Card of Admission for George Ashmun

Allow Mr. Ashmun & friend to come in at 9. A.M. to-morrow.

April 14. 1865. A. LINCOLN

Framed with a portrait of Lincoln, this card is accompanied by another card on which Ashmun wrote: “The above is the last autograph of President Lincoln. It was written & given to me at half past 8 P.M. April 14, 1865, just as he & Mrs Lincoln were starting for the Theatre where he was assasinated.”


Concerning Passes to Richmond

[April 14, 1865?]

No pass is necessary now to authorize any one to go to & return from Petersburg & Richmond. People go & return just as they did before the war. A LINCOLN

To James H. Van Alen

Washington, April 14th, 1865.

My dear Sir: I intend to adopt the advice of my friends and use due precaution. . . . I thank you for the assurance you give me that I shall be supported by conservative men like yourself, in the efforts I may make to restore the Union, so as to make it, to use your language, a Union of hearts and hands as well as of States. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

Memorandum Respecting Reduction of the Regular Army

[c. April 13, 1865?]

At the close of the last British war,—in 1815—the Regular army was reduced and fixed at 14,000, which was about one soldier to 602 souls. In 1821 the army was again reduced to 10,000, which was about one soldier to 963 souls. It is proposed that at the end of this struggle, the Regular Army shall be reduced to, and fixed at, one soldier to 1000 souls—the reduction to be in the regiments now created, all privates, thus discharged, to receive half pay from their discharge to the end of their several terms of enlistment; all officers thus discharged, who were taken from civil life, to receive one years full pay after discharge; and all who were taken from the old regular Army, to receive pay for life, according to their several ranks, at the time of their discharge, and without promotion, Congress to provide a mode of designating what officers, and what privates, are to be discharged at the time of the reduction.

To Godfrey Weitzel

Cypher                         Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Major General Weitzel     War Department,
Richmond, Va.                 Washington, D.C., April 12. 1865

I have seen your despatch to Col. Hardie about the matter of prayers. I do not remember hearing prayers spoken of while I was in Richmond; but I have no doubt you have acted in what appeared to you to be the spirit and temper manifested by me while there.

Is there any sign of the rebel Legislature coming together on the understanding of my letter to you? If there is any such sign, inform me what it is; if there is no such sign you may as [well] withdraw the offer. A. LINCOLN

To Godfrey Weitzel

Cypher                         Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Major General Weitzel     War Department,
Richmond, Va                  Washington, D.C., April 12. 1865

I have just seen Judge Campbell’s letter to you of the 7th. He assumes as appears to me that I have called the insurgent Legislature of Virginia together, as the rightful Legislature of the State, to settle all differences with the United States. I have done no such thing. I spoke of them not as a Legislature, but as “the gentlemen who have acted as the Legislature of Virginia in support of the rebellion.” I did this on purpose to exclude the assumption that I was recognizing them as a rightful body. I dealt with them as men having power de facto to do a specific thing, towit, “to withdraw the Virginia troops, and other support from resistance to the General Government,” for which in the paper handed Judge Campbell I promised a specific equivalent, to wit, a remission to the people of the State, except in certain cases, the confiscation of their property. I meant this and no more. In as much however as Judge Campbell misconstrues this, and is still pressing for an armistice, contrary to the explicit statement of the paper I gave him; and particularly as Gen. Grant has since captured the Virginia troops, so that giving a consideration for their withdrawal is no longer applicable, let my letter to you, and the paper to Judge Campbell both be withdrawn or, counter-manded, and he be notified of it. Do not now allow them to assemble; but if any have come, allow them safe-return to their homes. A. LINCOLN

Proclamation Concerning Blockade

April 11, 1865

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, by my Proclamations of the nineteenth and twenty seventh days of April, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, the ports of the United States in the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, were declared to be subject to blockade; but whereas the said blockade has, in consequence of actual military occupation by this Government, since been conditionally set aside or relaxed in respect to the ports of Norfolk and Alexandria, in the State of Virginia, Beaufort in the State of North Carolina, Port Royal in the State of South Carolina, Pensacola and Fernandina in the State of Florida, and New Orleans in the State of Louisiana:

And, whereas, by the fourth section of the Act of Congress approved on the thirteenth of July eighteen hundred and sixty one, entitled “An act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports and for other purposes,” the President, for the reasons therein set forth, is authorized to close certain ports of entry;

Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim that the ports of Richmond, Tappahannock, Cherrystone, Yorktown and Petersburg in Virginia; of Camden, (Elizabeth City,) Edenton, Plymouth, Washington, Newbern, Ocracoke and Wilmington, in North Carolina; of Charleston, Georgetown and Beaufort in South Carolina; of Savannah, St. Mary’s and Brunswick, (Darien) in Georgia; of Mobile in Alabama; of Pearl River, (Shieldsborough,) Natchez and Vicksburg in Mississippi; of St. Augustine, Key West, St. Marks, (Port Leon,) St. John’s, (Jacksonville,) and Apalachicola, in Florida; of Teché, (Franklin) in Louisiana; of Galveston, La Salle, Brazos de Santiago, (Point Isabel,) and Brownsville, in Texas, are hereby closed, and all right of importation, warehousing, and other privileges shall, in respect to the ports aforesaid, cease until they shall have again been opened by order of the President; and if, while said ports are so closed, any ship or vessel from beyond the United States or having on board any articles subject to duties, shall attempt to enter any such port, the same, together with its tackle, apparel, furniture and cargo, shall be forfeited to the United States.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


Done at the City of Washington, this eleventh day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

By the President:

WILLIAM H SEWARD Secretary of State.