Washington, Dec. 19, 1864.
My Dear Sir---I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your kind invitation to be present at the annual festival of the New England Society to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims, on Thursday, the 22d of this month.
My duties will not allow me to avail myself of your kindness. I cannot but congratulate you and the country, however, upon the spectacle of devoted unanimity presented by the people at home, the citizens that form our marching columns, and the citizens that fill our squadrons on the sea---all animated by the same determination to complete and perpetuate the work our fathers began and transmitted.
The work of the Plymouth emigrants was the glory of their age. While we reverence their memory, let us not forget how vastly greater is our opportunity. I am very truly, your obedient servant,
Joseph H. Choate, Esq. A. LINCOLN.