Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Letter to N. P. Paschall

November 16, 2010

The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln

(Private and confidential.)

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., November 16, 1860.

My dear Sir: Mr. Ridgely showed me a letter of yours in which you manifest some anxiety that I should make some public declaration with a view to favorably affect the business of the country. I said to Mr. Ridgely I would write you to-day, which I now do.

I could say nothing which I have not already said, and which is in print, and accessible to the public. Please pardon me for suggesting that if the papers like yours, which heretofore have persistently garbled and misrepresented what I have said, will now fully and fairly place it before their readers, there can be no further misunderstanding. I beg you to believe me sincere when I declare I do not say this in a spirit of complaint or resentment; but that I urge it as the true cure for any real uneasiness in the country that my course may be other than conservative. The Republican newspapers now and for some time past are and have been republishing copious extracts from my many published speeches, which would at once reach the whole public if your class of papers would also publish them.

I am not at liberty to shift my ground—that is out of the question. If I thought a repetition would do any good, I would make it. But in my judgment it would do positive harm. The secessionists per se, believing they had alarmed me, would clamor all the louder.

Yours, etc.,


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