Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) online

. (page 35 of 42)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 42)
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by these persons that the civil authorities of the Confed
eracy were restrained from abandoning the contest only
by the refusal or neglect of the Government to give them
an opportunity of doing so without undue humiliation
and dishonor ; and in December, Hon. Fernando Wood,
of New York, wrote to the President, informing him that


he had reason to "believe the Southern States would " send
representatives to the next Congress, provided a full and
general amnesty should permit them to do so," and ask
ing the appointment of commissioners to ascertain the
truth of these assurances.
To this request the President made the following re-



MY DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 8th) with the accompanying note of
3a-ne da .e, was received yesterday.

Tlio 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 truth
ful, that the Southern States would send representatives to the next Con
gress, provided that a full and general amnesty should permit them to do
BO. No guarantee or terms were asked for other than the amnesty re
ferred to."

1 strongly suspect your information will prove to be groundless ; never
theless, I thank you for communicating it to me. Understanding the
phrase in the paragraph above 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
Mint in such case the war would cease on the part of the United States;
Miid that if wJthiu A, reasonable time "a full and general amnesty" were
uu essary to trjch end, it would not be withheld.

f do not think it would be proper now to communicate this, formally
informally, to the people of the Southern States. My belief is that

ey already know it; and when they choose, if ever, they can commu
nicate with me unequivocally. Nor do I think it proper now to suspend
military operations to try any experiment of negotiation.

1 should nevertheless receive, with great pleasure, the exact informa
tion 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 thac
pfter wards.

While there is nothing in this letter which I shall dread to see in his
tory, 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,


The intimation in this letter that inforomticm concerning


the alleged willingness of the rebels to resume their alle
giance, " might be more valuable before the 1st of Jan
uary than afterwards," had reference to the Emancipation
Proclamation, which lie proposed to issue on that day,
unless the offer of his preliminary proclamation should
be accepted. That proclamation had been issued on the
22d of September, and the sense of responsibility unclei
which this step was taken, was clearly indicated in the
following remarks made by the President on the evening
of the 24th of that month, in acknowledging the compli
ment of a serenade at the Executive Mansion :

FELLOW-CITIZENS : I appear before you to do little more than acknowl
edge the courtesy you pay me, and to thank you for it. I have not been
distinctly informed why it is that on this occasion you appear to do rne
this honor, though I suppose it is because of the proclamation. What I
did, I did after a very full deliberation, and under a very heavy and sol
emn sense of responsibility. I can only trust in God I havt, made no mis
take. I shall make no attempt on this occasion to sustain what I have
done or said by any comment. It is now for the country and the world
to pass judgment, and may be take action upon it. I will say no more
upon this subject. In my position I am environed with difficulties. Yet
they are scarcely so great as the difficulties of those who, upon the battle
field, are endeavoring to purchase with their blood and their lives the fu
ture happiness and prosperity of this country. Let us never forget them.
On the 14th and 17th days of this present month there have been battles
bravely, skilfully, and successfully fought. We do not yet know the par
ticulars. Let us be sure that, in giving praise to certain individuals, we
do no injustice to others. I only ask you, at the conclusion of these few
reiriarks, to give three hearty cheers to all good and brave officer? and
mei. who fought those successful battles.

In November the President published the following
order regarding the observance of the day of rest, and
the vice of profanity, in the army and navy :


The President, commander-in-chief of the army and navy, desires and
enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath by the officers and men in
the military and naval service. The importance for man and beast of the
prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors,
a becoming deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people, and a
dao regard for the Divine will, demand that Sunday labor in tbg army And
be reduced to the measure of strict necessity.


The discipline and character of the National force?; should not suffer.
nor the cause they defend be imperilled, by the profanation of the day or
name of the Most High. "At this time of public distress," adopting the
words of Washington in 1776, u men may find enough to do in the service
of God and their country, without abandoning themselves to vice and im
morality." The first general order issued by the Father of his Country
after the Declaration of Independence, indicates the spirit in which our
institutions were founded, and should ever be defended. " The general

lopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act
9,9 becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest nghts and libert at

h\s country."






THE third session of the Thirty-seventh Congress opened
on the 1st day of December, 1862 the supporters of the
Administration having a large majority in both branches.
The general condition of the country, and the progress
made in quelling the rebellion, are clearly set forth in the
following Message of President Lincoln, which was sent
in to Congress at the beginning of the session :

Fellow- Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :

Since your last annual assembling, another year of health and bountiful
harvests has passed, and Awhile it lias not pleased the Almighty to bless
us with the return of peace, we can but press on, guided by the best light
fie gives us, trusting that, in His own good time and wise way, all wilJ
be well.

The correspondence, touching foreign affairs, which has taken place
tlur ng 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 certinly more satisfactory than a nation so unhappily distracted ;is
we are might reasonably have apprehended. In the month of June las!
there were some grounds to expect that the maritime Powers, which, at
the beginning of our domestic difficulties, so unwisely and unncessarih%
as we think, recognized the insurgents as a belligerent, would soon recedo
from that position, which has proved only less injurious to themselves
than to our own country. But the temporary reverses which afterwards
befell the National arms, and which were exaggerated by our own
disloyal citizens abroad, have hitherto delayed that act of simple jus

The civil war which has so radically changed for the moment the o^-?a-
pations and habits of the American people, has necessarily disturbed th


social condition, and affected very deeply the prosperity of the nations
with winch we hare carried on a commerce that has been steadily in
creasing throughout a period of half a century. It has, at the same timo,
excited political ambitions and apprehensions which have produced a pro
found 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 attempt-
1 wl 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
eifects and consequences resulting to those nations themselves. Never
theless, complaint on the part of this Government, even of it were just,
would certainly be unwise.

The treaty with Great Britain for the suppression of the slave-trade
has beer. _iut 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 moi al
and loyal citizens.

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

A blockade of three thousand miles of sea-coast could not oe established
and vigorously enforced, in a season of great commercial activity like the
] tresent, without committing occasional mistakes, and inflicting uninten
tional 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 misap
prehensions, 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 s ill,
licwever, 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 these States are not at once prepared to redress. I have proposed to
Rome 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 lias not yet been formally adopted.

I deem it my duty to recommend an appropriation in behalf of the
\vnera of the Norwegian bark Admiral P, TorclAnskiold, which vessel


ras in May, 1861, prevented by the commander of the blockading force
.aiF Charleston from leaving that port with cargo, notwithstanding a sim
ilar privilege had, shortly before, been granted to an English vessel. I
Lave 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 wt\"
contemplated in recent acts of Congress. Other parties, at home ami
abroad some from interested motives, others upon patriotic consider;-*
tions, and still others influenced by philanthropic sentiments have sug
gested similar measures; while, on the other hand, several of the Span
ish-American Republics have protested against the sending of such colo
nies 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
eame time offered to the several States situated within the tropics, or
Laving 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 * : I \eir respective territories, upon conditions which shall be equal,
just, a/iL humane. Liberia and Hayti are, as yet, the only countries to
which colonists of African descent from here could go with certainty of
being received and adopted c 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 de
mands. I believe, however, opinion among them in this respect is
improving; and that ere long there will be an augmented and considera
ble migration to both these countries from the United States.

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 in the.
Se aate s consent, with Liberia; and a similar negotiation is now pending j
wi h the Republic of Hayti. 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 rela
tions also continue to be maintained with Turkey, Morocco, China, and

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 en
tertained by these neighbors, whose safety and progress are so intimately
connected with our own. This statement especially applies to Mexico,
Nicaragua, Costa R tca, Honduras, Peru, and Chili.

The commission under the convention with the Republic of New <ira


nada 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 be able to do more complete justice. The joint
commission between the United States and the Republic of Co&ta Rica
has completed its labors and submitted its report.

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

The Territories of the United States, with unimportant exceptioi.a,
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 constitution
ally 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 dimin
ish the burdens of the people. It is worthy of your serious considera
tion \\ hether some extraordinaiy measures to promote that end cannot
be adopted. The means which suggests itself as most likely to be effec
tive, 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 coun
tries results which cannot fail to be auspicious.

The condition of the finances will claim your most diligent considera
tion. The vast expenditures incident to the military and naval opera
tions required for the suppression of the rebellion have been hitherto
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 busi
ness, and with the least possible burdens upon labor.

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

A return to specie payments, however, at the earliest period compati
ble with due regard to all interests concerned, should ever be kept iu
view. Fluctuations in the value of currency are always injurious, and
to reduce these fluctuations to the lowest possible point win M.lwayg be 8


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 e:stremely doubtful whether a
circulation of United States notes, payable in coin, and sufficiently large
for the wants of the people, can be permanently, usefully, aud safely

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?

1 know of none which promises so certain results, and is, at the same
time, so unobjectionable as the organization of banking associations, un
der 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 ap
pearance and security, and convertible always into coin, would at once
protect labor against the evils of a vicious currency, and facilitate com
merce by cheap and safe exchanges.

A moderate reservation from the interest on the bonds would compen
sate 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 employer 1 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 var ; \us 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 30tl
of June, 1862, were $583,885,247.60, 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;
*nd for payment of public debt, including reimbursement of temporary


loan, and redemptions, $90,090,022.09; making an aggregate of $570,-
841,700.25, and leaving a balance in the Treusu. v 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 expen
ditures, 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 a*d 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 1 give a
summary of them here, upon any principle which would admit of it*
being muc i shorter than the reports themselves. 1 therefore contom
myself W-th laying the reports before you, and asking your attention U

It gives me pleasure to report a decided improvement in the financial
condition of the Post-Office Department, as compared with several pro
ceding 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 suffi
cient 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 $13,600,759.11.
For the last year the amount has been reduced to $11,125,364.13, show-
ing a decrease of about $2,481,000 in the expenditures as compared with
lie pieceding year, and about $3,750,000 as compared with the fiscal vear
i36i>. The deficiency in the Department for the previous year w ; ,r
$4,551,966.98. For the last fiscal year it was reduced to $2,112,814."
These favorable results are in part owing to the cessation of mail si-rvi.
in the insurrectionary States, and in part to a careful review of all expeu
ditnres 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 De
partment of State, with foreign Governments, proposing a convention ot
postal representatives for the purpose of simplifying the rates of foreign
postage, and to expedite the foreign mails. This proposition, equally im
portant to our adopted citizens and to the commercial interests of this
country, has been favorably entertained arid agrees to by all the Qovern-
inenti from whom replies have been received.


f ask the attention of Congress to the suggestions of the Postmaster.
General in Ins 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 rublic
hinds :

The public lands have ceased to be a source of revenue. From the
1st July, 1861, to the 30th September, 1862, the entire cash receipts from

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 42)