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

Cotton Permit for Fergus Peniston [1]

Executive Mansion,
Washington, January 4th. 1865.

Whereas satisfactory evidence, has been furnished to me by Fergus Peniston, that he is now and was prior to April 1864 the legitimate owner of large amounts of cotton and naval stores situated in Louisiana and Southern Mississippi and reposing special trust and confidence in said Peniston, I do by these presents, authorize him to proceed with steamboats barges and other conveyances, at his own risk, up and down the Mississippi river and land at any points on said river between Natchez & Port Hudson, also up and down Red river and its tributaries and navigate the waters of Lakes Pontchartrain & Borgne to and from East & West Pascagoula and mouth of Pearl River and up and down Pearl & Pascagoula Rivers for the purpose of bringing out Twenty three Thousand Six Hundred & Forty Bales of Cotton and Seventeen Thousand Two Hundred Barrels of naval stores and continue said voyages until this stated amount of cotton & naval stores shall have been brought by him to new orleans. And in order to secure the products specified in this permit, I do furthermore authorize said Peniston to take on his boats or conveyances outside the Military lines of the United States and carry to any of the above designated localities, plantation supplies to the extent of Thirty per cent of the value of the cotton or naval stores brought to new orleans by his vessels.

Nothing in this permit is to be so construed as to prevent said Peniston from disposing of said cotton or naval stores in new orleans or new york at his option, after payment of the Internal Revenue & other taxes, fixed by Congress, not including however the Twenty five per cent tax.

Page  197All officers of the army or navy of the United States & civil officers of the Government are hereby particularly required not only to not obstruct but to extend to said Peniston all facilities that may be required to carry out the design of this permit which is the introduction of cotton and naval stores within the Military lines of the United States.

Annotation

[1]   Df (copy), DLC-RTL. The unsigned draft or copy is written on Executive Mansion stationery. On January 3 Hannibal Hamlin wrote Lincoln: ``I have confered with Mr Peniston in relation to the action you have so kindly taken in his case, and the Permit you have given him to obtain the cotton contracted for. The permit meets that case fully, but does not meet the case of the cotton owned and paid for. If you will allow him to explain the matter to you, I am sure you will see it is as I state. May I not ask that you will see him, and also that you will give your permit to him to get the cotton he has paid for. I will regard it as a favor to me.'' (DLC-RTL).

See also Lincoln's order concerning Peniston, January 28, infra.