The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, August 2, 1861.

MESSAGE TO THE SENATE.

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

In answer to the resolution of your honorable body of date July 31,
1861, requesting the President to inform the Senate whether the Hon.
James H. Lane, a member of that body from Kansas, has been appointed
a brigadier-general in the army of the United States, and if so,
whether he has accepted such appointment, I have the honor to
transmit herewith certain papers, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7,
which, taken together, explain themselves, and which contain all the
information I possess upon the questions propounded.

It was my intention, as shown by my letter of June 20, 1861, to
appoint Hon. James H. Lane, of Kansas, a brigadier-general of United
States volunteers in anticipation of the act of Congress, since
passed, for raising such volunteers; and I have no further knowledge
upon the subject, except as derived from the papers herewith
enclosed.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, August 5, 1861

TO SECRETARY CAMERON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, AUGUST 7, 1861

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR

MY DEAR SIR:--The within paper, as you see, is by HON. John S. Phelps
and HON. Frank P. Blair, Jr., both members of the present Congress
from Missouri. The object is to get up an efficient force of
Missourians in the southwestern part of the State. It ought to be
done, and Mr. Phelps ought to have general superintendence of it.
I see by a private report to me from the department that eighteen
regiments are already accepted from Missouri. Can it not be arranged
that part of them (not yet organized, as I understand) may be taken
from the locality mentioned and put under the control of Mr. Phelps,
and let him have discretion to accept them for a shorter term than
three years--or the war--understanding, however, that he will get
them for the full term if he can? I hope this can be done, because
Mr. Phelps is too zealous and efficient and understands his ground
too well for us to lose his service. Of course provision for arming,
equipping, etc., must be made. Mr. Phelps is here, and wishes to
carry home with him authority for this matter.

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN

PROCLAMATION OF A NATIONAL FAST-DAY,
AUGUST 12, 1861.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA

A Proclamation.

Whereas a joint committee of both houses of Congress has waited on
the President of the United States and requested him to "recommend a
day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting to be observed by the
people of the United States with religious solemnities and the
offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and
welfare of these States, His blessings on their arms, and a speedy
restoration of peace"; and

Whereas it is fit and becoming in all people at all times to
acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in
humble submission to His chastisements, to confess and deplore their
sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the
Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and
contrition for the pardon of their past offences and for a blessing
upon their present and prospective action; and

Whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the blessing of God,
united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction and
civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God
in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own
faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals to humble ourselves
before Him and to pray for His mercy-to pray that we may be spared
further punishment, though most justly deserved, that our arms may be
blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of order, law,
and peace throughout the wide extent of our country, and that the
inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His
guidance and blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers,
may be restored in all its original excellence

Therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do
appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation,
prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation. And I do
earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all
ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations and to all
heads of families, to observe and keep that day according to their
several creeds and modes of worship in all humility and with all
religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation
may ascend to the Throne of Grace and bring down plentiful blessings
upon our country.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and caused the seal of the United States to
[SEAL.] be affixed, this twelfth day of August, A. D.
1861, and of the independence of the United
States of America the eighty-sixth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary o f State.

TO JAMES POLLOCK.

WASHINGTON, AUGUST 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 collector and have it done. You can do it for me and
you must.

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR O. P. MORTON.

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 gums.
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

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL FREMONT,

WASHINGTON, August 15, 1861

TO MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT:

Been answering your messages since day before yesterday. Do you
receive the answers? The War Department has notified all the
governors you designate to forward all available force. So
telegraphed you. Have you received these messages? Answer
immediately.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION FORBIDDING INTERCOURSE WITH
REBEL STATES, AUGUST 16, 1861.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas on the fifteenth day of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-
one, the President of the United States, in view of an insurrection
against the laws, Constitution, and government of the United States
which had broken out within the States of South Carolina, Georgia,
Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and in pursuance
of the provisions of the act entitled "An act to provide for calling
forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress
insurrections, and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in
force for that purpose," approved February twenty-eighth, seventeen
hundred and ninety-five, did call forth the militia to suppress said
insurrection, and to cause the laws of the Union to be duly executed,
and the insurgents have failed to disperse by the time directed by
the President; and whereas such insurrection has since broken out and
yet exists within the States of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee,
and Arkansas; and whereas the insurgents in all the said States claim
to act under the authority thereof, and such claim is not disclaimed
or repudiated by the persons exercising the functions of government
in such State or States, or in the part or parts thereof in which
such combinations exist, nor has such insurrection been suppressed by
said States:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
in pursuance of an act of Congress approved July thirteen, eighteen
hundred and sixty-one, do hereby declare that the inhabitants of the
said States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina,
Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and
Florida (except the inhabitants of that part of the State of Virginia
lying west of the Allegheny Mountains, and of such other parts of
that State, and the other States hereinbefore named, as may maintain
a loyal adhesion to the Union and the Constitution, or may be time to
time occupied and controlled by forces of the United States engaged
in the dispersion of said insurgents), are in a state of insurrection
against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse
between the same and the inhabitants thereof, with the exceptions
aforesaid, and the citizens of other States and other parts of the
United States, is unlawful, and will remain unlawful until such
insurrection shall cease or has been suppressed; that all goods and
chattels, wares and merchandise, coming from any of said States, with
the exceptions aforesaid, into other parts of the United States,
without the special license and permission of the President, through
the Secretary of the Treasury, or proceeding to any of said States,
with the exceptions aforesaid, by land or water, together with the
vessel or vehicle conveying the same, or conveying persons to or from
said States, with said exceptions, will be forfeited to the United
States; and that from and after fifteen days from the issuing of this
proclamation all ships and vessels belonging in whole or in part to
any citizen or inhabitant of any of said States, with said
exceptions, found at sea, or in any port of the United States, will
be forfeited to the United States; and I hereby enjoin upon all
district attorneys, marshals, and officers of the revenue and of the
military and naval forces of the United States to be vigilant in the
execution of said act, and in the enforcement of the penalties and
forfeitures imposed or declared by it; leaving any party who may
think himself aggrieved thereby to his application to the Secretary
of the Treasury for the remission of any penalty or forfeiture, which
the said Secretary is authorized by law to grant if, in his judgment,
the special circumstances of any case shall require such remission.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand,...................

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of Sate.

TO SECRETARY CAMERON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, August 17, 1861

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR.

MY DEAR SIR:--Unless there be reason to the contrary, not known to
me, make out a commission for Simon B. Buckner, of Kentucky, as a
brigadier-general of volunteers. It is to be put into the hands of
General Anderson, and delivered to General Buckner or not, at the
discretion of General Anderson. Of course it is to remain a secret
unless and until the commission is delivered.

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN

Same day made.

[Indorsement.]

TO GOVERNOR MAGOFFIN,

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 24, 1861

To HIS EXCELLENCY B. MAGOFFIN,
Governor of the State of Kentucky.

SIR:--Your letter of the 19th instant, in which you urge the removal
from the limits of Kentucky of the military force now organized and
in camp within that State," is received.

I may not possess full and precisely accurate knowledge upon this
subject; but I believe it is true that there is a military force in
camp within Kentucky, acting by authority of the United States, which
force is not very large, and is not now being augmented.

I also believe that some arms have been furnished to this force by
the United States.

I also believe this force consists exclusively of Kentuckians, having
their camp in the immediate vicinity of their own homes, and not
assailing or menacing any of the good people of Kentucky.

In all I have done in the premises I have acted upon the urgent
solicitation of many Kentuckians, and in accordance with what I
believed, and still believe, to be the wish of a majority of all the
Union-loving people of Kentucky.

While I have conversed on this subject with many eminent men of
Kentucky, including a large majority of her members of Congress, I do
not remember that any one of them, or any other person, except your
Excellency and the bearers of your Excellency's letter, has urged me
to remove the military force from Kentucky or to disband it. One
other very worthy citizen of Kentucky did solicit me to have the
augmenting of the force suspended for a time.

Taking all the means within my reach to form a judgment, I do not
believe it is the popular wish of Kentucky that this force shall be
removed beyond her limits; and, with this impression, I must
respectfully decline to so remove it.

I most cordially sympathize with your Excellency in the wish to
preserve the peace of my own native State, Kentucky. It is with
regret I search, and cannot find, in your not very short letter, any
declaration or intimation that you entertain any desire for the
preservation of the Federal Union.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL FREMONT.

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPTEMBER 2, 1861

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT.

MY DEAR SIR:--Two points in your proclamation of August 30 give me
some anxiety.

First. Should you shoot a man, according to the proclamation, the
Confederates would very certainly shoot our best men in their hands
in retaliation; and so, man for man, indefinitely. It is, therefore,
my order that you allow no man to be shot under the proclamation
without first having my approbation or consent.

Second. I think there is great danger that the closing paragraph, in
relation to the confiscation of property and the liberating slaves of
traitorous owners, will alarm our Southern Union friends and turn
them against us; perhaps ruin our rather fair prospect for Kentucky.
Allow me, therefore, to ask that you will, as of your own motion,
modify that paragraph so as to conform to the first and fourth
sections of the act of Congress entitled "An act to confiscate
property used for insurrectionary purposes," approved August 6, 1861,
and a copy of which act I herewith send you.

This letter is written in a spirit of caution, and not of censure. I
send it by special messenger, in order that it may certainly and
speedily reach you.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNORS WASHBURN OF MAINE, FAIRBANKS OF VERMONT, BERRY
OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, ANDREW OF MASSACHUSETTS, BUCKINGHAM OF CONNECTICUT,
AND SPRAGUE OF RHODE ISLAND.

WAR DEPARTMENT, September 11, 1861.

General Butler proposes raising in New England six regiments, to be
recruited and commanded 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.

TO GENERAL FREMONT.

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPTEMBER 11, 1861

MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN C. FREMONT.

SIR:-Yours of the 8th, in answer to mine of the 2d instant, is just
received. Assuming that you, upon the ground, could better judge of
the necessities of your position than I could at this distance, on
seeing your proclamation of August30 I perceived no general objection
to it. The particular clause, however, in relation to the
confiscation of property and the liberation of slaves appeared to me
to be objectionable in its nonconformity to the act of Congress
passed the 6th of last August upon the same subjects; and hence I
wrote you, expressing my wish that that clause should be modified
accordingly. Your answer, just received, expresses the preference on
your part that I should make an open order for the modification,
which I very cheerfully do. It is therefore ordered that the said
clause of said proclamation be so modified, held, and construed as to
conform to, and not to transcend, the provisions on the same subject
contained in the act of Congress entitled "An act to confiscate
property used for insurrectionary purposes," approved August 6, 1861,
and that said act be published at length with this order.

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