To Horace Greeley

Executive Mansion,
Washington, March 24, 1862.
Hon. Horace Greeley—
My dear Sir:

Your very kind letter of the 16th. to Mr. Colfax, has been shown me by him. I am grateful for the generous sentiments and purposes expressed towards the administration. Of course I am anxious to see the policy proposed in the late special message, go forward; but you have advocated it from the first, so that I need to say little to you on the subject. If I were to suggest anything it would be that as the North are already for the measure, we should urge it persuasively, and not menacingly, upon the South. I am a little uneasy about the abolishment of slavery in this District, not but I would be glad to see it abolished, but as to the time and manner of doing it. If some one or more of the border-states would move fast, I should greatly prefer it; but if this can not be in a reasonable time, I would like the bill to have the three main features—gradual—compensation—and vote of the people—I do not talk to members of congress on the subject, except when they ask me. I am not prepared to make any suggestion about confiscation. I may drop you a line hereafter. Yours truly A. LINCOLN


Greeley’s letter to Colfax has not been located, but his reply to Lincoln, presumably incorrectly dated by Greeley “Mar. 24,” and certainly incorrectly cataloged in the Lincoln Papers as “Nov. 24, 1862,” reads as follows:

“I thank you for your kind letter of yesterday.

“I am sure you will find great patience in the country as well as in Congress with regard to all action respecting slavery if it can only be felt that things are going ahead. The stagnation of the grand Army has given life to all manner of projects which would be quiet if the War had been going vigorously on. If you think it best that the bill for Emancipation in the district shall embody a clause of submission to the people of the district, it can easily be so amended. I will advocate it in the Tribune if you desire it. If such vote be deemed requisite, I hope it may be taken on the 4th of July next.

“I hear with regret that there is danger of difference between the Secretary of War and Gen. Fremont. I pray you to see that this be obviated. I do not know that F. is a great general; but I do know that our loyal people, with scarcely an exception, are anxious that he should be permitted to show what he is. Now if he is left without a decent force—Army corps—or not allowed to select his own staff, it will be generally thought that he has been crippled, and the government will be blamed for whatever ill [?] fortune [?] may befall. Pray look to this.”


To the Senate and House of Representatives

March 20, 1862

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The third Section of the “Act further to promote the efficiency of the Navy,” approved 21 December 1861, provides,

“That the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall have the authority to detail from the Retired List of the Navy for the command of Squadrons and single ships such Officers as he may believe that the good of the service requires to be thus placed in command; and such Officers may, if upon the recommendation of the President of the United States they shall receive a vote of thanks of Congress for their services and gallantry in action against an enemy, be restored to the Active List and not otherwise.”

In conformity with this law Captain Samuel F. DuPont, of the Navy, was nominated to the Senate for continuance as the Flag Officer in command of the Squadron which recently rendered such important service to the Union in the Expedition to the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Believing that no occasion could arise which would more fully correspond with the intention of the law or be more pregnant with happy influence as an example, I cordially recommend that Captain Samuel F. DuPont receive a vote of thanks of Congress for his services and gallantry, displayed in the capture, since the 21st. December 1861, of various points on the coasts of Georgia and Florida, particularly Brunswick, Cumberland Island and Sound, Amelia Island, the towns of St. Mary’s, St. Mary’s [sic] St. Augustine and Jacksonville, and Fernandina.

Washington City, ABRAHAM LINCOLN

20 March 1862.

To Francis H. Peirpoint

Hon. F. H. Peirpoint Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir: Washington, March 20, 1862.

Yours of the 14th. received. Make haste slowly. Things are improving by time. Draw up your proclamation carefully, and, if you please, let me see it before issuing. Yours very truly


On March 14, 1862, Governor Peirpoint wrote that “Owing to the favorable advance of the Federal troops into Virginia, and, I think, the certainty of the rebellion being shortly put down in the State, I deem it important that I should issue a circular letter to the people. . . calling upon them to co-operate with me in restoring the government of the State in accordance with the Ordinance of the convention. . . at Wheeling on the 11th of June 1861. . . .”

To Samuel B. Tobey

Executive Mansion,
Dr. Samuel Boyd Tobey: Washington, March 19, 1862.

My dear Sir: A domestic affliction, of which doubtless you are informed, has delayed me so long in making acknowledgment for the very kind and appropriate letter, signed, on behalf, and by direction of a Meeting of the Representatives of the Society of Friends for New-England, held at Providence, Rhode Island the 8th. of second month 1862, by Samuel Boyce, clerk, and presented to me by yourself and associates.

Engaged, as I am, in a great war, I fear it will be difficult for the world to understand how fully I appreciate the principles of peace, inculcated in this letter, and everywhere, by the Society of Friends. Grateful to the good people you represent for their prayers in behalf of our common country, I look forward hopefully to an early end of war, and return of peace. Your obliged friend


To Edwin M. Stanton

Executive Mansion, Washington, March 19, 1862.

My Dear Sir: Messrs. Hedden & Hoey having had a contract with the United States government, closed on the 26th day of November last, to deliver fifty thousand arms to the government by the 15th day of January then next, upon specified terms and conditions, and having actually delivered above twenty-eight thousand within the time, which were accepted and paid for, and having been ready and offered to deliver the remainder, not within, but about ten days after, the contract time, which were refused solely on the question of time, and they having acted in good faith, and the arms being still needed by the government, I think fit to order that the question of time be waived by the government, and that the arms be accepted, if again tendered in conformity to the contract in all respects. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

Hon. Secretary of War.

To James A. McDougal

Hon. James A. McDougal Executive Mansion
U.S. Senate Washington, March 14, 1862

My dear Sir: As to the expensiveness of the plan of gradual emancipation with compensation, proposed in the late Message, please allow me one or two brief suggestions.

Less than one half-day’s cost of this war would pay for all the slaves in Delaware at four hundred dollars per head:

Thus, all the slaves in Delaware, by the Census of 1860, are 1798



Cost of the slaves, $ 719,200.

One day’s cost of the war ” 2,000,000.

Again, less than eighty seven days cost of this war would, at the same price, pay for all in Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Kentucky, and Missouri.

Thus, slaves in Delaware 1798

” ” Maryland 87,188

” ” Dis. of Col. 3,181

” “Kentucky 225,490

” ”┬áMissouri 114,965





Cost of the slaves $173,048,800

Eightyseven days’ cost of the war ” 174,000,000.

Do you doubt that taking the initiatory steps on the part of those states and this District, would shorten the war more than eighty-seven days, and thus be an actual saving of expense?

A word as to the time and manner of incurring the expence. Suppose, for instance, a State devises and adopts a system by which the institution absolutely ceases therein by a named day—say January 1st. 1882. Then, let the sum to be paid to such state by the United States, be ascertained by taking from the Census of 1860, the number of slaves within the state, and multiplying that number by four hundred—the United States to pay such sum to the state in twenty equal annual instalments, in six per cent. bonds of the United States.

The sum thus given, as to time and manner, I think would not be half as onerous, as would be an equal sum, raised now, for the indefinite prossecution of the war; but of this you can judge as well as I.

I inclose a Census-table for your convenience. Yours very truly


Speech to a Massachusetts Delegation

March 13, 1862.

I thank you, Mr. TRAIN, for your kindness in presenting me with this truly elegant and highly creditable specimen of the handiwork of the mechanics of your State of Massachusetts, and I beg of you to express my hearty thanks to the donors. It displays a perfection of workmanship which I really wish I had time to acknowledge in more fitting words, and I might then follow your idea that it is suggestive, for it is evidently expected that a good deal of whipping is to be done. But, as we meet here socially, let us not think only of whipping rebels, or of those who seem to think only of whipping negroes, but of those pleasant days which it is to be hoped are in store for us, when, seated behind a good pair of horses, we can crack our whips and drive through a peaceful, happy and prosperous land. With this idea, gentlemen, I must leave you for my business duties.