Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To David G. Farragut [1]

Naval Officer in command at Executive Mansion,
Mobile Bay Washington, Nov. 6. 1864.

Do not, on any account, or on any showing of authority whatever, from whomsoever purporting to come, allow the blockade to be violated. A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 228. The following endorsement by a telegraph clerk appears on the bottom of the telegram: ``Send this to Care of Capt [George D.] Sheldon/Hilton Head/to be forwarded from there to Mobile by first opportunity.'' See Lincoln's order to General Edward R. S. Canby, August 9, supra, which was also issued to Farragut on the same day. Welles' Diary under date of October 3, 1864, records: ``Had an interview with Seward, agreeable to the wishes of the President, concerning the order to A. J. Hamilton for bringing out cotton. . . . He said that the scheme was one by which certain important persons in the Rebel cause were to be converted. Had himself not much faith that it would amount to anything, and yet it might. The President believed there would be results; but had been very confidential and secret in all that was done. He (S.) had drawn up the order carefully by special request of the President, but had never communicated to any one but Stanton what had been done. . . . I remarked that the subject was of a character which seemed to deserve general consultation in the Cabinet . . . that I was especially so, it being my special duty to prevent intercourse with the Rebels and enforce the blockade. But this order conflicted with that duty, was not in good faith, I apprehended, with others of our people, or with foreign powers. I told him I had made inquiries of Fessenden, for the order expressly referred to the Treasury agents, and they would of course report to him. SewardPage  94

said there was no interference with the blockade. He had prepared the order with great care and sent one copy to General Canby, and one to Admiral Farragut, and proposed to send and get it for my perusal. I told him I already had a copy, which seemed to surprise him. . . . He appeared not to be aware that . . . all the three Departments must come into possession of this confidential circular, and not unlikely it would go into the courts. He is not yet dispossessed of his early error that the government can be carried on by executive order regardless of Department or laws.''

See further Lincoln's order to Farragut, November 11, infra.