My Dear Sir December 24, 1864.
I have received the elegantly-mounted volume, commemorative of the celebration in honor of the passage of the Ordinance of Emancipation of the State of Louisiana, held on the 11th of June, in New Orleans, which you, in behalf of the following citizens of that State: Henry Raymond, Francois Boisdore, John Smith, Peter Hillud [Hillard?], Robert Smith, A. L. Young, Henry Chevanne [Chevunne? Chevarre?], Lawrence Quanders, Rev. Geo. W. Steptoe, Rev. R. H. Steptoe, and Rev. S. W. Rogers, have had the goodness to transmit to me. 
I beg that you will express to the donors the assurance of my grateful appreciation of their kindness, and that you will accept my personal acknowledgements for the manner in which you have conveyed this manifestation of their regard.
I am very truly Your Obedient Servant
Thomas J Durant Esq