Description

    [Abraham Lincoln] Contemporary Copy of a Letter by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G. Curtin to President Lincoln. Three pages, 8" x 9.75", September 30, 1862, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on "Pennsylvania Executive Chamber". Governor Curtin takes advantage of President Lincoln's suggestion at the War Governors' Conference for the governors to "put their suggestions in writing." The governor suggests in part: "I have the honor to refer to some of the topics of our conversation last week, at which time you were pleased to say, that you desired the govoners [sic] of the loyal states present [sic] to put their suggestions in writing. I proposed at that time, to fill the regiments in service most reduced by the casualties of war, by retiring a given number from the more active service with the armies in the presence of the enemy. . . . . Most of our regiments that have participated in the recent battles are reduced to mere skeletons. . . . I suggest that the corps be returned to the state, and placed in the camp at this capital, and, if I am correct in my impression, the success would affect the minds of our people favorably, and other regiments in the service could be filled in their turn promptly. It is proper that, in this connection, I should say, that the suggestions reflects the opinion of all the officers of the corps. I take this opportunity of again renewing the suggestions of all the governors on the occasion referred to, that so far as consistant with the interest of the public service, sick and wounded volunteers be taken taken [sic] to the hospitals within the state within [sic] which they were enlisted./ Very respectfully,/ Your obedient-servant".

    Andrew Gregg Curtin (1817-1894) was the governor of Pennsylvania throughout the Civil War. Under his leadership, Pennsylvania took a leading role in preserving the Union. Curtin had a running feud with Lincoln's first secretary of war (and fellow Pennsylvanian) Simon Cameron. Despite this, Curtin was known for his cooperation with the federal government in recruiting and conscription of U.S. soldiers. Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, became one of the largest recruiting points in the Union. Five days before writing this letter, the governor hosted the Loyal War Governors' Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Thirteen governors attended to discuss state troops, the war effort in general, and President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. At the conference, the governors recommended, among other things, the replacement of General George B. McClellan. (This Lincoln did six weeks after the conference.) This letter, written only days after the conference, discusses state troops. Soon after the Battle of Gettysburg, Governor Curtin invited President Lincoln and others to the dedication of the National Cemetery (he sat beside the president during the ceremony). On verso of third page: "Copy of letter/ sent A. Lincoln/ President U.S. October/ 1st, 1862". This contemporary copy has clean, clear writing. Toned with some separation beginning at folds (with some tape repairs); fine.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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