The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 5, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

Richard T. Jacob, Lieutenant-Governor of Kentucky, is at the
Spotswood House, in Richmond, under an order of General Burbridge not
to return to Kentucky. Please communicate leave to him to pass our
lines, and come to me here at Washington.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

WASHINGTON, January 6, 1865, LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point:

If there is a man at City Point by the name of Waterman Thornton who
is in trouble about desertion, please have his case briefly stated to
me and do not let him be executed meantime.

A. LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS,

WASHINGTON, January 9, 1865.

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I transmit to Congress a
copy of two treaties between the United States and Belgium, for the
extinguishment of the Scheldt dues, etc., concluded on the twentieth
of May, 1863, and twentieth of July, 1863, respectively, the
ratifications of which were exchanged at Brussels on the twenty-
fourth of June last; and I recommend an appropriation to carry into
effect the provisions thereof relative to the payment of the
proportion of the United States toward the capitalization of the said
dues.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO SCHUYLER COLFAX.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 9, 1865.

HON. SCHUYLER COLFAX,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

SIR:--I transmit herewith the letter of the Secretary of War, with
accompanying report of the Adjutant-General, in reply to the
resolution of the House of Representatives, dated December 7, 1864,
requesting me "to communicate to the House the report made by Col.
Thomas M. Key of an interview between himself and General Howell Cobb
on the fourteenth [15th] day of June, 1862, on the banks of the
Chickahominy, on the subject of the exchange of prisoners of war."

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION CONCERNING COMMERCE,
JANUARY 10, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas the act of Congress of the twenty-eighth of September, 1850,
entitled "An act to create additional collection districts in the
State of California, and to change the existing districts therein,
and to modify the existing collection districts in the United
States," extends to merchandise warehoused under bond the privilege
of being exported to the British North American provinces adjoining
the United States, in the manner prescribed in the act of Congress of
the third of March, 1845, which designates certain frontier ports
through which merchandise may be exported, and further provides "that
such other ports situated on the frontiers of the United States,
adjoining the British North American provinces, as may hereafter be
found expedient, may have extended to them the like privileges on the
recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury, and proclamation
duly made by the President of the United States, specially
designating the ports to which the aforesaid privileges are to be
extended;"

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of
America, in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary of
the Treasury, do hereby declare and proclaim that the port of St.
Albans, in the State of Vermont, is, and shall be, entitled to all
the privileges in regard to the exportation of merchandise in bond to
the British North American provinces adjoining the United States,
which are extended to the ports enumerated in the seventh section of
the act of Congress of the third of March, 1845, aforesaid, from and
after the date of this proclamation.

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 tenth day of January, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred-and sixty-five, and of
the independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL B. F. BUTLER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 10, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Fort Monroe, Va.:

No principal report of yours on the Wilmington expedition has ever
reached the War Department, as I am informed there. A preliminary
report did reach here, but was returned to General Grant at his
request. Of course, leave to publish cannot be given without
inspection of the paper, and not then if it should be deemed to be
detrimental to the public service.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL B. F. BUTLER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 13, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Fort Monroe, Va.:

Yours asking leave to come to Washington is received. You have been
summoned by the Committee on the Conduct of the War to attend here,
which, of course, you will do.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 15, 1865.

GOVERNOR JOHNSON, Nashville, Tennessee:

Yours announcing ordinance of emancipation received. Thanks to the
convention and to you. When do you expect to be here? Would be glad
to have your suggestion as to supplying your place of military
governor.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. M. DODGE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 15, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL DODGE, St. Louis, Missouri:

It is represented to me that there is so much irregular violence in
northern Missouri as to be driving away the people and almost
depopulating it. Please gather information, and consider whether an
appeal to the people there to go to their homes and let one another
alone recognizing as a full right of protection for each that he lets
others alone, and banning only him who refuses to let others alone
may not enable you to withdraw the troops, their presence itself
[being] a cause of irritation and constant apprehension, and thus
restore peace and quiet, and returning prosperity. Please consider
this and telegraph or write me.

A. LINCOLN.

FIRST OVERTURES FOR SURRENDER FROM DAVIS

TO P. P. BLAIR, SR.

WASHINGTON, January 18, 1865.

F. P. BLAIR, ESQ.

SIR:-You having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of the twelfth
instant, you may say to him that I have constantly been, am now, and
shall continue, ready to receive any agent whom he or any other
influential person now resisting the national authority may
informally send to me with the view of securing peace to the people
of our one common country.

Yours, etc.,

A. LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

WASHINGTON, January 19, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

Please read and answer this letter as though I was not President, but
only a friend. My son, now in his twenty-second year, having
graduated at Harvard, wishes to see something of the war before it
ends. I do not wish to put him in the ranks, nor yet to give him a
commission, to which those who have already served long are better
entitled and better qualified to hold. Could he, without
embarrassment to you, or detriment to the service, go into your
military family with some nominal rank, I, and not the public,
furnishing his necessary means? If no, say so without the least
hesitation, because I am as anxious and as deeply interested that you
shall not be encumbered as you can be yourself.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DODGE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 19, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL DODGE, Saint Louis, Mo.:

If Mrs. Beattie, alias Mrs. Wolff, shall be sentenced to death,
notify me, and postpone the execution till further order.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ORD.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 19, 1864

MAJOR-GENERAL ORD:

You have a man in arrest for desertion passing by the name of
Stanley. William Stanley, I think, but whose real name is different.
He is the son of so close a friend of mine that I must not let him be
executed. Please let me know what is his present and prospective
condition.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. M. DODGE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 24, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL DODGE, St. Louis, Mo.:

It is said an old lady in Clay County, Missouri, by name Mrs.
Winifred B. Price, is about being sent South. If she is not
misbehaving let her remain.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 2¬ 1865.

HON. ANDREW JOHNSON, Nashville, Tennessee:

Several members of the Cabinet, with myself, considered the question,
to-day, as to the time of your coming on here. While we fully
appreciate your wish to remain in Tennessee until her State
government shall be completely reinaugurated, it is our unanimous
conclusion that it is unsafe for you to not be here on the 4th of
March. Be sure to reach here by that time.

A. LINCOLN.

REPLY TO A COMMITTEE, JANUARY 24, 1865.

REVEREND SIR, AND LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

I accept with emotions of profoundest gratitude, the beautiful gift
you have been pleased to present to me. You will, of course, expect
that I acknowledge it. So much has been said about Gettysburg and so
well, that for me to attempt to say more may perhaps only serve to
weaken the force of that which has already been said. A most
graceful and eloquent tribute was paid to the patriotism and self-
denying labors of the American ladies, on the occasion of the
consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, by our
illustrious friend, Edward Everett, now, alas! departed from earth.
His life was a truly great one, and I think the greatest part of it
was that which crowned its closing years, I wish you to read, if you
have not already done so, the eloquent and truthful words which he
then spoke of the women of America. Truly, the services they have
rendered to the defenders of our country in this perilous time, and
are yet rendering, can never be estimated as they ought to be. For
your kind wishes to me personally, I beg leave to render you likewise
my sincerest thanks. I assure you they are reciprocated. And now,
gentlemen and ladies, may God bless you all.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 25, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point

If Newell W. Root, of First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, is under
sentence of death, please telegraph me briefly the circumstances.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 25, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

Having received the report in the case of Newell W. Root, I do not
interfere further in the case.

A. LINCOLN.

EARLY CONSULTATIONS WITH REBELS

INSTRUCTIONS TO MAJOR ECKERT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 30, 1865.

MAJOR T. T. ECKERT.

SIR:-You will proceed with the documents placed in your hands, and on
reaching General Ord will deliver him the letter addressed to him by
the Secretary of War. Then, by General Ord's assistance procure an
interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, or any of
them, deliver to him or them the paper on which your own letter is
written. Note on the copy which you retain the time of delivery and
to whom delivered. Receive their answer in writing, waiting a
reasonable time for it, and which, if it contain their decision to
come through without further condition, will be your warrant to ask
General Ord to pass them through as directed in the letter of the
Secretary of War to him. If by their answer they decline to come, or
propose other terms, do not have them pass through. And this being
your whole duty, return and report to me.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM FROM SECRETARY OF WAR TO GENERAL ORD.
(Cipher.)
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., January 30, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL ORD, Headquarters Army of the James:

By direction of the President you are instructed to inform the three
gentlemen, Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, that a messenger
will be dispatched to them at or near where they now are, without
unnecessary delay.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

INDORSEMENT ON A LETTER FROM J. M. ASHLEY.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
January 31, 1865.

DEAR SIR:--The report is in circulation in the House that Peace
Commissioners are on their way or in the city, and is being used
against us. If it is true, I fear we shall lose the bill. Please
authorize me to contradict it, if it is not true.

Respectfully,
J. M. ASHLEY.

To the President.

(Indorsement.)

So far as I know there are no Peace Commissioners in the city or
likely to be in it.

A. LINCOLN.
January 31, 1865

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 31, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

A messenger is coming to you on the business contained in your
despatch. Detain the gentlemen in comfortable quarters until he
arrives, and then act upon the message he brings, as far as
applicable, it having been made up to pass through General Ord's
hands, and when the gentlemen were supposed to be beyond our lines.

A. LINCOLN.

INSTRUCTIONS TO SECRETARY SEWARD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 31, 1865.

HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State

You will proceed to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, there to meet and
informally confer with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, on
the basis of my letter to F. P. Blair, Esq., of January 18, 1865, a
copy of which you have. You will make known to them that three
things are indispensable to wit:

1. The restoration of the national authority throughout all the
States.

2. No receding by the Executive of the United States on the slavery
question from the position assumed thereon in the late annual message
to Congress, and in preceding documents.

3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and the
disbanding of all forces hostile to the Government.

You will inform them that all propositions of theirs, not
inconsistent with the above, will be considered and passed upon in a
spirit of sincere liberality. You will hear all they may choose to
say and report it to me. You will not assume to definitely
consummate anything.

Yours, etc.,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

PASSAGE THROUGH CONGRESS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR THE
ABOLISHING OF SLAVERY

RESPONSE TO A SERENADE, JANUARY 31, 1865.

He supposed the passage through Congress of the Constitutional
amendment for the abolishing of slavery throughout the United States
was the occasion to which he was indebted for the honor of this call.

The occasion was one of congratulation to the country, and to the
whole world. But there is a task yet before us--to go forward and
consummate by the votes of the States that which Congress so nobly
began yesterday. He had the honor to inform those present that
Illinois had already done the work. Maryland was about half through,
but he felt proud that Illinois was a little ahead.

He thought this measure was a very fitting if not an indispensable
adjunct to the winding up of the great difficulty. He wished the
reunion of all the States perfected, and so effected as to remove all
causes of disturbance in the future; and, to attain this end, it was
necessary that the original disturbing cause should, if possible, be
rooted out. He thought all would bear him witness that he had never
shirked from doing all that he could to eradicate slavery, by issuing
an Emancipation Proclamation. But that proclamation falls short of
what the amendment will be when fully consummated. A question might
be raised whether the proclamation was legally valid. It might be
added, that it only aided those who came into our lines, and that it
was inoperative as to those who did not give themselves up; or that
it would have no effect upon the children of the slaves born
hereafter; in fact, it would be urged that it did not meet the evil.
But this amendment is a king's cure for all evils. It winds the
whole thing up. He would repeat, that it was the fitting if not the
indispensable adjunct to the consummation of the great game we are
playing. He could not but congratulate all present--himself, the
country, and the whole world upon this great moral victory.

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