1 There is no evidence that Lincoln acted further on this scheme other than to endorse this letter.
Washington Sep 17. 1864
The following paper is submitted -- most respectfully--
Proposition -- Military & Financial--
1st. To have Genl Sherman extend his line from Atalanta to Mobile or Pensacola or if he can to Savannah river to include all of Georgia-- Then all the Country to the West of such line would embrace the most of the Cotton region.
2d. Financial -- Let things be so shaped as to have perfect military protection and security given to this cotton region while it is cultivated in cotton next season so as to produce 3,000,000 Bales at 50¢ gold price per lb
is $200 -- pr Bale $600 000 000
2/3ds of which can be exported -- 400.000 000
The natural effect will be to lower Exchange to or below par -- giving a tide of gold flowing from Europe to the U. States--
A further result -- Specie Payments -- without the stringency of curtailment of the paper circulation, always producing such great Pecuniary disturbance.
Admitting the price should fall considerably below 50¢ a lb the same general results will prevail-- So large an amount of value of Exports in addition to our present volume cannot but produce these great beneficial and financial results
Document: Abraham Lincoln, Memorandum on the Draft [September 19, 1864]1
1 Lincoln was contemplating a request from Governor Morton and others in Indiana to postpone the upcoming September draft call and to procure the furloughs of Indiana soldiers that they might return home and vote. Without these measures the outcome of the October vote in Indiana was considered extremely doubtful. The following is Lincoln’s consideration of General Sherman’s response to any possibility of delaying the draft. See Collected Works, VIII, 11-12.
A despatch of Gen. Sherman, dated Sep. 17, 1864 among other things, says
“The Secretary of War tells me the draft will be made on Monday next, If the President modifies it to the extent of one man, or waivers in it’s execution he is gone ever. The Army would vote against him”
Document: John M. Forbes to Francis P. Blair Sr., September 18, 1864
Naushon Island Sep 18th 1864
My Dear Sir
I telegraphed Mr Wm Cullen Bryant from Washington on Friday but he was not in the city either that day or yesterday and so I missed him, but I have no sort of doubt he will be with us and I give you enclosed a cutting from his Fridays paper which accords entirely with our views--
I spent yesterday in seeing various friends in New York & discussing the best mode of bringing out our idea & finally left for home with an understanding that a letter should be written as originally intended instead of calling a public meeting & inviting the President to express his views upon that occasion, as was suggested by some.
I can understand how boys aping Arisotocracy can be misled but how men of property can see the currency & the Bonds left at the mercy of a Peace party is totally incomprehensible -- even putting patriotism & self respect out of sight.
It is however all the more important to face the situation & to meet it by bringing into prominence the great Issue -- Democratic Institutions against Aristocratic ones--
Mr Lincoln must not depend upon the rich or Aristocratic classes -- nor upon the city poeple --; He must appeal to the hard handed poeple of the Country upon a plain square Issue, which they can understand -- and there is no time to be lost --; We ought to have a year ago, but it is not too late---- One election campaign like this with our Sons & Brothers in the battle field counts for ten Common years--
On the other side the Aristocratic party have an immense bribe held out to them in the control of the Government for four years and the oppertunity it would give them to change our form of Government into a permanent Oligarchy--:
With this glittering prize ahead nothing that money can do will be wanting to defeat us--
6 The Alabama was a commerce raider that the Confederates were able to purchase from the British in May 1862. The Alabama was responsible for destroying or capturing nearly seventy ships before she was sunk in June 1864. After the war, Great Britain paid over $15 million in compensation to the United States for damages done by the Confederate commerce raiders that were built in Britain.
7 Louis Napoleon had sent an army to Mexico in order to support the fortunes of Prince Maximilian of Austria. With the aid of French soldiers, the republican government of Benito Juarez was deposed in 1863 and Maximilian was installed as the emperor of Mexico in 1864. The United States made repeated demands to Napoleon for the withdrawal of the French army, but troops remained in Mexico until 1866.
New York is crowded with Secesh who will vote and pay for McLellans Election
We must meet this array by the simple and sure flank movement of invoking the popular element -- appealing to the plain poeple against the Plantation and Bank paper Aristocracy--
If we can do this successfully we can laugh at our enemies North & South and we will found a Nation based upon true Democracy instead of the mere Confederacy which these poeple pretend that we have been and are--
I enclose a copy of an article which I wrote two years ago upon Emancipation regarding it from a conservative point of view & which has some of our present ideas in it
We have now a far bigger Issue than the mere Emancipation of the Negro but really including it -- the success of free Institutions for our own Country and for all the world--
Very Truly Yours
J. M. Forbes
Should you have occasion to write me -- a line addressed to Boston -- will find me there or be forwarded here--
J. M. F.
Document: Mary L. Loomis to Abraham Lincoln, September 18, 1864
Milwaukie Sept 18th/64
My Dear Sir
I am a perfect Stranger to you, but as in this Era of events, people are expected to withstand all shocks; I venture to address you, trusting in your native goodness to pardon the intrusion. Of course you are to day, singing a Te-Deum or Gloria Excelsis for the success of Sherman! As a true loyal woman I also exult inexpressibly. I hope Sir while you are President, You will have the pride, and satisfaction, of seeing our beautiful Flag waving in its glory all over our broad Land! If there is any virtue in unfaltering faith, unceasing labor, and Christian indignation, we are secure. How sublime the Picture of the Contrabands untutored eloquence of importunity, for Massa Lincoln! and the Union! Oh if we are doomed for defeat, and humiliations, I can only say for one; that from the Himalaya heights of Prayer I shall feel Infidel indeed: as though I could adopt the wicked advice of the Wife of Job which was no doubt the expression of most insane distress.
I suppose Sir that you are acquainted with some of my friends-- My only brother Henry W. Lord you appointed Consul to Manchester Eng. Maj. Gen. H. G. Wright is a Cousin, also Gen. O. B. Willcox and I am proud to be within so much of their glory.
If it is agreeable to your wishes and convenience, I should be most happy to receive your Autograph, fresh from your Destinguished hand. I will preserve it with great satisfaction, and care, and teach my children to “Call it blessed”
1 Lincoln had telegraphed Sherman earlier in the day and expressed an interest in a dispatch Sherman had sent to General Halleck that mentioned the possibility of a meeting between Sherman, Governor Joseph Brown and Alexander H. Stephens. See Collected Works, VIII, 9 and Official Records, Series I, Volume 39, Part II, 381.
2 Augustus R. Wright, a Georgia politician and lawyer, had served a single term in the U. S. House (1857-59) as a Democrat. Though Wright had opposed secession, he served in the Confederate Congress and raised troops for the rebellion. Wright met with Lincoln in 1864 to discuss reconstruction in Georgia. According to Wright, Lincoln intended to appoint him the provisional governor of Georgia, but was assassinated before the appointment could be made. See Official Records, Series I, Volume 39, Part III, 412 and William C. Harris, With Charity For All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1997), 160.
3 William King
4 Joseph Brown, the governor of Georgia, often found himself at odds with Jefferson Davis and had recently withdrawn the Georgia militia from General Hood’s army.
6 The prospective meeting between Sherman, Governor Brown and Vice President Stephens did not take place. Georgia did not withdraw from Confederacy and as a consequence, Sherman did not instruct his soldiers to remain on the “high roads and commons” as they marched through the state.
W. T. Sherman
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: Elihu B. Washburne, Receipt, September 18, 1864
Received, Washington Sept 18th 1864 of Jno. G. Nicolay, two hundred and fifty dollars being the amount paid by Hon. Edward Bates for the distribution of documents &c1
The Democrats had a formidable Turn-out here last night. It is the first time that they really acted like working.
Our Secretary of State is alarmed about the Soldiers Vote. The Law is loosely drawn, and he says that they can, with Democratic Inspectors here, work in any number of Fraudulent Votes. This must be looked to, and yet it may be irremediable.
Document: Abraham Lincoln to John C. Ten Eyck, September 19, 1864 [Copy]1
1 With the assistance of New Jersey Senator Ten Eyck, Lincoln was able to secure an appointment for Freese as commissioner of enrollment for New Jersey’s Second Congressional District. See Collected Works, VIII, 25-26.
Washington, Sep. 19, 1864.
My dear Sir.
Dr. J. R. Freese, now editor of a leading Union Journal in New-Jersey, resided, for a time, in Illinois, when & where I made his acquaintance, and since when I have enjoyed much of his friendship. He is somewhat wounded with me now, that I do not recognize him as he thinks I ought. I wish to appoint him a Provost-Marshal in your State-- May I have your approval?
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Senator Ten Eyck.
Document: Abraham Lincoln to Isachar Zacharie, September 19, 1864 [Copy]1
1 Zacharie replied to Lincoln on September 21, 1864 (q. v.), in a letter which is as cryptic as the following one.
Washington, Sep. 19, 1864.
I thank you again for the deep interest you have constantly taken in the Union cause. The personal matter on behalf of your friend, which you mention, shall be fully and fairly considered when presented.
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: Abraham Lincoln to William T. Sherman, September 19, 1864 [Copy in John G. Nicolay’s Hand]1
1 Lincoln was contemplating a request from Governor Morton and others in Indiana to postpone the upcoming September draft call and to procure the furloughs of Indiana soldiers that they might return home and vote. Without these measures the outcome of the October vote in Indiana was considered extremely doubtful. General Sherman had earlier responded very negatively to any possibility of delaying the draft, however several thousand soldiers were allowed to return to Indiana to vote. See Abraham Lincoln, Memorandum on the Draft [September 19, 1864] and Collected Works, VIII, 11-12.
Washington, D. C.
September 19th, 1864.
Major General Sherman
The State election of Indiana occurs on the 11th of October, and the loss of it to the friends of the Government would go far towards losing the whole Union cause. The bad effect upon the November election, and especially the giving the State Government to those who will oppose the war in every possible way, are too much to risk, if it can possibly be avoided. The draft proceeds, notwithstanding its strong tendency to lose us the State. Indiana is the only important State, voting in October, whose soldiers cannot vote in the field. Any thing you can safely do to let her soldiers, or any part of them, go home and vote at the State election, will be greatly in point. They need not remain for the Presidential election, but may return to you at once. This is, in no sense, an order, but is merely intended to impress you with the importance, to the army itself, of your doing all you safely can, yourself being the judge of what you can safely do.
Document: Joseph Howard Jr. to Abraham Lincoln, September 19, 18641
1 Howard and Francis Mallison had been imprisoned in May 1864 for orchestrating a hoax that resulted in the publication of a fraudulent presidential proclamation by two New York newspapers. See Sydney H. Gay, et al. to Lincoln, May 19, 1864 and Collected Works, VII, 347-49.
I regret to say that certain “Democratic” stumpers are making a handle of his continued confinement, taking the absurd ground that he is held on account of his Democratic affiliations.
Mr Mallison has an aged Mother dependent upon him, was no deeper, (nor so deep), in the foolishness for which we were sent to the Fort than I, and has felt very keenly his position & its consequences. May I not, with all respect urge you to direct his immediate discharge on the grounds as above set forth?4
2 Howe had written a rather pessimistic letter to Lincoln on September 11 in which he lamented the failure to exchange prisoners of war. Howe feared this may prove very damaging to the Republicans in the upcoming election. Howe’s September 11 letter is in this collection.
Very Sincerely Yrs,
T. O. Howe
Document: Franz Sigel to John G. Nicolay, September 19, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 4.15 P M. Sept 19 1864.
From Bethlehem Pa Sept 19 1864.
Your dispatch rec’d today. I will leave for Washington tomorrow morning the twentieth1
Document: H. Walker Zentz to Abraham Lincoln, September 19, 1864
Sept 19th 1864.
Pardon the liberty I take in addressing you, if in doing so I transcend the bounds of propriety, or my duties as a Soldier, but laboring under the impression that we in our spheres as soldiers, do not throw off, or lose our rights, privileges, and interests as citizens, has led me to address you on the following subjects, and at the same time ask your advice and instruction in regard to the same.
I would respectfully state, that on the 8th day of May last, myself with two or three others inaugurated a club of the Union League, in this District. We received our “Instructions” from the “Mother Club” of the Union League in New Orleans, and framed our Constitution and Bylaws with but few exceptions, like unto theirs. Since that time we have grown rapidly, and now claim among our numbers, the principal Military Officers, and Citizens of the District.
I am happy to state that our influence is felt, and acknowledged here, and extends to a great degree without the lines. Many of us who are in the Army contemplate settling here in the future, and consequently we are eager to see Florida soon placed free and regenerated, in the glorious Sisterhood of States.
We wish to start right so that when she returns, nought will be left to be undone, but her position be positive, true and right. We can now safely claim a Union vote here of at least two thousand, and other points without we hope to be able to protect before November.
The people here are anxious to vote at the Presidential Election, and we feel it our duty to make some exertions to give them the desired privilege. Our Club, true is secret, therein being different from the Union League at the North, but we found it to be a matter of necessity, here in order to prevent secessionists spies &c from working themselves in, and after finding out our intentions, to do no harm. Our doctrines are Unconditional devotion to the Union, right or wrong. The Eternal Unity of our Government People and Nation. Prompt and determined support of the Confiscation Act, Emancipation Act, Proclamation, &c as well as all other Laws and Measures as put forth by Congress, the Supreme Court and the Executive for the purpose of putting down the existing Rebellion; in short we are molding the Union sentiments of the people, and we believe in the right way; Now we are anxious to have a voice in the coming Election. We wish to vote for Lincoln and Johnson; If Military Affairs were urged a little more here, we would have nearly all Florida, and we know from, the various sources we have here of learning the feelings of the people, that they are willing, and anxious to lay down their arms and return to the good Old Union. The Refugees who come in here, are all eager to join us, and I feel confident in saying, that they will vote on the right side; their hatred towards Jeff Davis and his “Shamfederacy” has grown bitter, and deep. Many more are without eager to enlist, and accept of the Proclamation of Pardon as issued by your Excellency, others are kept in ignorance, and do not know that such a proclamation has been issued.
We hope that a door will be opened here soon for the people of this state, at present every thing appears to be “blocked” in this District; nevertheless we will continue to work; hoping in the mean time that light will break forth soon, and the Union be fully restored, better, greater, and more glorious than before,
I would then respectfully ask you, if in your judgment you should deem it wise and expedient, to grant us the privilege, and send us the necessary instructions and advice in regard to holding an Election, in this state in November.
Hoping that I may have the pleasure of receiving an answer to the foregoing imperfect and broken requests1
2 Salmon P. Chase, the former treasury secretary, did make speeches for the Union Party during the 1864 campaign. The arrangement of these speaking engagements was another positive sign that the radicals were coalescing behind Lincoln.
Every thing seems to be going right-- I am, Sir,
With much respect
your friend & servant
James W. White
Document: Francis W. Kellogg to Abraham Lincoln, September 20, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Kellogg served in the House of Representatives from Michigan. He also raised three regiments for the Union Army in his state. Though he was correct in believing that the post of secretary of the interior would soon be vacant, he was doubtless disappointed when Lincoln filled it with James Harlan of Iowa.
Washington City Sept 20th 1864
I beg leave to recommend Hon J M Edmunds Com, of the Gen’l Land Office for Sec’y of the Interior as I learn that office will be vacant soon--2
2 For the resignation of John P. Usher as secretary of the interior, see Usher to Lincoln, March 8, 1865.
I recommend him -- 1st Because of his great ability, modest & retiring in manner -- few are aware of his superiority as a Statesman to those around him 2d As Pres’t of the National Union League he has done immense service to the country the past year -- and wields a powerful influence now 3d Believing your re nomination necessary to the salvation of the Union & personally attached he did more -- thro’ the body he controls to concentrate public opinion & insure harmony of action at Baltimore than any man in the Union
4th He is a wise counsellor a sagacious & far-seeing man and withal a devoted friend of yours and of the policy of your Administration having always been so--
5th I have reason to believe that nearly every Senator & Representative not anxious to have some friend app’ted would be glad to see him a member of your Cabinet
6th When inaugurated next March you re nominate the old or select a new Cabinet & if you find Judge Edmunds is not what his friends believe him to be he need not remain
I speak in behalf of the whole Mich Delegation & respectfully request you to give this your consideration
I have the honor to be
Your Obt Ser’t
F W Kellogg
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: George G. Meade to Abraham Lincoln, September 20, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 The General Association of New York was a Congregationalist entity. Its chairman, Rev. J.P. Thompson, was also president of the American Union Commission, an organization dedicated to the relief of the inhabitants of war-ravaged areas of the country.
At the annual meeting of the General Association of New York, held in Jersey City New Jersey, September 20th 1864, the following resolutions reported from the committee on the State of the Country through Rev. J. P. Thompson D. D., its chairman, were unanimously adopted by a standing vote: and it was ordered that Rev. J. P. Thompson D. D., of New York, and Rev. W. I. Budington D. D., of Brooklyn be requested to present to the President of the United States a certified copy of the same.--
George B. Bacon,
1. Resolved: that the signal victories which have crowned our arms, following so close upon a season of darkness and humiliation, call for fervent gratitude to Almighty God, who hath regarded the confessions and supplications of his people, and in the midst of righteous judgments hath remembered mercy.
2. Resolved: that amid the rejoicings of victory which kindle our devotions and give tone to our praises, still having in remembrance the sins that have brought upon the nation the sufferings and the sorrows of war, -- we will not cease to watch and to labor against the reviving of these iniquities with the prospect of peace, and will pray that this overflowing scourge may sweep them utterly away.
3. Resolved: that as the momentous issues of this long and deadly contest are approaching their solution in a combined struggle upon the field and at the polls, we will sustain with our votes the brave and noble men who are defending our liberties with their lives, and will animate our fellow citizens, by every consideration of religious hope and duty, of devotion to country and to liberty, to make the decision of the people on the 8th of November next, final and fatal to the hopes of traitors in arms and of conspirators in political council.
4. Resolved: that our hope for the preservation of our liberties as a nation, and for the complete emancipation of the African race in the South, depends, under God, upon sustaining the Government in upholding the integrity of the Union, through all the trials and doubts and disasters of the war, and in that policy which looks to “the abandonment of slavery” as the condition of permanent Union and Peace.
5. Resolved: that while we solemnly pledge ourselves before God, to fill up, in our measure, that which is believed of suffering and of sacrifice for the redemption of the nation, and with unfaltering purpose to sustain the Government in subjugating the Rebellion, we will pray day by day for the coming of a peace untarnished by concession to treason or by compromise with wrong, and established in justice, in liberty, and in unity forever.--
(signed) Jos. P. Thompson,
Thaddeus I. Hoyt,
L. Smith Hobart,
H. M. Dixon,
I certify that the above is a true copy,
George B. Bacon,
[Endorsed by Lincoln:]
Document: Anthony A. C. Rogers to Abraham Lincoln, September 20, 18641
1 Rogers, an Arkansas Unionist, had been elected to the U. S. House in March but was not allowed to take his seat. After being denied his seat, Rogers moved to Chicago and pursued various business ventures. He returned to Arkansas in 1868 and was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-first Congress (1869-71).
I shall make two or three speeches in this state in favor of your re-election & then proceed home, and see if any thing can be done there in getting up a Ticket & a vote for you in Nov. A resolution of Congress precludes us, but we intend to have a full Electoral Ticket for you, and a respectable vote under the circumstances; and if necessary to your Election we intend to carry the matter to the proper tribunal for settlement.