Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  248

To Alexander H. Stephens, John A. Campbell and Robert M. T. Hunter [1]

Messrs Alex H Stephens, [January 30, 1865]

J. A. Campbell and R. M. T. Hunter.

Gentlemen I am instructed by the President of the United States to place this paper in your hands with the information that if you pass through the U.S. Military lines it will be understood that you do so for the purpose of an informal conference, on the basis of the letter, a copy of which is on the reverse side of this sheet; and that if you choose to pass on such understanding, and so notify me in writing, I will procure the Commanding General to pass you through the lines, and to Fortress-Monroe, under such military precautions as he may deem prudent; and, at which place you will be met in due time by some person or persons for the purpose of such informal conferrence. And further that you shall have protection, safe-conduct, and safe return, in all events.


Maj & A.D.C.


[1]   AD, CSmH. The body of the letter is in Lincoln's handwriting; the names of the persons addressed and the signature are in Eckert's autograph. On the verso is Lincoln's autograph copy of his letter to Blair, January 18, supra. Although supplied by Nicolay and Hay with the date February 1, 1865 (XI, 16), this letter was obviously given to Eckert on January 30 (see to Eckert, supra), and was delivered by him on February 1. On the verso of the copy retained by Eckert appears his endorsement dated at City Point, Virginia, February 1, 1865: ``A copy of the above [Lincoln to Blair, January 18, 1865], also a copy of my letter to Messrs. Alex H. Stephens, J. A. Campbell & R. M. T. Hunter were delivered in person to Alex H. Stephens at 4.15 PM. by him read, then by Mr Campbell & then by Mr Hunter.'' (Original owned by Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles, California.) See Lincoln's communication to the House of Representatives, February 10, infra.