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

To Mrs. Charles J. Faulkner [1]

Mrs. Faulkner: [2] Executive Mansion,
Madam Washington, Jany. 9. 1865.

It was with regret I learned that your brother, whom I had ordered to be discharged on taking the oath, under the impression that he was a private, is a captain. By an understanding the Commissary of prisoners detains such cases until a further hearing from me. I now distinctly say that if your Father shall come within our lines and take the oath of Dec. 8. 1863, I will give him a full pardon, and will, at the same time, discharge your brother on his taking the oath, notwithstanding he is a captain. Respectfully

A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   ALS, owned by Louis H. Max, Wilmington, Illinois; ADfS, DLC-RTL. On the back of the letter appear two endorsements, the first certifying that Charles James Faulkner took the oath of allegiance on May 30, 1865, and the second, by James Speed, ordering: ``Pardon & file this paper.'' On the bottom of the letter, however, appears the following unsigned note in pencil: ``My Father never took the oath of allegiance after the War and did not return until after the surrender.'' It would appear that Lincoln's letter was written to Mary Boyd Faulkner, who was the wife of the Charles James Faulkner, Sr. (see note to Lincoln's order to Martindale, July 17, 1864, supra). But this seems improbable, since her father was not living at the time and no brother has been identified who would fit the description in Lincoln's letter. Another possibility is that Lincoln's letter was intended for ``Miss'' rather than ``Mrs.'' Faulkner. In this case the father would be Charles James Faulkner, Sr., and the brother would be Captain Elisha Boyd Faulkner, captured in June, 1864, and confined on Johnson's Island at the time of Lincoln's letter. Which one of Charles James Faulkner's six daughters may have received Lincoln's letter has not been ascertained.

[2]   ``Mrs. Faulkner:'' is not in the autograph draft.