ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 294. William N. Bilbo, an old Whig of Tennessee, wrote Lincoln from New York on January 26, 1865: ``Accept my unfeigned gratitude for my prompt release from the malicious or profoundly ignorant charge of being a southern spy. To those who know me the charge is simply ridiculous. I may be justly charged of being impulsive, defiant, and precipitant, but never as a hypocrite or spy---never never. Sir, I have written this for other purposes than a return of my grateful acknowledgement for your confidence and friendship. I have at last succeeded this evening through my friends in prevaling upon the `World' the organ of the Democracy to declare on Saturday or friday that to vote for or against the `Amend-ment' clause on Tuesday next was no test of Democracy and rather indirectly to advise the Democracy to vote for it. I was thus promised this evening by its Editor So you need not have any apprehension now upon its passage. Gov Seymour has declared that he had no interest upon the subject, and if it passed he would have no regrets. . . . Mr Seward first intrusted this matter to me, and I first won over Judge [Thomas A. R.] Nelson who introduced me to you and who has been indefatigable in his assiduous efforts to procure other Democrats to vote for it. The Bill will pass and thus I will have discharged my obligations to you & Mr Seward as an old line whig, and my paramount obligations to eternal justice and an universal humanity. Had you not better have the article of the `World' copied in the Chronicle the next day, to ease the Democratic scruples of some members of congress.''
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