The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, v6
Abraham Lincoln

Part 4 out of 9

"The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will
endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the
dearest rights and liberties of his country."





Your brother says you are solicitous to be ordered to join General
McLernand. I suppose you are ordered to Helena; this means that you
are to form part of McLernand's expedition as it moves down the
river; and General McLernand is so informed. I will see General
Halleck as to whether the additional force you mention can go with



WASHINGTON, D. C., November 18, 1861.

MAJOR-GENERAL Dix, Fort Monroe:

Please give me your best opinion as to the number of the enemy now at
Richmond and also at Petersburg.



November 21, 1862.


DEAR SIR:--Dr. Kennedy, bearer of this, has some apprehension that
Federal officers not citizens of Louisiana may be set up as
candidates for Congress in that State. In my view there could be no
possible object in such an election. We do not particularly need
members of Congress from there to enable us to get along with
legislation here. What we do want is the conclusive evidence that
respectable citizens of Louisiana are willing to be members of
Congress and to swear support to the Constitution, and that other
respectable citizens there are willing to vote for them and send
them. To send a parcel of Northern men here as representatives,
elected, as would be understood (and perhaps really so), at the
point of the bayonet, would be disgusting and outrageous; and were I
a member of Congress here, I would vote against admitting any such
man to a seat.

Yours very truly,




November 21, 1862.

Ordered, That no arms, ammunition, or munitions of war be cleared or
allowed to be exported from the United States until further orders.
That any clearance for arms, ammunition, or munitions of war issued
heretofore by the Treasury Department be vacated, if the articles
have not passed without the United States, and the articles stopped.
That the Secretary of War hold possession of the arms, etc., recently
seized by his order at Rouse's Point, bound for Canada.




November 22, 1862.

MY DEAR GENERAL BANKS:--Early last week you left me in high hope with
your assurance that you would be off with your expedition at the end
of that week, or early in this. It is now the end of this, and I
have just been overwhelmed and confounded with the sight of a
requisition made by you which, I am assured, cannot be filled and got
off within an hour short of two months. I enclose you a copy of the
requisition, in some hope that it is not genuine--that you have never
seen it. My dear General, this expanding and piling up of
impedimenta has been, so far, almost our ruin, and will be our final
ruin if it is not abandoned. If you had the articles of this
requisition upon the wharf, with the necessary animals to make them
of any use, and forage for the animals, you could not get vessels
together in two weeks to carry the whole, to say nothing of your
twenty thousand men; and, having the vessels, you could not put the
cargoes aboard in two weeks more. And, after all, where you are
going you have no use for them. When you parted with me you had no
such ideas in your mind. I know you had not, or you could not have
expected to be off so soon as you said. You must get back to
something like the plan you had then, or your expedition is a failure
before you start. You must be off before Congress meets. You would
be better off anywhere, and especially where you are going, for not
having a thousand wagons doing nothing but hauling forage to feed the
animals that draw them, and taking at least two thousand men to care
for the wagons and animals, who otherwise might be two thousand good
soldiers. Now, dear General, do not think this is an ill-natured
letter; it is the very reverse. The simple publication of this
requisition would ruin you.

Very truly your friend,



November 24, 1862.


MY DEAR SIR--I have just received and read your letter of the 20th.
The purport of it is that we lost the late elections and the
administration is failing because the war is unsuccessful, and that I
must not flatter myself that I am not justly to blame for it. I
certainly know that if the war fails the administration fails, and
that I will be blamed for it, whether I deserve it or not. And I
ought to be blamed if I could do better. You think I could do
better; therefore you blame me already. I think I could not do
better; therefore I blame you for blaming me. I understand you now
to be willing to accept the help of men who are not Republicans,
provided they have "heart in it." Agreed. I want no others. But who
is to be the judge of hearts, or of "heart in it"? If I must discard
my own judgment and take yours, I must also take that of others and
by the time I should reject all I should be advised to reject, I
should have none left, Republicans or others not even yourself. For
be assured, my dear sir, there are men who have "heart in it" that
think you are performing your part as poorly as you think I am
performing mine. I certainly have been dissatisfied with the
slowness of Buell and McClellan; but before I relieved them I had
great fears I should not find successors to them who would do better;
and I am sorry to add that I have seen little since to relieve those

I do not see clearly the prospect of any more rapid movements. I
fear we shall at last find out that the difficulty is in our case
rather than in particular generals. I wish to disparage no one
certainly not those who sympathize with me; but I must say I need
success more than I need sympathy, and that I have not seen the so
much greater evidence of getting success from my sympathizers than
from those who are denounced as the contrary. It does seem to me
that in the field the two classes have been very much alike in what
they have done and what they have failed to do. In sealing their
faith with their blood, Baker and Lyon and Bohien and Richardson,
Republicans, did all that men could do; but did they any more than
Kearny and Stevens and Reno and Mansfield, none of whom were
Republicans, and some at least of whom have been bitterly and
repeatedly denounced to me as secession sympathizers? I will not
perform the ungrateful task of comparing cases of failure.

In answer to your question, "Has it not been publicly stated in the
newspapers, and apparently proved as a fact, that from the
commencement of the war the enemy was continually supplied with
information by some of the confidential subordinates of as important
an officer as Adjutant-General Thomas?" I must say "No," as far as my
knowledge extends. And I add that if you can give any tangible
evidence upon the subject, I will thank you to come to this city and
do so.

Very truly your friend,





If I should be in boat off Aquia Creek at dark tomorrow (Wednesday)
evening, could you, without inconvenience, meet me and pass an hour
or two with me?


November 29, 1862.


MY DEAR SIR:--Few things perplex me more than this question between
Governor Gamble and the War Department, as to whether the peculiar
force organized by the former in Missouri are State troops or United
States troops. Now, this is either an immaterial or a mischievous
question. First, if no more is desired than to have it settled what
name the force is to be called by, it is immaterial. Secondly, if it
is desired for more than the fixing a name, it can only be to get a
position from which to draw practical inferences; then it is
mischievous. Instead of settling one dispute by deciding the
question, I should merely furnish a nest-full of eggs for hatching
new disputes. I believe the force is not strictly either "State
troops" or "United States troops." It is of mixed character. I
therefore think it is safer, when a practical question arises, to
decide that question directly, and not indirectly by deciding a
general abstraction supposed to include it, and also including a
great deal more. Without dispute Governor Gamble appoints the
officers of this force, and fills vacancies when they occur. The
question now practically in dispute is: Can Governor Gamble make a
vacancy by removing an officer or accepting a resignation? Now,
while it is proper that this question shall be settled, I do not
perceive why either Governor Gamble or the government here should
care which way it is settled. I am perplexed with it only because
there seems to be pertinacity about it. It seems to me that it might
be either way without injury to the service; or that the offer of the
Secretary of War to let Governor Gamble make vacancies, and he (the
Secretary) to ratify the making of them, ought to be satisfactory.

Yours truly,

WASHINGTON, November 30, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS, Saint Louis, Missouri:

Frank Blair wants Manter's Thirty-second, Curly's Twenty seventh,
Boyd's Twenty-fourth and the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry to go with him
down the river. I understand it is with you to decide whether he
shall have them and if so, and if also it is consistent with the
public service, you will oblige me a good deal by letting him have




December 1, 1862.


SIR:--Three hundred Indians have been sentenced to death in Minnesota
by a military commission, and execution only awaits my action. I
wish your legal opinion whether if I should conclude to execute only
a part of them, I must myself designate which, or could I leave the
designation to some officer on the ground?

Yours very truly,


DECEMBER 1, 1862.

your last annual assembling another year of health and bountiful
harvests has passed; and while it has not pleased the Almighty to
bless us with a return of peace, we can but press on, guided by the
best light he gives us, trusting that in his own good time and wise
way all will yet be well.

The correspondence touching foreign affairs which has taken place
during the last year is herewith submitted, in virtual compliance
with a request to that effect, made by the House of Representatives
near the close of the last session of Congress.

If the condition of our relations with other nations is less
gratifying than it has usually been at former periods, it is
certainly more satisfactory than a nation so unhappily distracted as
we are might reasonably have apprehended. In the month of June last
there were some grounds to expect that the maritime powers which, at
the beginning of our domestic difficulties, so unwisely and
unnecessarily, as we think, recognized the insurgents as a
belligerent, would soon recede from that position, which has proved
only less injurious to themselves than to our own country. But the
temporary reverses which afterward befell the national arms, and
which were exaggerated by our own disloyal citizens abroad, have
hitherto delayed that act of simple justice.

The civil war, which has so radically changed, for the moment, the
occupations and habits of the American people, has necessarily
disturbed the social condition, and affected very deeply the
prosperity, of the nations with which we have carried on a commerce
that has been steadily increasing throughout a period of half a
century. It has, at the same time, excited political ambitions and
apprehensions which have produced a profound agitation throughout the
civilized world. In this unusual agitation we have forborne from
taking part in any controversy between foreign states, and between
parties or factions in such states. We have attempted no
propagandism and acknowledged no revolution, but we have left to
every nation the exclusive conduct and management of its own affairs.
Our struggle has been, of course, contemplated by foreign nations
with reference less to its own merits than to its supposed and often
exaggerated effects and consequences resulting to those nations
themselves, nevertheless, complaint on the part of this government,
even if it were just, would certainly be unwise.

The treaty with Great Britain for the suppression of the slave trade
has been put into operation with a good prospect of complete success.
It is an occasion of special pleasure to acknowledge that the
execution of it on the part of her Majesty's government has been
marked with a jealous respect for the authority of the United States
and the rights of their moral and loyal citizens.

The convention with Hanover for the abolition of the state dues has
been carried into full effect under the act of Congress for that

A blockade of 3000 miles of seacoast could not be established and
vigorously enforced in a season of great commercial activity like the
present without committing occasional mistakes and inflicting
unintentional injuries upon foreign nations and their subjects.

A civil war occurring in a country where foreigners reside and carry
on trade under treaty stipulations is necessarily fruitful of
complaints of the violation of neutral rights. All such collisions
tend to excite misapprehensions, and possibly to produce mutual
reclamations between nations which have a common interest in
preserving peace and friendship. In clear cases of these kinds I
have so far as possible heard and redressed complaints which have
been presented by friendly powers. There is still, however, a large
and an augmenting number of doubtful cases upon which the government
is unable to agree with the governments whose protection is demanded
by the claimants. There are, moreover, many cases in which the
United States or their citizens suffer wrongs from the naval or
military authorities of foreign nations which the governments of
those states are not at once prepared to redress. I have proposed to
some of the foreign states thus interested mutual conventions to
examine and adjust such complaints. This proposition has been made
especially to Great Britain, to France, to Spain, and to Prussia. In
each case it has been kindly received, but has not yet been formally

I deem it my duty to recommend an appropriation in behalf of the
owners of the Norwegian bark Admiral P. Tordenskiold, which vessel
was in May, 1861, prevented by the commander of the blockading force
off Charleston from leaving that port with cargo, notwithstanding a
similar privilege had shortly before been granted to an English
vessel. I have directed the Secretary of State to cause the papers
in the case to be communicated to the proper committees.

Applications have been made to me by many free Americans of African
descent to favor their emigration, with a view to such colonization
as was contemplated in recent acts of Congress, Other parties, at
home and abroad--some from interested motives, others upon patriotic
considerations, and still others influenced by philanthropic
sentiments--have suggested similar measures, while, on the other
hand, several of the Spanish American republics have protested
against the sending of such colonies to their respective territories.
Under these circumstances I have declined to move any such colony to
any state without first obtaining the consent of its government, with
an agreement on its part to receive and protect such emigrants in all
the rights of freemen; and I have at the same time offered to the
several states situated within the Tropics, or having colonies there,
to negotiate with them, subject to the advice and consent of the
Senate, to favor the voluntary emigration of persons of that class to
their respective territories, upon conditions which shall be equal,
just, and humane. Liberia and Haiti are as yet the only countries to
which colonists of African descent from here could go with certainty
of being received and adopted as citizens; and I regret to say such
persons contemplating colonization do not seem so willing to migrate
to those countries as to some others, nor so willing as I think their
interest demands. I believe, however, opinion among them in this
respect is improving, and that ere long there will be an augmented
and considerable migration to both these countries from the United

The new commercial treaty between the United States and the Sultan of
Turkey has been carried into execution.

A commercial and consular treaty has been negotiated, subject to the
Senate's consent, with Liberia, and a similar negotiation is now
pending with the Republic of Haiti. A considerable improvement of
the national commerce is expected to result from these measures.

Our relations with Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia,
Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Rome, and
the other European states remain undisturbed. Very favorable
relations also continue to be maintained with Turkey, Morocco, China,
and Japan.

During the last year there has not only been no change of our
previous relations with the independent states of our own continent,
but more friendly sentiments than have heretofore existed are
believed to be entertained by these neighbors, whose safety and
progress are so intimately connected with our own. This statement
especially applies to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru,
and Chile.

The commission under the convention with the Republic of New Granada
closed its session without having audited and passed upon all the
claims which were submitted to it. A proposition is pending to
revive the convention, that it may be able to do more complete
justice. The joint commission between the United States and the
Republic of Costa Rica has completed its labors and submitted its

I have favored the project for connecting the United States with
Europe by an Atlantic telegraph, and a similar project to extend the
telegraph from San Francisco to connect by a Pacific telegraph with
the line which is being extended across the Russian Empire.

The Territories of the United States, with unimportant exceptions,
have remained undisturbed by the civil war; and they are exhibiting
such evidence of prosperity as justifies an expectation that some of
them will soon be in a condition to be organized as States and be
constitutionally admitted into the Federal Union.

The immense mineral resources of some of those Territories ought to
be developed as rapidly as possible. Every step in that direction
would have a tendency to improve the revenues of the government and
diminish the burdens of the people. It is worthy of your serious
consideration whether some extraordinary measures to promote that end
cannot be adopted. The means which suggests itself as most likely to
be effective is a scientific exploration of the mineral regions in
those Territories with a view to the publication of its results at
home and in foreign countries--results which cannot fail to be

The condition of the finances win claim your most diligent
consideration. The vast expenditures incident to the military and
naval operations required for the suppression of the rebellion have
hitherto been met with a promptitude and certainty unusual in similar
circumstances, and the public credit has been fully maintained. The
continuance of the war, however, and the increased disbursements made
necessary by the augmented forces now in the field demand your best
reflections as to the best modes of providing the necessary revenue
without injury to business and with the least possible burdens upon

The suspension of specie payments by the banks soon after the
commencement of your last session made large issues of United States
notes unavoidable. In no other way could the payment of troops and
the satisfaction of other just demands be so economically or so well
provided for. The judicious legislation of Congress, securing the
receivability of these notes for loans and internal duties and making
them a legal tender for other debts, has made them an universal
currency, and has satisfied, partially at least, and for the time,
the long-felt want of an uniform circulating medium, saving thereby
to the people immense sums in discounts and exchanges.

A return to specie payments, however, at the earliest period
compatible with due regard to all interests concerned should ever be
kept in view. Fluctuations in the value of currency are always
injurious, and to reduce these fluctuations to the lowest possible
point will always be a leading purpose in wise legislation.
Convertibility, prompt and certain convertibility, into coin is
generally acknowledged to be the best and surest safeguard against
them; and it is extremely doubtful whether a circulation of United
States notes payable in coin and sufficiently large for the wants of
the people can be permanently, usefully, and safely maintained.

Is there, then, any other mode in which the necessary provision for
the public wants can be made and the great advantages of a safe and
uniform currency secured?

I know of none which promises so certain results and is at the same
time so unobjectionable as the organization of banking associations,
under a general act of Congress, well guarded in its provisions. To
such associations the government might furnish circulating notes, on
the security of United States bonds deposited in the treasury.
These notes, prepared under the supervision of proper officers, being
uniform in appearance and security and convertible always into coin,
would at once protect labor against the evils of a vicious currency
and facilitate commerce by cheap and safe exchanges.

A moderate reservation from the interest on the bonds would
compensate the United States for the preparation and distribution of
the notes and a general supervision of the system, and would lighten
the burden of that part of the public debt employed as securities.
The public credit, moreover, would be greatly improved and the
negotiation of new loans greatly facilitated by the steady market
demand for government bonds which the adoption of the proposed system
would create.

It is an additional recommendation of the measure, of considerable
weight, in my judgment, that it would reconcile as far as possible
all existing interests by the opportunity offered to existing
institutions to reorganize under the act, substituting only the
secured uniform national circulation for the local and various
circulation, secured and unsecured, now issued by them.

The receipts into the treasury from all sources, including loans and
balance from the preceding year, for the fiscal year ending on the
30th June, 1862, were $583,885,247.06, of which sum $49,056,397.62
were derived from customs; $1,795,331.73 from the direct tax; from
public lands, $152,203.77; from miscellaneous sources, $931,787.64;
from loans in all forms, $529,692,460.50. The remainder,
$2,257,065.80, was the balance from last year.

The disbursements during the same period were: For congressional,
executive, and judicial purposes, $5,939,009.29; for foreign
intercourse, $1,339,710.35; for miscellaneous expenses, including the
mints, loans, post-office deficiencies, collection of revenue, and
other like charges, $14,129,771.50; for expenses under the Interior
Department, $3,102,985.52; under the War Department, $394,368,407.36;
under the Navy Department, $42,674,569.69; for interest on public
debt, $13,190,324.45; and for payment of public debt, including
reimbursement of temporary loan and redemptions, $96,096,922.09;
making an aggregate of $570,841,700.25, and leaving a balance in the
treasury on the 1st day of July, 1862, of $13,043,546.81.

It should be observed that the sum of $96,096,922.09, expended for
reimbursements and redemption of public debt, being included also in
the loans made, may be properly deducted both from receipts and
expenditures, leaving the actual receipts for the year
$487,788,324.97, and the expenditures $474,744,778.16.

Other information on the subject of the finances will be found in the
report of the Secretary of the Treasury, to whose statements and
views I invite your most candid and considerate attention.

The reports of the Secretaries of War and of the Navy are herewith
transmitted. These reports, though lengthy, are scarcely more than
brief abstracts of the very numerous and extensive transactions and
operations conducted through those departments. Nor could I give a
summary of them here upon any principle which would admit of its
being much shorter than the reports themselves. I therefore content
myself with laying the reports before you and asking your attention
to them.

It gives me pleasure to report a decided improvement in the financial
condition of the Post-Office Department as compared with several
preceding years. The receipts for the fiscal year 1861 amounted to
$8,349,296.40, which embraced the revenue from all the States of the
Union for three quarters of that year. Notwithstanding the cessation
of revenue from the so-called seceded States during the last fiscal
year, the increase of the correspondence of the loyal States has been
sufficient to produce a revenue during the same year of
$8,299,820.90, being only $50,000 less than was derived from all the
States of the Union during the previous year. The expenditures show
a still more favorable result. The amount expended in 1861 was
$13,606,759.11. For the last year the amount has been reduced to
$11,125,364.13, showing a decrease of about $2,481,000 in the
expenditures as compared with the preceding year, and about
$3,750,000 as compared with the fiscal year 1860. The deficiency in
the department for the previous year was $4,551,966.98. For the last
fiscal year it was reduced to $2,112,814.57. These favorable results
are in part owing to the cessation of mail service in the
insurrectionary States and in part to a careful review of all
expenditures in that department in the interest of economy. The
efficiency of the postal service, it is believed, has also been much
improved. The Postmaster-General has also opened a correspondence
through the Department of State with foreign governments proposing a
convention of postal representatives for the purpose of simplifying
the rates of foreign postage and to expedite the foreign mails. This
proposition, equally important to our adopted citizens and to the
commercial interests of this country, has been favorably entertained
and agreed to by all the governments from whom replies have been

I ask the attention of Congress to the suggestions of the
Postmaster-General in his report respecting the further legislation
required, in his opinion, for the benefit of the postal service.

The Secretary of the Interior reports as follows in regard to the
public lands:

"The public lands have ceased to be a source of revenue. From the
1st July, 1861, to the 3oth September, 1862, the entire cash receipts
from the sale of lands were $137,476.2--a sum much less than the
expenses of our land system during the same period. The homestead
law, which will take effect on the 1st of January next, offers such
inducements to settlers that sales for cash cannot be expected to an
extent sufficient to meet the expenses of the General Land Office and
the cost of surveying and bringing the land into market."

The discrepancy between the sum here stated as arising from the sales
of the public lands and the sum derived from the same source as
reported from the Treasury Department arises, as I understand, from
the fact that the periods of time, though apparently were not really
coincident at the beginning point, the Treasury report including a
considerable sum now which had previously been reported from the
Interior, sufficiently large to greatly overreach the sum derived
from the three months now reported upon by the Interior and not by
the Treasury.

The Indian tribes upon our frontiers have during the past year
manifested a spirit of insubordination, and at several points have
engaged in open hostilities against the white settlements in their
vicinity. The tribes occupying the Indian country south of Kansas
renounced their allegiance to the United States and entered into
treaties with the insurgents. Those who remained loyal to the United
States were driven from the country. The chief of the Cherokees has
visited this city for the purpose of restoring the former relations
of the tribe with the United States. He alleges that they were
constrained by superior force to enter into treaties with the
insurgents, and that the United States neglected to furnish the
protection which their treaty stipulations required.

In the month of August last the Sioux Indians in Minnesota attacked
the settlements in their vicinity with extreme ferocity, killing
indiscriminately men, women, and children. This attack was wholly
unexpected, and therefore no means of defense had been provided. It
is estimated that not less than 800 persons were killed by the
Indians, and a large amount of property was destroyed. How this
outbreak was induced is not definitely known, and suspicions, which
may be unjust, need not to be stated. Information was received by
the Indian Bureau from different sources about the time hostilities
were commenced that a simultaneous attack was to be made upon white
settlements by all the tribes between the Mississippi River and the
Rocky Mountains. The State of Minnesota has suffered great injury
from this Indian war. A large portion of her territory has been
depopulated, and a severe loss has been sustained by the destruction
of property. The people of that State manifest much anxiety for the
removal of the tribes beyond the limits of the State as a guaranty
against future hostilities. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs will
furnish full details. I submit for your especial consideration
whether our Indian system shall not be remodeled. Many wise and good
men have impressed me with the belief that this can be profitably

I submit a statement of the proceedings of commissioners, which shows
the progress that has been made in the enterprise of constructing the
Pacific Railroad. And this suggests the earliest completion of this
road, and also the favorable action of Congress upon the projects now
pending before them for enlarging the capacities of the great canals
in New York and Illinois, as being of vital and rapidly increasing
importance to the whole nation, and especially to the vast interior
region hereinafter to be noticed at some greater length. I purpose
having prepared and laid before you at an early day some interesting
and valuable statistical information upon this subject. The military
and commercial importance of enlarging the Illinois and Michigan
Canal and improving the Illinois River is presented in the report of
Colonel Webster to the Secretary of War, and now transmitted to
Congress. I respectfully ask attention to it.

To carry out the provisions of the act of Congress of the 15th of May
last, I have caused the Department of Agriculture of the United
States to be organized.

The Commissioner informs me that within the period of a few months
this department has established an extensive system of correspondence
and exchanges, both at home and abroad, which promises to effect
highly beneficial results in the development of a correct knowledge
of recent improvements in agriculture, in the introduction of new
products, and in the collection of the agricultural statistics of the
different States.

Also, that it will soon be prepared to distribute largely seeds,
cereals, plants, and cuttings, and has already published and
liberally diffused much valuable information in anticipation. of a
more elaborate report, which will in due time be furnished, embracing
some valuable tests in chemical science now in progress in the

The creation of this department was for the more immediate benefit of
a large class of our most valuable citizens, and I trust that the
liberal basis upon which it has been organized will not only meet
your approbation, but that it will realize at no distant day all the
fondest anticipations of its most sanguine friends and become the
fruitful source of advantage to all our people.

On the 22d day of September last a proclamation was issued by the
Executive, a copy of which is herewith submitted.

In accordance with the purpose expressed in the second paragraph of
that paper, I now respectfully recall your attention to what may be
called "compensated emancipation."

A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its
laws. The territory is the only part which is of certain durability.
"One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the
earth abideth forever." It is of the first importance to duly
consider and estimate this ever enduring part. That portion of the
earth's surface which is owned and inhabited by the people of the
United States is well adapted to be the home of one national family,
and it is not well adapted for two or more. Its vast extent and its
variety of climate and productions are of advantage in this age for
one people, whatever they might have been in former ages. Steam,
telegraphs, and intelligence have brought these to be an advantageous
combination for one united people.

In the inaugural address I briefly pointed out the total inadequacy
of disunion as a remedy for the differences between the people of the
two sections. I did so in language which I cannot improve, and
which, therefore, I beg to repeat:

"One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be
extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be
extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave
clause of the Constitution and the laws for the suppression of the
foreign slave trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law
can ever be in a community where the moral Sense of the people
imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people
abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over
in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly cured, and it would be
worse in both cases after the separation of the sections than before.
The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be
ultimately revived without restriction in one section, while fugitive
slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at
all by the other.

"Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our
respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall
between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the
presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts
of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face,
and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between
them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more
advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can
aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties
be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among
friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when,
after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease
fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse,
are again upon you."

There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a national
boundary upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west,
upon the line between the free and slave country, and we shall find a
little more than one third of its length are rivers, easy to be
crossed, and populated, or soon to be populated, thickly upon both
sides; while nearly all its remaining length are merely surveyors'
lines, over which people may walk back and forth without any
consciousness of their presence. No part of this line can be made
any more difficult to pass by writing it down on paper or parchment
as a national boundary. The fact of separation, if it comes, gives
up on the part of the seceding section the fugitive-slave clause
along with all other constitutional obligations upon the section
seceded from, while I should expect no treaty stipulation would ever
be made to take its place.

But there is another difficulty. The great interior region bounded
east by the Alleghenies, north by the British dominions, west by the
Rocky Mountains, and south by the line along which the culture of
corn and cotton meets, and which includes part of Virginia, part of
Tennessee, all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin,
Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and the Territories of
Dakota, Nebraska, and part of Colorado, already has above 10,000,000
people, and will have 50,000,000 within fifty years if not prevented
by any political folly or mistake. It contains more than one third
of the country owned by the United States--certainly more than
1,000,000 square miles. Once half as populous as Massachusetts
already is, it would have more than 75,000,000 people. A glance at
the map shows that, territorially speaking, it is the great body of
the Republic. The other parts are but marginal borders to it, the
magnificent region sloping west from the Rocky Mountains to the
Pacific being the deepest and also the richest in undeveloped
resources. In the production of provisions, grains, grasses, and all
which proceed from them this great interior region is naturally one
of the most important in the world. Ascertain from statistics the
small proportion of the region which has yet been brought into
cultivation, and also the large and rapidly increasing amount of
products, and we shall be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the
prospect presented. And yet this region has no seacoast--touches no
ocean anywhere. As part of one nation, its people now find, and may
forever find, their way to Europe by New York, to South America and
Africa by New Orleans, and to Asia by San Francisco; but separate our
common country into two nations, as designed by the present
rebellion, and every man of this great interior region is thereby cut
off from some one or more of these outlets, not perhaps by a physical
barrier, but by embarrassing and onerous trade regulations.

And this is true, wherever a dividing or boundary line may be fixed.
Place it between the now free and slave country, or place it south of
Kentucky or north of Ohio, and still the truth remains that none
south of it can trade to any port or place north of it, and none
north of it can trade to any port or place south of it, except upon
terms dictated by a government foreign to them. These outlets, east,
west, and south, are indispensable to the well-being of the people
inhabiting and to inhabit this vast interior region. Which of the
three may be the best is no proper question. All are better than
either, and all of right belong to that people and to their
successors forever. True to themselves, they will not ask where a
line of separation shall be, but will vow rather that there shall be
no such line.

Nor are the marginal regions less interested in these communications
to and through them to the great outside world. They, too, and each
of them, must have access to this Egypt of the West without paying
toll at the crossing of any national boundary.

Our national strife springs not from our permanent part; not from the
land we inhabit; not from our national homestead. There is no
possible severing of this but would multiply and not mitigate evils
among us. In all its adaptations and aptitudes it demands union and
abhors separation. In fact, it would ere long force reunion, however
much of blood and treasure the separation might have cost.

Our strife pertains to ourselves--to the passing generations of men--
and it can without convulsion be hushed forever with the passing of
one generation.

In this view I recommend the adoption of the following resolution and
articles amendatory to the Constitution of the United States:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America, in Congress assembled, (two thirds of both Houses
concurring), That the following articles be proposed to the
Legislatures (or conventions) of the several States as amendments to
the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles,
when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures (or
conventions), to be valid as part or parts of the said Constitution,

ART.--Every State wherein slavery now exists which shall abolish the
same therein at any time or times before the 1st day of January, A.D.
1900, shall receive compensation from the United States as follows,
to wit:

The President of the United States shall deliver to every such State
bonds of the United States bearing interest at the rate of ___ per
cent. per annum to an amount equal to the aggregate sum of ______
for each slave shown to have been therein by the Eighth Census of the
United States, said bonds to be delivered to such State by
instalments or in one parcel at the completion of the abolishment,
accordingly as the same shall have been gradual or at one time within
such State; and interest shall begin to run upon any such bond only
from the proper time of its delivery as aforesaid. Any State having
received bonds as aforesaid and afterwards reintroducing or
tolerating slavery therein shall refund to the United States the
bonds so received, or the value thereof, and all interest paid

ART.--All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual freedom by the chances
of the war at any time before the end of the rebellion shall be
forever free; but all owners of such who shall not have been disloyal
shall be compensated for them at the same rates as is provided for
States adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such way that no slave
shall be twice accounted for.

ART.--Congress may appropriate money and otherwise provide for
colonizing free colored persons with their own consent at any place
or places without the United States.

I beg indulgence to discuss these proposed articles at some length.
Without slavery the rebellion could never have existed; without
slavery it could not continue.

Among the friends of the Union there is great diversity of sentiment
and of policy in regard to slavery and the African race amongst us.
Some would perpetuate slavery; some would abolish it suddenly and
without compensation; some would abolish it gradually and with
compensation; some would remove the freed people from us, and some
would retain them with us; and there are yet other minor diversities.
Because of these diversities we waste much strength in struggles
among ourselves. By mutual concession we should harmonize and act
together. This would be compromise, but it would be compromise among
the friends and not with the enemies of the Union. These articles
are intended to embody a plan of such mutual concessions. If the
plan shall be adopted, it is assumed that emancipation will follow,
at least in several of the States.

As to the first article, the main points are, first, the
emancipation; secondly, the length of time for consummating it
(thirty-seven years); and, thirdly, the compensation.

The emancipation will be unsatisfactory to the advocates of perpetual
slavery, but the length of time should greatly mitigate their
dissatisfaction. The time spares both races from the evils of sudden
derangement--in fact, from the necessity of any derangement--while
most of those whose habitual course of thought will be disturbed by
the measure will have passed away before its consummation. They will
never see it. Another class will hail the prospect of emancipation,
but will deprecate the length of time. They will feel that it gives
too little to the now living slaves. But it really gives them much.
It saves them from the vagrant destitution which must largely attend
immediate emancipation in localities where their numbers are very
great, and it gives the inspiring assurance that their posterity
shall be free forever. The plan leaves to each State choosing to act
under it to abolish slavery now or at the end of the century, or at
any intermediate tune, or by degrees extending over the whole or any
part of the period, and it obliges no two States to proceed alike.
It also provides for compensation, and generally the mode of making
it. This, it would seem, must further mitigate the dissatisfaction
of those who favor perpetual slavery, and especially of those who are
to receive the compensation. Doubtless some of those who are to pay
and not to receive will object. Yet the measure is both just and
economical. In a certain sense the liberation of slaves is the
destruction of property--property acquired by descent or by purchase,
the same as any other property. It is no less true for having been
often said that the people of the South are not more responsible for
the original introduction of this property than are the people of the
North; and when it is remembered how unhesitatingly we all use cotton
and sugar and share the profits of dealing in them, it may not be
quite safe to say that the South has been more responsible than the
North for its continuance. If, then, for a common object this
property is to be sacrificed, is it not just that it be done at a
common charge?

And if with less money, or money more easily paid, we can preserve
the benefits of the Union by this means than we can by the war alone,
is it not also economical to do it? Let us consider it, then. Let
us ascertain the sum we have expended in the war Since compensated
emancipation was proposed last March, and consider whether if that
measure had been promptly accepted by even some of the slave States
the same sum would not have done more to close the war than has been
otherwise done. If so, the measure would save money, and in that
view would be a prudent and economical measure. Certainly it is not
so easy to pay something as it is to pay nothing, but it is easier to
pay a large sum than it is to pay a larger one. And it is easier to
pay any sum when we are able than it is to pay it before we are able.
The war requires large sums, and requires them at once. The
aggregate sum necessary for compensated emancipation of course would
be large. But it would require no ready cash, nor the bonds even any
faster than the emancipation progresses. This might not, and
probably would not, close before the end of the thirty-seven years.
At that time we shall probably have a hundred millions of people to
share the burden, instead of thirty-one millions as now. And not
only so, but the increase of our population may be expected to
continue for a long time after that period as rapidly as before,
because our territory will not have become full. I do not state this
inconsiderately. At the same ratio of increase which we have
maintained, on an average, from our first national census, in 1790,
until that of 1860, we should in 1900 have a population of
103,208,415. And why may we not continue that ratio far beyond that
period? Our abundant room, our broad national homestead, is our
ample resource. Were our territory as limited as are the British
Isles, very certainly our population could not expand as stated.
Instead of receiving the foreign born as now, we should be compelled
to send part of the native born away. But such is not our condition.
We have 2,963,000 square miles. Europe has 3,800,000, with a
population averaging 73 persons to the square mile. Why may not our
country at some time average as many? Is it less fertile? Has it
more waste surface by mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, or other
causes? Is it inferior to Europe in any natural advantage? If,
then, we are at some time to be as populous as Europe, how soon? As
to when this may be, we can judge by the past and the present; as to
when it will be, if ever, depends much on whether we maintain the

[a page of tables of projected statistics]

These figures show that our country may be as populous as Europe now
is at some point between 1920 and 1930, say about 1925--our
territory, at 73 persons to the square mile, being of capacity to
contain 217,186,000.

And we will reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish the
chance by the folly and evils of disunion or by long and exhausting
war springing from the only great element of national discord among
us. While it cannot be foreseen exactly how much one huge example of
secession, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would retard
population, civilization, and prosperity, no one can doubt that the
extent of it would be very great and injurious.

The proposed emancipation would shorten the war, perpetuate peace,
insure this increase of population, and proportionately the wealth of
the country. With these we should pay all the emancipation would
cost, together with our other debt, easier than we should pay our
other debt without it. If we had allowed our old national debt to
run at six per cent. per annum, simple interest, from the end of our
revolutionary struggle until to-day, without paying anything on
either principal or interest, each man of us would owe less upon that
debt now than each man owed upon it then; and this because our
increase of men through the whole period has been greater than six
per cent.--has run faster than the interest upon the debt. Thus time
alone relieves a debtor nation, so long as its population increases
faster than unpaid interest accumulates on its debt.

This fact would be no excuse for delaying payment of what is justly
due, but it shows the great importance of time in this connection--
the great advantage of a policy by which we shall not have to pay
until we number 100,000,000 what by a different policy we would have
to pay now, when we number but 31,000,000. In a word, it shows that
a dollar will be much harder to pay for the war than will be a dollar
for emancipation on the proposed plan. And then the latter will
cost no blood, no precious life. It will be a saving of both.

As to the second article, I think it would be impracticable to return
to bondage the class of persons therein contemplated. Some of them,
doubtless, in the property sense belong to loyal owners, and hence
Provision is made in this article for compensating such.

The third article relates to the future of the freed people. It does
not oblige, but merely authorizes Congress to aid in colonizing such
as may consent. This ought nut to be regarded as objectionable on
the one hand or on the other, insomuch as it comes to nothing unless
by the mutual consent of the people to be deported and the American
voters through their representatives in Congress.

I cannot make it better known than it already is that I strongly
favor colonization; and yet I wish to say there is an objection urged
against free colored persons remaining in the country which is
largely imaginary, if not sometimes malicious.

It is insisted that their presence would injure and displace white
labor and white laborers. If there ever could be a proper time for
mere catch arguments that time surely is not now. In times like the
present men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly
be responsible through time and in eternity. Is it true, then, that
colored people can displace any more white labor by being free than
by remaining slaves? If they stay in their old places, they jostle
no white laborers; if they leave their old places, they leave them
open to white laborers. Logically, there is neither more nor less of
it. Emancipation, even without deportation, would probably enhance
the wages of white labor, and very surely would not reduce them.
Thus the customary amount of labor would still have to be performed.
The freed people would surely not do more than their old proportion
of it, and very probably for a time would do less, leaving an
increased part to white laborers, bringing their labor into greater
demand, and consequently enhancing the wages of it. With
deportation, even to a limited extent, enhanced wages to white labor
is mathematically certain. Labor is like any other commodity in the
market-increase the demand for it and you increase the price of it.
Reduce the supply of black labor by colonizing the black laborer out
of the country, and by precisely so much you increase the demand for
and wages of white labor.

But it is dreaded that the freed people will swarm forth and cover
the whole land. Are they not already in the land? Will liberation
make them any more numerous? Equally distributed among the whites of
the whole country, and there would be but one colored to seven
whites. Could the one in any way greatly disturb the seven? There
are many communities now having more than one free colored person to
seven whites, and this without any apparent consciousness of evil
from it. The District of Columbia and the States of Maryland and
Delaware are all in this condition. The District has more than one
free colored to six whites, and yet in its frequent petitions to
Congress I believe it has never presented the presence of free
colored persons as one of its grievances. But why should
emancipation South send the free people North? People of any color
seldom run unless there be something to run from. Heretofore colored
people to some extent have fled North from bondage, and now, perhaps,
from both bondage and destitution. But if gradual emancipation and
deportation be adopted, they will have neither to flee from. Their
old masters will give them wages at least until new laborers can be
procured, and the freedmen in turn will gladly give their labor for
the wages till new homes can be found for them in congenial climes
and with people of their own blood and race. This proposition can be
trusted on the mutual interests involved. And in any event, cannot
the North decide for itself whether to receive them?

Again, as practice proves more than theory in any case, has there
been any irruption of colored people northward because of the
abolishment of slavery in this District last spring?

What I have said of the proportion of free colored persons to the
whites in the District is from the census of 1860, having no
reference to persons called contrabands nor to those made free by the
act of Congress abolishing slavery here.

The plan consisting of these articles is recommended, not but that a
restoration of the national authority would be accepted without its

Nor will the war nor proceedings under the proclamation of September
22, 1862, be stayed because of the recommendation of this plan. Its
timely adoption, I doubt not, would bring restoration, and thereby
stay both.

And notwithstanding this plan, the recommendation that Congress
provide by law for compensating any State which may adopt
emancipation before this plan shall have been acted upon is hereby
earnestly renewed. Such would be only an advance part of the plan,
and the same arguments apply to both.

This plan is recommended as a means, not in exclusion of, but
additional to, all others for restoring and preserving the national
authority throughout the Union. The subject is presented exclusively
in its economical aspect. The plan would, I am confident, secure
peace more speedily and maintain it more permanently than can be done
by force alone, while all it would cost, considering amounts and
manner of payment and times of payment, would be easier paid than
will be the additional cost of the war if we rely solely upon force.
It is much, very much, that it would cost no blood at all.

The plan is proposed as permanent constitutional law. It cannot
become such without the concurrence of, first, two thirds of
Congress, and afterwards three fourths of the States. The requisite
three fourths of the States will necessarily include seven of the
slave States. Their concurrence, if obtained, will give assurance of
their severally adopting emancipation at no very distant day upon the
new constitutional terms. This assurance would end the struggle now
and save the Union forever.

I do not forget the gravity which should characterize a paper
addressed to the Congress of the nation by the chief magistrate of
the nation, nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors, nor that
many of you have more experience than I in the conduct of public
affairs. Yet I trust that in view of the great responsibility
resting upon me you will perceive no want of respect to yourselves in
any undue earnestness I may seem to display.

Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would
shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of
blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority
and national prosperity and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is it
doubted that we here--Congress and executive--can secure its
adoption? Will not the good people respond to a united and earnest
appeal from us? Can we, can they, by any other means so certainly or
so speedily assure these vital objects? We can succeed only by
concert. It is not "Can any of us imagine better?" but "Can we all
do better?" Object whatsoever is possible, still the question recurs,
"Can we do better?" The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to
the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and
we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think
anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall
save our country.

Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and
this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No
personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of
us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in
honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the
Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to
save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We, even
we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving
freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free--honorable alike
in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly
lose the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this
could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just--a way
which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever



WASHINGTON, December 3, 1862.


On the 3d of November, 1861, a collision took place off the coast of
Cuba between the United States war steamer San Jacinto and the French
brig Jules et Marie, resulting in serious damage to the latter. The
obligation of this Government to make amends therefor could not be
questioned if the injury resulted from any fault On the part of the
San Jacinto. With a view to ascertain this, the subject was referred
to a commission of the United States and French naval officers at New
York, with a naval officer of Italy as an arbiter. The conclusion
arrived at was that the collision was occasioned by the failure of
the San Jacinto seasonably to reverse her engine. It then became
necessary to ascertain the amount of indemnification due to the
injured party. The United States consul-general at Havana was
consequently instructed to confer with the consul of France on this
point, and they have determined that the sum of $9,500 is an
equitable allowance under the circumstances.

I recommend an appropriation of this sum for the benefit of the
owners of the Jules et Marie.

A copy of the letter of Mr. Shufeldt, the consul-general of the
United States at Havana, to the Secretary of State on the subject is
herewith transmitted.



December 7, 1862.

Hon. H. J. RAYMOND, Times Office, New York:

Yours of November 25 reached me only yesterday. Thank you for it. I
shall consider and remember your suggestions.




HON. B. GRATZ BROWN, Saint Louis, Missouri:

Yours of the 3d received yesterday. Have already done what I can in
the premises.



December 8, 1862.

Jesse H. Strickland is here asking authority to raise a regiment of
Tennesseeans. Would you advise that the authority be given him?



WASHINGTON, D. C., December 8, 1862.


In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most cordially
recommend, that Commander John L. Worden, United States Navy, receive
a vote of thanks of Congress for the eminent skill and gallantry
exhibited by him in the late remarkable battle between the United
States ironclad steamer Monitor, under his command, and the rebel
ironclad steamer Merrimac, in March last.

The thanks of Congress for his services on the occasion referred to
were tendered by a resolution approved July 11, 1862, but the
recommendation is now specially made in order to comply with the
requirements of the ninth section of the act of July 16, 1862, which
is in the following words, viz.:

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




December 10, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS, St. Louis, Missouri:

Please suspend, until further order, all proceeding on the order made
by General Schofield, on the twenty-eighth day of August last, for
assessing and collecting from secessionists and Southern sympathizers
the sum of five hundred thousand dollars, etc., and in the meantime
make out and send me a statement of facts pertinent to the question,
together with your opinion upon it.




December 10, 1862.

Hon. J. K. DuBois.

MY DEAR SIR:--In the summer of 1859, when Mr. Freeman visited
Springfield, Illinois, in relation to the McCallister and Stebbins
bonds I promised him that, upon certain conditions, I would ask
members of the Legislature to give him a full and fair hearing of his
case. I do not now remember, nor have I time to recall, exactly what
the conditions were, nor whether they were completely performed; but
there can be in no case any harm [in] his having a full and fair
hearing, and I sincerely wish it may be given him.

Yours truly,



December 11, 1862.


In compliance with your resolution of December 5, 1862, requesting
the President "to furnish the Senate with all information in his
possession touching the late Indian barbarities in the State of
Minnesota, and also the evidence in his possession upon which some of
the principal actors and head men were tried and condemned to death,"
I have the honor to state that on receipt of said resolution, I
transmitted the same to the Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by
a note, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, marked A, and in
response to which I received, through that department, a letter of
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, a copy of which is herewith
inclosed, marked B.

I further state that on the eighth day of November last I received a
long telegraphic despatch from Major-General Pope, at St. Paul,
Minnesota, simply announcing the names of the persons sentenced to be
hanged. I immediately telegraphed to have transcripts of the records
in all cases forwarded to me, which transcripts, however, did not
reach me until two or three days before the present meeting of
Congress. Meantime I received, through telegraphic despatches and
otherwise, appeals in behalf of the condemned, appeals for their
execution, and expressions of opinion as to the proper policy in
regard to them and to the Indians generally in that vicinity, none of
which, as I understand, falls within the scope of your inquiry.
After the arrival of the transcripts of records, but before I had
sufficient opportunity to examine them, I received a joint letter
from one of the senators and two of the representatives from
Minnesota, which contains some statements of fact not found in the
records of the trials, and for which reason I herewith transmit a
copy, marked C. I also, for the same reason, inclose a printed
memorial of the citizens of St. Paul, addressed to me, and forwarded
with the letter aforesaid.

Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another
outbreak on the one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real
cruelty on the other, I caused a careful examination of the records
of trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such
as had been proved guilty of violating females. Contrary to my
expectation, only two of this class were found. I then directed a
further examination and a classification of all who were proven to
have participated in massacres, as distinguished from participation
in battles. This class numbered forty, and included the two
convicted of female violation. One of the number is strongly
recommended, by the commission which tried them, for commutation to
ten years imprisonment I have ordered the other thirty-nine to be
executed on Friday the 19th instant. The order was despatched from
here on Monday, the 8th instant, by a messenger to General Sibley,
and a copy of which order is herewith transmitted, marked D.

An abstract of the evidence as to the forty is herewith inclosed,
marked E.

To avoid the immense amount of copying, I lay before the Senate the
original transcripts of the records of trials, as received by me.

This is as full and complete a response to the resolution as it is in
my power to make.



December 12, 1862.


I have in my possession three valuable swords, formerly the property
of General David E. Twiggs, which I now place at the disposal of
Congress. They are forwarded to me from New Orleans by Major-General
Benjamin F. Butler. If they or any of them shall be by Congress
disposed of in reward or compliment of military service, I think
General Butler is entitled to the first consideration. A copy of the
General's letter to me accompanying the swords is herewith



DECEMBER 12, 1862.


MY DEAR SIR:--Your letter of the 8th, with the accompanying note of
same date, was received yesterday. The most important paragraph in
the letter, as I consider, is in these words:
"On the 25th of November last I was advised by an authority which I
deemed likely to be well informed, as well as reliable and truthful,
that the Southern States would send representatives to the next
Congress, provided that a full and general amnesty should permit them
to do so. No guarantee or terms were asked for other than the
amnesty referred to."

I strongly suspect your information will prove to be groundless;
nevertheless, I thank you for communicating it to me. Understanding
the phrase in the paragraph just quoted--"the Southern States would
send representatives to the next Congress"--to be substantially the
same as that "the people of the Southern States would cease
resistance, and would reinaugurate, submit to, and maintain the
national authority within the limits of such States, under the
Constitution of the United States," I say that in such case the war
would cease on the part of the United States; and that if within a
reasonable time "a full and general amnesty" were necessary to such
end, it would not be withheld.

I do not think it would be proper now to communicate this, formally
or informally, to the people of the Southern States. My belief is
that they already know it; and when they choose, if ever, they can
communicate with me unequivocally. Nor do I think it proper now to
suspend military operations to try any experiment of negotiation

I should nevertheless receive with great pleasure the exact
information you now have, and also such other as you may in any way
obtain. Such information might be more valuable before the 1st of
January than afterwards.

While there is nothing in this letter which I shall dread to see in
history, it is, perhaps, better for the present that its existence
should not become public. I therefore have to request that you will
regard it as confidential.

Your obedient servant,



MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS, St. Louis, Missouri:

If my friend Dr. William Fithian, of Danville, Ill., should call on
YOU, please give him such facilities as you consistently can about
recovering the remains of a step-son, and matters connected




BRIG. GEN. H. H. SIBLEY, Saint Paul, Minn.:

As you suggest, let the executions fixed for Friday the 19th instant
be postponed to, and be done on, Friday the 26th instant.

Operator please send this very carefully and accurately. A. L.



MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS, Saint Louis, Missouri:

N. W. Watkins, of Jackson, Mo., (who is half brother to Henry Clay),
writes me that a colonel of ours has driven him from his home at
Jackson. Will you please look into the case and restore the old man
to his home if the public interest will admit?



December 16, 1862.


Your despatch about General Stahel is received. Please ascertain from
General Sigel and his old corps whether Stahel or Schurz is
preferable and telegraph the result, and I will act immediately.
After all I shall be governed by your preference.



December 17, 1862.


Could the civil authority be reintroduced into Missouri in lieu of
the military to any extent, with advantage and safety?



December 17, 1862.


George Patten says he was a classmate of yours and was in the same
regiment of artillery. Have you a place you would like to put him
in? And if so what is it?



December 18, 1862.


It is represented to me that the enrolled militia alone would now
maintain law and order in all the counties of your State north of the
Missouri River. If so all other forces there might be removed south
of the river, or out of the State. Please post yourself and give me
your opinion upon the subject.




December 19, 1862.


Hon. W. A. Hall, member of Congress here, tells me, and Governor
Gamble telegraphs me; that quiet can be maintained in all the
counties north of the Missouri River by the enrolled militia. Confer
with Governor Gamble and telegraph me.



WASHINGTON, December 19, 1862.


Come, of course, if in your own judgment it is safe to do so.



December 20, 1862.


GENTLEMEN:--You have respectively tendered me your resignations as
Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury of the United
States. I am apprised of the circumstances which may render this
course personally desirable to each of you; but after most anxious
consideration my deliberate judgment is that the public interest does
not admit of it. I therefore have to request that you will resume
the duties of your departments respectively.

Your obedient servant,



WASHINGTON, D. C., December 20, 1862.


Neither the Secretary of War nor I know anything except what you tell
us about the "published official document" you mention.





DEAR SIR:-Your letter of the 8th to Hon. William Kellogg has just
been shown me. You can scarcely overestimate the pleasure it would
give me to oblige you, but nothing is operating so ruinously upon us
everywhere as "absenteeism." It positively will not do for me to
grant leaves of absence in cases not sufficient to procure them under
the regular rules.

It would astonish you to know the extent of the evil of
"absenteeism." We scarcely have more than half the men we are paying
on the spot for service anywhere.

Yours very truly,



December 22, 1862.


I have just read your general's report of the battle of
Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful, the attempt was
not an error, nor the failure other than accident. The courage with
which you, in an open field, maintained the contest against an
intrenched foe, and the consummate skill and success with which you
crossed and recrossed the river in the face of the enemy, show that
you possess all the qualities of a great army, which will yet give
victory to the cause of the country and of popular government

Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympathizing with the
severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is
comparatively so small.

I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation.




December, 23, 1862.

DEAR FANNY:--It is with deep regret that I learn of the death of your
kind and brave father, and especially that it is affecting your young
heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours
sorrow comes to all, and to the young it comes with bittered agony
because it takes them unawares.

The older have learned ever to expect it. I am anxious to afford
some alleviation of your present distress, perfect relief is not
possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will
ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are
sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will
make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to
know what I say, and you need only to believe it to feel better at
once. The memory of your dear father, instead of an agony, will yet
be a sad, sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort
than you have known before.

Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother.

Your sincere friend,



December 26, 1862


Sir:--Two Ohio regiments and one Illinois regiment which were
captured at Hartsville have been paroled and are now at Columbus,
Ohio. This brings the Ohio regiments substantially to their homes.
I am strongly impressed with the belief that the Illinois regiment
better be sent to Illinois, where it will be recruited and put in
good condition by the time they are exchanged so as to re-enter the
service. They did not misbehave, as I am satisfied, so that they
should receive no treatment nor have anything withheld from them by
way of punishment.

Yours truly,





Let the order in regard to Dr. McPheeters and family be suspended
until you hear from me.



WAR DEPARTMENT, December 27, 1862.


I do not wish to leave the country north of the Missouri to the care
of the enrolled militia except upon the concurrent judgment of
yourself and General Curtis. His I have not yet obtained. Confer
with him, and I shall be glad to act when you and he agree.



December 30, 1862. 3.30 PM.


I have good reason for saying you must not make a general movement of
the army without letting me know.



December 31, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL Dix, Fort Monroe, Va.:

I hear not a word about the Congressional election of which you and I
corresponded. Time clearly up.




The proclamation cannot be telegraphed to you until during the day


[Same to Horace Greeley]



JANUARY 1, 1863.


A Proclamation.

Whereas on the 22d day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was
issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other
things, the following, to wit:

"That on the 1st day of January, A.D., 1863, all persons held as
slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people
whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be
then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government
of the United States, including the military and naval authority
thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and
will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in
any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion
against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people
thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the
Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections
wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have
participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing
testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the
people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion
against the authority and government of the United States, and as a
fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on
this 1st day of January, A. D. 1863, and in accordance with my
purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one
hundred days from the first day above mentioned, order and designate
as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof,
respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States the
following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James,
Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St.
Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi,
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and
Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West
Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton,
Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the
cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for
the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order
and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and
that the Executive Government of the United States, including the
military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain
from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend
to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for
reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable
condition will be received into the armed service of the United
States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and
to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty

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 first day of January, A.D. 1863,
and of the independence of the United States of America the


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


January 1, 1863


DEAR SIR:--General Burnside wishes to cross the Rappahannock with his
army, but his grand division commanders all oppose the movement. If
in such a difficulty as this you do not help, you fail me precisely
in the point for which I sought your assistance You know what General
Burnside's plan is, and it is my wish that you go with him to the
ground, examine it as far as practicable, confer with the officers,
getting their judgment, and ascertaining their temper--in a word,
gather all the elements for forming a judgment of your own, and then
tell General Burnside that you do approve or that you do not approve
his plan. Your military skill is useless to me if you will not do

Yours very truly,



January 1, 1863
Withdrawn, because considered harsh by General Halleck.


WASHINGTON, January 2, 1863


I submit to Congress the expediency of extending to other departments
of the government the authority conferred on the President by the
eighth section of the act of the 8th of May, 1792, to appoint a
person to temporarily discharge the duties of Secretary of State,
Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of War, in case of the
death, absence from the seat of government, or sickness of either of
those officers.



JANUARY 2, 1863


MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of December 29 by the hand of Mr. Strong is just
received. The day I telegraphed you suspending the order in relation
to Dr. McPheeters, he, with Mr. Bates, the Attorney-General, appeared
before me and left with me a copy of the order mentioned. The doctor
also showed me the Copy of an oath which he said he had taken, which
is indeed very strong and specific. He also verbally assured me that
he had constantly prayed in church for the President and government,
as he had always done before the present war. In looking over the
recitals in your order, I do not see that this matter of the prayer,
as he states it, is negatived, nor that any violation of his oath is
charged nor, in fact, that anything specific is alleged against him.
The charges are all general: that he has a rebel wife and rebel
relations, that he sympathies with rebels, and that he exercises
rebel influence. Now, after talking with him, I tell you frankly I
believe he does sympathize with the rebels, but the question remains
whether such a man, of unquestioned good moral character, who has
taken such an oath as he has, and cannot even be charged with
violating it, and who can be charged with no other specific act or
omission, can, with safety to the government, be exiled upon the
suspicion of his secret sympathies. But I agree that this must be
left to you, who are on the spot; and if, after all, you think the
public good requires his removal, my suspension of the order is
withdrawn, only with this qualification, that the time during the
suspension is not to be counted against him. I have promised him
this. But I must add that the United States Government must not, as
by this order, undertake to run the churches. When an individual in
a church or out of it becomes dangerous to the public interest, he
must be checked; but let the churches, as such, take care of
themselves. It will not do for the United States to appoint
trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the churches.

Yours very truly,


P. S.--The committee composed of Messrs. Yeatman and Filley (Mr.
Broadhead not attending) has presented your letter and the memorial
of sundry citizens. On the whole subject embraced exercise your best
judgment, with a sole view to the public interest, and I will not
interfere without hearing you.
A. LINCOLN., January 3, 1863.


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