ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 289. The date is not in Lincoln's handwriting. On January 13, Governor Johnson had telegraphed Lincoln: ``The Convention composed of more than five hundred delegates from all parts of the State have unanimously adopted an amendment to the constitution forever abolishing Slavery in this State and denying the power of the Legislature passing any law creating property in man. Thank God that the tyrants rod has been broken. This amendment is to be submitted to the people for ratification on thePage 217
birth day of the Father of his Country, when, without some reverse of arms, the state will be redeemed and the foul blot of Slavery erased from her escutcheon. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).
On January 17, he replied to Lincoln's question:
``The ordinance abolishing slavery will be adopted by the people on the 22d of February. Legislature and the Governor will be elected on the 4th of March, and will meet on the first Monday in April, when the State will be organized & resume all the functions of a state in the Union. I would prefer remaining where I am until that time, and then hand it all over to the people. . . .
``I would rather have the pleasure and honor of turning over the state, organized . . . than be Vice President of the United States. At some convenient time after the first Monday in April, I could be qualified &c. There are precedents for qualifying Vice Presidents after the fourth of March. Give me your opinion on the subject . . .'' (Ibid.).
See further Lincoln to Johnson, January 24, infra.
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