Washington, Novr 24. 1864
For some months past, you have been aware of my desire to withdraw from the active labors & constant cares of the office which I hold by your favor.
heretofore it has not been compatible with my ideas of duty to the public & fidelity to you, to leave my post of service for any private considerations, however urgent. Then, the fate of the nation hung, in doubt & gloom-- Even your own fate, as identified with the nation, was a source of much anxiety. Now, on the contrary, the affairs of the government display a brighter aspect; and to you, as head & leader of the government, all the honor & good fortune that we hoped for, has come. And it seems to me, under these altered circumstances, that the time has come, when I may, without dereliction of duty, ask leave to retire to private life.
In tendering the resignation of my office of Attorney General of the United States (which I now do) I gladly sieze the occasion to repeat the expression of my gratitude, not only for your good opinion which led to my appointment, but also for your uniform & unvarying courtesy & kindness during the whole time in which we have been associated in the public service. The memory of that kindness & personal favor, I shall bear with me into private life, and hope to retain it in my heart, as long as I live.
Pray let my resignation take effect on the last day of November.
With heartfelt respect
I remain your
friend & servant