Baltimore Black Delegation Gives President Lincoln a Bible

September 7, 1864

A delegation of black men from Baltimore who presented him with a Bible inscribed: “To Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, the Friend of Universal Freedom, from the Loyal Colored People of Baltimore, as a token of respect and Gratitude. Baltimore, 4th July 1864.”   The delegation leader, Rev. S. W. Chase tells the President as follows: “The loyal colored people of Baltimore have entrusted us with authority to present this Bible as a testimonial of their appreciation of your humane conduct towards the people of our race. While all others of this nation are offering their tribute of respect to you, we cannot omit suitable manifestation of ours. Since our incorporation into the American family we have been true and loyal, and we are now ready to aid in defending the country, to be armed and trained in military matters, in order to assist in protecting and defending the star-spangled banner.”

Towards you, sir, our hearts will ever be warm with gratitude. We come to present to you this copy of the Holy Scriptures, as a token of respect for your active participation in furtherance of the cause of the emancipation of our race. This great event will be a matter of history. Hereafter, when our children shall ask what mean these tokens, they will be told of your worthy deeds, and will rise up and call you blessed.

The loyal colored people of this country everywhere will remember you at the Throne of Divine Grace. May the King Eternal, an all-wise, Providence protect and keep you, and when you pass from this world to that of eternity, may you be borne to the bosom of your Savior and your God.’

President Lincoln responds: “This occasion would seem fitting for a lengthy response to the address which you have just made. I would make one, if prepared; but I am not. I would promise to respond in writing, had not experience taught me that business will not allow me to do so. I can only now say, as I have often before said, it has always been a sentiment with me that all mankind should be free. So far as able, within my sphere, I have always acted as I believed to be right and just; and I have done all I could for the good of mankind generally. IN letter and documents sent from this office I have expressed myself better than I now can. In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man.”

All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. To you I return my most sincere thanks for the very elegant copy of the great Book of God which you present.

Rev. S. W. Chase to President had told President Lincoln: “The loyal colored people of Baltimore have entrusted us with authority to present this Bible as a testimonial of their appreciation of your humane conduct towards the people of our race. While all others of this nation are offering their tribute of respect to you, we cannot omit suitable manifestation of ours. Since our incorporation into the American family we have been true and loyal, and we are now ready to aid in defending the country, to be armed and trained in military matters, in order to assist in protecting and defending the star-spangled banner.

President Lincoln writes an order: “Let this man—Chas D. Stewart—be discharged from the military custody of the United States, and left to the control of his family & the laws for the insane.”

Chicago Congressman Isaac N. Arnold, who has withdrawn from a contested renomination, writes President Lincoln for a patronage position: “I see by the telegraphic dispatches that our friend Gov. [Gustav] Koerner is returning from Spain. If he has resigned, & there is a vacancy in that Mission I would gratefully accept it.” Arnold, who is one of the president’s biggest supporters in Congress writes: “I do not desire to press the matter, & I hope You will regard this note as a suggestion, that the appointment would be gratifying, & not as indicating that I would embarrass You in the least by any urgent request in the matter.

Our friends in the North West are now confident, active, & Zealous, in the canvass & I believe You will receive the vote of every North-Western State.

Advertisements
Published in: on September 7, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://abrahamlincolnandthecivilwar.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/baltimore-black-delegation-gives-president-lincoln-a-bible/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: