Memorandum: Advice to Mrs. Stephen A. Douglas

Executive Mansion, Nov. 27— 1861

Yesterday Mrs. Douglas called, saying she is guardian of the minor children of her late husband; that she is being urged, against her inclination, to send them South, on the plea of avoiding the confiscation of their property there, and asking my counsel in the case.

I expect the United States will overcome the attempt to confiscate property, because of loyalty to the government; but if not, I still do not expect the property of absent minor children will be confiscated. I therefore think Mrs. Douglas may safely act her pleasure in the premises.

But it is especially dangerous for my name to be connected with the matter; for nothing would more certainly excite the secessionists to do the worst they can against the children.

To George B. McClellan

November 27, 1861

If Gen. McClellan thinks it proper to make Buell a Major General, enabling Sherman to return to Kentucky, it would rather please me. As Buell, by the letter shown me to-day, agrees with Mr. Guthrie about half a dozen more Brig. Genls. being needed in Ky, that, also might be attended to at the same time.

Nov. 27. 1861. A. LINCOLN

Drafts of a Bill for Compensated Emancipation in Delaware

[November 26? 1861]

[No. 1]

Be it enacted by the State of Delaware, that on condition the United States of America will, at the present session of Congress, engage by law to pay, and thereafter faithfully pay to the said State of Delaware, in the six per cent bonds of said United States, the sum of seven hundred and nineteen thousand and two hundred dollars, in five equal annual instalments, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, at any time after the first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and sixtyseven, within the said State of Delaware, except in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted: Provided, that said State shall, in good faith prevent, so far as possible, the carrying of any person out of said State, into involuntary servitude, beyond the limits of said State, at any time after the passage of this act; and shall also provide for one fifth of the adult slavery becoming free at the middle of the year one thousand eight hundred an[d] sixtytwo; one fourth of the remainder of said adults, at the middle of the year one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree; one third of the remainder of said adults, at the middle of the year one thousand eight hundred and sixtyfour; one half the remainder of said adults at the middle of the year one thousand eight hundred and sixtyfive; and the entire remainder of adults, together with all minors, at the beginning of the year one thousand eight hundred and sixtyseven, as hereinbefore indicated. And provided also that said State may make provision of apprenticeship, not to extend beyond the age of twenty-one years for males, nor eighteen for females, for all minors whose mothers were not free, at the respective births of such minors.

[No. 2]

Be it enacted by the State of Delaware that on condition the United States of America will, at the present session of Congress, engage by law to pay, and thereafter faithfully pay to the said State of Delaware, in the six per cent bonds of said United States, the sum of seven hundred and nineteen thousand, and two hundred dollars, in thirty one equal annual instalments, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, at any time after the first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety three, within the said State of Delaware, except in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; nor, except in the punishment of crime as aforesaid, shall any person who shall be born after the passage of this act, nor any person above the age of thirty five years, be held in slavery, or to involuntary servitude, within said State of Delaware, at any time after the passage of this act.

And be it further enacted that said State shall, in good faith prevent, so far as possible, the carrying of any person out of said state, into involuntary servitude, beyond the limits of said State, at any time after the passage of this act.

And be it further enacted that said State may make provision of apprenticeship, not to extend beyond the age of twentyone years for males, nor eighteen for females, for all minors whose mothers were not free at the respective births of such minors.

On reflection, I like No. 2 the better. By it the Nation would pay the State $ 23,200 per annum for thirtyone years— and

All born after the passage of the act would be born free— and

All slaves above the age of 35 years would become free on the passage of the act— and

All others would become free on arriving at the age of 35 years, until January 1893— when

All remaining of all ages would become free, subject to apprenticeship for minors born of slave mothers, up to the respective ages of 21 and 18.

If the State would desire to have the money sooner, let the bill be altered only in fixing the time of final emancipation earlier, and making the annual instalments correspondingly fewer in number, by which they would also be correspondingly larger in amount. For instance, strike out “1893,” and insert “1872”; and strike out “thirtyone” annual instalments, and insert “ten” annual instalments. The instalments would then be $ 71,920 instead of $ 23,200 as now. In all other particulars let the bill stand precisely as it is.

To George B. McClellan

November 21, 1861.

If General McClellan and General Halleck deem it necessary to declare and maintain martial law at Saint Louis the same is hereby authorized. A. LINCOLN.

Reply to Delegation of Baltimore Citizens

November 15, 1861

GENTLEMEN: I thank you for the address you have presented to me in behalf of the people of Baltimore. I have deplored the calamities which the sympathies of some misguided citizens of Maryland had brought down upon that patriotic and heretofore flourishing State. The prosperity of Baltimore up to the 19th of April last, was one of the wonders produced by the American Union. He who strangles himself, for whatever motive, is not more unreasonable than were those citizens of Baltimore who, in a single night, destroyed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Northern Pennsylvania Railroad, and the railroad from Baltimore to Philadelphia. From the day when that mad transaction occurred, the Government of the United States has been diligently engaged in endeavoring to restore those great avenues to their former usefulness, and, at the same time, to save Baltimore and Maryland from the danger of complete ruin through an unnecessary and unnatural rebellion.

I congratulate you upon the declaration which the people of Baltimore and Maryland have made in the recent election, of their recent approbation of the Federal Government, and of their enduring loyalty to the Union. I regard the results of these elections as auspicious of returning loyalty throughout all the insurrectionary States.

Your wishes for a fair participation by the mechanics and laboring men of Baltimore in the benefits of supplying the Government with materials and provisions are reasonable and just. They have deserved that participation. Loyalty has involved them in some danger, and has demanded of them some sacrifices. Their wishes, as you have communicated them, shall be referred to the proper Departments, and I am sure that every member of the Administration will cheerfully lend his aid to carry them out so far as it can be done consistently with the prudence and economy which ought always to regulate the public service.

To Joseph Holt

Hon. Joseph Holt Washington, D.C.
My dear Sir: Nov. 12. 1861

Yours of the 2nd., written at Louisville, never reached me till yesterday, and Gen McClellan had already so nearly completed his plans for the Departments of the West, and of the Cumberland, that I could scarcely ask him to re-arrange them. Halleck goes to St. Louis, and Buell goes to Louisville. Sherman’s wishes are being consulted, & I hope & believe he will be placed not unsatisfactorily to himself.

You are not mistaken in supposing I am gratified extremely by the excellent conduct of your general at Camp Wildcat. You have with you my good friend Judge David Davis; and allow [me] to assure you, you were never associated with a better man. Please present him my respects. Yours very truly

A. LINCOLN

Henry W. Halleck was placed in command of the Department of the Missouri, Don C. Buell in command of the Department of the Ohio with headquarters at Louisville, and David Hunter in command of the Department of Kansas, November 9, 1861. William T. Sherman was transferred to the Department of the Missouri under Halleck.

To John A. McClernand

Brigadier General McClernand Washington. Nov. 10. 1861

My Dear Sir This is not an official but a social letter. You have had a battle, and without being able to judge as to the precise measure of its value, I think it is safe to say that you, and all with you have done honor to yourselves and the flag and service to the country. Most gratefully do I thank you and them. In my present position, I must care for the whole nation; but I hope it will be no injustice to any other state, for me to indulge a little home pride, that Illinois does not disappoint us.

I have just closed a long interview with Mr. Washburne in which he has detailed the many difficulties you, and those with you labor under. Be assured, we do not forget or neglect you. Much, very much, goes undone: but it is because we have not the power to do it faster than we do. Some of your forces are without arms, but the same is true here, and at every other place where we have considerable bodies of troops. The plain matter-of-fact is, our good people have rushed to the rescue of the Government, faster than the government can find arms to put into their hands.

It would be agreeable to each division of the army to know its own precise destination: but the Government cannot immediately, nor inflexibly at any time, determine as to all; nor if determined, can it tell its friends without at the same time telling its enemies.

We know you do all as wisely and well as you can; and you will not be deceived if you conclude the same is true of us. Please give my respects and thanks to all Yours very truly

A LINCOLN.