LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, President. Autograph letter signed ("A.Lincoln") as President, to New Jersey Governor William A. Newell, "Executive Mansion," Washington, D.C., 18 February 1862. 1 page, 8vo, left margin very slightly darkened, small stain at right margin, neatly mounted, matted with a colored engraved portrait of Lincoln.
TWO DAYS BEFORE THE DEATH OF WILLIE LINCOLN, THE PRESIDENT REASSURES A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR
Governor Newell had written an agitated letter to President Lincoln, reporting that Colonel Hatfield of the Sixth New Jersey Volunteers believed Newell had not used his influence with Lincoln on the Colonel's behalf. Newell asked Lincoln to clearly state that he had urged his promotion. Lincoln complies emphatically: "Your note on the other half of this sheet is exactly true so far as within my power to know. Your advocacy of Col[onel] Hatfield for a Brigadier-General has been earnest, without reservation, oft repeated, and persistent, so that I can and do know it was not in your power to do more for Col[onel] Hatfield with me than you have done. You never urged Col[onel Joseph W.] Allen, except with the express reservation that his appointment should in no wise interfere with Col[onel] Hatfield..." Basler, V:136.
Lincoln had serious personal concerns at this time. His twelve-year-old son William Wallace had been stricken with typhoid fever. He succumbed to the disease just two days later, the only child of a President to die in the White House. In spite of the Governor's efforts on his behalf, Hatfield was not promoted and resigned from the Army on 27 April 1862. William August Newell (1817-1901), originally a Whig, served two terms in Congress and then was elected Governor of New Jersey as a Whig; by 1860, he had become a Republican, and was a delegate to the Republican convention in Chicago which nominated Lincoln.