Document: Ohio and Illinois General Assemblies, Resolutions for Gradual Emancipation of Slaves, 1824 and 1825

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Abraham Lincoln papers

Document: Ohio and Illinois General Assemblies, Resolutions for Gradual Emancipation of Slaves, 1824 and 18251

1 The following was enclosed in Ninian W. Edwards to Lincoln, December 26, 1860, in this collection.

Resolutions passed by Ohio in 1824 and by Illinois in 1825--

Resolved that the consideration of a system providing for the gradual emancipation of the people of color held in servitude in the United States, be recommended to the legislatures of the several states of the American Union, and to the Congress of the United States--

Resolved that in the opinion of this General Assembly a system of foreign colonisation, with correspondent measures, might be adopted, that would, in due time, effect the entire emancipation of the slaves in our own country, without a volation of the national compact or infringement of the rights of individuals by the passage of a law, by the general government (with the consent of the slaveholding states) which would provide that all children of persons now held in slavery, born after the passage of such law; should be free at the age of twenty one years (being supported during their minority by the person claiming the service of their parents) provided they then consent to be transported to the place of colonisation.

Resolved that it is expedient that such a system should be predicated on the principle, that the evil of slavery is a national one and that the people and states of this Union ought mutually to participate in the duties and burthens of removing it--

Document: Andrew Jackson to Andrew I. Crawford, May 1, 18331

1 This letter was enclosed in William L. Burt to Abraham Lincoln, March 5, 1864, in this collection.


Washington May 1st, 1833--

My Dr Sir,

I have just received your letter of the 6th ultimo, and have only time in reply to say that Genl Coffee well understood Mr. Shackleford and urged your nomination in his stead-- I had nominated you, but on the serious importunity of Col King, your Senator with, Genl Coffee the change was adopted and you nominated for the office you now fill. Before the receipt of yours Genl Coffee had written me, and requested that I would appoint you to the office vacated by Mr Shakleford -- if we had a Senate on whose principles we could rely, this would have been done, but I did not beleive it would be prudent to bring your name before the Senate again, and am happy you are content where you are

The Senate cannot remove you, and I am sure your faithfulness and honesty will never permit you to do an act, that will give good cause for your removal, and if Moor and Poindexter discovered that you were related to me, that would be sufficient cause, for them to reject you-- Therefore it is, that I let well enough alone, altho, I know it would be a convenience to you to be located where you are-- Still a rejection by the Senate might prove a greater inconvenience, and for the reasons assigned it was not done--

I have had a laborious task here -- but nullification is dead, and its actors & [excitiers?] will only be remembered by the people to be execrated for their wicked designs to sever & destroy the only good government on the Globe, and that prosperity and happiness we enjoy over every other portion of the world. Hemans gallows ought to be the fate of all such ambitious men who would involve their country in civil wars, and all the evils in its train that they might reign & ride on its whirlwinds & direct the Storm-- The free people of these United States have spoken, and consigned these wicked demagogues to their proper doom-- Take care of your nullifiers -- you have them amongtist you-- Let them meet with the indignant frowns of every man who loves his Country-- The tareff, it is now well known, was a mere pretext -- its burthen was on your course wollens -- by the law of July 1832 -- course woollens, was reduced to five pr cent for the benefit of the South Mr Clays bill takes it up & classes it with woollens, at 50 percent, reduces it gradually down to 20 prcent, and there it is to remain and Mr Calhoun & all the nullifiers agree to the principle-- The cash duties & home valuation, will be equal to 15 prcent more, and after the year 1842 -- you pay on course wollens 35 prcent -- if this is not protection, I cannot understand -- therefore the tariff was only the pretext and disunion & a Southern confederacy the real object-- The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question--

My health is not good, but is improving a little. present me kindly to your lady & family, and believe me to be your friend-- I will always be happy to hear from you.

Andrew Jackson

Document: Michael Killion, Hugh Armstrong and Abraham Lincoln, To the County Commissioners Court for the County of Sangamon, June [2], 18341

1 This document, and the accompanying map are among the earliest surviving records of Lincoln’s surveying career. He had been one of the petitioners to the county commissioners' court in February (Collected Works, I, 21), asking for viewers to be appointed to locate a road over the route described. The petition had been granted, and Killion, Armstrong, and Lincoln had been given the commission to locate the road. The list of expenses in pencil may be in Lincoln’s hand and probably represent the amounts claimed.

To the county commissioners court for the county of Sangamon at its June term 1834.

We the undersigned being appointed to view and locate a road.. Begining at Musick’s ferry on Salt creek. (Via) New Salem to the county line in the direction to Jacksonville-- respectfully report -- that we have performed the duties of said view and location as required by law. and that we have made the location on good ground -- and believe the establishment of the same to be necessary and proper--

The enclosed Map gives the courses and distances as required by law2

2 See Road from Musick’s Ferry to Salt Creek.

Michael Killion

Hugh Armstrong

A. Lincoln


A Lincoln 5 dys -- at $3.00 - $15.00

John A. Kelsoe chain beare

for 5 dys -- at 75 cts -- $3.75

Robert Loyed “ “ $3.75

Hugh Armstrong for ser-

vices as axe-man 5 dys. at

75 cts. -- -- -- 3.75

A Lincoln for making

plat & report -- $2.50


Document: Abraham Lincoln, Memorandum of Dueling Instructions to Elias H. Merryman, [September 19, 1842]1

1 Lincoln was challenged to a duel by Illinois State Auditor James Shields, over an alleged aspersion on Shields’s character in a satirical letter Lincoln contributed under a pseudonym to Springfield’s Whig newspaper, the Sangamo Journal, in September of 1842. These instructions were written by Lincoln for his representative, or second, Dr. Elias H. Merryman, informing him how to proceed if the duel could not be averted. Lincoln disapproved of dueling, which was illegal in Illinois, but he was unwilling to apologize so long as Shields insisted on accusing him of writing letters actually written by others and threatening him with reprisals. As the challenged party, Lincoln
had the choice of weapons, time, and place of meeting. The document shows that Lincoln dictated special conditions that would greatly favor the combatant with the longest arms (himself) and presumably discourage his opponent. Their friends eventually succeeded in resolving the quarrel without fighting, but reconciliation only took place on the dueling ground itself, on an island in the Mississippi River. As the endorsement indicates, this document was found by Thomas S. Pinckard in 1862 and sent to Lincoln’s White House secretary John G. Nicolay.

In case Whitesides 2 shall signify a wish to adjust this affair without further difficulty, let him know that if the present papers be withdrawn, & a note from Mr. Shields 3 asking to know if I am the author of the articles of which he complains, and asking that I shall make him gentlemanly satisfaction, if I am the author, and this without menace, or dictation as to what that satisfaction shall be, a pledge is given made, that the following answer answer shall be given--4

2 ID: John D. Whiteside was James Shields’ second. He was a Democratic politician who had served in the General Assembly.

3 ID: James Shields had known Lincoln in the General Assembly. In 1842 he was state auditor, and in that capacity the object of ridicule in the “Lost Township” letters, one of which Lincoln admitted to writing. Shields later was a brigadier general in the Mexican War and the Civil War, and served in the United States Senate from Illinois, Missouri and California, thus becoming the only man ever sent to the Senate from three states.

4 Elias H. Merryman was a Springfield physician and Lincoln’s second in his duel with Shields.

“I did write the “Lost Township” letter which appeared in the Journal of the 2nd Inst but had no participation, in any form, in any other article alluding to you-- I wrote that, wholly for political effect-- I had no intention of injuring your personal or private character or standing as a man or a gentleman; and I did not then think, and do not now think that that article, could produce or has produced that effect against you, But, as you construe it differently, I will say that and had I anticipated your construction, such an effect I would have forborne to write it-- And I will add, that your conduct towards me, so far as I knew, had always been gentlemanly; and that I had no personal pique against you, and no cause for any--”

If this should be done, I leave it with you to arrange what shall & what shall not be published--

If nothing like this is done -- the preliminaries of the fight are to be--

1st Weapons -- Cavalry broad swords of the largest size precisely equal in all respects -- and such as now used by the cavalry company at Jacksonville--

2nd Position -- A plank ten feet long, & from nine to twelve inches broad to be firmly fixed on edge -- on the ground, as the line between us which neither is to pass his foot over upon forfeit of his life-- Next a line drawn on the ground on either side of said plank & paralel with it, each at the distance of the whole length of the sword and three feet additional from the plank; and which lines the passing of his own such line by either party during the fight shall be deemed a surrender of the contest-- The fight in no case to last more than fifteen minutes--5

5 Why Lincoln struck out this condition is not clear, though after fifteen minutes of wielding the heavy broadswords, both contestants would have been hard pressed to continue.

3- Time -- On thursday evening6 at five o,clock if you can get it so; but in no case to be at a greater distance of time than friday evening at five o,clock--.

6 September 22, 1842. This is, in fact, the day on which Lincoln and Shields met on the “field of honor,” at which time their friends resolved the difficulty without fighting.

4th Place -- Within three miles of Alton on the opposite side of the river, the particular spot to be agreed on by you--

Any preliminary details coming within the above rules, you are at liberty to make at your discretion; but you are in no case to swerve from the above those these rules, or to pass beyond their limits--

[Endorsed on Envelope:]

D. Davis

Document: Leander Munsell to Abraham Lincoln, April 23, 18461

1 This letter reveals the extent to which Abraham Lincoln, as active Whig politician and later as Congressman, had to be attentive to the most mundane appointment matters in his district and state, for the sake of his own political success, that of partisan comity, and occasionally, even favors to colleagues of the opposite political persuasion.

Paris Apr 23 /46

Dear Sir

I trouble you a with a line in regard to the Grandview Office-- From my knowledge of the condition of things at Grandview I have no doubt that J. V. Brown should receive the appointment of P. M. at that place before Mr Payne or any other known applicant-- If you will aid his appointment you will oblige me --

In regard to the office at this place better let it remain as it is, any change particularly the appointment of Mr Reeves,2 would give much dissatisfaction We think if a change is made, We have Whigs in town with as good claims as Mr Reeves who lives 5 miles in the county--

2 ID: George W. Rives was a political
activist in Edgar County, Illinois, and an occasional office-seeker.

Sincerely Yrs

L. Munsell

Document: Abraham Lincoln, to Heads of Departments or Bureaus, September 24, 18621

1 The recommendations for William Grandin, an attorney in New York City, were from an impressive list of civil and military figures, and referred as far back in time as Grandin’s service in the Seminole Wars in Florida. Nonetheless Secretary of War Stanton’s endorsement indicates that there was no vacancy for Grandin in the War Department.

Hon Thos Corwin, Gen Taylor, Gen Scott; -- Senators Wilson, Doolittle, Foot, Sherman, Collamer and Harris, -- Reps Aldrich, Colfax, Covode, Bingham, Crittenden, Kellogg and Potter; -- Hons Caleb B. Smith and Richard Wallach -- for William Grandin.

[The foregoing not in Lincoln’s hand.]


The within recommendations are most ample; -- in fact, not often equalled.-- I respectfully submit the case to the Secretary of War, or, to any Head of a Department or Bureau, with a sincere wish that Mr. Grandin may find a place.

A. Lincoln

Sep. 24, 1862.

[Endorsed by Edwin M. Stanton:]

There is no position in the War Department at present vacant.

Edwin M Stanton

Sec War

Document: John A. McClernand to Abraham Lincoln, May 26, 18471

1 This letter reveals the extent to which Abraham Lincoln, as active Whig politician and later as Congressman, had to be attentive to the most mundane appointment matters in his district and state, for the sake of his own political success, that of partisan comity, and occasionally, even favors to colleagues of the opposite political persuasion.


Mt Vernon. Ill.

May 26. 1847.

My dr Sr.

I wish you to write to the Secretary of the Home Department stating your wish that he should not remove Braxton Parish from the Land Receiver’s Office, at Shawneetown without first consulting you, and if it is determined on to make a removal change, I wish you to suspend the change until Mr Parish’s commission expires. I make this as a personal request, going further for Mr. P. than I would for myself. I have been induced to do so make the request because Mr P. lately left his home in Franklin Co. to hold the office; because he has incured considerable expense in relocating; in short because his removal now would ruin him pecuniarily. You may count upon me under like circumstances for a similar favor; or for a response in any way in my power. What you may write me in answer will be held in inviolable confidence. Drop me a line directed to Shawneetown.

Yours, &c,

J A McClernand2

2 ID: John A. McClernand was a Democratic political contemporary of Lincoln. They had served together in the General Assembly, and Lincoln would later appoint McClernand to a general's commission in the Union Army.

Document: Abraham Lincoln, Fragments on Protection, [August 1846-December 1847]1

1 The protective tariff was an important issue for the Whig party in Lincoln’s time. Lincoln’s own recollection, which he inscribed on one of these pages in 1860, indicates that these “scraps” on protection were written after his election in August of 1846 and before he took his seat in Congress in December of 1847.

In 1860, these notes were sent to Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania by Lincoln’s friend and supporter, David Davis, presumably to satisfy the Pennsylvanian that Lincoln was sound on protection. Lincoln told James Q. Howard in 1860, “My speeches in favor of a Protective Tariff would please Pennsylvania and offend W. C. Bryant in the same degree.” Like a number of other incidental writings of his pre-presidential years, these notes on protection were part of the “Carpet Bag Papers,” found by John G. Nicolay and added to this collection in 1874.

As a newly elected Whig Congressman, Lincoln appears to have been wrestling in these fragments with the tariff question for the sake of clarifying it for himself. The same points emerge repeatedly: that a policy of free trade can only result in wasted “useless” labor being expended in the transportation of goods to and from foreign markets, and that unprotected local industries can only wither in the absence of domestic buyers.

The documents are fragments, “scraps,” but whether they were intended to have a definite order is uncertain. The fragments are transcribed here in the order in which the manuscripts have been numbered by the Library of Congress. The order first proposed by Nicolay and Hay and subsequently adopted by Basler in Collected Works is as follows: Fragments 4, 3, 1, 8, 2, 7, 9, 5, 6.

[Fragment 1]

2 Compare with Fragment 8, which apparently constitutes a revision.

make the trade as to useless labour.-- Before proceeding however, it may be as well to give a specimen of what I conceive to be useless labour-- I say, then, that all carrying & incidents of carrying, of articles from the place of their production, to a distant place for consumption, which articles could be produced of as good quality, in sufficient quantity, and with as little labour, at the place of consumption, as at the place carried from, is useless labour-- Applying this principle to our country by an example, let us suppose that A and B, are a Pensylvania farmer, and a Pennsylvania iron-maker, whose lands are adjoining-- Under the protective policy A is furnishing B with bread and meat, and vegetables, and fruits, and food for horses and oxen, and fresh supplies of horses and ox[en] themselves occasionally, and receiving, in exchange,
all the iron, iron utensils, tools, and implements he needs-- In this process of exchange, each receives the whole of that which the other parts with -- and the reward of labour between them is perfect; each receiving the produce of just so much labour, as he has himself bestowed on what he parts with for it-- But the change comes-- The protective policy is abandoned, and A determines to buy his iron and iron manufactures of C. in Europe-- This he can only do by a direct or an indirect exchange of the produce of his farm for them-- We will suppose the direct exchange is adopted-- In this A desires to exchange ten barrels of flour the precise product of one hundred days labour, for the largest quantity of iron &c that he can get; C, also wishes to exchange the precise product, in iron, of one hundred days labour, for the greatest quantity of flour he can get-- In intrinsic value the things to be so exchanged are precisely equal-- But before this exchange can take place, the flour must be carried from Pennsylvania to England, and the iron from England to Pennsylvania-- The flour starts; the waggoner who hauls it to Philadelphia, takes a part of it to pay him for his labour; then a merchant there takes a little more for storage and forwarding commission, and another takes a little more for insurance; and then the ship-owner carries it across the water, and takes a little more of it for his trouble; still before it reaches B C. it is tolled two or three times more for storage drayage, commission and so on, so that when B C. gets it, there are but five seven & a half barrels of it left-- The iron too, in its transit from England to Penna goes through the same process tolling, so that when it reaches A there is but half three quarters of it left-- The result of this case is, that A and B C have each parted with one hundred days labour, and each received but seventy five in return-- That the carrying in this case, was introduced by A ceasing to buy of B, and turning C; that it is was utterly useless; and that it is ruinous in its effects, upon A are all little less than self evident-- “But” asks one “if A is now only getting three quarters as much iron from C for ten barrels of flour as he used to get of B, why does he not turn back to B“?” The answer is, B has quit making iron, and so, has none to sell-- “But why did B quit making”?- Because A quit buying of him, and he had no other customer to sell to-- “But surely A. did not cease buying of B. with the expectation of buying of C on harder terms?--” Certainly not-- Let me tell you how that was-- When B was making iron as well as C, B had but one customer, this farmer A-- C had four customers in Europe--
[Fragment 2]

It seems to be an opinion, very generally entertained, that the condition of a nation or an individual is best, whenever they it can buy cheapest; but this is not necessarily true, because if, at the same time, and by the same cause, it is compelled to sell correspondingly cheap, nothing is gained-- Then, it is said, the best condition is, when we can buy cheapest, and sell dearest; but this again is not necessarily true; because, with both these, we might have scarcely any thing to sell -- or, which is the same thing, to buy with-- To illustrate this, suppose a man in the present state of things is labouring the year round, at ten dollars per month, which amounts in the year to $120 -- a change in affairs enables him to buy supplies at half the former price, to get fifty dollars per month for his labour; but at the same time deprives him of employment during all the months of the year but one-- In this case, though goods have fallen one half, and labour raised risen five to one, it is still plain, that at the end of the year, the labourer would be is twenty dollars poorer, than under the old state of things.

These reflections show, that to reason and act correctly on this subject, we must look not merely to buying cheap, nor yet to buying cheap and selling dear, but also to having constant employment, so that we may have the largest possible amount of something to sell-- This matter of employment can only be secured by an ample, steady, and certain market, to sell the products of labor in--
[Fragment 3]

I suppose the true effect of duties upon prices to be as follows: If a certain duty be levied upon an article which, by nature can not be produced in this country, as three cents a pound upon coffee, the effect will be, that the consumer will pay one cent more per pound than before, the producer will take one cent less, and the merchant one cent less in profits -- in other words, the burthen of the duty will distributed over consumption, production, and commerce, and not confined to either-- But if a duty amounting to full protection be levied upon an article which can be produced here with as little labour, as elswhere, as iron, that article will ultimately, and at no distant day, in consequence of such duty, be sold to our people cheaper than before, at least by the amount of the cost of carrying it from abroad

[Fragment 4]3

3 This seems to be an outline for a speech or article on protection not present.

Whether the protective policy shall be finally abandoned, is now the question--

Discussion and experience already had; and question now in greater dispute than ever--

Has there not been some great error in the mode of discussion?--

Propose a single issue of fact, namely --

“From 1816 to the present, have protected articles [co]st us more, of labour, during the higher, than during the lower, duties upon them?”

Introduce the evidence--

Analize this issue, and try to show that it embraces the true and the whole question of the protective policy--

Intended as a test of experience--

The period seclected, is fair; because it is a period of peace -- a period sufficiently long to furnish a fair average under all other causes operating on prices -- a period in which various modifications of higher and lower duties have occurred--

Protected articles, only are embraced-- Show that these only belong to the question--

The labour price only is embraced-- Show this to be correct--

[Fragment 5]4

4 Compare with Fragment 7.

But let us yield the point, and admit that, by abandoning to protective policy, our farmers can purchase their supplies of manufactured articles cheaper than before; and then let us see whether, even at that, the farmers will, upon the whole, be gainers by the change--

To simplify this question, let us suppose our whole population to consist of but twenty men-- Under the prevalence of the protective policy, fifteen of these are farmers, one is a miller, one manufactures iron, one, implements from iron, one cotten goods, and one woolen goods-- The farmers discover, that, owing to labour only costing one quarter

Directory: mss -> mal -> maltext -> rtf orig
rtf orig -> Document: Alexander K. McClure to Abraham Lincoln, June 30, 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Thomas Corwin to Abraham Lincoln, September 6, 1864
rtf orig -> Document: Harriet Chapman to Abraham Lincoln, January 17, 1865
rtf orig -> Document: Mary C. W. Wadsworth to Abraham Lincoln, July 4, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]
rtf orig -> Document: Isachar Zacharie to Abraham Lincoln, April 25, 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Abraham Lincoln to Mary Mann, April 5, 1864 [Draft]
rtf orig -> Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, November 18, 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Jesse K. Dubois and Ozias M. Hatch to Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1863 Springfield Sept 16. 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Joseph Butler to Abraham Lincoln, January 10, 1861
rtf orig -> Document: Francis P. Blair, Jr to Abraham Lincoln, November 14, 1862

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