The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

Done at the city of WASHINGTON, July 11, 1862.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

WASHINGTON, D C., July 11, 1862

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I recommend that the thanks of Congress be given to the following
officers of the United States Navy:
Captain James L. Lardner, for meritorious conduct at the battle of
Port Royal and distinguished services on the coast of the United
States against the enemy.

Captain Charles Henry Davis, for distinguished services in conflict
with the enemy at Fort Pillow, at Memphis, and for successful
operations at other points in the waters of the Mississippi River.

Commander John A. Dahlgren, for distinguished services in the line of
his profession, improvements in ordnance, and zealous and efficient
labors in the ordnance branch of the service.

Commander Stephen C. Rowan, for distinguished services in the waters
of North Carolina, and particularly in the capture of Newbern, being
in chief command of the naval forces.

Commander David D. Porter, for distinguished services in the
conception and preparation of the means used for the capture of the
forts below New Orleans, and for highly meritorious conduct in the
management of the mortar flotilla during the bombardment of Forts
Jackson and St. Philip.

Captain Silas H. Stringharn, now on the retired list, for
distinguished services in the capture of Forts Hatteras and Clark.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July 11, 1862.

HON. ANDREW JOHNSON.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of yesterday is received. Do you not, my good
friend, perceive that what you ask is simply to put you in command in
the West? I do not suppose you desire this. You only wish to
control in your own localities; but this you must know may derange
all other posts. Can you not, and will you not, have a full
conference with General Halleck? Telegraph him, and meet him at such
place as he and you can agree upon. I telegraph him to meet you and
confer fully with you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July11, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Corinth:

Governor Johnson, at Nashville, is in great trouble and anxiety about
a raid into Kentucky. The governor is a true and valuable man--
indispensable to us in Tennessee. Will you please get in
communication with him, and have a full conference with him before
you leave for here? I have telegraphed him on the subject.

A. LINCOLN.

APPEAL TO BORDER-STATE REPRESENTATIVES IN FAVOR OF
COMPENSATED EMANCIPATION.

July 12, 1862.

GENTLEMEN:--After the adjournment of Congress now very near, I shall
have no opportunity of seeing you for several months. Believing that
you of the border States hold more power for good than any other
equal number of members, I feel it a duty which I cannot justifiably
waive to make this appeal to you. I intend no reproach or complaint
when I assure you that, in my opinion, if you all had voted for the
resolution in the gradual-emancipation message of last March, the war
would now be substantially ended. And the plan therein proposed is
yet one of the most potent and swift means of ending it. Let the
States which are in rebellion see definitely and certainly that in no
event will the States you represent ever join their proposed
confederacy, and they cannot much longer maintain the contest. But
you cannot divest them of their hope to ultimately have you with them
so long as you show a determination to perpetuate the institution
within your own States. Beat them at elections, as you have
overwhelmingly done, and, nothing daunted, they still claim you as
their own. You and I know what the lever of their power is. Break
that lever before their faces, and they can shake you no more
forever. Most of you have treated me with kindness and consideration
and I trust you will not now think I improperly touch what is
exclusively your own, when, for the sake of the whole country, I ask,
Can you, for your States, do better than to take the course I urge?
Discarding punctilio and maxims adapted to more manageable times, and
looking only to the unprecedentedly stern facts of our case, can you
do better in any possible event? You prefer that the constitutional
relation of the States to the nation shall be practically restored
without disturbance of the institution; and if this were done, my
whole duty in this respect, under the Constitution and my oath of
office, would be performed. But it is not done, and we are trying to
accomplish it by war. The incidents of the war cannot be avoided.
If the war continues long, as it must if the object be not sooner
attained, the institution in your States will be extinguished by mere
friction and abrasion--by the mere incidents of the war. It will be
gone, and you will have nothing valuable in lieu of it. Much of its
value is gone already. How much better for you and for your people
to take the step which at once shortens the war and secures
substantial compensation for that which is sure to be wholly lost in
any other event! How much better to thus save the money which else we
sink forever in war! How much better to do it while we can, lest the
war ere long render us pecuniarily unable to do it! How much better
for you as seller, and the nation as buyer, to sell out and buy out
that without which the war could never have been, than to sink both
the thing to be sold and the price of it in cutting one another's
throats! I do not speak of emancipation at once, but of a decision at
once to emancipate gradually. Room in South America for colonization
can be obtained cheaply and in abundance, and when numbers shall be
large enough to be company and encouragement for one another, the
freed people will not be so reluctant to go.

I am pressed with a difficulty not yet mentioned--one which threatens
division among those who, united, are none too strong. An instance
of it is known to you. General Hunter is an honest man. He was, and
I hope still is, my friend. I valued him none the less for his
agreeing with me in the general wish that all men everywhere could be
free. He proclaimed all men free within certain States, and I
repudiated the proclamation. He expected more good and less harm
from the measure than I could believe would follow. Yet, in
repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offence, to many whose
support the country cannot afford to lose. And this is not the end
of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon me, and is
increasing. By conceding what I now ask you can relieve me, and,
much more, can relieve the country in this important point.

Upon these considerations, I have again begged your attention to the
message of March last. Before leaving the Capital, consider and
discuss it among yourselves. You are patriots and statesmen, and as
such I pray you consider this proposition; and, at the least, commend
it to the consideration of your States and people. As you would
perpetuate popular government for the best people in the world, I
beseech you that you do in nowise omit this. Our common country is
in great peril, demanding the loftiest views and boldest action to
bring a speedy relief. Once relieved, its form of government is
saved to the world; its beloved history and cherished memories are
vindicated, and its happy future fully assured and rendered
inconceivably grand. To you, more than to any others, the privilege
is given to assure that happiness and swell that grandeur, and to
link your own names therewith forever.

TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 13, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

MY DEAR SIR:--I am told that over 160,000 men have gone into your
army on the Peninsula. When I was with you the other day we made out
86,500 remaining, leaving 73,500 to be accounted for. I believe
23,500 will cover all the killed, wounded, and missing in all your
battles and skirmishes, leaving 50,000 who have left otherwise. No
more than 5000 of these have died, leaving 45,000 of your army still
alive and not with it. I believe half or two-thirds of them are fit
for duty to-day. Have you any more perfect knowledge of this than I
have? If I am right, and you had these men with you, you could go
into Richmond in the next three days. How can they be got to you,
and how can they be prevented from getting away in such numbers for
the future?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July 13, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Corinth, Mississippi:

They are having a stampede in Kentucky. Please look to it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. T. BOYLE.

WASHINGTON, July 13, 1862.

GENERAL J. T. BOYLE, Louisville, Kentucky:

Your several despatches received. You should call on General
Halleck. Telegraph him at once. I have telegraphed him that you are
in trouble.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. T. BOYLE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July 13, 1862.

GENERAL J. T. BOYLE, Louisville, Kentucky:

We cannot venture to order troops from General Buell. We know not
what condition he is in. He maybe attacked himself. You must call
on General Halleck, who commands, and whose business it is to
understand and care for the whole field If you cannot telegraph to
him, send a messenger to him. A dispatch has this moment come from
Halleck at Tuscombia, Alabama.

A. LINCOLN.

ACT OF COMPENSATED EMANCIPATION

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

July 4, 1862.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

Herewith is the draft of the bill to compensate any State which may
abolish slavery within its limits, the passage of which,
substantially as presented, I respectfully and earnestly recommend.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled:--That whenever the
President of the United States shall be satisfied that any State
shall have lawfully abolished slavery within and through-out such
State, either immediately or gradually, it shall be the duty of the
President, assisted by the Secretary of the Treasury, to prepare and
deliver to each State an amount of six per cent. interest-bearing
bonds of the United States equal to the aggregate value at ______
dollars per head of all the slaves within such State, as reported by
the census of 1860; the whole amount for any one State to be
delivered at once if the abolishment be immediate, or in equal annual
instalments if it be gradual, interest to begin running on each bond
at the time of delivery, and not before.

And be it further enacted, That if any State, having so received any
such bonds, shall at any time afterwards by law reintroduce or
tolerate slavery within its limits, contrary to the act of
abolishment upon which such bonds shall have been received, said
bonds so received by said State shall at once be null and void, in
whosesoever hands they may be, and such State shall refund to the
United States all interest which may have been paid on such bonds.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WAR DEPARTMENT, July 14, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Corinth, Mississippi:

I am very anxious--almost impatient--to have you here. Have due
regard to what you leave behind. When can you reach here?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, July 14, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

General Burnside's force is at Newport News, ready to move, on short
notice, one way or the other, when ordered.

A. LINCOLN.

TO SOLOMON FOOT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 15, 1862.

HON. SOLOMON FOOT, President pro tempore of the Senate.

SIR:- Please inform the Senate that I shall be obliged if they will
postpone the adjournment at least one day beyond the time which I
understand to be now fixed for it.

Your obedient servant,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

[The same message was addressed to Hon. Galusha A. Grow Speaker of
the House of Representatives.]

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

July 17, 1862.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES:

I have inadvertently omitted so long to inform you that in March last
Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt, of New York, gratuitously presented to the
United States the ocean steamer Vanderbilt, by many esteemed the
finest merchant ship in the world. She has ever since been and still
is doing valuable service to the government. For the patriotic act
of making this magnificent and valuable present to the country I
recommend that some suitable acknowledgment be made.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

July 17, 1862.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES:

Considering the bill for "An act to suppress insurrection, to punish
treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate the property of
rebels, and for other purposes," and the joint resolution explanatory
of said act as being substantially one, I have approved and signed
both.

Before I was informed of the passage of the resolution I had prepared
the draft of a message stating objections to the bill becoming a law,
a copy of which draft is herewith transmitted.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I herewith return to your honorable body, in which it originated, the
bill for an act entitled "An act to suppress treason and rebellion,
to seize and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other
purposes," together with my objections to its becoming a law.

There is much in the bill to which I perceive no objection. It is
wholly prospective, and touches neither person nor property of any
loyal citizen, in which particulars it is just and proper. The first
and second sections provide for the conviction and punishment of
persons Who shall be guilty of treason and persons who shall "incite,
set on foot, assist, or engage in any rebellion or insurrection
against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or
shall give aid and comfort thereto, or shall engage in or give aid
and comfort to any such existing rebellion or insurrection." By fair
construction persons within these sections are not to be punished
without regular trials in duly constituted courts, under the forms
and all the substantial provisions of law and of the Constitution
applicable to their several cases. To this I perceive no objection,
especially as such persons would be within the general pardoning
power and also the special provision for pardon and amnesty contained
in this act.

It is also provided that the slaves of persons convicted under these
sections shall be free. I think there is an unfortunate form of
expression rather than a substantial objection in this. It is
startling to say that Congress can free a slave within a State, and
yet if it were said the ownership of the slave had first been
transferred to the nation and that Congress had then liberated him
the difficulty would at once vanish. And this is the real case. The
traitor against the General Government forfeits his slave at least as
justly as he does any other property, and he forfeits both to the
government against which be offends. The government, so far as there
can be ownership, thus owns the forfeited slaves, and the question
for Congress in regard to them is, "Shall they be made free or be
sold to new masters?" I perceive no objection to Congress deciding in
advance that they shall be free. To the high honor of Kentucky, as
I am informed, she is the owner of some slaves by escheat, and has
sold none, but liberated all. I hope the same is true of some other
States. Indeed, I do not believe it will be physically possible for
the General Government to return persons so circumstanced to actual
slavery. I believe there would be physical resistance to it which
could neither be turned aside by argument nor driven away by force.
In this view I have no objection to this feature of the bill.
Another matter involved in these two sections, and running through
other parts of the act, will be noticed hereafter.

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