Alexander J. Sessions to Abraham Lincoln, April 16, 1861

    Source citation
    Alexander J. Sessions to Abraham Lincoln, April 16, 1861, Salem, MA, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Author (from)
    Sessions, Alexander J.
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

    Salem, Mass., Apr. 16, 1861.

    I am a clergyman. I know that I speak the mind of thousands of ministers of the Gospel, and of tens of thousands of Christian men and women, in Massachusetts and New England. We have prayed for peace, we have prayed for disunionists and rebels. And now we pray to the God of battles to give right the victory. The rallying point for all interests must be the authority and unquestioned supremacy of the Government. If the time for peaceful separation from the Slave States shall ever come, it is not now. It ought never to come. Call out half a million of troops rather than leave anything unsafe, or to work badly. Let no Enemy dare to lay a hand on the Capital.

    We pray, Sir, for you. We pray for your Cabinet. May the utmost wisdom, and fidelity, and firmness, be yours, and theirs. Let your plans be large and bold. Let the Government be strong and valient. We will be just to the Slave States, and generous, but we must now be true to republicanism, to humanity, to every claim of the bondman, to our country, to God. No new advantage must be allowed to Slavery, from this time onward. The South has made her Election, recklessly and flagrantly, and we will hold her to it.

    I am, Sir,

    Yours with profound interest and regard,

    Alexander J. Sessions

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