The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

PROCLAMATION OF THANKSGIVING, OCTOBER 20, 1864.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another
year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs
from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal
victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also
pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their
homes as our soldiers in their camps, and our sailors on the rivers
and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free
population by emancipation and by immigration, while he has opened to
us new: sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our working-
men in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover,
he has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds arid hearts with
fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of
civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a
nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us
reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our
dangers and afflictions.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as
a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens,
wherever they may be then, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to
Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And
I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that
occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from
thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the
great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of
peace, union, and harmony throughout the, land which it has pleased
him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity
throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twentieth day of October, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of
the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

TELEGRAM To J. G. NICOLAY.
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 21, 1864. 9.45 P.M.

J. G. NICOLAY, Saint Louis, Missouri:

While Curtis is fighting Price, have you any idea where the force
under Rosecrans is, or what it is
doing?

A. LINCOLN.

TO WILLIAM B. CAMPBELL AND OTHERS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
October 22, 1864.

MESSRS WILLIAM B. CAMPBELL, THOMAS A. R. NELSON, JAMES T. P. CARTER,
JOHN WILLIAMS, A. BLIZZARD, HENRY COOPER, BAILLIE PEYTON, JOHN
LELLYET, EMERSON ETHERIDGE, and JOHN D. PERRYMAN.

GENTLEMEN:--On the 15th day of this month, as I remember, a printed
paper manuscript, with a few manuscript interlineations, called a
protest, with your names appended thereto, and accompanied by another
printed paper, purporting to be a proclamation by Andrew Johnson,
Military Governor of Tennessee, and also a manuscript paper,
purporting to be extracts from the Code of Tennessee, were laid
before me.

The protest, proclamation, and extracts are respectively as follows:

[The protest is here recited, and also the proclamation of Governor
Johnson, dated September 30, to which it refers, together with a list
of the counties in East, Middle, and West Tennessee; also extracts
from the Code of Tennessee in relation to electors of President and
Vice-President, qualifications of voters for members of the General
Assembly, places of holding elections, and officers of popular
elections.]

At the time these papers were presented, as before stated, I had
never seen either of them, nor heard of the subject to which they
related, except in a general way one day previously.

Up to the present moment, nothing whatever upon the subject has
passed between Governor Johnson, or any one else, connected with the
proclamation, and myself.

Since receiving the papers, as stated, I have given the subject such
brief consideration as I have been able to do, in the midst of so
many pressing public duties.

My conclusion is, that I can have nothing to do with the matter,
either to sustain the plan as the convention and Governor Johnson
have initiated it, or to revoke or modify it as you demand.

By the Constitution and laws, the President is charged with no duty
in the presidential election in any State, nor do I in this case
perceive any military reason for his interference in the matter.

The movement set on foot by the convention and Governor Johnson does
not, as seems to be assumed by you, emanate from the National
Executive.

In no proper sense can it be considered other than an independent
movement of, at least, a portion of the loyal people of Tennessee.

I do not perceive in the plan any menace, or violence, or coercion
towards any one.

Governor Johnson, like any other loyal citizen of Tennessee, has the
right to favor any political plan he chooses, and, as military
governor, it is his duty to keep peace among and for the loyal people
of the State.

I cannot discern that by this plan he purposes any more. But you
object to the plan.

Leaving it alone will be your perfect security against it. It is not
proposed to force you into it. Do as you please, on your own
account, peaceably and loyally, and Governor Johnson will not molest
you, but will protect you against violence as far as in his power.

I presume that the conducting of a presidential election in Tennessee
in strict accordance with the old Code of the State, is not now a
possibility.

It is scarcely necessary to add, that if any election shall be held
and any votes shall be cast in the State of Tennessee for President
and Vice-President of the United States, it will belong, not to the
military agents, nor yet to the Executive Department, but exclusively
to another department of the Government, to determine whether they
are entitled to be counted in conformity with the Constitution and
laws of the United States.

Except it be to give protection against violence, I decline to
interfere in any way with any presidential election.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL P. H. SHERIDAN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, October 22, 1864

MAJOR-GENERAL SHERIDAN:

With great pleasure I tender to you and your brave army the thanks of
the nation, and my own personal admiration and gratitude, for the
month's operations in the Shenandoah Valley; and especially for the
splendid work of October 19, 1864.
Your obedient servant,
ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. H. THOMAS.
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 23, 1864 5 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tennessee:

I have received information to-day, having great appearance of
authenticity, that there is to be a rebel raid into Western Kentucky;
that it is to consist of four thousand infantry and three thousand
cavalry, and is to start from Corinth, Mississippi, On the fourth day
of November.

A. LINCOLN, President.

Send copy to General Washburn at Memphis.
A. L.

TELEGRAM TO T. T. DAVIS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 1864.

HON. THOMAS T. DAVIS, Syracuse, N.Y.:

I have ordered that Milton D. Norton be discharged on taking the
oath. Please notify his mother.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION ADMITTING NEVADA INTO THE UNION

OCTOBER 31, 1864.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation

Whereas the Congress of the United States passed an act, which was
approved on the 21st day of March last, entitled "An act to enable
the people of Nevada to form a constitution and State government, and
for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing
with the original States;" and,

Whereas the said constitution and State government have been formed,
pursuant to the conditions prescribed by the fifth section of the act
of Congress aforesaid, and the certificate required by the said act
and also a copy of the constitution and ordinances have been
submitted to the President of the United States:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, in accordance with the duty imposed upon me by the act
of Congress aforesaid, do hereby declare and proclaim that the said
State of Nevada is admitted into the Union on an equal footing with
the original States.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed..........

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BURBRIDGE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 4, 1864

MAJOR-GENERAL BURBRIDGE, Lexington, Ky.

Suspend execution of all the deserters ordered to be executed on
Sunday at Louisville, until further order, and send me the records in
the cases. Acknowledge receipt.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO NAVAL OFFICER AT MOBILE BAY.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 6, 1864. 9 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL CANBY, New Orleans, La.:

Please forward with all possible despatch to the naval officer
commanding at Mobile Bay the following order.

A. LINCOLN.

(Inclosure.)

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 6, 1864.

NAVAL OFFICER IN COMMAND AT MOBILE BAY

Do not on any account, or on any showing of authority whatever, from
whomsoever purporting to come, allow the blockade to be violated.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SAILORS' FAIR, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS.

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 8, 1864.

TO THE MANAGING COMMITTEE OF THE SAILORS' FAIR,
Boston, Massachusetts

Allow me to wish you a great success. With the old fame of the Navy
made brighter in the present war you cannot fail. I name none lest I
wrong others by omission. To all, from rear-admiral to honest Jack,
I tender the nation's admiration and gratitude.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO A. H. RICE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 8, 1864.

HON. A. H. RICE, Boston, Massachusetts:

Yours received. I have no other notice that the ox is mine. If it be
really so, I present it to the Sailors' Fair as a contribution.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY SEWARD.
WASHINGTON, November 8, 1864.

HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Auburn, New York:

News from Grant, Sherman, Thomas and Rosecrans satisfactory, but not
important. Pirate Florida captured by the Wachusett October 7, on
the coast of Brazil. The information is certain.

A. LINCOLN.

RESPONSE TO A SERENADE,
NOVEMBER 9, 1864.

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--Even before I had been informed by you
that this compliment was paid me by loyal citizens of Pennsylvania,
friendly to me, I had inferred that you were of that portion of my
countrymen who think that the best interests of the nation are to be
subserved by the support of the present administration. I do not
pretend to say that you, who think so, embrace all the patriotism and
loyalty of the country, but I do believe, and I trust without
personal interest, that the welfare of the country does require that
such support and indorsement should be given.

I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work, if it
be as you assume, and as now seems probable, will be to the lasting
advantage, if not to the very salvation, of the country. I cannot
at this hour say what has been the result of the election. But,
whatever it may be, I have no desire to modify this opinion: that all
who have labored to-day in behalf of the Union have wrought for the
best interests of the country and the world; not only for the
present, but for all future ages.

I am thankful to God for this approval of the people; but, while
deeply grateful for this mark of their confidence in me, if I know my
heart, my gratitude is free from any taint of personal triumph. I do
not impugn the motives of any one opposed to me. It is no pleasure
to me to triumph over any one, but I give thanks to the Almighty for
this evidence of the people's resolution to stand by free government
and the rights of humanity.

TELEGRAM TO H. W. HOFFMAN.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C. November 10, 1864.

H. HOFFMAN, Baltimore, Md.:

The Maryland soldiers in the Army of the Potomac cast a total vote of
fourteen hundred and twenty-eight, out of which we get eleven hundred
and sixty majority. This is directly from General Meade and General
Grant.

A. LINCOLN.

ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT

RESPONSE TO A SERENADE,
NOVEMBER 10, 1864.

It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too
strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to
maintain its existence in great emergencies. On this point the
present rebellion brought our government to a severe test, and a
presidential election occurring in regular course during the
rebellion, added not a little to the strain.

If the loyal people united were put to the utmost of their strength
by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided and partially
paralyzed by a political war among themselves? But the election was a
necessity. We cannot have free government without elections; and if
the election could force us to forego or postpone a national
election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined
us. The strife of the election is but human nature practically
applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case
must ever recur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In
any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we
will have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as
good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this as philosophy
to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental and undesirable strife,
has done good, too. It has demonstrated that a people's government
can sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war.
Until now, it has not been known to the world that this was a
possibility. It shows, also, how sound and strong we still are. It
shows that even among the candidates of the same party, he who is
most devoted to the Union and most opposed to treason can receive
most of the people's votes. It shows, also, to the extent yet known,
that we have more men now than we had when the war began. Gold is
good in its place; but living, brave, and patriotic men are better
than gold.

But the rebellion continues, and, now that the election is over, may
not all have a common interest to reunite in a common effort to save
our common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall strive
to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have been
here, I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom. While
I am duly sensible to the high compliment of a re-election, and duly
grateful, as I trust, to Almighty God, for having directed my
countrymen to a right conclusion, as I think, for their good, it adds
nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed by
the result.

May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in this
same spirit towards those who have? And now, let me close by asking
three hearty cheers for our brave soldiers and seamen, and their
gallant and skillful commanders.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL S. O. BURBRIDGE.
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 1864.

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