To Horatio Seymour

Private & Confidential
His Excellency           Executive Mansion,
Gov. Seymour              Washington, March 23, 1863.

Dear Sir: You and I are substantially strangers; and I write this chiefly that we may become better acquainted. I, for the time being, am at the head of a nation which is in great peril; and you are at the head of the greatest State of that nation. As to maintaining the nation’s life, and integrity, I assume, and believe, there can not be a difference of purpose between you and me. If we should differ as to the means, it is important that such difference should be as small as possible—that it should not be enhanced by unjust suspicions on one side or the other. In the performance of my duty, the co-operation of your State, as that of others, is needed—in fact, is indispensable. This alone is a sufficient reason why I should wish to be at a good understanding with you.

Please write me at least as long a letter as this—of course, saying in it, just what you think fit. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN

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