President Lincoln Sends Directions to South Carolina Tax Commissioners

December 31, 1863

President Lincoln writes additional instructions to the Direct Tax Commissioners for the District of South Carolina in relation to the disposition of lands: “You will allow any loyal person of twenty one years of age, or upwards, who has at any time since the occupation by the national forces resided for six months, or now resides upon, or is engaged in cultivating any lands in your district owned by the United States to enter the same for preemption to the extent of one, or at the option of the preemptor, two tracts of twenty acres each, paying therefor one dollar and twenty five cents per acre.  You will give preference in all cases to heads of families, and married women whose husbands are engaged in the service of the United States, or are necessarily absent….”

Presidential aide John Hay “[s]pent the evening at [John] Forney’s[.] There was quite a gather of political people early in the evening which thinned as the night wore one….Forney made several very ebrious [sic] little speeches.  He talked a great deal about the President.  The love of the people for him: his unconscious greatness: the vast power he wields and the vast opportunity afforded to a diseased ambition.  ‘If the old man knew the loving thoughts and prayers that are rising for him tonight from Millions of hearts, the unconditional confidence and the loyalty to his person that is felt throughout this land, he could do or be anything he wished.  But thank God he is incapable of abusing this trust, and the freedom of our institutions render impossible a devotion to any man at variance with the spirit of our government.”   Forney said that he “was for Lincoln because he couldn’t help it.”  Forney added: “Lincoln is the most truly progressive man of the age because he always moves in conjunction with propitious circumstances, not waiting to be dragged by the force of events or wasting strength in premature struggles with them.”

Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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