[1]   Copy, DLC-Nicolay Papers; New York Tribune, December 9; 1864. The draft or copy in the Nicolay Papers is on Executive Mansion stationery in an unidentified handwriting. On November 9, 1864, F. W. Emmons of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, wrote Lincoln:

``I send you with this, a pamphlet of `The Centenarian Deacon John Phillips [']---of the celebration of his one Hundreth birth day and am happy to inform you that he still lives, now in his 105th year.

``He is a Democrat, of the Jeffersonian School: voted for Washington, as President of the United States; and, yesterday, voted for your re-election to this honorable and responsible place.

``He rode from home, two miles, to our Town Hall, with his son, Col. Edwd Phillips, aged 79 yrs, to cast this vote. He entered it between two unfurled flags of his country, bearing on them the Stars and Stripes; all within, at the time rising, with uncovered heads, to do him homage. And when offered two votes, to take his choice, he said: `I vote for Abraham Lincoln.'

``He has been, for several years, the oldest citizen of this town; and is now, probably, the oldest man in the commonwealth. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).

On January 16, 1865, Phillips replied to Lincoln's letter:

``I trust you will pardon me in trying to answer the kind letter you sent me for which I would return my thanks.

``It was an honor I never expected to receive and feel that your goodness of heart with respect for my extreme age alone prompted the act---while your mind and time must be occupied by so many national cares and anxieties.

``I feel that I have no desire to live but to see the conclusion of this wicked rebellion, and the power of God displayed in the conversion of the nation.

``I beleive by the help of God you will accomplish the first---and also be the means of establishing universal freedom and restoring peace to the Union.

``That the God of mercy will bless you in this great work and through life is the prayer of your unworthy servant.'' (LS, IHi-Nicolay and Hay Papers).

 [ return to text ]