The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO MRS. HORACE MANN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 5, 1864.

MRS HORACE MANN:

MADAM:--The petition of persons under eighteen, praying that I would
free all slave children, and the heading of which petition it appears
you wrote, was handed me a few days since by Senator Sumner. Please
tell these little people I am very glad their young hearts are so
full of just and generous sympathy, and that, while I have not the
power to grant all they ask, I trust they will remember that God has,
and that, as it seems, he wills to do it.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BUTLER.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, April 12, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Fort Monroe, Va.:

I am pressed to get from Libby, by special exchange, Jacob C.
Hagenbuek, first lieutenant, Company H, Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania
Volunteers. Please do it if you can without detriment or
embarrassment.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, April 17, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of the Potomac:

Private William Collins of Company B, of the Sixty-ninth New York
Volunteers, has been convicted of desertion, and execution suspended
as in numerous other cases. Now Captain O'Neill, commanding the
regiment, and nearly all its other regimental and company officers,
petition for his full pardon and restoration to his company. Is
there any good objection?

A. LINCOLN.

LECTURE ON LIBERTY

ADDRESS AT SANITARY FAIR IN BALTIMORE,

APRIL 18, 1864.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--Calling to mind that we are in Baltimore, we
cannot fail to note that the world moves. Looking upon these many
people assembled here to serve, as they best may, the soldiers of the
Union, it occurs at once that three years ago the same soldiers could
not so much as pass through Baltimore. The change from then till now
is both great and gratifying. Blessings on the brave men who have
wrought the change, and the fair women who strive to reward them for
it!

But Baltimore suggests more than could happen within Baltimore. The
change within Baltimore is part only of a far wider change. When the
war began, three years ago, neither party, nor any man, expected it
would last till now. Each looked for the end, in some way, long ere
to-day. Neither did any anticipate that domestic slavery would be
much affected by the war. But here we are; the war has not ended,
and slavery has been much affected how much needs not now to be
recounted. So true is it that man proposes and God disposes.

But we can see the past, though we may not claim to have directed it;
and seeing it, in this case, we feel more hopeful and confident for
the future.

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and
the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all
declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean
the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to
do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while
with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please
with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two,
not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name,
liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the
respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names--
liberty and tyranny.

The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the
sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces
him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the
sheep was a black one. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not
agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same
difference prevails to-day among us human creatures, even in the
North, and all professing to love liberty. Hence we behold
the process by which thousands are daily passing from under the yoke
of bondage hailed by some as the advance of liberty, and bewailed by
others as the destruction of all liberty. Recently, as it seems, the
people of Maryland have been doing something to define liberty, and
thanks to them that, in what they have done, the wolf's dictionary
has been repudiated.

It is not very becoming for one in my position to make speeches at
length; but there is another subject upon which I feel that I ought
to say a word. A painful rumor, true, I fear, has reached us, of the
massacre, by the rebel forces at Fort Pillow, in the west end of
Tennessee, on the Mississippi River, of some three hundred colored
soldiers and white officers [I believe it latter turned out to be
500], who had just been overpowered by their assailants [numbering
5000]. There seems to be some anxiety in the public mind whether the
Government is doing its duty to the colored soldier, and to the
service, at this point. At the beginning of the war, and for some
time, the use of colored troops was not contemplated; and how the
change of purpose was wrought I will not now take time to explain.
Upon a clear conviction of duty I resolved to turn that element of
strength to account; and I am responsible for it to the American
people, to the Christian world, to history, and in my final account
to God. Having determined to use the negro as a soldier, there is no
way but to give him all the protection given to any other soldier.
The difficulty is not in stating the principle, but in practically
applying it. It is a mistake to suppose the Government is
indifferent to this matter, or is not doing the best it can in regard
to it. We do not to-day know that a colored soldier, or white
officer commanding colored soldiers, has been massacred by the rebels
when made a prisoner. We fear it, we believe it, I may say,--but we
do not know it. To take the life of one of their prisoners on the
assumption that they murder ours, when it is short of certainty that
they do murder ours, might be too serious, too cruel, a mistake. We
are having the Fort Pillow affair thoroughly investigated; and such
investigation will probably show conclusively how the truth is. If
after all that has been said it shall turn out that there has been no
massacre at Fort Pillow, it will be almost safe to say there has been
none, and will be none, elsewhere. If there has been the massacre of
three hundred there, or even the tenth part of three hundred, it will
be conclusively proved; and being so proved, the retribution shall as
surely come. It will be matter of grave consideration in what exact
course to apply the retribution; but in the supposed case it must
come.

[There was a massacre of a black company and their officers at Fort
Pillow--they were prisoners who later on, the day of their capture,
were ordered executed. The black soldiers were tied alive to
individual planks--then man and plank were cobbled up like cord wood
and burned. The white officers were shot. D.W.]

TO CALVIN TRUESDALE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, April 20, 1864.

CALVIN TRUESDALE, ESQ., Postmaster, Rock Island, Ill.:

Thomas J. Pickett, late agent of the Quartermaster 's Department for
the island of Rock Island, has been removed or suspended from that
position on a charge of having sold timber and stone from the island
for his private benefit. Mr. Pickett is an old acquaintance and
friend of mine, and I will thank you, if you will, to set a day or
days and place on and at which to take testimony on the point.
Notify Mr. Pickett and one J. B. Danforth (who, as I understand,
makes the charge) to be present with their witnesses. Take the
testimony in writing offered by both sides, and report it in full to
me. Please do this for me.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO OFFICER COMMANDING AT FORT WARREN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, April 20, 1864.

OFFICER IN MILITARY COMMAND,
Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, Mass.:

If there is a man by the name of Charles Carpenter, under sentence of
death for desertion, at Fort Warren, suspend execution until further
order and send the record of his trial. If sentenced for any other
offence, telegraph what it is and when he is to be executed. Answer
at all events.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO OFFICER COMMANDING AT FORT WARREN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, April 21,1864.

OFFICER IN COMMAND AT FORT WARREN,
Boston Harbor, Mass.:

The order I sent yesterday in regard to Charles Carpenter is hereby
withdrawn and you are to act as if it never existed.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DIX.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 21, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL Dix, New York:

Yesterday I was induced to telegraph the officer in military command
at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, suspending the
execution of Charles Carpenter, to be executed tomorrow for
desertion. Just now, on reaching your order in the case, I
telegraphed the same officer withdrawing the suspension, and leave
the case entirely with you. The man's friends are pressing me, but I
refer them to you, intending to take no further action myself.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BUTLER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, April 23, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Fort Monroe, Va.:

Senator Ten Eyck is very anxious to have a, special exchange of Capt.
Frank J. McLean, of Ninth Tennessee Cavalry now, or lately, at
Johnson's Island, for Capt. T. Ten Eyck, Eighteenth U. S. Infantry,
and now at Richmond. I would like to have it done. Can it be?

A. LINCOLN.

INDORSEMENT ON OFFER OF TROOPS, APRIL 23, 1864.

TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

1. The Governors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin
offer to the President infantry troops for the approaching campaign
as follows: Ohio, thirty thousand; Indiana, twenty thousand;
Illinois, twenty thousand; Iowa, ten thousand; Wisconsin, five
thousand.

2. The term of service to be one hundred days, reckoned from the date
of muster into the service of the United States, unless sooner
discharged.

3. The troops to be mustered into the service of the United States by
regiments, when the regiments are filled up, according to
regulations, to the minimum strength--the regiments to be organized
according to the regulations of the War Department. The whole number
to be furnished within twenty days from date of notice of the
acceptance of this proposition.

4. The troops to be clothed, armed, equipped, subsisted; transported,
and paid as other United States infantry volunteers, and to serve in
fortifications,--or wherever their services may be required, within
or without their respective States.

5. No bounty to be paid the troops, nor the service charged or
credited on any draft.

6. The draft for three years' service to go on in any State or
district where the quota is not filled up; but if any officer or
soldier in this special service should be drafted, he shall be
credited for the service rendered.

JOHN BROUGH, Governor of Ohio.
O. P. MORTON, Governor of Indiana.
RICHARD PATES, Governor of Illinois.
WILLIAM M. STONE, Governor of Iowa.
JAMES T. LEWIS, Governor of Wisconsin

(Indorsement.)

April 23, 1864.

The foregoing proposition of the governors is accepted, and the
Secretary of War is directed to carry it into execution.

A. LINCOLN.

TO SECRETARY STANTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, April 23, 1864.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR:

MY DEAR SIR:--According to our understanding with Major-General Frank
P. Blair at the time he took his seat in Congress last winter, he now
asks to withdraw his resignation as Major-General, then tendered, and
be sent to the field. Let this be done. Let the order sending him
be such as shown me to-day by the Adjutant-General, only dropping
from it the names of Maguire and Tompkins.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO JOHN WILLIAMS.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, April 25, 1864.

JOHN WILLIAMS, Springfield, Ill.:

Yours of the 15th is just received. Thanks for your kind
remembrance. I would accept your offer at once, were it not that I
fear there might be some impropriety in it, though I do not see that
there would. I will think of it a while.
A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, April 25, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:

A Mr. Corby brought you a note from me at the foot of a petition I
believe, in the case of Dawson, to be executed to-day. The record
has been examined here, and it shows too strong a case for a pardon
or commutation, unless there is something in the poor man's favor
outside of the record, which you on the ground may know, but I do
not. My note to you only means that if you know of any such
thing rendering a suspension of the execution proper, on your own
judgment, you are at liberty to suspend it. Otherwise I do not
interfere.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL THOMAS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., April 26, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Chattanooga, Term.:

Suspend execution of death sentence of young Perry, of Wisconsin,
condemned for sleeping on his post, till further orders, and forward
record for examination.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR MURPHY.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 27, 1864.

GOVERNOR MURPHY, Little Rock, Arkansas:

I am much gratified to learn that you got out so large a vote, so
nearly all the right way, at the late election; and not less so that
your State government including the legislature, is organized and in
good working order. Whatever I can I will do to protect you;
meanwhile you must do your utmost to protect yourselves. Present my
greeting to all.

A. LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, APRIL 28, 1864.

TO THE HONORABLE THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I have the honor to transmit herewith an address to the President of
the United States, and through him to both Houses of Congress, on the
condition and wants of the people of east Tennessee, and asking their
attention to the necessity of some action on the part of the
Government for their relief, and which address is presented by a
committee of an organization called "The East Tennessee Relief
Association."

Deeply commiserating the condition of these most loyal and suffering
people, I am unprepared to make any specific recommendation for their
relief. The military is doing and will continue to do the best for
them within its power. Their address represents that the
construction of direct railroad communication between Knoxville and
Cincinnati by way of central Kentucky would be of great consequence
in the present emergency. It may be remembered that in the annual
message of December, 1861, such railroad construction was
recommended. I now add that, with the hearty concurrence of
Congress, I would yet be pleased to construct a road, both for the
relief of these people and for its continuing military importance.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

APRIL 28, 1864.

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In obedience to the resolution of your honorable body, a copy of
which is herewith returned, I have the honor to make the following
brief statement, which is believed to contain the information sought:

Prior to and at the meeting of the present Congress, Robert C.
Schenck, of Ohio, and Frank P. Blair, Jr., of Missouri, members elect
thereto, by and with the consent of the Senate held commissions from
the Executive as major-generals in the volunteer army. General
Schenck tendered the resignation of his said commission, and took his
seat in the House of Representatives, at the assembling thereof, upon
the distinct verbal understanding with the Secretary of War and the
Executive that he might, at any time during the session, at his own
pleasure, withdraw said resignation and return to the field.

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