To Thomas J. Durant 
My Dear Sir December 24, 1864.
I have received the elegantly-mounted volume, commemorative of the celebration in honor of the passage of the Ordinance of Emancipation of the State of Louisiana, held on the 11th of June, in New Orleans, which you, in behalf of the following citizens of that State: Henry Raymond, Francois Boisdore, John Smith, Peter Hillud [Hillard?], Robert Smith, A. L. Young, Henry Chevanne [Chevunne? Chevarre?], Lawrence Quanders, Rev. Geo. W. Steptoe, Rev. R. H. Steptoe, and Rev. S. W. Rogers, have had the goodness to transmit to me. 
I beg that you will express to the donors the assurance of my grateful appreciation of their kindness, and that you will accept my personal acknowledgements for the manner in which you have conveyed this manifestation of their regard.
I am very truly Your Obedient Servant
Thomas J Durant Esq
 Df, DLC-Nicolay Papers. The draft is in John Hay's handwriting on Executive Mansion stationery. The letter was printed in the Washington Daily Morning Chronicle on January 31, 1865, with the following note: ``On the passage of the act of emancipation, an elegantly bound volume was sent to President Lincoln by the colored people of Louisiana in commemoration of the event. The following letter of the President, after receiving the gift, was read by Thomas J. Durant, Esq. on Wednesday [January 25], before a large assemblage of ladies, gentlemen, and colored people.''
 The book and the letter from Durant, December 8, 1864, accompanying it, are in the Oliver R. Barrett Collection.