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The Entire Writings of Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln

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restraining power over the bank-note circulation of the country.

The report of the Secretary of War and the accompanying documents
will detail the campaigns of the armies in the field since the date
of the last annual message, and also the operations of the several
administrative bureaus of the War Department during the last year.
It will also specify the measures deemed essential for the national
defense and to keep up and supply the requisite military force.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy presents a comprehensive and
satisfactory exhibit of the affairs of that Department and of the
naval service. It is a subject of congratulation and laudable pride
to our countrymen that a Navy of such vast proportions has been
organized in so brief a period and conducted with so much efficiency
and success.

The general exhibit of the Navy, including vessels under construction
on the first of December, 1864, shows a total of 671 vessels,
carrying 4610 guns, and of 510,396 tons, being an actual increase
during the year, over and above all losses by shipwreck or in battle,
of 83 vessels, 167 guns, and 42,427 tons.

The total number of men at this time in the naval service, including
officers, is about 51,000.

There have been captured by the Navy during the year 324 vessels, and
the whole number of naval captures since hostilities commenced is
1379, of which 267 are steamers.

The gross proceeds arising from the sale of condemned prize property
thus far reported amount to $14,369,250.51. A large amount of such
proceeds is still under adjudication and yet to be reported.

The total expenditure of the Navy Department of every description,
including the cost of the immense squadrons that have been called
into existence from the fourth of March, 1861, to the first of
November, 1864, is $238,647,262.35.

Your favorable consideration is invited to the various
recommendations of the Secretary of the Navy, especially in regard to
a navy-yard and suitable establishment for the construction and
repair of iron vessels and the machinery and armature for our ships,
to which reference was made in my last annual message.

Your attention is also invited to the views expressed in the report
in relation to the legislation of Congress at its last session in
respect to prize on our inland waters.

I cordially concur in the recommendation of the Secretary as to the
propriety of creating the new rank of vice-admiral in our naval
service.

Your attention is invited to the report of the Postmaster-General for
a detailed account of the operations and financial condition of the
Post-Office Department.

The postal revenues for the year ending June 30, 1864, amounted to
$12,438,253.78, and the expenditures to $12,644,786.20, the excess of
expenditures over receipts being $206,532.42.

The views presented by the Postmaster-General on the subject of
special grants by the Government in aid of the establishment of new
lines of ocean mail steamships and the policy he recommends for the
development of increased commercial intercourse with adjacent and
neighboring countries should receive the careful consideration of
Congress.

It is of noteworthy interest that the steady expansion of population,
improvement, and governmental institutions over the new and
unoccupied portions of our country have scarcely been checked, much
less impeded or destroyed, by our great civil war, which at first
glance would seem to have absorbed almost the entire energies of the
nation.

The organization and admission of the State of Nevada has been
completed in conformity with law, and thus our excellent system is
firmly established in the mountains, which once seemed a barren and
uninhabitable waste between the Atlantic States and those which have
grown up on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

The Territories of the Union are generally in a condition of
prosperity and rapid growth. Idaho and Montana, by reason of their
great distance and the interruption of communication with them by
Indian hostilities, have been only partially organized; but it is
understood that these difficulties are about to disappear, which will
permit their governments, like those of the others, to go into speedy
and full operation.

As intimately connected with and promotive of this material growth of
the nation, I ask the attention of Congress to the valuable
information and important recommendations relating to the public
lands, Indian affairs, the Pacific Railroad, and mineral discoveries
contained in the report of the Secretary of the Interior which is
herewith transmitted, and which report also embraces the subjects of
patents, pensions, and other topics of public interest pertaining to
his Department.

The quantity of public land disposed of during the five quarters
ending on the thirtieth of September last was 4,221,342 acres, of
which 1,538,614 acres were entered under the homestead law. The
remainder was located with military land warrants, agricultural scrip
certified to States for railroads, and sold for cash. The cash
received from sales and location fees was $1,019,446.

The income from sales during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864,
was $678,007.21, against $136,077.95 received during the preceding
year. The aggregate number of acres surveyed during the year has
been equal to the quantity disposed of, and there is open to
settlement about 133,000,000 acres of surveyed land.

The great enterprise of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific
States by railways and telegraph lines has been entered upon with a
vigor that gives assurance of success, notwithstanding the
embarrassments arising from the prevailing high prices of materials
and labor. The route of the main line of the road has been
definitely located for one hundred miles westward from the initial
point at Omaha City, Nebraska, and a preliminary location of the
Pacific Railroad of California has been made from Sacramento eastward
to the great bend of the Truckee River in Nevada.

Numerous discoveries of gold, silver, and cinnabar mines have been
added to the many heretofore known, and the country occupied by the
Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountains and the subordinate ranges now
teems with enterprising labor, which is richly remunerative. It is
believed that the produce of the mines of precious metals in that
region has during the year reached, if not exceeded, $100,000,000 in
value.

It was recommended in my last annual message that our Indian system
be remodeled. Congress at its last session, acting upon the
recommendation, did provide for reorganizing the system in
California, and it is believed that under the present organization
the management of the Indians there will be attended with reasonable
success. Much yet remains to be done to provide for the proper
government of the Indians in other parts of the country, to render it
secure for the advancing settler, and to provide for the welfare of
the Indian. The Secretary reiterates his recommendations, and to
them the attention of Congress is invited.

The liberal provisions made by Congress for paying pensions to
invalid soldiers and sailors of the Republic and to the widows,
orphans, and dependent mothers of those who have fallen in battle or
died of disease contracted or of wounds received in the service of
their country have been diligently administered. There have been
added to the pension rolls during the year ending the 3oth day of
June last the names of 16,770 invalid soldiers and of 271 disabled
seamen, making the present number of army invalid pensioners 22,767
and of navy invalid pensioners 712.

Of widows, orphans, and mothers 22,198 have been placed on the army
pension rolls and 248 on the navy rolls. The present number of army
pensioners of this class is 25,433 and of navy pensioners 793. At
the beginning of the year the number of Revolutionary pensioners was
1430. Only twelve of them were soldiers, of whom seven have since
died. The remainder are those who under the law receive pensions
because of relationship to Revolutionary soldiers. During the year
ending the thirtieth of June, 1864, $4,504,616.92 have been paid to
pensioners of all classes.

I cheerfully commend to your continued patronage the benevolent
institutions of the District of Columbia which have hitherto been
established or fostered by Congress, and respectfully refer for
information concerning them and in relation to the Washington
Aqueduct, the Capitol, and other matters of local interest to the
report of the Secretary.

The Agricultural Department, under the supervision of its present
energetic and faithful head, is rapidly commending itself to the
great and vital interest it was created to advance. It is peculiarly
the people's department, in which they feel more directly concerned
than in any other. I commend it to the continued attention and
fostering care of Congress.

The war continues. Since the last annual message all the important
lines and positions then occupied by our forces have been maintained
and our arms have steadily advanced, thus liberating the regions left
in rear, so that Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and parts of other
States have again produced reasonably fair crops.

The most remarkable feature in the military operations of the year is
General Sherman's attempted march of three hundred miles directly
through the insurgent region. It tends to show a great increase of
our relative strength that our General-in-Chief should feel able to
confront and hold in check every active force of the enemy, and yet
to detach a well-appointed large army to move on such an expedition.
The result not yet being known, conjecture in regard to it is not
here indulged.

Important movements have also occurred during the year to the effect
of molding society for durability in the Union. Although short of
complete success, it is much in the right direction that twelve
thousand citizens in each of the States of Arkansas and Louisiana
have organized loyal State governments, with free constitutions, and
are earnestly struggling to maintain and administer them. The
movements in the same direction more extensive though less definite
in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, should not be overlooked. But
Maryland presents the example of complete success. Maryland is
secure to liberty and union for all the future. The genius of
rebellion will no more claim Maryland. Like another foul spirit
being driven out, it may seek to tear her, but it will woo her no
more.

At the last session of Congress a proposed amendment of the
Constitution abolishing slavery throughout the United States passed
the Senate, but failed for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in
the House of Representatives. Although the present is the same
Congress and nearly the same members, and without questioning the
wisdom or patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to
recommend the reconsideration and passage of the measure at the
present session. Of course the abstract question is not changed; but
an intervening election shows almost certainly that the next Congress
will pass the measure if this does not. Hence there is only a
question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the
States for their action. And as it is to so go at all events, may we
not agree that the sooner the better? It is not claimed that the
election has imposed a duty on members to change their views or their
votes any further than, as an additional element to be considered,
their judgment may be affected by it. It is the voice of the people
now for the first time heard upon the question. In a great national
crisis like ours, unanimity of action among those seeking a common
end is very desirable, almost indispensable. And yet no approach to
such unanimity is attainable unless some deference shall be paid to
the will of the majority simply because it is the will of the
majority. In this case the common end is the maintenance of the
Union, and among the means to secure that end such will, through the
election, is most clearly declared in favor of such Constitutional
amendment.

The most reliable indication of public purpose in this country is
derived through our popular elections. Judging by the recent canvass
and its result, the purpose of the people within the loyal States to
maintain the integrity of the Union was never more firm nor more
nearly unanimous than now. The extraordinary calmness and good order
with which the millions of voters met and mingled at the polls give
strong assurance of this. Not only all those who supported the Union
ticket, so called, but a great majority of the opposing party also
may be fairly claimed to entertain and to be actuated by the same
purpose. It is an unanswerable argument to this effect that no
candidate for any office whatever, high or low, has ventured to seek
votes on the avowal that he was for giving up the Union. There have
been much impugning of motives and much heated controversy as to the
proper means and best mode of advancing the Union cause, but on the
distinct issue of Union or no Union the politicians have shown their
instinctive knowledge that there is no diversity among the people.
In affording the people the fair opportunity of showing one to
another and to the world this firmness and unanimity of purpose, the
election has been of vast value to the national cause.

The election has exhibited another fact not less valuable to be
known--the fact that we do not approach exhaustion in the most
important branch of national resources, that of living men. While it
is melancholy to reflect that the war has filled so many graves and
carried mourning to so many hearts, it is some relief to know that,
compared with the surviving, the fallen have been so few. While
corps and divisions and brigades and regiments have formed and fought
and dwindled and gone out of existence, a great majority of the men
who composed them are still living. The same is true of the naval
service. The election returns prove this. So many voters could not
else be found. The States regularly holding elections, both now and
four years ago, to wit, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and
Wisconsin, cast 3,982,011 votes now, against 3,870,222 cast then,
showing an aggregate now of 3,982,011. To this is to be added 33,762
cast now in the new States of Kansas and Nevada, which States did not
vote in 1860, thus swelling the aggregate to 4,015,773 and the net
increase during the three years and a half of war to 145,551. A
table is appended showing particulars. To this again should be added
the number of all soldiers in the field from Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, and California, who
by the laws of those States could not vote away from their homes, and
which number can not be less than 90,000. Nor yet is this all. The
number in organized Territories is triple now what it was four years
ago--while thousands, white and black, join us as the national arms
press back the insurgent lines. So much is shown, affirmatively and
negatively, by the election. It is not material to inquire how the
increase has been produced or to show that it would have been greater
but for the war, which is probably true. The important fact remains
demonstrated that we have more men now than we had when the war
began; that we are not exhausted nor in process of exhaustion; that
we are gaining strength and may if need be maintain the contest
indefinitely. [This sentence recognizes the concern of a guerilla
war after the main war finished.]This as to men. Material resources
are now more complete and abundant than ever.

The national resources, then, are unexhausted, and, as we believe,
inexhaustible. The public purpose to re-establish and maintain the
national authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, unchangeable.
The manner of continuing the effort remains to choose. On careful
consideration of all the evidence accessible it seems to me that no
attempt at negotiation with the insurgent leader could result in any
good. He would accept nothing short of severance of the Union,
precisely what we will not and can not give. His declarations to
this effect are explicit and oft repeated. He does not attempt to
deceive us. He affords us no excuse to deceive ourselves. He can
not voluntarily reaccept the Union; we can not voluntarily yield it.
Between him and us the issue is distinct, simple, and inflexible. It
is an issue which can only be tried by war and decided by victory.
If we yield, we are beaten; if the Southern people fail him, he is
beaten. Either way it would be the victory and defeat following war.
What is true, however, of him who heads the insurgent cause is not
necessarily true of those who follow. Although he can not reaccept
the Union, they can. Some of them, we know, already desire peace and
reunion. The number of such may increase. They can at any moment
have peace simply by laying down their arms and submitting to the
national authority under the Constitution. After so much the
Government could not, if it would, maintain war against them. The
loyal people would not sustain or allow it. If questions should
remain, we would adjust them by the peaceful means of legislation,
conference, courts, and votes, operating only in Constitutional and
lawful channels. Some certain, and other possible, questions are and
would be beyond the Executive power to adjust; as, for instance, the
admission of members into Congress and whatever might require the
appropriation of money. The Executive power itself would be greatly
diminished by the cessation of actual war. Pardons and remissions of
forfeitures, however, would still be within Executive control. In
what spirit and temper this control would be exercised can be fairly
judged of by the past.

A year ago general pardon and amnesty, upon specified terms, were
offered to all except certain designated classes, and it was at the
same time made known that the excepted classes were still within
contemplation of special clemency. During the year many availed
themselves of the general provision, and many more would, only that
the signs of bad faith in some led to such precautionary measures as
rendered the practical process less easy and certain. During the
same time also special pardons have been granted to individuals of
the excepted classes, and no voluntary application has been denied.
Thus practically the door has been for a full year open to all except
such as were not in condition to make free choice; that is, such as
were in custody or under constraint. It is still so open to all.
But the time may come, probably will come, when public duty shall
demand that it be closed and that in lieu more rigorous measures than
heretofore shall be adopted.

In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to the national
authority on the part of the insurgents as the only indispensable
condition to ending the war on the part of the Government, I retract
nothing heretofore said as to slavery. I repeat the declaration made
a year ago, that "while I remain in my present position I shall not
attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation, nor shall
I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that
proclamation or by any of the acts of Congress." If the people
should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to re-
enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to
perform it.
In stating a single condition of peace I mean simply to say that the
war will cease on the part of the Government whenever it shall have
ceased on the part of those who began it.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

RESPONSE TO A SERENADE,
DECEMBER 6, 1864.

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I believe I shall never be old enough
to speak without embarrassment when I have nothing to talk about. I
have no good news to tell you, and yet I have no bad news to tell.
We have talked of elections until there is nothing more to say about
them. The most interesting news now we have is from Sherman. We all
know where he went in at, but I can't tell where he will come out at.
I will now close by proposing three cheers for General Sherman and
his army.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR HALL.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 7, 1864.

GOVERNOR HALL, Jefferson City, Mo.:

Complaint is made to me of the doings of a man at Hannibal, Mo., by
the name of Haywood, who, as I am told, has charge of some militia
force, and is not in the United States service. Please inquire into
the matter and correct anything you may find amiss if in your power.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO COLONEL FASLEIGH.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 8, 1864.

COLONEL FASLEIGH, Louisville, Ky.:

I am appealed to in behalf of a man by the name of Frank Fairbairns,
said to have been for a long time and still in prison, without any
definite ground stated. How is it?

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER APPOINTING COMMISSIONERS TO INVESTIGATE THE MILITARY DIVISION
WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 10, 1864.

ORDERED, First, that Major-General William P. Smith and the Hon.
Henry Stanbery be, and they are hereby, appointed special
commissioners to investigate and report, for the information of the
President; upon the civil and military administration in the military
division bordering upon and west of the Mississippi, under such
instructions as shall be issued by authority of the President and the
War Department.

Second, said commissioners shall have power to examine witnesses upon
oath, and to take such proofs orally or in writing, upon the subject-
matters of investigation as they may deem expedient, and return the
same together with their report.

Third, all officers and persons in the military, naval and revenue
services, or in any branch of the public service under the authority
of the United States Government, are required, upon subpoena issued
by direction of the said commissioners, to appear before them at such
time and place as may be designated in said subpoena and to give
testimony on oath touching such matters as may be inquired of by the
commissioners, and to produce such books, papers, writings, and
documents as they may be notified or required to produce by the
commissioners, and as may be in their possession.

Fourth, said special commissioners shall also investigate and report
upon any other matters that may hereafter be directed by the
Secretary of War, and shall with all convenient dispatch make report
to him in writing of their investigation, and shall also from time to
time make special reports to the Secretary of War upon such matters
as they may deem of importance to the public interests.

Fifth, the Secretary of War shall assign to the said commissioners
such aid and assistance as may be required for the performance of
their duties, and make such just and reasonable allowances and
compensation for the said commissioners and for the persons employed
by them as he may deem proper.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G, H. THOMAS.
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 16, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville, Tennessee:

Please accept for yourself, officers, and men, the nation's thanks
for your good work of yesterday. You made a magnificent beginning; a
grand consummation is within your easy reach. Do not let it slip.

A. LINCOLN,

ORIGIN OF THE "GREENBACK" CURRENCY

TO COLONEL B. D. TAYLOR

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December [16 ?], 1864.

DEAR COLONEL DICK:--I have long determined to make public the origin
of the greenback and tell the world that it is Dick Taylor's
creation. You had always been friendly to me, and when troublous
times fell on us, and my shoulders, though broad and willing, were
weak, and myself surrounded by such circumstances and such people
that I knew not whom to trust, then I said in my extremity: "I will
send for Colonel Taylor; he will know what to do." I think it was in
January, 1862, on or about the 16th, that I did so. You came, and I
said to you:

"What can we do?" Said you, "Why, issue Treasury notes bearing no
interest, printed on the best banking paper. Issue enough to pay off
the Army expenses and declare it legal tender."

Chase thought it a hazardous thing, but we finally accomplished it,
and gave the people of this Republic the greatest blessing they ever
had-their own paper to pay their own debts.

It is due to you, the father of the present greenback, that the
people should know it, and I take great pleasure in making it known.
How many times have I laughed at you telling me plainly that I was
too lazy to be anything but a lawyer.

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO OFFICER IN COMMAND AT CHATTANOOGA.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, December 16, 1864

OFFICER IN COMMAND at Chattanooga, Tenn.:

It is said that Harry Walters, a private in the Anderson cavalry, is
now and for a long time has been in prison at Chattanooga. Please
report to me what is his condition, and for what he is imprisoned.

A. LINCOLN.

CALL FOR 300,000 VOLUNTEERS, DECEMBER 19, 1864.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

A Proclamation

Whereas, by the act approved July 4, 1864, entitled "An act further
to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out the
national forces, and for other purposes," it is provided that the
President of the United States may, "at his discretion, at any time
hereafter, call for any number of men, as volunteers for the
respective terms of one, two, and three years for military service,"
and "that in case the quota or any part thereof of any town,
township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or of any
country not so subdivided, shall not be filled within the space of
fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately
order a draft for one year to fill such quota or any part thereof
which may be unfilled;" and

Whereas, by the credits allowed in accordance with the act of
Congress on the call for 500,000 men, made July 18, 1864, the number
of men to be obtained under that call was reduced to 280,000; and

Whereas, the operations of the enemy in certain States have rendered
it impracticable to procure from them their full quotas of troops
under said call; and

Whereas, from the foregoing causes but 240,000 men have been put into
the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps under the said call of July 18,
1864, leaving a deficiency on that call of two hundred and sixty
thousand (260,000):

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of
America, in order to supply the aforesaid deficiency and to provide
for casualties in the military and naval service of the United
States, do issue this my call for three hundred thousand (300,000)
volunteers to serve for one, two, or three years. The quotas of the
States, districts, and subdistricts under this call will be assigned
by the War Department through the bureau of the Provost-Marshal
General of the United States, and "in case the quota or any part
thereof of any town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election
district, or of any county not so subdivided, shall not be filled"
before the fifteenth of February, 1865, then a draft shall be made to
fill such quota or any part thereof under this call which may be
unfilled on said fifteenth day of February, 1865.
In testimony 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.

SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA

TO GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 26, 1864

MY DEAR GENERAL SHERMAN:--Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift,
the capture of Savannah.

When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was
anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge,
and remembering that "nothing risked, nothing gained," I did not
interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all
yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce.

And taking the work of General Thomas into the count, as it should be
taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the
obvious and immediate military advantages; but in showing to the
world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to
an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old
opposing force of the whole,--Hood's army,--it brings those who sat
in darkness to see a great light. But what next?

I suppose it will be safe if I leave General Grant and yourself to
decide.

Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army of
officers and men.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO OFFICER IN COMMAND AT LEXINGTON.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, December 27, 1864.

OFFICER IN COMMAND at Lexington, Ky.:

If within your power send me the particulars of the causes for which
Lieutenant-Governor Jacob was arrested and sent away.

A. LINCOLN.

TO J. MACLEAN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 27, 1864.

Dr. JOHN MACLEAN:

MY DEAR SIR:--I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your
note of the twentieth of December, conveying the announcement that
the Trustees of the College of New Jersey had conferred upon me the
degree of Doctor of Laws.

The assurance conveyed by this high compliment, that the course of
the Government which I represent, has received the approval of a body
of gentlemen of such character and intelligence, in this time of
public trial, is most grateful to me.

Thoughtful men must feel that the fate of civilization upon this
continent is involved in the issue of our contest. Among the most
gratifying proofs of this conviction is the hearty devotion
everywhere exhibited by our schools and colleges to the national
cause.

I am most thankful if my labors have seemed to conduct to the
preservation of those institutions, under which alone we can expect
good government and in its train sound learning, and the progress of
the liberal arts.

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

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO OFFICER IN COMMAND AT NASHVILLE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 28, 1864.

OFFICER IN COMMAND at Nashville, Tenn.:

Suspend execution of James R. Mallory, for six weeks from Friday the
thirtieth of this month, which time I have given his friends to make
proof, if they can, upon certain points.

A. LINCOLN,

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 28, 1864. 5.30 p.m.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

If there be no objection, please tell me what you now understand of
the Wilmington expedition, present and prospective.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BUTLER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 29, 1864. ,

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER:

There is a man in Company I, Eleventh Connecticut Volunteers, First
Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, at Chapin's Farm,
Va.; under the assumed name of William Stanley, but whose real name
is Frank R. Judd, and who is under arrest, and probably about to be
tried for desertion. He is the son of our present minister to
Prussia, who is a close personal friend of Senator Trumbull and
myself. We are not willing for the boy to be shot, but we think it
as well that his trial go regularly on, suspending execution until
further order from me and reporting to me.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO COLONEL WARNER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, December 30, 1864.

COLONEL WARNER, Indianapolis, Ind.:

It is said that you were on the court-martial that tried John Lennon,
and that you are disposed to advise his being pardoned and sent to
his regiment. If this be true, telegraph me to that effect at once.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO J. WILLIAMS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 4, 1865.

JOHN WILLIAMS, Springfield, Ill.:

Let Trumbo's substitute be regularly mustered in, send me the
evidence that it is done and I will then discharge Trumbo.

A. LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

WASHINGTON, January 5, 1865.

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES:

I herewith return to your honorable body, in which it originated, a
"joint resolution to correct certain clerical errors in the internal
revenue act," without my approval.

My reason for so doing is that I am informed that this joint
resolution was prepared during the last moments of the last session
of Congress for the purpose of correcting certain errors of reference
in the internal revenue act, which were discovered on an examination
of an official copy procured from the State Department a few hours
only before the adjournment. It passed the House and went to the
Senate, where a vote was taken upon it, but by some accident it was
not presented to the President of the Senate for his signature.

Since the adjournment of the last session of Congress, other errors
of a kind similar to those which this resolution was designed to
correct, have been discovered in the law, and it is now thought most
expedient to include all the necessary corrections in one act or
resolution.

The attention of the proper committee of the House has, I am
informed, been already directed to the preparation of a bill for this
purpose.

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.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, February 1, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point:

Let nothing which is transpiring change, hinder, or delay your
military movements or plans.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO MAJOR ECKERT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 1, 1865.

MAJOR T. T. ECKERT,
Care of General Grant, City Point, Va.:

Call at Fortress Monroe, and put yourself under direction of Mr.
Seward, whom you will find there.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

Say to the gentlemen I will meet them personally at Fortress Monroe
as soon as I can get there.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY SEWARD,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2, 1865.

HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Fortress Monroe, Va.

Induced by a despatch of General Grant, I join you at Fort Monroe, as
soon as I can come.

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER TO MAKE CORRECTIONS IN THE DRAFT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON CITY, February 6, 1865

Whereas complaints are made in some localities respecting the
assignments of quotas and credits allowed for the pending call of
troops to fill up the armies: Now, in order to determine all
controversies in respect thereto, and to avoid any delay in filling
up the armies, it is ordered, That the Attorney-General, Brigadier-
General Richard Delafield, and Colonel C. W. Foster, be, and they are
hereby constituted, a board to examine into the proper quotas and
credits of. the respective States and districts under the call of
December 19, 1864, with directions, if any errors be found therein,
to make such corrections as the law and facts may require, and report
their determination to the Provost-Marshal-General. The
determination of said board to be final and conclusive, and the draft
to be made in conformity therewith.

2. The Provost-Marshal-General is ordered to make the draft in the
respective districts as speedily as the same can be done after the
fifteenth of this month.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, February 6, 1865.

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL:

These gentlemen distinctly say to me this morning that what they want
is the means from your office of showing their people that the quota
assigned to them is right. They think it will take but little time-
two hours, they say. Please give there double the time and every
facility you can.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

February 6, 1865.

The Provost-Marshal brings this letter back to me and says he cannot
give the facility required without detriment to the service, and
thereupon he is excused from doing it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GLENN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 7, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GLENN,
Commanding Post at Henderson, Ky.:

Complaint is made to me that you are forcing negroes into the
military service, and even torturing them--riding them on rails and
the like to extort their consent. I hope this may be a mistake. The
like must not be done by you, or any one under you. You must not
force negroes any more than white men. Answer me on this.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR SMITH.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, February 8, 1865.

HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR SMITH, of Vermont:

Complaint is made to me, by Vermont, that the assignment of her quota
for the draft on the pending call is intrinsically unjust, and also
in bad faith of the Government's promise to fairly allow credits for
men previously furnished. To illustrate, a supposed case is stated
as follows:

Vermont and New Hampshire must between them furnish six thousand men
on the pending call; and being equal, each must furnish as many as
the other in the long run. But the Government finds that on former
calls Vermont furnished a surplus of five hundred, and New Hampshire
a surplus, of fifteen hundred. These two surpluses making two
thousand and added to the six thousand, making eight thousand to be
furnished by the two States, or four thousand each less, by fair
credits. Then subtract Vermont's surplus of five hundred from her
four thousand, leaves three thousand five hundred as her quota on the
pending call; and likewise subtract New Hampshire's surplus of
fifteen hundred from her four thousand, leaves two thousand five
hundred as her quota on the pending call. These three thousand five
hundred and two thousand five hundred make precisely six thousand,
which the supposed case requires from the two States, and it is just
equal for Vermont to furnish one thousand more now than New
Hampshire, because New Hampshire has heretofore furnished one
thousand more than Vermont, which equalizes the burdens of the two in
the long run. And this result, so far from being bad faith to
Vermont, is indispensable to keeping good faith with New Hampshire.
By no other result can the six thousand men be obtained from the two
States, and, at the same time deal justly and keep faith with both,
and we do but confuse ourselves in questioning the process by which
the right result is reached. The supposed case is perfect as an
illustration.

The pending call is not for three hundred thousand men subject to
fair credits, but is for three hundred thousand remaining after all
fair credits have been deducted, and it is impossible to concede what
Vermont asks without coming out short of three hundred thousand men,
or making other localities pay for the partiality shown her.

This upon the case stated. If there be different reasons for making
an allowance to Vermont, let them be presented and considered.

Yours truly,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
February 8, 1865.

TO THE HONORABLE THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES:

The joint resolution entitled "Joint resolution declaring certain
States not entitled to representation in the electoral college" has
been signed by the Executive in deference to the view of Congress
implied in its passage and presentation to him. In his own view,
however, the two Houses of Congress, convened under the twelfth
article of the Constitution, have complete power to exclude from
counting all electoral votes deemed by them to be illegal, and it is
not competent for the Executive to defeat or obstruct that power by a
veto, as would be the case if his action were at all essential in the
matter. He disclaims all right of the Executive to interfere in any
way in the matter of canvassing or counting electoral votes, and he
also disclaims that by signing said resolution he has expressed any
opinion on the recitals of the preamble or any judgment of his own
upon the subject of the resolution.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 8, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point. Va.:

I am called on by the House of Representatives to give an account of
my interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, and it is
very desirable to me to put your despatch of February 1, to the
Secretary of War, in which, among other things, you say: "I fear now
their going back without any expression from any one in authority
will have a bad influence." I think the despatch does you credit,
while I do not see that it can embarrass you. May I use it?

A. LINCOLN.

REPLY TO A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS, REPORTING
THE RESULT OF THE ELECTORAL COUNT,

FEBRUARY 9, 1865.

With deep gratitude to my countrymen for this mark of their
confidence; with a distrust of my own ability to perform the duty
required under the most favorable circumstances, and now rendered
doubly difficult by existing national perils; yet with a firm
reliance on the strength of our free government, and the eventual
loyalty of the people to the just principles upon which it is
founded, and above all with an unshaken faith in the Supreme Ruler of
nations, I accept this trust. Be pleased to signify this to the
respective Houses of Congress.

CHRONOLOGIC REVIEW OF PEACE PROPOSALS

MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
February 10, 1865

TO THE HONORABLE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In response to your resolution of the eighth instant, requesting
information in relation to a conference recently held in Hampton
Roads, I have the honor to state that on the day of the date I gave
Francis P. Blair, Sr., a card, written on as follows, to wit:

December 28, 1864.

Allow the bearer, F. P. Blair, Sr., to pass our lines, go South, and
return.

A. LINCOLN.

That at the time I was informed that Mr. Blair sought the card as a
means of getting to Richmond, Va., but he was given no authority to
speak or act for the Government, nor was I informed of anything he
would say or do on his own account or otherwise. Afterwards Mr.
Blair told me that he had been to Richmond and had seen Mr. Jefferson
Davis; and he (Mr. B.) at the same time left with me a manuscript
letter, as follows, to wit:

RICHMOND, VA., January 12, 1865.
F. P. BLAIR, ESQ.
SIR: I have deemed it proper, and probably desirable to you, to give
you in this for in the substance of remarks made by me, to be
repeated by you to President Lincoln, etc., etc.
I have no disposition to find obstacles in forms, and am willing, now
as heretofore, to enter into negotiations for the restoration of
peace, and am ready to send a commission whenever I have reason to
suppose it will be received, or to receive a commission if the United
States Government shall choose to send one. That notwithstanding the
rejection of our former offers, I would, if you could promise that a
commissioner, minister, or other agent would be received, appoint one
immediately, and renew the effort to enter into conference with a
view to secure peace to the two countries.
Yours, etc.,
JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Afterwards, and with the view that it should be shown to Mr. Davis, I
wrote and delivered to Mr. Blair a letter, as follows, to wit:

WASHINGTON, January 18, 1865.

P. P. BLAIR, ESQ.

SIR:--Your 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.

Afterwards Mr. Blair dictated for and authorized me to make an entry
on the back of my retained copy of the letter last above recited,
which entry is as follows:

January 28, 1865

To-day Mr. Blair tells me that on the twenty-first instant he
delivered to Mr. Davis the original of which the within is a copy,
and left it with him; that at the time of delivering it Mr. Davis
read it over twice in Mr. Blair's presence, at the close of which he
(Mr. Blair) remarked that the part about our one common country"
related to the part of Mr. Davis' letter about "the two countries,"
to which Mr. Davis replied that he so understood it.

A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards the Secretary of War placed in my hands the following
telegram, indorsed by him, as appears:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH WAR DEPARTMENT.
The following telegram received at Washington January 29, 1865, from
headquarters Army of James,

6.30P.M., January 29, 1865:
"HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, "Secretary of War:
"The following despatch just received from Major-General Parke, who
refers it to me for my action. I refer it to you in Lieutenant-
General Grant's absence:

"E. O. C. ORD, Major-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF POTOMAC,
January 29, 1863. 4P.M.
'MAJOR-GENERAL E. O. C. ORD,
'Headquarters Army of James:
'The following despatch is forwarded to you for your action. Since I
have no knowledge of General Grant's having had any understanding of
this kind, I refer the matter to you as the ranking officer present
in the two armies.
'JNO. G. PARKE, Major-General, Commanding.'

'FROM HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY Cos, 29th.
'MAJOR-GENERAL JNO. G. PARKE, 'Headquarters Army of Potomac:
'Alexander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, and J. A. Campbell desire to
cross my lines, in accordance with an understanding claimed to exist
with Lieutenant-General Grant, on their way to Washington as peace
commissioners. Shall they be admitted? They desire an early answer,
to come through immediately. Would like to reach City Point tonight
if they can. If they can not do this, they would like to come
through at 10 A.M. to-morrow morning.
'O. B. WILCOX,
'Major-General, Commanding Ninth Corps.'

"January 29, 8.30 P.M.
"Respectfully referred to the President for such instructions as he
may be pleased to give.
"EDWIN M. STANTON, "Secretary of War."

It appears that about the time of placing the foregoing telegram in
my hands the Secretary of War dispatched General Ord as follows, to
wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON CITY, January 29, 1865. 10 P.M.
(Sent at 2 A.M., 30th.)
MAJOR-GENERAL ORD.

SIR:--This Department has no knowledge of any understanding by
General Grant to allow any person to come within his lines as
commissioner of any sort. You will therefore allow no one to come
into your lines under such character or profession until you receive
the President's instructions, to whom your telegraph will be
submitted for his directions.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

Afterwards, by my direction, the Secretary of War telegraphed General
Ord as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30. 10.30 A.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL E. O. C. ORD,
Headquarters Army of the James.

SIR:--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.

Afterwards I prepared and put into the hands of Major Thomas T.
Eckert the following instructions and message:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

MAJOR T. T. ECKERT. WASHINGTON, January 30, 1865

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.

A. LINCOLN.

CITY POINT, VA.. February 1, 1865.

MESSRS. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, J. A. CAMPBELL AND
R. M. T. HUNTER.

GENTLEMEN :--I am instructed by the President of the United States to
place this paper in your hands, with the information that if you pass
through the United States military lines it will be understood that
you do so for the purpose of an informal conference on the basis of
the letter a copy of which is on the reverse side of this sheet, and
that if you choose to pass on such understanding, and so notify me in
writing, I will procure the commanding general to pass you through
the lines and to Fortress Monroe under such military precautions as
he may deem prudent, and at which place you will be met in due time
by some person or persons for the purpose of such informal
conference; and, further, that you shall have protection, safe
conduct, and safe return in all events.

THOMAS T. ECKERT,
Major and Aide-de-Camp.

WASHINGTON, January 18, 1865.
F. P. BLAIR, ESQ.

SIR:--Your 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.

Afterwards, but before Major Eckert had departed, the following
dispatch was received from General Grant:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
WAR DEPARTMENT.

The following telegram received at Washington January 3J, 1865, from
City Point, Va., 10.30 A.M., January 30, 1865:

"His EXCELLENCY ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States:

"The following communication was received here last evening:

'PETERSBURG, VA., January 30, 1865.
'LIEUTENANT-GENERAL U.S. GRANT,
Commanding Armies United States.
'SIR: We desire to pass your lines under safe conduct, and to proceed
to Washington to hold a conference with President Lincoln upon the
subject of the existing war, and with a view of ascertaining upon
what terms it may be terminated, in pursuance of the course indicated
by him in his letter to Mr. Blair of January 18, 1865, of which we
presume you have a copy; and if not, we wish to see you in person, if
convenient, and to confer with you upon the subject.
'Very respectfully, yours,
'ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.
'J. A. CAMPBELL.
'R. M. T. HUNTER.'

"I have sent directions to receive these gentlemen, and expect to
have them at my quarters this evening, awaiting your instructions.
U.S. GRANT,
Lieutenant-General, Commanding
Armies United States."

This, it will be perceived, transferred General Ord's agency in the
matter to General Grant. I resolved, however, to send Major Eckert
forward with his message, and accordingly telegraphed General Grant
as follows, to wit:

EXECUTIVE MANSION
WASHINGTON, January 13, 1865
(Sent at 1.30 P.M.)

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.

When Major Eckert departed, he bore with him a letter of the
Secretary of War to General Grant, as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 30, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, Commanding, etc.

GENERAL:--The President desires that you will please procure for the
bearer, Major Thomas T. Eckert, an interview with Messrs. Stephens,
Hunter, and Campbell, and if on his return to you he requests it pass
them through our lines to Fortress Monroe by such route and under
such military precautions as you may deem prudent, giving them
protection and comfortable quarters while there, and that you let
none of this have any effect upon your movements or plans.

By order of the President:
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Supposing the proper point to be then reached, I dispatched the
Secretary of State with the following instructions, Major Eckert,
however, going ahead of him:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, January 31, 1865.

HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

You will proceed to Fortress Monroe, Va., 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.

On the day of its date the following telegram was sent to General
Grant:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 1,1865
(Sent at 9.30 A.M.)

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

Let nothing which is transpiring change, hinder, or delay your
military movements or plans.

A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards the following despatch was received from General Grant:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH
WAR DEPARTMENT.
The following telegram received at Washington, 2.30 P.M., February 1,
1865, from City Point, Va., February 1, 12.30 PM., 1865:

"His EXCELLENCY A. LINCOLN, President United States:

Your despatch received. There will be no armistice in consequence of
the presence of Mr. Stephens and others within our lines. The troops
are kept in readiness to move at the shortest notice if occasion
should justify it.

U.S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General."

To notify Major Eckert that the Secretary of State would be at
Fortress Monroe, and to put them in communication, the following
despatch was sent:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 1, 1865.

MAJOR T. T. ECKERT,
Care of General Grant, City Point, Va.:

Call at Fortress Monroe and put yourself under direction of Mr. S.,
whom you will find there.

A. LINCOLN.

On the morning of the 2d instant the following telegrams were
received by me respectively from the Secretary of State and Major
Eckert:

FORT MONROE, VA.,
February 1,1865. 11.30 PM.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

Arrived at 10 this evening. Richmond party not here. I remain here.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

CITY POINT, VA.,
February 1, 1865. 10 P.M.

HIS EXCELLENCY A. LINCOLN, President of the United States:
I have the honor to report the delivery of your communication and my
letter at 4.15 this afternoon, to which I received a reply at 6 P.M.,
but not satisfactory.

At 8 P.M. the following note, addressed to General Grant, was
received:

CITY POINT, VA.,
February 1, 1865

"LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT.
"SIR:-We desire to go to Washington City to confer informally with
the President personally in reference to the matters mentioned in his
letter to Mr. Blair of the 18th January ultimo, without any personal
compromise on any question in the letter. We have the permission to

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