To James W. Grimes

October 29, 1863

AN ACT to regulate the duties of the Clerk of the House of Representatives in preparing for the organization of the House.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, before the first meeting of the next Congress, and of every subsequent Congress, the Clerk of the next preceding House of Representatives shall make a roll of the representatives elect, and place thereon the names of all persons, and of such persons only, whose credentials show that they were regularly elected in accordance with the laws of their States respectively, or the laws of the United States.

Approved March 3, 1863.

Hon. James W. Grimes Executive Mansion

My dear Sir: Washington D.C. Oct. 29, 1863.

The above act of congress was passed, as I suppose, for the purpose of shutting out improper applicants for seats in the House of Representatives; and I fear there is some danger that it will be used to shut out proper ones. Iowa, having an entire Union delegation, will be one of the States the attempt will be made upon, if upon any. The Governor doubtless has made out the certificates, and they are already in the hands of the members. I suggest that they come on with them; but that, for greater caution, you, and perhaps Mr. Harlan with you, consult with the Governor, and have an additional set made out according to the form on the other half of this sheet; and still another set, if you can, by studying the law, think of a form that in your judgment, promises additional security, and qu[i]etly bring the whole on with you, to be used in case of necessity. Let what you do be kept still Yours truly

A. LINCOLN

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