Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 6.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Alexander Reed [1]

Rev. Alexander Reed Executive Mansion
My dear Sir Washington, February 22, 1863

Your note by which you, as General Superintendent of the U.S. Christian Commission, invite me to preside at a meeting to be held this day at the Hall of the House of Representatives in this city, is received.

While, for reasons which I deem sufficient, I must decline to preside, I can not withhold my approval of the meeting, and it's worthy objects. Whatever shall be sincerely, and in God's name, devised for the good of the soldier and seaman, in their hard spheres of duty, can scarcely fail to be blest. And, whatever shall tend to turn our thoughts from the unreasoning, and uncharitable passions, prejudices, and jealousies incident to a great national trouble, such as ours, and to fix them upon the vast and long-enduring consequences, for weal, or for woe, which are to result from the struggle; and especially, to strengthen our reliance on the Supreme Being, for the final triumph of the right, can not but be well for us all.

The birth-day of Washington, and the Christian Sabbath, coincidingPage  115 this year, and suggesting together, the highest interests of this life, and of that to come, is most propitious for the meeting proposed. Your Obt. Servt. A. LINCOLN


[1]   ADfS, DLC-RTL; LS-F, ISLA. See note to Lincoln's letter to Seward, February 18, supra. The letter of invitation from the U.S. Christian Commission of February 12, 1863, signed by George H. Stuart and others, reads in part:

``Under the auspices of the U.S. Christian Commission public meetings have been recently held in Phila. and New York, to be followed up by another next Sunday night in Boston, and it is proposed to complete the series by a final one in Washington.

``These meetings are doing great good for our countrys cause as well as for the noble men of our Army and Navy.

``If we may believe the united testimony of press and people their influence to check distrust and disloyalty and to restore confidence and support to the Government has been very great. . . .

``To give the meeting in Washington the greatest possible weight for the Sacred interests involved the House of Representatives as the place, the 22nd of February the anniversary of Washingtons birth day, as the time, and the President of the United States as the Chairman, have been suggested. . . .

``Rev Alex Reed General Superintendent for the Christian Commission is commended to your kindness, and is authorized to act in regard to the meeting. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).