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

To William Lloyd Garrison [1]

Executive Mansion, Washington,
My Dear Mr. Garrison 7 February, 1865.

I have your kind letter of the 21st of January, and can only beg that you will pardon the seeming neglect occasioned by my constant engagements. When I received the spirited and admirablePage  266 painting ``Waiting for the Hour'' I directed my Secretary not to acknowledge its arrival at once, preferring to make my personal acknowledgment of the thoughtful kindness of the donors; and waiting for some leisure hour, I have committed the discourtesy of not replying at all.

I hope you will believe that my thanks though late, are most cordial, and I request that you will convey them to those associated with you in this flattering and generous gift.

I am very truly Your friend and Servant A. LINCOLN.

Wm. Lloyd Garrison Esq


[1]   LS, RPB; Df, DLC-RTL. This letter is misdated January 24, 1865, by Nicolay and Hay (X, 344). The body of the signed letter as well as the draft in the Lincoln Papers is entirely in John Hay's handwriting. On January 21, 1865, William Lloyd Garrison had written Lincoln:

``About the first of July, last year, what was deemed by critics . . . an admirable painting, was sent by Adams's Express to your address . . . accompanied by a letter from me in behalf of the donors, whose contributions to the object in view amounted to upwards of five hundred dollars. This meritorious picture . . . was entitled `Watch Night---or, Waiting for the Hour.' It represented a group of negro men, women and children waiting . . . for the midnight hour of December 31, 1862, to pass, and the introduction of that new year which was to make them forever free. Many photographic copies were made of it, and it was by my advice that it was presented to you as the most fitting person in the world to receive it. . . .

``For some cause or other, no acknowledgment has been made . . . of the receipt of the picture, or of my letter, which contained the names of the donors. As . . . Mr. Summer assured me . . . that he had seen the picture again and again at the White House, all anxiety has been relieved as to its safe arrival. . . . But as the money raised . . . was collected by ladies who desire that the donors may be officially apprised of its legitimate application, I write in their behalf to say that it would relieve them of much embarrassment if you would be so obliging . . . as to send me a line, stating that the painting . . . was duly received by you. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).