Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 6.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Leonard Swett [1]

Hon. L. Swett. Washington City,
San Francisco, Cal. July 15. 1863

Many persons are telegraphing me from California, begging me, for the peace, of the State, to suspend the military enforcement of the writ of possession, in the Almedan case, while you are the single one who urges the contrary. You know I would like to oblige you, but it seems to me my duty, in this case, is the other way.

A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, RPB. See Lincoln to Swett and Low, July 9, supra. On July 13, Halleck had telegraphed Frederick Billings, attorney for the New Almaden Mine:

``The order for a military occupation of New Almaden was surreptitiously obtained. The Secretary of War has directed General Wright to suspend operations, to restore everything as he found it, and to obey no orders which do not come through the proper channels.'' (OR, I, L, II, 522).

On July 14, Swett sent Lincoln three telegrams as follows:

``Abraham Lincoln, President United States:

``After full consultation with owner and attorney at mine, it was determined no actual resistance should be offered. In a short time I would have had peaceable possession, but when your dispatch came the marshal was telegraphed that you had ordered to wait. Your order can yet be executed. If you determine to do it, telegraph me giving discretion, and I will be responsible for consequences. If you do not think best to execute the order let the Attorney-General authorize me by telegraph to obtain an injunction and receiver. In my opinion the injunction had better be applied for. The Government owes it to its own dignity to do one of these things. I have offered the company the same terms proposed by the Quicksilver Company, and they positively refuse to do anything. LEONARD SWETT. (Sent to Secretary of Interior.)'' (Ibid., p. 523).

``To Abraham Lincoln President US For Secretary of Interior---

``The Almaden Company realize more than a million of dollars annually. They have no recognized miners claim, for a miners claim is a certain number of feet allowed by local law---contrary to mining laws, they claim a large tract of land. If Government had not yielded there would have been acquiescence, but having yielded one step the Almaden Company are striving by every conceivable means to make Government abandon property. Their position now is that the mine is government land and because of that fact the Govt should do nothing either by the order or the courts. If this deliberate attempt to drive the Government from its rights succeeds, it will be quoted as a precedent in future and will breed great mischief. The mandate of the Supreme Court should be sent here, and the Govt by an injunction ought to save the fund arisingPage  334 from the Mine, until the termination of the suit, when Congress may dispose of it as it pleases. LEONARD SWETT.'' (DLC-RTL).

``His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President United States:

``General Halleck has telegraphed the following dispatch, which has been published here [copying Halleck to Billings, July 13.] LEONARD SWETT.'' (OR, I, L, II, 523).

See further Lincoln to Low, August 17, infra.