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


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.

Memorandum on Clement C. Clay

Executive Mansion,
Washington, [c. July 25], 1864

Hon. Clement C. Clay, one of the Confederate gentlemen who recently, at Niagara Falls, in a letter to Mr. Greeley, declared that they were not empowered to negotiate for peace, but that they were, however, in the confidential employment of their government, has prepared a Platform and an Address to be adopted by the Democracy at the Chicago Convention, the preparing of these, and conferring with the democratic leaders in regard to the same, being the confidential employment of their government, in which he, and his confreres are engaged. The following planks are in the Platform—

5. The war to be further prossecuted only to restore the Union as it was, and only in such manner, that no further detriment to slave property shall be effected.

6. All negro soldiers and seamen to be at once disarmed and degraded to menial service in the Army and Navy; and no additional negroes to be, on any pretence whatever, taken from their masters.

7 All negroes not having enjoyed actual freedom during the war to be held permanently as slaves; and whether those who shall have enjoyed actual freedom during the war, shall be free to be a legal question.

The following paragraphs are in the Address—

“Let all who are in favor of peace; of arresting the slaughter of our countrymen, of saving the country from bankruptcy & ruin, of securing food & raiment & good wages for the laboring classes; of disappointing the enemies of Democratic & Republican Government who are rejoicing in the overthrow of their proudest monuments; of vindicating our capacity for self-government, arouse and maintain these principles, and elect these candidates.”

“The stupid tyrant who now disgraces the Chair of Washington and Jackson could, any day, have peace and restoration of the Union; and would have them, only that he persists in the war merely to free the slaves.”

The convention may not litterally adopt Mr. Clay’s Platform and Address, but we predict it will do so substantially. We shall see.

Mr. Clay confesses to his Democratic friends that he is for peace and disunion; but, he says “You can not elect without a cry of war for the union; but, once elected, we are friends, and can adjust matters somehow.” He also says “You will find some difficulty in proving that Lincoln could, if he would, have peace and re-union, because Davis has not said so, and will not say so; but you must assert it, and re-assert it, and stick to it, and it will pass as at least half proved.”

Memorandum Read to Cabinet

Executive Mansion,
Washington, [July 14?], 186[4].

I must myself be the judge, how long to retain in, and when to remove any of you from, his position. It would greatly pain me to discover any of you endeavoring to procure anothers removal, or, in any way to prejudice him before the public. Such endeavor would be a wrong to me; and much worse, a wrong to the country. My wish is that on this subject, no remark be made, nor question asked, by any of you, here or elsewhere, now or hereafter.

Memorandum of Interview with William P. Fessenden

Executive Mansion,
Washington, July 4, 1864.

I have to-day said to Hon. W. P. Fessenden, on his assuming the office of Secretary of the Treasury, that I will keep no person in office in his department, against his express will, so long as I choose to continue him; and he has said to me, that in filling vacancies he will strive to give his willing consent to my wishes in cases when I may let him know that I have such wishes. It is, and will be, my sincere desire, not only to advance the public interest, by giving him complete control of the department, but also to make his position agreeable to him.

In Cabinet my view is that in questions affecting the whole country there should be full and frequent consultations, and that nothing should be done particularly affecting any department without consultation with the head of that department.


Memorandum about Churches

March 4, 1864

I have written before, and now repeat, the United States Government must not undertake to run the churches. When an individual in a church or out of it becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked, but the churches as such must take care of themselves. It will not do for the United States to appoint trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the churches. I add if the military have military need of the church building, let them keep it; otherwise let them get out of it, and leave it and its owners alone except for causes that justify the arrest of any one.


Endorsement Concerning Henry Andrews

[January 7, 1864]

The case of Andrews is really a very bad one, as appears by the record already before me. Yet before receiving this I had ordered his punishment commuted to imprisonment for during the war at hard labor, and had so telegraphed. I did this, not on any merit in the case, but because I am trying to evade the butchering business lately. A. LINCOLN.