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and can, in my own conscience, under my oath to the law. That you believe this I doubt not, and, believing it, I shall still receive for our country and myself your earnest prayers to our Father in Heaven.

Your sincere friend,



LETTER TO A WIDOW WHO HAD LOST FIVE SONS IN THE WAR EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, November 21, 1864. J DEAR MADAM-I have been shown, in the files of the War Department, a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine, which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I can not refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,


TO MRS. BIXBY, Boston, Massachusetts.


WASHINGTON, November 21, 1864. }

MY DEAR SIR-I have heard of the incident at the polls, in your town, in which you acted so honorable a part, and I take the liberty of writing to you to express my personal gratitude for the compliment paid me by the suffrage of a citizen so venerable.

The example of such devotion to civic duties, in one whose days have already been extended an average life-time beyond the Psalmist's limits, can not but be valuable and fruitful. It is not for myself only, but for the country, which you have, in your sphere, served so long and so well, that I thank you. Your friend and servant, DEACON JOHN PHILLIPS.



The following letter of Mr. Lincoln, but recently published,

He was

written when he was at the age of twenty-seven. then a candidate for re-election to the Legislature of Illinois, having previously served one term of two years:

NEW SALEM, June 21, 1836.

DEAR COLONEL-I am told that during my absence last week, you passed through this place, and stated publicly that you were in possession of a fact, or facts, which, if known to the public, would entirely destroy the prospects of N. W. Edwards and myself at the ensuing election; but that, through favor to us, you would forbear to divulge them. No one has needed favors more than I, and, generally, few have been less unwilling to accept them; but in this case, favor to me would be injustice to the public, and, therefore, 1 must beg your par don for declining it. That I once had the confidence of the people of Sangamon county, is sufficiently evident, and if I have since done any thing, either by design or misadventure, which, if known, would subject me to a forfeiture of that confidence, he that knows of that thing and conceals it, is a traitor to his country's interest.

I find myself wholly unable to form any conjecture of what fact, or facts, real or supposed, you spoke. But my opinion of your veracity will not permit me, for a moment, to doubt that you, at least, believed what you said. I am flattered with the personal regard you manifested for me; but I hope that, on more mature reflection, you will view the public interest as a paramount consideration, and therefore determine to let the worst come.

I here assure you that the candid statement of facts on your part, however low it may sink me, shall never break the ties of personal friendship between us.

I wish an answer to this, and you are at liberty to publish both, if you choose. Very respectfully, A. LINCOLN.



In a debate in the Illinois House of Representatives, in December, 1839-near the opening of the Harrison canvass― Mr. Lincoln is reported to have made a speech, from which the subjoined paragraphs are extracted:

*Without doubting its genuineness and general accuracy, I have not been able to verify this extract, which has appeared in the public prints.

Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her. I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing, while on its bosom are riding, like deurons on the waves of hell, the imps of the Evil Spirit, and fiendishly torturing and taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their effort; and knowing this, I can not deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow to it I never will. The probability that we may fall in the struggle, ought not to deter us from the support of a cause which we deem to be just. It shall not deter me.

If I ever feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and alone, hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors. And here, without contemplating consequences, before high Heaven, and in the face of the whole world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty and my love. And who, that thinks with me, will not fearlessly adopt the oath I take? Let none falter who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if, after all, we shall fall, be it so. We shall have the proud consolation of saying to our conscience, and to the departed shade of our country's freedom, that the cause approved by our judgments, and adored by our hearts in disaster, in chains, in torture, and in death, we never failed in defending.


WASHINGTON, December 19, 1864. }

MY DEAR SIR-I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your kind invitation to be present at the annual festival of the New England Society, to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims, on Thursday, the 22d of this month.

My duties will not allow me to avail myself of your kindness. I can not but congratulate you and the country, however, upon the spectacle of devoted unanimity presented by the people at home, the citizens that form our marching columns, and the citizens that fill our squadrons on the sea-all

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animated by the same determination to complete and perpetuate the work our fathers began and transmitted.

The work of the Plymouth emigrants was the glory of their age. While we reverence their memory, let us not forget how vastly greater is our opportunity. I am, very truly, your obedient servant, A. LINCOLN.


LETTER TO DR. JOHN MACLEAN, OF PRINCETON COLLEGE. In December, 1864, the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon President Lincoln, by a vote of the Board of Trustees of Princeton College, in New Jersey, of which fact he was duly notified by the President of that institution, Dr. Maclean. Mr. Lincoln sent the following letter, in acknowledgment of this honor:

WASHINGTON, December 27, 1864.

MY DEAR SIR-I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your note of the of the 20th of December, conveying the announcement that the Trustees of the College of New Jersey had conferred upon me the degree of Doctor of Laws.

The assurance conveyed by this high compliment, that the course of the Government which I represent has received the approval of a body of gentlemen of such character and intelligence, in this time of public trial, is most grateful to me.

Thoughtful men must feel that the fate of civilization upon this continent is involved in the issue of our contest. Among the most gratifying proofs of this conviction, is the hearty devotion everywhere exhibited by our schools and colleges to the national cause.

I am most thankful if my labors have seemed to conduce to the preservvtion of those institutions under which, alone, we can expect good government, and in its train, sound learning and the progress of the liberal arts.

I am, Sir, very truly, your obedient servant,



WASHINGTON, February 20, 1865.


His Excellency, Gov. Fletcher:

It seems that there is now no organized military force of the

enemy in Missouri, and yet that destruction of property and life is rampant everywhere. Is not the cure for this within easy reach of the people themselves? It can not but be that every man, not naturally a robber or cut-throat, would gladly put an end to this state of things. A large majority, in every locality, must feel alike upon this subject; and if so, they only need to reach an understanding, one with another. Each leaving all others alone solves the problem; and surely each would do this, but for his apprehension that others will not leave him alone. Can not this mischievous distrust be removed? Let neighborhood meetings be everywhere called and held, of all entertaining a sincere purpose for mutual security in the future, whatever they may heretofore have thought, said or done, about the war, or about any thing else. Let all such meet, and, waiving all else, pledge each to cease harassing others, and to make common cause against whoever persists in making, aiding or encouraging, further disturbance. The practical means they will best know how to adopt and apply. At such meetings, old friendships will cross the memory, and honor and Christian charity will come in to help.

Please consider whether it may not be well to suggest this to the now afflicted people of Missouri.

Yours, truly,



On the fatal 14th of April, Hon. Schuyler Colfax, then about to start for the far-off mining regions, received from Mr. Lincoln a verbal message for the miners, which was thus given in a speech by Mr. C. in Colorado:

"Mr. Colfax, I want you to take a message from me to the miners whom you visit. I have," said he, "very large ideas of the mineral wealth of our nation. I believe it practically inexhaustible. It abounds all over the Western country-from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, and its development has scarcely commenced. During the war, when we were adding a couple of millions of dollars every day to our national debt, I did not care about encouraging the increase in the volume of our precious metals. We had the country to save first. But, now that the Rebellion is overthrown, and we know pretty nearly the amount of our national debt, the more gold and silver we mine, makes the payment of that debt so much the easier. Now," said he, speaking with much emphasis, "I am going to encourage that in every possible way. We shall have hundreds of thousands of disbanded soldiers, and many have

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