The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

MAJOR-GENERAL BURBRIDGE, Lexington, Ky.:

I have just received a telegram from Governor Bramlette saying:
"General John B. Houston, a loyal man and prominent citizen, was
arrested, and yesterday, started off by General Burbridge, to be sent
beyond our lines by way of Catlettsburg, for no other offense than
opposition to your re-election," and I have answered him as follows
below, of which please take notice and report to me.

A. LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 1864.
GOVERNOR BRAMLETTE, Frankfort, Ky.:

Yours of yesterday received. I can scarcely believe that General
John B. Houston has been arrested "for no other offense than
opposition to my re-election;" for, if that had been deemed
sufficient cause of arrest, I should have heard of more than one
arrest in Kentucky on election day. If, however, General Houston has
been arrested for no other cause than opposition to my re-election,
General Burbridge will discharge him at once, I sending him a copy of
this as an order to that effect.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL S. A. HURLBUT.
(Private.)
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, November 14, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL HURLBUT:

Few things since I have been here have impressed me more painfully
than what, for four or five months past, has appeared a bitter
military opposition to the new State government of Louisiana. I
still indulged some hope that I was mistaken in the fact; but copies
of a correspondence on the subject between General Canby and
yourself, and shown me to-day, dispel that hope. A very fair
proportion of the people of Louisiana have inaugurated a new State
government, making an excellent new constitution--better for the poor
black man than we have in Illinois. This was done under military
protection, directed by me, in the belief, still sincerely
entertained, that with such a nucleus around which to build we could
get the State into position again sooner than otherwise. In this
belief a general promise of protection and support, applicable alike
to Louisiana and other States, was given in the last annual message.
During the formation of the new government and constitution they were
supported by nearly every loyal person, and opposed by every
secessionist. And this support and this opposition, from the
respective standpoints of the parties, was perfectly consistent and
logical. Every Unionist ought to wish the new government to succeed;
and every disunionist must desire it to fail. Its failure would
gladden the heart of Slidell in Europe, and of every enemy of the old
flag in the world. Every advocate of slavery naturally desires to
see blasted and crushed the liberty promised the black man by the new
constitution. But why General Canby and General Hurlbut should join
on the same side is to me incomprehensible.

Of course, in the condition of things at New Orleans, the military
must not be thwarted by the civil authority; but when the
Constitutional Convention, for what it deems a breach of privilege,
arrests an editor in no way connected with the military, the military
necessity for insulting the convention and forcibly discharging the
editor is difficult to perceive. Neither is the military necessity
for protecting the people against paying large salaries fixed by a
legislature of their own choosing very apparent. Equally difficult
to perceive is the military necessity for forcibly interposing to
prevent a bank from loaning its own money to the State. These
things, if they have occurred, are, at the best, no better than
gratuitous hostility. I wish I could hope that they may be shown not
to have occurred. To make assurance against misunderstanding, I
repeat that in the existing condition of things in Louisiana, the
military must not be thwarted by the civil authority; and I add that
on points of difference the commanding general must be judge and
master. But I also add that in the exercise of this judgment and
control, a purpose, obvious, and scarcely unavowed, to transcend all
military necessity, in order to crush out the civil government, will
not be overlooked.

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.

REPLY TO MARYLAND UNION COMMITTEE,
NOVEMBER 17, 1864.

The President, in reply, said that he had to confess he had been duly
notified of the intention to make this friendly call some days ago,
and in this he had had a fair opportunity afforded to be ready with a
set speech; but he had not prepared one, being too busy for that
purpose. He would say, however, that he was gratified with the
result of the presidential election. He had kept as near as he could
to the exercise of his best judgment for the interest of the whole
country, and to have the seal of approbation stamped on the course he
had pursued was exceedingly grateful to his feelings. He thought he
could say, in as large a sense as any other man, that his pleasure
consisted in belief that the policy he had pursued was the best, if
not the only one, for the safety of the country.

He had said before, and now repeated, that he indulged in no feeling
of triumph over any man who thought or acted differently from
himself. He had no such feeling toward any living man. When he
thought of Maryland, in particular, he was of the opinion that she
had more than double her share in what had occurred in the recent
elections. The adoption of a free-State constitution was a greater
thing than the part taken by the people of the State in the
presidential election. He would any day have stipulated to lose
Maryland in the presidential election to save it by the adoption of a
free-State constitution, because the presidential election comes
every four years, while that is a thing which, being done, cannot be
undone. He therefore thought that in that they had a victory for
the right worth a great deal more than their part in the presidential
election, though of the latter he thought highly. He had once before
said, but would say again, that those who have differed with us and
opposed us will see that the result of the presidential election is
better for their own good than if they had been successful.

Thanking the committee for their compliment, he brought his brief
speech to a close.

PROCLAMATION CONCERNING BLOCKADE,
NOVEMBER 19, 1864

BF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas by my proclamation of the 19th of April, 1861, it was
declared that the ports of certain States, including those of
Norfolk, in the State of Virginia, Fernandina and Pensacola, in the
State of Florida, were, for reasons therein set forth, intended to be
placed under blockade; and:

Whereas the said ports were subsequently blockaded accordingly, but
having for some time past been in the military possession of the
United States, it is deeemd advisable that they should be opened to
domestic and foreign commerce:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, pursuant to the authority in me vested by the fifth
section of the act of Congress approved on the 13th of July, 1861,
entitled "An act further to provide for the collection of duties on
imports, and for other purposes," do hereby declare that the blockade
of the said ports of Norfolk, Fernandina, and Pensacola shall so far
cease and determine, from and after the first day of December next,
that commercial intercourse with those ports, except as to persons,
things, and information contraband of war, may, from that time, be
carried on, subject to the laws of the United States, to the
limitations and in pursuance of the regulations which may be
prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and to such military and
naval regulations as are now in force, or may hereafter be found
necessary.

In witness 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 nineteenth day of November, 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.

FIVE-STAR MOTHER

TO MRS. BIXBY.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
November 21, 1864.

MRS. BIXBY, Boston, Massachusetts.

DEAR MADAM:--I have been shown in the files of the War Department a
statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the
mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should
attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But
I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be
found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that
our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and
leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the
solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice
upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO J. PHILLIPS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
November 21, 1864.

DEACON JOHN PHILLIPS.

MY DEAR SIR:--I have heard of the incident at the polls in your town,
in which you acted so honorable a part, and I take the liberty of
writing to you to express my personal gratitude for the compliment
paid me by the suffrage of a citizen so venerable.

The example of such devotion to civic duties in one whose days have
already been extended an average lifetime beyond the Psalmist's
limit, cannot but be valuable and fruitful. It is not for myself
only, but for the country which you have in your sphere served so
long and so well, that I thank you.

Your friend and servant,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR BRAMLETTE.
WASHINGTON, D. C. NOVEMBER 22, 1864.

GOVERNOR BRAMLETTE, Frankfort, Ky.:

Yours of to-day received. It seems that Lieutenant-Governor Jacobs
and Colonel Wolford are stationary now. General Sudarth and Mr.
Hodges are here, and the Secretary of War and myself are trying to
devise means of pacification and harmony for Kentucky, which we hope
to effect soon, now that the passion-exciting subject of the election
is past.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR CURTIN,
WASHINGTON, D.C., NOVEMBER 25, 1864

GOVERNOR CURTIN, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania;

I have no knowledge, information, or belief, that three States--or
any States, offer to resume allegiance.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ROSECRANS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON D.C., NOV. 26, 1864

MAJOR-GENERAL ROSECRANS:

Please telegraph me briefly on what charge and evidence Mrs. Anna B.
Martin has been sent to the penitentiary at Alton.

A. LINCOLN.

MEMORANDUM,

DECEMBER 3, 1864.

On Thursday of last week, two ladies from Tennessee came before the
President, asking the release of their husbands held as prisoners of
war at Johnson's Island. They were put off until Friday, when they
came again, and were again put off until Saturday. At each of the
interviews one of the ladies urged that her husband was a religious
man, and on Saturday the President ordered the release of the
prisoners, when he said to this lady: "You say your husband is a
religious man; tell him when you meet him, that I say I am not much
of a judge of religion, but that, in my opinion, the religion that
sets men to rebel and fight against their own government, because, as
they think, that government does not sufficiently help some men to
eat their bread in the sweat of other men's faces, is not the sort of
religion upon which people can get to heaven."

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER CONCERNING THE STEAMER "FUNAYMA SOLACE."

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 3, 1864.

A war steamer, called the Funayma Solace, having been built in this
country, for the Japanese government and at the instance of that
government, it is deemed to comport with the public interest, in view
of the unsettled condition of the relations of the United States with
that Empire, that the steamer should not be allowed to proceed to
Japan. If, however, the Secretary of the Navy should ascertain that
the steamer is adapted to our service, he is authorized to purchase
her, but the purchase money will be held in trust toward satisfying
any valid claims which may be presented by the Japanese on account of
the construction of the steamer and the failure to deliver the same,
as above set forth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

WASHINGTON CITY, December 5, 1864

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: `

In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most cordially recommend
that Captain John A. Winslow, United States Navy, receive a vote of
thanks from Congress for the skill and gallantry exhibited by him in
the brilliant action whilst in command of the United States steamer
Keaysarge, which led to the total destruction of the piratical craft
Alabama, on the 19th of June, 1864., a vessel superior in tonnage,
superior in number of guns, and superior in number of crew.

This recommendation is specially made in order to comply with the
requirements of the ninth section of the aforesaid act, which is in
the following words, viz:

That any line officer of the navy or marine corps may be advanced one
grade, if, upon recommendation by the President by name he receives
the thanks of Congress for highly distinguished conduct in conflict
with the enemy, or far extraordinary heroism in the line of his
profession.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

WASHINGTON CITY, December 5, 1864.

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most cordially recommend
that Lieutenant William B. Gushing, United States Navy, receive a
vote of thanks from Congress for his important, gallant, and perilous
achievement in destroying the rebel ironclad steamer Albemarle on the
night of the 27th of October, i86q., at Plymouth, N. C.

The destruction of so formidable a vessel, which had resisted the
continued attacks of a number of our vessels on former occasions, is
an important event touching our future naval and military operations,
and would reflect honor on any officer, and redounds to the credit of
this young officer and the few brave comrades who assisted in this
successful and daring undertaking.

This recommendation is specially made in order to comply with the
requirements of the ninth section of the Aforesaid act, which is in
the following words, namely:

That any line officer of the navy or marine corps may be advanced one
grade if upon recommendation of the President by name he receives the
thanks of Congress for highly distinguished conduct in conflict with
the enemy, or for extraordinary heroism in the line of his
profession.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

ANNUAL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS,

DECEMBER 6, 1864.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES:

Again the blessings of health and abundant harvests claim our
profoundest gratitude to Almighty God.

The condition of our foreign affairs is reasonably satisfactory.

Mexico continues to be a theater of civil war. While our political
relations with that country have undergone no change, we have at the
same time strictly maintained neutrality between the belligerents.

At the request of the States of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, a competent
engineer has been authorized to make a survey of the river San Juan
and the port of San Juan. It is a source of much satisfaction that
the difficulties which for a moment excited some political
apprehensions and caused a closing of the interoceanic transit route
have been amicably adjusted, and that there is a good prospect that
the route will soon be reopened with an increase of capacity and
adaptation. We could not exaggerate either the commercial or the
political importance of that great improvement.

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