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

To Edwin M. Stanton [1]

I know not what to do with this persistent appeal. Can any thing be done? A. LINCOLN

Feb. 22. 1865


[1]   AES, DLC-RTL. Lincoln's endorsement appears on the following letter, dated February 22, 1865:

``The Provost Marshal General proposes to enforce the Draft tomorrow in Philadelphia.

``If this were an order for the whole U.S. we could ask no exception that other places were not allowed.

``In New York and many other cities the draft is not yet to be enforced.

``The moment the Draft commences our City Bounty of $400 for one year &c. ceases.

``Philadelphia has always done her duty and furnished her full complementPage  312 of men. The Citizens are bending every exertion to raise our quota and we have no doubt that hereafter 100 men per day or more can be raised. We now ask a weeks delay in the enforcement of the draft and promise 100 men per day in that week---asking a like further delay if the promise be kept. We are sir Very Respectfully yours. ``WM D KELLEY M RUSSELL THAYER



``On behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia.''

Pasted on the bottom of the letter is the following clipping:


The following correspondence explains itself:


Professor E. D. Saunders, D.D.:

MY DEAR SIR: The efficient services that you have heretofore rendered to the community in aiding to fill its quota of recruits, induce the hope that you will again afford the benefit of your time valued efforts, that this city may still be spared from military draft. I am, very respectfully,


Mayor of Philadelphia.

We concur in the foregoing remarks. JOHN ASHHURST, Chairman,

J. G. ROSENGARTEN, Secretary,

City Bounty Fund Commission.

PHILADELPHIA, February 20, 1865.

To His Honor Alexander Henry, Mayor of Philadelphia, and City Bounty Commission:

GENTLEMEN: In view of the certainty and nearness of the military draft about to take place unless extraordinary efforts shall be made to obtain recruits, I accede to your request. Yours, truly, E. D. SAUNDERS.

Beside the clipping John W. Forney endorsed: ``This is a case I would beg of you to favor if I were not too ill to do so in person. I ask it now in writing. J. W. FORNEY''

Stanton endorsed below Lincoln's endorsement:

``Mr President

``1st I think the draft will not be enforced in any State City County or district if this application is yielded to. It presents no ground that may not be urged with equal or greater force in every district The fate of the war therefore may depend upon enforcing the law

``2. You will observe that the application is not made by any City or district authority but only by members of Congress a fraction of a State delegation who have no authority to make a pledge and no promise to keep but who may get a little weak popularity by standing between their constituents and the execution of the law. The connection of [E. D.] Saunders with the matter gives it no strength but excites suspicion of a job in which his fingers are used by men who are unwilling to face the music, or stand bound for his pledges and those of five Congressmen who have no right to pledge any body.

``It is worth your while to notice the printed letter of the Mayor to Saunders pasted on the letter. It asks him to aid in getting recruits---not to paddle off to Washington to postpone the draft. I repeat no local authority nor any respectable citizen save the very respectable delegation in Congress and Mr Forney ask to have the draft suspended or pledge a man to be furnished Saunders is the whole concern.

Page  313``I am respectfully constrained to advise most earnestly against your interference with the draft in Philadelphia unless you are prepared to give it up altogether. I write on my back in bed but hope you may be able to read what is written.''