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

To Lyman Trumbull [1]

Hon. Lyman Trumbull, Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir: Washington, January 9, 1865.

The paper, relating to Louisiana, submitted to the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, by Gen. Banks, is herewith returned. The whole of it is in accordance with my general impression, and I believe it to be true; but much the larger part is beyond my absolute knowledge, as in it's nature it must be. All the statements which lie within the range of my knowledge are strictly true; and I thinkPage  207 of nothing material which has been omitted. Even before Gen. Banks went to Louisiana I was anxious for the loyal people there to move for re-organization and restoration of proper practical relations with the Union; and when he, at last, expressed his decided conviction that the thing was practicable, I directed him to give his official co-operation to effect it. On the subject, I have sent and received many letters to and from Gen. Banks and many other persons. These letters, as you remember, were shown to you yesterday, as they will be again, if you desire.

If I shall neither take sides nor argue, will it be out of place for me to make what I think is the true statement of your question as to the proposed Louisiana Senators?

``Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relations with the Union, sooner, by admitting or by rejecting the proposed Senators?'' [2] Yours truly A LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, VtU; ADfS, DLC-RTL. On January 9, Senator Trumbull wrote Lincoln:

``Agreeably to our verbal understanding, I enclose you the statement of Maj. Gen. Banks made to the Judiciary Com. of the Senate. The committee meets Wednesday, before which please return it, if convenient.

``In my statement as to what constitutes `enemy property' I may have been in error in supposing that the domicil & character of the owner was immaterial. As to some property this would be true but not in all cases.'' (DLC-RTL).

The lengthy statement of General Nathaniel P. Banks may be found in Thirty-eighth Congress, Second Session, Senate Miscellaneous Document No. 7.

[2]   Charles Smith and R. King Cutler, senators-elect from Louisiana, were not seated.