To Charles Butler 
My dear Sir: Washington, Nov. 9, 1864.
I have received your letter of the 5th November, and beg to express my regret that it will not be possible to avail myself of your courteous invitation.
Praying that you will present to your distinguished guest the assurance of my high regard, I am, very truly, Your obedient servant, A. LINCOLN.
Charles Butler, Esq.,
13 East 14th St., N.Y.
 New York Citizens: Welcome to Goldwin Smith (1864), p. 14; Df, DLC-RTL. The draft is in John Hay's autograph. On November 5, 1864, Charles Butler and others of New York wrote Lincoln:
``On behalf of a number of our fellow citizens, we have the honour to invite your attendance at an entertainment, which they propose to give to Prof. Goldwin Smith, of Oxford, at the Rooms of the Union League Club, on Saturday, the 12th of November inst. at Ten oclock.
``In this distinguished Gentleman is recognized a judicious and eloquent representative of that large and right minded class of Englishmen, who, from thePage 98 beginning of this rebellion, have extended to the Rebels neither moral sympathy nor material aid; and one who . . . has steadily protested against the violations of British neutrality, to aid the establishment of a Slave Empire upon the ruins alike of American Nationality and of Republican Government. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).