Part 36 out of 36
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so that giving a consideration for their withdrawal is no longer
applicable, let my letter to you and the paper to Judge Campbell both
be withdrawn, or countermanded, and he be notified of it.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.
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
GENERAL VAN ALLEN:
I intend to adopt the advice of my friends and use due precaution....
I thank you for the assurance you give me that I shall be
supported by conservative men like yourself, in the efforts I may
make to restore the Union, so as to make it, to use your language, a
Union of hearts and hands as well as of States.
LINCOLN'S LAST WRITTEN WORDS
Allow Mr. Ashmer and friend to come in at 9 A.M. to-morrow.
April 14, 1865