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

To John Maclean [1]

Executive Mansion, Washington,
My Dear Sir December 27, 1864.

I have the honour to acknowledge the reception of your note of the 20th of December, conveying the announcement that the TrusteesPage  184 of the College of New Jersey have conferred upon me the Degree of Doctor of Laws.

The assurance conveyed by this high compliment, that the course of the government which I represent has received the approval of a body of gentlemen of such character and intelligence in this time of public trial, is most grateful to me.

Thoughtful men must feel that the fate of civilization upon this continent is involved in the issue of our contest. Among the most gratifying proofs of this conviction is the hearty devotion everywhere exhibited by our schools and colleges to the national cause.

I am most thankful if my labors have seemed to conduce to the preservation of those institutions under which alone we can expect good government and in its train sound learning and the progress of the liberal arts.

I am sir very truly Your Obedient Servant A. LINCOLN

Dr. John MacLean


[1]   LS, NjP. President John Maclean of the College of New Jersey, Princeton, wrote Lincoln on December 20, 1864:

``I have the honour to inform you, that, at the semi-annual meeting of the Trustees of this College this day, the Degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon you, by the unanimous consent of the Board.

``Hoping that this expression of their respect for you both personally, and as the Head of our Nation will not be unacceptable to you, I am most sincerely and with the highest respect. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).

Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois, was first to honor Lincoln with an LL.D., on July 4, 1860, and Columbia College, New York City, came next with an LL.D. conferred on June 26, 1861.