The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

A. LINCOLN.

PRINTING MONEY

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

January 17, 1863.

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I have signed the joint resolution to provide for the immediate
payment of the army and navy of the United States, passed by the
House of Representatives on the 14th and by the Senate on the 15th
instant.

The joint resolution is a simple authority, amounting, however, under
existing circumstances, to a direction, to the Secretary of the
Treasury to make an additional issue of $100,000,000 in United States
notes, if so much money is needed, for the payment of the army and
navy.

My approval is given in order that every possible facility may be
afforded for the prompt discharge of all arrears of pay due to our
soldiers and our sailors.

While giving this approval, however, I think it my duty to express my
sincere regret that it has been found necessary to authorize so large
an additional issue of United States notes, when this circulation and
that of the suspended banks together have become already so redundant
as to increase prices beyond real values, thereby augmenting the cost
of living to the injury of labor, and the cost of supplies to the
injury of the whole country.

It seems very plain that continued issues of United States notes
without any check to the issues of suspended banks, and without
adequate provision for the raising of money by loans and for funding
the issues so as to keep them within due limits, must soon produce
disastrous consequences; and this matter appears to me so important
that I feel bound to avail myself of this occasion to ask the special
attention of Congress to it.

That Congress has power to regulate the currency of the country can
hardly admit of doubt, and that a judicious measure to prevent the
deterioration of this currency, by a seasonable taxation of bank
circulation or otherwise, is needed seems equally clear.
Independently of this general consideration, it would be unjust to
the people at large to exempt banks enjoying the special privilege of
circulation from their just proportion of the public burdens.

In order to raise money by way of loans most easily and cheaply, it
is clearly necessary to give every possible support to the public
credit. To that end a uniform currency, in which taxes,
subscriptions to loans, and all other ordinary public dues as well as
all private dues may be paid, is almost if not quite indispensable.
Such a currency can be furnished by banking associations organized
under a general act of Congress, as suggested in my message at the
beginning of the present session. The securing of this circulation
by the pledge of United States bonds, as therein suggested, would
still further facilitate loans, by increasing the present and causing
a future demand for such bonds.

In view of the actual financial embarrassments of the government, and
of the greater embarrassment sure to come if the necessary means of
relief be not afforded, I feel that I should not perform my duty by a
simple announcement of my approval of the joint resolution, which
proposes relief only by increased circulation, without expressing my
earnest desire that measures such in substance as those I have just
referred to may receive the early sanction of Congress. By such
measures, in my opinion, will payment be most certainly secured, not
only to the army and navy, but to all honest creditors of the
government, and satisfactory provision made for future demands on the
treasury.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO THE WORKING-MEN OF MANCHESTER, ENGLAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January, 1863.

TO THE WORKING-MEN OF MANCHESTER:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the address 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 fireside 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 people; 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 country is engaged. A fair examination of history has
served to authorize a belief that the past actions and influences of
the United States were generally regarded as having been beneficial
toward mankind. I have, therefore, reckoned upon the forbearance of
nations. Circumstances--to some of which you kindly allude--induce
me especially to expect that if justice and good faith should be
practised 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 workingmen 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
circumstance, I cannot but regard your decisive utterances upon the
question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not
been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is indeed an
energetic and inspiring 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
whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your country
or my own, the peace and friendship which now exist between the two
nations will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

WASHINGTON, January 21, 1863.

GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I submit herewith for your consideration the joint resolutions of the
corporate authorities of the city of Washington, adopted September a
7, 1862, and a memorial of the same under date of October 28, 1862,
both relating to and urging the construction of certain railroads
concentrating upon the city of Washington.

In presenting this memorial and the joint resolutions to you, I am
not prepared to say more than that the subject is one of great
practical importance, and that I hope it will receive the attention
of Congress.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

INDORSEMENT ON THE PROCEEDINGS AND SENTENCE OF THE FITZ-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 Secretary 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 sentence 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.

FROM GENERAL HALLECK TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, WASHINGTON

January 21, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL GRANT, Memphis.

GENERAL:--The President has directed that so much of Arkansas as you
may desire to control be temporarily attached to your department.
This will give you control of both banks of the river.

In your operations down the Mississippi you must not rely too
confidently upon any direct co-operation of General Banks and the
lower flotilla, as it is possible that they may not be able to pass
or reduce Port Hudson. They, however, will do everything in their
power to form a junction with you at Vicksburg. If they should not
be able to effect this, they will at least occupy a portion of the
enemy's forces, and prevent them from reinforcing Vicksburg. I hope,
however, that they will do still better and be able to join you.

It may be proper to give you some explanation of the revocation of
your order expelling all Jews from your department. The President
has no objection to your expelling traitors and Jew peddlers, which,
I suppose, was the object of your order; but as it in terms
proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in
our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BURNSIDE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 23, 1863

GENERAL BURNSIDE:

Will see you any moment when you come.

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER RELIEVING GENERAL A. E. BURNSIDE AND MAKING OTHER CHANGES.

(General Orders No.20.)

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
WASHINGTON, D.C. JANUARY 25, 1863.

I. The President of the United States has directed:

1st. That Major-General A. E. Burnside, at his own request, be
relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac.

2d. That Major-General E. V. Sumner, at his own request, be relieved
from duty in the Army of the Potomac.

3d. That Major-General W. B. Franklin be relieved from duty in the
Army of the Potomac.

4th. That Major-General J. Hooker be assigned to the command of the
Army of the Potomac.

II. The officers relieved as above will report in person to the
adjutant-general of the army.

By order of the Secretary of War:
D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General

TO GENERAL J. HOOKER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
January 26, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL HOOKER.

GENERAL:--I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac.
Of course I have done this upon what appear to me to be sufficient
reasons, and yet I think it best for you to know that there are some
things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you. I
believe you to be a brave and skillful soldier, which of course I
like. I also believe you do not mix politics with your profession,
in which you are right. You have confidence in yourself, which is a
valuable if not an indispensable quality. You are ambitious, which
within reasonable bounds does good rather than harm; but I think that
during General Burnside's command of the army you have taken counsel
of your ambition and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you
did a great wrong to the country and to a most meritorious and
honorable brother officer. I have heard, in such a way as to believe
it, of your recently saying that both the army and the government
needed a dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of
it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain
successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military
success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The government will
support you to the utmost of its ability, which is neither more nor
less than it has done and will do for all commanders. I much fear
that the spirit that you have aided to infuse into the army, of
criticizing their commander and withholding confidence from him, will
now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put it
down. Neither you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get
any good out of an army while such a spirit prevails in it. And now
beware of rashness. Beware of rashness, but with energy and
sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

WASHINGTON CITY, January 28,1863,

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 Arkansas, which surrendered to the combined military
and naval forces on the 10th instant.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BUTLER

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 28, r8G3.

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Lowell, Mass.:

Please come here immediately. Telegraph me about what time you will
arrive.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DIX.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 29, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL DIx, Fort Monroe, Va.:

Do Richmond papers have anything from Vicksburg?

A. LINCOLN.

TO THURLOW WEED.

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.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DIX.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY,

January 30, 1863. 5.45 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL Dix, Fort Monroe, Va.:

What iron-clads, if any, have gone out of Hampton Roads within the
last two days?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DIX.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D. C.,
January 31, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL Dix, Fort Monroe, Va.:
Corcoran's and Pryor's battle terminated. Have you any news through
Richmond papers or otherwise?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SCHENCK.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D. C.,
January 31, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL SCHENCK, Baltimore, Md.:

I do not take jurisdiction of the pass question. Exercise your own
discretion as to whether Judge Pettis shall have a pass.

A. LINCOLN.

TO THE WORKING-MEN OF LONDON, ENGLAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February z, i8G3.

TO THE WORKING-MEN OF LONDON:

I have received the New Year's address which you have sent me, with a
sincere appreciation of the exalted and humane sentiments by which it
was inspired.

As these sentiments are manifestly the enduring support of the free
institutions of England, so I am sure also that they constitute the
only reliable basis for free institutions throughout the world.

The resources, advantages, and powers of the American people are very
great, and they have consequently succeeded to equally great
responsibilities. 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 proceedings furnish that the magnanimity they
are exhibiting is justly estimated by the true friends of freedom and
humanity in foreign countries.

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