"To ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

"DEAR SIR: I do not intrude to tell you–for you must know already– that a great proportion of those who triumphed in your election, and of all who desire the unqualified suppression of the Rebellion now desolating our country, are sorely disappointed and deeply pained by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of the Rebels. I write only to set succinctly and unmistakably before you what we require, what we think we have a right to expect, and of what we complain.

"I. We require of you, as the first servant of the Republic, charged especially and preeminently with this duty, that you EXECUTE THE LAWS...."

"II. We think you are strangely and disastrously remiss in the discharge of your official and imperative duty with regard to the emancipating provisions of the new Confiscation Act...."

"III. We think you are unduly influenced by the counsels, the representations, the menaces, of certain fossil politicians hailing from the Border States...."

"IV. We think the timid counsels of such a crisis calculated to prove perilous and probably disastrous...."

"V. We complain that the Union cause has suffered and is now suffering immensely, from mistaken deference to Rebel Slavery. Had you, Sir, in your Inaugural Address, unmistakably given notice that, in case the Rebellion already commenced were persisted in, and your efforts to preserve the Union and enforce the laws should be resisted by armed force, you would recognize no loyal person as rightfully held in Slavery by a traitor, we believe that the Rebellion would have received a staggering, if not fatal blow...."

"VI. We complain that the Confiscation Act which you approved is habitually disregarded by your Generals, and that no word of rebuke for them from you has yet reached the public ear...."

"VII. Let me call your attention to the recent tragedy in New Orleans, whereof the facts are obtained entirely through Pro-Slavery channels...."

"VIII. On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one disinterested, determined, intelligent champion of the Union Cause who does not feel that all attempts to put down the Rebellion and at the same time uphold its inciting cause are preposterous and futile–that the Rebellion, if crushed out to-morrow, would be renewed within a year if Slavery were left in full vigor–that the army of officers who remain to this day devoted to Slavery can at best be but half way loyal to the Union–and that every hour of deference to Slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union...."

"IX. I close as I began with the statement that what an immense majority of the Loyal Millions of your countrymen require of you is a frank, declared, unqualified, ungrudging execution of the laws of the land, more especially of the Confiscation Act.... As one of the millions who would gladly have avoided this struggle at any sacrifice but that of Principle and Honor, but who now feel that the triumph of the Union is indispensable not only to the existence of our country, but to the well-being of mankind, I entreat you to render a hearty and unequivocal obedience to the law of the land."



"NEW YORK, August 19, 1862."


Source:  Henry Ketchum, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, online through Authorama, Public Domain Books.





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