Manuscripts Written by or to Lincoln, and Certificates and Endorsements
Leaf from Lincoln’s sum book, undated, possibly from 1824 to 1826. After Lincoln’s assassination, William Henry Herndon, Lincoln’s law partner and biographer, met with Lincoln’s stepmother, Sarah, in Coles County, Ill. She mentioned that there were possibly two copybooks of Lincoln’s left – one for mathematics and the other for literary works. The sum book was located, and Herndon took the book and distributed its remaining pages. It is believed that the sum book once held 50 9-inch by 12-inch leaves that were sewn with string. This leaf is one of possibly 10 leaves surviving in the United States today and was possibly the second or fourth leaf in the sum book. n.d., ca. 1824-1826. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 1. 1840
Legal document in Lincoln’s hand discussing the Trotter v. Thomas case, dating from 1840. The document speaks of the case involving an Illinois circuit court’s orator, George Trotter. Jesse B. Thomas Jr. is the defendant to the bill of clemency who had two promissory notes in writing. The first note was made for the sum of $700 and the second for $94.08, at 12 percent interest. Thomas executed a mortgage deed on Oct. 12, 1838 to secure the payment of the note. Lincoln writes that Trotter says that the notes remain unpaid. Lincoln requests that Trotter grant Thomas relief for the payment. The case was filed on July 1, 1840. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 2.
Letter from Lincoln, Springfield, Ill., to Thomas Ewing, secretary of the interior. Lincoln received a sealed package and could not find letters from R.W. Thompson or Elisha Embree, members of Congress from the Wabash districts in Indiana. Lincoln wants these letters from Ewing because they spoke of his “character and standing” at home. A note on the bottom of the letter states that it was answered on 18 July 1849. 9 July 1849. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 3.
Letter from Lincoln, Springfield, Ill., to Schulyer Colfax, dated 31 May 1860. The letter reads “My Dear Sir: Yours of the 26th is received, and so far from reading it as presumptuous, I should be right glad to have one from you every mail – Bear this in mind, and act accordingly – You will readily understand and appreciate why I write only very short letters. Yours very truly, A. Lincoln.” 31 May 1860. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 4.
Letter from Lincoln, Washington, D.C., to Secretary of War [Simon Cameron]. Lincoln mentions raising troops in Indiana between the Ohio and Wabash rivers, including the area surrounding his boyhood home. 17 June 1861. Arthur G. Mitten Collection (M 0211), Box 3, Folder 24.
Letter from Lincoln, in Washington, D.C., to Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy. Lincoln gives reasons for not placing Milroy in command again. Lincoln refers to the case in Winchester as another reason for not appointing Milroy. 29 June 1863. Lorenz Schumm Collection (SC 1317), Folder 2.
Letter to Robert Dale Owen from Lincoln, written from Washington, D.C., Lincoln introduces Owen to Mr. McKay, who is highly recommended by General Ulysses Grant and by Supreme Court Justice Noah Swayne. 22 July 1863. New Harmony Collection, 1814-1884 (M 0219), Box 1, Folder 14.
Short note from Lincoln in Washington, D.C., to Lew Wallace. Lincoln writes “Will Major General Lewis Wallace please join some other General officers to a dinner at the Executive Mansion at 6:45 o’clock this evening March 12, 1864.” 12 March 1864. Lew Wallace Papers (M 0292), Box 1, Folder 16.
Letter from Lincoln in Washington, D.C., to Edwin M. Stanton. Lincoln writes that Gen. Lew Wallace is getting along very well and has been trying to get “Gov. B. and Hon. H.W.D. together.” Lincoln told Wallace to be fair but give him the benefit of all doubt. He asks Stanton to confer with Wallace and to add any suggestions he may have. 31 March 1864. Lew Wallace Papers (M 0292), Box 1, Folder 16.
Scrap note signed by Lincoln: “Let this man take the oath of Dec. 8, 1863, and be discharged. A. Lincoln Oct. 12, 1864.” 12 October 1864. Arthur G. Mitten Collection (M 0211), Box 3, Folder 24.
Letter written in Wabash to Lincoln from members of the bar at Wabash, Wabash County. The members recommend Samuel B. Gookins of Chicago as an applicant to fill the vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court because of the death of the Hon. John McLean of Ohio. Letter signed by Calvin Cowgill, John M. Pottil, M.H. Kidd, L.H. Goodwin, John M. Washburn, John L. Knight, and W.W. Peck. 26 April 1861. Samuel B. Gookins Collection (SC 0636), Folder 1.
Letter from O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, to Lincoln. Morton informs Lincoln that Indiana will soon have 37,000 men in the field – infantry, cavalry and artillery. The last 10,000 soldiers Morton desires to organize into a complete army corps and command them himself, to be the most complete volunteer army in the nation and continent. 9 August 1861. Oliver P. Morton Papers, 1861-1875 (SC 1117), Folder 2.
Letter to Lincoln from members of the bar practicing in Covington and Attica in Fountain County. The members ask for Lincoln to consider Samuel B. Gookins for the position of district judge in their district. The letter is signed by M.M. Mieford, P. Poole, Alex A. Rice, James Buchanan, Charles Tyler, J.N. Evans, H.H. Stilwell, William H. Mallory, R.W. Carrison, Jonathan Brick and Thomas F. Davidson. February 1862. Samuel B. Gookins Collection (SC 0636), Folder 1.
Letter written by O.P. Morton, Nov. 20, 1862, from Indianapolis, to Lincoln. Morton recommends John W. Ray, Esq. of Jeffersonville, late colonel of the 49th Regiment Indiana Volunteers. Morton describes Ray as having high character and being thoroughly loyal. 20 November 1862. Oliver P. Morton Papers, 1861-1875 (SC 1117), Folder 2.
Letter to Lincoln from Charles P. McIlvaine, Cincinnati. McIlvaine recommends that Rev. J.E. Purdy of New Albany, an Episcopalian, be appointed chaplain. McIlvaine writes that Purdy had to leave Arkansas “on account of his Union sentiments.” McIlvaine claims to be well informed that Purdy is worthy and capable of the position. 20 November 1862. Charles P. McIlvaine Collection (SC 1025), Folder 1.
Letter from Oliver P. Morton to Lincoln, written from Indianapolis. Morton writes that the promotion of Brigadier General Solomon Meredith to the rank of major general is desired by many. 1 February 1865. Oliver P. Morton Papers, 1861-1875 (SC 1117), Folder 2.
Certificates and Endorsements
Letter written by O.P. Morton, governor of Indiana, from Indianapolis, to Lincoln. Morton recommends Will Cumback as paymaster to the War Department. Morton highly recommends Cumback because of his devoted friends and high moral courage. On April 30, 1861, Lincoln responds, appointing Cumback as paymaster, without violation of previous agreements or committals. 23 April 1861. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 5.
Appointment of James Wilson of Indiana as Consul of the United States at Ecuador. Certificate signed by Lincoln and William Seward. 23 October 1861. Arthur G. Mitten Collection (M 0211). OMB 0080, Box 2, Folder 4.
Letter from Jno. J. Speed to Josh[ua] [Speed]. Letter written from Louisville states that General Lew Wallace heard that the brigadier general may not be able to appoint his staff. Speed turns the job of confirming appointments over to Josh. Lincoln writes on Dec. 4, 1861 “Respectfully submitted to the War Department.” A note on the back of the letter states that John J. Speed is appreciative of Gen. Wallace for the appointments of staff. 19 November 1861. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 6.
Certificate for appointment of Lew Wallace to position of brigadier general, signed by Lincoln and Stanton. 6 February 1862. Lew Wallace Papers (M 0292). OMB 0023, Box 1, Folder 8.
Lew Wallace certificate for appointment of major general of volunteers. Certificate is endorsed by Lincoln and Stanton. 22 March 1862. Lew Wallace Papers (M 0292). OMB 0023, Box 1, Folder 8.
Letter from Nathan Kimball to Lincoln, written from Head Quarters Kimball’s Brigade in Harper’s Ferry, Va. Kimball writes to Lincoln on behalf of himself, Gov. Richard Yates and others who recommend that Col. William Harrow of the 14th Regiment Indiana Volunteers be promoted. On Oct. 16, 1862, Lincoln submits the request to the secretary of war. 13 October 1862. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 7.
James Davis commission certificate. Davis was appointed commissary of subsistence of Columbus with the rank of captain. Certificate was signed by Edwin M. Stanton and Lincoln. 10 March 1863. James Davis Papers, 1863 (OM 0277), Folder 1.
Letter from O.P. Morton, written from Indianapolis. Morton brings to Lincoln’s attention Col. John J. Wilder and Col. Silas Calgrove, both of the 17th Indiana Regiment. Morton also recommends that William Grose from the 36th Indiana Regiment and Benjamin F. Scribner from the 38th Indiana Regiment be promoted. On Jan. 22, 1864, Lincoln forwards his nominations to the secretary of war [Edwin M. Stanton]. 17 January 1864. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 8.
Letter written from Jeffersonville from Thomas S. Crowe on behalf of ministers with the Presbyterian Church. The other ministers include John L. McKee from Louisville, Robert J.L. Matthews, chaplain of the state prison, J.P. ___ from New Albany, and A.H. Lackey. The ministers recommend the appointment of Rev. S.S. Potter of New Albany to the office of chaplain for the United States. Lincoln writes that Potter will be appointed chaplain on 8 July. 8 July 1864. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 9.
Appointment of John Remick to the rank of first lieutenant. Certificate is signed by Lincoln and Stanton. 1 August 1864. John Remick, Lieutenant’s Appointment, 1864 (OM 0194), Folder 1.
Commission appointing George Wagner to the position of first lieutenant in the Veteran Reserve Corps. Certificate is signed by Lincoln and Stanton. 1 August 1864. George Wagner Commission, 1864 (OM 0097), Folder 1.
Certificate of Honorable Service given to Thomas Jones, 138th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The certificate is of thanks and of honorable service for having honorably served as a volunteer for one hundred days. Certificate is signed by Lincoln and Edwin M. Stanton. 15 December 1864. Thomas Jones, Certificate 1864 (OM 0195), Folder 1.
President’s thanks and certificate of honorable service signed by Lincoln and Stanton, presented to Edwin R. Allen. 15 December 1864. Edwin R. Allen Papers (SC 0010), Folder 4.
Letter from Alfred Blake to Lincoln. Blake writes to Lincoln requesting his release from a military prison. Blake was born in Harrison County and was conscripted on Feb. 27, 1863 and placed in Company E, 18th Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Blake was captured on Jan. 12, 1864 and was sent to a military prison in Indiana. Blake wishes to take the oath of allegiance for his release. O.P. Morton writes on Jan. 13, 1865 from Indianapolis that he was satisfied with Blake’s request. Holding that Blake will take the oath, Lincoln discharges Blake on Jan. 19, 1865. January 1865. Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1840-1866 (M 0567), Box 1, Folder 11.
Letter from O.P. Morton, Indianapolis, to Lincoln. Morton introduces Mrs. Susan M. Brown to Lincoln. Brown desires an interview with Lincoln to release her brother from a prisoner camp. Lincoln responds on letter “Let the man take the oath of December 8, 1863 and he [is] discharged. A. Lincoln January 12, 1865.” 7 January 1865. McLaughlin-Jordan Family Papers (SC 1030), Folder 6.