To James H. Van Alen 
My dear Sir: I intend to adopt the advice of my friends and use due precaution. . . . I thank you for the assurance you give me that I shall be supported by conservative men like yourself, in the efforts I may make to restore the Union, so as to make it, to use your language, a Union of hearts and hands as well as of States. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.
 NH, XI, 94. No trace of the original letter has been found, and the text in the source is open to question. A footnote in the source is as follows: ``General Van Alen wrote Lincoln, requesting him, for the sake of his friends and the nation, to guard his life and not expose it to assassination as he had by going to Richmond. The above reply was written on the very day Lincoln was assassinated. Its discovery is due to the enthusiastic research of Mr. Gilbert A. Tracy, of Putnam, Conn.'' The purported letter from Van Alen is not in the Lincoln Papers.