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To the Workingmen of Manchester
January 19, 1863 [The blockade of Confederate ports during the war was naturally a severe blow to the English manufacturing centres like Manchester, which had depended upon the Southern States for their supply of cotton. But the working classes of England, in marked contrast with the upper classes, displayed strong Union sympathies throughout the struggle. An address from the Manchester workingmen called forth this admirable reply from the President.]
Executive Mansion, Washington, January 19, 1863.
TO THE WORKINGMEN OF MANCHESTER : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the address and resolutions which you sent me on the eve of the new year. When I came, on the 4th of March, 1861, through a free and constitu. tional election to preside in the Government of the United States, the country was found at the verge of civil war. Whatever might have been the cause, or whosesoever the fault, one duty, paramount to all others, was before me, namely, to maintain and preserve at once the Constitution and the integrity of the Federal Republic. A conscientious purpose to perform this duty is the key to all the measures of administration which have been and to all which will hereafter be pursued. Under our frame of government and my official oath, I could not depart from this purpose if I would. It is not always in the power of governments to enlarge or restrict the scope of moral results which follow the policies that they may deem it necessary for the public safety from time to time to adopt.
I have understood well that the duty of selfpreservation rests solely with the American people; but I have at the same time been aware that favor or disfavor of foreign nations might have a material influence in enlarging or pro• longing the struggle with disloyal men in which the country is engaged. A fair examination of history has served to authorize a belief that the past actions and influences of the United States were generally regarded as having been beneficial toward mankind. I have, therefore, reckoned upon the forbearance of nations. Circumstances-to some of which you kindly alludeinduce me especially to expect that if justice and good faith should be practised by the United States, they would encounter no hostile influence on the part of Great Britain. It is now a pleasant duty to acknowledge the dem. onstration you have given of your desire that a spirit of amity and peace toward this country may prevail in the councils of your Queen, who is respected and esteemed in your own country only more than she is by the kindred nation which has its home on this side of the Atlantic,
I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the workingmen at Manchester, and id all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis. It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to overthrow this government, which was built upon the foundation of human rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain the favor of Europe. Through the action of our disloyal citizens, the workingmen of Europe have been subjected to severe trials, for the purpose of forcing their sanction to that attempt. Under the circum stances, I cannot but regard your decisive utter ances upon the question as an instance o! sublime Christian heroism which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is indeed an energetic and reinspiring assurance of the inherent power of truth, and of the ultimate and universal triumph of justice human ity, and freedom. I do not doubt that the sen timents you have expressed will be sustained by your great nation ; and, on the other hand I have no hesitation in assuring you that they will excite admiration, esteem, and the most re. ciprocal feelings of friendship among the Anieri cap people. I hail this interchange of senti ment, therefore, as an augury that whatever else may happen, whatever inisfortune may be cail your country or my own, the peace and ériendship which now exist between the two dations will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual.
July 27, 1863 [This telegram is noticeable for its brief but comprehensive description of General Grant.]
War Department, Washington, July 27, 1863. MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Cincinnati, Ohio :
Let me explain. In General Grant's first de. spatch after the fall of Vicksburg, he said, among other things, he would send the Ninth Corps to you. Thinking it would be pleasant to you, I asked the Secretary of War to telegraph you the news. For some reasons never mentioned to us by General Grant, they have not been sent, though we have seen outside in. timations that they took part in the expedition against Jackson. General Grant is a copious worker and fighter, but a very meager writer or telegrapher. No doubt he changed his purpose in regard to the Ninth Corps for some sufficient reason, but has forgotten to notify us of it.
To Astor, Roosevelt and Sands
November 9, 1863 Executive Mansion, Washington, D. O. MESSRS. J. J. ASTOR, JR., R. B. ROOSEVELT,
AND NATHANIEL SANDS: GENTLEMEN: Upon the subject of your letter, I have to say that it is beyond my province to interfere with New York Oity politics; that I am very grateful to General Dix for the zealous and able military and quasi-civil support he has given the government during the war, and that if the people of New York should tender him the mayoralty and he accept it, nothing on that subject could be more satisfactory to me. In this I must not be understood as saying aught against any one, or as attempting the least degree of dictation in the matter.
To state it in another way, if General Dix's present relation to the General Government lays any restraint upon him in this matter. I wish to remove that restraint. Yours truly,