ALS, MdHi. This letter is incorrectly dated October 18, 1864, in Hertz (II, 952-53). Henry W. Hoffman, chairman of the Maryland Unconditional Union Central Committee, wrote Lincoln on October 3, 1864:
``Our grand Mass Meeting in favor of the `Free Constitution' will be held in Monument Square on Monday evening October 10th.
``In consequence of local dissensions and with a view to general harmony and cordial fraternization upon the new Constitution, the Committee have resolved to rely exclusively upon speakers from other States at this meeting.
``We are convinced that your presence on the occasion would insure its success both as to harmony and point of numbers and that its influence upon the vote to be taken on the Following Wednesday would be to add hundreds and perhaps thousands of votes to the free State column. We therefore most cordially and earnestly invite your attendance. If however you should feel disinclined to comply with the urgent request of the Committee . . . we are well assured that a letter from you expressive of the deep interest which we know you feel in regard to its success would be productive of the greatest good. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).
On October 12 Hoffman wrote: ``Many thanks for your letter of Monday It was recd with the unbounded applause of the many thousands assembled The meeting was a great success in point of numbers Harmony & enthusiasm The new constitution will be adopted The majority in this city will not fall short of ten thousand from present indications. The voting is proceeding quietly. . . .''(Ibid.).
The new constitution was ratified by a vote of 30, 174 to 29, 799.
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