Handshakes and Autographs Requested from President Lincoln

May 27, 1864

Augustus N. Dickens, the brother of novelist Charles Dickens, writes President Lincoln: “Forgive my intrusion upon your time, when our common Country demands your deepest thought,–

Many years ago my brother Charles Dickens, wrote a book, the title of it, was, “American Notes” –: therein he took occasion to remark that slavery was the curse of the country, — Under God that curse is being removed by you,–

Now comes the favor I have to ask of you, your signature, which will be cherished by me & my family for ever,– An Englishman by birth & education, but one of America’ s adopted sons, — without any axe requiring grinding at present, I shall keep your name, written by yourself, as a lasting momento of goodness of heart, honesty of purpose, & patriotic devotion to the cause of God & Humanity

Michigan Congressman John F. Driggs asks President Lincoln to shake hands with some visitors from Connecticut.

Kentucky editor Albert Hodges writes President Lincoln regarding state politics: “Our Convention, which assembled in Louisville the day before yesterday, was attended by Delegates from 58 counties. There were about twenty one or twenty two counties, in which public meetings were had been held, and delegates appointed, that were not represented. The great mass of the truly loyal men of Kentucky are laboring men — many of them without negroes to assist them — consequently, could not leave their farms and workshops at this particular season of the year to attend a convention, without considerable pecuniary loss to men of that class. However, we had an exceedingly interesting and harmonious meeting, and one too that will make itself felt in the coming canvass.

It was exceedingly gratifying to me, in my conversations with the Delegates, to find that you are preferred to any other living man by all the truly loyal men in Kentucky. I was of opinion that the Convention should endorse you by resolution; but there were some few who thought, for prudential reasons, that such preference ought not to be expressed by resolutions, when it was known that every Delegate present was for you, as well as every Delegate to the Baltimore Convention. Under the circumstances, those of us who were for the passage of such a resolution yielded to the wishes of the few in order to perfect harmony in our action.

From the men who composed the Guthrie-Prentice Convention,2 I am satisfied we shall have a tremendous struggle in Kentucky for supremacy. They are mostly the wealthy slaveholders of Kentucky — they are struggling for the continuance of Slavery in the State, and nothing which every appliance of wealth can effect, will be left undone by them to carry this State against you– Still, I trust in the justice of our cause and the approval of a kind Providence, to give us the victory over those who would enslave their fellow men in all time to come.

The principle apprehension I have in regard to the contest in this State, is the one alluded to by Dr. Breckinridge in his speech before the Convention — a fusion of the pro-slavery Union men and the Wickliffe4 party. My own impression is that but few of the out-and-out Rebels in our State will vote in a contest between you and McClellan; and I am not sure that a majority of them would not prefer your election to that of McClellan. If McClellan be the nominee of the Chicago Convention against you, I know of some few of the most intelligent ones among us who will certainly cast their votes for you. Those who communicate with me upon the subject, however, will not permit me to communicate it to others. Some few of them are out spoken, and jocularly remark, that when confiscation day comes, they will have a clean record for loyalty — some many of them not having a dollar’s worth of property upon the face of the earth to confiscate, either in land, negroes, or any thing else.

Be assured of one thing however, that whatever men can accomplish in old Kentucky, in the great, and as I honestly believe, good cause in which we are engaged, will be accomplished. Nothing shall be left undone that can be done, to restore our whole country to that moral status when human slavery shall no longer be known among us.

I feel highly honored and complimented by our Convention in being selected as a Delegate to the Baltimore Convention. Although now in my sixty first year, it is the first time I ever was selected to visit a National Convention, and I am the more gratified, if my life and health be spared me, that I shall have the privilege of casting that first vote in a National Convention for Abraham Lincoln

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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