The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am annoyed some by a letter from a friend in Chicago,
in which the following passage occurs: "Hamlin has written Colfax
that two members of Congress will, he fears, be lost in Maine, the
first and sixth districts; and that Washburne's majority for governor
will not exceed six thousand."

I had heard something like this six weeks ago, but had been assured
since that it was not so. Your secretary of state,--Mr. Smith, I
think,--whom you introduced to me by letter, gave this assurance;
more recently, Mr. Fessenden, our candidate for Congress in one of
those districts, wrote a relative here that his election was sure by
at least five thousand, and that Washburne's majority would be from
14,000 to 17,000; and still later, Mr. Fogg, of New Hampshire, now at
New York serving on a national committee, wrote me that we were
having a desperate fight in Maine, which would end in a splendid
victory for us.

Such a result as you seem to have predicted in Maine, in your letter
to Colfax, would, I fear, put us on the down-hill track, lose us the
State elections in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and probably ruin us on
the main turn in November.

You must not allow it.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO E. B. WASHBURNE.

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS,
September 9, 1860

HON. E. B. WASHBURNE.

MY DEAR SIR: Yours of the 5th was received last evening. I was right
glad to see it. It contains the freshest "posting" which I now have.
It relieved me some from a little anxiety I had about Maine. Jo
Medill, on August 3oth, 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.

TO W. H. HERNDON.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., OCTOBER 10, 1860

DEAR WILLIAM:--I cannot give you details, but it is entirely certain
that Pennsylvania and Indiana have gone Republican very largely.
Pennsylvania 25,000, and Indiana 5000 to 10,000. Ohio of course is
safe.

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

TO L. M. BOND.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., October 15, 1860

L. MONTGOMERY BOND, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR: I certainly am in no temper and have no purpose to
embitter the feelings of the South, but whether I am inclined to such
a course as would in fact embitter their feelings you can better
judge by my published speeches than by anything I would say in a
short letter if I were inclined now, as I am not, to define my
position anew.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

LETTER SUGGESTING A BEARD

TO MISS GRACE BEDELL, RIPLEY N.Y.

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., October 19, 1860

MISS GRACE BEDELL.

MY DEAR LITTLE MISS:--Your very agreeable letter of the 15th is
received. I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughter. I
have three sons--one seventeen, one nine, and one seven. They with
their mother constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, as I
have never worn any, do you not think that people would call it a
piece of silly affectation were I to begin wearing them now?

I am your true friend and sincere well-wisher,

A. LINCOLN.

EARLY INFORMATION ON ARMY DEFECTION IN SOUTH

TO D. HUNTER.

(Private and Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, October 26, 1860

MAJOR DAVID HUNTER

MY DEAR SIR:--Your very kind letter of the 20th was duly received,
for which please accept my thanks. I have another letter, from a
writer unknown to me, saying the officers of the army at Fort Kearny
have determined in case of Republican success at the approaching
Presidential election, to take themselves, and the arms at that
point, south, for the purpose of resistance to the government. While
I think there are many chances to one that this is a humbug, it
occurs to me that any real movement of this sort in the Army would
leak out and become known to you. In such case, if it would not be
unprofessional or dishonorable (of which you are to be judge), I
shall be much obliged if you will apprise me of it.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN

(Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD. ILLINOIS, November 8, 1860

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am anxious for a personal interview with you at as
early a day as possible. Can you, without much inconvenience, meet
me at Chicago? If you can, please name as early a day as you
conveniently can, and telegraph me, unless there be sufficient time
before the day named to communicate by mail.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO SAMUEL HAYCRAFT.

(Private and Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Nov.13, 1860

HON. SAMUEL HAYCRAFT.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 9th is just received. I can only answer
briefly. Rest fully assured that the good people of the South who
will put themselves in the same temper and mood towards me which you
do will find no cause to complain of me.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

REMARKS AT THE MEETING AT SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS
TO CELEBRATE LINCOLN'S ELECTION,

NOVEMBER 20, 1860

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--Please excuse me on this occasion from
making a speech. I thank you in common with all those who have
thought fit by their votes to indorse the Republican cause. I
rejoice with you in the success which has thus far attended that
cause. Yet in all our rejoicings let us neither express nor cherish
any hard feelings toward any citizen who by his vote has differed
with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are
brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds
of fraternal feeling. Let me again beg you to accept my thanks, and
to excuse me from further speaking at this time.

TO ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. NOV. 30, 1860

HON. A. 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.

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN

(Private)
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, December 8, 1860

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 4th was duly received. The inclosed to
Governor Seward covers two notes to him, copies of which you find
open for your inspection. Consult with Judge Trumbull; and if you
and he see no reason to the contrary, deliver the letter to Governor
Seward at once. If you see reason to the contrary write me at once.

I have an intimation that Governor Banks would yet accept a place in
the Cabinet. Please ascertain and write me how this is,

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

BLOCKING "COMPROMISE" ON SLAVERY ISSUE

TO E. B. WASHBURNE

(Private and Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., December 13, 1860

HON. E. B. WASHBURNE.

MY DEAR SIR:--Your long letter received. Prevent, as far as
possible, any of our friends from demoralizing themselves and our
cause by entertaining 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.

OPINION ON SECESSION

TO THURLOW WEED

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, DECEMBER 17, 1860

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 11th was received two days ago. Should
the convocation of governors 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; but I
probably think either the Missouri line extended, 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 lawfully get out of the Union without the consent of the
others; and that it is the duty of the President and other government
functionaries to run the machine as it is.

Truly yours,

A. LINCOLN.

SOME FORTS SURRENDERED TO THE SOUTH

TO E. B. WASHBURNE

(Confidential)
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, December 21, 1860

HON. E. B. WASHBURNE.

MY DEAR SIR:--Last night I received your letter 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.

TO A. H. STEPHENS.

(For your own eye only)

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, DECEMBER 22, 1860

HON. ALEXANDER STEVENS

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 responsibility on
me. Do the people of the South really entertain fear 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 suppose, is the rub. It certainly is the
only substantial difference between us.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

SUPPORT OF THE FUGITIVE SLAVE CLAUSE

MEMORANDUM

December [22?], 1860

Resolved:
That the fugitive slave clause of the Constitution ought to be
enforced by a law of Congress, with efficient provisions for that
object, not obliging private persons to assist in its execution, but
punishing all who resist it, and with the usual safeguards to
liberty, securing free men against being surrendered as slaves.

That all State laws, if there be such, really or apparently in
conflict with such law of Congress, ought to be repealed; and no
opposition to the execution of such law of Congress ought to be made.

That the Federal Union must be preserved.

Prepared for the consideration of the Republican members of the
Senate Committee of Thirteen.

TO D. HUNTER.

(Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS December 22, 1860

MAJOR DAVID HUNTER.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am much obliged by the receipt of yours of the 18th.
The most we can do now is to watch events, and be as well prepared as
possible for any turn things may take. If the forts fall, my
judgment is that they are to be retaken. When I shall determine
definitely my time of starting to Washington, I will notify you.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO I. N. MORRIS

(Confidential.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Dec 24, 1860

HON. I. N. MORRIS.

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.

ATTEMPT TO FORM A COALITION CABINET

TO HANNIBAL HAMLIN

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, December 14, 1860.

HON. HANNIBAL HAMLIN.

MY DEAR SIR:--I need a man of Democratic antecedents from New
England. I cannot get a fair share of that element in without. This
stands in the way of Mr. Adams. I think of Governor Banks, Mr.
Welles, and Mr. Tuck. Which of them do the New England delegation
prefer? Or shall I decide for myself?

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

1861

TO WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

(Private.)
SPRINGFIELD. ILL., January 3, 1861.

HON. W. H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR:--Yours without signature was received last night. I have
been considering your suggestions as to my reaching Washington
somewhat 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 the absence of it? In view of
this, I think it is best for me not to attempt appearing in
Washington till the result 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 can not well decide. As yet, I have
no word from Mr. 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.

TO W. H. SEWARD.
(Private.)
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., 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 position 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 having 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
into insanity, to make changes.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN

TO E. D. MORGAN

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. FEB. 4, 1861

SIR:--Your letter of the 30th ult. inviting me, on behalf of the
Legislature of New York, to pass through that State on my way to
Washington, and tendering me the hospitalities of her authorities and
people, has been duly received. With the feelings of deep gratitude
to you and them for this testimonial of regard and esteem I beg you
to notify them that I accept the invitation so kindly tendered.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN

P.S.--Please let the ceremonies be only such as to take the least
time possible. A. L.

PATRONAGE CLAIMS

TO THURLOW WEED

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., February 4, 1861

DEAR SIR:--I have both your letter to myself and that to Judge Davis,
in relation to a certain gentleman in your State claiming to dispense
patronage 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 Senate.

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