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The Entire Writings of Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln

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do so from the authorities in Richmond.
Very respectfully yours,
ALEX. H. STEPHENS
R. M. T. HUNTER.
J. A. CAMPBELL."

At 9.30 P.M. I notified them that they could not proceed further
unless they complied with the terms expressed in my letter. The
point of meeting designated in the above note would not, in my
opinion, be insisted upon. Think Fort Monroe would be acceptable.
Having complied with my instructions, I will return to Washington to-
morrow unless otherwise ordered.

THOS. T. ECKERT, Major, etc.

On reading this despatch of Major Eckert I was about to recall him
and the Secretary of State, when the following telegram of General
Grant to the Secretary of War was shown me:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
WAR DEPARTMENT.

The following telegram received at Washington
4.35A.M., February 2, 1865, from City Point, Va., February 1, 10.30
P.M., 1865:

"HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, "Secretary of War:

"Now that the interview between Major Eckert, under his written
instructions, and Mr. Stephens and party has ended, I will state
confidentially, but not officially to become a matter of record, that
I am convinced upon conversation with Messrs. Stephens and Hunter
that their intentions are good and their desire sincere to restore
peace and union. I have not felt myself at liberty to express even
views of my own or to account for my reticency. This has placed me
in an awkward position, which I could have avoided by not seeing them
in the first instance. I fear now their going back without any
expression from anyone in authority will have a bad influence. At
the same time, I recognize the difficulties in the way of receiving
these informal commissioners at this time, and do not know what to
recommend. I am sorry, however, that Mr. Lincoln can not have an
interview with the two named in this despatch, if not all three now
within our lines. Their letter to me was all that the President's
instructions contemplated to secure their safe conduct if they had
used the same language to Major Eckert.

"U.S. GRANT
"Lieutenant-General,"

This despatch of General Grant changed my purpose, and accordingly I
telegraphed him and the Secretary of State, respectively, as follows:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2, 1865. (Sent at 9 A.M.)

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.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2, 1865. (Sent at 9 A.M.)

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

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

A. LINCOLN.

Before starting, the following despatch was shown me. I proceeded,
nevertheless:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
WAR DEPARTMENT.
The following telegram received at Washington, February 2, 1865, from
City Point, Va., 9 A.M., February2, 1865:

"HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Fort Monroe:

"The gentlemen here have accepted the proposed terms, and will leave
for Fort Monroe at 9.30 A.M.

"U. S. GRANT, "Lieutenant-General."

(Copy to HON. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington.)

On the night of the 2nd I reached Hampton Roads, found the Secretary
of State and Major Eckert on a steamer anchored offshore, and learned
of them that the Richmond gentlemen were on another steamer also
anchored offshore, in the Roads, and that the Secretary of State had
not yet seen or communicated with them. I ascertained that Major
Eckert had literally complied with his instructions, and I saw for
the first time the answer of the Richmond gentlemen to him, which in
his despatch to me of the 1st he characterizes as "not satisfactory."
That answer is as follows, to wit:

CITY POINT, VA., February 1, 1865.
THOMAS T. ECKERT, Major and Aid-de-Camp.
MAJOR:-Your note, delivered by yourself this day, has been
considered. In reply we have to say that we were furnished with a
copy of the letter of President Lincoln to Francis P. Blair, Esq., of
the 18th of January ultimo, another copy of which is appended to your
note. Our instructions are contained in a letter of which the
following is a copy:

RICHMOND, January 28, 1865.
In conformity with the letter of Mr. Lincoln, of which the foregoing
is a copy, you are to proceed to Washington City for informal
conference with him upon the issues involved in the existing war, and
for the purpose of securing peace to the two countries.
"With great respect, your obedient servant,
"JEFFERSON DAVIS."

The substantial object to be obtained by the informal conference is
to ascertain upon what terms the existing war can be terminated
honorably.

Our instructions contemplate a personal interview between President
Lincoln and ourselves at Washington City, but with this explanation
we are ready to meet any person or persons that President Lincoln may
appoint at such place as he may designate.

Our earnest desire is that a just and honorable peace may be agreed
upon, and we are prepared to receive or to submit propositions which
may possibly lead to the attainment of that end.

Very respectfully, yours,
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.
R. M. T. HUNTER.
JOHN A. CAMPBELL.

A note of these gentlemen, subsequently addressed to General Grant,
has already been given in Major Eckert's despatch of the 1st instant.

I also here saw, for the first time, the following note, addressed by
the Richmond gentlemen to Major Eckert:

CITY POINT, VA., February 2, 1865.
THOMAS T. ECKERT, Major and Aid-de-Camp.
MAJOR:--In reply to your verbal statement that your instructions did
not allow you to alter the conditions upon which a passport could be
given to us, we say that we are willing to proceed to Fortress Monroe
and there to have an informal conference with any person or persons
that President Lincoln may appoint on the basis of his letter to
Francis P. Blair of the 18th of January ultimo, or upon any other
terms or conditions that he may hereafter propose not inconsistent
with the essential principles of self-government and popular rights,
upon which our institutions are founded.

It is our earnest wish to ascertain, after a free interchange of
ideas and information, upon what principles and terms, if any, a just
and honorable peace can be established without the further effusion
of blood, and to contribute our utmost efforts to accomplish such a
result.

We think it better to add that in accepting your passport we are not
to be understood as committing ourselves to anything but to carry to
this informal conference the views and feelings above expressed.

Very respectfully, yours, etc.,

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

Note.-The above communication was delivered to me at Fort Monroe at
4.30 P.M. February 2 by Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock, of General
Grant's staff.
THOMAS T. ECKERT
Major and Aid-de-Camp.

On the morning of the third the three gentlemen, Messrs. Stephens,
Hunter, and Campbell, came aboard of our steamer and had an interview
with the Secretary of State and myself of several hours' duration.
No question of preliminaries to the meeting was then and there made
or mentioned; no other person was present; no papers were exchanged
or produced; and it was in advance agreed that the conversation was
to be informal and verbal merely. On our part the whole substance of
the instructions to the Secretary of State hereinbefore recited was
stated and insisted upon, and nothing was said inconsistent
therewith; while by the other party it was not said that in any event
or on any condition they ever would consent to reunion, and yet they
equally omitted to declare that they never would consent. They
seemed to desire a postponement of that question and the adoption of
some other course first, which, as some of them seemed to argue,
might or might not lead to reunion, but which course we thought would
amount to an indefinite postponement. The conference ended without
result.

The foregoing, containing, as is believed, all the information sought
is respectfully submitted.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO THE SENATE.

WASHINGTON, February 10, 1865

To THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the eighth instant,
requesting information concerning recent conversations or
communications with insurgents, under executive sanction, I transmit
a report from the Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was
referred.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO THE PRESIDENT:

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred a resolution of the
Senate of the 8th instant, requesting "the President of the United
States, if, in his opinion, not incompatible with the public
interests, to furnish to the Senate any information in his possession
concerning recent conversations or communications with certain
rebels," said to have taken place under executive sanction, including
communications with the rebel Jefferson Davis, and any correspondence
relating thereto," has the honor to report that the Senate may
properly be referred to a special message of the President bearing
upon the subject of the resolution, and transmitted to the House this
day. Appended to this report is a copy of an instruction which has
been addressed to Charles Francis Adams, Esq., envoy extraordinary
and minister plenipotentiary of the United States at London, and
which is the only correspondence found in this department touching
the subject referred to in the resolution.

Respectfully submitted,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, February 10, 1865.

MR. SEWARD TO MR. ADAMS.
(Extract.)
No. 1258.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, February 7,1865

On the morning of the 3d, the President, attended by the Secretary,
received Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell on board the United
States steam transport River Queen in Hampton Roads. The conference
was altogether informal. There was no attendance of secretaries,
clerks, or other witnesses. Nothing was written or read. The
conversation, although earnest and free, was calm, and courteous, and
kind on both sides. The Richmond party approached the discussion
rather indirectly, and at no time did they either make categorical
demands, or tender formal stipulations or absolute refusals.
Nevertheless, during the conference, which lasted four hours, the
several points at issue between the Government and the insurgents
were distinctly raised, and discussed fully, intelligently, and in an
amicable spirit. What the insurgent party seemed chiefly to favor
was a postponement of the question of separation, upon which the war
is waged, and a mutual direction of efforts of the Government, as
well as those of the insurgents, to some extrinsic policy or scheme
for a season during which passions might be expected to subside, and
the armies be reduced, and trade and intercourse between the people
of both sections resumed. It was suggested by them that through such
postponement we might now have immediate peace, with some not very
certain prospect of an ultimate satisfactory adjustment of political
relations between this Government and the States, section, or people
now engaged in conflict with it.

This suggestion, though deliberately considered, was nevertheless
regarded by the President as one of armistice or truce, and he
announced that we can agree to no cessation or suspension of
hostilities, except on the basis of the disbandment of the insurgent
forces, and the restoration of the national authority throughout all
the States in the Union. Collaterally, and in subordination to the
proposition which was thus announced, the antislavery policy of the
United States was reviewed in all its bearings, and the President
announced that he must not be expected to depart from the positions
he had heretofore assumed in his proclamation of emancipation and
other documents, as these positions were reiterated in his last
annual message. It was further declared by the President that the
complete restoration of the national authority was an indispensable
condition of any assent on our part to whatever form of peace might
be proposed. The President assured the other party that, while he
must adhere to these positions, he would be prepared, so far as power
is lodged with the Executive, to exercise liberality. His power,
however, is limited by the Constitution; and when peace should be
made, Congress must necessarily act in regard to appropriations of
money and to the admission of representatives from the
insurrectionary States. The Richmond party were then informed that
Congress had, on the 31st ultimo, adopted by a constitutional
majority a joint resolution submitting to the several States the
proposition to abolish slavery throughout the Union, and that there
is every reason to expect that it will be soon accepted by three
fourths of the States, so as to become a part of the national organic
law.

The conference came to an end by mutual acquiescence, without
producing an agreement of views upon the several matters discussed,
or any of them. Nevertheless, it is perhaps of some importance that
we have been able to submit our opinions and views directly to
prominent insurgents, and to hear them in answer in a courteous and
not unfriendly manner.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

TO ADMIRAL DAVID D. PORTER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
February 10, 1865

REAR-ADMIRAL DAVID D. PORTER,
Commanding North Atlantic Squadron, Hampton Roads, Va.

SIR:--It is made my agreeable duty to enclose herewith the joint
resolution approved 24th January, 1865, tendering the thanks of
Congress to yourself, the officers and men under your command for
their gallantry and good conduct in the capture of Fort Fisher, and
through you to all who participated in that brilliant and decisive
victory under your command.

Very respectfully,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL S. POPE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 12, 1865

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, St. Louis, Missouri:

I understand that provost-marshals in different parts of Missouri are
assuming to decide that the conditions of bonds are forfeited, and
therefore are seizing and selling property to pay damages. This, if
true, is both outrageous and ridiculous. Do not allow it. The
courts, and not provost-marshals, are to decide such questions unless
when military necessity makes an exception. Also excuse John Eaton,
of Clay County, and Wesley Martin, of Platte, from being sent South,
and let them go East if anywhere.

A. LINCOLN

TO THE COMMANDING OFFICERS IN WEST TENNESSEE

WASHINGTON,
February 13, 1865.

TO THE MILITARY OFFICERS COMMANDING IN WEST
TENNESSEE:

While I cannot order as within requested, allow me to say that it is
my wish for you to relieve the people from all burdens, harassments,
and oppressions, so far as is possible consistently with your
military necessities; that the object of the war being to restore and
maintain the blessings of peace and good government, I desire you to
help, and not hinder, every advance in that direction.

Of your military necessities you must judge and execute, but please
do so in the spirit and with the purpose above indicated.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. POPE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 14, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, St. Louis, Missouri:

Yours of yesterday about provost-marshal system received. As part of
the same subject, let me say I am now pressed in regard to a pending
assessment in St. Louis County. Please examine and satisfy yourself
whether this assessment should proceed or be abandoned; and if you
decide that it is to proceed, please examine as to the propriety of
its application to a gentleman by the name of Charles McLaran.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL POPE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON February 15, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, St. Louis, Missouri:

Please ascertain whether General Fisk's administration is as good as
it might be, and answer me.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION CONVENING THE SENATE IN EXTRA SESSION,

FEBRUARY 17, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation

Whereas objects of interest to the United States require that the
Senate should be convened at twelve o'clock on the fourth of March
next to receive and act upon such communications as may be made to it
on the part of the Executive;

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
have considered it to be my duty to issue this, my proclamation,
declaring that an extraordinary occasion requires the Senate of the
United States to convene for the transaction of business at the
Capitol, in the city of Washington, on the fourth day of March next,
at twelve o'clock at noon on that day, of which all who shall at that
time be entitled to act as members of that body are hereby required
to take notice.

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at
Washington...............

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

TELEGRAM TO OFFICER IN COMMAND AT HARPER'S FERRY.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 17, 1865

OFFICER IN COMMAND AT HARPER'S FERRY:

Chaplain Fitzgibbon yesterday sent me a despatch invoking Clemency
for Jackson, Stewart, and Randall, who are to be shot to-day. The
despatch is so vague that there is no means here of ascertaining
whether or not the execution of sentence of one or more of them may
not already have been ordered. If not suspend execution of sentence
m their cases until further orders and forward records of trials for
examination.

A. LINCOLN

MAJOR ECKERT:
Please send above telegram
JNO. G. NICOLAY.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 24, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Virginia:

I am in a little perplexity. I was induced to authorize a gentleman
to bring Roger A. Pryor here with a view of effecting an exchange of
him; but since then I have seen a despatch of yours showing that you
specially object to his exchange. Meantime he has reached here and
reported to me. It is an ungracious thing for me to send him back to
prison, and yet inadmissible for him to remain here long. Cannot
you help me out with it? I can conceive that there may be difference
to you in days, and I can keep him a few days to accommodate on that
point. I have not heard of my son's reaching you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL POPE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 24, 1865

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Please inquire and report to me whether there is any propriety of
longer keeping in Gratiott Street Prison a man said to be there by
the name of Riley Whiting.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, February 25, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Virginia:

General Sheridan's despatch to you, of to-day, in which he says he
"will be off on Monday," and that he "will leave behind about two
thousand men," causes the Secretary of War and myself considerable
anxiety. Have you well considered whether you do not again leave
open the Shenandoah Valley entrance to Maryland and Pennsylvania, or,
at least, to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 27, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Virginia:

Subsequent reflection, conference with General Halleck, your
despatch, and one from General Sheridan, have relieved my anxiety;
and so I beg that you will dismiss any concern you may have on my
account, in the matter of my last despatch.

A. LINCOLN.

TO T. W. CONWAY.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 1, 1865.

MR. THOMAS W. CONWAY,
General Superintendent Freedmen,
Department of the Gulf.

SIR:--Your statement to Major-General Hurlbut of the condition of the
freedmen of your department, and of your success in the work of their
moral and physical elevation, has reached me and given me much
pleasure.

That we shall be entirely successful in our efforts I firmly believe.

The blessing of God and the efforts of good and faithful men will
bring us an earlier and happier consummation than the most sanguine
friends of the freedmen could reasonably expect.

Yours,

A. LINCOLN,

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

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

You have not sent contents of Richmond papers for Tuesday or
Wednesday. Did you not receive them? If not, does it indicate
anything?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM FROM SECRETARY STANTON
TO GENERAL GRANT.
WASHINGTON, March 3, 1865. 12 PM.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no
conference with General Lee unless it be for the capitulation of
General Lee's army, or on some minor and purely military matter. He
instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss, or confer
upon any political question. Such questions the President holds in
his own hands, and will submit them to no military conferences or
conventions. Meantime you are to press to the utmost your military
advantages.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS,

MARCH 4, 1865.

FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN :--At this second appearing to take the oath of the
presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address
than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of
a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the
expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been
constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest
which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the
nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our
arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the
public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and
encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in
regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts
were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it,
all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being
delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union
without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it
without war seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by
negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make
war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept
war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One eighth of the whole population was colored slaves, not
distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern
part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful
interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the
war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the
object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war,
while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the
territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war
the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither
anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even
before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier
triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the
same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against
the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a
just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other
men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The
prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been
answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the
world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come,
but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose
that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the
providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued
through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives
to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by
whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from
those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always
ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this
mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that
it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred
and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every
drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with
the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be
said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the
right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish
the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him
who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to
do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among
ourselves and with all nations.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL JOHN POPE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 7, 1865

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, St. Louis, Missouri:

Please state briefly, by telegraph, what you concluded about the
assessments in St. Louis County. Early in the war one Samuel B.
Churchill was sent from St. Louis to Louisville, where I have quite
satisfactory evidence that he has not misbehaved. Still I am told
his property at St. Louis is subjected to the assessment, which I
think it ought not to be. Still I wish to know what you think.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 8, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va:

Your two despatches to the Secretary of War, one relating to supplies
for the enemy going by the Blackwater, and the other to General
Singleton and Judge Hughes, have been laid before me by him. As to
Singleton and Hughes, I think they are not in Richmond by any
authority, unless it be from you. I remember nothing from me which
could aid them in getting there, except a letter to you, as follows,
to wit:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON CITY, February 7, 1865.
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:
General Singleton, who bears you this, claims that he already has
arrangements made, if you consent, to bring a large amount of
Southern produce through your lines. For its bearing on our
finances, I would be glad for this to be done, if it can be, without
injuriously disturbing your military operations, or supplying the
enemy. I wish you to be judge and master on these points. Please
see and hear him fully, and decide whether anything, and, if
anything, what, can be done in the premises.
Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.

I believe I gave Hughes a card putting him with Singleton on the same
letter. However this may be, I now authorize you to get Singleton
and Hughes away from Richmond, if you choose, and can. I also
authorize you, by an order, or in what form you choose, to suspend
all operations on the Treasury trade permits, in all places
southeastward of the Alleghenies. If you make such order, notify me
of it, giving a copy, so that I can give corresponding direction to
the Navy.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION OFFERING PARDON TO DESERTERS,

MARCH 11, 1865

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA

A Proclamation

Whereas, the twenty-first section of the act of Congress, approved on
the 3d instant, entitled "An Act to amend the several acts heretofore
passed to provide for the enrolling and calling out the national
forces and for other purposes," requires that in addition to the
other lawful penalties of the crime of desertion from the military or
naval service, all persons who have deserted the military or naval
service of the United States who shall not return to said service or
report themselves to a provost-marshal within sixty days after the
proclamation hereinafter mentioned, shall be deemed and taken to have
voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their citizenship and their
right to become citizens, and such deserters shall be forever
incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under the United
States, or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof; and all
persons who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service, and
all persons who, being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction
of the district in which they are enrolled, or go beyond the limits
of the United States with intent to avoid any draft into the military
or naval service duly ordered, shall be liable to the penalties of
this section; and the President is hereby authorized and required
forthwith, on the passage of this act, to issue his proclamation
setting forth the provisions of this section, in which proclamation
the President is requested to notify all deserters returning within
sixty days as aforesaid that they shall be pardoned on condition of
returning to their regiments and companies, or to such other
organizations as they may be assigned to, until they shall have
served for a period of time equal to their original term of
enlistment:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, do issue this my proclamation as required by said act,
ordering and requiring all deserters to return to their proper posts;
and I do hereby notify them that all deserters who shall within sixty
days from the date of this proclamation, viz., on or before the 10th
day of May, 1865, return to service or report themselves to a
provost-marshal, shall be pardoned on condition that they return to
their regiments or companies or to such other organization as they
may be assigned to, and serve the remainder of their original terms
of enlistment, and in addition thereto a period equal to the time
lost by desertion.

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

TELEGRAM TO H. T. BLOW.

WASHINGTON, March 13, 1865.

HON. HENRY T. BLOW, Saint Louis, Mo.:

A Miss E. Snodgrass, who was banished from Saint Louis in May,1863,
wishes to take the oath and return home. What say you?

A. LINCOLN.

LETTER TO THURLOW WEED,

MARCH 15, 1865.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.

DEAR Mr. WEED:

Every one likes a compliment. Thank you for yours on my little
notification speech and on the recent inaugural address. I expect
the latter to wear as well as perhaps better than--anything I have
produced; but I believe it is not immediately popular. Men are not
flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose
between the Almighty and them. To deny it, however, in this case, is
to deny that there is a God governing the world. It is a truth which
I thought needed to be told, and, as whatever of humiliation there is
in it falls most directly on myself, I thought others might afford
for me to tell it.

Truly yours,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO COLONEL ROUGH AND OTHERS.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 17, 1865.

COL. R. M. ROUGH AND OTHERS, Chicago, Ill.:

Yours received. The best I can do with it is, to refer it to the War
Department. The Rock Island case referred to, was my individual
enterprise; and it caused so much difficulty in so many ways that I
promised to never undertake another.

A. LINCOLN.

ADDRESS TO AN INDIANA REGIMENT,

MARCH 17, 1865.

FELLOW-CITIZENS:--It will be but a very few words that I shall
undertake to say. I was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and
lived in Illinois; and now I am here, where it is my business to care
equally for the good people of all the States. I am glad to see an
Indiana regiment on this day able to present the captured flag to the
Governor of Indiana. I am not disposed, in saying this, to make a
distinction between the States, for all have done equally well.

There are but few views or aspects of this great war upon which I
have not said or written something whereby my own opinions might be
known. But there is one--the recent attempt of our erring brethren,
as they are sometimes called, to employ the negro to fight for them.
I have neither written nor made a speech on that subject, because
that was their business, not mine, and if I had a wish on the
subject, I had not the power to introduce it, or make it effective.
The great question with them was whether the negro, being put into
the army, will fight for them. I do not know, and therefore cannot
decide. They ought to know better than me. I have in my lifetime
heard many arguments why the negroes ought to be slaves; but if they
fight for those who would keep them in slavery, it will be a better
argument than any I have yet heard. He who will fight for that,
ought to be a slave. They have concluded, at last, to take one out
of four of the slaves and put them in the army, and that one out of
the four who will fight to keep the others in slavery, ought to be a
slave himself, unless he is killed in a fight. While I have often
said that all men ought to be free, yet would I allow those colored
persons to be slaves who want to be, and next to them those white
people who argue in favor of making other people slaves. I am in
favor of giving an appointment to such white men to try it on for
these slaves. I will say one thing in regard to the negroes being
employed to fight for them. I do know he cannot fight and stay at
home and make bread too. And as one is about as important as the
other to them, I don't care which they do. I am rather in favor of
having them try them as soldiers. They lack one vote of doing that,
and I wish I could send my vote over the river so that I might cast
it in favor of allowing the negro to fight. But they cannot fight
and work both. We must now see the bottom of the enemy's resources.
They will stand out as long as they can, and if the negro will fight
for them they must allow him to fight. They have drawn upon their
last branch of resources, and we can now see the bottom. I am glad
to see the end so near at hand. I have said now more than I
intended, and will therefore bid you good-by.

PROCLAMATION CONCERNING INDIANS,

MARCH 17, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas reliable information has been received that hostile Indians,
within the limits of the United States, have been furnished with arms
and munitions of war by persons dwelling in conterminous foreign
territory, and are thereby enabled to prosecute their savage warfare
upon the exposed and sparse settlements of the frontier;

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States of America, do hereby proclaim and direct that all
persons detected in that nefarious traffic shall be arrested and
tried by court-martial at the nearest military post, and if
convicted, shall receive the punishment due to their deserts.

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

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

ORDER ANNULLING THE SENTENCE AGAINST
BENJAMIN G. SMITH AND FRANKLIN W. SMITH,

MARCH 18, 1865.

I am unwilling for the sentence to stand, and be executed, to any
extent in this case. In the absence of a more adequate motive than
the evidence discloses, I am wholly unable to believe in the
existence of criminal or fraudulent intent on the part of men of such
well established good character. If the evidence went as far to
establish a guilty profit of one or two hundred thousand dollars, as
it does of one or two hundred dollars, the case would, on the
question of guilt, bear a far different aspect. That on this
contract, involving some twelve hundred thousand dollars, the
contractors would plan, and attempt to execute a fraud which, at the
most, could profit them only one or two hundred, or even one thousand
dollars, is to my mind beyond the power of rational belief. That
they did not, in such a case, make far greater gains, proves that
they did not, with guilty or fraudulent intent, make at all. The
judgment and sentence are disapproved, and declared null, and the
defendants are fully discharged.

A. LINCOLN
March 18, 1865.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. POPE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, March 19, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, St. Louis, Missouri:

Understanding that the plan of action for Missouri contained in your
letter to the Governor of that State, and your other letter to me, is
concurred in by the Governor, it is approved by me, and you will be
sustained in proceeding upon it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ORD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, May [March] 20, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL ORD, Army of the James

Is it true that George W. Lane is detained at Norfolk without any
charge against him? And if so why is it done?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO JUDGE SCATES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

WASHINGTON, March 21, 1865.

HON. WALTER B. SCATES, Centralia, Illinois:

If you choose to go to New Mexico and reside, I will appoint you
chief justice there. What say you? Please answer.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. S. HANCOCK.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 22, 1865.
MAJOR-GENERAL HANCOCK, Winchester, Va.:

Seeing your despatch about General Crook, and fearing that through
misapprehension something unpleasant may occur, I send you below two
despatches of General Grant, which I suppose will fully explain
General Crook's movements.

A. LINCOLN.

ANOTHER FEMALE SPY

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DODGE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 23, 1865.

GENERAL DODGE,
Commanding, &c, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Allow Mrs. R. S. Ewell the benefit of my amnesty proclamation on her
taking the oath.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 25, 1865. 8.30 A.M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D. C.:

Arrived here all safe about 9 P.M. yesterday. No war news. General
Grant does not seem to know very much about Yeatman, but thinks very
well of him so far as he does know.

I like Mr. Whiting very much, and hence would wish him to remain or
resign as best suits himself. Hearing this much from me, do as you
think best in the matter. General Lee has sent the Russell letter
back, concluding, as I understand from Grant, that their dignity does
not admit of their receiving the document from us. Robert just now
tells me there was a little rumpus up the line this morning, ending
about where it began.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
(Cipher.)
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
March 25, 1865. (Received 5 P.M.)

HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I am here within five miles of the scene of this morning's action. I
have nothing to add to what General Meade reports except that I have
seen the prisoners myself and they look like there might be the
number he states--1600.

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., March 26, 1865. (Received 11.30 A.M.)

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR:

I approve your Fort Sumter programme. Grant don't seem to know
Yeatman very well, but thinks very well of him so far as he knows.
Thinks it probable that Y. is here now, for the place. I told you
this yesterday as well as that you should do as you think best about
Mr. Whiting's resignation, but I suppose you did not receive the
dispatch. I am on the boat and have no later war news than went to
you last night.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 27, 1865.3.35 P.M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D.C.:

Yours inclosing Fort Sumter order received. I think of but one
suggestion. I feel quite confident that Sumter fell on the 13th, and
not on the 14th of April, as you have it. It fell on Saturday, the
13th; the first call for troops on our part was got up on Sunday, the
14th, and given date and issued on Monday, the 15th. Look up the old
almanac and other data, and see if I am not right.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 28, 1865. 12 M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D.C.:
After your explanation, I think it is little or no difference whether
the Fort Sumter ceremony takes place on the 13th or 14th.

General Sherman tells me he is well acquainted with James Yeatman,
and that he thinks him almost the best man in the country for
anything he will undertake.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., March 30, 1865. 7.30 P.M.
(Received 8.30 P.M.)

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR:

I begin to feel that I ought to be at home and yet I dislike to leave
without seeing nearer to the end of General Grant's present movement.
He has now been out since yesterday morning and although he has not
been diverted from his programme no considerable effort has yet been
produced so far as we know here. Last night at 10.15 P. M. when it
was dark as a rainy night without a moon could be, a furious
cannonade soon joined in by a heavy musketry fire opened near
Petersburg and lasted about two hours. The sound was very distinct
here as also were the flashes of the guns up the clouds. It seemed
to me a great battle, but the older hands here scarcely noticed it
and sure enough this morning it was found that very little had been
done.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA1 March 31, 1865.3 P.M.

SECRETARY STANTON:

At 12.30 P.M. to-day General Grant telegraphed me as follows:
"There has been much hard fighting this morning. The enemy drove our
left from near Dabney's house back well toward the Boydton plank
road. We are now about to take the offensive at that point, and I
hope will more than recover the lost ground."

Later he telegraphed again as follows:
"Our troops, after being driven back to the Boydton plank road,
turned and drove the enemy in turn, and took the White Oak road,
which we now have. This gives us the ground occupied by the enemy
this morning. I will send you a rebel flag captured by our troops in
driving the enemy back. There have been four flags captured to-day."

Judging by the two points from which General Grant telegraphs, I
infer that he moved his headquarters about one mile since he sent the
first of the two despatches.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
CITY POINT, April 1, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

Yours to Colonel Bowers about the Secretary of War is shown to me.
He is not here, nor have I any notice that he is coming. I presume
the mistake comes of the fact that the Secretary of State was here.
He started back to Washington this morning. I have your two
despatches of this morning, and am anxious to hear from Sheridan.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, April 1, 1865. 12.50 P.M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D.C.:

I have had two despatches from General Grant since my last to you,
but they contain little additional, except that Sheridan also had
pretty hot work yesterday, that infantry was sent to his support
during the night, and that he (Grant) has not since heard from
Sheridan.

Mrs. Lincoln has started home, and I will thank you to see that our
coachman is at the Arsenal wharf at eight o'clock to-morrow morning,
there to wait until she arrives.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY SEWARD.
CITY POINT, VA., April, 1865. 5.30 ?.M.

HON. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Fort Monroe:

Despatch just received, showing that Sheridan, aided by Warren, had,
at 2 P.M., pushed the enemy back, so as to retake the Five Forks and
bring his own headquarters up to J. Boisseau's. The Five Forks were
barricaded by the enemy and carried by Devin's division of cavalry.
This part of the enemy seem to now be trying to work along the White
Oak road, to join the main force in front of Grant, while Sheridan
and Warren are pressing them as closely as possible.
A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.
CITY POINT, April 1, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

Yours showing Sheridan's success of to-day is just received and
highly appreciated. Having no great deal to do here, I am still
sending the substance of your despatches to the Secretary of War.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO MRS. LINCOLN.
CITY POINT, VA., April 2, 1865. 8.30 A.M. (Received 9 A.M.)

MRS. A. LINCOLN, Executive Mansion:

Last night General Grant telegraphed that General Sheridan with his
cavalry and the Fifth Corps had captured three brigades of infantry,
a train of wagons, and several batteries, prisoners amounting to
several thousand. This morning General Grant having ordered an
attack along the whole line telegraphs as follows.

Robert yesterday wrote a little cheerful note to Captain Penrose,
which is all he has heard of him since you left.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAMS TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, April 2, 1865. 8.30 A.M.

HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Last night General Grant telegraphed that General Sheridan, with his
cavalry and the Fifth Corps, had captured three brigades of infantry,
a train of wagons, and several batteries; the prisoners amounting to
several thousand.

This morning General Grant, having ordered an attack along the whole
line, telegraphs as follows:

"Both Wright and Parke got through the enemy's lines. The battle now
rages furiously. General Sheridan, with his cavalry, the Fifth
corps, and Miles's Division of the Second Corps, which was sent to
him this morning, is now sweeping down from the west.

"All now looks highly favorable. General Ord is engaged, but I have
not yet heard the result in his front."

A. LINCOLN.

CITY POINT, April 1. 11.00 A.M.

Despatches are frequently coming in. All is going on finely.
Generals Parke, Wright, and Ord's lines are extending from the
Appomattox to Hatcher's Run. They have all broken through the
enemy's intrenched lines, taking some forts, guns, and prisoners.
Sheridan, with his own cavalry, the Fifth Corps, and part of the
Second, is coming in from the west on the enemy's flank. Wright is
already tearing up the Southside Railroad.

A. LINCOLN

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, April 2. 2 P.M.

At 10.45 A.M. General Grant telegraphs as follows:

"Everything has been carried from the left of the Ninth Corps. The
Sixth Corps alone captured more than three thousand prisoners. The
Second and Twenty-fourth Corps captured forts, guns, and prisoners
from the enemy, but I cannot tell the numbers. We are now closing
around the works of the line immediately enveloping Petersburg. All
looks remarkably well. I have not yet heard from Sheridan. His
headquarters have been moved up to Banks's house, near the Boydton
road, about three miles southwest of Petersburg."

A. LINCOLN.

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, April 2. 8.30 P.M.

At 4.30 P.M. to-day General Grant telegraphs as follows:

"We are now up and have a continuous line of troops, and in a few
hours will be intrenched from the Appomattox below Petersburg to the
river above. The whole captures since the army started out will not
amount to less than twelve thousand men, and probably fifty pieces of
artillery. I do not know the number of men and guns accurately,
however. A portion of Foster's Division, Twenty Fourth Corps, made a
most gallant charge this afternoon, and captured a very important
fort from the enemy, with its entire garrison. All seems well with
us, and everything is quiet just now."

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO MRS. LINCOLN.
CITY POINT, VA., April 1, 1865.

MRS. LINCOLN:

At 4.30 P.M. to-day General Grant telegraphs that he has Petersburg
completely enveloped from river below to river above, and has
captured, since he started last Wednesday, about twelve thousand
prisoners and fifty guns. He suggests that I shall go out and see
him in the morning, which I think I will do. Tad and I are both
well, and will be glad to see you and your party here at the time you
name.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
CITY POINT, April 2, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

Allow me to tender to you and all with you the nation's grateful
thanks for this additional and magnificent success. At your kind
suggestion I think I will meet you to-morrow.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, April 3, 1865.8.30 A.M.

HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

This morning Lieutenant-General Grant reports Petersburg evacuated,
and he is confident that Richmond also is. He is pushing forward to
cut off, if possible, the retreating rebel army.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., April 3, 1865. 5 P.M.

HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Yours received. Thanks for your caution, but I have already been to
Petersburg. Staid with General Grant an hour and a half and returned
here. It is certain now that Richmond is in our hands, and I think I
will go there to-morrow. I will take care of myself.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., April 4, 1865
(Received 8.45 A.M.)

HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

General Weitzel telegraphs from Richmond that of railroad stock he
found there twenty-eight locomotives, forty-four passenger and
baggage cars, and one hundred and six freight cars. At 3.30 this
evening General Grant, from Sutherland's Station, ten miles from
Petersburg toward Burkevllle, telegraphs as follows:

General Sheridan picked up twelve hundred prisoners to-day, and from
three hundred to five hundred more have been gathered by other
troops. The majority of the arms that were left in the hands of the
remnant of Lee's army are now scattered between Richmond and where
his troops are. The country is also full of stragglers; the line of
retreat marked with artillery, ammunition, burned or charred wagons,
caissons, ambulances, etc."

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY SEWARD.
CITY POINT, APRIL 5, 1865.
(Received 11.55 PM.)

HON. SECRETARY OF STATE:

Yours of to-day received. I think there is no probability of my
remaining here more than two days longer. If that is too long come
down. I passed last night at Richmond and have just returned.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
CITY POINT, April 6, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, in the Field:

Secretary Seward was thrown from his carriage yesterday and seriously
injured. This, with other matters, will take me to Washington soon.
I was at Richmond yesterday and the day before, when and where Judge
Campbell, who was with Messrs. Hunter and Stephens in February,
called on me, and made such representations as induced me to put in
his hands an informal paper, repeating the propositions in my letter
of instructions to Mr. Seward, which you remember, and adding that if
the war be now further persisted in by the rebels, confiscated
property shall at the least bear the additional cost, and that
confiscation shall be remitted to the people of any State which will
now promptly and in good faith withdraw its troops and other support
from resistance to the Government.

Judge Campbell thought it not impossible that the rebel legislature
of Virginia would do the latter if permitted; and accordingly I
addressed a private letter to General Weitzel, with permission to
Judge Campbell to see it, telling him (General Weitzel) that if they
attempt this, to permit and protect them, unless they attempt
something hostile to the United States, in which case to give them
notice and time to leave, and to arrest any remaining after such
time.

I do not think it very probable that anything win come of this, but I
have thought best to notify you so that if you should see signs you
may understand them.

>From your recent despatches it seems that you are pretty effectually
withdrawing the Virginia troops from opposition to the Government.
Nothing that I have done, or probably shall do, is to delay, hinder,
or interfere with your work.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. WEITZEL.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES
CITY POINT, April 6, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL WEITZEL, Richmond, Va.:

It has been intimated to me that the gentlemen who have acted as the
legislature of Virginia in support of the rebellion may now desire to
assemble at Richmond and take measures to withdraw the Virginia
troops and other support from resistance to the General Government.
If they attempt it, give them permission and protection, until, if at
all, they attempt some action hostile to the United States, in which
case you will notify them, give them reasonable time to leave) and at
the end of which time arrest any who remain. Allow Judge Campbell to
see this, but do not make it public.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., April 7, 1865
(Received 10.30 AM.)

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR:

At 11.15 P.M. yesterday at Burkesville Station, General Grant sends
me the following from General Sheridan:

April 6, 11.15 P.M.
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:
I have the honor to report that the enemy made a stand at the
intersection of the Burks Station road with the road upon which they
were retreating. I attacked them with two divisions of the Sixth
Army Corps and routed them handsomely, making a connection with the
cavalry. I am still pressing on with both cavalry and infantry. Up
to the present time we have captured Generals Ewell, Kershaw, Button,
Corse, DeBare, and Custis Lee, several thousand prisoners, fourteen
pieces of artillery with caissons and a large number of wagons. If
the thing is pressed I think Lee will surrender.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
Major-General, Commanding."

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

CITY POINT, April 7, 11 A.M., 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

Gen. Sheridan says:

"If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will surrender."

Let the thing be pressed.

A. LINCOLN.

NOTE ON A CARD TO SECRETARY STANTON.

April 10, 1865.

Tad wants some flags--can he be accommodated?

A. LINCOLN.

RESPONSE TO A CALL,

APRIL 10, 1865

If the company had assembled by appointment, some mistake had crept
in their understanding. He had appeared before a larger audience
than this one to-day, and he would repeat what he then said, namely,
he supposed owing to the great, good news, there would be some
demonstration. He would prefer to-morrow evening, when he should be
quite willing, and he hoped ready, to say something. He desired to
be particular, because every thing he said got into print. Occupying
the position he did, a mistake would produce harm, and therefore he
wanted to be careful not to make a mistake.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. H. GORDON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, April 11, 1865.

BRIG. GEN. G. H. GORDON, Norfolk, Va.:

Send to me at once a full statement as to the cause or causes for
which, and by authority of what tribunal George W. Lane, Charles
Whitlock, Ezra Baler, J. M. Renshaw, and others are restrained of
their liberty. Do this promptly and fully.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION CLOSING CERTAIN PORTS,
APRIL 11, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas by my proclamations of the 19th and 27th days of April, A.D.
1861, the ports of the United States in the States of Virginia, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Texas were declared to be subject to blockade; but

Whereas the said blockade has, in consequence of actual military
occupation by this Government, since been conditionally set aside or
relaxed in respect to the ports of Norfolk and Alexandria, in the
State of Virginia; Beaufort, in the State of North Carolina; Port
Royal, in the State of South Carolina; Pensacola and Fernandina, in
the State of Florida; and New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana; and

Whereas by the fourth 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," the
President, for the reasons therein set forth, is authorized to close
certain ports of entry:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln. President of the
United States, do hereby proclaim that the ports of Richmond,
Tappahannock, Cherrystone, Yorktown, and Petersburg, in Virginia; of
Camden (Elizabeth City), Edenton, Plymouth, Washington, Newbern,
Ocracoke, and Wilmington in North Carolina; of Charleston,
Georgetown, and Beaufort, in South Carolina; of Savannah, St. Marys,
and Brunswick (Darien), in Georgia; of Mobile, in Alabama; of Pearl
River (Shieldsboro), Natchez and Vicksburg, in Mississippi; of St.
Augustine, Key West, St. Marks (Port Leon), St. Johns (Jacksonville),
and Apalachicola, in Florida; of Teche (Franklin), in Louisiana; of
Galveston, La Salle, Brazos de Santiago (Point Isabel), and
Brownsville, in Texas, are hereby closed, and all right of
importation, warehousing, and other privileges shall, in respect to
the ports aforesaid, cease until they shall have again been opened by
order of the President; and if while said parts are so closed any
ship or vessel from beyond the United States or having on board any
articles subject to duties shall attempt to enter any such port, the
same, together with its tackle, apparel, furniture, and cargo, shall
be forfeited to the United States.

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 eleventh day of April, A.D.,
1865, and of the independence of the United States of America, the
eighty-ninth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

PROCLAMATION OPENING THE PORT OF KEY WEST,

APRIL 11, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas by my proclamation of this date the port of Key West, in the
State of Florida, was inadvertently included among those which are
not open to commerce:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, do hereby declare and make known that the said port of
Key West is and shall remain open to foreign and domestic commerce
upon the same conditions by which that commerce has there hitherto
been governed.

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

Done at the city of Washington, this eleventh day of April, A.D.
1865, and of the independence of the United States of America the
eighty-ninth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

PROCLAMATION CLAIMING EQUALITY OF RIGHTS
WITH ALL MARITIME NATIONS,

APRIL 11, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas for some time past vessels of war of the United States have
been refused in certain foreign ports, privileges and immunities to
which they were entitled by treaty, public law, or the community of
nations, at the same time that vessels of war of the country wherein
the said privileges and immunities have been withheld have enjoyed
them fully and uninterruptedly in ports of the United States, which
condition of things has not always been forcibly resisted by the
United States, although, on the other hand, they have not at any time
failed to protest against and declare their dissatisfaction with the
same. In the view of the United States, no condition any longer
exists which can be claimed to justify the denial to them by any one
of such nations of customary naval rights as has heretofore been so
unnecessarily persisted in.......

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
do hereby make known that if, after a reasonable time shall have
elapsed for intelligence of this proclamation to have reached any
foreign country in whose ports the said privileges and immunities
shall have been refused as aforesaid, they shall continue to be so
refused, then and thenceforth the same privileges and immunities
shall be refused to the vessels of war of that country in the ports
of the United States, and this refusal shall continue until war
vessels of the United States shall have been placed upon an entire
equality in the foreign ports aforesaid with similar vessels of other
countries. The United States, whatever claim or pretense may have
existed heretofore, are now, at least, entitled to claim and concede
an entire and friendly equality of rights and hospitalities with all
maritime nations.

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

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

LAST PUBLIC ADDRESS,

APRIL 11, 1865

FELLOW-CITIZENS--We meet this evening not in sorrow, but in gladness
of heart. The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the
surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous
and speedy peace, whose joyous expression cannot be restrained. In
the midst of this, however, He from whom blessings flow must not be
forgotten.

A call for a national thanksgiving is being prepared, and will be
duly promulgated. Nor must those whose harder part gives us the
cause of rejoicing be overlooked. Their honors must not be parceled
out with others. I myself was near the front, and had the pleasure
of transmitting much of the good news to you. But no part of the
honor for plan or execution is mine. To General Grant, his skillful
officers, and brave men, all belongs. The gallant navy stood ready,
but was not in reach to take active part. By these recent successes,
the reinauguration of the national authority--reconstruction which
has had a large share of thought from the first, is pressed much more
closely upon our attention. It is fraught with great difficulty.
Unlike a case of war between independent nations, there is no
authorized organ for us to treat with--no one man has authority to
give up the rebellion for any other man. We simply must begin with
and mould from disorganized and discordant elements. Nor is it a
small additional embarrassment that we, the loyal people, differ
among ourselves as to the mode, manner, and measure of
reconstruction. As a general rule, I abstain from reading the
reports of attacks upon myself, Wishing not to be provoked by that to
which I cannot properly offer an answer. In spite of this
precaution, however, it comes to my knowledge that I am much censured
for some supposed agency in setting up and seeking to sustain the new
State government of Louisiana. In this I have done just so much and
no more than the public knows. In the Annual Message of December,
1863, and the accompanying proclamation, I presented a plan of
reconstruction, as the phrase goes, which I promised, if adopted by
any State, would be acceptable to and sustained by the Executive
Government of the nation. I distinctly stated that this was not the
only plan that might possibly be acceptable, and I also distinctly
protested that the Executive claimed no right to say when or whether
members should be admitted to seats in Congress from such States.
This plan was in advance submitted to the then Cabinet, and approved
by every member of it. One of them suggested that I should then and
in that connection apply the Emancipation Proclamation to the
theretofore excepted parts of Virginia and Louisiana; that I should
drop the suggestion about apprenticeship for freed people, and that I
should omit the protest against my own power in regard to the
admission of members of Congress. But even he approved every part
and parcel of the plan which has since been employed or touched by
the action of Louisiana. The new constitution of Louisiana,
declaring emancipation for the whole State, practically applies the
proclamation to the part previously excepted. It does not adopt
apprenticeship for freed people, and is silent, as it could not well
be otherwise, about the admission of members to Congress. So that,
as it applied to Louisiana, every member of the Cabinet fully
approved the plan. The message went to Congress, and I received many
commendations of the plan, written and verbal, and not a single
objection to it from any professed emancipationist came to my
knowledge until after the news reached Washington that the people of
Louisiana had begun to move in accordance with it. From about July,
1862, I had corresponded with different persons supposed to be
interested in seeking a reconstruction of a State government for
Louisiana. When the message of 1863, with the plan before mentioned,
reached New Orleans, General Banks wrote me that he was confident
that the people, with his military co-operation, would reconstruct
substantially on that plan. I wrote to him and some of them to try
it. They tried it, and the result is known. Such has been my only
agency in getting up the Louisiana government. As to sustaining it
my promise is out, as before stated. But, as bad promises are better
broken than kept, I shall treat this as a bad promise and break it,
whenever I shall be convinced that keeping it is adverse to the
public interest; but I have not yet been so convinced. I have been
shown a letter on this subject, supposed to be an able one, in which
the writer expresses regret that my mind has not seemed to be
definitely fixed upon the question whether the seceded States, so
called, are in the Union or out of it. It would perhaps add
astonishment to his regret were he to learn that since I have found
professed Union men endeavoring to answer that question, I have
purposely forborne any public expression upon it. As appears to me,
that question has not been nor yet is a practically material one, and
that any discussion of it, while it thus remains practically
immaterial, could have no effect other than the mischievous one of
dividing our friends. As yet, whatever it may become, that question
is bad as the basis of a controversy, and good for nothing at all--a
merely pernicious abstraction. We all agree that the seceded States,
so called, are out of their proper practical relation with the Union,
and that the sole object of the Government, civil and military, in
regard to those States, is to again get them into their proper
practical relation. I believe that it is not only possible, but in
fact easier, to do this without deciding or even considering whether
those States have ever been out of the Union, than with it. Finding
themselves safely at home, it would be utterly immaterial whether
they had been abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to
restore the proper practical relations between these States and the
Union, and each forever after innocently indulge his own opinion
whether, in doing the acts he brought the States from without into
the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they never having
been out of it. The amount of constituency, so to speak, on which
the Louisiana government rests, would be more satisfactory to all if
it contained fifty thousand, or thirty thousand, or even twenty
thousand, instead of twelve thousand, as it does. It is also
unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to
the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on
the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.
Still, the question is not whether the Louisiana government, as it
stands, is quite all that is desirable. The question is, Will it be
wiser to take it as it is and help to improve it, or to reject and
disperse? Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relation
with the Union sooner by sustaining or by discarding her new State
government? Some twelve thousand voters in the heretofore Slave State
of Louisiana have sworn allegiance to the Union, assumed to be the
rightful political power of the State, held elections, organized a
State government, adopted a Free State constitution, giving the
benefit of public schools equally to black and white, and empowering
the Legislature to confer the elective franchise upon the colored
man. This Legislature has already voted to ratify the Constitutional
Amendment recently passed by Congress, abolishing slavery throughout
the nation. These twelve thousand persons are thus fully committed
to the Union and to perpetuate freedom in the State--committed to the
very things, and nearly all things, the nation wants--and they ask
the nation's recognition and its assistance to make good this
committal. Now, if we reject and spurn them, we do our utmost to
disorganize and disperse them. We, in fact, say to the white man:
You are worthless or worse; we will neither help you nor be helped by
you. To the blacks we say: This cup of liberty which these, your
old masters, held to your lips, we will dash from you, and leave you
to the chances of gathering the spilled and scattered contents in
some vague and undefined when, where, and how. If this course,
discouraging and paralyzing both white and black, has any tendency to
bring Louisiana into proper practical relations with the Union, I
have so far been unable to perceive it. If, on the contrary, we
recognize and sustain the new government of Louisiana, the converse
of all this is made true. We encourage the hearts and nerve the arms
of twelve thousand to adhere to their work, and argue for it, and
proselyte for it, and fight for it, and feed it, and grow it, and
ripen it to a complete success. The colored man, too, in seeing all
united for him, is inspired with vigilance, and energy, and daring to
the same end. Grant that he desires the elective franchise, will he
not attain it sooner by saving the already advanced steps towards it,
than by running backward over them? Concede that the new government
of Louisiana is only to what it should be as the egg is to the fowl,
we shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing
it. Again, if we reject Louisiana, we also reject one vote in favor
of the proposed amendment to the National Constitution. To meet
this proposition, it has been argued that no more than three fourths
of those States which have not attempted secession are necessary to
validly ratify the amendment. I do not commit myself against this,
further than to say that such a ratification would be questionable,
and sure to be persistently questioned, while a ratification by three
fourths of all the States would be unquestioned and unquestionable.
I repeat the question, Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical
relation with the Union sooner by sustaining or by discarding her new
State government? What has been said of Louisiana will apply to
other States. And yet so great peculiarities pertain to each State,
and such important and sudden changes occur in the same State, and
withal so new and unprecedented is the whole case, that no exclusive
and inflexible plan can safely be prescribed as to details and
collaterals. Such exclusive and inflexible plan would surely become
a new entanglement. Important principles may and must be inflexible.
In the present situation as the phrase goes, it may be my duty to
make some new announcement to the people of the South. I am
considering, and shall not fail to act, when satisfied that action
will be proper.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. WEITZEL.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 12, 1865.
MAJOR-GENERAL WEITZEL, Richmond, Va.:

I have seen your despatch to Colonel Hardie about the matter of
prayers. I do not remember hearing prayers spoken of while I was in
Richmond; but I have no doubt you have acted in what appeared to you
to be the spirit and temper manifested by me while there. Is there
any sign of the rebel legislature coming together on the
understanding of my letter to you? If there is any such sign, inform
me what it is; if there is no such sign, you may withdraw the offer.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. WEITZEL.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL WEITZEL, Richmond, Va.:

I have just seen Judge Campbell's letter to you of the 7th. He
assumes, as appears to me, that I have called the insurgent
legislature of Virginia together, as the rightful legislature of the
State, to settle all differences with the United States. I have done
no such thing. I spoke of them, not as a legislature, but as "the
gentlemen who have acted as the legislature of Virginia in support of
the rebellion." I did this on purpose to exclude the assumption that
I was recognizing them as a rightful body. I deal with them as men
having power de facto to do a specific thing, to wit: "To withdraw
the Virginia troops and other support from resistance to the General
Government," for which, in the paper handed Judge Campbell, I
promised a specific equivalent, to wit: a remission to the people of
the State, except in certain cases, of the confiscation of their
property. I meant this, and no more. Inasmuch, however, as Judge
Campbell misconstrues this, and is still pressing for an armistice,
contrary to the explicit statement of the paper I gave him, and
particularly as General Grant has since captured the Virginia troops,
so that giving a consideration for their withdrawal is no longer
applicable, let my letter to you and the paper to Judge Campbell both
be withdrawn, or countermanded, and he be notified of it. Do not now
allow them to assemble, but if any have come, allow them safe return
to their homes.

A. LINCOLN.

INTERVIEW WITH SCHUYLER COLFAX ON THE MORNING OF APRIL 14, 1865.

Mr. Colfax, I want you to take a message from me to the miners whom
you visit. I have very large ideas of the mineral wealth of our
nation. I believe it practically inexhaustible. It abounds all over
the Western country, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, and its
development has scarcely commenced. During the war, when we were
adding a couple of millions of dollars every day to our national
debt, I did not care about encouraging the increase in the volume of
our precious metals. We had the country to save first. But now that
the rebellion is overthrown, and we know pretty nearly the amount of
our national debt, the more gold and silver we mine, we make the
payment of that debt so much the easier. Now," said he, speaking
with more emphasis, "I am going to encourage that in every possible
way. We shall have hundreds of thousands of disbanded soldiers, and
many have feared that their return home in such great numbers might
paralyze industry, by furnishing, suddenly, a greater supply of labor
than there will be demand for. I am going to try to attract them to
the hidden wealth of our mountain ranges, where there is room enough
for all. Immigration, which even the war has not stopped, will land
upon our shores hundreds of thousands more per year from overcrowded
Europe. I intend to point them to the gold and silver that wait for
them in the West. Tell the miners for me, that I shall promote their
interests to the utmost of my ability; because their prosperity is
the prosperity of the nation; and," said he, his eye kindling with
enthusiasm, "we shall prove, in a very few years, that we are indeed
the treasury of the world."

TO GENERAL VAN ALLEN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 14, 1865

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