The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SCHOFIELD.
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 legislation. 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.

TELEGRAM TO HIRAM BARNEY.
[Cipher.] EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., November 11, 1863.

HON. HIRAM BARNEY, New York;
I would like an interview with you. Can you not come?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO J. MILDERBORGER.
EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 11, 1863.

JOHN MILDERBORGER, Peru, Ind.:

I cannot comprehend the object of your dispatch. I do not often
decline seeing people who call upon me, and probably will see you if
you call.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM to E. H. AND E. JAMESON.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 13, 1863.

E. H. and E. JAMESON, Jefferson City, Mo.:

Yours saying Brown and Henderson are elected Senators is received. I
understand this is one and one. If so it is knocking heads together
to some

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. S. ROSECRANS.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, November 14, 1863. 12.15 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL ROSECRANS, Cincinnati, Ohio:

I have received and considered your dispatch of yesterday. Of the
reports you mention, I have not the means of seeing any except your
own. Besides this, the publication might be improper 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 now.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BURNSIDE.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON CITY, November 16, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Knoxville, Tenn.:

What is the news?

A. LINCOLN.

TO SECRETARY CHASE

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, November 17, 1863.

HON. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

MY DEAR SIR:--I expected to see you here at Cabinet meeting, and to
say something about going to Gettysburg. There will be a train to
take and return us. The time for starting is not yet fixed, but when
it shall be I will notify you.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

ADDRESS AT GETTYSBURG

NOVEMBER 19, 1863.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation
or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are
met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a
portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here
gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether
fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--
we can not hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add
or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we
say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us
the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which
they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather
for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--
that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause
for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here
highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this
nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not
perish from the earth.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., November 20, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:

If there is a man by the name of King under sentence to be shot,
please suspend execution till further order, and send record.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON. November 20, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:

An intelligent woman in deep distress, called this morning, saying
her husband, a lieutenant in the Army of Potomac, was to be shot next
Monday for desertion, and putting a letter in my hand, upon which I
relied for particulars, she left without mentioning a name or other
particular by which to identify the case. On opening the letter I
found it equally vague, having nothing to identify by, except her own
signature, which seems to be "Mrs. Anna S. King." I could not again
find her. If you have a case which you shall think is probably the
one intended, please apply my dispatch of this morning to it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO E. P. EVANS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., November 23, 1863.

E. P. EVANS, West Union, Adams County, Ohio:

Yours to Governor Chase in behalf of John A Welch is before me. Can
there be a worse case than to desert and with letters persuading
others to desert? I cannot interpose without a better showing than
you make. When did he desert? when did he write the letters?

A. LINCOLN.

TO SECRETARY SEWARD.

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.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL GRANT.
WASHINGTON, November 25, 1863. 8.40 A.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL U.S. GRANT:

Your despatches as to fighting on Monday and Tuesday are here. Well
done! Many thanks to all. Remember Burnside.

A. LINCOLN.

TO C. P. KIRKLAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 7, 1863.

CHARLES P. KIRKLAND, ESQ., New York:

I have just received and have read your published letter to the HON.
Benjamin R. Curtis. Under the circumstances I may not be the most
competent judge, but it appears to me to be a paper of great ability,
and for the country's sake more than for my own I thank you for it.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF UNION SUCCESS IN EAST TENNESSEE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
December 7, 1863.

Reliable information being received that the insurgent force is
retreating from East Tennessee, under circumstances rendering it
probable that the Union forces cannot hereafter be dislodged from
that important position; and esteeming this to be of high national
consequence, I recommend that all loyal people do, on receipt of this
information, assemble at their places of worship, and render special
homage and gratitude to Almighty God for this great advancement of
the national cause.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION OF AMNESTY AND RECONSTRUCTION
DECEMBER 8, 1863.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas in and by the Constitution of the United States it is
provided that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and
pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of
impeachment;" and,

Whereas a rebellion now exists whereby the loyal State governments of
several States have for a long time been subverted, and many persons
have committed and are now guilty of treason against the United
States; and

Whereas, with reference to said rebellion and treason, laws have been
enacted by Congress declaring forfeitures and confiscation of
property and liberation of slaves, all upon terms and conditions
therein stated, and also declaring that the President was thereby
authorized at any time thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to
persons who may have participated in the existing rebellion in any
State or part thereof pardon and amnesty, with such exceptions and at
such times and on such conditions as he may deem expedient for the
public welfare; and

Whereas the Congressional declaration for limited and conditional
pardon accords with well-established judicial exposition of the
pardoning power; and

Whereas, with reference to said rebellion, the President of the
United States has issued several proclamations with provisions in
regard to the liberation of slaves; and

Whereas it is now desired by some persons heretofore engaged in said
rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States and to
reinaugurate loyal State governments within and for their respective
States:

Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do
proclaim, declare, and make known to all persons who have, directly
or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion, except as
hereinafter excepted, that a full pardon is hereby granted to them
and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except
as to slaves and in property cases where rights of third parties
shall have intervened, and upon the condition that every such person
shall take and subscribe an oath and thenceforward keep and maintain
said oath inviolate, and which oath shall be registered for permanent
preservation and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:

I, ________, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I
will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States
thereunder; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully
support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion
with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed,
modified, or held void by Congress or by decision of the Supreme
Court; and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support
all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion
having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or
declared void by decision of the Supreme Court. So help me God."

The persons excepted from the benefits of the foregoing provisions
are all who are or shall have been civil or diplomatic officers or
agents of the so-called Confederate Government; all who have left
judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion; all
who are or shall have been military or naval officers of said so-
called Confederate Government above the rank of colonel in the army
or of lieutenant in the navy; all who left seats in the United States
Congress to aid the rebellion; all who resigned commissions in the
Army or Navy of the United States and afterwards aided the rebellion;
and all who have engaged in any way in treating colored persons, or
white persons in charge of such, otherwise than lawfully as prisoners
of war, and which persons may have been found in the United States
service as soldiers, seamen, or in any other capacity.

And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that whenever, in
any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North
Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one-tenth in number of
the votes cast in such State at the Presidential election of the year
A.D. 1860, each having taken oath aforesaid, and not having since
violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of the
State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and
excluding all others, shall reestablish a State government which
shall be republican and in nowise contravening said oath, such shall
be recognized as the true government of the State, and the State
shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision
which declares that "the United States shall guarantee to every State
in this Union a republican form of government and shall protect each
of them against invasion, and, on application of the legislature, or
the EXECUTIVE (when the legislature can not be convened), against
domestic violence."

And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that any provision
which may be adopted by such State government in relation to the
freed people of such State which 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, will not be objected to by
the National EXECUTIVE.

And it is suggested as not improper that in constructing a loyal
State government in any State the name of the State, the boundary,
the subdivisions, the constitution, and the general code of laws as
before the rebellion be maintained, subject only to the modifications
made necessary by the conditions hereinbefore stated, and such
others, if any, not contravening said co and which may be deemed
expedient by those framing the new State government.

To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper to say that this
proclamation, so far as it relates to State governments, has no
reference to States wherein loyal State governments have all the
while been maintained. And for the same reason it may be proper to
further say that whether members sent to Congress from any State
shall be admitted to seats constitutionally rests exclusively with
the respective Houses, and not to any extent with the EXECUTIVE. And,
still further, that this proclamation is intended to present the
people of the States wherein the national authority has been
suspended and loyal State governments have been subverted a mode in
and by which the national authority and loyal State governments may
be re-established within said States or in any of them; and while the
mode presented is the best the EXECUTIVE can suggest, with his
present impressions, it must not be understood that no other possible
mode would be acceptable.

Given under my hand at the city of WASHINGTON, the 8th day of
December, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States of
America the eighty-eighth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

ANNUAL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS,

DECEMBER 8, 1863.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES:--Another year of health, and of sufficiently
abundant harvests, has passed. For these, and especially for the
improved condition cf our national affairs, our renewed and
profoundest gratitude to God is due.

We remain in peace and friendship with foreign powers.

The efforts of disloyal citizens of the United States to involve us
in foreign wars, to aid an inexcusable insurrection, have been
unavailing. Her Britannic Majesty's government, as was justly
expected, have exercised their authority to prevent the departure of
new hostile expeditions from British ports. The Emperor of France
has, by a like proceeding, promptly vindicated the neutrality which
he proclaimed at the beginning of the contest. Questions of great
intricacy and importance have arisen out of the blockade, and other
belligerent operations, between the Government and several of the
maritime powers, but they have been discussed, and, as far as was
possible, accommodated, in a spirit of frankness, justice, and mutual
good-will. It is especially gratifying that our prize courts, by the
impartiality of their adjudications, have commanded the respect and
confidence of maritime powers.

The supplemental treaty between the United States and Great Britain
for the suppression of the African slave-trade, made on the 17th day
of February last, has been duly ratified and carried into execution.
It is believed that, so far as American ports and American citizens
are concerned, that inhuman and odious traffic has been brought to an
end.

I shall submit, for the consideration of the Senate, a convention for
the adjustment of possessory claims in Washington Territory, arising
out of the treaty of the 15th of June, 1846, between the United
States and Great Britain, and which have been the source of some
disquiet among the citizens of that now rapidly improving part of the
country.

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