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LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, President. Autograph letter signed ("A.Lincoln") as President, TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY GIDEON WELLES, [Washington, D.C], 21 May 1861. 1 page, 8vo, integral blank, on lined stationery headed by Lincoln "Executive Mansion," light soiling, two minute tears at bottom margin, otherwise in good condition.

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LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, President. Autograph letter signed ("A.Lincoln") as President, TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY GIDEON WELLES, [Washington, D.C], 21 May 1861. 1 page, 8vo, integral blank, on lined stationery headed by Lincoln "Executive Mansion," light soiling, two minute tears at bottom margin, otherwise in good condition.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN ENDORSES THE SON OF AN IMPORTANT POLITICAL ALLY, SENATOR LYMAN TRUMBULL, WHO LATER INTRODUCED THE RESOLUTION WHICH BECAME THE BASIS OF THE THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT


A letter linking Lincoln with Senator Trumbull, one of his most interesting and important political allies. Lincoln requests Secretary Welles to meet with Senator Trumbull's son: "The bearer of this, Master Walter Trumbull, is a son of our Illinois Senator Trumbull. He wishes to be admitted into the Naval school, and I wish you may be able to oblige him. Please give him an interview at all events..." Walter Trumbull apparently got the interview Lincoln requested, and was admitted into the United States Naval Academy, where he is listed as a midshipman as of 30 September 1863. Published in Collected Works, 4:381.

Lyman Trumbull (1813-1896), from southern Illinois, was a staunch Democrat who opposed slavery and campaigned vigorously to end Illinois's policy of Negro indenture. He served as Illinois Secretary of State (1841-1843) and two terms on the Illinois Supreme Court, then retired to practice law. Like Lincoln, he was energized by the Kansas-Nebraska Act to re-enter politics and soon became a prominent anti-Nebraska Democrat, winning an Illinois house seat over a Douglas Democrat. Also like Lincoln, he resigned that post in order to seek the Illinois Senate seat, contending against Lincoln and the incumbent Shields. When it became obvious to Lincoln that he could not win the seat himself, he threw his support to Trumbull, who proved the victor, and went on to serve three terms. "Mrs. Lincoln never forgave Mrs. Trumbull for her husband's refusal to support Lincoln" (Neely). But later Trumbull helped launch the new Republican party and rendered valuable services to Lincoln in his campaign against Douglas in 1858. "Trumbull had anti-slavery views that were much like Lincoln's" (Neely), advocated colonization, vigorously supported Lincoln's 1860 presidential campaign, corresponded with the President on the selection of a cabinet, and as chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, affirmed Lincoln's suspension of the rule of habeus corpus while moderating its application. In 1864 he introduced the resolution which later became the Thirteenth Amendment.
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