Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To James Speed and Joshua F. Speed [1]

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Dec. 1. 1864.

I have stated that if either Mr. James Speed, or Joshua F. Speed, will say in writing on this sheet that he has inquired into the cases of John H. Schramm, and C. T. Smith, and that he believes they or either of them ought to be discharged, on return of the paper I will order the discharge accordingly on the taking of the oath.


Let these two men Smith & Schramm be discharged on taking the oath of December 8. 1863. A. LINCOLN

Dec. 10. 1864


[1]   ALS, and ES, owned by Foreman M. Lebold, Chicago, Illinois. Joshua F. Speed endorsed Lincoln's note on December 5, 1864: ``I have enquired into the character of the signers to the two petitions in favor of the discharge of the two men C. T. Smith & John H. Schramme---now confined at Rock Island Illinois.

``I know some of the gentlemen and all of them from enquiry to be good Union men.

``The prisoners are also men of heretofore good character---are truly penitent and would from all the information I can get---give willing obedience to the law---and whatever influence they may have in favor of the Government.

``I would not ask their release if I did not believe that they would observe their promises.''