Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 7.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Stephen G. Burbridge [1]

Gen. Burbridge Executive Mansion,
Lexington, Ky. Washington, Sep. 4, 1864.

Judge Swayne of the U.S. Supreme Court appeals to me in favor of a man by the name of A. Harris, said to be in custody at Louisville on charge of belonging to the secret order so much spoken of. Harris avers that he does not belong to it; and the Judge declares he believes him. Please have the case examined. A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 153. On August 19, 1864. Noah H. Swayne wrote to Edward Bates enclosing the following letters for Lincoln: ``The enclosed letter is from a relative & friend of mine. . . . I have noPage  535

doubt . . . that the charge has originated in malice or misconception. He is a lawyer of ability---of industry---and of the highest character for integrity. . . . I beg to suggest that Genl [Hugh] Ewing or Genl Burbridge be directed to hold him in custody until the case is properly examined. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).

Harris' letter to Swayne, dated August 9, 1864, is as follows: ``I am confined in the Military Prison . . . under charges . . . of belonging to a secret military treasonable organization, and that meetings of that order were held at the office of the Louisville Water Works of which I am the President. Now sir, on the honor of a gentleman I solemnly deny the truth of each of these charges. . . .'' (Ibid.)

Burbridge replied to Lincoln's telegram on September 8: ``A. Harris, about whom you telegraphed on the 4th instant, was released from arrest some time ago.'' (Ibid.)