Document: Abraham Lincoln to Mary Mann, April 5, 1864 [Draft]1
1 For the petition in question, see Concord, Massachusetts Children to Abraham Lincoln [April, 1864], and for Mrs. Mann’s reply to Lincoln, see Mary Mann to Lincoln, April 20, 1864. Mary Mann was the widow of Horace Mann, one of the country’s leading advocates of education reform in the 19th Century.
Washington, April 5, 1864.
The petition of persons under eighteen, praying that I would free all slave children, and the heading of which petition it appears you wrote, was handed me a few days since by Senator Sumner. Please tell these little people I am very glad their young hearts are so full of just and generous sympathy, and that, while I have not the power to grant all they ask, I trust they will remember that God has, and that, as it seems, He wills to do it.
Document: Abraham Lincoln to Nathaniel P. Banks, April 5, 1864 [Draft]1
1 In writing to General Banks, Lincoln responds to Charles P. Stone to Lincoln, February 15, 1864 (q. v.). Stone had been imprisoned for six months without charges in 1862, on suspicion of being pro-slavery and disloyal. He had also been considered responsible for the Union defeat at Ball’s Bluff. Once released from prison, he became chief of staff for General Banks. Stone resigned from the army in September of 1864, disgusted with the mistrust that continued to beset him. It appears that this letter from Lincoln about Stone was neither completed nor sent.
Document: Zachariah Chandler to John G. Nicolay, April 5, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Chandler’s letter encloses D.B. Crane to Chandler, March 29, 1864, which roundly condemns the Democratic editorial policy of the Chicago Times.
April 5th 1864
My Dear Sir.
I Enclose a letter addressed to me by an Old Farmer, One of my Constituents, which I would like to have the President see, and will thank you to call his attention to it.
I beleive the Writer of the letter gives a truthful description of the State of public opinion and sentiment, Existing among the people, which it is well for us to understand.
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Hon. Z. Chandler.
Document: Concord, Massachusetts Children to Abraham Lincoln, [April, 1864][With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 For Lincoln’s response to this petition, see Lincoln to Mary Mann, April 5, 1864, and for Mrs. Mann’s reply to Lincoln, see Mary Mann to Lincoln, April 20, 1864. Mary Mann was the widow of Horace Mann, one of the country’s leading advocates of educational reform in the 19th Century.
(This heading was written by Mrs Horace Mann, widow of Hon Horace Mann
Petition of the children of the United States; (under 18 years) that the President will free all slave children.
These children understand the social relations, father, mother, brother and sister; and the thought of separation is distressing, and when they are instructed to know that little slave children are constantly liable to be sold away -- fathers and mothers also, their sensibilities are wrought up to the highest indignation.
CHILDRENS PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT
asking him to free all the little slave children in this country.
Names of girls -- under 18 Names of boys under 18. Names of girls under 18 years
Permit them to approach, He cries. Nor scorn their humble Names.
This Petition is designed only for the President. -- a sort of private letter from the children of Concord, Massachusetts.
They have been delighted with the idea of speaking to our good President, & of giving one cent -- or more, for the benifit of the poor little slaves--
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Little People’s Petition
Document: Dennis F. Hanks to Abraham Lincoln, April 5, 18641
1 ID: Dennis F. Hanks was Lincoln’s cousin and boyhood companion. Hanks moved in with the Lincolns following the death of Lincoln’s mother and was married to Lincoln’s stepsister in 1821. Hanks came to Illinois with the Lincoln family and settled in Coles County. After Lincoln’s election to the presidency, Hanks and John J. Hall helped care for Lincoln’s stepmother. Following Lincoln’s assassination, Hanks cooperated with William H. Herndon’s effort to collect reminiscences regarding Lincoln’s early life. Herndon’s interviews and letters from Hanks are collected in Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds. Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998).
The meeting at Shelbyville on the 2nd April, went off well. Indications on the part of the people were much better than I anticipated in regard to the emancipation of Slavery-- As Soon as practicable there must be a convention, which I believe will settle the Slavery question definitely and finely-- I hope that Congress will soon propose an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to the different States upon this subject -- the Sooner it is done, the better-- Our Marshall will make some arrests this week for treason-- If we have one or two convictions in this state, it will exert a powerful influence upon rebels and hasten restoration more than anything which can be done-- With great respect
Andrew Johnson d3214600
Document: Robert B. Riell to Abraham Lincoln, April 5, 1864
Washington City D. C.
April 5” 1864
You may recollect that I approached you on the 3d of September 1863 with a communication, praying your Excellency to interpose your authority to give me promotion in the Navy of the U. S. to which I belong, and to which I was entitled by the recognised principles of the service & the claims of justice, but which had been denied me under circumstances over which I had no control, and which were subsequently proved to be as unfounded, as they were unjust. You were so kind as to endorse on my papers “Submitted to the Secretary of the Navy, with request that Lieut. Reill be heard
Septr. 3d 1863.
This was followed by no result favorable to my application.
Unfortunately for me, by the vicissitudes that sometimes attend the life of an Officer, without just provocation or cause, I was brought before a Board of officers, assembled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York, some seven months since to be examined as to my “moral mental, Physical and professional qualifications”. After the severest scrutiny throughout the protracted session of the Board, it brought its deliberations to a close in my case on the 31st Ultimo pronouncing me qualified on all the points, by a unamimous decision-- Thus giving me the most conclusive endorsement by as high a tribunal as is known to the Service to test the qualifications of an officer.
By the untoward events that I have had at different times to encounter upon these points, all of which have been overruled by two boards of officers, giving me a thorough & unqualified acquittal, the promotion to which I am entitled by the rules of the service, and by every principle of justice, has been overlooked. I have thus been the victim of unfounded charges, and unjust prejudices, as thoroughly to my injury and moritification, as though I had been a culprit and unworty of the honored service to which I belong, and to which Twenty eight years of my life have been devoted.
I am now, Sir, with the verdict of two Boards of Officers in my favor without relief as to my rights-- Qui bono?
In behalf of those rights, and what is due to the clear demands of justice, I appeal to you, as the Constitutional conservator of these sacred principles bearing upon the service, to give me relief in the premises.
Your most Obt. Servt.
Robert B Riell,
U. S. Navy.
Document: Adjutant General’s Office, General Orders, April 5, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 It has not been determined whether this is the document sent to Governor Hicks or a duplicate. If Lincoln’s endorsement is the original, and not a copy, Governor Hicks did not answer “below this” on the envelope containing this document, as Lincoln suggests here that he do. If this is the original, one must therefore infer that William L. Shurburne was not pardoned by the president.
GENERAL ORDERS WAR DEPARTMENT
No. 147.} ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE
Washington, April 5, 1864
1..Before a Military Commission, which convened at Washington, D.C., February 4, 1864, pursuant to Special Orders, No. 41, dated War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, January 27, 1864, and of which Major General A. DOUBLEDAY, U.S. Volunteers, is President, were arraigned and tried—
William L. Shurburne, citizen,
CHARGE—“Violation of the laws and customs of war in trading with the enemy and transporting to them contraband articles.”
Specification—‘In this: that the said William L. Shurburne, citizen of Newport, Charles county, Maryland, on or about November 4, 1863, at or near Newport, Charles county, Maryland, did engage in barter and exchange with Samuel Baxter, citizen of Westmoreland county, Virginia, delivering to said Baxter four sacks of salt, one barrel of kerosene oil, and a quantity of medicinal drugs, and receiving in return therefor, from the said Baxter, a quantity, unknown in weight, to wit, six boxes of tobacco; and this although he knew said Baxter to be an aider and abettor or the rebellion now maintained against the authority of the government of the United States, and that the merchandise thus delivered by him to the said Baxter was contraband by the laws of war, and was intended by him, the said Baxter, to be conveyed within the enemy’s lines.”
To which change and specification the accused, William L Shurburne, citizen, pleaded “Not Guilty.”
The Commission, having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused, William L. Shurburne, citizen, as follows:
Of the Specification, “Guilty, with the exception of substituting the word ‘two’ for ‘four’ in said specification.”
Of the CHARGE, “Guilty.”
And the Court does therefore sentence him, said William L. Shurburne, “To five years’ imprisonment in the Albany Penitentiary, or such other place as the Secretary of War may direct.”
Samuel Baxter, citizen.
CHARGE—“Violation of the laws and customs of war in transporting contraband goods to the enemy”
Specification-- “In this: that the said Samuel Baxter, a citizen of Westmoreland county, Virginia, on or about November 4, 1863, and at or new Newport, Charles county, Maryland, did receive from William L. Shurburne four sacks of salt, one barrel of kerosene oil, and a quantity of medicinal drugs, and did attempt to convey the said articles across the Potomac river, into the State of Virginia, and within the lines of the armed forces of the so-called Confederate States, knowing the aforesaid articles of merchandise to be contraband of war, and with the purpose and design of contributing to the support of the rebellion now waged against the rightful authority of the Government of the United States.”
To which charge and specification the accused, Samuel Baxter, citizen, pleaded “Guilty.”
The Commission, having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused, Samuel Baxter, citizen, as follows:
Of the Specification, “Guilty.”
Of the CHARGE, “Guilty.”
And the Commission, in view of the extenuating and surrounding circumstances detailed by the Judge Advocate, does therefore sentence him, Samuel Baxter, “To one year’s imprisonment in the Albany Penitentiary, or in such other prison as the Secretary of War may direct.”
James Sullivan, citizen.
CHARGE I.--“Engaged in contraband trade with the enemy and aiding and abetting them.”
Specification 1st--“In this; that said James Sullivan, citizen of Baltimore, State of Maryland, did, on or about the _____day of _____, 1863, secretly engage in and prepare goods contraband of war to be freighted on the schooner Lydia S. Hughlett, said schooner then being freighted with goods with intent to unlawfully, and against the laws of war, run the same into ports within the so-called Confederate States, and within the enemy’s lines, and he well knowing that said goods were to be thus unlawfully run within the enemy’s lines against the laws and customs of war.”
Specification 2d--“In this; that said James Sullivan, citizen of Baltimore, State of Maryland, did, in or about the end of the month of November, or beginning of the month of December, 1863 secretly engage in and procure goods contraband of war to be secretly freighted upon the schooner ‘Tariff,’ said goods being intended to be conveyed without our lines and within the lines of the so-called Confederate States, and within the enemy’s line, he, said Sullivan, well knowing said goods were intended to be conveyed within said enemy’s lines against the laws and customs of war.”
CHARGE II.--“Violating his parole.”
Specification—“In this; that said James Sullivan, citizen of Baltimore, State of Maryland, did, sometime during the month of _____ 1863, upon being arrested for having freighted the schooner Lydia S. Hughlett with goods contraband of war, with intent to have the same unlawfully taken within the enemy’s lines, give his parole or word of honor that he would not engage in arms against the United States, nor aid those in arms against it, nor hold any correspondence with them, and that he would give no aid, comfort, or assistance to said enemies, and that thereupon he was released upon such parole; that afterwards, in violation of said parole, and at the latter part of November and the beginning of December, 1863, said Sullivan did again enter into and engage in freighting one schooner ‘Tariff’ with goods contraband of war, with intent to have the same conveyed into the lines of the enemy against the laws of war.”
To which charges and specifications the accused, James Sullivan, citizen, pleaded “Not Guilty.”
The Commission, having maturely considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused, James Sullivan, citizen, as follows:
Of the 1st Specification, “Not Guilty.”
Of the 2d Specification, “Not Guilty.”
Of the CHARGE, “Not Guilty.”
Of the Specification, “Not Guilty.”
Of the CHARGE, “Not Guilty.”
And the Commission does therefore acquit said James Sullivan.
II. . The proceedings, findings, and sentences of the Commission in the cases of William L. Shurburne and Samuel Baxter, citizens, are approved. The prisoners will be sent, under proper guard, to Albany N.Y., and delivered to the Warden of the Penitentiary, for confinement, in accordance with their sentences.
The proceedings and findings of the commission in the case of James Sullivan, citizen, are approved, and he will be discharged from custody.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
Assistant Adjutant General.
Assistant Adjutant General
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
If Governor Hicks will examine this case, and say in writing below this he thinks Mr Sherberne should be pardoned, I will pardon him.
May 18, 1864.
Document: Henry N. Cobb to Abraham Lincoln, April 6, 1864
Tarrytown N. Y. Apr. 6th/64
I received, a short time since, the enclosed copy of the “Rays of Light”, a monthly paper, in the Syriac language as spoken by the Nestorians of Persia, published by the Missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, in Osoomiah Persia. It contains, on the 37th page, a literal translation, into the Syriac, of your Proclamation of Emancipation of Jan. 1st 1863, introduced with the simple statement, “The President of the United States, has issued a proclamation that all the slaves of those portions of the country now in rebellion should be free”; this is the Firman; “I Abraham Lincoln,” &c., and is followed by the statement, “Thanks be to God, that by this Firman of President Lincoln, are declared free 3,119,397 slaves”.
It has occured to me, and this is my only apology for addressing you, that it might interest you, for a moment at least, among your many cares and high responsibilities, to see the paper, and to be assured that in distant Persia, hundreds and perhaps thousands are learning to reverence your name, among the oppressed Nestorians of Persia and of Koordistan, and that American citizens are there daily offering prayers to heaven for its blessings upon you.
In conclusion Sir, I have only to offer the expression of what has long been, and is, my own daily prayer, that as He has done in the past, so in the future God will continue to direct and sustain you in your public career, so full of good already accomplished and of hopeful promise for our Country and mankind! and that He will crown both your public and your private life with His rich blessing.
Your obedient serv’t
Henry N. Cobb
(late Missionary to the Nestorians.)
Document: Mark W. Delahay to Abraham Lincoln, April 6, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 340 P M. April 6 1864.
Dated, April 6 1864.
The Eighth (8) Kansas Regt reenlisted as veterans is here and numbers of only about two fifty men. So many Cavalry Regts have been recruited here that it could not fill up-- It belongs to Army of Cumberland under Gen directions it will be sent off Can it not be kept up or be consolidated with others Say sixty (60) days. I hope this will be acceded to Please answer1
Document: William O. Snider to Andrew G. Curtin, April 6, 1864
I beg leave to present through you to his Excellency Abraham Lincoln President of the United a cane which I now hand send you for that purpose. It is a fac simile of one which I have had the honor to present to you personally
Both of them are made from a fragment of wood taken from the hulk of the rebel iron clad Merrimac after she was blown up and deserted by her traitorous commander and crew. Captain Mark Hewlings of Philadelphia commander of the steam tug Star obtained it and presented it to me.
These canes were manufactured by Wm Gute a Philadelphia artisan of whose skill our city may well be proud.
In conclusion permit me to tender to the President through you my foundest personal regard
1 Lincoln could not read Snider’s signature, so he clipped it and pasted it to his letter of acknowledgment and sent it to Governor Curtin with the request that he forward it to the appropriate party. See Collected Works, VII, 457, 460.
Phil April 6th 1864
[Endorsed by Andrew G. Curtin:]
April 6 1864
Mr Nicolay the Sec of the President promised me to get an autograph letter to the gentleman who procured the wood and made the cane-- He is a reputable man and will be gratified with such a letter
Document: Michael Hahn to Abraham Lincoln, April 6, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Copies of both letters to which Governor Hahn alludes are in this collection. Lincoln’s March 13 letter to Hahn suggested that a limited suffrage for blacks in Louisiana be considered by that state’s forthcoming constitutional convention. Hahn does not refer to that suggestion in what follows and no provision was made for black suffrage in the state’s new constitution.
New-Orleans, April 6th, 1864.
Your private letter of March the 13th and official letter of the 15th of March, investing me “with the powers exercised hitherto by the Military Governor of of Louisiana,” &c, came duly to hand. I thank you sincerely for the kind and confiding manner in which you have always treated me, and I can only promise in return that besides doing all in my power towards the restoration of the Union, I shall feel pleasure in seeing it restored under your administration.
I enclose a letter addressed to the Secretary of War, with accompanying papers, which I desire you to read and then hand to Mr. Stanton.2
If at any time I can be of any service to the National government, or to you individually, command me, without hesitation. I shall esteem it a privilege to serve one who has been so kind to me, and in whose exalted patriotism I have so much confidence, as yourself
Please give my kind regards to Messrs. Nicholay, Hay, Stoddard, and my friends in the Cabinet.
Yours truly, &c.
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: Andrew Johnson to Abraham Lincoln, April 6, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 No further references to David Richardson or to the Knoxville and Kentucky Railroad have been found.
April 6th 1864
This will introduce to you Mr David Richardsons President of the Knoxville & Kentucky Rail Road
Mr Richardson is a gentleman of character and Standing and Loyal to the Government of the United States-- He is deeply interested in the early completion of this most important line of Railway, and visits Washington for the purpose of having an interview with you upon the Subject.
You know how I have felt in regard to the importance of this work, in pressing it upon you and before Congress.-- And any assistance that you can render Mr Richardson, consistently with your duty to the Government, will be duly appreciated and gratefully remembered by a generous people
Document: Lewis Wallace to Abraham Lincoln, April 6, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 1.35. P M. April 6 1864.
From Baltimore. Md.
Dated, Apr 6 1864.
Whole vote city of Balto 9,062. For Convention 9.021 against Convention 41. Whole vote anti-compensation.1
1 An election was held in Maryland on April 6 for delegates to a state constitutional convention. The leading issue was whether or not the new constitution would include provisions for emancipating the state’s slave population.
Document: Abraham Lincoln to Benjamin F. Butler, April 7, 1864 [Draft]1
1 The trip to Fortress Monroe was cancelled on account of Mary Lincoln’s illness. Lincoln sent John Hay to confer with Butler on April 23.
Document: Montgomery Blair to Abraham Lincoln, April 6, 1864
My dear Sir
This will introduce Miss Lavonia Veers who is Sister-in law of Wm T Aud lately arrested for being engaged in contraband trade &c. I have very little knowledge of Mr. Aud or of the facts of his case-- I know however that he has voted with the Union party in the State & has heretofore been favorably regarded by our friends-- The family of his wife is also a highly respected one & I feel a deep sympathy for his family They are poor & if he is kept in prison they will be without means-- If you can on looking over the case feel it proper to remit his punishment I am very sure it have your clemency will be appreciated productive of no ill effect on the neighborhood.1
1 Lincoln wrote to Secretary of War Stanton on April 7 and requested a report on the case of Aud. See Collected Works, VII, 290 and Edwin M. Stanton to Lincoln, April 8, 1864.
Apl 7th 1864
Document: Simon Cameron to Abraham Lincoln, April 7, 1864
Document: Gustavus V. Fox to [Gideon Welles], April 7, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 At the outbreak of the Civil War, the U. S. Naval Academy was temporarily relocated from Annapolis, Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island, and the academy facilities in Maryland were used as an army hospital. Impatient with this arrangement, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox had addressed Lincoln in a vein similar to this about Annapolis on March 26, 1864 (q. v.). For the draft order in question, see [Gustavus V. Fox], Draft Presidential Order, March 1864, which Fox had prepared for Lincoln to sign. However Lincoln did not issue the order, and the naval academy did not return to Annapolis until 1865.
Imagine a Navy hospital occupying the Academy grounds of West Point and the boys being educated at Saratoga-- Of what value would they be as officers-- The Navy is tied hand and foot-- Its Ch. of the Naval Committee in the Senate is opposed to it and opposed to the Dept and never raises his hand or voice except to strike us-- The Naval School is sent off to be ruined at a watering place where the least disease now prevalent is the itch-- And finally our skilled men are drawn into the Army where a landsman would do as well-- Even the worth less negro field hands which for the sake of some thing better the War Dept offered to transfer are not yet deld and the vessels to cooperate with Lt Genl Grant remain at the wharfs at New York-- Unless somebody of more influence than myself speaks this will continue until calamity overtakes us-- Very truly Sir
G. V. Fox
[Endorsed by Lincoln:]
Document: James H. Lane to Abraham Lincoln, April 7, 1864
1 Lincoln appointed James L. McDowell the U. S. Marshal for the District of Kansas in 1861.
2 Colonel Charles R. Jennison was commander of the post at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He had organized and served as colonel of the 7th Kansas Cavalry. This unit, known as the “Jayhawkers,” was reviled in Missouri for the depredations committed against alleged secessionists.
That the position of Mayor & Marshall are incompatable
I respectfully recommend that Hon Thomas Osbourne Lt Gov or Hon W. W. H. Lawrence Secty of State be appointed3
Document: David O. Macomber to Abraham Lincoln, April 7, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 David O. Macomber and George Ferriss were business partners from Utica, New York who had invented a long-range rifled cannon and were unsuccessful in their effort to convince the government to purchase the weapon.
2 Horatio King was a Maine newspaper editor and lawyer who moved to Washington in 1839 and accepted a clerkship at the Post Office Department. King remained in the Post Office Department until 1861. In 1862, Lincoln appointed King a commissioner to implement the emancipation law in the District of Columbia.
This was so reasonable a proposition, that we accepted it at once, with the concurrent advice of Mr King, to whom we immediately stated the result of our interview.
Now Mr President I do not write this, for the purpose of making any complaint, for although I have expended over $15000 in building and testing this gun, and have waited here more than five months, at heavy expense, for an answer to my proposals, yet I am fully aware that I took all this risk, when I entered into the matter. This communication is made, to put ourselves right in the future.
For some months past I have received communications from England, in relation to the Ferriss Gun, from official sources, and fifteen days ago received one from Maj Genl J. St George, “Director of Ordnance” written as he states, “by direction of Earl de Gray & Ripon, Sec. of State for War,” on the same subject. To all these communications, I have refused to reply, so long as we had a proposition before our own Government. Now however, as all our offers have been declined, we cannot be blamed for taking the invention, (already secured in Europe by patent,) to a Government, where we have assurances of obtaining ample remuneration. I have this day answered the letter of “Earl de Gray & Ripon” and shall leave Washington tomorrow for my home in Utica, where our experiment gun is stored.
Again permit me Mr President to say, that this is not a letter of complaints, but a mere statement of facts, which I deemed it necessary to make to you Sir, and have promised some friends who love their country, and are now fighting for it, (that I would do,) and who have expressed much anxiety to have the Ferriss gun, the merits and demerits of which they fully understand, should have been used for the benefit of our own Country.
In conclusion Sir, I return you my most sincere thanks for the kindness and courtesy with which I have always been treated by yourself and by all your Cabinet with whom I have had business, and I hope that your life and your health may long be spared, as a blessing to our country and to the cause of freedom throughout the world, and that no successful “Ferriss Gun” may ever be pointed in hostility, against my countramen of the United States.
I am Sir
with sentiments of great Respect
Your Obedient Servant
D. O. Macomber.
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: John G. Nicolay to William Dennison, April 7, 1864