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303. Jacob M. Howard to William H. Herndon.

Detroit. Nov. 22/66

Dear Sir

I enclose to you 1st Copy of Mr Lincoln's memorandum made at Richmond early in April 1865 respecting peace &c.

2d, Judge J A Campbell's letter to Major General Ord of 14 April enclosing the same to Gen'l. O.

3d Mr Lincoln's letter to Genl. Weitzel of April 6th 1865, permitting "the gentlemen who had acted as the Legislature of Virginia" to assemble &c.

These papers Come to me in a perfectly authentic & reliable form. Indeed I have not the least doubt of their authenticity as I have them from the proper official source. Supposing you might not have had access to them and knowing them to constitute an important item in Mr Lincoln's biography I take great pleasure in forwarding you the copies. I had not, I confess, supposed that Mr Lincoln's letter to General Weitzel Contained so distinct a recognition of the rebel legislature of Virginia; and yet it does not recognise the authority of "those gentlemen" to legislate. I was told by Mr Sumner that this letter to Weitzel was written hastily at City Point on board a steamer in the presence of himself & a few others but not shown


nor in any way Communicated to them. Atty Gen'l Speed informed me in June 1865 that on seeing Gen'l Weitzel's order issued under this letter, he at once repaired to the President's house & remonstrated very plainly & earnestly with him against it and that Mr Lincoln with his usual patience and bonhommie said to him "Go ahead Speed." After Speed's explanation and argument Mr L. frankly admitted that the order would not do and must be revoked.

Very truly Yours
J. M. Howard



1. James Speed.