The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

A. LINCOLN.

TO P. A. CONKLING AND OTHERS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, June 3, 1864.

HON. F. A. CONKLING AND OTHERS.

GENTLEMEN:--Your letter, inviting me to be present at a mass meeting
of loyal citizens, to be held at New York on the 4th instant, for the
purpose of expressing gratitude to Lieutenant-General Grant for his
signal services, was received yesterday. It is impossible for me to
attend. I approve, nevertheless, of whatever may tend to strengthen
and sustain General Grant and the noble armies now under his
direction. My previous high estimate of General Grant has been
maintained and heightened by what has occurred in the remarkable
campaign he is now conducting, while the magnitude and difficulty of
the task before him does not prove less than I expected. He and his
brave soldiers are now in the midst of their great trial, and I trust
that at your meeting you will so shape your good words that they may
turn to men and guns, moving to his and their support.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

INDORSEMENT ON A LETTER TOUCHING THE
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION.

JUNE 5, 1864.

(Indorsement.)

Swett is unquestionably all right. Mr. Holt is a good man, but I had
not heard or thought of him for Vice-President. Wish not to
interfere about Vice-President. Cannot interfere about platform.
Convention must judge for itself.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, June 6, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of the Potomac:

Private James McCarthy, of the One-hundred and fortieth New York
Volunteers, is here under sentence to the Dry Tortugas for an attempt
to desert. His friends appeal to me and if his colonel and you
consent, I will send him to his regiment. Please answer.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. S. ROSECRANS.
WASHINGTON, June 8, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL ROSECRANS, St. Louis, Missouri:

Yours of to-day received. I am unable to conceive how a message can
be less safe by the express than by a staff-officer. If you send a
verbal message, the messenger is one additional person let into the
secret.

A. LINCOLN

REPLY TO THE COMMITTEE NOTIFYING PRESIDENT LINCOLN OF HIS
RENOMINATION,

JUNE 9, 1864.

Mr. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE:

I will neither conceal my gratification nor restrain the expression
of my gratitude that the Union people, through their convention, in
their continued effort to save and advance the nation, have deemed me
not unworthy to remain in my present position. I know no reason to
doubt that I shall accept the nomination tendered; and yet perhaps I
should not declare definitely before reading and considering what is
called the platform. I will say now, however, I approve the
declaration in favor of so amending the Constitution as to prohibit
slavery throughout the nation. When the people in revolt, with a
hundred days of explicit notice that they could within those days
resume their allegiance without the overthrow of their institution,
and that they could not so resume it afterward, elected to stand out,
such amendment of the Constitution as now proposed became a fitting
and necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause.
Such alone can meet and cover all cavils. Now the unconditional
Union men, North and South, perceive its importance and embrace it.
In the joint names of Liberty and Union, let us labor to give it
legal form and practical effect.

PLATFORM OF THE UNION NATIONAL CONVENTION
HELD IN BALTIMORE, MD., JUNE 7 AND 8, 1864.

1. Resolved, That it is the highest duty of every American citizen
to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union and
the paramount authority of the Constitution and laws of the United
States; and that, laying aside all differences of political opinion,
we pledge ourselves, as Union men, animated by a common sentiment and
aiming at a common object, to do everything in our power to aid the
Government in quelling by force of arms the rebellion now raging
against its authority, and in bringing to the punishment due to their
crimes the rebels and traitors arrayed against it.

2. Resolved, That we approve the determination of the Government of
the United States not to compromise with rebels, or to offer them any
terms of peace, except such as may be based upon an unconditional
surrender of their hostility and a return to their just allegiance to
the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that we call upon
the Government to maintain this position, and to prosecute the war
with the utmost possible vigor to the complete suppression of the
rebellion, in full reliance upon the self-sacrificing patriotism, the
heroic valor, and the undying devotion of the American people to
their Country and its free institutions.

3. Resolved, That as slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the
strength, of this rebellion, and as it must be, always and
everywhere, hostile to the principles of republican government,
justice and the national safety demand its utter and complete
extirpation from the soil of the republic; and that while we uphold
and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in
its own defense, has aimed a death-blow at this gigantic evil, we are
in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to
be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall
terminate and forever prohibit the existence of slavery within the
limits or the jurisdiction of the United States.

4. Resolved, That the thanks of the American people are due to the
soldiers and sailors of the Army and Navy, who have periled their
lives in defense of their country and in vindication of the honor of
its flag; that the nation owes to them some permanent recognition of
their patriotism and their valor, and ample and permanent provision
for those of their survivors who have received disabling and
honorable wounds in the service of the country; and that the memories
of those who have fallen in its defense shall be held in grateful and
everlasting remembrance.

5. Resolved, That we approve and applaud the practical wisdom, the
unselfish patriotism, and the unswerving fidelity to the Constitution
and the principles of American liberty, with which Abraham Lincoln
has discharged under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty the
great duties and responsibilities of the Presidential office; that we
approve and indorse as demanded by the emergency and essential to the
preservation of the nation, and as within the provisions of the
Constitution, the measures and acts which he has adopted to defend
the nation against its open and secret foes; that we approve,
especially, the Proclamation of Emancipation, and the employment as
Union soldiers of men heretofore held in slavery; and that we have
full confidence in his determination to carry these and all other
constitutional measures essential to the salvation of the country
into full and complete effect.

6. Resolved, That we deem it essential to the General welfare that
harmony should prevail in the national councils, and we regard as
worthy of public confidence and official trust those only who
cordially indorse the principles proclaimed in these resolutions, and
which should characterize the administration of the Government.

7. Resolved, That the Government owes to all men employed in its
armies, without regard to distinction of color, the full protection
of the laws of war, and that any violation of these laws, or of the
usages of civilized nations in time of war, by the rebels now in
arms, should be made the subject of prompt and full redress.

8. Resolved, That foreign immigration, which in the past has added
so much to the wealth, development of resources, and increase of
power to this nation, the asylum of the oppressed of all nations,
should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.

9. Resolved, That we are in favor of the speedy construction of the
railroad to the Pacific coast.

10. Resolved, That the national faith, pledged for the redemption of
the public debt, must be kept inviolate, and that for this purpose we
recommend economy and rigid responsibility in the public
expenditures, and a vigorous and just system of taxation: and that it
is the duty of every loyal State to sustain the credit and promote
the use of the national currency.

11. Resolved, That we approve the position taken by the Government
that the people of the United States can never regard with
indifference the attempt of any European power to overthrow by force
or to supplant by fraud the institutions of any republican government
on the Western Continent, and that they will view with extreme
jealousy, as menacing to the peace and independence of their own
country, the efforts of any such power to obtain new footholds for
monarchical governments, sustained by foreign military force, in near
proximity to the United States.

REPLY TO A DELEGATION FROM THE NATIONAL UNION LEAGUE,

JUNE 9, 1864.

GENTLEMEN--I can only say in response to the remarks of your
chairman, that I am very grateful for the renewed confidence which
has been accorded to me, both by the convention and by the National
League. I am not insensible at all to the personal compliment there
is in this, yet I do not allow myself to believe that any but a small
portion of it is to be appropriated as a personal compliment to me.
The convention and the nation, I am assured, are alike animated by a
higher view of the interests of the country, for the present and the
great future, and the part I am entitled to appropriate as a
compliment is only that part which I may lay hold of as being the
opinion of the convention and of the League, that I am not entirely
unworthy to be intrusted with the place I have occupied for the last
three years. I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude
that I am the best man in the country; but I am reminded in this
connection of a story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a
companion once that "it was not best to swap horses when crossing a
stream."

REPLY TO A DELEGATION FROM OHIO,

JUNE 9, 1864.

GENTLEMEN:--I am very much obliged to you for this compliment. I
have just been saying, and will repeat it, that the hardest of all
speeches I have to answer is a serenade. I never know what to say on
these occasions. I suppose that you have done me this kindness in
connection with the action of the Baltimore convention, which has
recently taken place, and with which, of course, I am very well
satisfied. What we want still more than Baltimore conventions, or
Presidential elections, is success under General Grant. I propose
that you constantly bear in mind that the support you owe to the
brave officers and soldiers in the field is of the very first
importance, and we should therefore bend all our energies to that
point. Now without detaining you any longer, I propose that you help
me to close up what I am now saying with three rousing cheers for
General Grant and the officers and soldiers under his command.

ADDRESS TO THE ENVOY FROM
THE HAWAIIAN
ISLANDS,

JUNE 11, 1864.

SIR:--In every light in which the State of the Hawaiian Islands can
be contemplated, it is an object of profound interest for the United
States. Virtually it was once a colony. It is now a near and
intimate neighbor. It is a haven of shelter and refreshment for our
merchants, fishermen, seamen, and other citizens, when on their
lawful occasions they are navigating the eastern seas and oceans.
Its people are free, and its laws, language, and religion are largely
the fruit of our own teaching and example. The distinguished part
which you, Mr. Minister, have acted in the history of that
interesting country, is well known here. It gives me pleasure to
assure you of my sincere desire to do what I can to render now your
sojourn in the United States agreeable to yourself, satisfactory to
your sovereign, and beneficial to the Hawaiian people.

REMARKS TO AN OHIO REGIMENT,

JUNE 11, 1864.

Soldiers! I understand you have just come from Ohio; come to help us
in this the nation's day of trial, and also of its hopes. I thank
you for your promptness in responding to the call for troops. Your
services were never needed more than now. I know not where you are
going. You may stay here and take the places of those who will be
sent to the front, or you may go there yourselves. Wherever you go I
know you will do your best. Again I thank you. Good-by.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL L. THOMAS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, June 13, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Louisville, Kentucky:

Complaint is made to me that in the vicinity of Henderson, our
militia is seizing negroes and carrying them off without their own
consent, and according to no rules whatever, except those of absolute
violence. I wish you would look into this and inform me, and see
that the making soldiers of negroes is done according to the rules
you are acting upon, so that unnecessary provocation and irritation
be avoided.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO THOMAS WEBSTER.
WASHINGTON, D. C., June 13, 1864.

THOMAS WEBSTER, Philadelphia:

Will try to leave here Wednesday afternoon, say at 4 P.M., remain
till Thursday afternoon and then return. This subject to events.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, June 15, 1864. 7 A.M.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT,
Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

I have just received your dispatch of 1 P.M. yesterday. I begin to
see it: you will succeed. God bless you all.

A. LINCOLN.

ADDRESS AT A SANITARY FAIR IN PHILADELPHIA,

JUNE 16, 1864.

I suppose that this toast is intended to open the way for me to say
something. War at the best is terrible, and this of ours in its
magnitude and duration is one of the most terrible the world has ever
known. It has deranged business totally in many places, and perhaps
in all. It has destroyed property, destroyed life, and ruined homes.
It has produced a national debt and a degree of taxation
unprecedented in the history of this country. It has caused mourning
among us until the heavens may almost be said to be hung in black.
And yet it continues. It has had accompaniments not before known in
the history of the world. I mean the Sanitary and Christian
Commissions, with their labors for the relief of the soldiers, and
the Volunteer Refreshment Saloons, understood better by those who
hear me than by myself, and these fairs, first begun at Chicago and
next held in Boston, Cincinnati, and other cities. The motive and
object that lie at the bottom of them are worthy of the most that we
can do for the soldier who goes to fight the battles of his country.
>From the fair and tender hand of women is much, very much, done for
the soldier, continually reminding him of the care and thought for
him at home. The knowledge that he is not forgotten is grateful to
his heart. Another view of these institutions is worthy of thought.
They are voluntary contributions, giving proof that the national
resources are not at all exhausted, and that the national patriotism
will sustain us through all. It is a pertinent question, When is
this war to end? I do not wish to name the day when it will end, lest
the end should not come at the given time. We accepted this war, and
did not begin it. We accepted it for an object, and when that object
is accomplished the war will end, and I hope to God that it will
never end until that object is accomplished. We are going through
with our task, so far as I am concerned, if it takes us three years
longer. I have not been in the habit of making predictions, but I am
almost tempted now to hazard one. I will. It is, that Grant is this
evening in a position, with Meade and Hancock, of Pennsylvania,
whence he can never be dislodged by the enemy until Richmond is
taken. If I shall discover that General Grant may be greatly
facilitated in the capture of Richmond by rapidly pouring to him a
large number of armed men at the briefest notice, will you go? Will
you march on with him? [Cries of "Yes, yes."] Then I shall call upon
you when it is necessary.

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