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

To Thomas C. Fletcher [1]

His Excellency Executive Mansion
Gov. Fletcher, Washington Feb 20 1865

It seems that there is now no organized military force of the enemy in Missouri and yet that destruction of property and life is rampant every where. Is not the cure for this within easy reach of the people themselves? It cannot but be that every man, not naturally a robber or cut-throat would gladly put an end to this state of things. A large majority in every locality must feel alike upon this subject; and if so they only need to reach an understanding one with another. Each leaving all others alone solves the problem. And surely each would do this but for his apprehension that others will not leave him alone. Can not this mischievous distrust be removed? Let neighborhood meetings be every where called and held, of all entertaining a sincere purpose for mutual security in the future, whatever they may heretofore have thought, said or done about the war or about anything else. Let all such meet and waiving all else pledge each to cease harassing others and to make common cause against whomever persists in making, aiding or encouraging further disturbance. The practical means they will best know how to adopt and apply. At such meetings old friendships will cross the memory; and honor and Christian Charity will come in to help.

Please consider whether it may not be well to suggest this to the now afflicted people of Missouri. Yours truly [A. LINCOLN.]


[1]   Copy, DLC-RTL. For Governor Fletcher's reply, see Lincoln to Fletcher, February 27, infra.