Churchill was sent from St. Louis to Louisville, 
where I have quite satisfactory evidence that 
he has not misbehaved. Still I am told his prop- 
erty at St. Louis is subjected to the assessment, 


which I think it ought not to be. Still I wish 
to know what you think. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 19, 1865. 
Major-General Pope, St. Louis, Missouri : 

Understanding that the plan of action for Mis- 
souri contained in your letter to the governor 
of that State, and your other letter to me, is con- 
curred in by the governor, it is approved by me, 
and you will be sustained in proceeding upon it. 

A. Lincoln. 
[See also Yates, B.] 

Pope, Nathaniel. 

Springfield, June 8, 1849. 
Hon. N. Pope. 

Dear Sir: I do not know that it would, but 
I can well enough conceive it might, embarrass 
you to now give a letter recommending me for 
the General Land Office. Could you not, how- 
ever, without embarrassment or any impropriety, 
so far vindicate the truth of history as to briefly 
state to me, in a letter, what you did say to me 
last spring on my arrival here from Washington, 
in relation to my becoming an applicant for that 
office? Having at last concluded to be an appli- 
cant, I have thought it is perhaps due me to be 
enabled to show the influences which brought 
me to the conclusion, and of which influences 
the wishes and opinions you expressed were not 
the least. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


Porter, David D. 

Executive Mansion, April i, 1861. 
Lieutenant D. D. Porter, United States Navy. 

Sir : You will proceed to New York, and with 
the least possible delay, assuming command of 
any naval steamer available, proceed to Pensa- 
cola Harbor, and at any cost or risk prevent 
any expedition from the mainland reaching Fort 
Pickens or Santa Rosa Island. 

You will exhibit this order to any naval officer 
at Pensacola, if you deem it necessary, after you 
have established yourself within the harbor, and 
will request cooperation by the entrance of at 
least one other steamer. 

This order, its object, and your destination 
will be communicated to no person whatever 
until you reach the harbor of Pensacola. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Recommended, William H. Seward. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 1, 1861. 
Lieutenant D. D. Porter will take command 
of the steamer Powhatan, or any other United 
States steamer ready for sea which he may deem 
most fit for the service to which he has been as- 
signed by confidential instructions of this date. 

All officers are commanded to afford him all 
such facilities as he may deem necessary for get- 
ting to sea as soon as possible. 

He will select the officers to accompany him. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
Recommended, William H. Seward. 
[May 11, 1861. See Welles, Gideon.] 


[Message to Congress.] 

To the Senate and House of Representatives: 
In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most 
cordially recommend that Commander David D. 
Porter, United States Navy, acting rear-admiral 
commanding the Mississippi squadron, receive 
a vote of thanks of Congress for the bravery and 
skill displayed in the attack on the post of Arkan- 
sas, which surrendered to the combined military 
and naval forces on the 10th instant. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, January 28, 1863. 

[See also Lardner, John L.] 

Porter, Fitz-John. 
[Nov. 5, 1862. See McClellan, George B.] 

[Instruction to the Judge-Advocate-General.] 

War Department, 
Washington City, January 12, 1863. 
The Judge-Advocate-General is instructed to 
revise the proceedings of the court-martial in the 
case of Major-General Fitz-John Porter, and to 
report fully upon any legal questions that may 
have arisen in them, and upon the bearing of 
the testimony in reference to the charges and 
specifications exhibited against the accused, and 
upon which he was tried. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

[Indorsement on the Proceedings and Sentence 
of the Fits-John Porter Court-Martial.] 

Headquarters of the Army, 

Washington, January 13, 1863. 
In compliance with the Sixty-fifth Article of War, 


these whole proceedings are transmitted to the Secre- 
tary of War, to be laid before the President of the 
United States. 

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief. 

January 21, 1863. 
The foregoing proceedings, findings, and sen- 
tence in the foregoing case of Major-General 
Fitz-John Porter are approved and confirmed, 
and it is ordered that the said Fitz-John Porter 
be, and he hereby is, cashiered and dismissed 
from the service of the United States as a major- 
general of volunteers, and as colonel and brevet 
brigadier-general in the regular service of the 
United States, and forever disqualified from 
holding any office of trust or profit under the 
Government of the United States. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Porter, Howard. 
[See Scott, Winfield, March 1, 1865.] 

Prentice, George D. 
[Private and Confidential.} 

Springfield, Illinois, October 29, i860. 
George D. Prentice, Esq. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 26th is just re- 
ceived. Your suggestion that I in a certain 
event shall write a letter setting forth my con- 
servative views and intentions is certainly a very 
worthy one. But would it do any good? If I 
were to labor a month I could not express my 
conservative views and intentions more clearly 
and strongly than they are expressed in our plat- 



form and in my many speeches already in print 
and before the public. And yet even you, who 
do occasionally speak of me in terms of per- 
sonal kindness, give no prominence to these oft- 
repeated expressions of conservative views and 
intentions, but busy yourself with appeals to all 
conservative men to vote for Douglas, — to vote 
any way which can possibly defeat me, — thus 
impressing your readers that you think I am the 
very worst man living. If what I have already 
said has failed to convince you, no repetition of it 
would convince you. The writing of your let- 
ter, now before me, gives assurance that you 
would publish such a letter from me as you sug- 
gest ; but, till now, what reason had I to suppose 
the Louisville "Journal/' even, would publish a 
repetition of that which is already at its com- 
mand, and which it does not press upon the 
public attention? 

And now, my friend, — for such I esteem you 
personally, — do not misunderstand me. I have 
not decided that I will not do substantially what 
you suggest. I will not forbear from doing so 
merely on punctilio and pluck. If I do finally 
abstain, it will be because of apprehension that 
it would do harm. For the good men of the 
South — and I regard the majority of them as 
such — I have no objection to repeat seventy and 
seven times. But I have bad men to deal with, 
both North and South; men who are eager for 
something new upon which to base new misrep- 
resentations ; men who would like to frighten me, 
or at least to fix upon me the character of timid- 
ity and cowardice. They would seize upon 
almost any letter I could write as being an 
"awful coming down.'' I intend keeping my eye 


upon these gentlemen, and to not unnecessarily 
put any weapons in their hands. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
[The following indorsement appears on the 


The within letter was written on the day of its 
date, and on reflection withheld till now. It ex- 
presses the views I still entertain. 

A. Lincoln. 

Price, Mrs. Winifred E. 
[See Dodge, G. M., Jan. 24, 1865.] 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 12, 1863. 
Dear and honored Sir : Allow me to express 
the personal gratification I feel at the receipt 
of your very kind letter of the 7th of September, 
and to thank you most cordially for its wise and 
earnest words of counsel. 

Believe me, my dear sir, to be very respect- 
fully and sincerely your friend and servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Ramsey, Alexander. 

Executive Mansion, August 2J, 1862. 
Governor Ramsey, St. Paul, Minnesota: 

Yours received. Attend to the Indians. If 
the draft cannot oroceed, of course it will not 


proceed. Necessity knows no law. The govern- 
ment cannot extend the time. 

A. Lincoln. 

Ramsey, Major. 

Executive Mansion, October 17, 1861. 
My dear Sir: The lady bearer of this says 
she has two sons who want to work. Wanting 
to work is so rare a want that it should be en- 
couraged. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Ray, C. H. 

Springfield, November 20, 1858. 

My dear Sir : I wish to preserve a set of the 
last debates (if they may be called so), between 
Douglas and myself. . . . Please [send] me two 
copies of each number of your paper containing 
the whole. I wish to lay one away, and to 
put the other in a scrap-book. . . . 

I believe, according to a letter of yours to 
Hatch, you are "feeling like hell yet." Quit that. 
You will soon feel better. Another "blow up" 
is coming ; and we shall have fun again. Douglas 
managed to be supported both as the best instru- 
ment to put down and to uphold the slave power ; 
but no ingenuity can long keep the antagonism 
in harmony. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Raymond, Henry J. 

[Private and Confidential.] 

Springfield, Illinois, November 28, i860. 
Hon. Henry J. Raymond. 

My dear Sir : Yours of the 14th was received 



in due course. I have delayed so long to answer 
it, because my reasons for not coming before 
the public in any form just now had substan- 
tially appeared in your paper (the "Times"), and 
hence I feared they were not deemed sufficient 
by you, else you would not have written me as 
you did. I now think we have a demonstration 
in favor of my view. On the 20th instant Sen- 
ator Trumbull made a short speech, which I 
suppose you have both seen and approved. Has 
a single newspaper, heretofore against us, urged 
that speech upon its readers with a purpose to 
quiet public anxiety ? Not one, so far as I know. 
On the contrary, the Boston "Courier" and its 
class hold me responsible for that speech, and en- 
deavor to inflame the North with the belief that 
it foreshadows an abandonment of Republican 
ground by the incoming administration; while 
the Washington "Constitution" and its class hold 
the same speech up to the South as an open 
declaration of war against them. This is just 
as I expected, and just what would happen with 
any declaration I could make. These political 
fiends are not half sick enough yet. Party mal- 
ice, and not public good, possesses them en- 
tirely. "They seek a sign, and no sign shall be 
given them." At least such is my present feeling 

and purpose. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 9, 1862. 
Hon. Henry J. Raymond. 

My dear Sir : I am grateful to the New York 



journals, and not less so to the "Times" than to 
others, for the kind notices of the late special 
message to Congress. 

Your paper, however, intimates that the prop- 
osition, though well intentioned, must fail on 
the score of expense. I do hope you will re- 
consider this. Have you noticed the facts that 
less than one half day's cost of this war would 
pay for all the slaves in Delaware at S400 per 
head — that eighty-seven days' cost of this war 
would pay for all in Delaware, Maryland, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, Kentucky, and Missouri at 
the same price? Were those States to take the 
step, do you doubt that it would shorten the 
war more than eighty-seven days, and thus be 
an actual saving of expense? 

Please look at these things and consider 
whether there should not be another article in 
the "Times." 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 15, 1864. 
Hon. Henry J. Raymond. 

My dear Sir : I have proposed to Mr. Greeley 
that the Niagara correspondence be published, 
suppressing only the parts of his letters over 
which the red pencil is drawn in the copy which 
I herewith send. He declines giving his consent 
to the publication of his letters unless these parts 
be published with the rest. I have concluded 
that it is better for me to submit for the time to 
the consequences of the false position in which 
I consider he has placed me than to subject the 
country to the consequences of publishing their 


discouraging and injurious parts. I send you 
this and the accompanying copy, not for publi- 
cation, but merely to explain to you, and that you 
may preserve them until the proper time shall 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
Rebecca Letter. 
[See Shields, James, Aug. 27, 1842.] 

Reed, Alexander. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 22, 1863. 
Rev. Alexander Reed. 

My dear Sir: Your note, by which you, as 
general superintendent of the United States 
Christian Commission, invite me to preside at 
a meeting to be held this day at the hall of the 
House of Representatives in this city, is received. 

While, for reasons which I deem sufficient, I 
must decline to preside, I cannot withhold my 
approval of the meeting and its worthy objects. 
Whatever shall be sincerely, and in God's name, 
devised for the good of the soldier and seaman 
in their bard spheres of duty, can scarcely fail 
to be blest. And whatever shall tend to turn our 
thoughts from the unreasoning and uncharitable 
passions, prejudices, and jealousies incident to 
a great national trouble such as ours, and to fix 
them upon the vast and long-enduring conse- 
quences, for weal or for woe, which are to result 
from the struggle, and especially to strengthen 
our reliance on the Supreme Being for the final 
triumph of the right, cannot but be well for 
us all. 


The birthday of Washington and the Christian 
Sabbath coinciding this year, and suggesting to- 
gether the highest interests of this life and of 
that to come, is most propitious for the meeting 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 
Reed, J. H. 

Springfield, Illinois, October 1, i860. 
J. H. Reed, Esq. 

My dear Sir: Yours of September 21st was 
received some time ago, but I could not till now 
find time to answer it. I never was in Mc- 
Donough County till 1858. I never said any- 
thing derogatory of Mr. Jefferson in McDonough 
County or elsewhere. About three weeks ago, 
for the first time in my life did I ever see or 
hear the language attributed to me as having 
been used toward Mr. Jefferson ; and then it 
was sent to me, as you now send, in order that 
I might say whether it came from me. I never 
used any such language at any time. You may 
rely on the truth of this, although it is my wish 
that you do not publish it. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Republican Convention of i860. 

[See page 80, volume five, present edition.] 

Reynolds, J. J. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 20, 1864. 
Major-General Reynolds : 

It would appear by the accompanying papers 


that Airs. Mary E. Morton is the owner, inde- 
pendently of her husband, of a certain building, 
premises and furniture, which she, with her chil- 
dren, has been occupying and using peaceably 
during the war until recently, when the Provost- 
Marshal has, in the name of the United States 
Government, seized the whole of said property, 
and ejected her from it. It also appears by her 
statement to me that her husband went off in 
the rebellion at the beginning, wherein he still 

It would seem that this seizure has not been 
made for any military object, as for a place of 
storage, a hospital, or the like, because this 
would not have required the seizure of the furni- 
ture, and especially not the return of furniture 
previously taken away. 

The seizure must have been on some claim of 
confiscation, a matter of which the courts, and 
not the provost-marshals or other military offi- 
cers, are to judge. In this very case would 
probably be the questions, "Is either the husband 
or wife a traitor?" "Does the property belong 
to the husband or to the wife?" "Is the property 
of the wife confiscable for the treason of the 
husband?" and other similar questions, all of 
which it is ridiculous for a provost-marshal to 
assume to decide. 

The true rule for the military is to seize such 
property as is needed for military uses and rea- 
sons, and let the rest alone. Cotton and other 
staple articles of commerce are seizable for mili- 
tary reasons. Dwelling-houses and furniture are 
seldom so. If Mrs. Morton is playing traitor 
to the extent of practical injury, seize her, but 


leave her house to the courts. Please revise and 
adjust this case upon these principles. 

Yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 
Rice, A. H. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 8, 1864. 
Hon. A. H. Rice, Boston, Massachusetts : 

Yours received. I have no other notice that 
the ox is mine. If it be really so, I present it 
to the Sailors' Fair as a contribution. 

A. Lincoln. 
Ripley, E. H. 

This introduces to Gen. Ripley the Hon. Rob't 
Dale Owen, of Indiana, an intelligent, disin- 
terested and patriotic gentleman, who wishes to 
talk briefly about arms. A. Lincoln. 

Jan. 22, 1 86 1. 

Robertson, George. 

Springfield, Illinois, August 15, 1855. 
Hon. George Robertson, Lexington, Kentucky. 

My dear Sir: The volume you left for me 
has been received. I am really grateful for the 
honor of your kind remembrance, as well as 
for the book. The partial reading I have already 
given it has afforded me much of both pleasure 
and instruction. It was new to me that the 
exact question which led to the Missouri Com- 
promise had arisen before it arose in regard to 
Missouri, and that you had taken so prominent 
a part in it. Your short but able and patriotic 


speech upon that occasion has not been improved 
upon since by those holding the same views, and, 
with all the lights you then had, the views you 
took appear to me as very reasonable. 

You are not a friend to slavery in the ab- 
stract. In that speech you spoke of "the peace- 
ful extinction of slavery," and used other expres- 
sions indicating your belief that the thing was 
at some time to have an end. Since then we 
have had thirty-six years of experience : and this 
experience has demonstrated, I think, that there 
is no peaceful extinction of slavery in prospect 
for us. The signal failure of Henry Clay and 
other good and great men, in 1849, to effect any- 
thing in favor of gradual emancipation in Ken- 
tucky, together with a thousand other signs, ex- 
tinguished that hope utterly. On the question 
of liberty as a principle, we are not what we 
have been. When we were the political slaves 
of King George, and wanted to be free, we called 
the maxim that "all men are created equal" a 
self-evident truth, but now when we have grown 
fat, and have lost all dread of being slaves our- 
selves, we have become so greedy to be masters' 
that we call the same maxim "a self-evident lie." 
The Fourth of July has not quite dwindled away ; 
it is still a great day — for burning fire-crackers ! ! ! 

That spirit which desired the peaceful ex- 
tinction of slavery has itself become extinct with 
the occasion and the men of the Revolution. 
Under the impulse of that occasion, nearly half 
the States adopted systems of emancipation at 
cnce, and it is a significant fact that not a single 
State has done the like since. So far as peace- 
ful voluntary emancipation is concerned, the 
condition of the negro slave in America, scarcely 


less terrible to the contemplation of a free mind, 
is now as fixed and hopeless of change for the 
better, as that of the lost souls of the finally 
impenitent. The Autocrat of all the Russias 
will resign his crown and proclaim his subjects 
free republicans sooner than will our American 
masters voluntarily give up their slaves. 

Our political problem now is, "Can we as a 
nation continue together permanently — forever — 
half slave and half free?" The problem is too 
mighty for me — may God, in his mercy, super- 
intend the solution. Your much obliged friend 
and humble servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 26, 1862. 
Hon. George Robertson. 

My dear Sir: A few days since I had a de- 
spatch from you which I did not answer. If I 
were to be wounded personally, I think I would 
not shun it. But it is the life of the nation. 
I now understand the trouble is with Colonel 
Utley : that he has five slaves in his camp, four 
of whom belong to rebels, and one belonging to 
you. If this be true, convey yours to Colonel 
Utley, so that he can make him free, and I will 
pay you any sum not exceeding five hundred 
dollars. Yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 
Rockwell, N. J. 

Springfield, January 21, 1846. 
N. J. Rockwell. 

Dear Sir: You perhaps know that General 
Hardin and I have a contest for the Whig nom- 
ination for Congress for this district. He has 


had a turn and my argument is "Turn about is 
fair play." I shall be pleased if this strike's you 
as a sufficient argument. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
Rogers, John. 

[Message to Congress.] 

To the Senate and House of Representatives : 
In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862. I 
most cordially recommend that Captain John 
Rogers, United States Navy, receive a vote of 
thanks from Congress for the eminent skill and 
gallantry exhibited by him in the engagement 
with the rebel armed iron-clad steamer Fingal, 
alias Atlanta, whilst in command of the United 
States iron-clad steamer Wcchaivkcn, which led 
to her capture on the 17th of June, 1863, and 
also for the zeal, bravery, and general good con- 
duct shown by this officer on many occasions. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, December 8, 1863. 

Roosevelt, R. B. 
[See Astor, J. J.] 

Roosevelt, Theodore. 
[See Scott, Winfield, Mar. 1, 1865.] 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 5, 1863. 
Major-General W. S. Rosecrans, Murfrees- 
borough, Tennessee: 
Your despatch announcing retreat of enemy 


has just reached here. God bless you and all 
with you ! Please tender to all, and accept for 
yourself, the nation's gratitude for your and their 
skill, endurance, and dauntless courage. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 12, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, 
Tennessee : 
Your despatch about "river patrolling" re- 
ceived. I have called the Secretary of the Navy, 
Secretary of War, and General-in-Chief to- 
gether, and submitted it to them, who promise 
to do their very best in the case. I cannot take 
it into my own hands without producing inex- 
tricable confusion. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 17, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans. 

My dear Sir: In no other way does the 
enemy give us so much trouble at so little ex- 
pense to himself as by the raids of rapidly mov- 
ing small bodies of troops, largely if not wholly 
mounted, harassing and discouraging loyal resi- 
dents, supplying themselves with provisions, 
clothing, horses, and the like, surprising and cap- 
turing small detachments of our forces, and 
breaking our communications. And this will in- 
crease just in proportion as his larger armies 
shall weaken and wane. Xor can these raids be 
successfully met by even larger forces of our own 
of the same kind acting merely on the defensive. 


I think we should organize proper forces and 
make counter raids. We should not capture so 
much of supplies from them as they have done 
from us, but it would trouble them more to re- 
pair railroads and bridges than it does us. What 
think you of trying to get up such a corps in 
your army? Could you do it without any or 
many additional troops (which we have not to 
give you), provided we furnish horses, suitable 
arms, and other appointments? Please consider 
this not as an order, but as a suggestion. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


While I wish the required arms to be fur- 
nished to General Rosecrans, I have made no 
promise on the subject except what you can 
find in the within copy of letter. 

A. Lincoln. 

March 27, 1863. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 17, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans. 

My dear Sir: I have just received your tele- 
gram saying that the "Secretary of War tele- 
graphed after the battle of Stone River: 'Any- 
thing you and your command want you can 
have,' " and then specifying several things you 
have requested and have not received. 

The promise of the Secretary, as you state it, 
is certainly pretty broad ; nevertheless it accords 
with the feeling of the whole government here 
toward you. I know not a single enemy of yours 
here. Still the promise must have a reasonable 


construction. We know you will not purposely 
make an unreasonable request, nor persist in one 
after it shall appear to be such. Now, as to the 
matter of a paymaster, you desired one to be 
permanently attached to your army, and, as I 
understand, desired that Major Larned should 
be the man. This was denied you; and you 
seem to think it was denied partly to disoblige 
you and partly to disoblige Major Larned — the 
latter, as you suspect, at the instance of Pay- 
master-General Andrews. On the contrary, the 
Secretary of War assures me the request was 
refused on no personal ground whatever, but 
because to grant it would derange, and substan- 
tially break up, the whole pay-system as now 
organized, and so organized on very full consid- 
eration and sound reason, as believed. There is 
powerful temptation in money; and it was and 
is believed that nothing can prevent the pay- 
masters speculating upon the soldiers but a sys- 
tem by which each is to pay certain regiments 
so soon after he has notice that he is to pay 
those particular regiments that he has no time 
or opportunity to lay plans for speculating upon 
them. This precaution is all lost if paymasters 
respectively are to serve permanently with the 
same regiments, and pay them over and over 
during the war. No special application of this 
has been intended to be made to Major Larned 
or to your army. And as to General Andrews, 
I have in another connection felt a little ag- 
grieved at what seemed to me his implicit fol- 
lowing the advice and suggestions of Major 
Larned — so ready are we all to cry out and 
ascribe motives when our own toes are pinched. 
Now as to your request that your commission 


should date from December, 1861. Of course 
you expected to gain something by this ; but you 
should remember that precisely so much as you 
should gain by it others would lose by it. If 
the thing you sought had been exclusively ours, 
we would have given it cheerfully; but, being 
the right of other men, we having a merely 
arbitrary power over it, the taking it from them 
and giving it to you became a more delicate 
matter and more deserving of consideration. 
Truth to speak, I do not appreciate this matter 
•of rank on paper as you officers do. The world 
will not forget that you fought the battle of 
Stone River, and it will never care a fig whether 
you rank General Grant on paper, or he so ranks 

As to the appointment of an aide contrary to 
your wishes, I knew nothing of it until I re- 
ceived your despatch; and the Secretary of War 
tells me he has known nothing of it, but will 
trace it out. The examination of course will 
extend to the case of R. S. Thomas, whom you 
say you wish appointed. 

And now be assured you wrong both yourself 
and us when you even suspect there is not the 
best disposition on the part of us all here to 
oblige you. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 25, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, 
Tenn. : 
Your despatches about General Davis and 
General Mitchell are received. General Davis' 


case is not particular, being simply one of a 
great many recommended and not nominated, 
because they would transcend the number al- 
lowed by law. General Mitchell [zvas] nominated 
and rejected by the Senate and I do not think it 
proper for me to re-nominate him without a 
change of circumstances such as the performance 
of additional service, or an expressed change of 
purpose on the part of at least some Senators 
who opposed him. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, April 23, 1863. 10.10 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, 
Tennessee : 
Your despatch of the 21st received. I really 
cannot say that I have heard any complaint of 
you. I have heard complaint of a police corps 
at Nashville, but your name was not mentioned 
in connection with it, so far as I remember. It 
may be that by inference you are connected with 
it, but my attention has never been drawn to it 
in that light. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, May 20, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans: 

Yours of yesterday in relation to Colonel Hag- 
gard is received. I am anxious that you shall 
not misunderstand me. In no case have I in- 
tended to censure you or to question your ability. 
In Colonel Haggard's case I meant no more than 
to suggest that possibly you might have been 
mistaken in a point that could [be] corrected. 


I frequently make mistakes myself in the many 
things I am compelled to do hastily. 

A. Lincoln. 
[Tele gram.} 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, Mav 20, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough : 

The President desires to know whether you 
have any late news from Grant, or any of the 
operations on the Mississippi. If you have, 
please report. 

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 


Washington, May 21, 1863. 4.40 p. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans : 

For certain reasons it is thought best for Rev. 
Dr. Jaquess not to come here. 

Present my respects to him, and ask him to 
write me fully on the subject he has in con- 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, May 27, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, 
Tennessee : 
Have you anything from Grant? Where is 
Forrest's headquarters ? 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, May 28, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Murfreesborough, 
Tennessee : 
I would not push you to any rashness, but I 


am very anxious that you do your utmost, short 
of rashness, to keep Bragg from getting off to 
help Johnston against Grant. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May 28, 1863. 
Major-General Rosecrans. 

My dear Sir: I have but a slight personal 
acquaintance with Colonel Jaquess, though I 
know him very well by character. 

Such a mission as he proposes I think prom- 
ises good, if it were free from difficulties, which 
I fear it cannot be. 

First. He cannot go with any government 
authority whatever. This is absolute and im- 

Secondly. If he goes without authority, he 
takes a great deal of personal risk — he may be 
condemned and executed as a spy. 

If, for any reason, you think fit to give Colonel 
Jaquess a furlough, and any authority from me 
for that object is necessary, you hereby have it 
for any length of time you see fit. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, August 10, 1863. 
My dear General Rosecrans : 

Yours of the 1st was received two days ago. 
I think you must have inferred more than Gen- 
eral Halleck has intended, as to any dissatisfac- 
tion of mine with you. I am sure you, as a 
reasonable man, would not have been wounded 
could you have heard all my words and seen all 


my thoughts in regard to you. I have not abated 
in my kind feeling for you and confidence in 
you. I have seen most of your despatches to 
General Halleck — probably all of them. After 
Grant invested Vicksburg I was very anxious 
lest Johnston should overwhelm him from the 
outside, and when it appeared certain that part 
of Bragg's force had gone and was going to 
Johnston, it did seem to me it was exactly the 
proper time for you to attack Bragg with what 
force he had left. In all kindness let me say it 
so seems to me yet. Finding from your de- 
spatches to General Halleck that your judgment 
was different, and being very anxious for Grant, 
I, on one occasion, told General Halleck I 
thought he should direct you to decide at once 
to immediately attack Bragg or to stand on the 
defensive and send part of your force to Grant. 
He replied he had already so directed in sub- 
stance. Soon after, despatches from Grant 
abated my anxiety for him, and in proportion 
abated my anxiety about any movement of yours. 
When afterward, however, I saw a despatch of 
yours arguing that the right time for you to 
attack Bragg was not before, but would be after, 
the fall of Vicksburg, it impressed me very 
strangely, and I think I so stated to the Secretary 
of War and General Halleck. It seemed no other 
than the proposition that you could better fight 
Bragg when Johnston should be at liberty to 
return and assist him than you could before 
he could so return to his assistance. 

Since Grant has been entirely relieved by 
the fall of Vicksburg, by which Johnston is also 
relieved, it has seemed to me that your chance 
for a stroke has been considerably diminished, 


and I have not been pressing you directly or 
indirectly. True, I am very anxious for East 
Tennessee to be occupied by us; but I see and 
appreciate the difficulties you mention. The 
question occurs, Can the thing be done at all? 
Does preparation advance at all? Do you not 
consume supplies as fast as you get them for- 
ward? Have you more animals to-day than 
you had at the battle of Stone's River? And 
yet have not more been furnished you since then 
than your entire present stock? I ask the same 
questions as to your mounted force. 

Do not misunderstand : I am not casting 
blame upon you ; I rather think by great exertion 
you can get to East Tennessee ; but a very im- 
portant question is, Can you stay there ? I make 
no order in the case — that I leave to General 
Halleck and yourself. 

And now be assured once more that I think 
of you in all kindness and confidence, and that 
I am not watching you with an evil eye. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 31, 1863. 
My dear General Rosecrans : 

Yours of the 22d was received yesterday. 
When I wrote you before, I did [not] intend, 
nor do I now, to engage in an argument with 
you on military questions. You had informed 
me you were impressed through General Hal- 
leck that I was dissatisfied with you; and I 
could not bluntly deny that I was without un- 
justly implicating him. I therefore concluded 
to tell you the plain truth, being satisfied the 


matter would thus appear much smaller than it 
would if seen by mere glimpses. I repeat that 
my appreciation of you has not abated. I can 
never forget whilst I remember anything that 
about the end of last year and beginning of this, 
you gave us a hard-earned victory, which, had 
there been a defeat instead, the nation could 
scarcely have lived over. 

Neither can I forget the check you so oppor- 
tunely gave to a dangerous sentiment which was 
spreading in the North. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Telegram in cipher.] 

War Department, 
September 22, 1863. 8.30 a. m. 
Major-Gen. ral Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 
We have not a word here as to the where- 
abouts or condition of your army up to a later 
hour than sunset, Sunday the 20th. Your de- 
spatches to me of 9 a. m., and to General Hal- 
leck of 2 p. m., yesterday, tell us nothing later 
on those points. Please relieve my anxiety as 
to the position and condition of your army up 
to the latest moment. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, September 21, 1863. 12.55 P- m - 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga: 

Be of good cheer. We have unabated confi- 
dence in you, and in your soldiers and officers. 
In the main you must be the judge as to what is 
to be done. If I were to suggest, I would say, 


save your army by taking strong positions until 
Burnside joins you, when, I hope, you can turn 
the tide. I think you had better send a courier 
to Burnside to hurry him up. We cannot reach 
him by telegraph. We suppose some force is 
going to you from Corinth, but for want of 
communication we do not know how they are 
getting along. We shall do our utmost to assist 
you. Send us your present positions. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, September 23, 1863. 9.15 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 

Below is Bragg's despatch as found in the 
Richmond papers. You see he does not claim 
so many prisoners or captured guns as you were 
inclined to concede. He also confesses to heavy 
loss. An exchanged general of ours leaving 
Richmond yesterday says two of Longstreet's 
divisions and his entire artillery and two of 
Pickett's brigades and Wise's legion have gone 
to Tennessee. He mentions no other. 

Chickamauga River, 
September 20 (via Ringold, 21st). 
General Cooper, Adjutant-General: 

After two days' hard fighting we have driven the 
enemy, after a desperate resistance, from several posi- 
tions, and now hold the field ; but he still confronts us. 
The losses are heavy on both sides, especially in our 
officers. We have taken over twenty pieces of artillery 
and some 2500 prisoners. 

Braxton Bragg. 

A. Lincoln. 



War Department, 
September 24, 1863. 10 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 
Last night we received the rebel accounts, 
through Richmond papers, of your late battle. 
They give Major-General Hood as mortally 
wounded, and Brigadiers Preston Smith, Wof- 
ford, Walthall, Helm of Kentucky, and Deshler 
killed, and Major-Generals Preston, Cleburne, 
and Gregg, and Brigadier-Generals Benning, 
Adams, Bunn, Brown, and John [B. H.] Helm 
wounded. By confusion the two Helms may 
be the same man, and Bunn and Brown may be 
the same man. With Burnside, Sherman, and 
from elsewhere we shall get to you from forty to 
sixty thousand additional men. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 28, 1863. 
My dear General Rosecrans : 

We are sending you two small corps, one 
under General Howard and one under General 
Slocum, and the whole under General Hooker. 

Un fortunately the relations between Generals 
Hooker and Slocum are not such as to promise 
good, if their present relative positions remain. 
Therefore, let me beg — almost enjoin upon 
you — that on their reaching you, you will make 
a transposition by which General Slocum with 
his corps may pass from under the command of 
General Hooker, and General Hooker, in turn, 
receive some other equal force. It is important 


for this to be done, though we could not well 
arrange it here. Please do it. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 

September 28, 1863. 8 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 
You can perhaps communicate with General 
Burnside more rapidly by sending telegrams de- 
rectly to him at Knoxville. Think of it. I send 
a like despatch to him. 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 
October 4, 1863. 11.30 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 
Yours of yesterday received. If we can hold 
Chattanooga and East Tennessee, I think the 
rebellion must dwindle and die. I think you and 
Burnside can do this, and hence doing so is your 
main object. Of course to greatly damage or 
destroy the enemy in your front would be a 
greater object, because it would include the 
former and more, but it is not so certainly within 
your power. I understand the main body of the 
enemy is very near you, so near that you could 
"board at home," so to speak, and menace or 
attack him any day. Would not the doing of 
this be your best mode of counteracting his raid 
on your communications? But this is not an 
order. I intend doing something like what you 


suggest whenever the case shall appear ripe 
enough to have it accepted in the true under- 
standing rather than as a confession of weakness 
and fear. 

A. Lincoln. 

[Telegram in Cipher.] 

War Department, 
October 12, 1863. 8.35 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 
As I understand, Burnside is menaced from 
the west, and so cannot go to you without sur- 
rendering East Tennessee. I now think the 
enemy will not attack Chattanooga and I think 
you will have to look out for his making a con- 
centrated drive at Burnside. You and Burnside 
now have him by the throat; and he must break 
your hold or perish. I therefore think you 
better try to hold the road up to Kingston, leav- 
ing Burnside to what is above there. Sherman 
is coming to you, though gaps in the telegraph 
prevent our knowing how far he is advanced. 
He and Hooker will so support you on the west 
and northwest as to enable you to look east and 
northeast. This is not an order. General Hal- 
leck will give his views. 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, 

October 19, 1863. 9 a. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee : 
There has been no battle recently at Bull Run. 


I suppose what you have heard a rumor of was 
not a general battle but an "affair" at Bristow 
Station, on the railroad a few miles beyond 
Manassas Junction toward the Rappahannock, 
on Wednesday, the 14th. It began by an attack 
of the enemy upon General Warren, and ended 
in the enemy being repulsed with a loss of four 
cannon and from four to seven hundred pris- 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 

Washington, November 14, 1863. 12.15 P- m « 
Major-General Rosecrans, Cincinnati, Ohio: 

I have received and considered your despatch 
of yesterday. Of the reports you mention, I 
have not the means of seeing any except your 
own. Besides this, the publication might be im- 
proper in view of the court of inquiry which has 
been ordered. With every disposition, not merely 
to do justice, but to oblige you, I feel constrained 
to say I think the publications better not be made 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., March 10, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans: 

Please carefully examine and consider the 
question whether, on the whole, it would be 
advantageous to our military operations for the 
United States to furnish iron for completing the 
southwest branch of the Pacific Railroad, all 
or any part of the way from Rolla to Springfield, 
Missouri, so fast as the company shall do all 
the other work for the completion, and to re- 


ceive pay for said iron in transportation upon 
said newly made part of said road; and if your 
opinion shall be in the affirmative, make a con- 
tract with the company to that effect, subject to 
my approval or rejection. In any event, report 
the main facts, together with your reasoning, 
to me. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 4, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans : 

My dear Sir : This is rather more social than 
official; containing suggestions rather than 
orders. I somewhat dread the effect of your 
Special Order No. 61, dated March 7, 1864. 
I have found that men who have not even been 
suspected of disloyalty are very averse to tak- 
ing an oath of any sort as a condition to exercis- 
ing an ordinary right of citizenship. The point 
will probably be made that while men may, 
without an oath, assemble in a noisy political 
meeting, they must take the oath to assemble in 
a religious meeting. It is said, I know not 
whether truly, that in some parts of Missouri 
assassinations are systematically committed upon 
returned rebels who wish to ground arms and 
behave themselves. This should not be. Of 
course I have not heard that you give counte- 
nance to or wink at such assassinations. Again, 
it is complained that the enlistment of negroes 
is not conducted in as orderly a manner and with 
as little collateral provocation as it might be. 
So far you have got along in the Department 
of the Missouri rather better than I dared to 


hope, and I congratulate you and myself 
upon it. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 23, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans, St. Louis, Missouri: 
A lady, Mrs. Ward, sister of the late John 
M. Weimer, is here, saying she is banished from 
St. Louis, her home, and asking to be allowed 
to return, on taking the oath and giving bond. 
It is exclusively with you to decide; but I will 
thank you to examine the case, and shall be 
glad if you find it consistent with your views to 
oblige her. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May 11, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans, St. Louis, Missouri : 
Complaints are coming to me of disturbances 
in Carroll, Platte, and Buchanan counties. 
Please ascertain the truth, correct what is found 
wrong, and telegraph me. 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, June 8, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans, St. Louis, Missouri: 
Yours of to-day received. I am unable to con- 
ceive how a message can be less safe by the 
express than by a staff-officer. If you send a 
verbal message, the messenger is one additional 
person let into the secret. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 10, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans : 

Major John Hay, the bearer, is one of my 
private secretaries, to whom please communicate, 
in writing, or verbally, anything you would think 
proper to say to me. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, June 13, 1864. 3 p. m. 
Major-General Rosecrans, St. Louis, Missouri: 
The President directs that the archives and 
papers of the Belgian consulate, alleged to have 
been taken from the possession of Mr. Hunt, 
late Belgian consul, by your provost-marshal, be 
returned to him, and that no proceedings be 
had against him without orders from this de- 
partment; that you release him if he be im- 
prisoned, and that you report by telegraph what 
proceedings, if any, have been had by your 
provost-marshal, or any other officer under your 
command, in reference to Mr. Hunt, or the 
papers and archives of his consulate, and the 
grounds or causes of such proceedings. 

Edwin M. Stanton. 


Washington, June 24, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans, St. Louis, Missouri: 
Complaint is made to me that General Brown 
does not do his best to suppress bushwhackers. 
Please ascertain and report to me. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 26, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans : 

One cannot always safely disregard a report, 
even which one may not believe. I have a report 
that you incline to deny the soldiers the right 
of attending the election in Missouri, on the as- 
sumed ground that they will get drunk and make 
a disturbance. Last year I sent General Scho- 
field a letter of instruction, dated October 1, 
1863, which I suppose you will find on the files 
of the department, and which contains among 
other things the following: "At elections see 
that those, and only those, are allowed to vote 
who are entitled to do so by the laws of Mis- 
souri, including as of those laws the restrictions 
laid by the Missouri Convention upon those who 
may have participated in the rebellion." This 
I thought right then, and think right now ; and, 
I may add, I do not remember that either party 
complained after the election of General Scho- 
fi eld's action under it. Wherever the law allows 
soldiers to vote, their officers must also allow it. 
Please write me on this subject. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 19, 1864. 
Major-General Rosecrans : 

A Major Wolf, as it seems, was under sentence 
in your department to be executed in retalia- 
tion for the murder of a Major Wilson, and 
I, without any particular knowledge of the facts, 
was induced by appeals for mercy to order the 
suspension of his execution till further order. 


Understanding that you so desire, this letter 
places the case again within your control, with 
the remark only that I wish you to do nothing 
merely for revenge, but that what you may do 
shall be solely done with reference to the security 
of the future. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
Rosette, John E. 

Springfield, 111., February 20, 1857. 
John E. Rosette, Esq. : 

Dear Sir: Your note about the little para- 
graph in the "Republican" was received yester- 
day, since which time I have been too unwell 
to notice it. I had not supposed you wrote or 
approved it. The whole originated in mistake. 
You know by the conversation with me that 
I thought the establishment of the paper unfor- 
tunate, but I always expected to throw no ob- 
stacle in its way, and to patronize it to the extent 
of taking and paying for one copy. When the 
paper was brought to my house, my wife said 
to me, "Now are you going to take another 
worthless little paper?" I said to her evasively, 
"I have not directed the paper to be left." From 
this, in my absence, she sent the message to the 
carrier. This is the whole story. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
Ross, John. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 25, 1862. 
John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee 
Sir: Your letter of the 16th instant was re- 


ceived two days ago. In the multitude of cares 
claiming my constant attention, I have been 
unable to examine and determine the exact treaty 
relations between the United States and the 
Cherokee Nation. Neither have I been able to 
investigate and determine the exact state of 
facts claimed by you as constituting a failure 
of treaty obligations on our part, and excusing 
the Cherokee Nation for making a treaty with a 
portion of the people of the United States in 
open rebellion against the government thereof. 

This letter, therefore, must not be understood 
to decide anything upon these questions. I shall, 
however, cause a careful investigation of them 
to be made. Meanwhile the Cherokee people 
remaining practically loyal to the Federal Union 
will receive all the protection which can be given 
them consistently with the duty of the govern- 
ment to the whole country. I sincerely hope the 
Cherokee Nation may not again be overrun by 
the enemy, and I shall do all I consistently can 
to prevent it. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Oct. 10, 1862. See Curtis, S. R.] 

Rowan, Stephen C. 
[See Lardner, John L.] 

Russell, Caleb, and Fenton, Sallie A. 

Washington, January 5, 1863. 
My Good Friends : 

The Honorable Senator Harlan has just placed 
in my hands your letter of the 27th of Decem- 
ber, which I have read with pleasure and grati- 


It is most cheering and encouraging for me 
to know that in the efforts which I have made 
and am making for the restoration of a righteous 
peace to our country, I am upheld and sus- 
tained by the good wishes and prayers of God's 
people. No one is more deeply than myself 
aware that without His favor our highest wis- 
dom is but as foolishness and that our most 
strenuous efforts would avail nothing in the 
shadow of His displeasure. 

I am conscious of no desire for my country's 
welfare that is not in consonance with His will, 
and of no plan upon which we may not ask His 
blessing. It seems to me that if there be one sub- 
ject upon which all good men may unitedly agree, 
it is imploring the gracious favor of the God of 
Nations upon the struggles our people are making 
for the preservation of their precious birthright of 
civil and religious liberty. 

Very truly your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

Sands, Nathaniel. 

[See Astor, J. J.] 

Sands, . 


After the report mentioned was made, this case, 
including the report, was brought before me, and 
upon quite full hearing and consideration, my 
conclusion was that Mr. Sands is probably a 
rather disagreeable man, and that these charges 
made to get rid of him are frivolous. Such is 
my present impression. 

A. Lincoln. 

August 10, 1863. 


Sanders, George N. 
[See Clay, Clement C] 

Sanford, Porter & Striker. 

Springfield, March 10, 1855. 
Messrs. Sanford, Porter, & Striker, 
New York. 
Gentlemen : Yours of the 5th is received, as 
also was that of 15th Dec. last, inclosing bond of 
Clift to Pray. When I received the bond I was 
dabbling in politics, and of course neglecting 
business. Having since been beaten out I have 
gone to work again. 

As I do not practice in Rushville I to-day open 
a correspondence with Henry E. Dummer, Esq., 
of Beardstown, Ills., with the view of getting 
the job into his hands. He is a good man, if he 
will undertake it. Write me whether I shall do 
this or return the bond to you. 

Very respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 

Saxton, Rufus. 

War Department, May 24, 1862. 1 p. m. 
General Saxton: 

Geary reports Jackson with 20,000 moving 
from Ashby's Gap by the Little River turnpike, 
through Alclie, toward Centreville. This, he says, 
is reliable. He is also informed of large forces 
south of him. We know a force of some 15,000 
broke up Saturday night from in front of Fred- 
ericksburg and went we know not where. Please 
inform us, if possible, what has become of the 


force which pursued Banks yesterday; also any 
other information you have. 

A. Lincoln. 

[ Telegram. ] 

War Department, May 25, 1862. 6.50 p. m. 
General Saxton, Harper's Ferry : 

One good six-gun battery, complete in its men 
and appointments, is now on its way to you from 
Baltimore. Eleven other guns, of different sorts, 
are on their way to you from here. Hope they 
will all reach you before morning. As you have 
but 2500 men at Harper's Ferry, where are the 
rest which were in that vicinity and which we 
have sent forward? Have any of them been cut 

A. Lincoln. 
[ Telegram. ] 

War Department, May 25, 1862. 4.15 p. m. 
General Saxton, Harper's Ferry: 

If Banks reaches Martinsburg, is he any the 
better for it? Will not the enemy cut him from 
thence to Harper's Ferry? Have you sent any- 
thing to meet him and assist him at Martinsburg? 
This is an inquiry, not an order. 

A. Lincoln. 

[ Telegram. ] 

War Department, May 25, 1862. 
General Saxton, Harper's Ferry: 

I fear you have mistaken me. I did not mean 
to question the correctness of your conduct; on 
the contrary, I approve what you have done. As 
the 2500 reported by you seemed small to me, 
I feared some had got to Banks and been cut off 


with him. Please tell me the exact number you 
now have in hand. 

A. Lincoln. 

Scates, Walter B. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 21, 1865. 
Hon. Walter B. Scates, 

Centralia, Illinois: 
If you choose to go to New Mexico and reside, 
I will appoint you chief justice there. What say 
you? Please answer. 

A. Lincoln. 

Schaadt, Captain. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 30, 1863. 
Such facts are brought to my notice as induce 
me to withhold my approval of the dismissal of 
Captain Schaadt, named within. He is satis- 
factorily proved to me to be of good character 
for candor and manliness, and generally ; and 
that he was most active and efficient in Pennsyl- 
vania last autumn in raising troops for the Union. 
All this should not retain him in the service if, 
since then, he has given himself in any way to 
the injury of the service. How this is I must 
understand better than I now do before I can 
approve his dismissal. What has he done ? What 
has he said? If, as is claimed for him, he is 
guilty of nothing but the withholding his vote or 
sanction from a certain resolution or resolutions, 


I think his dismissal is wrong, even though I 
might think the resolution itself right and very 
proper to be adopted by such as choose. Captain 
Schaadt will report himself to General Hunter 
and deliver him this paper for his further action. 

A. Lincoln. 

Schenck, Robert C. 

Headquarters Department N. E. Virginia, 

Arlington, June 17, 1861. 
Brigadier-General Schenck, 

Commanding Ohio Brigade. 
Sir: The general commanding directs that you send 
one of the regiments of your command on a train of 
cars up the London and Hampshire Railroad to the 
point where it crosses the wagon-road running from 
Fort Corcoran (opposite Georgetown) southerly into 

The regiment, being established at that point, will by 
suitable patrols feel the way along the road to Falls 
Church and Vienna, moving, however, with caution, 
and making it a special duty to guard effectually the 
railroad bridges and look to the track. 

The regiment will go supplied for a tour of duty of 
twenty-four hours, and will move on the arrival at your 
camp of a train of cars ordered for that purpose, and 
will relieve all the troops of Colonel Hunter's brigade 
now guarding the line. 

I am, sir, very respectfully your obedient servant, 
James B. Fry, A. A. G. 

As appears by the order, General Schenck was not 
ordered to go himself, but merely to send a regiment ; 
and he went himself because the colonels of both his 
regiments happened to be absent ; but he took Colonel 
McCook's regiment, and Colonel McCook overtook and 
joined him before the disaster occurred; and to whom 
(he being a regularly educated military man) the order 
was at once shown, and General Schenck did nothing 
afterward but upon his full concurrence. It is not 
true, as has been stated, that any notice was given 
General Schenck of a battery being at Vienna. It is 


true that a countryman told General Schenck he had 
heard there were troops at Vienna. He was asked if 
he had seen them, and he said not ; he was asked if he 
had seen any one who had seen them, and he said not; 
but he had seen a man who had heard there were troops 
there. This was heard by Colonel McCook as well as 
General Schenck; and on consultation they agreed that 
it was but a vague rumor. 

It is a fact that not an officer or private who was 
present at the disaster has ever cast a word of blame 
upon either General Schenck or Colonel McCook; but, 
on the contrary, they are all anxious to have another 
trial under the same officers. 

[ Telegram. ] 

War Department, June 14, 1863. 
Major-General Schenck : 

Get General Milroy from Winchester to Har- 
per's Ferry, if possible. He will be "gobbled 
up" if he remains, if he is not already past sal- 

A. Lincoln, President United States. 


Washington, July 4, 1863. ' 20 p. m. 
Major-General Schenck, 

Baltimore, Maryland: 
Your despatches about negro regiments are 
not uninteresting or unnoticed by us, but we have 
not been quite ready to respond. You will have 
an answer to-morrow. ^ Linco[n 

[Telegram in Cipher.] 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., July 12, 1863. 
Major-General Schenck, 

Baltimore, Md. : 
You seem to misunderstand the nature of the 


objection to General Tremble's going to Balti- 
more. His going there is opposed to prevent his 
meeting his traitorous associates there. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, 

July 14, 1863. 1.40 p. m. 
Major-General Schenck, 

Baltimore, Maryland : 
Mr. Jaquess is a very worthy gentleman, but 
I can have nothing to do, directly or indirectly, 
with the matter he has in view. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 23, 1863. 
Major-General Schenck. 

My dear Sir: Returning to the Executive 
Room yesterday, I was mortified to find you were 
gone, leaving no word of explanation. I went 
downstairs, as I understood, on a perfect under- 
standing with you that you would remain till my 
return. I got this impression distinctly from 
"Edward," whom I believe you know. Possi- 
bly I misunderstood him. I had been very unwell 
in the morning, and had scarcely tasted food 
during the day, till the time you saw me go 

I beg you will not believe I have treated you 
with intentional discourtesy. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


[ Telegram. ] 

Executive Mansion, Washington, 

October 21, 1863. 2.45 p. m. 
Major-General Schenck, 

Baltimore, Maryland: 
A delegation is here saying that our armed 
colored troops are at many, if not all, the land- 
ings on the Patuxent River, and by their pres- 
ence with arms in their hands are frightening 
quiet people and producing great confusion. 
Have they been sent there by any order, and 
if so, for what reason? 

A. Lincoln. 

[ Telegram. ] 

Executive Mansion, Washington, 

October 22, 1863. 1.30 p. m. 
Major-General Schenck, 

Baltimore, Maryland : 
Please come over here. The fact of one of our 
officers being killed on the Patuxent is a speci- 
men of what I would avoid. It seems to me we 
could send white men to recruit better than to 
send negroes and thus inaugurate homicides on 
punctilio. Please come over. 

A. Lincoln. 

Schenck, Robert C., and Blair, Frank P., Jr. 

To the House of Representatives : In obedience 
to the resolution of your honorable body, a copy 
of which is herewith returned, I have the honor 
to make the following brief statement, which is 
believed to contain the information sought : 

Prior to and at the meeting of the present 
Congress, Robert C. Schenck, of Ohio, and 


Frank P. Blair, Jr., of Missouri, members elect 
thereto, by and with the consent of the Senate 
held commissions from the executive as major- 
generals in the volunteer army. General 
Schenck tendered the resignation of his said 
commission, and took his seat in the House of 
Representatives, at the assembling thereof, upon 
the distinct verbal understanding with the Sec- 
retary of War and the executive that he might, 
at any time during the session, at his own pleas- 
ure, withdraw said resignation and return to 
the field. 

General Blair was, by temporary assignment of 
General Sherman, in command of a corps through 
the battles in front of Chattanooga, and in the 
march to the relief of Knoxville, which occurred 
in the latter days of November and early days 
of December last, and of course was not present 
at the assembling of Congress. When he sub- 
sequently arrived here, he sought, and was al- 
lowed by the Secretary of War and the executive, 
the same conditions and promise as allowed and 
made to General Schenck. 

General Schenck has not applied to withdraw 
his resignation ; but when General Grant was 
made lieutenant-general, producing some change 
of commanders, General Blair sought to be as- 
signed to the command of a corps. This was 
made known to Generals Grant and Sherman, and 
assented to by them, and the particular corps for 
him designated. This was all arranged and un- 
derstood, as now remembered, so much as a 
month ago; but the formal withdrawal of Gen- 
eral Blair's resignation, and making the order 
assigning him to the command of the corps, were 
not consummated at the War Department until 


last week, perhaps on the 23d of April instant. 
As a summary of the whole, it may be stated that 
General Blair holds no military commission or 
appointment other than as herein stated, and 
that it is believed he is now acting as major- 
general upon the assumed validity of the com- 
mission herein stated, in connection with the 
facts herein stated, and not otherwise. 

There are some letters, notes, telegrams, orders, 
entries, and perhaps other documents, in connec- 
tion with this subject, which it is believed would 
throw no additional light upon it, but which will 
be cheerfully furnished if desired. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, April 28, 1864. 

[See also Bradford, A. W.] 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 12, 1864. 
Isaac M. Schermerhorn, Buffalo, New York. 

My dear Sir : Your letter, mentioned in your 
two telegrams, has not yet reached me, so that 
I am without knowledge of its particulars. I 
beg you to pardon me for having concluded that 
it is not best for me now to write a general letter 
to a political meeting. 

First, I believe it is not customary for one 
holding the office, and being a candidate for re- 
election, to do so; and, secondly, a public letter 
must be written with some care, and at some 
expense of time, so that having begun with your 
meeting, I could not well refuse others, and 



yet could not get through with all having equal 

Please tender to those you represent, my sin- 
cere thanks for the invitation, and my appeal 
to their indulgence for having declined their re- 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
[Dec. 10, 1862. See Curtis, S. R.] 

Schofield, John M. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May 27, 1863. 
General John M. Schofield. 

My dear Sir: Having relieved General Curtis 
and assigned you to the command of the De- 
partment of the Missouri, I think it may be of 
some advantage for me to state to you why I did 
it. I did not relieve General Curtis because of 
any full conviction that he had done wrong by 
commission or omission. I did it because of a 
conviction in my mind that the Union men of 
Missouri, constituting, when united, a vast ma- 
jority of the whole people, have entered into a 
pestilent factional quarrel among themselves — 
General Curtis, perhaps not of choice, being the 
head of one faction and Governor Gamble that of 
the other. After months of labor to reconcile 
the difficulty, it seemed to grow worse and worse, 
until I felt it my duty to break it up somehow; 
and as I could not remove Governor Gamble, I 
had to remove General Curtis. Now that you 
are in the position I wish you to undo nothing 
merely because General Curtis or Governor Gam- 
ble did it, but to exercise your own judgment, 


and do right for the public interest. Let your 
military measures be strong enough to repel the 
invader and keep the peace, and not so strong 
as to unnecessarily harass and persecute the peo- 
ple. It is a difficult role, and so much greater will 
be the honor if you perform it well. If both 
factions, or neither, shall abuse you, you will 
probably be about right. Beware of being as- 
sailed by one and praised by the other. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 22, 1863. 
General John M. Schofield. 

My dear Sir : Your despatch, asking in sub- 
stance whether, in case Missouri shall adopt 
gradual emancipation, the General Government 
will protect slave-owners in that species of prop- 
erty during the short time it shall be permitted 
by the State to exist within it, has been received. 
Desirous as I am that emancipation shall be 
adopted by Missouri, and believing as I do that 
gradual can be made better than immediate for 
both black and white, except when military ne- 
cessity changes the case, my impulse is to say 
that such protection would be given. I cannot 
know exactly what shape an act of emancipation 
may take. If the period from the initiation to the 
final end should be comparatively short, and the 
act should prevent persons being sold during 
that period into more lasting slavery, the whole 
would be easier. I do not wish to pledge the 
General Government to the affirmative support 
of even temporary slavery beyond what can be 
fairly claimed under the Constitution. I sup- 


pose, however, this is not desired, but that it is 
desired for the military force of the United 
States, while in Missouri, to not be used in sub- 
verting the temporarily reserved legal rights in 
slaves during the progress of emancipation. This 
I would desire also. I have very earnestly urged 
the slave States to adopt emancipation; and it 
ought to be, and is, an object with me not to 
overthrow or thwart what any of them may 
in good faith do to that end. You are therefore 
authorized to act in the spirit of this letter in 
conjunction with what may appear to be the 
military necessities of your department. Al- 
though this letter will become public at some 
time, it is not intended to be made so now. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

[ Telegram. ] 

War Department, 

Washington, July 13, 1863. 
General Schofield, St. Louis, Mo. : 

I regret to learn of the arrest of the "Demo- 
crat" editor. I fear this loses you the middle 
position I desired you to occupy. I have not 
learned which of the two letters I wrote you it 
was that the "Democrat" published, but I care 
very little for the publication of any letter I have 
written. Please spare me the trouble this is 
likely to bring. 

A. Lincoln. 
Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 20, 1863. 
Major-General John M. Schofield. 

My dear General : I have received and read 
your letter of the 14th of July. 


I think the suggestion you make, of discon- 
tinuing proceedings against Mr. McKee, a very- 
proper one. While I admit that there is an ap- 
parent impropriety in the publication of the let- 
ter mentioned, without my consent or yours, it 
is still a case where no evil could result, and 
which I am entirely willing to overlook. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, D. C, 

July 22, 1863. 10.45 a - m - 
Major-General Schofield, St. Louis, Mo. : 

The following despatch has been placed in my 
hands. Please look to the subject of it. 

Lexington, Mo., July 21, 1863. 
Hon. S. C. Pomeroy: 

Under Orders No. 63, the sheriff is arresting slaves 
of rebels inside our lines, and returning them in great 
numbers. Can he do it? Answer. 


A. Lincoln. 
[July 23, 1863. See Gamble, Hamilton R.] 


Washington, D. C, 

August 27, 1863. 8.30 a. m. 
General Schofield, St. Louis : 

I have just received the despatch which fol- 
lows from two very influential citizens of Kansas, 
whose names I omit. The severe blow they have 
received naturally enough makes them intemper- 
ate even without there being any just cause for 


blame. Please do your utmost to give them 
future security and to punish their invaders. 

A. Lincoln. 

On September 30, 1863, the President wrote General 
Schofield, at Saint Louis, Mo., enclosing a despatch 
which stated that Union men were being driven out of 

The President asked General Schofield to look into 
1 the matter, "and if true, in whole or part, put a stop 
to it." 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, October 1, 1863. 
General John M. Schofield: 

There is no organized military force in avowed 
opposition to the General Government now in 
Missouri, and if any such shall reappear, your 
duty in regard to it will be too plain to require 
any special instruction. Still, the condition of 
things both there and elsewhere is such as to 
render it indispensable to maintain for a time 
the United States military establishment in that 
State, as well as to rely upon it for a fair con- 
tribution of support to that establishment gen- 
erally. Your immediate duty in regard to Mis- 
souri now is to advance the efficiency of that 
establishment, and to so use it as far as prac- 
ticable to compel the excited people there to leave 
one another alone. Under your recent order, 
which I have approved, you will only arrest in- 
dividuals and suppress assemblies or newspapers 
when they may be working palpable injury to 
the military in your charge, and in no other case 
will you interfere with the expression of opin- 
ion in any form or allow it to be interfered with 
violently by others. In this you have a discretion 



to exercise with great caution, calmness, and for- 
bearance. With the matters of removing the in- 
habitants of certain counties en masse, and of 
removing certain individuals from time to time 
who are supposed to be mischievous, I am not 
now interfering, but am leaving to your own 
discretion. Nor am I interfering with what may- 
still seem to you to be necessary restrictions upon 
trade and intercourse. I think proper, however, 
to enjoin upon you the following: 

Allow no part of the military under your com- 
mand to be engaged in either returning fugi- 
tive slaves or in forcing or enticing slaves from 
their homes, and, so far as practicable, enforce 
the same forbearance upon the people. 

Report to me your opinion upon the availa- 
bility for good of the enrolled militia of the 

Allow no one to enlist colored troops except 
upon orders from you or from here, through you. 

Allow no one to assume the functions of con- 
fiscating property under the law of Congress, or 
otherwise, except upon orders from here. 

At elections see that those, and only those, are 
allowed to vote who are entitled to do so by the 
laws of Missouri, including, as of those laws, the 
restriction laid by the Missouri convention upon 
those who may have participated in the rebellion. 

So far as practicable, you will, by means of 
your military force, expel guerrillas, marauders, 
and murderers, and all who are known to harbor, 
aid, or abet them. But in like manner you will 
repress assumptions of unauthorized individuals 
to perform the same service because, under pre- 
tense of doing this, they become marauders and 
murderers themselves. 


To now restore peace, let the military obey 
orders, and those not of the military leave each 
other alone, thus not breaking the peace them- 

In giving - the above directions, it is not in- 
tended to restrain you in other expedient and 
necessary matters not falling within their range. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, 

October 2, 1863. 9 a. m. 
Major-General Schofield : 

I have just seen your despatch to Halleck about 
Major-General Blunt. If possible, you better 
allow me to get through with a certain matter 
here before adding to the difficulties of it. Mean- 
time supply me the particulars of Major-General 
Blunt's case. 

A. Lincoln. 
[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, D. C., 

October 4, 1863. 11 a. m. 
Major-General Schofield, St. Louis, Mo. : 

I think you will not have just cause to com- 
plain of my action. 

A. Lincoln. 
[Oct. 5, 1863. See Drake, Charles D.] 

[Private and Confidential.] 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 28, 1863. 
General John M. Schofield : 

There have recently reached the War Depart- 


ment, and thence been laid before me, from Mis- 
souri, three communications, all similar in import 
and identical in object. One of them, addressed 
to nobody, and without place or date, but having 
the signature of (apparently) the writer, is a 
letter of eight closely written foolscap pages. 
The other two are written by a different person, 
at St. Joseph, Mo., and of the dates, respectively, 
October 12 and 13, 1863, and each inclosing a 
large number of affidavits. The general state- 
ments of the whole are that the Federal and 
State authorities are arming the disloyal and dis- 
arming the loyal, and that the latter will all be 
killed or driven out of the State unless there 
shall be a change. In particular, no loyal man 
who has been disarmed is named, but the affi- 
davits show by name forty-two persons as dis- 
loyal who have been armed. They are as fol- 
lows: [The names are omitted.'] 

A majority of these are shown to have been 
in the rebel service. I believe it could be shown 
that the government here has deliberately armed 
more than ten times as many captured at Gettys- 
burg, to say nothing of similar operations in East 
Tennessee. These papers contain altogether 
thirty-one manuscript pages, and one newspaper 
in extenso, and yet I do not find it anywhere 
charged in them that any loyal man has been 
harmed by reason of being disarmed, or that any 
disloyal one has harmed anybody by reason of 
being armed by the Federal or State Govern- 
ment. Of course, I have not had time to care- 
fully examine all; but I have had most of them 
examined and briefed by others, and the result 
is as stated. The remarkable fact that the actual 
evil is yet only anticipated — inferred — induces 


me to suppose I understand the case; but I do 
not state my impression, because I might be 
mistaken, and because your duty and mine is 
plain in any event. The locality of nearly all 
this seems to be St. Joseph and Buchanan County. 
I wish you to give special attention to this region, 
particularly on election day. Prevent violence 
from whatever quarter, and see that the soldiers 
themselves do no wrong. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
[Sept. 26, 1864. See Rosecrans, W. S.] 

Washington,. D. C, Nov. 10, 1863. 
General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo. : 

I see a despatch here from Saint Louis, which 
is a little difficult for me to understand. It says 
"General Schofield has refused leave of absence 
to members in military service to attend the leg- 
islature. All such are radical and administration 
men. The election of two Senators from this 
place on Thursday will probably turn upon this 
thing." What does this mean ? Of course mem- 
bers of the legislature must be allowed to attend 
its sessions. But how is there a session before 
the recent election returns are in? And how is 
it to be at "this place" — and that is Saint Louis ? 
Please inform me. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C., November 11, 1863. 
General Schofield, Saint Louis, Mo. : 

I believe the Secretary of War has telegraphed 
you about members of the legislature. At all 
events, allow those in the service to attend the 


session, and we can afterward decide whether 
they can stay through the entire session. 

A. Lincoln. 
Schooler, . 

Washington, February 2, 1849. 

Friend Schooler : In these days of Cabinet mak- 
ing, we out West are awake as well as others. 
The accompanying article is from the "Illinois 
Journal," our leading Whig paper; and while it 
expresses what all the Whigs of the legislatures 
of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin have expressed, 
— a preference for Colonel Baker, — I think it is 
fair and magnanimous to the other Western as- 
pirants ; and, on the whole, shows by sound argu- 
ment that the West is not only entitled to, but 
is in need of, one member of the Cabinet. De- 
siring to turn public attention in some measure 
to this point, I shall be obliged if you will give 
the article a place in your paper, with or without 
comments, according to your own sense of pro- 

Our acquaintance, though short, has been very 
cordial, and I therefore venture to hope you will 
not consider my request presumptuous, whether 
you shall or shall not think proper to grant it. 
This I intend as private and confidential. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
Schurz, Carl. 

[May 13, 1861. See Cameron, Simon.] 

Washington, June 16, 1862. 
Brigadier-General Schurz, Mount Jackson, Vir- 
ginia : 
Your long letter is received. The information 
you give is valuable. You say it is fortunate that 


Fremont did not intercept Jackson ; that Jackson 
had the superior force, and would have over- 
whelmed him. If this is so, how happened it 
that Fremont fairly fought and routed him on the 
8th? Or is the account that he did fight and 
route him false and fabricated? Both General 
Fremont and you speak of Jackson having beaten 
Shields. By our accounts he did not beat Shields. 
He had no engagement with Shields. He did 
meet and drive back with disaster about 2000 
of Shields's advance till they were met by an 
additional brigade of Shields's, when Jackson 
himself turned and retreated. Shields himself 
and more than half his force were not nearer than 
twenty miles to any of it. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 24, 1862. 
General Carl Schurz. 

My dear Sir : I have just received and read 
your letter of the 20th. The purport of it is 
that we lost the late elections and the Adminis- 
tration is failing because the war is unsuccessful, 
and that I must not flatter myself that I am not 
justly to blame for it. I certainly know that if 
the war fails, the Administration fails, and that 
I will be blamed for it, whether I deserve it or 
not. And I ought to be blamed if I could do bet- 
ter. You think I could do better ; therefore, you 
blame me already. I think I could not do better ; 
therefore I blame you for blaming me. I under- 
stand you now to be willing to accept the help 
of men who are not Republicans, provided they 
have ''heart in it." Agreed. I want no others. 
But who is to be the judge of hearts, or of "heart 


in it"? If I must discard my own judgment and 
take yours, I must also take that of others ; and 
by the time I should reject all I should be advised 
to reject, I should have none left, Republicans 
or others — not even yourself. For be assured, 
my dear sir, there are men who have "heart in 
it" that think you are performing your part as 
poorly as you think I am performing mine. I 
certainly have been dissatisfied with the slowness 
of Buell and McClellan; but before I relieved 
them I had great fears I should not find suc- 
cessors to them who would do better; and I am 
sorry to add that I have seen little since to relieve 
those fears. 

I do not clearly see the prospect of any more 
rapid movements. I fear we shall at last find 
out that the difficulty is in our case rather than 
in particular generals. I wish to disparage no 
one — certainly not those who sympathize with 
me; but I must say I need success more than I 
need sympathy, and that I have not seen the so 
much greater evidence of getting success from 
my sympathizers than from those who are de- 
nounced as the contrary. It does seem to me 
that in the field the two classes have been very 
much alike in what they have done and what 
they have failed to do. In sealing their faith 
with their blood, Baker and Lyon and Bohlen 
and Richardson, Republicans, did all that men 
could do; but did they any more than Kearny 
and Stevens and Reno and Mansfield, none of 
whom were Republicans, and some at least of 
whom have been bitterly and repeatedly de- 
nounced to me as secession sympathizers ? I will 
not perform the ungrateful task of comparing 
cases of failure. 


In answer to your question, "Has it not been 
publicly stated in the newspapers, and apparently 
proved as a fact, that from the commencement 
of the war the enemy was continually supplied 
with information by some of the confidential sub- 
ordinates of as important an officer as Adjutant- 
General Thomas?" I must say "No," as far as 
my knowledge extends. And I add that if you 
can give any tangible evidence upon the subject, 
I will thank you to come to this city and do so. 
Very truly your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April n, 1863. 
Major-General Schurz. 

My dear Sir: I cannot comply with your re- 
quest to take your division away from the Army 
of the Potomac. General Hooker does not wish 
it done. I do not myself see a good reason why 
it should be done. The division will do itself 
and its officers more honor and the country more 
service where it is. Besides these general rea- 
sons, as I understand, the Army of the Potomac 
will move before these proposed changes could 
be conveniently made. I always wish to oblige 
you, but I cannot in this case. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, March 13, 1864. 
Major-General Schurz. 

My dear Sir : Yours of February 29 reached me 
only four days ago; but the delay was of little con- 


sequence because I found, on feeling around, I could 
not invite you here without a difficulty which at least 
would be unpleasant, and perhaps would be detrimental 
to the public service. Allow me to suggest that if you 
wish to remain in the military service, it is very dan- 
gerous for you to get temporarily out of it ; because, 
with a major-general once out, it is next to impossible 
for even the President to get him in again. With my 
appreciation of your ability and correct principle, of 
course I would be very glad to have your service for 
the country in the approaching political canvass ; but 
I fear we cannot properly have it without separating 
you from the military. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 23, 1864. 
Major-General Schurz. 

My dear Sir : The letter, of which the above 
is a copy, was sent to you before Mr. Willman 
saw me, and now yours of the 19th tells me you 
did not receive it. I do not wish to be more 
specific about the difficulty of your coming to 
Washington. I think you can easily conjecture 

I perceive no objection to your making a politi- 
cal speech when you are where one is to be 
made ; but quite surely speaking in the North 
and fighting in the South at the same time are 
not possible; nor could I be justified to detail 
any officer to the political campaign during its 
continuance and then return him to the 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

[July 27, 1864. See Johnson, Andrew.] 


Scott, Winfield. 

Lieutenant-General Scott. 

Mr. Lincoln tenders his sincere thanks to Gen- 
eral Scott for the copy of his "views," etc., which 
is received ; and especially for this renewed mani- 
festation of his patriotic purpose as a citizen, 
connected, as it is, with his high official position 
and most distingushed character as a military 

A. L. 

Springfield, Illinois, January n, 1861. 
Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott. 

My dear Sir: I herewith beg leave to ac- 
knowledge the receipt of your communication of 
the 4th instant, inclosing (documents Nos. 1, 2, 
3, 4, 5, and 6) copies of correspondence and notes 
of conversation with the President of the United 
States and the Secretary of War concerning vari- 
ous military movements suggested by yourself for 
the better protection of the government and the 
maintenance of public order. 

Permit me to renew to you the assurance of 
my high appreciation of the many past services 
you have rendered the Union, and of my deep 
gratification at this evidence of your present 
active exertions to maintain the integrity and 
honor of the nation. 

I shall be highly pleased to receive from time 
to time such communications from yourself as 
you may deem it proper to make to me. 
Very truly your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 



War Department, March 9, 1861. 
Lieutenant-General Scott. 

My dear Sir : I am directed by the President to 
say he desires you to exercise all possible vigi- 
lance for the maintenance of all the places within 
the military department of the United States, 
and to promptly call upon all the departments 
of the government for the means necessary to 
that end. 

Simon Cameron. 

Executive Mansion, March 9, 1861. 
Lieutenant-General Scott. 

My dear Sir: On the 5th instant I received 
from the Hon. Joseph Holt, the then faithful and 
vigilant Secretary of War, a letter of that date, 
inclosing a letter and accompanying documents 
received by him on the 4th instant from Major 
Robert Anderson, commanding Fort Sumter, 
South Carolina ; and copies of all which I now 
transmit. Immediately on receipt of them by 
me. I transmitted the whole to you for your 
consideration; and the same day you returned 
the package to me with your opinion indorsed 
upon it, a copy of which opinion I now also 
transmit to you. Learning from you verbally 
that since then you have given the subject a more 
full and thorough consideration, you will much 
oblige me by giving answers, in writing, to the 
following interrogatories : 

(1) To what point of time can Major Ander- 
son maintain his position at Fort Sumter, with- 
out fresh supplies or reinforcements? 

(2) Can you, with all the means now in your 


control, supply or reinforce Fort Sumter within 
that time? 

(3) If not, what amount of means, and of 
what description, in addition to that already at 
your control, would enable you to supply and 
reinforce that fortress within the time? 

Please answer these, adding such statements, 
information, and counsel as your great skill and 
experience may suggest. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, April 1, 1861. 
Lieutenant-General Scott. 

Would it impose too much labor on General 
Scott to make short comprehensive daily reports 
to me of what occurs in his department, in- 
cluding movements by himself, and under his 
orders, and the receipt of intelligence? If not, 
I will thank him to do so. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, April 25, 1861. 
Lieutenant-General Scott. 

My dear Sir : The Maryland legislature assem- 
bles to-morrow at Annapolis, and not improba- 
bly will take action to arm the people of that 
State against the United States. The question 
has been submitted to and considered by me, 
whether it would not be justifiable, upon the 
ground of necessary defense, for you, as general- 
in-chief of the United States army, to arrest or 
disperse the members of that body. I think it 
would not be justifiable nor efficient for the 
desired object. 



First, they have a clearly legal right to assem- 
ble; and we cannot know in advance that their 
action will not be lawful and peaceful. And if 
we wait until they shall have acted, their arrest 
or dispersion will not lessen the effect of their 

Secondly, we cannot permanently prevent their 
action. If we arrest them, we cannot long hold 
them as prisoners ; and, when liberated, they will 
immediately reassemble and take their action ; 
and precisely the same if we simply disperse them 
— they will immediately reassemble in some other 

I therefore conclude that it is only left to the 
commanding general to watch and await their 
action, which, if it shall be to arm their people 
against the United States, he is to adopt the most 
prompt and efficient means to counteract, even, if 
necessary, to the bombardment of their cities, 
and, in the extremest necessity, the suspension 
of the writ of habeas corpus. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


To the Commanding General, 

Army of the United States : 
You are engaged in suppressing an insurrection 
against the laws of the United States. If at 
any point on or in the vicinity of any military 
line which is now or which shall be used be- 
tween the city of Philadelphia and the city of 
Washington you find resistance which renders 
it necessary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus 
for the public safety, you personally, or through 
the officer in command at the point at which re- 


sistance occurs, are authorized to suspend the 
writ. Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, April 27, 1861. 


Executive Mansion, June 5, 1861. 
Lieutenant-General Scott. 

My dear Sir: Doubtless you begin to under- 
stand how disagreeable it is for me to do a thing 
arbitrarily when it is unsatisfactory to others 
associated with me. 

I very much wish to appoint Colonel Meigs 
quartermaster-general, and yet General Cameron 
does not quite consent. I have come to know 
Colonel Meigs quite well for a short acquaint- 
ance, and, so far as I am capable of judging, 
I do not know one who combines the qualities of 
masculine intellect, learning, and experience of 
the right sort, and physical power of labor and 
endurance, so well as he. 

I know he has great confidence in you, always 
sustaining, so far as I have observed, your opin- 
ions against any differing ones. 

You will lay me under one more obligation if 
you can and will use your influence to remove 
General Cameron's objection. I scarcely need tell 
you I have nothing personal in this, having never 
seen or heard of Colonel Meigs until about the 
end of last March. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


To the Commanding General, 

Army of the United States : 
You are engaged in suppressing an insurrection 


against the laws of the United States. If at any 
point on or in the vicinity of any military line 
which is now or which shall be used between 
the city of New York and the city of Wash- 
ington you find resistance which renders it neces- 
sary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus for 
the public safety, you personally, or through 
the officer in command at the point where re- 
sistance occurs, are authorized to suspend that 

Given under my hand and the seal of the 
United States at the city of Washington, this 
second day of July, a.d. 1861, and of the inde- 
pendence of the United States the eighty-fifth. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Washington, D. C, September 16, 1861. 

My dear Sir : Since conversing with you I have 
concluded to request you to frame an order 
for recruiting North Carolinians at Fort Hat- 
teras. I suggest it to be so framed as for us 
to accept a smaller force — even a company — if 
we cannot get a regiment or more. What is 
necessary to now say about officers you will 
judge. Governor Seward says he has a nephew 
(Clarence A. Seward, I believe) who would be 
willing to go and play colonel and assist in rais- 
ing the force. Still it is to be considered whether 
the North Carolinians will not prefer officers of 
their own. I should expect they would. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Lieutenant-General Scott. 


On October 14, 1861, President Lincoln authorized 
Lieutenant-General Winfield S. Scott to suspend, if 
necessary, the Writ of Habeas Corpus as far north as 
Bangor, Maine. 

[General Orders No. 94.] 

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 
Washington, November 1, 1861. 

The following order from the President of 
the United States announcing the retirement from 
active command of the honored veteran Lieu- 
tenant-General Winfield Scott will be read by the 
army with profound regret : 

/ "Executive Mansion, 

"Washington, November 1, 1861. 

"On the 1st day of November, a.d. 1861, upon 
his own application to the President of the United 
States, Brevet Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott 
is ordered to be placed, and hereby is placed, upon 
the list of retired officers of the army of the 
United States, without reduction in his current 
pay, subsistence, or allowances. 

"The American people will hear with sadness 
and deep emotion that General Scott has with- 
drawn from the active control of the army, while 
the President and a unanimous cabinet express 
their own and the nation's sympathy in his 
personal afflictions, and their profound sense of 
the important public services rendered by him 
to his country during his long and brilliant career, 
among which will ever be gratefully distinguished 
his faithful devotion to the Constitution, the 
Union, and the flag when assailed by parricidal 

"Abraham Lincoln." 


The President is pleased to direct that Major- 
General George B. McClellan assume the com- 
mand of the army of the United States. 

The headquarters of the army will be estab- 
lished in the city of Washington. 

All communications intended for the command- 
ing general will hereafter be addressed direct 
to the adjutant-general. 

The duplicate returns, orders, and other papers 
heretofore sent to the assistant adjutant-general, 
headquarters of the army, will be discontinued. 

By order of the Secretary of War: 

L. Thomas, Adjutant-General. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March I, 1865. 
To Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott, President ; 
Howard Potter, Wm. E. Dodge, Jr., and 
Theo. Roosevelt. 
Gentlemen: I have received your address on 
the part of the Bureau for the Employment of 
Disabled and Discharged Soldiers which has re- 
cently been established in connection with the 
Protective War Claim Association of the San- 
itary Commission. 

It gives me pleasure to assure you of my hearty 
concurrence with the purposes you announce, and 
I shall at all times be ready to recognize the 
paramount claims of the soldiers of the nation in 
the disposition of public trusts. I shall be glad 
also to make these suggestions to the several heads 
of departments. 

I am, very truly, your obedient servant, 

A, Lincoln. 


Scripps, John L. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 4, 1864. 
To John L. Scripps, Esq. 

Dear Sir : Complaint is made to me that you are 
using your official power to defeat Mr. Arnold's 
nomination to Congress. I am well satisfied with 
Mr. Arnold as a member of Congress, and I do 
not know that the man who might supplant him 
would be as satisfactory; but the correct princi- 
ple, I think, is that all our friends should have 
absolute freedom of choice among our friends. 
My wish, therefore, is that you will do just as 
you think fit with your own suffrage in the case, 
and not constrain any of your subordinates to 
[do] other than [as] he thinks fit with his. This 
is precisely the rule I inculcated and adhered to 
on my part, when a certain other nomination, 
now recently made, was being canvassed for. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 20, 1864. 
Hon. J. L. Scripps. 

My dear Sir: I have received and read yours 
of the 15th. Mine to you was only a copy, with 
names changed, of what I had said to another 
postmaster, on a similar complaint; and the two 
are the only cases in which that precise complaint 
has, as yet, been made to me. I think that in 
these cases I have stated the principle correctly 
for all public officers, and I certainly wish all 
would follow it. But I do not quite like to pub- 
lish a general circular on the subject, and it 


would be rather laborious to write a separate let- 
ter to each. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Sebastian, William K. 
[See Hurlbut, S. A., July 31, 1863.] 

Segar, Joseph. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 23, 18^3. 
Hon. Joseph Segar. 

My dear Sir : My recollection is that Accomac 
and Northampton counties (eastern shore of Vir- 
ginia) were not exempted from a proclamation 
issued some short while after the adjournment 
of Congress ; that some time after the issuing 
of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation 
in September, and before the issuing of the 
final one on January 1, 1863, you called on me 
and requested that the "eastern shore of Vir- 
ginia" might be exempted from both the summer 
proclamation and the final Emancipation Proc- 
lamation. I told you that the non-exemption of 
it from the former was a mere omission which 
would be corrected ; and that it should also be 
exempted from the final Emancipation Proclama- 
tion. The preliminary Emancipation Procla- 
mation does not define what is included or ex- 
cluded ; but only gives notice that this will be 
done in the final one. 

Both yourself and General Dix at different 
times (General Dix in writing) called my atten- 
tion to the fact that I had omitted to exempt 
the "eastern shore of Virginia" from the first 



proclamation; and this was all that was needed 
to have me correct it. Without being reminded 
by either him or yourself, I do not think I should 
have omitted to exempt it from the final Emanci- 
pation Proclamation; but at all events you did 
not allow me to forget it. Supposing it was 
your duty to your constituents to attend to these 
matters, I think you acted with entire good faith 
and fidelity to them. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, D. C, September 5, 1863. 
Hon. Joseph Segar, 

Fort Monroe, Va. : 
I have just seen your dispatch to the Sec- 
retary of War, who is absent. I also send a 
dispatch from Major Hayner of the 3d showing 
that he had notice of my order, and stating that 
the people were jubilant over it, as a victory over 
the Government extorted by fear, and that he had 
already collected about [$] 4,000 of the money. 
If he has proceeded since I shall hold him account- 
able for his contumacy. On the contrary, no dol- 
lar shall be refunded by my order until it shall 
appear that my act in the case has been accepted 
in the right spirit. 

A. Lincoln. 

Seward, William H. 

Springfield, Illinois, December 8, i860. 
My dear Sir: With your permission I shall at 
the proper time nominate you to the Senate for 
confirmation as Secretary of State for the United 


States. Please let me hear from you at your 
own earliest convenience. 

Your friend and obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Private and Confidential.} 

Springfield, Illinois, December 8, i860. 

My dear Sir : In addition to the accompanying 
and more formal note inviting you to take charge 
of the State Department, I deem it proper to 
address you this. Rumors have got into the 
newspapers to the effect that the department 
named above would be tendered you as a com- 
pliment, and with the expectation that you would 
decline it. I beg you to be assured that I have 
said nothing to justify these rumors. On the 
contrary, it has been my purpose, from the 
day of the nomination at Chicago, to assign you, 
by your leave, this place in the administration. 
I have delayed so long to communicate that pur- 
pose in deference to what appeared to me a 
proper caution in the case. Nothing has been 
developed to change my view in the premises ; and 
I now offer you the place in the hope that you 
will accept it, and with the belief that your posi- 
tion in the public eye, your integrity, ability, 
learning, and great experience, all combine to ren- 
der it an appointment preeminently fit to be made. 

One word more. In regard to the patronage 
sought with so much eagerness and jealousy, I 
have prescribed for myself the maxim, "Justice to 
all" ; and I earnestly beseech your cooperation in 
keeping the maxim good. 

Your friend and obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 



Springfield, Illinois, January i, 1861. 
Hon. W. H. Seward. 

My dear Sir : Yours without signature was re- 
cived last night. I have been considering your 
suggestions as to my reaching Washington some- 
what earlier than is usual. It seems to me the 
inauguration is not the most dangerous point 
for us. Our adversaries have us now clearly at 
disadvantage. On the second Wednesday of 
February, when the votes should be officially 
counted, if the two Houses refuse to meet at 
all, or meet without a quorum of each, where 
shall we be? I do not think that this counting 
is constitutionally essential to the election; but 
how are we to proceed in absence of it ? 

In view of this, I think it best for me not 
to attempt appearing in Washington till the re- 
sult of that ceremony is known. It certainly 
would be of some advantage if you could know 
who are to be at the heads of the War and Navy 
departments ; but until I can ascertain definitely 
whether I can get any suitable men from the 
South, and who, and how many, I cannot well 
decide. As yet I have no word from Air. Gilmer 
in answer to my request for an interview with 
him. I look for something on the subject, 
through you, before long. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, January 12, 1861. 
Hon. W. H. Seward. 

My dear Sir : Yours of the 8th received. I still 
hope Mr. Gilmer will, on a fair understanding 


with us, consent to take a place in the cabinet. 
The preference for him over Mr. Hunt or Mr. 
Gentry is that, up to date, he has a living posi- 
tion in the South, while they have not. He is 
only better than Winter Davis in that he is 
farther South. I fear if we could get we could 
not safely take more than one such man — that 
is, not more than one who opposed us in the 
election, the danger being to lose the confidence 
of our own friends. 

Your selection for the State Department hav- 
ing become public, I am happy to find scarcely 
any objection to it. I shall have trouble with 
every other Northern cabinet appointment, so 
much so that I shall have to defer them as long 
as possible, to avoid being teased to insanity to 
make changes. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Private and Confidential.] 

Springfield, Illinois, February I, 1861. 
Hon. W. H. Seward. 

My dear Sir: On the 21st ult. Hon. W. Kel- 
logg, a Republican member of Congress of this 
State, whom you probably know, was here in a 
good deal of anxiety seeking to ascertain to what 
extent I would be consenting for our friends to 
go in the way of compromise on the now vexed 
question. While he was with me I received 
a despatch from Senator Trumbull, at Wash- 
ington, alluding to the same question and telling 
me to await letters. I therefore told Mr. Kel- 
logg that when I should receive these letters 
posting me as to the state of affairs at Wash- 
ington, I would write to you, requesting you to 


let him see my letter. To my surprise, when 
the letters mentioned by Judge Trumbull came 
they made no allusion to the "vexed question." 
This baffled me so much that I was near not 
writing you at all, in compliance to what I have 
said to Judge Kellogg. I say now, however, as 
I have all the while said, that on the territorial 
question — that is, the question of extending 
slavery under the national auspices — I am inflex- 
ible. I am for no compromise which assists or 
permits the extension of the institution on soil 
owned by the nation. And any trick by which 
the nation is to acquire territory, and then allow 
some local authority to spread slavery over it, 
is as obnoxious as any other. I take it that to 
effect some such result as this, and to put us 
again on the highroad to a slave empire, is the 
object of all these proposed compromises. I 
am against it. As to fugitive slaves, District 
of Columbia, slave-trade among the slave States, 
and whatever springs of necessity from the fact 
that the institution is amongst us, I care but little, 
so that what is done be comely and not alto- 
gether outrageous. Nor do I care much about 
New Mexico, if further extension were hedged 
against. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Willard's Hotel, 

Washington, March I, 1861. 
Hon. W. H. Seward. 

Dear Sir: If a successor to General Twiggs is 
attempted to be appointed, do not allow it to be 
done. Yours in haste, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, March 4, 1861. 
My dear Sir: Your note of the 2d instant, 
asking to withdraw your acceptance of my invi- 
tation to take charge of the State Department, 
was duly received. It is the subject of the 
most painful solicitude with me, and I feel con- 
strained to beg that you will countermand the 
withdrawal. The public interest, I think, de- 
mands that you should; and my personal feel- 
ings are deeply enlisted in the same direction. 
Please consider and answer by 9 a. m. to-morrow. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Chamber, March 7, 1861. 
My dear Sir: Herewith is the diplomatic ad- 
dress and my reply. To whom the reply should 
be addressed — that is, by what title or style — I 
do not quite understand, and therefore I have left 
it blank. 

Will you please bring with you to-day the mes- 
sage from the War Department, with General 
Scott's note upon it, which we had here yester- 
day? I wish to examine the general's opinion, 
which I have not yet done. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, March 11, 1861. 
Hon. Secretary of State. 

My dear Sir : What think you of sending min- 
isters at once as follows: Dayton to England; 
Fremont to France; Clay to Spain; Corwin to 
Mexico ? 

We need to have these points guarded as 


strongly and quickly as possible. This is sug- 
gestion merely, and not dictation. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, March 18, 1861. 
Hon. Secretary of State. 

My dear Sir : I believe it is a necessity with 
us to make the appointments I mentioned last 
night — that is, Charles F. Adams to England. 
William L. Dayton to France, George P. Marsh 
to Sardinia, and Anson Burlingame to Austria. 
These gentlemen all have my highest esteem, but 
no one of them is originally suggested by me 
except Mr. Dayton. Mr. Adams I take because 
you suggested him, coupled with his eminent fit- 
ness for the place. Mr. Marsh and Mr. Burlin- 
game I take because of the intense pressure of 
their respective States, and their fitness also. 

The objection to this card fs that locally they 
are so huddled up — three being in New England 
and two from a single State. I have consid- 
ered this, and will not shrink from the responsi- 
bility. This, being done, leaves but five full 
missions undisposed of — Rome, China, Brazil, 
Peru, and Chili. And then what about Carl 
Schurz ; or, in other words, what about our Ger- 
man friends? 

Shall we put the card through, and arrange 
the rest afterward? What say you? 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Memorandum from Secretary Seward.} 

Some Thoughts for the President's Consideration, April 
1, 1861. 
First. We are at the end of a month's administration, 


and yet without a policy either domestic or foreign. 

Second. This, however, is not culpable, and it has even 
been unavoidable. The presence of the Senate, with the 
need to meet applications for patronage, have prevented 
attention to other and more grave matters. 

Third. But further delay to adopt and prosecute our 
policies for both domestic and foreign affairs would not 
only bring scandal on the administration, but danger 
upon the country. 

Fourth. To do this we must dismiss the applicants 
for office. But how? I suggest that we make the local 
appointments forthwith, leaving foreign or general ones 
for ulterior and occasional action. 

Fifth. The policy at home. I am aware that my views 
are singular, and perhaps not sufficiently explained. My 
system is built upon this idea as a ruling one, namely, 
that we must 

Change the question before the public from one 
upon slavery, or about slavery, for a question upon 


In other words, from what would be regarded as a, 
party question, to one of patriotism or union. 

The occupation or evacuation of Fort Sumter, al- 
though not in fact a slavery or a party question, is so 
regarded. Witness the temper manifested by the Repub- 
licans in the free States, and even by the Union men in 
the South. 

I would therefore terminate it as a safe means for 
changing the issue. I deem it fortunate that the last 
administration created the necessity. 

For the rest, I would simultaneously defend and re- 
inforce all the ports in the gulf, and have the navy re- 
called from foreign stations to be prepared for a block- 
ade. Put the island of Key West under martial law. 

This will raise distinctly the question of union or dis- 
union. I would maintain every fort and possession in 
the South. 


I would demand explanations from Spain and France, 
categorically, at once. 

I would , seek explanations from Great Britain and 
Russia, and send agents into Canada, Mexico, and Cen- 
tral America to rouse a vigorous continental spirit of 


independence on this continent against European inter- 

And, if satisfactory explanations are not received from 
Spain and France, 

Would convene Congress and declare war against 

But whatever policy we adopt, there must be an ener- 
getic prosecution of it. 

For this purpose it must be somebody's business to 
pursue and direct it incessantly. 

Either the President must do it himself, and be all the 
while active in it, or 

Devolve it on some member of his cabinet. Once 
adopted, debates on it must end, and all agree and abide. 

It is not in my especial province; 

But I neither seek to evade nor assume responsibility. 

[Reply to Secretary Seward's Memorandum.} 

Executive Mansion, April i, 1861. 
Hon. W. H. Seward. 

My dear Sir : Since parting with you I have 
been considering your paper dated this day, and 
entitled "Some Thoughts for the President's Con- 
sideration." The first proposition in it is, "First, 
We are at the end of a month's administration, 
and yet without a policy either domestic or for- 

At the beginning of that month, in the inau- 
gural, I said : "The power confided to me will be 
used to hold, occupy, and possess the property 
and places belonging to the government, and to 
collect the duties and imposts." This had your 
distinct approval at the time ; and, taken in con- 
nection with the order I immediately gave Gen- 
eral Scott, directing him to employ every means 
in his power to strengthen and hold the forts, 
comprises the exact domestic policy you now 
urge, with the single exception that it does not 
propose to abandon Fort Sumter. 



Again, I do not perceive how the reinforce- 
ment of Fort Sumter would be done on a 
slavery or a party issue, while that of Fort 
Pickens would be on a more national and patri- 
otic one. 

The news received yesterday in regard to St. 
Domingo certainly brings a new item within the 
range of our foreign policy ; but up to that time 
we have been preparing circulars and instruc- 
tions to ministers and the like, all in perfect 
harmony, without even a suggestion that we had 
no foreign policy. 

Upon your closing propositions — that "what- 
ever policy we adopt, there must be an ener- 
getic prosecution of it. 

"For this purpose it must be somebody's busi- 
ness to pursue and direct it incessantly. 

"Either the President must do it himself, and 
be all the while active in it, or 

"Devolve it on some member of his cabinet. 
Once adopted, debates on it must end, and all 
agree and abide" — I remark that if this must be 
done, I must do it. When a general line of policy 
is adopted, I apprehend there is no danger of its 
being changed without good reason, or continuing 
to be a subject of unnecessary debate; still, upon 
points arising in its progress I wish, and suppose 
I am entitled to have, the advice of all the 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 7, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of State. 

My dear Sir: Mr. James F. B. Marshall, of 


Massachusetts, is now with me on the question of 
the Honolulu commissioner. It pains me some 
that this tilt for the place of Colonel Baker's 
friend grows so fierce now the colonel is no 
longer alive to defend him. I presume, however, 
we shall have no rest from it. Mr. Marshall 
appears to be a very intelligent gentleman, and 
well acquainted with the affairs of the Sand- 
wich Islands. The California delegation also 
expect the place for some one of their citizens. 
In self-defense I am disposed to say, "Make a 
selection and send it to me." 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, June 28, 1862. 
Hon. W. H. Seward. 

My dear Sir : My view of the present condi- 
tion of the war is about as follows: 

The evacuation of Corinth and our delay by 
the flood in the Chickahominy have enabled the 
enemy to concentrate too much force in Rich- 
mond" for McClellan to successfully attack. In 
fact there soon will be no substantial rebel force 
anywhere else. But if we send all the force 
from here to McClellan, the enemy will, before 
we can know of it, send a force from Richmond 
and take Washington. Or if a large part of the 
western army be brought here to McClellan, they 
will let us have Richmond, and retake Tennessee, 
Kentucky, Missouri, etc. What should be done 
is to hold what we have in the West, open the 
Mississippi, and take Chattanooga and East Ten- 
nessee without more. A reasonable force should 
in every event be kept about Washington for its 
protection. Then let the country give us a kun- 


dred thousand new troops in the shortest pos- 
sible time, which, added to McClellan directly or 
indirectly, will take Richmond without endan- 
gering any other place which we now hold, and 
will substantially end the war. I expect to main- 
tain this contest until successful, or till I die, or 
am conquered, or my term expires, or Congress 
or the country forsake me ; and I would publicly 
appeal to the country for this new force were it 
not that I fear a general panic and stampede 
would follow, so hard it is to have a thing under- 
stood as it really is. I think the new force should 
be all, or nearly all, infantry, principally because 
such can be raised most cheaply and quickly. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, June 29, 1862. 6 p. m. 
Hon. William H. Seward, 

Astor House, New York: 
Not much more than when you left. Fulton 
of "Baltimore American" is now with us. He 
left White House at 1 1 a. m. yesterday. He con- 
versed fully with a paymaster who was with 
Porter's force during the fight of Friday and fell 
back to nearer McClellan's quarters just a little 
sooner than Porter did, seeing the whole of it; 
stayed on the Richmond side of the Chicka- 
hominy over night, and left for White House at 
5 a. m. Saturday. He says Porter retired in per- 
fect order under protection of the guns arranged 
for the purpose, under orders and not from 
necessity; and with all other of our forces, ex- 
cept what was left on purpose to go to White 
House, was safely in pontoons over the Chicka- 


hominy before morning, and that there was heavy 
firing on the Richmond side, begun at five and 
ceased at 7 a. m. Saturday. On the whole, I 
think we have had the better of it up to that point 
of time. What has happened since we still know 
not, as we have no communication with General 
McClellan. A despatch from Colonel Ingalls 
shows that he thinks McClellan is fighting with 
the enemy at Richmond to-day, and will be to- 
morrow. We have no means of knowing upon 
what Colonel Ingalls founds his opinion. All 
confirmed about saving all property. Not a 
single unwounded straggler came back to White 
House from the field, and the number of 
wounded reaching there up to 11 a. m. Saturday 
was not large. 

A. Lincoln. 


War Department, June 30, 1862. 
Hon. Wm. H. Seward, New York: 

We are yet without communication with Gen- 
eral McClellan, and this absence of news is our 
point of anxiety. Up to the latest point to which 
we are posted, he effected everything in such 
exact accordance with his plans, contingently an- 
nounced to us before the battle began, that we 
feel justified to hope that he has not failed since. 
He had a severe engagement in getting the part 
of his army on this side of the Chickahominy 
over to the other side, in which the enemy lost 
certainly as much as we did. We are not dissat- 
isfied with this, only that the loss of enemies 
does not compensate for the loss of friends. The 
enemy cannot come below White House; cer- 
tainly is not there now, and probably has aban- 



doned the whole line. Dix's pickets are at New- 
Kent Court House. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 20, 1862. 
Hon. William H. Seward and Hon. Salmon P. 
Gentlemen : You have respectively tendered me 
your resignations as Secretary of State and Sec- 
retary of the Treasury of the United States. I 
am apprised of the circumstances which may ren- 
der this course personally desirable to each of 
you; but after most anxious consideration my 
deliberate judgment is that the public interest 
does not admit of it. I therefore have to request 
that you will resume the duties of your depart- 
ments respectively. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 21, 1863. 
Hon. Secretaries of State and of the Navy. 

Gentlemen : It is now a practical question for 
this government whether a government mail of a 
neutral power, found on board a vessel captured 
by a belligerent power, on charge of breach of 
blockade, shall be forwarded to its designated 
destination without opening, or shall be placed in 
custody of the prize court, to be, in the discretion 
of the court, opened and searched for evidence 
to be used on the trial of the prize cases. 
I will thank each of you to furnish me : 
First. A list of all cases wherein such question 
has been passed upon either by a diplomatic or 
a judicial decision. 


Secondly. All cases wherein mails under such 
circumstances have been without special decision 
either forwarded unopened, or detained and 
opened in search of evidence. 

I wish these lists to embrace as well the re- 
ported cases in the books generally, as the cases 
pertaining to the present war in the United 

Thirdly. A statement and brief argument of 
what would be the dangers and evils of forward- 
ing such mails unopened. 

Fourthly. A statement and brief argument of 
what would be the dangers and evils of detaining 
and opening such mails, and using the contents, 
if pertinent, as evidence. 

And, lastly, any general remarks that may 
occur to you or either of you. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, November 23, 1863. 
My dear Sir : Two despatches since I saw you ; 
one not quite so late on firing as we had before, 
but giving the points that Burnside thinks he can 
hold the place, that he is not closely invested, 
and that he forages across the river. The other 
brings the firing up to 11 a. m. yesterday, being 
twenty-three hours later than we had before. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 24, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of State. 

My dear Sir : A despatch from Foster, at Cin- 



cinnati, received half an hour ago, contains one 
from Wilcox at Cumberland Gap, without date, 
saying : "Fighting going on at Knoxville to-day." 
The want of date makes the time of fighting un- 
certain, but I rather think it means yesterday, 
the 23d. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, November 6, 1864. 
Hon. William H. Seward, Auburn, New York : 

Nothing of much importance. Day before 
yesterday rebels destroyed two or more of our 
wooden gunboats at Johnsonville on Tennessee 
River. Curtis, on the 4th, was at Fayetteville, 
Arkansas, still pursuing and damaging Price. 
Richmond papers say Yankees landed at Escam- 
bia Bay, below Hilton, not far from Mobile, cap- 
tured fifty men and destroyed all camp equipage, 
wagons, salt works, etc., and everything in and 
about Hilton. Richmond papers also confirm the 
destruction of the Albemarle, and the consequent 
evacuation of Plymouth, North Carolina. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, November 8, 1864. 
Hon. William H. Seward, Auburn, New York : 

News from Grant, Sherman, Thomas, and 
Rosecrans satisfactory, but not important. Pirate 
Florida captured by the Wachnsett October 7, 
on the coast of Brazil. The information is 

A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 31, 1865. 
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State : 

You will proceed to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, 
there to meet and informally confer with Messrs. 
Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, on the basis of 
my letter to F. P. Blair, Esq., of January 18, 
1865, a copy of which you have. You will make 
known to them that three things are indispensable 
— to wit : 

1. The restoration of the national authority 
throughout all the States. 

2. No receding by the executive of the United 
States on the slavery question from the position 
assumed thereon in the late annual message to 
Congress, and in preceding documents. 

3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end 
of the war, and the disbanding of all forces hos- 
tile to the government. 

You will inform them that all propositions of 
theirs, not inconsistent with the above, will be 
considered and passed upon in a spirit of sincere 
liberality. You will hear all they may choose to 
say and report it to me. You will not assume to 
definitely consummate anything. 

Yours, etc., 
Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, February 2, 1865. 
Hon. William H. Seward, Fortress Monroe, Vir- 
ginia : 
Induced by a despatch of General Grant, I join 
you at Fort Monroe, as soon as I can come. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 6, 1865. 
Hon. Secretary of State. 

My dear Sir: I have some wish that Thomas 
D. Jones, of Cincinnati, and John J. Piatt, now 
in this city, should have some of those moderate 
sized consulates which facilitate artists a little in 
their profession. Please watch for chances. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Seymour, Horatio. 

[Private and Confidential.] 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 23, 1863. 
His Excellency Governor Seymour. 

Dear Sir : You and I are substantially stran- 
gers, and I write this chiefly that we may become 
better acquainted. I, for the time being, am 
at the head of a nation that is in great peril, and 
you are at the head of the greatest State of that 
nation. As to maintaining the nation's life and 
integrity, I assume and believe there cannot be 
a difference of purpose between you and me. If 
we should differ as to the means, it is important 
that such difference should be as small as pos- 
sible ; that it should not be enhanced by unjust 
suspicions on one side or the other. In the per- 
formance of my duty the cooperation of your 
State, as that of others, is needed — in fact, is 
indispensable. This alone is a sufficient reason 
why I should wish to be at a good understanding 
with you. Please write me at least as long a letter 
as this, of course saying in it just what you 
think fit. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

i 3 2 LETTERS 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May 12, 1863. 
Governor Seymour, Albany, N. Y. : 

Dr. Swinburne and Mr. Gillett are here having 
been refused, as they say, by the War Depart- 
ment, permission to go to the Army of the Po- 
tomac. They now appeal to me saying you wish 
them to go. I suppose they have been excluded 
by a rule which experience has induced the de- 
partment to deem proper, still they shall have 
leave to go, if you- say you desire it. Please 

A. Lincoln. 


Albany, August 1, 1863. Rec'd 2 P. M. 
The President of the United States : 

I ask that the draft be suspended in this State until 
I can send you a communication I am preparing. 

Horatio Seymour. 

Washington, D. C, August 1, 1863. 4 p. m. 
His Excellencv Governor Seymour, Albany, New 
York : 
By what day may I expect your communication 
to reach me? Are you anxious about any part 
except the city and vicinity? 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, August 7, 1863. 
His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor of 
New York : 
Your communication of the third instant has 
been received and attentively considered. 

I cannot consent to suspend the draft in New 


York, as you request, because, among other rea- 
sons, time is too important. 

By the figures you send, which I presume are 
correct, the twelve districts represented fall into 
two classes of eight and four respectively. The 
disparity of the quotas for the draft in these two 
classes is certainly very striking, being the dif- 
ference between an average of 2200 in one class, 
and 4864 in the other. Assuming that the dis- 
tricts are equal one to another in entire popula- 
tion, as required by the plan on which they were 
made, this disparity is such as to require atten- 
tion. Much of it, however, I suppose will be ac- 
counted for by the fact that so many more per- 
sons fit for soldiers are in the city than in the 
country, who have too recently arrived from other 
parts of the United States and from Europe to 
be either included in the census of i860, or to 
have voted in 1862. Still, making due allowance 
for this, I am yet unwilling to stand upon it as an 
entirely sufficient explanation of the great dis- 

I shall direct the draft to proceed in all the 
districts, drawing, however, at first, from each 
of the four districts, to wit: the second, fourth, 
sixth, and eighth, only 2200 being the average 
quota of the other class. After this drawing, 
these four districts, and also the seventeenth and 
twenty-ninth, shall be carefully reenrolled, and, 
if you please, agents of yours may witness every 
step of the process. Any deficiency which may 
appear by the new enrolment will be supplied 
by a special draft for that object, allowing due 
credit for volunteers who may be obtained from 
these districts respectively during the interval. 
And at all points, so far as consistent with prac- 


tical convenience, due credits will be given for 
volunteers ; and your excellency shall be notified 
of the time fixed for commencing a draft in each 

I do not object to abide a decision of the 
United States Supreme Court, or of the judges 
thereof, on the constitutionality of the draft law. 
In fact, I should be willing to facilitate the ob- 
taining of it, but I cannot consent to lose the 
time while it is being obtained. We are con- 
tending with an enemy, who, as I understand, 
drives every able-bodied man he can reach into 
his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks 
into a slaughter-pen. No time is wasted, no 
argument is used. This produces an army which 
will soon turn upon our now victorious soldiers, 
already in the field, if they shall not be sustained 
by recruits as they should be. It produces an 
army with a rapidity not to be matched by our 
side, if we first waste time to reexperiment with 
the volunteer system already deemed by Con- 
gress, and palpably, in fact, so far exhausted as 
to be, inadequate, and then more time to obtain 
a court decision as to whether a law is constitu- 
tional which requires a part of those not now 
in the service to go to the aid of those who are 
already in it, and still more time to determine 
with absolute certainty that we get those who 
are to go in the precisely legal proportion to 
those who are not to go. My purpose is to be 
in my action just and constitutional, and yet prac- 
tical, in performing the important duty with 
which I am charged, of maintaining the unity 
and the free principles of our common country. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, August 11, 1863. 
His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor of 
New York : 

Yours of the 8th, with Judge- Advocate-General 
Waterbury's report, was received to-day. 

Asking you to remember that I consider time 
as being very important, both to the general 
cause of the country and to the soldiers already 
in the field, I beg to remind you that I waited, at 
your request, from the 1st till the 6th inst., to 
receive your communication dated the 3d. In 
view of its great length, and the known time 
and apparent care taken in its preparation, I did 
not doubt that it contained your full case as you 
desired to present it. It contained figures for 
twelve districts, omitting the other nineteen, as 
I supposed, because you found nothing to com- 
plain of as to them. I answered accordingly. 

In doing so I laid down the principle to which 
I purpose adhering, which is to proceed with 
the draft, at the same time employing infallible 
means to avoid any great wrongs. 

[Here follozv statistics of the quotas of the 
various districts. ] 

No part of my former letter is repudiated by 
reason of not being restated in this, or for any 
other cause. 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 16, 1863. 
Governor Seymour, New York : 

Your despatch of this morning is just received, 
and I fear I do not perfectly understand it. 


My view of the principle is that every soldier 
obtained voluntarily leaves one less to be obtained 
by draft. The only difficulty is in applying the 
principle properly. Looking to time, as hereto- 
fore, I am unwilling to give up a drafted man 
now, even for the certainty, much less for the 
mere chance of getting a volunteer hereafter. 
Again, after the draft in any district, would it not 
make trouble to take any drafted man out and 
put a volunteer in, for how shall it be determined 
which drafted man is to have the privilege of 
thus going out, to the exclusion of all the others ? 
And even before the draft in any district the 
quota must be fixed ; and the draft might be post- 
poned indefinitely if every time a volunteer is 
offered the officers must stop and reconstruct the 
quota. At least I fear there might be this diffi- 
culty; but, at all events, let credits for volunteers 
be given up to the last moment, which will not 
produce confusion or delay. That the principle 
of giving credits for volunteers shall be applied 
by districts seems fair and proper, though I do 
not know how far by present statistics it is prac- 
ticable. When for any cause a fair credit is not 
given at one time, it should be given as soon 
thereafter as practicable. My purpose is to be 
just and fair, and yet to not lose time. 

A. Lincoln. 

[Aug. 26, 1863. See Stanton, Edwin M.] 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 27, 1863. 
His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor of 
New York: 
Yours of the 21st, with exhibits, was received 
on the 24th. 



In the midst of pressing duties I have been un- 
able to answer it sooner. In the mean time the 
Provost-Marshal-General has had access to yours, 
and has addressed a communication in relation 
to it to the Secretary of War, a copy of which 
communication I herewith inclose to you. 

Independently of this, I addressed a letter on 
the same subject to the Secretary of War, a copy 
of which I also inclose to you. The Secretary 
has sent my letter to the Provost-Marshal-Gen- 
eral, with direction that he adopt and follow the 
course therein pointed out. It will, of course, 
overrule any conflicting view of the Provost-Mar- 
shal-General, if there be such. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

P. S. I do not mean to say that if the Provost- 
Marshal-General can find it practicable to give 
credits by sub-districts, I overrule him in that. 
On the contrary, I shall be glad of it ; but I will 
not take the risk of over-burdening him by order- 
ing him to do it. A. L. 

[February 27, 1864. See Stanton, Edwix M.] 

War Department, 

Washington, July 5, 1864. 
His Excellency Horatio Seymour, 
Governor of New York, Albany : 
The President directs me to inform you that 
a rebel force, variously estimated at from fifteen 
to twenty thousand men, have invaded the State 
of Maryland, and have taken Martinsburg and 
Harper's Ferry, and are threatening other points ; 
that the public safety requires him to call upon 
the State executives for a militia force to repel 
this invasion. He therefore directs me to call 


on you for a militia force of 12,000 men from 
your State to serve not more than one hundred 
days, and to request that you will with the utmost 
despatch forward the troops to Washington by 
rail or steamboat as may be most expeditious. 

Please favor me with an answer at your earliest 

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

Sharpe, H. D. 

Springfield, Dec. 8, 1858. 
H. D. Sharpe, Esq. : 

Dear Sir: Your very kind letter of Nov. 9th 
was duly received. I do not know that you ex- 
pected or desired an answer; but glancing over 
the contents of yours again, I am prompted to 
say that, while I desired the result of the late 
canvass to have been different, I still regard it 
as an exceeding small matter. I think we have 
fairly entered upon a durable struggle as to 
whether this nation is to ultimately become all 
slave or all free, and though I fall early in the 
contest, it is nothing if I shall have contributed, 
in the least degree, to the final rightful result. 
Respectfully yours, 

A. Lincoln. 

Sheahan, James W. 

Springfield, January 24, i860. 
James W. Sheahan, Esq. 

Dear Sir: Yours of the 21st, requesting copies 
of my speeches now in progress of publication 
in Ohio, is received. I have no such copies now 
at my control, having sent the only set I ever 
had to Ohio. Mr. George M. Parsons has taken 

S HEP LEY, G. F. 139 

an active part among those who have the matter 
in charge in Ohio ; and I understand Messrs. Fol- 
lett, Foster & Co. are to be the publishers. I 
make no objection to any satisfactory arrange- 
ment you may make with Mr. Parsons and the 
publishers; and if it will facilitate you, you are 
at liberty to show them this note. 

You labor under a mistake somewhat injurious 
to me, if you suppose I have revised the speeches 
in any just sense of the word. I only made some 
small verbal corrections, mostly such as an in- 
telligent reader would make for himself, not feel- 
ing justified to do more when republishing the 
speeches along with those of Senator Douglas, 
his and mine being mutually answers and replies 
to one another. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Shepley, G. F. 

[Oct. 14, 1862. See Butler, Benjamin F.] 
Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 21, 1862. 
Hon. G. F. Shepley. 

My dear Sir: Your letter of the 6th instant 
to the Secretary of War has been placed in my 
hands; and I am annoyed to learn from it that 
at its date nothing had been done about con- 
gressional elections. On the 14th of October I 
addressed a letter to General Butler, yourself, 
and others, upon this very subject, sending it 
by Hon. Mr. Bouligny. I now regret the neces- 
sity of inferring that you had not seen this let- 
ter up to the 6th instant. I inclose you a copy 
of it, and also a copy of another addressed to 
yourself this morning upon the same general 

i 4 o LETTERS 

subject, and placed in the hands of Dr. Kennedy. 
I ask attention to both. 

I wish elections for congressmen to take place 
in Louisiana ; but I wish it to be a movement of 
the people of the districts, and not a movement 
of our military or quasi-military authorities 
there. I merely wish our authorities to give the 
people a chance — to protect them against seces- 
sion interference. Of course the election cannot 
be according to strict law. By State law there 
is, I suppose, no election day before January; 
and the regular election officers will not act in 
many cases, if in any. These knots must be cut, 
the main object being to get an expression of 
the people. If they would fix a day in a way 
for themselves all the better; but if they stand 
idle, not seeming to know what to do, do you 
fix these things for them by proclamation. And 
do not waste a day about it, but fix the election 
day early enough, that we can hear the result 
here by the first of January. Fix a day for an 
election in all the districts, and have it held in 
as many places as you can. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 21, 1862. 
Hon. G. F. Shepley. 

Dear Sir: Dr. Kennedy, bearer of this, has 
some apprehension that Federal officers not citi- 
zens of Louisiana may be set up as candidates 
for Congress in that State. In my view there 
could be no possible object in such an election. 
We do not particularly need members of Con- 
gress from there to enable us to get along with 


legislation here. What we do want is the con- 
clusive evidence that respectable citizens of Lou- 
isiana are willing to be members of Congress and 
to swear support to the Constitution, and that 
other respectable citizens there are willing to 
vote for them and send them. To send a parcel 
of Northern men here as representatives, elected, 
as would be understood (and perhaps really so), 
at the point of the bayonet, would be disgusting 
and outrageous; and were I a member of Con- 
gress here, I would vote against admitting any 
such man to a seat. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

[See Banks, Nathaniel P., Aug. 5, 1863; Nov. 5, 
1863; Dec. 24, 1863.] 

Sheridan, Philip H. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 20, 1864. 
Major-General Sheridan, Winchester, Virginia : 

Have just heard of your great victory. God 
bless you all, officers and men. Strongly inclined 
to come up and see you. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 22, 1864. 
Major-General Sheridan : 

With great pleasure I tender to you and your 
brave army the thanks of the nation, and my 
own personal admiration and gratitude, for the 
month's Operations in the Shenandoah Valley; 


and especially for the splendid work of October 
19, 1864. 

Your obedient servant, 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Sherman, F. C, and Hayes, J. S. 


Washington, August 27, 1863. 
F. C. Sherman, Mayor, J. S. Hayes, Comptroller, 
Chicago, Illinois: 
Yours of the 24th, in relation to the draft, 
is received. It seems to me the government here 
will be overwhelmed if it_ undertakes to conduct 
these matters with the authorities of cities and 
counties. They must be conducted with the gov- 
ernors of States, who will, of course, represent 
their cities and counties. Meanwhile you need 
not be uneasy until you again hear from here. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, September 7, 1863. 
Yours of August 29 just received. I suppose 
it was intended by Congress that this government 
should execute the act in question without de- 
pendence upon any other government, State, city, 
or county. It is, however, within the range of 
practical convenience to confer with the govern- 
ments of States, while it is quite beyond that 
range to have correspondence on the subject 
with counties and cities. They are too numerous. 
As instances, I have corresponded with Governor 
Seymour, but not with Mayor Opdyke; with 
Governor Curtin, but not with Mayor Henry. 

A. Lincoln. 


Sherman, T. W. 
[See Cameron, Simon, Sept. 18, 1861.] 

Sherman, William T. 

[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, D. C, May 4, 1864. 
Major-General Sherman, Chattanooga, Tennes- 
I have an imploring appeal in. behalf of the cit- 
izens, who say your Order No. 8 will compel 
them to go north of Nashville. This is in no 
sense an order, nor is it even a request that you 
will do anything which in the least shall be a 
drawback upon your military operations, but any- 
thing you can do consistently with those opera- 
tions for those suffering people I shall be glad of. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 18, 1864. 
Major-General Sherman, Chattahoochee River, 
Georgia : 

I have seen your despatches, objecting to 
agents of Northern States opening recruiting 
stations near your camps. 

An act of Congress authorizes this, giving the 
appointment of agents to the States, and not to 
the executive government. It is not for the 
War Department or myself to restrain or modify 
the law in its execution further than actual neces- 
sity may require. 

To be candid, I was for the passage of the 
law, not apprehending at the time that it would 
produce such inconvenience to the armies in the 
field, as you now cause me to fear. Many of 


the States were very anxious for it, and I hoped 
that, with their State bounties, and active exer- 
tions, they would get out substantial additions to 
our colored forces, which, unlike white recruits, 
help us where they come from, as well as where 
they go to. I still hope advantage from the law ; 
and, being a law, it must be treated as such by 
all of us. 

We here will do what we consistently can to 
save you from difficulties arising out of it. 

May I ask therefore that you will give your 
hearty cooperation? 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, July 26, 1864. 
Major-General Sherman, near Atlanta: 

I have just seen yours complaining of the ap- 
pointment of Hovey and Osterhaus. The point 
you make is unquestionably a good one, and yet, 
please hear a word from us. My recollection is 
that both General Grant and yourself recom- 
mended both Hovey and Osterhaus for promo- 
tion, and these, with other strong recommenda- 
tions, drew committals from us which we could 
neither honorably nor safely disregard. We 
blamed Hovey for coming away in the manner in 
which he did, but we knew he had apparent 
reason to feel disappointed and mortified, and 
we felt that it was not best to crush one who 
certainly had been a good soldier. As to Oster- 
haus, we did not know of his leaving, at the time 
we made the appointment, and do not now know 
the terms on which he left. Not to have ap- 
pointed him, as the case appeared to us at the 
time, would have been almost, if not quite, a 
violation of our word. The word, was given on 


what we thought was high merit, and somewhat 
on his nationality. I beg you to believe we do 
not act in a spirit of disregarding merit; we 
expect to await your program for further changes 
and promotions in your army. My profoundest 
thanks to you and your whole army for the pres- 
ent campaign so far. > 

A. Lincoln. 

[ Telegram. ] 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 15, 1864. 
Major-General Sherman, near Atlanta, Georgia: 
If the government should purchase, on its own 
account, cotton northward of you, and on the 
line of your communications, would it be an incon- 
venience to you or detrimental to the military 
service for it to come to the north on the 
railroad, ? 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C., September 17, 1864. 10 a. m. 
Major-General Sherman, Atlanta, Georgia: 

I feel great interest in the subjects of your de- 
spatch mentioning corn and sorghum, and the 
contemplated visit to you. 

A. Lincoln, 
President of the United States. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., September 19, 1864. 
Major-General Sherman : 

The State election of Indiana occurs on the 
nth of October, and the loss of it, to the friends 
of the government, would go far toward losing 


the whole Union cause. The bad effect upon the 
November election, and especially the giving the 
State government to those who will oppose the 
war in every possible way, are too much to risk, 
if it can possibly be avoided. The draft pro- 
ceeds, notwithstanding its strong tendency to 
lose us the State. Indiana is the only important 
State, voting in October, whose soldiers cannot 
vote in the field. Anything you can safely do 
to let her soldiers, or any part of them, go home 
and vote at the State election will be greatly in 
point. They need not remain for the Presiden- 
tial election, but may return to you at once. 
This is in no sense an order, but is merely intended 
to impress you with the importance, to the army 
itself, of your doing all you safely can, yourself 
being the judge of what you can safely do. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, September 27, 1864. 
Major-General Sherman, Atlanta, Georgia: 

You say Jefferson Davis is on a visit to Hood. 
I judge that Brown and Stephens are the objects 
of his visit. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 26, 1864. 
My dear General Sherman: Many, many 
thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of 

When you were about leaving Atlanta for the 
Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful ; but 
feeling that you were the better judge, and 



remembering that "nothing risked, nothing 
gained," I did not interfere. Now, the under- 
taking being a success, the honor is all yours; 
for I believe none of us went further than to 

And taking the work of General Thomas into 
the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a 
great success. Not only does it afford the obvious 
and immediate military advantages ; but in show- 
ing to the world that your army could be divided, 
putting the stronger part to an important new 
service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the 
old opposing force of the whole, — Hood's army, — 
it brings those who sat in darkness to see a great 
light. But what next? 

I suppose it will be safe if I leave General 
Grant and yourself to decide. 

Please make my grateful acknowledgments to 
your whole army — officers and men. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Shields, James. 

Lost Townships, August 27, 1842. 
Dear Mr. Printer : I see you printed that long 
letter I sent you a spell ago. I'm quite encour- 
aged by it, and can't keep from writing again. 
I think the printing of my letters will be a good 
thing all round — it will give me the benefit of 
being known by the world, and give the world the 
advantage of knowing what's going on in the 
Lost Townships, and give your paper respecta- 
bility besides. So here comes another. Yester- 
day afternoon I hurried through cleaning up the 
dinner dishes and stepped over to Neighbor 
S to see if his wife Peggy was as well as 

i 4 8 LETTERS 

mout be expected, and hear what they called 
the baby. Well, when I got there and just turned 
round the corner of his log cabin, there he was, 
setting on the doorstep and reading a newspaper. 
"How are you, Jeff?" says I. He sorter started 
when he heard me, for he hadn't seen me before. 
"Why," says he, "I'm mad as the devil, Aunt 
'Becca !" "What about," says I ; "ain't its hair 
the right color? None of that nonsense, Jeff; 
there ain't an honester woman in the Lost Town- 
ships than" — "Than who?" says he; "what the 
mischief are you about?" I began to see I was 
running the wrong trail, and so sa\s I, "Oh! 
nothing : I guess I was mistaken a little, that's all. 
But what is it you're mad about?" 

"Why," says he, "I've been tugging ever since 
harvest, — getting out wheat and hauling it to the 
river to raise State Bank paper enough to pay 
my tax this year and a little school debt I owe; 
and now, just as I've got it, here I open this in- 
fernal Extra Register, expecting to find it full 
of 'Glorious Democratic Victories' and 'High 
Comb'd Cocks,' when, lo and behold ! I find a 
set of fellows calling themselves officers of the 
State, have forbidden the tax collectors and school 
commissioners to receive State paper at all ; and 
so here it is dead on my hands. I don't now 
believe all the plunder I've got will fetch ready 
cash enough to pav my taxes and that school 

I was a good deal thunderstruck myself; for 
that was the first I had heard of the proclama- 
tion, and my old man was pretty much in the 
same fix with Jeff. We both stood a moment 
staring at one another without knowing what 
to say. At last says I, "Mr. S , let me look 


at that paper." He handed it to me, when I 
read the proclamation over. 

"There now," says he, "did you ever see such 
a piece of impudence and imposition as that?" 
I saw Jeff was in a good tune for saying some 
ill-natured things, and so I tho't I would just 
argue a little on the contrary side, and make 
him rant a spell if I could. "Why," says I, 
looking as dignified and thoughtful as I could, 
"it seems pretty tough, to be sure, to have to 
raise silver where there's none to be raised ; but 
then, you see, 'there will be danger of loss' if it 
ain't done." "Loss ! damnation !" says he ; "I defy 
Daniel Webster, I defy King Solomon, I defy 
the world — I defy — I defy — yes, I defy even you, 
Aunt 'Becca, to show how the people can lose 
anything by paying their taxes in State paper." 

'"Well," says I, "you see what the officers of 
State say about it, and they are a desarnin' 
set of men. But," says I, "I guess you're mis- 
taken about what the proclamation says. It 
don't say the people will lose anything by the 
paper money being taken for taxes. It only 
says 'there will be danger of loss' ; and though it 
is tolerable plain that the people can't lose by 
paying their taxes in something they can get 
easier than silver, instead of having to pay silver ; 
and though it's just as plain that the State can't 
lose by taking State Bank paper, however 
low it may be, while she owes the bank 
more than the whole revenue, and can pay 
that paper over on her debt, dollar for dollar; — 
still there is danger 'of loss to the officers of 
State; and you know, Jeff, we can't get along 
without officers of State." 

"Damn officers of State!" says he. Says I, 


"You know I belong to the meetin', and swearin' 
hurts my feelings." 

"Beg pardon, Aunt 'Becca," says he; "but I 
do say it's enough to make Dr. Goddard swear, 
to have tax to pay in silver, for nothing only 
that Ford may get his two thousand a year, and 
Shields his twenty-four hundred a year, and 
Carpenter his sixteen hundred a year, and all 
without 'danger of loss' by taking it in State 
paper. Yes, yes; it's plain enough now what 
these officers of State mean by 'danger of loss.' 
Wash, I s'pose, actually lost fifteen hundred dol- 
lars out of the three thousand that two of these 
'officers of State' let him steal from the treasury, 
by being compelled to take it in State paper. 
Wonder if we don't have a proclamation before 
long, commanding us to make up this loss to 
Wash in silver." 

And so he went on till his breath ran out and 
he had to stop. I couldn't think of anything to 
say just then, and so I begun to look over the 
paper again. "Ay! here's another proclamation, 
or something like it." 

"Another ?" says Jeff, "one of them same three 
fellows again. Well, read it, and let's hear what 
of it." 

I read on till I came to where it says, "The 
object of this measure is to suspend the collec- 
tion of the revenue for the current year." 

"Now stop, now stop!" says he; "that's a lie 
a'ready and I don't want to hear of it." 

"Oh ! maybe not," says I. 

"I say it — is — a — lie. Suspend the collec- 
tion, indeed ! Will the collectors, that have taken 
their oaths to make the collection, dare to sus- 
pend it ? Is there anything in law requiring them 


to perjure themselves at the bidding of Tames 

"Will the greedy gullet of the penitentiary be 
satisfied with swallowing him instead of all of 
them, if they should venture to obey him? And 
would he not discover some 'danger of loss,' and 
be off about the time it came to taking their 
places ? 

"And suppose the people attempt to suspend, 
by refusing to pay; what then? The collectors 
would just jerk up their horses and cows, and 
the like, and sell them to the highest bidder for 
silver in hand, without valuation or redemption. 
Why, Shields didn't believe that story himself — 
it was never meant for the truth. If it was true, 
why was it not writ till five days after the proc- 
lamation? Why didn't Carlin and Carpenter 
sign it as well as Shields? Answer me that, 
Aunt 'Becca. I say it's a lie. and not a well told 
one at that. It grins out like a copper dollar. 
Shields is a fool as well as a liar. With him 
truth is out of the question ; and as for getting a 
good, bright, passable lie out of him, you might 
as well try to strike fire from a cake of tallow. 
I stick to it, it's all an infernal Whig lie !" 

"A Whig lie! Highty tighty!" 

"Yes, a Whig lie; and it's just like everything 
the cursed British Whigs do. First they'll do 
some devilment and then they'll tell a lie to hide 
it. And they don't care how plain a lie it is: 
they think they can cram any sort of a one down 
the throats of the ignorant Locofocos, as they 
call the Democrats." 

"Why, Jeff, you're crazy; you don't mean to 
say Shields is a Whig?" 

"Yes, I do." 


"Why, look here! the proclamation is in your 
own Democratic paper as you call it." 

"I know it; and what of that? They only 
printed it to let us Democrats see the deviltry the 
Whigs are at." 

"Well, but Shields is the Auditor of this 
Loco — I mean this Democratic State." 

"So he is, and Tyler appointed him to office." 

"Tyler appointed him?" 

"Yes (if you must chaw it over), Tyler ap- 
pointed him; or, if it wasn't him, it was old 
Granny Harrison, and that's all one. I tell you, 
Aunt 'Becca, there's no mistake about his being 
a Whig. Why, his very looks show it: if I was 
deaf and blind, I could tell him by the smell. 
I seed him when I was down in Springfield last 
Winter. They had a sort of gatherin' there one 
night among the grandees, they called a fair. All 
the gals about town was there, and all the hand- 
some widows and married women, finickin' about 
trying to look like gals, tied as tight in the mid- 
dle, and puffed out at both ends, like bundles 
of fodder that hadn't been stacked yet, but wanted 
stackin' pretty bad. And then they had tables 
all around the house kivered over with [ 
caps and pincushions and ten thousand such lit- 
tle knic-knacks, tryin' to sell 'em to the fellows 
that were bowin' and scrapin' and kungeerin' 
about 'em. They wouldn't let no Democrats in, 
for fear they'd disgust the ladies, or scare the 
little gals, or dirty the floor. I looked in at the 
window, and there was the same fellow Shields 
floatin' about on the air, without heft or earthly 
substances, just like a lot of cat-fur where cats 
had been fighting. 

"He was paying his money to this one, and that 


one, and t'other one, and suflerin' great loss be- 
cause it wasn't silver instead of State paper; 
and the sweet distress he seemed to be in, — his 
very features, in the ecstatic agony of his soul, 
spoke audibly and distinctly, 'Dear girls, it 
is distressing, but I cannot marry you all. Too 
well I know how much you suffer ; but do, do 
remember, it is not my fault that I am so hand- 
some and so interesting.' 

"As this last was expressed by a most exquisite 
contortion of his face, he seized hold of one of 
their hands, and squeezed, and held on to it about 
a quarter of an hour. 'Oh, my good fellow!' 
says I to myself, 'if that was one of our Demo- 
cratic girls in the Lost Townships, the way you'd 
get a brass pin let into you would be about up 
to the head.' He a Democrat ! Fiddlesticks ! I 
tell you, Aunt 'Becca, he's a Whig, and no mis- 
take: nobody but a Whig could make such a 
conceity dunce of himself." 

"Well," says I, "maybe he is ; but, if he is, I'm 
mistaken the worst sort. Maybe so, maybe so ; 
but, if I am, I'll suffer by it; I'll be a Democrat 
if it turns out that Shields is a Whig, consid- 
erin' you shall be a Whig if he turns out 
a Democrat." 

"A bargain, by jingoes!" says he; "but how 
will we find out?" 

"Why," says I, "we'll just write and ax the 

"Agreed again !" says he ; "and by thunder ! if 
it does turn out that Shields is a Democrat, I 
never will " 

"Jefferson ! Jefferson \" 

"What do you want, Peggy?" 

"Do get through your everlasting clatter some 

i 5 4 LETTERS 

time, and bring me a gourd of water; the 
child's been crying for a drink this livelong 

"Let it die, then; it may as well die for water 
as to be taxed to death to fatten officers of State." 

Jeff ran off to get the water, though, just like 
he hadn't been saying spiteful, for he's a real good- 
hearted fellow, after all, once you get at the foun- 
dation of him. 

I walked into the house, and, "Why, Peggy," 
says I, "I declare we like to forgot you alto- 

"Oh, yes," says she, "when a body can't help 
themselves, everybody soon forgets 'em; but, 
thank God ! by day after tomorrow I shall be well 
enough to milk the cows, and pen the calves, and 
wring the contrary ones' tails for 'em, and no 
thanks to nobody." 

"Good evening, Peggy," says I, and so I 
sloped, for I see she was mad at me for making 
Jeff neglect her so long. 

And now, Mr. Printer, will you be sure to 
let us know in your next paper whether this 
Shields is a Whig or a Democrat? I don't care 
about it for myself, for I know well enough how 
it is already ; but I want to convince Jeff. It may 
do some good to let him, and others like him, 
know who and what these officers of State are. 
It may help to send the present hypocritical set 
to where they belong, and to fill the places they 
now disgrace, with men who will do more work 
for less pay, and take a fewer airs while they 
are doing it. It ain't sensible to think that the 
same men who get us into trouble will change 
their course; and yet it's pretty plain if some 
change for the better is not made, it's not long 


that either Peggy or any of us will have a cow 
left to milk, or a calf's tail to wring. 

Yours truly, 


Tremont, September 17, 1842. 

A. Lincoln, Esq. : I regret that my absence on public 
business compelled me to postpone a matter of private 
consideration a little longer than I could have desired. 
It will only be necessary, however, to account for it by 
informing you that I have been to Quincy on business 
that would not admit of delay. I will now state briefly 
the reasons of my troubling you with this communica- 
tion, the disagreeable nature of which I regret, as I had 
hoped to avoid any difficulty with any one in Spring- 
field while residing there, by endeavoring to conduct 
myself in such a way amongst both my political friends 
and opponents as to escape the necessity of any. Whilst 
thus abstaining from giving provocation, I have become 
the object of slander, vituperation, and personal abuse, 
which, were I capable of submitting to, I would prove 
myself worthv of the whole of it. 

In two or three of the last numbers of "The 
Sangamon Journal," articles of the most personal na- 
ture and calculated to degrade me have made their 
appearance. On inquiring, I was informed by the editor 
of that paper, through the medium of my friend General 
Whitesides, that you are the author of those articles. 
This information satisfies me that I have become by 
some means or other the object of your secret hostility. 
I will not take the trouble of inquiring into the reason 
of all this ; but I will take the liberty of requiring a 
full, positive, and absolute retraction of all offensive 
allusions used by you in these communications, in rela- 
tion to my private character and standing as a man, 
as an apology for the insults conveyed in them. 

This may prevent consequences which no one will 
regret more than myself. 

Your obedient servant, 

Jas. Shields. 

Tremont, September 17, 1842. 
Jas. Shields, Esq.: Your note of to-day was 


handed me by General Whitesides. In that note 
you say you have been informed, through the 
medium of the editor of "The Journal," that I 
am the author of certain articles in that paper 
which you deem personally abusive of you ; and 
without stopping to inquire whether I really am 
the author, or to point out what is offensive in 
them, you demand an unqualified retraction of 
all that is offensive, and then proceed to hint at 

Now, sir, there is in this so much assumption 
of facts and so much of menace as to conse- 
quences, that I cannot submit to answer that note 
any further than I have, and to add that the con- 
sequences to which I suppose you allude would 
be matter of as great regret to me as it possibly 
could to you. Respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 

Tremont, September 17, 1842. 
A. Lincoln, Esq. : In reply to my note of this date, 
you intimate that I assume facts and menace con- 
sequences, and that you cannot submit to answer it 
further. As now, sir, you desire it, I will be a little 
more particular. The editor of "The Sangamon Jour- 
nal" gave me to understand that you are the author of 
an article which appeared, I think, in that paper of 
the 2d September instant, headed "The Lost Town- 
ships," and signed Rebecca or 'Becca. I would there- 
fore take the liberty of asking whether you are the 
author of said article, or any other over the same 
signature which has appeared in any of the late num- 
bers of that paper. If so, I repeat my request of an 
absolute retraction of all offensive allusion contained 
therein in relation to my private character and stand- 
ing. If you are not the author of any of these articles, 
your denial will be sufficient. I will say further, it is 
not my intention to menace, but to do myself justice. 
Your obedient servant, 

Jas. Shields. 


[Memorandum of Instructions to E. H. Merry- 
man, Lincoln's Second. 

In case Whitesides shall signify a wish to ad- 
just this affair without further difficulty, let him 
know that if the present papers be withdrawn, 
and a note from Mr. Shields asking to know if 
I am the author of the articles of which he com- 
plains, and asking that I shall make him gentle- 
manly satisfaction if I am the author, and this 
without menace, or dictation as to what that satis- 
faction shall be, a pledge is made that the follow- 
ing answer shall be given : 

"I did write the 'Lost Townships' letter which 
appeared in the 'J ourna l' of the 2d instant, but 
had no participation in any form in any other 
article alluding to you. I wrote that wholly for 
political effect — I had no intention of injuring 
your personal or private character or standing 
as a man or a gentleman ; and I did not then 
think, and do not now think, that that article 
could produce or has produced that effect against 
you ; and had I anticipated such an effect I would 
have forborne to write it. And I will add that 
your conduct toward me, so far as I know, had 
always been gentlemanly; and that I had no per- 
sonal pique against you, and no cause for any." 

If this should be done, I leave it with you to 
arrange what shall and what shall not be pub- 
lished. If nothing like this is done, the prelim- 
inaries of the fight are to be — 

First. Weapons: Cavalry broadswords of the 
largest size, precisely equal in all respects, and 
such as now used by the cavalry company at 

Second. Position: A plank ten feet long, and 


from nine to twelve inches broad, to be firmly fixed 
on edge, on the ground, as the line between us, 
which neither is to pass his foot over upon for- 
feit of his life. Next a line drawn on the ground 
on either side of said plank and parallel with it, 
each at the distance of the whole length of the 
sword and three feet additional from the plank; 
and the passing of his own such line by either 
party during the fight shall be deemed a surren- 
der of the contest. 

Third. Time : On Thursday evening at five 
o'clock, if you can get it so; but in no case to 
be at a greater distance of time than Friday even- 
ing at five o'clock. 

Fourth. Place: Within three miles of Alton, 
on the opposite side of the river, the particular 
spot to be agreed on by you. 

Any preliminary details coming within the 
above rules you are at liberty to make at your 
discretion ; but you are in no case to swerve from 
these rules, or to pass beyond their limits. 

September 19, 1842. 

[See also Speed, Joshua F., October, 1842.] 

Sickles, Daniel E. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 15, 1864. 
Major-General Sickles : 

I wish you to make a tour for me (principally 
for observation and information) by way of 
Cairo and New Orleans, and returning by the 
gulf and ocean. 

All military and naval officers are to facilitate 
you with suitable transportation, and by confer- 
ring with you, and imparting, so far as they can, 
the information herein indicated; but you are 


not to command any of them. You will call at 
Memphis, Helena, Vicksburg, New Orleans, 
Pensacola, Key West, Charleston Harbor, and 
such intermediate points as you may think im- 

Please ascertain at each place what is being 
done, if anything, for reconstruction ; how the 
amnesty proclamation works — if at all ; what 
practical hitches, if any, there are about it ,• 
whether deserters come in from the enemy, what 
number has come in at each point since the am- 
nesty, and whether the ratio of their arrival is 
any greater since than before the amnesty ; what 
deserters report generally, and particularly 
whether, and to what extent, the amnesty is 
known within the rebel lines. A_lso learn what 
you can as to the colored people; how they get 
along as soldiers, as laborers in our service, on 
leased plantations, and as hired laborers with 
their old masters, if there be such cases. Also 
learn what you can as to the colored people within 
the rebel lines. Also get any other information 
you may consider interesting, and from time to 
time, send me what you may deem important to 
be known here at once, and be ready to make a 
general report on your return. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Sigel, Franz. 

Washington, June 12, 1862. 
Major-General Sigel, Winchester: 

Your despatches of yesterday and to-day were 
received. It cannot be possible that Jackson has 


any such reinforcement as thirty or thirty-five 

McClellan telegraphs that two regiments of 
reinforcements were sent from Richmond to 

What necessity can there be for General Banks 
to fall back from Front Royal and his positions 
until Fremont comes up ? 

Does it not leave a gap for Jackson to pass 
through Front Royal as before? 

The President directs that your forces and 
Banks's shall not fall back from Front Royal and 
their present positions until further developments. 
Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 


Washington, June 17, 1862. 
General Sigel, Winchester: 

The forces_at Front Royal are there by order 
of the President. 

When he desires their position to be changed, 
the order will be given by him. 

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 
[May 14, 1863. See Bryant, William Cullen.] 
[Aug. 27, 1864. See Stanton, Edwin M.] 

Singleton, General. 

[See Grant, Ulysses S., Feb. 7, 1865; March 8, 1865.] 

Smith, Benjamin G., and Smith, Frank- 
lin W. 

[Order Annulling Sentence.] 

I am unwilling for the sentence to stand, and 
be executed, to any extent in this case. In the 


absence of a more adequate motive than the evi- 
dence discloses, I am wholly unable to believe in 
the existence of criminal or fraudulent intent 
on the part of men of such well established good 
character. If the evidence went as far to establish 
a guilty profit of one or two hundred thousand 
dollars, as it does of one or two hundred dol- 
lars, the case would, on the question of guilt, 
bear a far different aspect. That on this con- 
tract, involving some twelve hundred thousand 
dollars, the contractors would plan, and attempt 
to execute a fraud, which, at the most, could 
profit them only one or two hundred, or even one 
thousand dollars, is to my mind beyond the power 
of rational belief. That they did not, in such a 
case, make far greater gains, proves that they 
did not, with guilty or fraudulent intent, make 
[any} at all. The judgment and sentence are 
disapproved and declared null, and the defend- 
ants fully discharged. 

A. Lincoln. 
March 18, 1865. 

Smith, Caleb B. 

Springfield, 111., May 26, i860. 
Hon. C. B. Smith. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 21st, was duly re- 
ceived ; but I have found no time until now, 
to say a word in the way of answer. I am, 
indeed, much indebted to Indiana; and, as my 
home friends tell me, much to you personally. 
Your saying you no longer consider la. a doubt- 
ful state is very gratifying. The thing starts well 
everywhere — too well, I almost fear, to last. But 


we are in, and stick or go through, must be the 

Let me hear from Indiana occasionally. 
Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Smith, Franklin W. 
[See Smith, Benjamin G.] 

Smith, J. Gregory. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 8, 1865. 
His Excellency Governor Smith, of Vermont : 

Complaint is made to me by Vermont that the 
assignment of her quota for the draft on the 
pending call is intrinsically unjust, and also in 
bad faith of the government's promise to fairly 
allow credits for men previously furnished. . . . 

The pending call is not for three hundred thou- 
sand (300,000) men subject to fair credits, but is 
for three hundred thousand (300,000) remaining 
after all fair credits have been deducted, and it is 
impossible to concede what Vermont asks without 
coming out short of the three hundred thousand 
(300,000) men, or making other localities pay 
for the partiality shown her. 

This upon the case stated. If there be different 
reasons for making an allowance to Vermont, let 
them be presented and considered. 

Yours truly, 
Abraham Lincoln. 

Smith, Truman. 
[Private and Confidential.] 
Springfield, Illinois, November 10, i860. 
Hon. Truman Smith. 

My dear Sir: This is intended as a strictly 


private letter to you, and not as an answer to 

yours brought me by Mr. . It is with 

the most profound appreciation of your motive, 
and highest respect for your judgment, too, that 
I feel constrained, for the present at least, to 
make no declaration for the public. 

First. I could say nothing which I have not 
already said, and which is in print, and open 
for the inspection of all. To press a repetition 
of this upon those who have listened, is useless ; 
to press it upon those who have refused to listen, 
and still refuse, would be wanting in self-respect, 
and would have an appearance of sycophancy and 
timidity which would excite the contempt of 
good men and encourage bad ones to clamor the 
more loudly. 

I am not insensible to any commercial or finan- 
cial Repression that may exist, but nothing is to 
be gained by fawning around the "respectable 
scoundrels" who got it up. Let them go to work 
and repair the mischief of their own making, 
and then perhaps they will be less greedy to do 
the like again. Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Smith, Victor. 

[See Chase, Salmon P., May 8, 1863.] 

Somers, James W. 

Springfield, March 17, i860. 
James W. Somers, Esq. 

My dear Sir : Reaching home three days ago, I 
found your letter of February 26th. 

Considering your difficulty of hearing, I think 
you had better settle in Chicago, if, as you say, 
a good man already in fair practice there will 


take you into partnership. If you had not that 
difficulty, I still should think it an even balance 
whether you would not better remain in Chicago, 
with such a chance for a copartnership. 

If I went West, I think I would go to Kansas 
— to Leavenworth or Atchison. Both of them 
are, and will continue to be, fine growing places. 

I believe I have said all I can, and I have said 
it with the deepest interest for your welfare. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, June 25, 1858. 
James W. Somers, Esq. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 22d, inclosing a 
draft of two hundred dollars, was duly received. 
I have paid it on the judgment, and herewith you 
have the receipt. I do not wish to say any- 
thing as to who shall be the Republican candi- 
date for the legislature in your district further 
than that I have full confidence in Dr. Hull. 
Have you ever got in the way of consulting with 
McKinley in political matters? He is true as 
steel, and his judgment is very good. The last 
I heard from him, he rather thought Weldon, 
of De Witt, was our best timber for representa- 
tive, all things considered. But you there must 
settle it among yourselves. It may well puzzle 
older heads than yours to understand how, as the 
Dred Scott decision holds, Congress can author- 
ize a territorial legislature to do everything else, 
and cannot authorize them to prohibit slavery. 
That is one of the things the court can decide, 
but can never give an intelligible reason for. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Spears, George. 
Mr. Spears: 

At your request I send you a receipt for the 
postage on your paper. I am somewhat surprised 
at your request. I will, however, comply with 
it. The law requires Newspaper postage to be 
paid in advance, and now that I have waited a 
full year you choose to wound my feelings by 
insinuating that unless you get a receipt I will 
probably make you pay it again — 


A. Lincoln. 
Received of George Spears in full for postage 
on the "Sangamon Journal" up to the first of 
July, 1834. 

A. Lincoln, P. M. 

Speed, James. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington. December 1, 1864. 
Hon. James Speed, Louisville, Kentucky: 

I appoint you to be Attorney-General. Please 
come on at once. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 29, 1864 
Hon. Attorney-General : 

Please give me your opinion, in writing, 
whether the Secretary of the Navy, or any of his 
subordinates, is bound in law, on application of 
individuals, to furnish exemplified copies of rec- 
ords, or parts of records, of naval courts-martial 
on file in the Navy Department. 


Also, whether the Secretary of the Navy, or 
any of his subordinates, is bound in law to an- 
swer to a commission of a State court, directing 
the taking of his or their testimony as to the 
contents of records of naval courts-martial on 
file in the Navy Department. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Speed, Joshua F. 

Springfield, June 19, 1841. 
Dear Speed : We have had the highest state of 
excitement here for a week past that our com- 
munity has ever witnessed; and although the 
public feeling is somewhat allayed, the curious 
affair which aroused it is very far from being 
even yet cleared of mystery. It would take a 
quire of paper to give you anything like a full 
account of it, and I therefore only propose a 
brief outline. The chief personages in the drama 
are Archibald Fisher, supposed to be murdered, 
and Archibald Trailor, Henry Trailor, and Wil- 
liam Trailor, supposed to have murdered him. 
The three Trailors are brothers : the first, Arch., 
as you know, lives in town; the second, Henry, 
in Clary's Grove ; and the third, William, in War- 
ren County; and Fisher the supposed murdered, 
being without a family, had made his home with 
William. On Saturday evening, being the 29th 
of May, Fisher and William came to Henry's 
in a one-horse dearborn, and there stayed over 
Sunday; and on Monday all three came to 
Springfield (Henry on horseback), and joined 
Archibald at Myers's, the Dutch carpenter. That 
evening at supper Fisher was missing, and so next 
morning some ineffectual search was made for 


him ; and on Tuesday, at one o'clock p. m., William 
and Henry started home without him. In a day 
or two Henry and one or two of his Clary-Grove 
neighbors came back for him again, and adver- 
tised his disappearance in the papers. The knowl- 
edge of the matter thus far had not been general, 
and here it dropped entirely, till about the 10th 
instant, when Keys received a letter from the 
postmaster in Warren County, that William had 
arrived at home, and was telling a very mysterious 
and improbable story about the disappearance of 
Fisher, which induced the community there to 
suppose he had been disposed of unfairly. Keys 
made this letter public, which immediately set 
the whole town and adjoining county agog. 
And so it has continued until yesterday. The 
mass of the people commenced a systematic 
search for the dead body, while Wickersham was 
despatched to arrest Henry Trailor at the Grove, 
and Jim Maxcy to Warren to arrest William. 
On Monday last, Henry was brought in, and 
showed an evident inclination to insinuate that 
he knew Fisher to be dead, and that Arch, and 
William had killed him. He said he guessed 
the body could be found in Spring Creek, between 
the Beardstown road and Hickox's mill. Away 
the people swept like a herd of buffalo, and cut 
down Hickox's mill-dam nolens vol ens, to draw 
the water out of the pond, and then went up 
and down and down and up the creek, fishing and 
raking, and raking and ducking, and diving for 
two days, and, after all, no dead body found. 

In the mean time a sort of scuffling-ground had 
been found in the brush in the angle, or point, 
where the road leading into the woods past the 
brewery and the one leading in past the brick- 


yard meet. From the scuffle-ground was the 
sign of something about the size of a man hav- 
ing been dragged to the edge of the thicket, where 
it joined the track of some small-wheeled car- 
riage drawn by one horse, as shown by the road- 
tracks. The carriage-track led off toward Spring 
Creek. Near this drag-trail Dr. Merryman found 
two hairs, which, after a long scientific exam- 
ination, he pronounced to be triangular human 
hair, which term, he says, includes within it the 
whiskers, the hair growing under the arms and 
on other parts of the body; and he judged that 
these two were of the whiskers, because the ends 
were cut, showing that they had flourished in 
the neighborhood of the razor's operations. On 
Thursday last Jim Maxcy brought in William 
Trailor from Warren. On the same day Arch, 
was arrested and put in jail. Yesterday (Friday) 
William was put upon his examining trial before 
May and Lovely. Archibald and Henry were 
both present. Lamborn prosecuted, and Logan, 
Baker, and your humble servant defended. A 
great many witnesses were introduced and ex- 
amined, but I shall only mention those whose 
testimony seemed most important. The first of 
these was Captain Ransdell. He swore that 
when William and Henry left Springfield for 
home on Tuesday before mentioned, they did not 
take the direct route, — which, you know, leads 
by the butcher shop, — but that they followed the 
street north until they got opposite^ or nearly 
opposite, May's new house, after which he could 
not see them from where he stood; and it was 
afterward proved that in about an hour after 
they started, they came into the street by the 
butcher shop from toward the brick-yard. Dr. 


Merryman and others swore to what is stated 
about the scuffle-ground, drag-trail, whiskers, and 
carriage-tracks. Henry was then introduced by 
the prosecution. He swore that when they 
started for home, they went out north, as Rans- 
dell stated, and turned down west by the brick- 
yard into the woods, and there met Archibald; 
that they proceeded a small distance farther, when 
he was placed as a sentinel to. watch for and 
announce the approach of any one that might 
happen that way; that William and Arch, took 
the dearborn out of the road a small distance to 
the edge of the thicket, where they stopped, and 
he saw them lift the body of a man into it; that 
they then moved off with the carriage in the 
direction of Hickox's mill, and he loitered about 
for something like an hour, when William re- 
turned with the carriage, but without Arch., and 
said they had put him in a safe place ; that they 
went somehow — he did not know exactly how — 
into the road close to the brewery, and proceeded 
on to Clary's Grove. He also stated that some 
time during the day William told him that he 
and Arch, had killed Fisher the evening before ; 
that the way they did it was by him (William) 
knocking him down with a club, and Arch, then 
choking him to death. 

An old man from Warren, called Dr. Gilmore, 
was then introduced on the part of the defense. 
He swore that he had known Fisher for several 
years ; that Fisher had resided at his house a 
long time at each of two different spells — once 
while he built a barn for him, and once while 
he was doctored for some chronic disease; that 
two or three years ago Fisher had a serious hurt 
in his head by the bursting of a gun, since which 

i 7 o LETTERS 

he had been subject to continued bad health and 
occasional aberration of mind. He also stated 
that on last Tuesday, being the same day that 
Maxcy arrested William Trailor, he (the doctor) 
was from home in the early part of the day, 
and on his return, about eleven o'clock, found 
Fisher at his house in bed, and apparently very 
unwell ; that he asked him how he came from 
Springfield ; that- Fisher said he had come by 
Peoria, and also told of several other places 
he had been at more in the direction of Peoria, 
which showed that he at the time of speaking 
did not know where he had been wandering about 
in a state of derangement. He further stated 
that in about two hours he received a note 
from one of Trailor's friends, advising him of 
his arrest, and requesting him to go on to Spring- 
field as a witness, to testify as to the state of 
Fisher's health in former times; that he imme- 
diately set off, calling up two of his neighbors 
as company, and, riding all evening and all night, 
overtook Maxcy and William at Lewiston in Ful- 
ton County; that Maxcy refusing to discharge 
Trailor upon his statement, his two neighbors 
returned and he came on to Springfield. Some 
question being made as to whether the doctor's 
story was not a fabrication, several acquaintances 
of his (among whom was the same postmaster 
who wrote Keys, as before mentioned) were in- 
troduced as sort of compurgators, who swore 
that they knew the doctor to be of good char- 
acter for truth and veracity, and generally of 
good character in every way. Here the testi- 
mony ended, and the Trailors were discharged, 
Arch, and William expressing both in word and 
manner their entire confidence that Fisher would 


be found alive at the doctor's by Galloway, Mal- 
lory, and Myers, who a day before had been 
despatched for that purpose; while Henry still 
protested that no power on earth could ever 
show Fisher alive. Thus stands this curious 
affair. When the doctor's story was first made 
public, it was amusing to scan and contemplate 
the countenances and hear the remarks of those 
who had been actively in search for the dead 
body: some looked quizzical, some melancholy, 
and some furiously angry. Porter, who had been 
very active, swore he always knew the man was 
not dead, and that he had not stirred an inch 
to hunt for him; Langford, who had taken the 
lead in cutting down Hickox's mill-dam, and 
wanted to hang Hickox for objecting, looked 
most awfully woebegone: he seemed the "victim 
of unrequited affection," as represented in the 
comic almanacs we used to laugh over ; and Hart, 
the little drayman that hauled Molly home once, 
said it was too damned bad to have so much 
trouble, and no hanging after all. 

I commenced this letter on yesterday, since 
which I received yours of the 13th. I stick to 
my promise to come to Louisville. . . . 

Yours forever, 


January, 1842. 
My dear Speed: Feeling, as you know I do, 
the deepest solicitude for the success of the 
enterprise you are engaged in, I adopt this as the 
last method I can adopt to aid you, in case (which 
God forbid!) you shall need any aid. I do not 
place what I am going to say on paper because 
I can say it better that way than I could by 

i 7 2 LETTERS 

word of mouth, but, were I to say it orally be- 
fore we part, most likely you would forget it 
at the very time when it might do you some 
good. As I think it reasonable that you will feel 
very badly some time between this and the final 
consummation of your purpose, it is intended that 
you shall read this just at such a time. Why I 
say it is reasonable that you will feel very badly 
yet, is because of three special causes added to 
the general one which I shall mention. 

The general cause is, that you are naturally 
of a nervous temperament ; and this I say from 
what I have seen of you personally, and what 
you have told me concerning your mother at 
various times, and concerning your brother Wil- 
liam at the time his wife died. The first special 
cause is your exposure to bad weather on your 
journey, which my experience clearly proves to 
be very severe on defective nerves. The second is 
the absence of all business and conversation of 
friends, which might divert your mind, give it 
occasional rest from the intensity of thought 
which will sometimes wear the sweetest idea 
threadbare and turn it to the bitterness of death. 
The third is the rapid and near approach of that 
crisis on which all your thoughts and feelings 

If from all these causes you shall escape 
and go through triumphantly, without another 
"twinge of the soul," I shall be most happily but 
most egregiously deceived. If, on the contrary, 
you shall, as I expect you will at some time, 
be agonized and distressed, let me, who have 
some reason to speak with judgment on such 
a subject, beseech you to ascribe it to the causes 


I have mentioned, and not to some false and 
ruinous suggestion of the Devil. 

"But," you will say, "do not your causes apply 
to every one engaged in a like undertaking?" By 
no means. The particular causes, to a greater or 
less extent perhaps, do apply in all cases ; but 
the general one, — nervous debility, which is the 
key and conductor of all the particular ones, 
and without which they would be utterly harm- 
less, — though it does pertain to you, does not 
pertain to one in a thousand. It is out of this 
that the painful difference between you and the 
mass of the world springs. 

I know what the painful point with you is at 
all times when you are unhappy; it is an appre- 
hension that you do not love her as you should. 
What nonsense ! How came you to court her ? 
Was it because you thought she deserved it, 
and that you had given her reason to expect 
it? If it was for that, why did not the same 
reason make you court Ann Todd, and at least 
twenty others of whom you can think, and to 
whom it would apply with greater force than to 
her? Did you court her for her wealth? Why, 
you know she had none. But you say you rea- 
soned yourself into it. What do you mean by 
that? Was it not that you found yourself una- 
ble to reason yourself out of it? Did you not 
think, and partly form the purpose, of courting 
her the first time you ever saw her or heard 
of her? W 7 hat had reason to do with it at that 
early stage? There was nothing at that time 
for reason to work upon. W T hether she was 
moral, amiable, sensible, or even of good char- 
acter, you did not, nor could then know, except, 



perhaps, you might infer the last from the com- 
pany you found her in. 

All you then did or could know of her was 
her personal appearance and deportment; and 
these, if they impress at all, impress the heart, 
and not the head. 

Say candidly, were not those heavenly black 
eyes the whole basis of all your early reasoning 
on the subject? After you and I had once been 
at the residence, did you not go and take me all 
the way to Lexington and back, for no other 
purpose but to get to see her again, on our return 
on that evening to take a trip for that express 
object? What earthly consideration would you 
take to find her scouting and despising you, and 
giving herself up to another? But of this you 
have no apprehension; and therefore you cannot 
bring it home to your feelings. 

I shall be so anxious about you that I shall 
want you to write by every mail. 

Your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, February 3, 1842. 
Dear Speed: Your letter of the 25th January 
came to hand to-day. You well know that I do 
not feel my own sorrows much more keenly than 
I do yours, when I know of them; and yet I 
assure you I was not much hurt by what you 
wrote me of your excessively bad feeling at the 
time you wrote. Not that I am less capable of 
sympathizing with you now than ever, not that 
I am less your friend than ever, but because I 
hope and believe that your present anxiety and 
distress about her health and her life must and 
will forever banish those horrid doubts which I 


know you sometimes felt as to the truth of your 
affection for her. If they can once and forever 
be removed (and I almost feel a presentiment 
that the Almighty has sent your present affliction 
expressly for that object), surely nothing can 
come in their stead to fill their immeasurable 
measure of misery. The death-scenes of those 
we love are surely painful enough; but these 
we are prepared for and expect to see : they hap- 
pen to all, and all know they must happen. 
Painful as they are, they are not an unlooked-for 
sorrow. Should she, as you fear, be destined to 
an early grave, it is indeed a great consolation 
to know that she is so well prepared to meet it. 
Her religion, which you once disliked so much, I 
will venture you now prize most highly. But I 
hope your melancholy bodings as to her early 
death are not well founded. I even hope that 
ere this reaches you she will have returned with 
improved and still improving health, and that 
you will have met her, and forgotten the sor- 
rows of the past in the enjoyments of the present. 
I would say more if I could, but it seems that 
I have said enough. It really appears to me that 
you yourself ought to rejoice, and not sorrow, at 
this indubitable evidence of your undying affec- 
tion for her. Why, Speed, if you did not love 
her, although you might not wish her death, you 
would most certainly be resigned to it. Perhaps 
this point is no longer a question with you, and 
my pertinacious dwelling upon it is a rude intru- 
sion upon your feelings. If so, you must par- 
don me. You know the hell I have suffered on 
that point, and how tender I am upon it. You 
know I do not mean wrong. I have been quite 
clear of "hypo" since you left; even better than 


I was along in the fall. I have seen but 

once. She seemed very cheerful, and so I said 
nothing to her about what we spoke of. 

Old Uncle Billy Herndon is dead, and it is 
said this evening that Uncle Ben Ferguson will 
not live. This, I believe, is all the news, and 
enough at that unless it were better. Write me 
immediately on the receipt of this. 

Your friend, as ever, 


Springfield, Illinois, February 13, 1842. 
Dear Speed: Yours of the 1st instant came to 
hand three or four days ago. When this shall 
reach you, you will have been Fanny's husband 
several days. You know my desire to befriend 
you is everlasting; that I will never cease while 
I know how to do anything. But you will al- 
ways hereafter be on ground that I have never 
occupied, and consequently, if advice were 
needed, I might advise wrong. I do fondly hope, 
however, that you will never again need any com- 
fort from abroad. But should I be mistaken in 
this, should excessive pleasure still be accom- 
panied with a painful counterpart at times, still 
let me urge you, as I have ever done, to re- 
member, in the depth and even agony of de- 
spondency, that very shortly you are to feel well 
again. I am now fully convinced that you love 
her as ardently as you are capable of loving. 
Your ever being happy in her presence, and 
your intense anxiety about her health, if there 
were nothing else, would place this beyond all 
dispute in my mind. I incline to think it prob- 
able that your nerves will fail you occasionally 
for a while ; but once you get them firmly guarded 


now, that trouble is over forever. I think, if I 
were you, in case my mind were not exactly 
right, I would avoid being idle. I would imme- 
diately engage in some business, or go to mak- 
ing preparations for it, which would be the same 
thing. If you went through the ceremony calmly, 
or even with sufficient composure not to excite 
alarm in any present, you are safe beyond ques- 
tion, and in two or three months, to say the 
most, will be the happiest of men. 

I would desire you to give my particular re- 
spects to Fanny ; but perhaps you will not wish 
her to know you have received this, lest she 
should desire to see it. Make her write me an 
answer to my last letter to her: at any -ate, I 
would set great value upon a note or letter from 
her. Write me whenever you have leisure. 
Yours forever, 

A. Lincoln. 

P. S. I have been quite a man since you 

Springfield, February 25, 1842. 
Dear Speed: Yours of the 16th instant, an- 
nouncing that Miss Fanny and you are "no more 
twain, but one flesh," reached me this morning. 
I have no way of telling you how much happi- 
ness I wish you both, though I believe you both 
can conceive it. I feel somewhat jealous of both 
of you now : you will be so exclusively concerned 
for one another, that I shall be forgotten en- 
tirely. My acquaintance with Miss Fanny (I 
call her this, lest you should think I am speaking 
of your mother) was too short for me to reason- 
ably hope to long be remembered by her ; and 
still I am sure I shall not forget her soon. 

i 7 8 LETTERS 

Try if you cannot remind her of that debt she 
owes me — and be sure you do not interfere to 
prevent her paying it. 

I regret to learn that you have resolved to not 
return to Illinois. I shall be very lonesome with- 
out you. How miserable things seem to be 
arranged in this world! If we have no friends, 
we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we 
are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained 
by the loss. I did hope she and you would make 
your home here; but I own I have no right to 
insist. You owe obligations to her ten thousand 
times more sacred than you can owe to others, 
and in that light let them be respected and ob- 
served. It is natural that she should desire to 
remain with her relatives and friends. As to 
friends, however, she could not need them any- 
where : she would have them in abundance here. 

Give my kind remembrance to Mr. Williamson 
and his family, particularly Miss Elizabeth; also 
to your mother, brother, and sisters. Ask little 
Eliza Davis if she will ride to town with me 
if I come there again. And finally, give Fanny a 
double reciprocation of all the love she sent me. 
Write me often, and believe me 

Yours forever, 


P. S. Poor Easthouse is gone at last. He died 
awhile before day this morning. They say he was 
very loath to die. . . . 


Springfield, February 25, 1842. 
Dear Speed: I received yours of the 12th writ- 
ten the day you went down to William's place, 
some days since, but delayed answering it till 


I should receive the promised one of the 16th, 
which came last night. I opened the letter with 
intense anxiety and trepidation ; so much so, 
that, although it turned out better than I expected, 
I have hardly yet, at a distance of ten hours, 
become calm. 

I tell you, Speed, our forebodings (for which 
you and I are peculiar) are all the worst sort 
of nonsense. I fancied, from the time I received 
your letter of Saturday, that the one of Wed- 
nesday was never to come, and yet it did come, 
and what is more, it is perfectly clear, both from 
its tone and handwriting, that you were much 
happier, or, if you think the term preferable, 
less miserable, when you wrote it than when you 
wrote the last one before. You had so obviously 
improved at the very time I so much fancied 
you would have grown worse. You say that 
something indescribably horrible and alarming 
still haunts you. You will not say that three 
months from now, I will venture. When your 
nerves once get steady now, the whole trouble 
will be over forever. Nor should you become 
impatient at their being even very slow in be- 
coming steady. Again you say, you much fear 
that that Elysium of which you have dreamed 
so much is never to be realized. Well, if it shall 
not, I dare swear it will not be the fault of her 
who is now your wife. I now have no doubt that 
it is the peculiar misfortune of both you and 
me to dream dreams of Elysium far exceeding 
all that anything earthly can realize. Far short 
of your dreams as you may be, no woman could 
do more to realize them than that same black- 
eyed Fanny. If you could but contemplate her 
through my imagination, it would appear ridicu- 


lous to you that any one should for a moment 
think of being unhappy with her. My old father 
used to have a saying that "If you make a bad 
bargain, hug it all the tighter"; and it occurs to 
me that if the bargain you have just closed can 
possibly be called a bad one, it is certainly the 
most pleasant one for applying that maxim to 
which my fancy can by any effort picture. 

I write another letter, inclosing this, which 
you can show her, if she desires it. I do this be- 
cause she would think strangely, perhaps, should 
you tell her that you received no letters from 
me, or, telling her you do, refuse to let her see 
them. I close this, entertaining the confident 
hope that every successive letter I shall have from 
you (which I here pray may not be few, nor far 
between) may show you possessing a more 
steady hand and cheerful heart than the last pre- 
ceding it. 

As ever, your friend, 


Springfield, March 2j, 1842. 
Dear Speed : Yours of the 10th instant was re- 
ceived three or four days since. You know I am 
sincere when I tell you the pleasure its contents 
gave me was, and is, inexpressible. As to your 
farm matter, I have no sympathy with you. I 
have no farm, nor ever expect to have, and 
consequently have not studied the subject enough 
to be much interested with it. I can only say 
that I am glad you are satisfied and pleased with 
it. But on that other subject, to me of the 
most intense interest whether in joy or sorrow, I 
never had the power to withhold my sympathy 
from you. It cannot be told how it now thrills 


me with joy to hear you say you are "far hap- 
pier than you ever expected to be." That much I 
know is enough. I know you too well to suppose 
your expectations were not, at least, sometimes 
extravagant, and if the reality exceeds them all, 
I say, Enough, dear Lord. I am not going be- 
yond the truth when I tell you that the short 
space it took me to read your last letter gave me 
more pleasure than the total sum of all I have 
enjoyed since the fatal ist of January, 1841. 
Since then it seems to me I should have been 
entirely happy, but for the never-absent idea 
that there is one still unhappy whom I have 
contributed to make so. That still kills my soul. 
I cannot but reproach myself for even wishing to 
be happy while she is otherwise. She accom- 
panied a large party on the railroad cars to 
Jacksonville last Monday, and on her return 
spoke, so that I heard of it, of having enjoyed 
the trip exceedingly. God be praised for that. 

You know with what sleepless vigilance I have 
watched you ever since the commencement of 
your affair; and although I am almost confi- 
dent it is useless, I cannot forbear once more 
to say that I think it is even yet possible for 
your spirits to flag down and leave you miser- 
able. If they should, don't fail to remember 
that they cannot long remain so. One thing I 
can tell you which I know you will be glad to 

hear, and that is that I have seen and 

scrutinized her feelings as well as I could, and 
am fully convinced she is far happier now than 
she has been for the last fifteen months past. 

You will see by the last "Sangamon Journal" 
that I made a temperance speech on the 226. of 
February, which I claim that Fanny and you 


shall read as an act of charity to me; for I can- 
not learn that anybody else has read it, or is 
likely to. Fortunately it is not very long, and 
I shall deem it a sufficient compliance with my 
request if one of you listens while the other 
reads it. 

As to your Lockridge matter, it is only neces- 
sary to say that there has been no court since 
you left, and that the next commences to-morrow 
morning, during which I suppose we cannot fail 
to get a judgment. 

I wish you would learn of Everett what he 
would take, over and above a discharge for all 
the trouble we have been at, to take his busi- 
ness out of our hands and give it to somebody 
else. It is impossible to collect money on that 
or any other claim here now ; and although you 
know I am not a very petulant man, I declare 
I am almost out of patience with Mr. Everett's 
importunity. It seems like he not only writes 
all the letters he can himself, but gets every- 
body else in Louisville and vicinity to be con- 
stantly writing to us about his claim. I have 
always said that Mr. Everett is a very clever 
fellow, and I am very sorry he cannot be obliged ; 
but it does seem to me he ought to know we are 
interested to collect his claim, and therefore 
would do it if we could. 

I am neither joking nor in a pet when I say 
we would thank him to transfer his business to 
some other, without any compensation for what 
we have done, provided he will see the court cost 
paid, for which we are security. 

The sweet violet you inclosed came safely to 
hand, but it was so dry, and mashed so flat, 
that it crumbled to dust at the first attempt to 


Handle it. The juice that mashed out of it stained 
a place in the letter, which I mean to preserve 
and cherish for the sake of her who procured 
it to be sent. My renewed good wishes to her 
in particular, and generally to all such of your 
relations who know me. 

Springfield, Illinois, July 4, 1842. 
Dear Speed: Yours of the 16th June was re- 
ceived only a day or two since. It was not mailed 
at Louisville till the 25th. You speak of the 
great time that has elapsed since I wrote you. 
Let me explain that. Your letter reached here 
a day or two after I had started on the circuit. 
I was gone five or six weeks, so that I got the 
letters only a few weeks before Butler started 
to your country. I thought it scarcely worth 
while to write you the news which he could and 
would tell you more in detail. On his return he 
told me you would write me soon, and so I 
waited for your letter. As to my having been dis- 
pleased with your advice, surely you know better 
than that. I know you do, and therefore will 
not labor to convince you. True, that subject 
is painful to me; but it is not your silence, or 
the silence of all the world, that can make me 
forget it. I acknowledged the correctness of 
your advice too; but before I resolve to do the 
one thing or the other, I must gain my confi- 
dence in my own ability to keep my resolves when 
they are made. In that ability you know I once 
prided myself as the only or chief gem of my 
character; that gem I lost — how and where you 
know too well. I have not yet regained it; and 
until I do, I cannot trust myself in any matter 
of much importance. I believe now that had you 


understood my case at the time as well as I 
understood yours afterward, by the aid you would 
have given me I should have sailed through clear, 
but that does not now afford me sufficient confi- 
dence to begin that or the like of that again. 

You make a kind acknowledgment of your ob- 
ligations to me for your present happiness. I 
am pleased with that acknowledgment. But a 
thousand times more am I pleased to know that 
you enjoy a degree of happiness worthy of 
an acknowledgment. The truth is, I am not sure 
that there was any merit with me in the part 
I took in your difficulty; I was drawn to it 
by a fate. If I would I could not have done 
less than I did. I always was superstitious; I 
believe God made me one of the instruments of 
bringing your Fanny and you together, which 
union I have no doubt he had fore-ordained. 
Whatever he designs he will do for me yet. 
"Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" 
is my text just now. If, as you say, you have 
told Fanny all, I should have no objection to 
her seeing this letter, but for its reference to 
our friend here : let her seeing it depend upon 
whether she has ever known anything of my 
affairs ; and if she has not, do not let her. 

I do not think I can come to Kentucky this 
season. I am so poor and make so little head- 
way in the world, that I drop back in a month 
of idleness as much as I gain in a year's sow- 
ing. I should like to visit you again. I should 
like to see that "sis" of yours that was absent 
when I was there, though I suppose she would 
run away again if she were to hear I was coming. 

My respects and esteem to all your friends 


there, and, by your permission, my love to your 

Ever yours, 


Springfield, October, 1842. 
Dear Speed : You have heard of my duel with 
Shields, and I have now to inform you that 
the dueling business still rages in this city. Day 
before yesterday Shields challenged Butler, who 
accepted, and proposed fighting next morning at 
sunrise in Bob Allen's meadow, one hundred 
yards' distance, with rifles. To this Whitesides, 
Shields's second, said "No," because of the law. 
Thus ended duel No. 2. Yesterday Whitesides 
chose to consider himself insulted by Dr. Merry- 
man, so sent him a kind of quasi-challenge, invit- 
ing him to meet him at the Planter's House in 
St. Louis on the next Friday to settle their diffi- 
culty. Merryman made me his friend, and sent 
Whitesides a note, inquiring to know if he meant 
his note as a challenge, and if so, that he would 
according to the law in such case made and pro- 
vided, prescribe the terms of the meeting. 
Whitesides returned for answer that if Merry- 
man would meet him at the Planter's House 
as desired, he would challenge him. Merry- 
man replied in a note that he denied White- 
sides's right to dictate time and place, but that 
he (Merryman) would waive the question of 
time, and meet him at Louisiana, Missouri. Upon 
my presenting this note to Whitesides and stating 
verbally its contents, he declined receiving it, 
saying he had business in St. Louis, and it was 
as near as Louisiana. Merryman then directed 
me to notify Whitesides that he should publish 


the correspondence between them, with such com- 
ments as he thought fit. This I did. Thus it 
stood at bedtime last night. This morning White- 
sides, by his friend Shields, is praying for a new 
trial, on the ground that he was mistaken in 
Merryman's proposition to meet him at Louisiana, 
Missouri, thinking it was the State of Louisiana. 
This Merryman hoots at, and is preparing his 
publication ; while the town is in a ferment, and 
a street fight somewhat anticipated. 

But I began this letter not for what I have 
been writing, but to say something on that sub- 
ject which you know to be of such infinite solici- 
tude to me. The immense sufferings you endured 
from the first days of September till the middle of 
February . you never tried to conceal from me, 
and I well understood. You have now been the 
husband of a lovely woman nearly eight months. 
That you are happier now than the day you mar- 
ried her I well know, for without you could not 
be living. But I have your word for it, too, 
and the returning elasticity of spirits which is 
manifested in your letters. But I want to ask 
a close question, "Are you now in feeling as 
well as judgment glad that you are married as 
you are?" From anybody but me this would be 
an impudent question, not to be tolerated; but 
I know you will pardon it in me. Please answer 
it quickly, as I am impatient to know. I have 
sent my love to your Fanny so often, I fear she is 
getting tired of it. However, I venture to tender 
it again. Yours forever, 


Springfield, March 24, 1843. 
Dear Speed: . . . We had a meeting of the 


Whigs of the county here on last Monday to 
appoint delegates to a district convention; and 
Baker beat me, and got the delegation instructed 
to go for him. The meeting, in spite of my 
attempt to decline it, appointed me one of the 
delegates; so that in getting Baker the nomina- 
tion I shall be fixed a good deal like a fellow 
who is made a groomsman to a man that has cut 
him out and is marrying his own dear "gal." 
About the prospects of your having a namesake 
at our town, can't say exactly yet. 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, May 18, 1843. 

Dear Speed: Yours of the 9th instant is duly 
received, which I do not meet as a "bore," but 
as a most welcome visitor. I will answer the busi- 
ness part of it first. . . . 

In relation to our Congress matter here, you 
were right in supposing I would support the 
nominee. Neither Baker nor I, however, is the 
man, but Hardin, so far as I can judge from 
present appearances. We shall have no split 
or trouble about the matter ; all will be harmony. 
In relation to the "coming events" about which 
Butler wrote you, I had not heard one word be- 
fore I got your letter ; but I have so much confi- 
dence in the judgment of a Butler on such a sub- 
ject that I incline to think there may be some 
reality in it. What day does Butler appoint? 
By the way, how do "events" of the same sort 
come on in your family? Are you possessing 
houses and lands, and oxen and asses, and men- 
servants and maid-servants, and begetting sons 
and daughters? We are not keeping house, but 
boarding at the Globe Tavern, which is very well 


kept now by a widow lady of the name of Beck. 
Our room (the same that Dr. Wallace occupied 
there) and boarding only costs us four dollars 
a week. Ann Todd was married something 
more than a year since to a fellow by the name 
of Campbell, and who, Mary says, is pretty much 
of a "dunce," though he has a little money and 
property. They live in Boonville, Missouri, and 
have not been heard from lately enough for me 
to say anything about her health. I reckon it 
will scarcely be in our power to visit Kentucky 
this year. Besides poverty and the necessity of 
attending to business, those "coming events," I 
suspect, would be somewhat in the way. I most 
heartily wish you and your Fanny would not 
fail to come. Just let us know the time, and we 
will have a room provided for you at our house, 
and all be merry together for a while. Be sure 
to give my respects to your mother and family; 
assure her that if ever I come near her, I will not 
fail to call and see her. Mary joins in sending 
love to your Fanny and you. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, October 22, 1846. 

Dear Speed: . . . You, no doubt, assign the 
suspension of our correspondence to the true 
philosophic cause ; though it must be confessed 
by both of us that this is rather a cold reason for 
allowing a friendship such as ours to die out by 
degrees. I propose now that, upon receipt of this, 
you shall be considered in my debt, and under 
obligations to pay soon, and that neither shall re- 
main long in arrears hereafter. Are you agreed ? 

Being elected to Congress, though I am very 


grateful to our friends for having done it, has 
not pleased me as much as I expected. 

We have another boy, born the 10th of March. 
He is very much such a child as Bob was at 
his age, rather of a longer order. Bob is "short 
and low," and I expect always will be. He talks 
very plainly, — almost as plainly as anybody. He 
is quite smart enough. I sometimes fear he is one 
of the little rare-ripe sort that are smarter at 
about five than ever after. He has a great deal 
of that sort of mischief that is the offspring of 
such animal spirits. Since I began this letter, 
a messenger came to tell me Bob was lost; but 
by the time I reached the house his mother had 
found him and had him whipped, and by now, 
very likely he is run away again. Mary has read 
your letter, and wishes to be remembered to Mrs. 
Speed and you, in which I most sincerely join 

As ever yours, 

A. Lincoln. 

February 20, 1849. 
My dear Speed: ... I am flattered to learn 
that Mr. Crittenden has any recollection of me 
which is not unfavorable; and for the manifesta- 
tion of your kindness toward me I sincerely thank 
you. Still there is nothing about me to author- 
ize me to think of a first-class office, and a second- 
class one would not compensate my being sneered 
at by others who want it for themselves. I be- 
lieve that, so far as the Whigs in Congress are 
concerned, I could have the General Land Office 
almost by common consent; but then Sweet and 
Don Morrison and Browning and Cyrus Edwards 
all want it, and what is worse, while I think I 


could easily take it myself, I fear I shall have 
trouble to get it for any other man in Illinois. 
The reason is that McGaughey, an Indiana ex- 
member of Congress, is here after it, and being 
personally known, he will be hard to beat by any 
one who is not. . . . 

Springfield, August 24, 1855. 
Dear Speed: You know what a poor corre- 
spondent I am. Ever since I received your very 
agreeable letter of the 22d of May I have been 
intending to write you an answer to it. You sug- 
gest that in political action, now, you and I would 
differ. I suppose we would; not quite as much, 
however, as you may think. You know I dislike 
slavery, and you fully admit the abstract wrong 
of it. So far there is no cause of difference. 
But you say that sooner than yield your legal 
right to the slave, especially at the bidding of 
those who are not themselves interested, you 
would see the Union dissolved. I am not aware 
that any one is bidding you yield that right ; very 
certainly I am not. I leave that matter entirely 
to yourself. I also acknowledge your rights and 
my obligations under the Constitution in regard 
to your slaves. I confess I hate to see the poor 
creatures hunted down and caught and carried 
back to their stripes and unrequited toil ; but I 
bite my lips and keep quiet. In 1841 you and 
I had together a tedious low-water trip on a 
steamboat from Louisville to St. Louis. You 
may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville 
to the mouth of the Ohio there were on board 
ten or a dozen slaves shackled together with irons. 
That sight was a continued torment to me, and 
I see something like it every time I touch the 


Ohio or any other slave border. It is not fair 
for you to assume that I have no interest in a 
thing which has, and continually exercises, the 
power of making me miserable. You ought 
rather to appreciate how much the great body of 
the Northern people do crucify their feelings, in 
order to maintain their loyalty to the Constitu- 
tion and the Union. I do oppose the extension 
of slavery because my judgment and feeling so 
prompt me, and I am under no obligations to 
the contrary. If for this you and I must differ, 
differ we must. You say, if you were President, 
you would send an army and hang the leaders 
of the Missouri outrages upon the Kansas elec- 
tions ; still, if Kansas fairly votes herself a slave 
State she must be admitted, or the Union must 
be dissolved. But how if she votes herself a 
slave State unfairly, that is, by the very means 
for which you say you would hang men? Must 
she still be admitted, or the Union dissolved? 
That will be the phase of the question when it 
first becomes a practical one. In your assump- 
tion that there may be a fair decision of the slav- 
ery question in Kansas, I plainly see you and I 
would differ about the Nebraska law. I look 
upon that enactment not as a law, but as a vio- 
lence from the beginning. It was conceived in 
violence, is maintained in violence, and is being 
executed in violence. I say it was conceived in 
violence, because the destruction of the Missouri 
Compromise, under the circumstances, was noth- 
ing less than violence. It was passed in violence, 
because it could not have passed at all but for 
the votes of many members in violence of the 
known will of their constituents. It is main- 
tained in violence, because the elections since 

i 9 2 LETTERS 

clearly demand its repeal; and the demand is 
openly disregarded. 

You say men ought to be hung for the way 
they are executing the law; I say the way it is 
being executed is quite as good as any of its 
antecedents. It is being executed in the precise 
way which was intended from the first, else why 
does no Nebraska man express astonishment or 
condemnation? Poor Reeder is the only public 
man who has been silly enough to believe that 
anything like fairness was ever intended, and he 
has been bravely undeceived. 

That Kansas will form a slave constitution, and 
with it will ask to be admitted into the Union, 
I take to be already a settled question, and so set- 
tled by the very means you so pointedly condemn. 
By every principle of law ever held by any court 
North or South, every negro taken to Kansas is 
free ; yet, in utter disregard of this, — in the spirit 
of violence merely, — that beautiful legislature 
gravely passes a law to hang any man who shall 
venture to inform a negro of his legal rights. 
This is the subject and real object of the law. 
If, like Haman, they should hang upon the gal- 
lows of their own building, I shall not be among 
the mourners for their fate. In my humble 
sphere, I shall advocate the restoration of the 
Missouri Compromise so long as Kansas remains 
a Territory, and when, by all these foul means, 
it seeks to come into the Union as a slave State, 
I shall oppose it. I am very loath in any case 
to withhold my assent to the enjoyment of prop- 
erty acquired or located in good faith; but I do 
not admit that good faith in taking a negro to 
Kansas to be held in slavery is a probability with 
any man. Any man who has sense enough to 



be the controller of his own property has too 
much sense to misunderstand the outrageous 
character of the whole Nebraska business. But 
I digress. In my opposition to the admission of 
Kansas I shall have some company, but we may 
be beaten. If we are, I shall not on that ac- 
count attempt to dissolve the Union. I think it 
probable, however, we shall be beaten. Standing 
as a unit among yourselves, you can, directly and 
indirectly, bribe enough of our men to carry the 
day, as you could on the open proposition to es- 
tablish a monarchy. Get hold of some man in 
the North whose position and ability is such that 
he can make the support of your measure, what- 
ever it may be, a Democratic party necessity, and 
the thing is done. Apropos of this, let me tell 
you an anecdote. Douglas introduced the Ne- 
braska bill in January. In February afterward 
there was a called session of the Illinois legisla- 
ture. Of the one hundred members composing 
the two branches of that body, about seventy 
were Democrats. These latter held a caucus, in 
which the Nebraska bill was talked of, if not for- 
mally discussed. It was thereby discovered that 
just three, and no more, were in favor of the 
measure. In a day or two Douglas's orders came 
on to have resolutions passed approving the bill ; 
and they were passed by large majorities ! ! ! 
The truth of this is vouched for by a bolting 
Democratic member. The masses, too, Demo- 
cratic as well as Whig, were even nearer unani- 
mous against it; but, as soon as the party neces- 
sity of supporting it became apparent, the way 
the Democrats began to see the wisdom and 
justice of it was perfectly astonishing. 

.You say that if Kansas fairly votes herself a 

i 9 4 LETTERS 

free State, as a Christian you will rejoice at it. 
All decent slaveholders talk that way, and I do 
not doubt their candor. But they never vote that 
way. Although in a private letter or conversa- 
tion you will express your preference that Kan- 
sas shall be free, you would vote for no man for 
Congress who would say the same thing publicly. 
No such man could be elected from any district 
in a slave State. You think Stringfellow and 
company ought to be hung; and yet at the next 
presidential election you will vote for the exact 
type and representative of Stringfellow. The 
slave-breeders and slave-traders are a small, 
odious, and detested class among you ; and yet in 
politics they dictate the course of all of you, and 
are as completely your masters as you are the 
master of your own negroes. You inquire where 
I now stand. That is a disputed point. I think 
I am a Whig ; but others say there are no Whigs, 
and that I am an Abolitionist. When I was at 
Washington, I voted for the Wilmot proviso as 
good as forty times ; and I never heard of any one 
attempting to unwhig me for that. I now do 
no more than oppose the extension of slavery. I 
am not a Know-nothing; that is certain. How 
could I be? How can any one who abhors the 
oppression of negroes be in favor of degrading 
classes of white people ? Our progress in degen- 
eracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a 
nation we began by declaring that "all men are 
created equal." We now practically read it "all 
men are created equal, except negroes." When 
the Know-nothings get control, it will read "all 
men are created equal, except negroes and for- 
eigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, 
I shall prefer emigrating to some country where 


they make no pretense of loving liberty, — to Rus- 
sia, for instance, where despotism can be taken 
pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy. 

Mary will probably pass a day or two in Louis- 
ville in October. My kindest regards to Mrs. 
Speed. On the leading subject of this letter, I 
have more of her sympathy than I have of yours ; 
and yet let me say I am 

Your friend forever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Speed, Mrs. Joshua F. 

Washington, D. C, September 16, 1863. 
Mrs. J. F. Speed, Louisville, Ky. : 

Mr. Holman will not be jostled from his place 
with my knowledge and consent. 

A. Lincoln. 

Speed, Miss Mary. 

Bloomington, 111., September 27, 1841. 
Miss Mary Speed, Louisville, Ky. 

My Friend : Having resolved to write to some 
of your mother's family, and not having the ex- 
press permission of any one of them to do so, I 
have had some little difficulty in determining on 
which to inflict the task of reading what I now 
feel must be a most dull and silly letter ; but when 
I remembered that you and I were something of 
cronies while I was at Farmington, and that while 
there I was under the necessity of shutting you 
up in a room to prevent your committing an as- 
sault and battery upon me, I instantly decided 
that you should be the devoted one. I assume 
that you have not heard from Joshua and my- 
self since we left, because I think it doubtful 


whether he has written. You remember there 
was some uneasiness about Joshua's health when 
we left. That little indisposition of his turned 
out to be nothing serious, and it was pretty nearly 
forgotten when we reached Springfield. We got 
on board the steamboat Lebanon in the locks of 
the canal, about twelve o'clock m. of the day 
we left, and reached St. Louis the next Monday 
at 8 p. m. Nothing of interest happened during 
the passage, except the vexatious delays occa- 
sioned by the sand-bars be thought interesting. 
By the way, a fine example was presented on 
board the boat for contemplating the effect of 
condition upon human happiness. A gentleman 
had purchased twelve negroes in different parts 
of Kentucky, and was taking them to a farm in 
the South. They were chained six and six to- 
gether. A small iron clevis was around the left 
wrist of each, and this fastened to the main chain 
by a shorter one, at a convenient distance from 
the others, so that the negroes were strung to- 
gether precisely like so many fish upon a trot-line. 
In this condition they were being separated for- 
ever from the scenes of their childhood, their 
friends, their fathers and mothers, and brothers 
and sisters, and many of them from their wives 
and children, and going into perpetual slavery, 
where the lash of the master is proverbially more 
ruthless and unrelenting than any other where; 
and yet amid all these distressing circumstances, 
as we would think them, they were the most 
cheerful and apparently happy creatures on 
board. One whose offense for which he had 
been sold was an over-fondness for his wife, 
played the fiddle almost continually, and the 
others danced, sang, cracked jokes, and played 


various games with cards from day to day. How 
true it is that "God tempers the wind to the 
shorn lamb," or in other words, that he renders 
the worst of human conditions tolerable, while he 
permits the best to be nothing better than tolera- 
ble. To return to the narrative. When we 
reached Springfield, I stayed but one day, when 
I started on this tedious circuit where I now am. 
Do you remember my going to the city, while I 
was in Kentucky, to have a tooth extracted, and 
making a failure of it? Well, that same old 
tooth got to paining me so much that about a 
week since I had it torn out, bringing with it a 
bit of the jaw-bone, the consequence of which 
is that my mouth is now so sore that I can 
neither talk nor eat. 

I am literally "subsisting on savory remem- 
brances" — that is, being unable to eat, I am living 
upon the remembrance of the delicious dishes of 
peaches and cream we used to have at your house. 
When we left, Miss Fanny Henning was owing 
you a visit, as I understood. Has she paid it 
yet? If she has, are you not convinced that she 
is one of the sweetest girls in the world ? There 
is but one thing about her, so far as I could per- 
ceive, that I would have otherwise than as it is — 
that is, something of a tendency to melancholy. 
This, let it be observed, is a misfortune, not a 

Give her an assurance of my very highest re- 
gard when you see her. Is little Siss Eliza Davis 
at your house yet? If she is, kiss her "o'er and 
o'er again" for me. 

Tell your mother that I have not got her "pres- 
ent" [an "Oxford" Bible] with me, but I intend 
to read it regularly when I return home. I doubt 


not that it is really, as she says, the best cure for 
the blues, could one but take it according to the 
truth. Give my respects to all your sisters (in- 
cluding Aunt Emma) and brothers. Tell Mrs. 
Peay, of whose happy face I shall long retain a 
pleasant remembrance, that I have been trying 
to think of a name for her homestead, but as 
yet cannot satisfy myself with one. I shall be 
very happy to receive a line from you soon after 
you receive this, and in case you choose to favor 
me with one, address it to Charleston, Coles 
County, 111., as I shall be there about the time 
to receive it. 

Your sincere friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

Speer, William S. 

Sprngfield, Illinois, October 25, i860. 
William S. Speer, Esq. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 13th was duly re- 
ceived. I appreciate your motive when you sug- 
gest the propriety of my writing for the public 
something disclaiming all intention to interfere 
with slaves or slavery in the States ; but in my 
judgment it would do no good. I have already 
done this many, many times ; and it is in print, 
and open to all who will read. Those who will 
not read or heed what I have already publicly 
said would not read or heed a repetition of it. 
"If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither 
will they be persuaded though one rose from the 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Spring, Sydney. 

Springfield, June 19, 1858. 
Sydney Spring, Esq., Grayville, 111. 

My dear Sir: Your letter introducing Mr. 
Faree was duly received. There was no opening 
to nominate him for Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, but through him, Egypt made a most 
valuable contribution to the convention. I think 
it may be fairly said that he came off the lion 
of the day — or rather of the night. Can you 
not elect him to the Legislature? It seems to 
me he would be hard to beat. What objection 
could be made to him? What is your Senator 
Martin saying and doing? What is Webb about? 

Please write me. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Stafford, E. 

Springfield, Illinois, March 17, i860. 
E. Stafford, Esq. 

Dear Sir : Reaching home on the 14th instant, 
I found yours of the 1st. Thanking you very 
sincerely for your kind purposes toward me, I 
am compelled to say the money part of the ar- 
rangement you propose is, with me, an impossi- 
bility. I could not raise ten thousand dollars if 
it would save me from the fate of John Brown. 
Nor have my friends, so far as I know, yet 
reached the point of staking any money on my 
chances of success. I wish I could tell you better 
things, but it is even so. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Stager, Anson. 

War Department, Washington, D. C, 

May 24, 1863 — 10.40 p. m. 
Anson Stager, Cleveland, Ohio: 

Late last night Fuller telegraphed you, as you 
say, that "the stars and stripes float over Vicks- 
burg and the victory is complete." Did he know 
what he said, or did he say it without knowing 
it? Your despatch of this afternoon throws 
doubt upon it. 

A. Lincoln. 

Stanley, Edward. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 29, 1862. 
Hon. Edward Stanley. 

My dear Sir: Your note, informing me that 
you will leave for North Carolina soon, is re- 
ceived. Your conduct as military governor of 
that State, as reported to me by General Burn- 
side, and as I have heard it personally from your- 
self, has my entire approbation; and it is with 
great satisfaction that I learn you are now to 
return in the same capacity, with the approba- 
tion of the War Department. 

I shall be much gratified if you can find it 
practicable to have congressional elections held 
in that State before January. It is my sincere 
wish that North Carolina may again govern her- 
self conformably to the Constitution of the United 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Stanton, Edwin M. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 22, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: On reflection I think it will not 
do, as a rule, for the adjutant-general to attend 
me wherever I go; not that I have any objec- 
tion to his presence, but that it would be an un- 
compensating encumbrance both to him and me. 
When it shall occur to me to go anywhere, I wish 
to be free to go at once, and not to have to notify 
the adjutant-general and wait till he can get 

It is better, too, for the public service that he 
shall give his time to the business of his office, 
and not to personal attendance on me. 

While I thank you for the kindness of the 
suggestion, my view of the matter is as I have 
stated. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 31, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : It is my wish that the expedi- 
tion commonly called the ''Lane Expedition" 
shall be, as much as has been promised at the 
adjutant-general's office, under the supervision of 
General McClellan, and not any more. I have 
not intended, and do not now intend, that it shall 
be a great, exhausting affair, but a snug, sober 
column of 10,000 or 15,000. General Lane has 
been told by me many times that he is under the 
command of General Hunter, and assented to it 
as often as told. It was the distinct agreement 


between him and me, when I appointed him, that 
he was to be under Hunter. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 15, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: It is represented to me that 
Messrs. Hedden and Hoey had a contract with 
the government, closed on the 26th of October 
last, to deliver fifty thousand arms by the 15th 
of the then next January — that within the time 
they delivered twenty-eight thousand, which 
were accepted and paid for; that not 1 1 time, 
but ten days after time, they were ready and 
offered to deliver the remaining twenty-two thou- 
sand, which were refused simply on the question 
of time. 

If this statement be true and these men acted 
in good faith, I think they should not be ruined 
by the transaction, but that the guns should be 
accepted and paid for. Of course, I understand 
the principle of strict law would not oblige the 
government to take them, even if it were an in- 
dividual. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, April 3, 1862. 
The Secretary of W T ar will order that one or 
the other of the corps of General McDowell and 
General Sumner remain in front of Washington- 
until further orders from the department, to oper- 
ate at or in the 'direction of Manassas Junction, 
or otherwise, as occasion may require; that the 
other corps not so ordered to remain go forward 


to General McClellan as speedily as possible ; that 
General McClellan commence his forward move- 
ments from his new base at once, and that such 
incidental modifications as the foregoing may 
render proper be also made. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 22, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir : I think it will be better to do nothing now 
which can be construed into a demand for troops 
in addition to the three hundred thousand for 
which we have recently called. We do not need 
more, nor, indeed, so many, if we could have the 
smaller number very soon. It is a very impor- 
tant consideration, too, that one recruited into an 
old regiment is nearly or quite equal in value to 
two in a new one. We can scarcely afford to 
forego any plan within our power which may 
facilitate the filling of the old regiments with re- 
cruits. If, on consideration, you are of opinion 
that this object can be advanced by causing the 
militia of the several States to be enrolled, and 
by drafts therefrom, you are at liberty to take 
the proper steps and do so, provided that any 
number of recruits so obtained from any State 
within the next three months shall, if practicable, 
be an abatement of the quota of volunteers from 
such State under the recent call. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 12, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of War : 

Mrs. Baird tells me that she is a widow ; that 


her two sons and only support joined the army, 
where one of them still is; that her other son, 
Isaac P. Baird, is a private in the Seventy-second 
Pennsylvania Volunteers — Baxter's Fire Zouaves, 
Company K; that he is now under guard with 
his regiment on a charge of desertion ; that he 
was under arrest for desertion, so that he could 
not take the benefit of returning under the proc- 
lamation on that subject. Please have it ascer- 
tained if this is correct, and if it is, let him be 
discharged from arrest and go to duty. I think, 
too, he should have his pay for duty actually 
performed. Loss of pay falls so hard upon poor 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 4, 1862. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir: There are special reasons, as I suppose, 
why James Bowen of New York should be ap- 
pointed a brigadier-general. Please hear the par- 
ticulars from Governor Seward. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 1, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Dear Sir : Yesterday a piteous appeal was made 
to me by an old lady of genteel appearance, say- 
ing she had, with what she thought sufficient as- 
surance that she would not be disturbed by the 
government, fitted up the two south divisions of 
the old "Duff Green" building in order to take 


boarders, and has boarders already in it, and 
others, including members of Congress, engaged ; 
and that now she is ordered to be out of it by 
Saturday, the 3d instant; and that independently 
of the ruin it brings on her by her lost outlay, 
she neither has nor can find another shelter for 
her own head. I know nothing about it myself, 
but promised to bring it to your notice. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 23, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir : I think General Butler should go to New 
Orleans again. He is unwilling to go unless he 
is restored to the command of the department. 
He should start by the first of February, and 
should take some force with him. The whole 
must be so managed as to not wrong or wound 
the feelings of General Banks. His original wish 
was to go to Texas ; and it must be arranged 
for him to do this now with a substantial force; 
and yet he must not go to the endangering the 
opening of the Mississippi. I hope this may be 
done by the time General Butler shall arrive 
there; but whether or not, I think we cannot 
longer dispense with General Butler's services. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May II, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Dear Sir : I have again concluded to relieve 
General Curtis. I see no other way to avoid 


the worst consequences there. I think of Gen- 
eral Schofield as his successor, but I do not wish 
to take the matter of a successor out of the hands 
of yourself and General Halleck. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, May 13, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: Since parting with you I have 
seen the Secretaries of State and the Treasury, 
and they both think we better not issue the special 
suspension of the writ of habeas corpus spoken 
of. Governor Chase thinks the case is not before 
Judge Swaim; that it is before Judge Leavitt; 
that the writ will probably not issue whichever 
the applications may be before; and that in no 
event will Swaim commit an imprudence. His 
chief reason for thinking the writ will not issue 
is that he has seen in a newspaper that Judge 
Leavitt stated that Judge Swaim and he refused 
a similar application last year. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City, May 16, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : The commander of the Depart- 
ment at St. Louis has ordered several persons 
south of our military lines, which order is not 
disapproved by me. Yet at the special request 
of Hon. James Guthrie I have consented to one 
of the number, Samuel Churchill, remaining at 
Louisville, Ky., upon condition of his taking the 


oath of allegiance and Mr. Guthrie's word of 
honor for his good behavior. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 4, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : I have received additional de- 
spatches, which, with former ones, induce me to 
believe we should revoke or suspend the order 
suspending the Chicago "Times" ; and if you con- 
cur in opinion, please have it done. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 22, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : Do you not remember the French 
officer Colonel Duffie, whom we saw at General 
McDowell's headquarters near Fredericksburg, 
last May a year ago? I remember he was then 
well spoken of. On the night of the 17th instant 
he was surrounded by Stuart's cavalry near Mil- 
lersburg, and cut his way out with proportion- 
ately heavy loss to his then small command. 
Please see and hear him. I think you have strong 
recommendations on file in his behalf. 
Yours truly. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 21, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : I desire that a renewed and vig- 
orous effort be made to raise colored forces along 


the shores of the Mississippi. Please consult the 
general-in-chief, and if it is perceived that any 
acceleration of the matter can be effected, let it 
be done. I think the evidence is nearly conclu- 
sive that General Thomas is one of the best (if 
not the very best) instruments for this service. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 28, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: A young son of Senator Brown 
of Mississippi, not yet twenty, as I understand, 
was wounded and made a prisoner at Gettysburg. 
His mother is sister of Mrs. P. R. Fendall, of 
this city. Mr. Fendall, on behalf of himself and 
family, asks that he and they may have charge 
of the boy to cure him up, being responsible for 
his person and good behavior. Would it not be 
rather a grateful and graceful thing to let them 
have him? Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 29, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir : Can we not renew the effort to organize 
a force to go to Western Texas ? 

Please consult with the general-in-chief on the 

if the governor of New Jersey shall furnish 
any new regiments, might not they be put into 
such an expedition? Please think of it. 

I believe no local object is now more desirable. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 10, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir: I have not heard of any charges being 
filed against General J. A. McClernand. Are 
there any? 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Secretary of War : Please give General Logan 
the extended leave asked for, unless you know 
a good reason to the contrary. 

A. Lincoln. 

August 11, 1863. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 21, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: In the autumn of 1861, certain 
persons in armed rebellion against the United 
States, within the counties of Accomac and 
Northampton, laid down their arms upon certain 
terms then proposed to them by General Dix, in 
and by a certain proclamation. It is now said 
that these persons, or some of them, are about 
to be forced into the military lines of the existing 
rebellion, unless they will take an oath prescribed 
to them since, and not included in General Dix's 
proclamation referred to. Now, my judgment 
is that no one of these men should be forced 
from his home, who has not broken faith with the 
government, according to the terms fixed by Gen- 
eral Dix and these men. 

It is bad faith in the government to *orce new 


terms upon such as have kept faith with it — as 
least so it seems to me. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 26, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir: In my correspondence with Governor 
Seymour in relation to the draft, I have said 
to him, substantially, that credits shall be given 
for volunteers up to the latest moment, before 
drawing in any district, that can be done without 
producing confusion or delay. In order to do 
this, let our mustering officers in New York and 
elsewhere be at once instructed that whenever 
they muster into our service any number of vol- 
unteers, to at once make return to the War De- 
partment, both by telegraph and mail, the date 
of the muster, the number mustered, and the Con- 
gressional or enrolment district or districts, of 
their residences, giving the numbers separately 
for each district. Keep these returns diligently 
posted, and by them give full credit on the quotas, 
if possible, on the last day before the draft be- 
gins in any district. 

Again, I have informed Governor Seymour 
that he shall be notified of the time when the draft 
is to commence in each district in his State. This 
is equally proper for all the States. In order 
to carry it out, I propose that so soon as the day 
for commencing the draft in any district is def- 
initely determined, the governor of the State, in- 
cluding the district, be notified thereof, both by 
telegraph and mail, in form about as follows : 
[Here follows blank form.] 

This notice may be given by the Provost-Mar- 


shal-General here, the sub-provost-marshal-gen- 
erals in the States, or perhaps by the district 

Whenever we shall have so far proceeded in 
Njw York as to make the reenrolment specially 
promised there, practicable, I wish that also to 
go forward, and I wish Governor Seymour no- 
tified of it; so that if he choose, he can place 
agents of his with ours to see the work fairly 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, September 1, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : I am now informed, contrary to 
my impression when I last talked with you, that 
the order compelling the four hundred on the 
eastern shore of Virginia to take the oath or be 
sent away is about being carried into execution. 
As this, and also the assessment for damage done 
to and at the lighthouse, are very strong meas- 
ures, and as I have to bear the responsibility of 
them, I wish them suspended until I can at least 
be better satisfied of their propriety than I am 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, September 6, 1863. 6 p. m. 
Hon. Secretary of War, Bedford, Pennsylvania: 
Burnside has Kingston and Knoxville, and 
drove the enemy across the river at Loudon, the 
enemy destroying the bridge there ; captured some 
stores and one or two trains ; very little fighting ; 


few wounded and none killed. No other news 
of consequence. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November n, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Dear Sir: I personally wish Jacob Freese, of 
New Jersey, to be appointed colonel for a col- 
ored regiment, and this regardless of whether 
he can tell the exact shade of Julius Caesar's hair. 

Yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington City. November 17, 1863. 
Mr. President : It is proposed by the Baltimore 
and Ohio road — 

First, To leave Washington Thursday morn- 
ing at 6 a. m. ; and 

Second, To leave Baltimore at 8 a. m., arriving 
at Gettysburg at 12 noon, thus giving two hours 
to view the ground before the dedication cere- 
monies commence. 

Third, To leave Gettysburg at 6 p. m., and ar- 
rive at Washington, midnight; thus doing all in 
one day. 

Mr. Smith says the Northern Central road 
agrees to this arrangement. 

Please consider it, and if any change is desired, 
let me know, so that it can be made. 
Yours truly, 

Edwin M. Stanton. 


I do not like this arrangement. I do not wish 
to so go that by the slightest accident we fail 


entirely, and, at the best, the whole be a mere 
breathless running of the gauntlet. But, any way. 

A. Lincoln. 
November 17, 1863. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 18, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : I believe General Schofield must 
be relieved from command of the department 
of Missouri ; otherwise a question of veracity, 
in relation to his declarations as to his interfer- 
ing, or not, with the Missouri legislature, will 
be made with him, which will create an addi- 
tional amount of trouble, not to be overcome 
by even a correct decision of the question. The 
question itself must be avoided. Now for the 
mode. Senator Henderson, his friend, thinks he 
can be induced to ask to be relieved, if he shall 
understand he will be generously treated; and, 
on this latter point, Gratz Brown will help his 
nomination as a major-general through the .Sen- 
ate. In no other way can he be confirmed ; and 
upon his rejection alone it would be difficult for 
me to sustain him as commander of the depart- 
ment. Besides, his being relieved from command 
of the department, and at the same time confirmed 
as a major-general, will be the means of Hen- 
derson and Brown leading off together as friends, 
and will go far to heal the Missouri difficulty. 
Another point. I find it is scarcely less than in- 
dispensable for me to do something for General 
Rosecrans ; and I find Henderson and Brown will 
agree to him for the commander of their de- 

Again, I have received such evidence and ex- 


planations, in regard to the supposed cotton 
transactions of General Curtis, as fully restore in 
my mind the fair presumption of his innocence; 
and, as he is my friend, and what is more, as 
I think, the country's friend, I would be glad to 
relieve him from the impression that I think him 
dishonest by giving him a command. Most of 
the Iowa and Kansas delegations, a large part 
of that of Missouri, and the delegates from Ne- 
braska and Colorado, ask this in behalf of Gen- 
eral C, and suggest Kansas and other contigu- 
ous territory west of Missouri as a department 
for him. In a purely military point of view it 
may be that none of these things are indispen- 
sable, or perhaps advantageous; but in another 
aspect, scarcely less important, they would give 
great relief; while, at the worst, I think they 
could not injure the military service much. I 
therefore shall be greatly obliged if yourself and 
General Halleck can give me your hearty co- 
operation in making the arrangement. Perhaps 
the first thing would be to send General Scho- 
field's nomination to me. Let me hear from you 
before you take any actual step in the matter. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, December 21, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : Sending a note to the Secretary 
of the Navy, as I promised, he called over and 
said that the strikes in the ship-yards had thrown 
the completion of vessels back so much that 
he thought General Gillmore's proposition en- 


tirely proper. He only wishes (and in which I 
concur) that General Gillmore will courteously 
confer with, and explain to, Admiral Dahlgren. 

In regard to the Western matter, I believe the 
program will have to stand substantially as I 
first put it. Henderson, and especially Brown, 
believe that the social influence of St. Louis would 
inevitably tell injuriously upon General Pope in 
the particular difficulty existing there, and I 
think there is some force in that view. 

As to retaining General Schofield temporarily, 
if this should be done, I believe I should scarcely 
be able to get his nomination through the Senate. 
Send me over his nomination, which, however, 
I am not quite ready to send to the Senate. 
Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 31, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir : Please fix up the department to which 
Curtis is to go, without waiting to wind up the 
Missouri matter. Lane is very anxious to have 
Fort Smith in it, and I am willing, unless there 
be decided military reasons to the contrary, in 
which case of course, I am not for it. It will 
oblige me to have the Curtis department fixed at 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

February 1, 1864. 
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 
Sir: You are directed to have a transport 



(either a steam or sailing vessel, as may be 
deemed proper by the Quartermaster-General) 
sent to the colored colony established by the 
United States at the Island of Vache, on the 
coast of San Domingo, to bring back to this 
country such of the colonists there as desire to 
return. You will have the transport furnished 
with suitable supplies for that purpose, and detail 
an officer of the Quartermaster's department, 
who, under special instructions to be given, shall 
have charge of the business. The colonists will 
be brought to Washington unless otherwise here- 
after directed, and be employed and provided for 
at the camps for colored persons around that 

Those only will be brought from the island who 
desire to return, and their effects will be brought 
with them. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Submitted to the Secretary of War. On prin- 
ciple I dislike an oath which requires a man to 
swear he has not done wrong. It rejects the 
Christian principle of forgiveness on terms of 
repentance. I think it is enough if the man does 
no wrong hereafter. 

A. Lincoln. 

February 5, 1864. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 11, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: In January, 1863, the Provost- 
Marshal at St. Louis, having taken the control 
of a certain church from one set of men and given 


it to another, I wrote General Curtis on the sub- 
ject as follows: 

"The United States Government must not, as by this 
order, undertake to run the churches. When an indi- 
vidual in a church or out of it becomes dangerous to 
the public interest, he must be checked; but the 
churches, as such, must take care of themselves. It 
will not do for the United States to appoint trustees, 
supervisors, or other agents for the churches." 

Some trouble remaining in this same case, I, 
on the twenty-second of December, 1863, in a 
letter to Mr. O. D. Filley, repeated the above 
language, and among other things added : 

"I have never interfered nor thought of interfering 
as to who shall or shall not preach in any church; nor 
have I knowingly or believingly tolerated any one else 
to so interfere by my authority. If any one is so inter- 
fering by color of my authority, I would like to have it 
specifically made known to me. ... I will not have 
control of any church on any side." 

After having made these declarations in good 
faith, and in writing, you can conceive of my 
embarrassment at now having brought to me 
what purports to be a formal order of the War 
Department, bearing date November 30, 1863, 
giving Bishop Ames control and possession of 
all the Methodist churches in certain Southern 
military departments, whose pastors have not 
been appointed by a loyal bishop or bishops, and 
ordering the military to aid him against any 
resistance which may be made to his taking such 
possession and control. What is to be done 
about it? 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 27, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir : You ask some instructions from me in 
relation to the Report of Special Commission 
constituted by an order of the W T ar Department, 
dated December 5, 1863, "to revise the enrol- 
ment and quotas of the City and State of New 
York, and report whether there be any, and what, 
errors or irregularities therein, and what correc- 
tions, if any, should be made." 

In the correspondence between the governor of 
New York and myself last summer, I under- 
stood him to complain that the enrolments in sev- 
eral of the districts of that State had been neither 
accurately nor honestly made; and in view of 
this, I, for the draft then immediately ensuing, 
ordered an arbitrary reduction of the quotas in 
several of the districts wherein they seemed too 
large, and said : "After this drawing, these four 
districts and also the seventeenth and twenty- 
ninth, shall be carefully reenrolled, and, if you 
please, agents of yours may witness every step of 
the process." In a subsequent letter I believe some 
additional districts were put on the list of those 
to be reenrolled. My idea was to do the work 
over according to the law, in presence of the 
complaining party, and thereby to correct any- 
thing which might be found amiss. The com- 
mission, whose work I am considering, seem to 
have proceeded upon a totally different idea. Not 
going forth to find men at all, they have pro- 
ceeded altogether upon paper examinations and 
mental processes. One of their conclusions, as 
I understand, is that, as the law stands, and at- 
tempting to follow it, the enrolling officers could 



not have made the enrolments much more accu- 
rately than they did. The report on this point 
might be useful to Congress. The commission 
conclude that the quotas for the draft should be 
based upon entire population, and they proceed 
upon this basis to give a table for the State of 
New York, in which some districts are reduced 
and some increased. For the now ensuing draft, 
let the quotas stand as 'made by the enrolling 
officers, in the districts wherein this table re- 
quires them to be increased ; and let them be re- 
duced according to the table in the others: this 
to be no precedent for the subsequent action. 
But, as I think this report may, on full considera- 
tion, be shown to have much that is valuable in 
it, I suggest that such consideration be given it, 
and that it be especially considered whether its 
suggestions can be conformed to without an alter- 
ation of the law. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 1, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: A poor widow, by the name of 
Baird, has a son in the army, that for some of- 
fense has been sentenced to serve a long time 
without pay, or at most with very little pay. 
I do not like this punishment of withholding 
pay — it falls so very hard upon poor families. 
After he had been serving in this way for several 
months, at the tearful appeal of the poor mother, 
I made a direction that he be allowed to enlist 
for a new term, on the same conditions as others. 


She now comes and says she cannot get it acted 
upon. Please do it. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


I think the Absterdam projectile is too good 
a thing to be lost to the service, and if offered 
at the Hotchkiss prices, and not in excessive 
quantities, nor unreasonable terms in other re- 
spects, by either or both parties to the patent 
controversy, take it, so that the test be fully 
made. I am for the government having the best 
articles in spite of patent controversies. 

A. Lincoln. 

March 10, 1864. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, March 18, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: I am so pressed in regard to 
prisoners of war in our custody, whose homes 
are within our lines, and who wish to not be ex- 
changed, but to take the oath and be discharged, 
that I hope you will pardon me for again calling 
up the subject. My impression is that we will 
not ever force the exchange of any of this class ; 
that, taking the oath and being discharged, none 
of them will again go to the rebellion; but the 
rebellion again coming to them, a considerable per- 
centage of them, probably not a majority, would 
rejoin it; that, by a cautious discrimination, the 
number so discharged would not be large enough 
to do any considerable mischief in any event, 
will relieve distress in at least some meritorious 
cases, and would give me some relief from an 


intolerable pressure. I shall be glad, therefore, 
to have your cheerful assent to the discharge of 
those whose names I may send, which I will only 
do with circumspection. . . . 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, March 28, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: The governor of Kentucky is 
here, and desires to have the following points def- 
initely fixed: 

First. That the quotas of troops furnished, and 
to be furnished, by Kentucky may be adjusted 
upon the basis as actually reduced by able-bodied 
men of hers having gone into the rebel service; 
and that she be required to furnish no more than 
her just quotas upon fair adjustment upon such 

Second. To whatever extent the enlistment and 
drafting, one or both, of colored troops may be 
found necessary within the State, it may be con- 
ducted within the law of Congress; and, so far 
as practicable, free from collateral embarrass- 
ments, disorders, and provocations. 

I think these requests of the governor are rea- 
sonable; and I shall be obliged if you will give 
him a full hearing, and do the best you can to 
effect these objects. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 14, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir: Your note of to-day inclosing General 


Halleck's letter of yesterday relative to offensive 
remarks supposed to have been made by the 
Postmaster-General concerning the military of- 
ficers on duty about Washington is received. The 
general's letter in substance demands of me that 
if I approve the remarks I shall strike the names 
of those officers from the rolls ; and that if I do 
not approve them the Postmaster-General shall 
be dismissed from the Cabinet. 

Whether the remarks were really made I do 
not know, nor do I suppose such knowledge is 
necessary to a correct response. If they were 
made, I do not approve them ; and yet, under the 
circumstances, I would not dismiss a member 
of the Cabinet therefor. I do not consider 
what may have been hastily said in a moment of 
vexation at so severe a loss is sufficient ground 
for so grave a step. Besides this, truth is gen- 
erally the best vindication against slander. I 
propose continuing to be myself the judge as to 
when a member of the Cabinet shall be dismissed. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August n, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir: I should be glad for General 
Mott of New Jersey to have a brevet major- 
generalship. He has done a great deal of hard 
service, has been twice (I believe) wounded, and 
is now, by assignment of his superiors, command- 
ing a division. Add to this that I have been for 
a year trying to find an opportunity to promote 
him, as you know. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 22, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : I very much wish to oblige 
Henry Ward Beecher by releasing Howard; but 
I wish you to be satisfied when it is done. What 
say you? 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
I have no objection if you think it right — and 
this a proper time. 

E. M. S. 
Let Howard, imprisoned in regard tathe bogus 
proclamation, be discharged. 

A. Lincoln. 
August 23, 1864. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, August 27, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

My dear Sir : If General Sigel has asked for 
an inquiry, let him have it, if there is not some 
insurmountable, or at least, very serious obstacle. 
He is fairly entitled to this consideration. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 31, 1864. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Sir: Herewith is a letter of Governor Curtin, 
which speaks for itself. I suggest for your con- 
sideration, whether, to the extent of, say, 5000, 
we might not exempt from the draft, upon the 
men being put in good shape to defend and give 
assurance to the border. I have not said even 


this much to the bearer, General Todd, whom I 
hope you will see and hear. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1865. 
Hon. Secretary of War. 

Dear Sir : You remember that from time to time 
appeals have been made to us by persons claim- 
ing to have attempted to come through our lines 
with their effects to take the benefit of the am- 
nesty proclamation, and to have been despoiled 
of their effects under General Butler's adminis- 
tration. Some of these claims have color of 
merit, and may be really meritorious. Please 
consider whether we cannot set on foot an in- 
vestigation which may advance justice in the 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


City Point, Virginia, 

March 25, 1865. 8.30 a. m. 
Hon. Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. : 

Arrived here all safe about 9 p. m. yesterday. 
Xo war news. General Grant does not seem to 
know very much about Yeatman, but thinks very 
well of him so far as he does know. 

I like Mr. Whiting very much, and hence 
would wish him to remain or resign as best suits 
himself. Hearing this much from me, do as you 
think best in the matter. General Lee has sent 
the Russell letter back, concluding, as I under- 


stand from Grant, that their dignity does not 
admit of their receiving the document from us. 
Robert just now tells me there was a little rum- 
pus up the line this morning, ending about where 
it began. 

A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., March 26, 1865. 
Hon. Secretary of War: 

I approve your Fort Sumter programme. 
Grant don't seem to know Yeatman very well, 
but thinks very well of him so far as he knows. 
Thinks it probable that Y. is here now, for the 
place. I told you this yesterday as well as that 
you should do as you think best about Mr. Whit- 
ing's resignation, but I suppose you did not re- 
ceive the despatch. I am on the boat and have 
no later war news than went to you last night. 

A. Lincoln. 


City Point, Virginia, 

March 27, "1865. 3.35 p. m. 
Hon. Secretary of W T ar, Washington, D. C. : 

Yours inclosing Fort Sumter order received. 
I think of but one suggestion. I feel quite con- 
fident that Sumter fell on the 13th, and not on 
the 14th of April, as you have it. It fell on Sat- 
urday, the 13th; the first call for troops on our 
part was got up on Sunday, the 14th, and given 
date and issued on Monday, the 15th. Look up 
the old almanac and other data, and see if I am 
not right. 

A. Lincoln. 



City Point, Virginia, 

March 28, 1865. 12 m. 
Hon. Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. : 

After your explanation, I think it is little or 
no difference whether the Fort Sumter ceremony 
takes place on the 13th or 14th. 

General Sherman tells me that he is well ac- 
quainted with James Yeatman, and that he thinks 
him almost the best man in the country for any- 
thing he will undertake. 

A. Lincoln. 

City Point, Va., March 30, 1865. 7.30 p. m. 
Hon. Secretary of War : 

I begin to feel that I ought to be at home and 
yet I dislike to leave without seeing nearer to 
the end of General Grant's present movement. 
He has now been out since yesterday morning 
and although he has not yet been diverted from 
his programme no considerable effort has yet been 
produced so far as we know here. Last night 
at 10.15 p. m. when it was dark as a rainy night 
without a moon could be, a furious cannonade 
soon joined in by a heavy musketry fire opened 
near Petersburg and lasted about two hours. 
The sound was very distinct here as also were the 
flashes of the guns upon the clouds. It seemed 
to me a great battle, but the older hands here 
scarcely noticed it and sure enough this morning 
it was found that very little had been done. 

A. Lincoln. 



[Cipher Telegram.'] 

City Point, Va., April 3, 1865. 5 p. m. 
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, 

Secretary of War: 
Yours received. Thanks for your caution, but 
I have already been to Petersburg, stayed with 
General Grant an hour and a half and returned 
here. It is certain now that Richmond is in 
our hands, and I think I will go there to-morrow. 
I will take care of myself. 

A. Lincoln. 

Steele, Frederick. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, January 5, 1864. 
Major-General Steele: 

I wish to afford the people of Arkansas an op- 
portunity of taking the oath prescribed in the 
proclamation of December 8, 1863, preparatory 
to reorganizing a State government there. 
[Here follow detailed instructions.'] 
Report to me on the subject. 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 

January 20, 1864. 
Major-General Steele: 

Sundry citizens of the State of Arkansas peti- 
tion me that an election may be held in that 
State, at which to elect a governor thereof ; . . . 
that it be assumed at said election and thencefor- 
ward that the constitution and laws of the State, 
as before the rebellion, are in full force, except 
that the constitution is so modified as to declare 
that "there shall be neither slavery nor invol- 
untary servitude, except in the punishment of 


crime whereof the party shall have been duly con- 
victed ; but the General Assembly may make such 
provision for the freed people as shall recognize 
and declare their permanent freedom, provide for 
their education, and which may yet be consistent, 
as a temporary arrangement, with their present 
condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless 
class" ; and also except that all now existing laws 
in relation to slaves are inoperative and void. 
[Here follow detailed instructions for conduct- 
ing the election.] 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, January 27, 1864. 
Major-General Steele: 

I have addressed a letter to you, and put it 
in the hands of Mr. Gantt and other Arkansas 
gentlemen, containing a program for an election 
in that State. This letter will be handed you 
by some of these gentlemen. Since writing it, 
I see that a convention in Arkansas having the 
same general object, has taken some action, which 
I am afraid may clash somewhat with my pro- 
gram. I therefore can do no better than to ask 
you to see Mr. Gantt immediately on his return, 
and with him do what you and he may deem 
necessary to harmonize the two plans into one, 
a.nd then put it through with all possible vigor. 
Be sure to retain the free- State constitutional 
provision in some unquestionable form, and you 
and he can fix the rest. The points I have made 
in the program have been well considered. Take 
hold with an honest heart and a strong hand. 
Do not let any questionable man control or in- 
fluence you. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 



Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 30, 1864. 
Major-General Steele: 

Since writing mine of the 27th, seeing still 
further accounts of the action of the convention 
in Arkansas, induces me to write you yet again. 
They seem to be doing so well, that possibly 
the best you can do would be to help them on 
their own plan ; but of this you must confer with 
them and be the judge. Of all things, avoid, if 
possible, a dividing into cliques among the friends 
of the common object. Be firm and resolute 
against such as you can perceive would make 
confusion and division. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 17, 1864. 
Major-General Steele, Little Rock, Ark. : 

The day fixed by the convention for the elec- 
tion is probably the best, but you on the ground, 
and in consultation with gentlemen there, are 
to decide. I should have fixed no day for an 
election, presented no plan for reconstruction, 
had I known the convention was doing the same 
things. It is probably best that you merely assist 
the convention on their own plan, as to election 
day and all other matters. I have already writ- 
ten and telegraphed this half a dozen times. 

A. Lincoln. 

[See also Fishback, W. M.] 

War Department, 
Washington, February 25, 1864. 
Major-General Steele, 

Little Rock, Arkansas : 
General Sickles is not going to Arkansas. He 


probably will make a tour down the Mississippi 
and home by the gulf and ocean, but he will 
not meddle in your affairs. 

At one time I did intend to have him call 
on you and explain more fully than I could do 
by letter or telegraph, so as to avoid a difficulty 
coming of my having made a plan here, while the 
convention made one there, for reorganizing 
Arkansas ; but even his doing that has been given 
up for more than two weeks. Please show this 
to Governor Murphy to save me telegraphing 

A. Lincoln. 
Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 29, 1864. 
Major-General Steele: 

I understand that Congress declines to admit 
to seats the persons sent as senators and repre- 
sentatives from Arkansas. These persons appre- 
hend that, in consequence, you may not support 
the new State government there as you otherwise 
would. My wish is that you give that govern- 
ment and the people there the same support and 
protection that you would if the members had 
been admitted, because in no event, nor in any 
view of the case, can this do any harm, while 
it will be the best you can do toward suppressing 
the rebellion. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Stellwagen, Henry S. 
[Message to Congress.} 

To the Senate and House of Representatives : 
I transmit to Congress a copy of a note of the 


4th instant, addressed by J. Hume Burnley, Esq., 
her Britannic Majesty's charge d'affaires, to the 
Secretary of State, relative to a sword which 
it is proposed to present to Captain Henry 
S. Stellwagen, commanding the United States 
frigate Constellation, as a mark of gratitude for 
his services to the British brigantine Mersey. 
The expediency of sanctioning the acceptance of 
the gift is submitted to your consideration. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
Washington, February 8, 1865. 

Stephens, Alexander H. 
[See Herndon, William H., Feb. 2, 1848.] 

Springfield, Illinois, Nevember 30, i860. 
Hon. Alexander H. Stephens. 

My dear Sir: I have read in the newspapers 
your speech recently delivered (I think) before 
the Georgia legislature, or its assembled members. 
If you have revised it, as is probable, I shall be 
much obliged if you will send me a copy. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

[For your own eye only.] 

Springfield, Illinois, December 22, i860. 
Hon. Alexander H. Stephens. 

My dear Sir : Your obliging answer to my short 
note is just received, and for which please accept 
my thanks. I fully appreciate the present peril 
the country is in, and the weight of responsi- 
bility on me. Do the people of the South really 
entertain fears that a Republican administration 
would, directly or indirectly, interfere with the 


slaves, or with them about the slaves? If they 
do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and 
still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause 
for such fears. The South would be in no more 
danger in this respect than it was in the days 
of Washington. I suppose, however, this does 
not meet the case. You think slavery is right 
and ought to be extended, while we think it is 
wrong and ought to be restricted. That, I sup- 
pose, is the rub. It certainly is the only sub- 
stantial difference between us. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 10, 1865. 
Hon. A. H. Stephens : 

According to our agreement, your nephew, 
Lieutenant Stephens, goes to you bearing this 
note. Please, in return, to select and send to 
me that officer of the same rank imprisoned at 
Richmond, whose physical condition most ur- 
gently requires his release. 


A. Lincoln. 

Stephens, John A. 


Washington, D. C, February 4, 1865. 
Officer in command at Johnson's Island, Ohio : 
Parole Lieutenant John A. Stephens, prisoner of 
war, to report to me here in person, and send 
him to me. It is in pursuance of an arrange- 
ment I made yesterday with his uncle, Hon. A. 
H. Stephens. Acknowledge receipt. 

A. Lincoln. 


Stone, Charles P. 
[Message to the Senate.'] 

To the Senate of the United States : In answer 
to the resolution of the Senate [of April 22] 
in relation to Brigadier-General Stone, I have 
the honor to state that he was arrested and im- 
prisoned under my general authority, and upon 
evidence which, whether he be guilty or innocent, 
required, as appears to me, such proceedings to 
be had against him for the public safety. I deem 
it incompatible with the public interest, as also, 
perhaps, unjust to General Stone, to make a 
more particular statement of the evidence. 

He has not been tried because, in the state 
of military operations at the time of his arrest 
and since, the officers to constitute a court martial 
and for witnesses could not be withdrawn from 
duty without serious injury to the service. He 
will be allowed a trial without any unnecessary 
delay; the charges and specifications will be fur- 
nished him in due season, and every facility for 
his defense will be afforded him by the War 
Department. Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, May 1, 1862. 

Stone, William M. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, November 29, 1864. 
Governor of Iowa, Des Moines : May I renew 
my request for the exact aggregate vote of your 
State, cast at the late election? My object fails 
if I do not receive it before Congress meets. 

A. Lincoln. 


Same to the Governors of Michigan, Wiscon- 
sin, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Kan- 
sas, and West Virginia. 

Stringham, Silas H. 
[See Lardner, John L.] 

Stuart, John T. 

Vandalia, February 14, 1839. 
Dear Stuart : I have a note in bank which falls 
due some time between the 20th and last of this 
month. Butler stands as principal, and I as secur- 
ity; but I am in reality the principal. It will 
take between fifty and fifty-five dollars to renew 
it. Butler has more than that much money in 
his hands which he collected on a debt of mine 
since I came away. I wish you to call at the bank, 
have a note filled over my name signed below, 
get Butler to sign it, and also to let you have the 
money to renew it. Ewing won't do anything. 
He is not worth a damn. 

Your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, November 14, 1839. 
Dear Stuart: I have been to the secretary's 
office within the last hour, and find things pre- 
cisely as you left them. No new arrivals of 
returns on either side. Douglas has not been 
here since you left. A report is in circulation 
here now that he has abandoned the idea of go- 
ing to Washington, though the report does not 
come in a very authentic form, so far as I can 
learn. Though, by the way, speaking of authen- 


ticity, you know that if we had heard Douglas 
say that he had abandoned the contest, it would 
not be very authentic. There is no news here. 
Noah, I still think, will be elected very easily. I 
am afraid of our race for representative. Dr. 
Knapp has become a candidate, and I fear the 
few votes he will get will be taken from us. Also 
some one has been tampering with old Esquire 
Wicoff, and induced him to send in his name to 
be announced as a candidate. Francis refused to 
announce him without seeing him, and now I sup- 
pose there is to be a fuss about it. I have been 
so busy that I have not seen Mrs. Stuart since 
you left, though I understand she wrote you by 
to-day's mail, which will inform you more about 
her than I could. The very moment a Speaker 
is elected, write me who he is. 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, December 23, 1839. 
Dear Stuart: Dr. Henry will write you all the 
political news. I write this about some little mat- 
ters of business. You recollect you told me 
you had drawn the Chicago Masack money, 

and sent it to the claimants. A hawk-billed 

Yankee is here besetting me at every turn I take, 
saying that Robert Kinzie never received the 
eighty dollars to which he was entitled. Can you 
tell anything about the matter? Again, old Mr. 
Wright, who lives up South Fork somewhere, 
is teasing me continually about some deeds which 
he says he left with you, but which I can find 
nothing of. Can you tell where they are? The 
legislature is in session, and has suffered the 
bank to forfeit its charter without benefit of. 


clergy. There seems to be little disposition to 
resuscitate it. 

Whenever a letter comes from you to Mrs. 

, I carry it to her, and then I see Betty; 

she is a tolerable nice "fellow" now. Maybe 
I will write again when I get more time. 
Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 
P. S. The Democratic giant is here, but he is 
not now worth talking about. 

A. L. 


Springfield, January 1, 1840. 

Dear Stuart : There is considerable disposition, 
on the part of both parties in the legislature, 
to reinstate the law bringing on the congressional 
elections next summer. What motive for this 
the Locos have, I cannot tell. The Whigs say 
that the canal and other public works will stop, 
and consequently we shall then be clear of the 
foreign votes, whereas by another year they 
may be brought in again. The Whigs of our dis- 
trict say that everything is in favor of holding 
the election next summer, except the fact of your 
absence, and several of them have requested me 
to ask your opinion on the matter. Write me im- 
mediately what you think of it. 

On the other side of this sheet I send you 
a copy of my Land Resolutions, which passed 
both branches of our legislature last winter. 
Will you show them to Mr. Calhoun, informing 
him of the fact of their passage through our 
legislature? Mr. Calhoun suggested a similar 
proposition last winter; and perhaps if he finds 
himself backed by one of the States, he may 


be induced to take it up again. You will see 
by the resolutions that you and the others of our 
delegation in Congress are instructed to go for 

Springfield, January 20, 1840. 

Dear Stuart: Yours of the 5th instant is re- 
ceived. It is the first from you for a great 
while. You wish the news from here. The leg- 
islature is in session yet, but has done nothing 
of importance. The following is my guess as 
to what will be done. The internal improve- 
ment system will be put down in a lump without 
benefit of clergy. The bank will be resuscitated 
with some trifling modifications. Whether the 
canal will go ahead or stop is very doubtful. 
Whether the State House will go ahead depends 
upon the laws already in force. A proposition 
made in the House to-day, to throw off to the 
Territory of Wisconsin about fourteen of our 
northern counties, decided: ayes, eleven; noes, 
seventy. Be sure to send me as many copies 
of the ''Life of Harrison" as you can spare from 
other uses. Be very sure to procure and send 
me the "Senate Journal'' of New York of Sep- 
tember, 1814. I have a newspaper article which 
says that that document proves that Van Buren 
voted against raising troops in the last war. And, 
in general, send me everything you think will be 
a good "war-club." 

The nomination of Harrison takes first-rate. 
You know I am never sanguine ; but I believe we 
will carry the State. The chance for doing so 
appears to me twenty-five per cent, better than 
it did for you to beat Douglas. A great many 
of the grocery sort of Van Buren men, as for- 


merly, are out for Harrison. Our Irish black- 
smith. Gregory, is for Harrison. I believe I 
may say that all our friends think the chance 
of carrying the State very good. You have heard 
that the Whigs and Locos had a political discus- 
sion shortly after the meeting of the legislature. 
Well, I made a big speech which is in progress 
of printing in pamphlet form. To enlighten 
you and the rest of the world, I shall send you 
a copy when it is finished. I can't think of any- 
thing else now. 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, January 21, 1840. 
Dear Stuart: A bill bringing on the congres- 
sional elections in this State next summer has 
passed the House of Representatives this minute. 
As I think it will also pass the Senate, I take 
the earliest moment to advise you of it. I do 
not think any one of our political friends wishes 
to push you off the track. Anticipating the in- 
troduction of this bill, I wrote you for your 
feelings on the subject several weeks since, but 
have received no answer. It may be that my let- 
ter miscarried; if so, will you, on the receipt 
of this, write me what you think and feel about 
the matter? Nothing new except I believe I 
have got our Truett debt secured. I have Truett's 
note at twelve months, with his brother Myers as 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, March 1, 1840. 
Dear Stuart: I have never seen the prospects 
of our party so bright in these parts as they 


are now. We shall carry this county by a larger 
majority than we did in 1836, when you ran 
against May. I do not think my prospects in- 
dividually are very nattering, for I think it prob- 
able I shall not be permitted to be a candidate; 
but the party ticket will succeed triumphantly. 
Subscriptions to the "Old Soldier" pour in with- 
out abatement. This morning I took from the 
post-office a letter from Dubois inclosing the 
names of sixty subscribers ; and on carrying it 
to Francis, I found he had received one hundred 
and forty more from other quarters by the same 
day's mail. That is but an average specimen of 
every day's receipts. Yesterday Douglas, hav- 
ing chosen to consider himself insulted by some- 
thing in the "Journal," undertook to cane Francis 
in the street. Francis caught him by the hair 
and jammed him back against a market-cart, 
where the matter ended by Francis being pulled 
away from him. The whole affair was so lu- 
dicrous that Francis and everybody else (Doug- 
las excepted) have been laughing about it ever 

I send you the names of some of the Van 
Buren men who have come out for Harrison 
about town, and suggest that you send them some 
documents. . . . 

Speed says he wrote you what Jo. Smith said 
about you as he passed here. We will procure 
the names of some of his people here and send 
them to you before long. Speed also says you 
must not fail to send us the New York journal 
he wrote for some time since. Even Butler is 
jealous that you never send your compliments to 
him. You must not neglect him next time. 
Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


Springfield, March 26, 1840. 
Dear Stuart: . . . 

We have had a convention for nominating can- 
didates in this county. Baker was put on the 
track for the Senate, and Bradford, Brown of 
the Island Grove, Josiah Francis, Darneille, and 
I for the House. Ninian was very much hurt at 
not being nominated, but he has become tolera- 
bly well reconciled. I was much, very much, 
wounded myself at his being left out. The fact 
is, the country delegates made the nominations 
as they pleased; and they pleased to make them 
all from the country, except Baker and me, whom 
they supposed necessary to make stump speeches. 
Old Colonel Elkin is nominated for sheriff. 
That's right. 

The Locos have no candidates on the track yet 
except Dick Taylor for the Senate. Last Satur- 
day he made a speech, and May answered him. 
The way May let the wind out of him was a 
perfect wonder. The court-room was very full, 
and neither you nor I ever saw a crowd in this 
county so near all on one side, and all feeling 
so good, before. You will see a short account of 
it in the "Journal." 

A. Lincoln. 

Japh Bell has come out for Harrison. Ain't 
that a caution? 

Springfield, December 17, 1840. 
Dear Stuart: McRoberts was elected senator 
yesterday. The vote stood : McRoberts, seventy- 
seven; Cyrus Edwards, fifty; E. D. Baker, one; 
absent, three. This affair of appointment to 
office is very annoying — more so to you than 
to me, doubtless. I am, as you know, opposed to 


removals to make places for our friends. Bear- 
ing this in mind, I express my preference in a 
few cases, as follows : For marshal, first, John 
Dawson; second, Dr. B. F. Edwards. For post- 
master here, Dr. Henry; Carlinville, Joseph C. 
Howell. There is no question of the propriety 
of removing the postmaster at Carlinville. I have 
been told by so many different persons as to pre- 
clude all doubt of its truth, that he boldly refused 
to deliver from his office during the canvass all 
documents franked by Whig members of Con- 



Springfield, Illinois, January 23, 1841. 
Dear Stuart: Yours of the 3d instant is re- 
ceived, and I proceed to answer it as well as 
I can, though from the deplorable state of my 
mind at this time, I fear I shall give you but 
little satisfaction. About the matter of the con- 
gressional election, I can only tell you that there 
is a bill now before the Senate adopting the gen- 
eral ticket system; but whether the party have 
fully determined on its adoption is yet uncertain. 
There is no sign of opposition to you among our 
friends, and none that I can learn among our 
enemies; though of course there will be if the 
general ticket be adopted. The "Chicago Ameri- 
can," "Peoria Register," and "Sangamon Jour- 
nal" have already hoisted your flag upon their 
own responsibility, and the other Whig papers of 
the district are expected to follow immediately. 
On last evening there was a meeting of our 
friends at Butler's, and I submitted the question 
to them, and found them unanimously in favor 



of having you announced as a candidate. A few 
of us this morning, however, concluded that as 
you were already being announced in the papers, 
we would delay announcing you, as by your own 
authority, for a week or two. We thought that 
to appear too keen about it might spur our oppo- 
nents on about their general ticket project. Upon 
the whole, I think I may say with certainty that 
your reelection is sure, if it be in the power of 
the Whigs to make it so. 

For not giving you a general summary of 
news, you must pardon me ; it is not in my power 
to do so. I am now the most miserable man 
living. If what I feel were equally distributed 
to the whole human family, there would not be 
one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall 
ever be better, I cannot tell; I awfully forebode 
I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; 
I must die or be better, it appears to me. The 
matter you speak of on my account you may 
attend to as you say, unless you shall hear of 
my condition forbidding it. I say this because 
I fear I shall be unable to attend to any business 
here, and a change of scene might help me. If 
I could be myself, I would rather remain at home 
with Judge Logan. I can write no more. 
Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, March 30, 1861. 
Dear Stuart : Cousin Lizzie shows me your let- 
ter of the 27th. The question of giving her the 
Springfield post-office troubles me. You see I 
have already appointed William Jayne a terri- 
torial governor and Judge Trumbull's brother to 
a land-office — W r ill it do for me to go on and 


justify the declaration that Trumbull and I have 
divided out all the offices among our relatives? 
Dr. Wallace you know, is needy, and looks to 
me ; and I personally owe him much. — 

I see by the papers, a vote is to be taken as to 
the post-office. Could you not set up Lizzie and 
beat them all ? She, being here, need know noth- 
ing of it, so therefore there would be no indeli- 
cacy on her part. — 

Yours, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Sumner, Charles. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 1, 1863. 
Hon. Charles Sumner. 

My dear Sir : In relation to the matter spoken 
of Saturday morning and this morning — to wit, 
the raising of colored troops in the North, with 
the understanding that they shall be commanded 
by General Fremont — I have to say : 

That while it is very objectionable, as a gen- 
eral rule, to have troops raised on any special 
terms, such as to serve only under a particular 
commander or only at a particular place or places, 
yet I would forego the objection in this case upon 
a fair prospect that a large force of this sort 
could thereby be the more rapidly raised. 

That being raised, say to the number of ten 
thousand, I would very cheerfully send them to 
the field under General Fremont, assigning him 
a department, made or to be made, with such 
white force also as I might be able to put in. 

That with the best wishes toward General Fre- 
mont, I cannot now give him a department, be- 


cause I have not spare troops to furnish a new 
department, and I have not, as I think, justifiable 
ground to relieve the present commander of any- 
old one. In the raising of the colored troops, 
the same consent of governors would have to be 
obtained as in case of white troops, and the gov- 
ernment would make the same provision for them 
during organization as for white troops. 

It would not be a point with me whether Gen- 
eral Fremont should take charge of the organi- 
zation, or take charge of the force only after 
the organization. 

If you think fit to communicate this to Gen- 
eral Fremont, you are at liberty to do so. 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Sumner, E. V. 
[See Burnside, Ambrose E., Jan. 25, 1863.] 

Swann, Thomas. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., October 27, 1863. 
Hon. Thomas Swann. 

Dear Sir : Your letter, a copy of which is on 
the other half of this sheet, is received. I trust 
there is no just ground for the suspicion you 
mention ; and I am somewhat mortified that there 
could be any doubt of my views upon the point 
of your inquiry. I wish all loyal qualified voters 
in Maryland and elsewhere to have the undis- 
turbed privilege of voting at elections; and 


neither my authority nor my name can be prop- 
erly used to the contrary. 

Your obedient servant, A. Lincoln, 
Publish both letters, if either. A. L. 


Washington, D. C, July 10, 1864. 9.20 a. m. 
Thomas Swann and Others, Baltimore, Mary- 
land : 

Yours of last night received. I have not a 
single soldier but whom is being disposed by the 
military for the best protection of all. By latest 
accounts the enemy is moving on Washington. 
They cannot fly to either place. Let us be vigi- 
lant, but keep cool. I hope neither Baltimore 
nor Washington will be sacked. * t ; nco i n 

Swett, Leonard. 

[Cipher Telegram.] 

War Department, 
Washington City, July 15, 1863. 
Hon. L. Swett, San Francisco, Cal. : 

Many persons are telegraphing me from Cali- 
fornia, begging me for the peace of the State 
to suspend the military enforcement of the writ 
of possession in the Almedan case, while you are 
the single one who urges the contrary. You 
know I would like to oblige you, but it seems 
to me my duty in this case is the other way. 

A. Lincoln. 

Sympsox, Alexander. 

Blandinsville, Oct. 26, 1858. 
A. Sympson, Esq., Lewistown, 111. 

Dear Sir : Since parting with you this morn- 


ing I heard some things which make me believe 
that Edmunds and Morrill will spend this week 
among the National Democrats trying to induce 
them to content themselves by voting for Jake 
Davis, and then to vote for the Douglas candi- 
dates for Senator and Representative. Have this 
headed off, if you can. Call Wagley's atten- 
tion to it, and have him and the National Demo- 
crat for Rep. to counteract it as far as they 
can. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Dec. 12, 1858. 
Alexander Sympson, Esq.- 

My dear Sir: I expect the result of the elec- 
tion went hard with you. So it did with me, 
too, perhaps not quite so hard as you may have 
supposed. I have an abiding faith that we shall 
beat them in the long run. Step by step the 
objects of the leaders will become too plain for 
the people to stand them. I write merely to let 
you know that I am neither dead nor dying. 
Please give my respects to your good family, 
and all inquiring friends. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Talcott, Washington. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, August 27, 1862. 
Hon. Washington Talcott. 

My dear Sir : I have determined to appoint 
you collector. I now have a very special request 
to make of you, which is, that you will make 
no war upon Mr. Washburne, who is also my 

TAMS, G. YOKE 247 

friend, and of longer standing than yourself. I 
will even be obliged if you can do something 
for him if occasion presents. 

Yours truly, A _ Linco , n 

[Note of Introduction.'] 

The Secretary of the Treasury and the Com- 
missioner of Internal Revenue will please see Mr. 
Talcott, one of the best men there is, and, if any 
difference, one they would like better than they 
do me. 

August 18, 1862. A.Lincoln. 

Tams, G. Yoke. 
[Private and Confidential.] 

Springfield, Illinois, September 22, i860. 
G. Yoke Tams, Esq. 

My dear Sir : Your letter asking me "Are you 
in favor of a tariff and protection to American 
industry?" is received. The contention which 
nominated me, by the twelfth plank of their plat- 
form, selected their position on this question ; and 
I have declared my approval of the platform, 
and accepted the nomination. Now, if I were 
to publicly shift the position by adding or sub- 
tracting anything, the convention would have the 
right, and probably would be inclined, to displace 
me as their candidate. And I feel confident that 
you, on reflection, would not wish me to give 
private assurances to be seen by some and kept 
secret from others. I enjoin that this shall by 
no means be made public. 

Yours respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 


Taylor, Hawkins. 

Springfield, 111., Sept. 6, 1859. 
Hawkins Taylor, Esq. 

My dear Sir : Yours of the 3d is just received. 
There is some mistake about my expected attend- 
ance of the U. S. Court in your city on the 3d 
Tuesday of this month. I have had no thought 
of being there. It is bad to be poor. I shall go 
to the wall for bread and meat, if I neglect my 
business this year as well as last. It would please 
me much to see the city, and good people, of 
Keokuk, but for this year it is little less than an 
impossibility. I am constantly receiving invita- 
tions which I am compelled to decline. I was 
pressingly urged to go to Minnesota, and I now 
have two invitations to go to Ohio. These last 
are prompted by Douglas going there; and I 
am really tempted to make a flying trip to Colum- 
bus and Cincinnati. 

I do hope you will have no serious trouble in 
Iowa. What thinks Grimes about it ? I have not 
known him to be mistaken about an election in 
Iowa. Present my respects to Col. Carter, and 
any other friends; and believe me. 

Yours truly, A Lincoln. 

Springfield, 111., April 21, i860. 
Hawkins Taylor, Esq. 
My dear Sir: . . . 

Opinions here, as to the prospect of Douglas 
being nominated, are quite conflicting — some very 
confident he zvill, and others that he will not 
be — I think his nomination possible; but that 
the chances are against him. . . . 

Yours very truly, A> Lincotn . 


Tennessee Loyalists. 

[See Campbell, William B., and Others.] 

Thayer, J. M. 


War Department, February 15, 1864. 
General Thayer, Fort Smith, Arkansas : 

Yours received. Whatever of conflict there is 
between the convention and me is accidental, not 
designed, I having acted in ignorance that the 
convention would act. I yield to the convention, 
and have so notified General Steele, who is mas- 
ter, and is to cut any knots which cannot be un- 
tied. Correspond with him. a t i nco i n 

Thomas, George H. 


Washington, D. C., 

October 23, 1864. 5 p. m. 
Major-General Thomas, Nashville, Tennessee: 

I have received information to-day, having 
great appearance of authenticity, that there is to 
be a rebel raid into Western Kentucky; that it 
is to consist of 4000 infantry and 3000 cavalry, 
and is to start from Corinth, Mississippi, on the 
fourth day of November. 

A. Lincoln, President. 
Send copy to General Washburn at Memphis. 

A. L. 

Washington, D. C, 
December 16, 1864. 11.30 a. m. 
Major-General Thomas, Nashville, Tennessee : 
Please accept for yourself, officers, and men, 


the nation's thanks for your good work of yes- 
terday. You made a magnificent beginning; a 
grand consummation is within your easy reach. 
Do not let it slip. 

A. Lincoln. 

Thomas, Lorenzo. 


War Department, 
Washington, July 8, 1863. 12.30 p. m. 
General Lorenzo Thomas, Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 
vania : 
Your despatch of this morning to the Secretary 
of War is before me. The forces you speak of 
will be of no imaginable service if they cannot 
go forward with a little more expedition. Lee is 
now passing the Potomac faster than the forces 
you mention are passing Carlisle. Forces now 
beyond Carlisle to be joined by regiments still 
at Harrisburg, and the united force again to join 
Pierce somewhere, and the whole to move down 
the Cumberland Valley, will, in my unprofes- 
sional opinion, be quite as likely to capture the 
"man in the moon" as any part of Lee's army. 

A. Lincoln. 

War Department, 
Washington, February 28, 1864. 
General L. Thomas, Louisville, Kentucky: 

I see your despatch of yesterday to the Secre- 
tary of War. 

I wish you would go to the Mississippi River 
at once, and take hold of and be master in the 
contraband and leasing business. You under- 
stand it better than any other man does. Mr. 
Miller's system doubtless is well intended, but 



from what I hear I fear that, if persisted in, it 
would fall dead within its own entangling details. 
Go there and be the judge. A Mr. Lewis will 
probably follow you with something from me 
on this subject, but do not wait for him. Nor is 
this to induce you to violate or neglect any mili- 
tary order from the general-in-chief or Secre- 
tary of War. 

A. Lincoln. 
Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 1, 1864. 
General L. Thomas : 

This introduces Mr. Lewis, mentioned in my 
despatch sent you at Louisville some days ago. 
I have but little personal acquaintance with him ; 
but he has the confidence of several members 
of Congress here who seem to know him well. 
He hopes to be useful, without charge to the 
government, in facilitating the introduction of 
the free-labor system on the Mississippi planta- 
tions. He is acquainted with, and has access to r 
many of the planters who wish to adopt the sys- 
tem. He will show you two letters of mine on 
this subject, one somewhat general, and the other 
relating to named persons. They are not dif- 
ferent in principle. He will also show you some: 
suggestions coming from some of the planters 
themselves. I desire that all I promise in these 
letters, so far as practicable, may be in good faith 
carried out, and that suggestions from the plant- 
ers may be heard and adopted, so far as they 
may not contravene the principles stated, nor 
justice, nor fairness, to laborers. I do not herein 
intend to overrule your own mature judgment 
on any point. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 13, 1864. 
Brigadier-General Thomas. 

General : The President directs me to acknowl- 
edge the receipt of your favor of the thirtieth 
March, and to state in reply that Mr. Lewis has 
no authorization from him for any such purpose 
as you mention. He gave to Mr. Lewis a letter 
introducing him to you, at the request of some 
very respectable gentlemen from Kentucky, and 
here his responsibility for Mr. Lewis terminated. 

The President does not wish you to be ham- 
pered in the execution of your duties by any 
consideration of the letter given by himself to 
Mr. Lewis. 

I have the honor to be, General, your obedient 
servant. John Hay> Ma - or and A A Q 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 13, 1864. 
Major-General Thomas, Louisville, Kentucky : 

Complaint is made to me that in the vicinity 
of Henderson, our militia are seizing negroes and 
carrying them off without their own consent, and 
according to no rules whatever, except those of 
absolute violence. I wish you would look into 
this and inform me, and see that the making 
^soldiers of negroes is done according to the rules 
you are acting upon, so that unnecessary provo- 
cation and irritation be avoided. A Lincoln 

Thomas, William B. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., October 17, 1863. 
Hon. William B. Thomas, Philadelphia, Pa. : 
I am grateful for your offer of 100,000 men, 


but as at present advised I do not consider that 
Washington is in danger, or that there is any 
emergency requiring 60 or 90 days men. 

A. Lincoln. 

Thompson, Jacob. 
[See Clay, Clement G] 

Thompson, Mrs. Nancy H. 
[See Dodge, G. M., Dec. 13, 1864.] 

Thompson, . 

Springfield, April 25, 1849. 
Dear Thompson: A tirade is still kept up 
against me here for recommending T. R. King, 
This morning it is openly avowed that my sup- 
posed influence at Washington shall be broken 
down generally, and King's prospects defeated in 
particular. Now, what I have done in this mat- 
ter I have done at the request of you and some 
other friends in Tazewell; and I therefore ask 
you to either admit it is wrong, or come forward 
and sustain me. If the truth will permit, I pro- 
pose that you sustain me in the following man- 
ner : copy the inclosed scrap in your own hand- 
writing, and get everybody (not three or four, 
but three or four hundred) to sign it, and then 
send it to me. Also have six, eight, or ten 
of our best-known Whig friends there to write 
to me individual letters, stating the truth in this 
matter as they understand it. Don't neglect or 
delay in the matter. I understand information of 
an indictment having been found against him 
about three years ago, for gaming or keeping 
a gaming-house, has been sent to the Depart- 



ment. I shall try to take care of it at the De- 
partment till your action can be had and for- 
warded on. 

Yours, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

"Times," New York. 
ISee Paul, E. A., and Raymond, Henry J.] 

Thornton, James T. 

Springfield, December 2, 1858. 
Dear Sir : Yours of the 29th written in behalf 
of Mr. John H. Widner, is received. I am absent 
altogether too much to be a suitable instructor 
for a law student. When a man has reached 
the age that Mr. Widner has, and has already 
been doing for himself, my judgment is, that he 
reads the books for himself without an instruc- 
tor. That is precisely the way I came to the 
law. Let Mr. Widner read Blackstone's Com- 
mentaries, Chitty's Pleadings, Greenleafs Evi- 
dence, Story's Equity, and Story's Equity Plead- 
ings, get a license, and go to the practice, and 
still keep reading. This is my judgment of the 
cheapest, quickest, and best way for Mr. Wid- 
ner to make a lawyer of himself. 

A. Lincoln. 

Tobey, S. B. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 19, 1862. 
Dr. Samuel Boyd Tobey. 

My dear Sir: A domestic affliction, of which 
doubtless you are informed, has delayed me so 


long in making acknowledgment of the very kind 
and appropriate letter signed on behalf and by 
direction of a meeting of the representatives of 
the Society of Friends for New England, held 
at Providence, Rhode Island, the 8th of second 
month, 1862, by Samuel Boyce, clerk, and pre- 
sented to me by yourself and associates. 

Engaged as I am in a great war, I fear it 
will be difficult for the world to understand how 
fully I appreciate the principles of peace incul- 
cated in this letter and everywhere by the Society 
of Friends. 

Grateful to the good people you represent for 
the prayers in behalf of our common country, 
I look forward hopefully to an early end of 
war and return to peace. 

Your obliged friend, 

A. Lincoln. 

Tod, David. 
[Cipher Telegram.] 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 18, 1863. 
Governor D. Tod, Columbus, Ohio : 

Yours received. I deeply regret that you were 
not renominated, not that I have aught against 
Mr. Brough. On the contrary like yourself, I 
say hurrah for him. 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., June 30, 1864. 
Hon. David Tod, Youngstown, Ohio : 

I have nominated you to be Secretary of the 


Treasury, in place of Governor Chase, who has 
resigned. Please come without a moment's de- 

A. Lincoln. 
Todd, Captain. 
[See Johnson, Andrew, Jan. 8 and 10, 1863.] 

Treat, S. H. 
[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, D. C, July 2, 1864. 
Hon. S. H. Treat, Springfield, Illinois : 

Please give me a summary of the evidence with 
your impressions, on the Coles County riot cases. 
I send the same request to Judge Davis. 

A. Lincoln. 

Trumbull, Lyman. 

Springfield, Illinois, December 28, i860. 
Hon. Lyman Trumbull. 

My dear Sir: General Duff Green is out here 
endeavoring to draw a letter out of me. I have 
written one which herewith I inclose to you, and 
which I believe could not be used to our dis- 
advantage. Still, if on consultation with our 
discreet friends you conclude that it may do 
us harm, do not deliver it. You need not men- 
tion that the second clause of the letter is copied 
from the Chicago platform. If, on consultation, 
our friends, including yourself, think it can do 
no harm, keep a copy and deliver the letter to 
General Green. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, June 17, 1864. 
Hon. Lyman Trumbull. 

My dear Sir : Yours relative to reorganiza- 
tion of a State government for Arkansas, is re- 
ceived. I believe none of the department have 
had anything to do with it. All that has been 
done within the range you mention is embraced 
in an informal letter and telegraphic correspond- 
ence between parties there and myself, copies of 
which I have already furnished to Mr. Dawes of 
the House of Representatives for the object cor- 
responding to yours. 

It will save labor and oblige me if you will 
procure him to show you them. I believe you 
will find mentioned a proclamation of General 
Steele, no copy of which is with the correspond- 
ence. The reason is, I could not find it. If, 
after reading this, it still would be more satis- 
factory to you to have copies for yourself, let me 
know, and I will have them made out as soon as 
I reasonably can. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 9, 1865. 
Hon. Lyman Trumbull. 

My dear Sir : The paper relating to Louisiana, 
submitted to the judiciary committee of the Sen- 
ate, by General Banks, is herewith returned. The 
whole of it is in accordance with my general im- 
pression, and I believe it is true; but much the 
larger part is beyond my absolute knowledge, as 
in its nature it must be. All the statements which 
lie within the range of my knowledge are strictly 


true; and I think of nothing material which has 
been omitted. 

Even before General Banks went to Louisi- 
ana I was anxious for the loyal people there to 
move for reorganization and restoration of proper 
practical relations with the Union; and when 
he at last expressed his decided conviction that 
the thing was practicable, I directed him to give 
his official cooperation to effect it. On the sub- 
ject I have sent and received many letters to 
and from General Banks and many other per- 
sons. These letters, as you remember, were 
shown to you yesterday, as they will be again 
if you desire. 

If I shall neither take sides nor argue, will it 
be out of place for me to make what I think is 
the true statement of your question as to the pro- 
posed Louisiana senators? 

"Can Louisiana be brought into proper practi- 
cal relations with the Union sooner by admitting 
or by rejecting the proposed senators?" 
Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Ullman, Daniel. 
{See Banks, Nathaniel P., Mar. 29, 1863.] 

Union League of Philadelphia. 
[See Boker, George H.] 

Usher, John P. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C., August 24, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of the Interior. 

Sir : By the within you see the claim of Illinois 


for the two per cent, on sales of public lands is 
again presented. 

My view of the case is not changed. I believe 
the law is with the State; and yet I think it is 
ungracious to be pressing the claim at this time 
of national trouble. 

Nevertheless, I have to ask that you will de- 
termine what is your duty according to the law, 
and then do it. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Vallandigham, Clement L. 

[See Birchard, M. ; Burnside, Ambrose E., May 20 
and 29, 1863; and Corning, Erastus.] 

Vanderbilt, Cornelius. 
[Message to Congress.] 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives : I have inadvertently omitted so 
long to inform you that, in March last, Mr. Cor- 
nelius Vanderbilt, of New York, gratuitously 
presented to the United States the ocean-steamer 
Vanderbilt, by many considered the finest steamer 
in the world. She has ever since been, and still 
is, doing valuable service to the government. 
For the patriotic act in making this magnificent 
and valuable present to the country, I recommend 
that some suitable acknowledgment be made. 

July 17, 1862. Abraham Lincoln. 

Van Dyke, John. 

Springfield, Illinois, June 27, 1856. 
Hon. John Van Dyke. 

My dear Sir : Allow me to thank you for your 


kind notice of me in the Philadelphia Conven- 

When you meet Judge Dayton present my re- 
spects, and tell him I think him a far better man 
than I for the position he is in, and that I shall 
support both him and Colonel Fremont most 
cordially. Present my best respects to Mrs. Van 
Dyke, and believe me 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Wadsworth, James. 

[Extract from Letter to General Wadsworth 
Given by F. B. Carpenter.] 

(Late January or early February, 1864.) 
You desire to know, in the event of our com- 
plete success in the field, the same being followed 
by a loyal and cheerful submission on the part of 
the South, if universal amnesty should not be 
accompanied with universal suffrage. 

Now, since you know my private inclinations 
as to what terms should be granted to the South 
in the contingency mentioned, I will here add, 
that if our success should thus be realized, fol- 
lowed by such desired results, I cannot see, if 
universal amnesty is granted, how, under the 
circumstances, I can avoid exacting in return uni- 
versal suffrage or at least suffrage on the basis 
of intelligence and military service. 

How to better the condition of the colored race 
has long been a study which has attracted my 
serious and careful attention ; hence I think I am 
clear and decided as to what course I shall pur- 
sue in the premises, regarding it as a religious 
duty, as the nation's guardian of these people 


who have so heroically vindicated their manhood 
on the battle-field, where, in assisting to save the 
life of the Republic, they have demonstrated in 
blood their right to the ballot, which is but the hu- 
mane protection of the flag they have so fearlessly 

(In an article in Scribner's Magazine for January, 
1893, by the Marquis de Chambrun, the above letter con- 
tains this paragraph) : 

The restoration of the Rebel States to the 
Union must rest upon the principle of civil and 
political equality of both races; and it must be 
sealed by general amnesty. 

Wakeman, Abram. 

[Private. ] 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 25, 1864. 
Abram Wakeman, Esq. 

My dear Sir: I feel that the subject which 
you pressed upon my attention in our recent 
conversation is an important one. The men of 
the South recently (and perhaps still) at Niagara 
Falls tell us distinctly that they are in the con- 
fidential employment of the rebellion; and they 
tell us as distinctly that they are not empowered 
to offer terms of peace. Does any one doubt that 
what they are empowered to do is to assist in 
selecting and arranging a candidate and a plat- 
form for the Chicago convention? Who could 
have given them this confidential employment 
but he who, only a week since, declared to Jaquess 
and Gilmore, that he had no terms of peace but 
the independence of the South — the dissolution 


of the Union? Thus, the present presidential 
contest will almost certainly be no other than a 
contest between a union and a disunion candidate, 
disunion certainly following the success of the 
latter. The issue is a mighty one, for all people, 
and all times; and whoever aids the right will 
be appreciated and remembered. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Walker, Robert J. 

Washington, Nov. 21, 1861. 
Dear Governor: I have thought over the in- 
terview which Mr. Gilmore has had with Mr. 
Greeley, and the proposal that Greeley has made 
to Gilmore, namely, that he (Gilmore) shall com- 
municate to him (Greeley) all that he learns 
from you of the inner workings of the adminis- 
tration, in return for his (Greeley's) giving such 
aid as he can to the new magazine, and allowing 
you (Walker) from time to time the use of his 
(Greeley's) columns when it is desirable to feel 
of, or forestall, public opinion on important sub- 
jects. The arrangement meets my unqualified 
approval, and I shall further it to the extent of 
my ability, by opening to you — as I do now — fully 
the policy of the Government, — its present views 
and future intentions when formed, — giving you 
permission to communicate them to Gilmore for 
Greeley ; and in case you go to Europe I will 
give these things direct to Gilmore. But all this 
must be on the express and explicit understand- 
ing that the fact of these communications com- 
ing from me shall be absolutely confidential, — 
not to be disclosed by Greeley to his nearest 


friend, or any of his subordinates. He will be, 
in effect, my mouthpiece, but I shall not be known 
to be the speaker. 

I need not tell you that I have the highest 
confidence in Mr. Greeley. He is a great power. 
Having him firmly behind me will be as helpful 
to me as an army of one hundred thousand men. 
That he has ever kicked the traces has been 
owing to his not being fully informed. Tell Gil- 
more to say to him that, if he ever objects to 
my policy. I shall be glad to have him state 
to me his views frankly and fully. I shall adopt 
his if I can. If I cannot, I will at least tell him 
why. He and I should stand together, and let 
no minor differences come between us; for we 
both seek one end, which is the saving of our 
country. Now, Governor, this is a longer letter 
than I have written in a month, — longer than I 
would have written for any other man than 
Horace Greeley. 

Your friend, truly, 

Abraham Lincoln. 

P. S. — The sooner Gilmore sees Greeley the 
better, as you may before long think it wise to 
ventilate our policy on the Trent affair. 

Wallace, Edward. 

Clinton, October 11, 1859. 
Dr. Edward Wallace. 

My dear Sir: I am here just now attending 
court. Yesterday, before I left Springfield, your 
brother, Dr. William S. Wallace, showed me a 
letter of yours, in which you kindly mention my 
name, inquire for my tariff views, and suggest 
the propriety of my writing a letter upon the 


subject. I was an old Henry Clay-Tariff-Whig. 
In old times I made more speeches on that sub- 
ject than any other. 

I have not since changed my views. I believe 
yet, if we could have a moderate, carefully ad- 
justed protective tariff, so far acquiesced in as not 
to be a perpetual subject of political strife, squab- 
bles, changes, and uncertainties, it would be better 
for us. Still it is my opinion that just now the 
revival of that question will not advance the 
cause itself, or the man who revives it. 

I have not thought much on the subject re- 
cently, but my general impression is that the ne- 
cessity for a protective tariff will ere long force its 
old opponents to take it up; and then its old 
friends can join in and establish it on a more 
firm and durable basis. We, the Old Whigs, 
have been entirely beaten out on the tariff ques- 
tion, and we shall not be able to reestablish the 
policy until the absence of it shall have demon- 
strated the necessity for it in the minds of men 
heretofore opposed to it. With this view, I should 
prefer to not now write a public letter on the 
subject. I therefore wish this to be considered 
confidential. I shall be very glad to receive a 
letter from you. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, May 12, i860. 
Dr. Edward Wallace. 

My dear Sir: Your brother, Dr. W. S. Wal- 
lace, shows me a letter of yours in which you 
request him to inquire if you may use a letter of 
mine to you in which something is said upon the 


tariff question. I do not precisely remember 
what I did say in that letter, but I presume I 
said nothing substantially different from what I 
shall say now. 

In the days of Henry Clay, I was a Henry 
Clay-tariff man, and my views have undergone 
no material change upon that subject. I now 
think the tariff question ought not to be agitated 
in the Chicago convention, but that all should 
be satisfied on that point with a presidential can- 
didate whose antecedents give assurance that he 
would neither seek to force a tariff law by ex- 
ecutive influence, nor yet to arrest a reasonable 
one by a veto or otherwise. Just such a candi- 
date I desire shall be put in nomination. I really 
have no objection to these views being publicly 
known, but I do wish to thrust no letter before 
the public now upon any subject. Save me from 
the appearance of obtrusion, and I do not care 
who sees this or my former letter. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Wallace, Lew. 


Washington, D. C, May 13, 1864. 
Major-General Wallace, Baltimore, Maryland: 

I was very anxious to avoid new excitement 
at places where quiet seemed to be restored ; but, 
after reading and considering your letter and 
inclosure, I have to say I leave you to act your 
careful discretion in the matter. The good news 
this morning, I hope, will have a good effect all 

A. Lincoln. 


[ Telegram. ] 

Washington, July 9, 1864. 11.57 P- m - 
Major-General L. Wallace, Commanding Middle 
Department : 
I am directed by the President to say that you 
will rally your forces and make every possible 
effort to retard the enemy's march on Baltimore. 
H. W. Halleck, 
Major-General and Chief of Staff. 

Warren, W. B., and Others. 

Springfield, Illinois, April 7, 1849. 
Gentlemen : In answer to your note concerning 
the General Land Office I have to say that, if 
the office could be secured to Illinois by my con- 
sent to accept it, and not otherwise, I give that 
consent. Some months since I gave my word to 
secure the appointment to that office of Mr. Cyrus 
Edwards, if in my power, in case of a vacancy; 
and more recently I stipulated with Colonel 
Baker that if Mr. Edwards and Colonel J. L. 
D. Morrison could arrange with each other for 
one of them to withdraw, we would jointly rec- 
ommend the other. In relation to these pledges, 
I must not only be chaste, but above suspicion. 
If the office shall be tendered to me, I must be 
permitted to say : "Give it to Mr. Edwards or, 
if so agreed by them, to Colonel Morrison, and 
I decline it; if not, I accept." With this under- 
standing you are at liberty to procure me the 
offer of the appointment if you can; and I shall 
feel complimented by your effort, and still more 
by its success. It should not be overlooked that 
Colonel Baker's position entitles him to a large 


share of control in this matter; however, one of 
your number, Colonel Warren, knows that Baker 
has at all times been ready to recommend me, if 
I would consent. It must also be understood 
that if at any time previous to an appointment 
being made I shall learn that Mr. Edwards and 
Colonel Morrison have agreed, I shall at once 
carry out my stipulation with Colonel Baker as 
above stated. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washburn, C. C. 
[See Thomas, George H., Oct. 23, 1864.] 

Washburne, E. B. 

Washington, April 30, 1848. 
Dear Washburne : I have this moment received 
your very short note asking me if old Taylor is 
to be used up, and who will be the nominee. My 
hope of Taylor's nomination is as high — a little 
higher than it was when you left. Still, the 
case is by no means out of doubt. Mr. Clay's 
letter has not advanced his interests any here. 
Several who were against Taylor, but not for 
anybody particularly, before, are since taking 
ground, some for Scott and some for McLean. 
Who will be nominated neither I nor any one 
else can tell. Now, let me pray to you in turn. 
My prayer is that you let nothing discourage or 
baffle you, but that, in spite of every difficulty, 
you send us a good Taylor delegate from your 
circuit. Make Baker, who is now with you, I 
suppose, help about it. He is a good hand to 
raise a breeze. 


General Ashley, in the Senate from Arkansas, 
died yesterday. Nothing else new beyond what 
you see in the papers. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, December n, 1854. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : Your note of the 5th is just re- 
ceived. It is too true that by the official returns 
Allen beats Colonel Archer one vote. There is a 
report to-day that there is a mistake in the re- 
turns from Clay County, giving Allen sixty votes 
more than he really has ; but this, I fear, is itself 
a mistake. I have just examined the returns 
from that county at the secretary's office, and 
find that the aggregate vote for sheriff only falls 
short by three votes of the aggregate, as reported, 
of Allen and Archer's vote. Our friends, how- 
ever, are hot on the track, and will probe the mat- 
ter to the bottom. As to my own matter, things 
continue to look reasonably well. I wrote your 
friend, George Gage; and three days ago had 
an answer from him, in which he talks out 
plainly, as your letter taught me to expect. To- 
day I had a letter from Turner. He says he is 
not committed, and will not be until he sees how 
most effectually to oppose slavery extension. 

I have not ventured to write all the members 
in your district, lest some of them should be 
offended by the indelicacy of the thing — that is, 
coming from a total stranger. Could you not 
drop some of them a line? 

Very truly your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 


Springfield, December 14, 1854. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : So far as I am concerned, there 
must be something wrong about United States 
senator at Chicago. My most intimate friends 
there do not answer my letters, and I cannot get 
a word from them. Wentworth has a knack of 
knowing things better than most men. I wish 
you would pump him, and write me what you 
get from him. Please do this as soon as you 
can, as the time is growing short. Don't let any 
one know I have written you this ; for there may 
be those opposed to me nearer about you than 
you think. 

Very truly yours, etc., 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, December 19, 1854. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : Yours of the 12th just received. 
The objection of your friend at Winnebago 
rather astonishes me. For a senator to be the 
impartial representative of his whole State is so 
plain a duty that I pledge myself to the observ- 
ance of it without hesitation, but not without 
some mortification that any one should suspect 
me of an inclination to the contrary. I was eight 
years a representative of Sangamon County in 
the legislature; and although in a conflict of in- 
terests between that and other counties it perhaps 
would have been my duty to stick to old Sanga- 
mon, yet it is not within my recollection that the 
northern members ever wanted my vote for any 
interest of theirs without getting it. My dis- 
tinct recollection is that the northern members 
and Sangamon members were always on good 


terms, and always cooperating on measures of 
policy. The canal was then the great northern 
measure, and it from first to last had our votes 
as readily as the votes of the north itself. In- 
deed, I shall be surprised if it can be pointed 
out that in any instance the north sought our 
aid and failed to get it. 

Again, I was a member of Congress one term 
■ — the term when Mr. Turner was the legal mem- 
ber and you were a lobby member from your 
then district. Now I think I might appeal to 
Mr. Turner and yourself, whether you did not 
always have my feeble service for the asking. 
In the case of conflict, I might without blame 
have preferred my own district. As a senator 
I should claim no right, as I should feel no in- 
clination, to give the central portion of the State 
any preference over the north, or any other por- 
tion of it. 

Very truly your friend, 

A. Lincoln. 


Springfield, January 6, 1855. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: I telegraphed you as to the or- 
ganization of the two houses. T. J. Turner 
elected Speaker, 40 to 24; House not full; Dr. 
Richmond of Schuyler was his opponent; Anti- 
Nebraska also elected all the other officers of 
the House of Representatives. In the Senate 
Anti-Nebraska elected George T. Brown, of the 
Alton "Courier," secretary; and Dr. Ray, of the 
Galena "Jeflersonian," one of the clerks. In fact 
they elected all the officers, but some of them 
were Nebraska men elected over the regular Ne- 


braska nominees. It is said that by this they 
get one or two Nebraska senators to go for bring- 
ing on the senatorial election. I cannot vouch 
for this. As to the senatorial election, I think 
very little more is known than was before the 
meeting of the legislature. Besides the ten or 
a dozen on our side who are willing to be known 
as candidates, I think there are fifty secretly 
watching for a chance. I do not know that 
it is much advantage to have the largest number 
of votes at the start. If I did know this to be 
an advantage, I should feel better, for I cannot 
doubt but I have more committals than any other 
man. [Here follow a detailed statement of those 
legislators who are likely to support him, and a 
tabulation of his estimate of the vote which 
shows a majority in his favor of 14.] 

Our special election here is plain enough when 
understood. Our adversaries pretended to be 
running no candidate, secretly notified all their 
men to be on hand, and, favored by a very rainy 
day, got a complete snap judgment on us. In 
November Sangamon gave Yates 2166 votes. 
On the rainy day she gave our man only 984, 
leaving him 82 votes behind. After all, the re- 
sult is not of the least consequence. The Locos 
kept up a great chattering over it till the organi- 
zation of the House of Representatives, since 
which they all seem to have forgotten it. G.'s 
letter to L., I think, has not been received. Ask 
him if he sent it. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, February 9, 1855. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : The agony is over at last, and 

2 7 2 LETTERS 

the result you doubtless know. I write this only 
to give you some particulars to explain what 
might appear difficult of understanding. I began 
with 44 votes, Shields 41, and Trumbull 5, — yet 
Trumbull was elected. In fact, 47 different mem- 
bers voted for me, — getting three new ones on 
the second ballot, and losing four old ones. How 
came my 47 to yield to Trumbull's 5? It was 
Governor Matteson's work. He has been secretly 
a candidate ever since (before, even) the fall 
election. All the members round about the canal 
were Anti-Nebraska, but were nevertheless 
nearly all Democrats and old personal friends of 
his. His plan was to privately impress them 
with the belief that he was as good Anti-Ne- 
braska as any one else, — at least could be se- 
cured to be so by instructions, which could be 
easily passed. In this way he got from four to 
six of that sort of men to really prefer his elec- 
tion to that of any other man — all sub rosa, of 
course. One notable instance of this sort was 
with Mr. Strunk of Kankakee. At the begin- 
ning of the session he came a volunteer to tell 
me he was for me and would walk a hundred 
miles to elect me ; but lo ! it was not long before 
he leaked it out that he was going for me the 
first few ballots and then for Governor Matteson. 
The Nebraska men, of course, were not for 
Matteson ; but when they found they could elect 
no avowed Nebraska man, they tardily deter- 
mined to let him get whomever of our men he 
could, by whatever means he could, and ask him 
no questions. In the meantime Osgood, Don 
Morrison, and Trapp of St. Clair had openly 
gone over from us. With the united Nebraska 
force and their recruits, open and covert, it gave 


Matteson more than enough to elect him. We 
saw into it plainly ten days ago, but with every 
possible effort could not head it off. All that 
remained of the Anti-Xebraska force, excepting 
Judd, Cook, Palmer, Baker and Allen of Madi- 
son, and two or three of the secret Matteson 
men, would go into caucus, and I could get the 
nomination of that caucus. But the three sena- 
tors and one of the two representatives above 
named "could never vote for a Whig," and this 
incensed some twenty Whigs to "think" they 
would never vote for the man of the five. So 
we stood, and so we went into the fight yester- 
day, — the Nebraska men very confident of the 
election of Matteson, though denying that he was 
a candidate, and we very much believing also 
that they would elect him. But they wanted first 
to make a show of good faith to Shields by vot- 
ing for him a few times, and our secret Matte- 
son men also wanted to make a show of good 
faith by voting with us a few times. So we 
led off. On the seventh ballot, I think, the sig- 
nal was given to the Nebraska men to turn to 
Matteson, which they acted on to a man, with 
one exception, my old friend Strunk going with 
them, giving him 44 votes. Next ballot the re- 
maining Nebraska man and one pretended Anti 
went over to him, giving him 46. The next still 
another, giving him 47, wanting only three of 
an election. In the meantime our friends, with 
a view of detaining our expected bolters, had 
been turning from me to Trumbull till he had 
risen to 35 and I had been reduced to 15. These 
would never desert me except by my direction; 
but I became satisfied that if we could prevent 
Matteson's election one or two ballots more, we 


could not possibly do so a single ballot after my 
friends should begin to return to me from Trum- 
bull. So I determined to strike at once, and 
accordingly advised my remaining friends to go 
for him, which they did and elected him on the 
tenth ballot. 

Such is the way the thing was done. I think 
you would have done the same under the cir- 
cumstances; though Judge Davis, who came 
down this morning, declares he never would have 
consented to the forty-seven men being controlled 
by the five. I regret my defeat moderately, but 
I am not nervous about it. I could have headed 
off every combination and been elected, had it 
not been for Matteson's double game — and his 
defeat now gives me more pleasure than my own 
gives me pain. On the whole, it is perhaps as 
well for our general cause that Trumbull is 
elected. The Nebraska men confess that they 
hate it worse than anything that could have hap- 
pened. It is a great consolation to see them 
worse whipped than I am. I tell them it is their 
own fault — that they had abundant opportunity 
to choose between him and me, which they de- 
clined, and instead forced it on me to decide be- 
tween him and Matteson. 

With my grateful acknowledgments for the 
kind, active, and continued interest you have 
taken for me in this matter, allow me to subscribe 

Yours forever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Urbana, Illinois, April 26, 1858. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : I am rather a poor correspond- 


ent. but I think perhaps I ought to write you a 
letter just now. I am here at this time, but I 
was at home during the sitting of the two Demo- 
cratic conventions. The day before those con- 
ventions I received a letter from Chicago, having 
among other things on other subjects the fol- 
lowing in it : 

A reliable Republican, but an old-line Whig lawyer, 
in this city told me to-day that he himself had seen a 
letter from one of our Republican congressmen, advis- 
ing us all to go for the reelection of Judge Douglas. 
He said he was enjoined to keep the author a secret, 
and he was going to do so. From him I learned that 
he was not an old-line Democrat or Abolitionist. This 
narrows the contest down to the congressmen from the 
Galena and Fulton districts. 

The above is a literal copy of all the letter con- 
tained on that subject. The morning of the con- 
ventions, Mr. Herndon showed me your letter of 
the 15th to him, which convinced me that the 
story in the letter from Chicago was based upon 
some mistake, misconstruction of language, or the 
like. Several of our friends were down from 
Chicago, and they had something of the same 
story amongst them, some half suspecting that 
you were inclined to favor Douglas, and others 
thinking there was an effort to wrong you. 

I thought neither was exactly the case; that 
the whole had originated in some misconstruc- 
tion coupled with a high degree of sensitiveness 
on the point, and that the whole matter was not 
worth another moment's consideration. 

Such is my opinion now, and I hope you will 
have no concern about it. I have written this 
because Charley Wilson told me he was writing 


you, and because I expect Dr. Ray (who was a 
little excited about the matter) has also written 
you; and because I think I, perhaps, have taken 
a calmer view of the thing than they may have 
done. I am satisfied you have done no wrong, 
and nobody has intended any wrong to you. 

A word about the conventions. The Democ- 
racy parted in not a very encouraged state of 
mind. On the contrary, our friends, a good many 
of whom were present, parted in high spirits. 
They think if we do not triumph, the fault will 
be our own, and so I really think. 
Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, May 10, 1858. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: I have just reached home from 
the circuit, and found your letter of the 2d, for 
which I thank you. My other letter to you was 
meant for nothing but to hedge against bad feel- 
ing being gotten up between those who ought 
to be friends, out of the incident mentioned in 
that letter. I sent you an extract from the Chi- 
cago letter in order to let you see that the writer 
did not profess to know anything himself; and 
I now add that his informant told me that he 
did tell him exactly what he wrote me — at least 
I distinctly so understood him. The informant 
is an exceedingly clever fellow; and I think he, 
having had a hasty glance at your letter to Char- 
ley Wilson, misconstrued it, and consequently 
misreported it to the writer of the letter to me. 
I must repeat that I think the thing did not origi- 
nate in malice to you, or to any one, and that 
the best way all round is to now forget it entirely. 


Will you not adjourn in time to be here at our 
State convention in June? 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, May 15, 1858. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 6th, accompanied 
by yours of April 12th to C. L. Wilson, was re- 
ceived day before yesterday. There certainly is 
nothing in the letter to Wilson which I in par- 
ticular, or Republicans in general, could complain 
of. Of that I was quite satisfied before I saw 
the letter. I believe there has been no malicious 
intent to misrepresent you ; I hope there is no 
longer any misunderstanding, and that the mat- 
ter may drop. 

Eight or ten days ago I wrote Kellogg from 
Beardstown. Get him to show you the letter. 
It gave my view of the field as it appeared then. 
Nothing has occurred since except that it grows 
more and more quiet since the passage of the 
English contrivance. 

The "State Register" here is evidently labor- 
ing to bring its old friends into what the doctors 
call the "comatose state," — that is, a sort of 
drowsy, dreamy condition, in which they may 
not perceive or remember that there has ever 
been, or is, any difference between Douglas and 
the President. This could be done if the Buch- 
anan men would allow it — which, however, the 
latter seem determined not to do. 

I think our prospects gradually and steadily 
grow better, though we are not yet clear out of 
the woods by a great deal. There is still some 
effort to make trouble out of "Americanism." 


If that were out of the way, for all the rest, I 
believe we should be "out of the woods." 

Yours very truly, A UnCQ ^ 

Springfield, May 27, 1858. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: Yours requesting me to return 
you the now somewhat noted "Charley Wilson 
letter," is received, and I herewith return that 
letter. Political matters just now bear a very 
mixed and incongruous aspect. For several days 
the signs have been that Douglas and the Presi- 
dent have probably buried the hatchet, — Doug- 
las's friends at Washington going over to the 
President's side, and his friends here and South 
of here talking as if there never had been any 
serious difficulty, while the President himself 
does nothing for his own peculiar friends here. 
But this morning my partner, Mr. Herndon, re- 
ceives a letter from Mr. Medill of the "Chicago 
Tribune," showing the writer to be in a great 
alarm at the prospect North of Republicans go- 
ing over to Douglas, on the idea that Douglas 
is going to assume steep Free-soil ground, and 
furiously assail the administration on the stump 
when he comes home. There certainly is a dou- 
ble game being played somehow. Possibly — even 
probably — Douglas is temporarily deceiving the 
President in order to crush out the 8th of June 
convention here. Unless he plays his double 
game more successfully than we have often seen 
done, he cannot carry many Republicans Xorth, 
without at the same time losing a larger number 
of his old friends South. Let this be confidential. 
Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


Springfield, Illinois, May 26, i860. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : I have several letters from you 
written since the nomination, but till now have 
found no moment to say a word by way of an- 
swer. Of course I am glad that the nomination 
is well received by our friends, and I sincerely 
thank you for so informing me. So far as I can 
learn, the nominations start well everywhere; 
and, if they get no back-set, it would seem as 
if they are going through. I hope you will write 
often ; and as you write more rapidly than I do, 
don't make your letters so short as mine. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, September 9, i860. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 5th was received 
last evening. I was right glad to see it. It con- 
tains the freshest "posting" which I now have. 
It relieved me some from a little anxiety I had 
about Maine. Jo Medill, on August 30th, wrote 
me that Colfax had a letter from Mr. Hamlin 
saying we were in great danger of losing two 
members of Congress in Maine, and that your 
brother would not have exceeding six thousand 
majority for governor. I addressed you at once, 
at Galena, asking for your latest information. 
As you are at Washington, that letter you will 
receive some time after the Maine election. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 


[Private and Confidential.'] 

Springfield, Illinois, December 13, i860. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : Your long letter received. Pre- 
vent, as far as possible, any of our friends from 
demoralizing themselves and our cause by enter- 
taining propositions for compromise of any sort 
on "slavery extension." There is no possible 
compromise upon it but which puts us under 
again, and leaves all our work to do over again. 
Whether it be a Missouri line or Eli Thayer's 
popular sovereignty, it is all the same. Let 
either be done, and immediately filibustering and 
extending slavery recommences. On that point 
hold firm, as with a chain of steel. 
Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, December 21, i860. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: Last night I received your let- 
ter giving an account of your interview with 
General Scott, and for which I thank you. Please 
present my respects to the general, and tell him, 
confidentially, I shall be obliged to him to be as 
well prepared as he can to either hold or retake 
the forts, as the case may require, at and after 
the inauguration. Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Private and Confidential.] 

Executive Mansion, ' 
Washington, October 26, 1863. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 12th has been in 


my hands several days. Inclosed I send the leave 
of absence for your brother, in as good form as 
I think I can safely put it. Without knowing 
whether he would accept it, I have tendered the 
collectorship at Portland, Maine, to your other 
brother, the governor. 

Thanks to both you and our friend Campbell 
for your kind words and intentions. A second 
term would be a great honor and a great labor, 
which, together, perhaps I would not decline if 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 18, L863. 
Hon. E. B. Washburne. 

My dear Sir : The joint resolution of thanks to 
General Grant and those under his command has 
been before me, and is approved. If agreeable 
to you, I shall be glad for you to superintend the 
getting up of the medal, and the making of the 
copy to be engrossed on parchment, which I am 
to transmit to the general. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washburne, Israel, and Other New Eng- 
land Governors. 


War Department, September 11, 1861. 
General Butler proposes raising in New Eng- 
land six regiments, to be recruited and com- 
manded by himself, and to go on special service. 


I shall be glad if you, as governor of , 

will answer by telegraph if you consent. 

A. Lincoln. 

[Circular Letter. Private and Confidential.'] 

War Department, 

July 3, 1862. 10.30 a. m. 
Governor Washburne, Maine [and other gover- 
I should not want the half of 300,000 new 
troops if I could have them now. If I had 50,000 
additional troops here now, I believe I could 
substantially close the war in two weeks. But 
time is everything, and if I get 50,000 new men 
in a month, I shall have lost 20,000 old ones 
during the same month, having gained only 30,- 
000, with the difference between old and new 
troops still against me. The quicker you send, 
the fewer you will have to send. Time is every- 
thing. Please act in view of this. The enemy 
having given up Corinth, it is not wonderful that 
he is thereby enabled to check us for a time at 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington "Chronicle." 

[Anonymous Note.] 

June 6, 1863. 
Editor of the "Chronicle" : 

In your issue of this morning you have an article 
on the Chicago "Times." Being an Illinoisian, I happen 
to know that much of the article is incorrect. As I 
remember, upon the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 
the Democratic newspapers at Chicago went over to the 
opposition. Thereupon the "Times" was established by 

WATSON, P. H. 283 

the friends of the administration. Senator Douglas 
being the most prominent in establishing it. A man by 
the name of James Sheahan, from this city, was its 
first and only editor nearly if not quite all the remainder 
of the senator's life. On the political separation be- 
tween Mr. Buchanan and Senator Douglas, the "Times" 
adhered to the senator, and was the ablest paper in his 
support through his senatorial contest with Mr. Lin- 
coln. Since the last presidential election certainly, 
perhaps since Senator Douglas's death, Mr. Sheahan left 
the "Times" ; the "Times" since then has been identical 
with the "Times" before then in little more than the 
name. The writer hereof is not well enough posted to 
say but that your article in other respects is correct. 

Watkins, N. W. 
[See Curtis, S. R., Dec. 16, 1862.] 

Watson, Gillet F. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, August 21, 1862. 
Gillet F. Watson, Williamsburg, Va. : 

Your telegram in regard to the lunatic asylum 
has been received. It is certainly a case of diffi- 
culty, but if you cannot remain, I cannot con- 
ceive who under my authority can. Remain as 
long as you safely can, and provide as well as 
you can for the poor inmates of the institution. 

A. Lincoln. 

Watson, P. H. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, April 2J, 1863. 

Hon. P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of W T ar. 

My dear Sir : I have attentively considered the 

matter of the "Republican," in regard to which 

you called on me the other day; and the result 


is that I prefer to make no change unless it shall 
again give just cause of offense, in which case 
I will at once withdraw the patronage it is en- 
joying at my hands. I believe it will not offend 
again; and if not, it is better to let the past go 
by quietly. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Webster, Fletcher. 
[See Cameron, Simon, June 17, 1861.] 

Webster, Thomas. 

Washington, September 9, 1862. 
Thomas Webster, Philadelphia: 

Your despatch received, and referred to Gen- 
eral Halleck, who must control the questions pre- 
sented. While I am not surprised at your anx- 
iety, I do not think you are in any danger. If 
half our troops were in Philadelphia, the enemy 
could take it, because he would not fear to leave 
the other half in his rear; but with the whole of 
them here, he dares not leave them in his rear. 

A. Lincoln. 

Weed, Thurlow. 

Springfield, Illinois, August 17, i860. 
My dear Sir: Yours of the 13th was received 
this morning. Douglas is managing the Bell 
element with great adroitness. He has his men 
in Kentucky to vote for the Bell candidate, pro- 
ducing a result which has badly alarmed and 
damaged Breckinridge, and at the same time 


has induced the Bell men to suppose that Bell 
will certainly be President if they can keep a 
few of the Northern States away from us by 
throwing them to Douglas. But you, better than 
I, understand all this. 

I think there will be the most extraordinary 
effort ever made to carry Xew York for Douglas. 
You and all others who write me from your State 
think the effort cannot succeed, and I hope you 
are right. Still it will require close watching 
and great efforts on the other side. 

Herewith I send you a copy of a letter written 
at Xew York, which sufficiently explains itself, 
and which may or may not give you a valuable 
hint. You have seen that Bell tickets have been 
put on the track both here and in Indiana. In 
both cases the object has been, I think, the same 
as the Hunt movement in New York — to throw 
States to Douglas. In our State we know 
the thing is engineered by Douglas men, and we 
do not believe they can make a great deal out 
of it. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, December 17, i860. 
Thurlow Weed, Esq. 

My dear Sir: Yours of the nth was received 
two days ago. Should the convocation of gov- 
ernors of which you speak seem desirous to know 
my views on the present aspect of things, tell 
them you judge from my speeches that I will 
be inflexible on the territorial question; that I 
probably think either the Missouri line ex- 
tended, or Douglas's and Eli Thayer's popular 
sovereignty, would lose us everything we gain 


by the election; that filibustering for all south of 
us and making slave States of it would follow, 
in spite of us, in either case ; also that I probably 
think all opposition, real and apparent, to 
the fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution 
ought to be withdrawn. 

I believe you can pretend to find but little, 
if anything, in my speeches about secession. But 
my opinion is, that no State can in any way law- 
fully get out of the Union without the consent 
of the others ; and that it is the duty of the Pres- 
ident and other government functionaries to run 
the machine as it is. 

Truly yours, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, February 4, 1861. 

Dear Sir : I have both your letter to myself and 
that to Judge Davis, in relation to a certain gen- 
tleman in your State claiming to dispense patron- 
age in my name, and also to be authorized to 
use my name to advance the chances of Mr. 
Greeley for an election to the United States 

It is very strange that such things should be 
said by any one. The gentleman you mention 
did speak to me of Mr. Greeley in connection 
with the senatorial election, and I replied in 
terms of kindness toward Mr. Greeley, which I 
really feel, but always with an expressed protest 
that my name must not be used in the senatorial 
election in favor of, or against, any one. Any 
other representation of me is a misrepresentation. 

As to the matter of dispensing patronage, it 
perhaps will surprise you to learn that I have in- 
formation that you claim to have my authority 


to arrange that matter in New York. I do not 
believe that you have so claimed; but still so 
some men say. On that subject you know all 
I have said to you is "justice to all," and I have 
said nothing more particular to any one. I say 
this to reassure you that I have not changed 
my position. In the hope, however, that you will 
not use my name in the matter, I am 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, January 29, 1863. 
Hon. Thurlow Weed. 

Dear Sir: Your valedictory to the patrons of 
the Albany "Evening Journal" brings me a good 
deal of uneasiness. What does it mean ? 

Truly yours, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October 14, 1863. 
Hon. Thurlow Weed. 

My dear Sir : I have been brought to fear 
recently that somehow, by commission or omis- 
sion, I have caused you some degree of pain. 
I have never entertained an unkind feeling or 
a disparaging thought toward you ; and if I have 
said or done anything which has been construed 
into such unkindness or disparagement, it has 
been misconstrued. I am sure if we could meet 
we would not part with any unpleasant impres- 
sion on either side. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 


Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 25, 1864. 
Hon. Thurlow Weed. 

My dear Sir : I have been both pained and sur- 
prised recently at learning that you are wounded 
because a suggestion of yours as to the mode 
of conducting our national difficulty has not been 
followed — pained because I very much wish you 
to have no unpleasant feeling proceeding from 
me, and surprised, because my impression is that 
I have seen you since the last message issued, 
apparently feeling very cheerful and happy. 
How is this? 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, March 15, 1865. 
Dear Mr. Weed : 

Every one likes a compliment. Thank you for 
yours on my little notification speech and on the 
recent inaugural address. I expect the latter to 
wear as well as — perhaps better than — anything 
I have produced; but I believe it is not imme- 
diately popular. Men are not flattered by being 
shown that there has been a difference of purpose 
between the Almighty and them. To deny it, 
however, in this case, is to deny that there is a 
God governing the world. It is a truth which 
I thought needed to be told, and, as whatever of 
humiliation there is in it falls most directly on 
myself, I thought others might afford for me 
to tell it. 

Truly yours, 

A. Lincoln. 


Weitzel, Godfrey. 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, 
City Point, April 6, 1865. 
Major-General Weitzel, Richmond, Virginia : 

It has been intimated to me that the gentlemen 
who have acted as the legislature of Virginia 
in support of the rebellion may now desire to as- 
semble at Richmond and take measures to with- 
draw the Virginia troops and other support from 
resistance to the General Government. If they 
attempt it, give them permission and protection, 
until, if at all, they attempt some action hostile 
to the United States, in which case you will no- 
tify them, give them reasonable time to leave, 
and at the end of which time arrest any who re- 
main. Allow Judge Campbell to see this, but do 
not make it public. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, April 12, 1865. 
Major-General Weitzel, Richmond, Virginia : 

I have just seen Judge Campbell's letter to you 
of the 7th. He assumes, as appears to me, that 
I have called the insurgent legislature of Virginia 
together, as the rightful legislature of the State, 
to settle all differences with the United States. 
I have done no such thing. I spoke of them, 
not as a legislature, but as "the gentlemen who 
have acted as the legislature of Virginia in sup- 
port of the rebellion." I did this on purpose to 
exclude the assumption that I was recognizing 
them as a rightful body. I dealt with them as 


men having power de facto to do a specific thing, 
to wit: "To withdraw the Virginia troops and 
other support from resistance to the General 
Government," for which, in the paper handed 
Judge Campbell, I promised a specific equivalent, 
to wit : a remission to the people of the State, 
except in certain cases, of the confiscation of 
their property. I meant this, and no more. In- 
asmuch, however, as Judge Campbell miscon- 
strues this, and is still pressing for an armistice, 
contrary to the explicit statement of the paper I 
gave him, and particularly as General Grant has 
since captured the Virginia troops, so that giv- 
ing a consideration for their withdrawal is no 
longer applicable, let my letter to you and the 
paper to Judge Campbell both be withdrawn, or 
countermanded, and he be notified of it. Do not 
now allow them to assemble but if any have come, 
allow them safe return to their homes. 

A. Lincoln. 


Washington, D. C, April 12, 1865. 
Major-General Weitzel, Richmond, Virginia : 

I have seen your despatch to Colonel Hardie 
about the matter of prayers. I do not remember 
hearing prayers spoken of while I was in Rich- 
mond; but I have no doubt you have acted in 
what appeared to you to be the spirit and temper 
manifested by me while there. Is there any sign 
of the rebel legislature coming together on the 
understanding of my letter to you? If there is 
any such sign, inform me what it is; if there is 
no such sign, you may withdraw the offer. 

A. Lincoln. 


Welles, Gideox. 


Executive Mansion, May 11, 1861. 
To the Secretary of the Navy. 

Sir : Lieut. D. D. Porter was placed in com- 
mand of the steamer Powhatan, and Captain 
Samuel Mercer was detached therefrom, by my 
special order, and neither of them is responsible 
for any apparent or real irregularity on their 
part or in connection with that vessel. 

Hereafter Captain Porter is relieved from that 
special service and placed under the direction of 
the Navy Department, from which he will receive 
instructions and to which he will report. 

Very respectfully, Abraham Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 4, 1863. 
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. 

Dear Sir: As many persons who come well 
recommended for loyalty and service to the 
Union cause, and who are refugees from rebel 
oppression in the State of Virginia, make appli- 
cation to me for authority and permission to re- 
move their families and property to protection 
within the Union lines, by means of our armed 
gunboats on the Potomac River and Chesapeake 
Bay, you are hereby requested to hear and con- 
sider all such applications, and to grant such 
assistance to this class of persons as in your 
judgment their merits may render proper, and as 
may in each case be consistent with the perfect 
and complete efficiency of the naval service and 
with military expediency. Abraham Lincoln. 

[April 21, 1863. See Seward, William H.] 


[Order Regarding Contraband Trade.} 

Executive Mansion, July 25, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of the Navy. 

Sir: Certain matters have come to my notice, 
and considered by me, which induce me to believe 
that it will conduce to the public interest for 
you to add to the general instructions given our 
naval commanders in relation to contraband 
trade propositions substantially as follows, to wit : 

First. You will avoid the reality, and as far 
as possible the appearance, of using any neutral 
port to watch neutral vessels and then to dart 
out and seize them on their departure. 

Note. Complaint is made that this has been 
practiced at the port of St. Thomas, which prac- 
tice, if it exists, is disapproved and must cease. 

Second. You will not in any case detain the 
crew of a captured neutral vessel or any other 
subject of a neutral power, on board such vessel, 
as prisoners of war or otherwise, except the small 
number necessary as witnesses in the prize court. 

Note. The practice here forbidden is also 
charged to exist, which, if true, is disapproved 
and must cease. 

My dear sir, it is not intended to be insinuated 
that you have been remiss in the performance 
of the arduous and responsible duties of your 
department which, I take pleasure in affirming, 
has in your hands been conducted with admirable 
success. Yet, while your subordinates are almost 
of necessity brought into angry collision with the 
subjects of foreign states, the representatives of 
those states and yourself do not come into im- 
mediate contact for the purpose of keeping the 
peace, in spite of such collisions. At that point 

WELLING, J. C. 293 

there is an ultimate and heavy responsibility 
upon me. 

What I propose is in strict accordance with 
international law, and is therefore unobjection- 
able ; whilst, if it does no other good, it will con- 
tribute to sustain a considerable portion of the 
present British ministry in their places, who, if 
displaced, are sure to be replaced by others more 
unfavorable to us. 

Your obedient servant, 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 20, 1863. 
Hon. Secretary of the Navy. 

My dear Sir: General Gillmore, believing that 
a joint movement of the army and navy is not 
likely to be made against Charleston very soon, 
has written asking leave to operate independ- 
ently of the navy for a time. As this application 
comes to me, I will thank you to inform me how 
long, according to any plan or reasonable calcula- 
tion of the navy, it will be before it will need the 
actual cooperation of the army before Charleston. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Welling, J. C. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 25, 1864. 
J. C. Welling, Esq. 

Sir: According to the request contained in 
your note, I have placed Mr. Gibson's letter of 
resignation in the hands of the President. He 
has read the letter, and says he accepts the resig- 


nation, as he will be glad to do with any other, 
which may be tendered, as this is, for the purpose 
of taking an attitude of hostility against him. 

He says he was not aware that he was so 
much indebted to Mr. Gibson for having accepted 
the office at first, not remembering that he ever 
pressed him to do so, or that he gave it otherwise 
than as was usual, upon request made on behalf 
of Mr. Gibson. 

He thanks Mr. Gibson for his acknowledg- 
ment that he has been treated with personal kind- 
ness and consideration, and he says he knows 
of but two small drawbacks upon Mr. Gibson's 
right to still receive such treatment, one of which 
is that he never could learn of his giving much 
attention to the duties of his office, and the other 
is this studied attempt of Mr. Gibson's to stab 
him. I am, very truly, 

Your obedient servant, 

John Hay. 

Westcott, Edward J. 
[See Chase, Salmon P., March 27, 1863.] 

West Virginia. 
[See Cabinet, The, Dec. 23, 1863.] 

Wetherill, Doctor. 
[See Agriculture, Commissioner of.] 

Whitney, Henry C. 

Springfield, June 7, 1855. 
My dear Sir: Your note containing election 
news is received; and for which I thank you. 


It is all of no use, however. Logan is worse 
beaten than any other man ever was since elec- 
tions were invented, beaten more than 1200 in 
this county. 

It is conceded on all hands that the Prohibitory 
law is also beaten. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, July 9, 1856. 
Dear Whitney : I now expect to go to Chicago 
on the 15th, and I probably shall remain there 
or thereabouts for about two weeks. 

It turned me blind when I first heard Swett 
was beaten and Love joy nominated; but, after 
much reflection, I really believe it is best to let 
it stand. This, of course, I wish to be confi- 

Lamon did get your deeds. I went with him 
to the office, got them, and put them in his hands 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

In a letter, dated December 18, 1857, Mr. Lincoln 
answers Mr. Whitney's request for legal information 
by imparting it. He adds : "You must not think of 
offering me pay for this." He closes as follows : 

Mr. John O. Johnson is my friend ; I gave your 
name to him. He is doing the work of trying to 
get up a Republican organization. I do not sup- 
pose "Long John"* ever saw or heard of him. 
Let me say to you confidentially, that I do not 

*John YVentworth, a Republican leader of Chicago. 


entirely appreciate what the Republican papers 
of Chicago are so constantly saying against 
"Long John." I consider those papers truly de- 
voted to the Republican cause, and not unfriendly 
to me; but I do think that more of what they 
say against "Long John" is dictated by personal 
malice than themselves are conscious of. We 
cannot afford to lose the services of "Long John" 
and I do believe the unrelenting warfare made 
upon him is injuring our cause. I mean this to 
be confidential. 

If you quietly cooperate with Mr. J. O. John- 
son in getting up an organization, I think it will 
be right. 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, June 24, 1858. 
My dear Sir : Your letter enclosing the attack of 
the "Times" upon me was received this morning. 
Give yourself no concern about my voting against 
the supplies,* unless you are without faith that 
a lie can be successfully contradicted. There is 
not a word of truth in the charge, and I am just 
considering a little as to the best shape to put 
a contradiction in. Show this to whomsoever 
you please, but do not publish it in the papers. 
Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Williams, Archibald. 

Washington, April 30, 1848. 
Dear Williams : I have not seen in the papers 

*/. e., to the American soldiers in the Mexican War, when 
Lincoln was in Congress. 


any evidence of a movement to send a delegate 
from your circuit to the June convention. I 
wish to say that I think it all-important that a 
delegate should be sent. Mr. Clay's chance for an 
election is just no chance at all. He might get 
New York, and that would have elected in 
1844, but it will not now, because he must now, 
at the least, lose Tennessee, which he had then, 
and in addition the fifteen new votes of Florida, 
Texas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. I know our good 
friend Browning is a great admirer of Mr. Clay, 
and I therefore fear he is favoring his nomina- 
tion. If he is, ask him to discard feeling, and 
try if he can possibly, as a matter of judgment, 
count the votes necessary to elect him. 

In my judgment we can elect nobody but Gen- 
eral Taylor; and we cannot elect him without a 
nomination. Therefore don't fail to send a dele- 

Your friend as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Washington, June 12, 1848. 
Dear Williams : On my return from Philadel- 
phia, where I had been attending the nomination 
of "Old Rough," I found your letter in a mass 
of others which had accumulated in my absence. 
By many, and often, it had been said they would 
not abide the nomination of Taylor; but since 
the deed has been done, they are fast falling in, 
and in my opinion we shall have a most over- 
whelming, glorious triumph. One unmistakable 
sign is that all the odds and ends are with us — 
Barnburners, Native Americans, Tyler men, dis- 
appointed office-seeking Locofocos, and the Lord 


knows what. This is important, if in nothing 
else, in showing which way the wind blows. Some 
of the sanguine men have set down all the States 
as certain for Taylor but Illinois, and it as doubt- 
ful. Cannot something be done even in Illinois? 
Taylor's nomination takes the Locos on the blind 
side. It turns the war thunder against them. 
The war is now to them the gallows of Haman, 
which they built for us, and on which they are 
doomed to be hanged themselves. 

Excuse this short letter. I have so many to 
write that I cannot devote much time to any 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Williams, John, and Taylor, N. G. 
[ Telegram. ] 

War Department, October 17, 1863. 
John Williams and N. G. Taylor, Knoxville, 
Tennessee : 
You do not estimate the holding of East Ten- 
nessee more highly than I do. There is no abso- 
lute purpose of withdrawing our forces from it, 
and only a contingent one to withdraw them 
temporarily for the purpose of not losing the 
position permanently. I am in great hope of not 
finding it necessary to withdraw them at all, par- 
ticularly if you raise new troops rapidly for us 

A. Lincoln. 


Wilson, Charles L. 

Springfield, June 1, 1858. 
Charles L. Wilson, Esq. 

My dear Sir : Yours of yesterday, with the 
inclosed newspaper slip, is received. I have never 
said or thought more, as to the inclination of 
some of our Eastern Republican friends to favor 
Douglas, than I expressed in your hearing on 
the evening of the 21st of April, at the State 
library in this place. I have believed — I do be- 
lieve now — that Greeley, for instance, would be 
rather pleased to see Douglas reelected over me 
or any other Republican; and yet I do not be- 
lieve it is so because of any secret arrangement 
with Douglas. It is because he thinks Douglas's 
superior position, reputation, experience, ability, 
if you please, would more than compensate for 
his lack of a pure Republican position, and there- 
fore his reelection do the general cause of Re- 
publicanism more good than would the election 
of any one of our better undistinguished pure 
Republicans. I do not know how you estimate 
Greeley, but I consider him incapable of corrup- 
tion or falsehood. He denies that he directly is 
taking part in favor of Douglas, and I believe 
him. Still his feeling constantly manifests itself 
in his paper, which, being so extensively read 
in Illinois, is, and will continue to be, a drag 
upon us. I have also thought that Governor 
Seward, too, feels about as Greeley does, but 
not being a newspaper editor, his feeling in 
this respect is not much manifested. I have 
no idea that he is, by conversation or by 
letter, urging Illinois Republicans to vote for 



As to myself, let me pledge you my word that 
neither I, nor any friend so far as I know, has 
been setting stake against Governor Seward. No 
combination has been made with me, or pro- 
posed to me, in relation to the next presidential 
candidate. The same thing is true in regard to 
the next governor of our State. I am not directly 
or indirectly committed to any one, nor has any 
one made any advance to me upon the subject. 
I have had many free conversations with John 
Wentworth ; but he never dropped a remark that 
led me to suspect that he wishes to be governor. 
Indeed it is due to truth to say that while he 
has uniformly expressed himself for me, he has 
never hinted at any condition. 

The signs are that we shall have a good con- 
vention on the 1 6th and I think our prospects 
generally are improving some every day. I be- 
lieve we need nothing so much as to get rid of 
unjust suspicions of one another. 
Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Winslow, John A. 
[Message to Congress.] 

To the Senate and House of Representatives : 
In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most 
cordially recommend that Captain John A. Win- 
slow, United States Navy, receive a vote of thanks 
from Congress for the skill and gallantry ex- 
hibited by him in the brilliant action whilst in 
command of the United States steamer Kear- 
sarge, which led to the total destruction of the 
piratical craft Alabama, on the 19th of June, 


1864, a vessel superior in tonnage, superior in 
number of guns, and superior in number of 

crew. ... . 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, December 5, 1864. 

Wood, Fernando. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 12, 1862. 
Hon. Fernando Wood. 

My dear Sir : Your letter of the 8th, with the 
accompanying note of same date, was received 
yesterday. The most important paragraph in the 
letter, as I consider, is in these words: "On 
the 25th of November last I was advised by 
an authority which I deemed likely to be well 
informed as well as reliable and truthful, that 
the Southern States would send representatives 
to the next Congress, provided that a full and 
general amnesty should permit them to do so. 
No guaranties 'or terms were asked for other 
than the amnesty referred to." 

I stronglv suspect your information will prove 
to be groundless ; nevertheless, I thank you for 
communicating it to me. Understanding the 
phrase in the paragraph above quoted— "the 
Southern States would send representatives 
to the next Congress"— to be substantially the 
same as that "the people of the Southern States 
would cease resistance, and would reinaugurate, 
submit to, and maintain the national authority 
within the limits of such States under the Con- 
stitution of the United States," I say that in 
such case the war would cease on the part of 


the United States ; and that if within a reasonable 
time "a full and general amnesty" were necessary 
to such end, it would not be withheld. 

I do not think it would be proper now for me 
to communicate this formally or informally to 
the people of the Southern States. My belief is 
that they already know it ; and when they choose, 
if ever, they can communicate with me unequivo- 
cally. Nor do I think it proper now to suspend 
military operations to try any experiment of ne- 

I should nevertheless receive with great pleas- 
ure the exact information you now have, and 
also such other as you may in any way obtain. 
Such information might be more valuable before 
the ist of January than afterward. 

While there is nothing in this letter which I 
shall dread to see in history, it is, perhaps, better 
for the present that its existence should not be- 
come public. I therefore have to request that 
you will regard it as confidential. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

Woodruff, T. 
[Indorsement on Letter.] 

In answer to the within question, "Shall we 
be sustained by you?" I have to answer that at 
the beginning of the administration I appointed 
one whom I understood to be an editor of the 
"Democrat" to be postmaster at St. Louis — the 
best office in my gift within Missouri. Soon 
after this our friends at St. Louis must needs, 
break into factions, the "Democrat" being in my 

WOOL, JOHN E. 303 

opinion justly chargeable with a full share of 
the blame for it. I have stoutly tried to keep 
out of the quarrel, and so mean to do. 

As to contracts and jobs, I understand that by 
the law they are awarded to the best bidders; 
and if the government agents at St. Louis do 
differently, it would be good ground to prosecute 
them upon. 

A. Lincoln. 

April 16, 1863. 

Wool, John E. 

Springfield, Illinois, January 14, 1861. 
General John E. Wool. 

My dear Sir : Many thanks for your patriotic 
and generous letter of the nth instant. As to 
how far the military force of the government 
may become necessary to the preservation of the 
Lmion, and more particularly how that force can 
best be directed to the object, I must chiefly rely 
upon General Scott and yourself. It affords me 
the profoundest satisfaction to know that with 
both of you judgment and feeling go heartily 
with your sense of professional and official duty 
to the work. 

It is true that I have given but little attention 
to the military department of government; but, 
be assured, I cannot be ignorant as to who Gen- 
eral Wool is, or what he has done. With my 
highest esteem and gratitude, I subscribe myself 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 


Worden, John L. 
[Message to Congress.] 

To the Senate and House of Representatives : 
In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most 
cordially recommend that Commander John L. 
Worden, United States Navy, receive a vote of 
thanks of Congress for the eminent skill and 
gallantry exhibited by him in the late remarkable 
battle between the United States iron-clad 
steamer Monitor, under his command, and the 
rebel iron-clad steamer Merrimac, in March 
last. . . . Abraham Lincoln. 

Washington, D. C, December 8, 1862. 

Working-men of Manchester, England. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 19, 1863. 
To the Working-men of Manchester: I have 
the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the ad- 
dress and resolutions which you sent me on the 
eve of the new year. When I came, on the 4th 
of March, 1861, through a free and constitutional 
election to preside in the Government of the 
United States, the country was found at the 
verge of civil war. Whatever might have been 
the cause, or whosesoever the fault, one duty, 
paramount to all others, was before me, namely, 
to maintain and preserve at once the Constitution 
and the integrity of the Federal Republic. A 
conscientious purpose to perform this duty is 
the key to all the measures of administration 
which have been and to all which will hereafter 
be pursued. Under our frame of government 
and my official oath, I could not depart from 


this purpose if I would. It is not always in the 
power of governments to enlarge or restrict the 
scope of moral results which follow the policies 
that they may deem it necessary for the public 
safety from time to time to adopt. 

I have understood well that the duty of self- 
preservation rests solely with the American peo- 
ple ; but I have at the same time been aware that 
favor or disfavor of foreign nations might have 
a material influence in enlarging or prolonging 
the struggle with disloyal men in which the coun- 
try is engaged. A fair examination of history 
has served to authorize a belief that the past ac- 
tions and influences of the United States were 
generally regarded as having been beneficial to- 
ward mankind. I have, therefore, reckoned upon 
the forbearance of nations. Circumstances — to 
some of which you kindly allude — induce me es- 
pecially to expect that if justice and good faith 
should be practiced by the United States, they 
would encounter no hostile influence on the part 
of Great Britain. It is now a pleasant duty to 
acknowledge the demonstration you have given 
of your desire that a spirit of amity and peace 
toward this country may prevail in the councils 
of your Queen, who is respected and esteemed 
in your own country only more than she is by 
the kindred nation which has its home on this 
side of the Atlantic. 

I know and deeply deplore the sufferings 
which the working-men at Manchester, and in all 
Europe, are called to endure in this crisis. It 
has been often and studiously represented that 
the attempt to overthrow this government, which 
was built upon the foundation of human rights, 
and to substitute for it one which should rest 


exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was 
likely to obtain the favor of Europe. Through 
the action of our disloyal citizens, the working- 
men of Europe have been subjected to severe 
trials, for the purpose of forcing their sanction 
to that attempt. Under the circumstances, I can- 
not but regard your decisive utterances upon the 
question as an instance of sublime Christian hero- 
ism which has not been surpassed in any age or 
in any country. It is indeed an energetic and 
reinspiring assurance of the inherent power of 
truth, and of the ultimate and universal triumph 
of justice, humanity, and freedom. I do not 
doubt that the sentiments you have expressed 
will be sustained by your great nation; and, on 
the other hand, I have no hesitation in assuring 
you that they will excite admiration, esteem, and 
the most reciprocal feelings of friendship among 
the American people. I hail this interchange 
of sentiment, therefore, as an augury that what- 
ever else may happen, whatever misfortune may 
befall your country or my own, the peace and 
friendship which now exist between the two na- 
tions will be, as it shall be my desire to make 
them, perpetual. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Working-men of London, England. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, February 2, 1863. 
To the Working-men of London: I have re- 
ceived the New Year's address which you have 
sent me, with a sincere appreciation of the ex- 
alted and humane sentiments by which it was 

WRIGHT, C. I. 307 

As these sentiments are manifestly the endur- 
ing support of the free institutions of England, 
so I am sure also that they constitute the only 
reliable basis for free institutions throughout the 

The resources, advantages, and powers of the 
American people are very great, and they have 
consequently succeeded to equally great respon- 
sibilities. It seems to have devolved upon them 
to test whether a government established on the 
principles of human freedom can be maintained 
against an effort to build one upon the exclusive 
foundation of human bondage. They will rejoice 
with me in the new evidences which your pro- 
ceedings furnish that the magnanimity they are 
exhibiting is justly estimated by the true friends 
of freedom and humanity in foreign countries. 

Accept my best wishes for your individual wel- 
fare, and for the welfare and happiness of the 
whole British people. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

"World," New York. 
[See Dix, John A., May 18, 1864.] 

Wright, C. J., and Hawkes, C. K. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, January 7, 1864. 
Messrs. Craft J. Wright and C. K. Hawkes. 

Gentlemen : You have presented me a plan for 
getting cotton and other products from within 
the rebel lines, from which you think the United 
States will derive some advantage. 

Please, carefully and considerately, answer me 
the following questions : 


First. If now, without any new order or rule, 
a rebel should come into our lines with cotton, 
and offer to take the oath of December 8, what 
do you understand would be done with him and 
his cotton? 

Second. How will the physical difficulty and 
danger of getting cotton from within the rebel 
lines be lessened by your plan? Or how will the 
owner's motive to surmount that difficulty and 
danger be heightened by it? 

Third. If your plan be adopted, where do you 
propose putting the cotton, etc., into market? how 
assure the government of your good faith in the 
business? and how be compensated for your 
services ? 

Very respectfully, 

A. Lincoln. 

Wright, Doctor. 
[See Foster, J. G., Oct. 15 and 17, 1865.] 

Wright, J. A. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July 31, 1862. 
Hon. Joseph A. Wright. 

My dear Sir: Our mutual friends R. W. 
Thompson and John P. Usher assure me that 
they believe you, more certainly than any other 
man, can carry the Terre Haute district for the 
Union cause. Please try. The effort shall not 
go unappreciated so far as I am concerned. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 



[Message to Congress.] 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives : In accordance with a letter addressed 
by the Secretary of State, with my approval, to 
the Hon. Joseph A. Wright of Indiana, that 
patriotic and distinguished gentleman repaired 
to Europe and attended the international agri- 
cultural exhibition held at Hamburg last year, 
and has, since his return, made a report to me 
which, it is believed, cannot fail to be of general 
interest, and especially so to the agricultural 
community. I transmit for your consideration 
copies of the letter and report. While it appears 
by the letter that no reimbursement of expenses 
or compensation was promised him, I submit 
whether reasonable allowance should not be made 
him for them. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

January 20, 1864. 

Yates, R., and Butler, Wm. 

Washington, April 10, 1862. 
Hon. R. Yates and William Butler, Springfield, 
Illinois : 
I fully appreciate General Pope's splendid 
achievements, with their invaluable results; but 
you must know that major-generalships in the 
regular army are not as plenty as blackberries. 

A. Lincoln. 

Yeatman, James. 
[See Stanton, Edwin M., March 28, 1865.] 


Unknown Addressees. 
[General Letter Asking a Recommendation.'] 

Springfield, Illinois, June 5, 1849. 
Dear Sir: Would you as soon I should have 
the General Land Office as any other Illinoisan? 
If you would, write me to that effect at Wash- 
ington, where I shall be soon. No time to lose. 

A. Lincoln. 

-, Esq. 

Springfield, December 15, 1849. 

Dear Sir: On my return from Kentucky, I 
found your letter of the 7th of November, and 
have. delayed answering it till now., for the rea- 
son I now briefly state. From the beginning of 
our acquaintance I have felt the greatest kind- 
ness for you, and had supposed it was recipro- 
cated on your part. Last summer, under circum- 
stances which I mentioned to you, I was painfully 
constrained to withhold a recommendation which 
you desired, and shortly afterward I learned, 
in such a way as to believe it, that you were in- 
dulging in open abuse of me. Of course my 
feelings were wounded. On receiving your last 
letter, the question occurred whether you were 
attempting to use me at the same time yen 
would injure me, or whether you might not 
have been misrepresented to me. If the former, 
I ought not to answer you ; if the latter, I ought ; 
and so I have remained in suspense. I now in- 
close you the letter, which you may use if you 
see fit. 

A. Lincoln. 


{Extract from Letter to Kansas Delegate.] 

March 10, i860. 

As to your kind wishes for myself, allow me to 
say I cannot enter the ring on the money basis — 
first, because in the main it is wrong; and sec- 
ondly, I have not and cannot get the money. I 
say in the main the use of money is wrong; but 
for certain objects in a political contest, the use 
of some, is both right, and indispensable. With 
me, as with yourself, this long struggle has been 
one of great pecuniary loss. I now distinctly 
say this — If you shall be appointed a delegate 
to Chicago, I will funish one hundred dollars to 
bear the expenses of the trip. 

Present my respects to Genl. Lane ; and say to 
him, I shall be pleased to hear from him at any 

Your friend, as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

Springfield, Illinois, April 14, i860. 
My dear Sir: Reaching home last night, I 
found your letter of the 7th. You know I was 
in New England. Some of the acquaintances 
I made while there write to me since the election 
that the close vote in Connecticut and the quasi 
defeat in Rhode Island are a drawback upon the 
prospects of Governor Seward; and Trumbull 
writes Dubois to the same effect. Do not men- 
tion this as coming from me. Both those States 
are safe enough for us in the fall. I see by the 
despatches that since you wrote Kansas has ap- 
pointed delegates and instructed them for Sew- 
ard. Do not stir them up to anger, but come 


along to the convention, and I will do as I said 
about expenses. 

Yours as ever, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Form of Reply Prepared by Mr. Lincoln for Use 
in the Campaign of i860.] 

Springfield, Illinois, , i860. 

Dear Sir: Your letter to Mr. Lincoln of 

, and by which you seek to obtain his 

opinions on certain political points, has been re- 
ceived by him. He has received others of a sim- 
ilar character, but he also has a greater number 
of the exactly opposite character. The latter 
class beseech him to write nothing whatever upon 
any point of political doctrine. They say his 
positions were well known when he was nomi- 
nated, and that he must not now embarrass the 
canvass by undertaking to shift or modify them. 
He regrets that he cannot oblige all, but you 
perceive it is impossible for him to do so. 

Yours, etc., 
Jno. G. Nicolay. 

Hon. John . 


Springfield, 111., Aug. 31, i860. 

Hon. John . 

My dear Sir: Yours of the 27th is duly re- 
ceived — It consists almost exclusively of a his- 
torical detail of some local troubles, among some 
of our friends in Pennsylvania ; and I suppose its 
object is to guard me against forming a preju- 
dice against Mr. McC . I have not heard 


near so much upon that subject as you probably 
suppose ; and I am slow to listen to criminations 
among friends, and never expose their quarrels 
on either side — My sincere wish is that both 
sides will allow by-gones to be by-gones, and 
look to the present and future only. 

Yours very truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

[Endorsement of Application for Employment.'] 

August 15, 1864. 

I am always for the man who wishes to work ; 
and I shall be glad for this man to get suitable 
employment at Cavalry Depot, or elsewhere. 

A. Lincoln. 

7f.Z009. 0&<1 01/43