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307. James M. Ashley to William H. Herndon.

Toledo Ohio Nov 23d 1866

Dr Sir.

I send you copy of the last note I ever received from Mr Lincoln. It was written on the back of one which I sent him by the hands of John G Nicholly Esq his private Sec. The following is a copy of my note.

House Reps January 31st, 1866.

Dr Sir.

The report is in circulation in the House that Peace Commissioners are on their


way or are in the city, and is being used against us. If it is true, I fear we shall loose the bill. Please authorize me to contradict it, if not true.

J M Ashley

To the President.

So far as I know, there are no peace Commissioners in the City, or likely to be in it. Jan. 31. 1865.

A. Lincoln

I send you this note because it is connected with a historical event, of great importance

I had given notice that at one oclock on the 31" of January I would call a vote on the proposed constitutional amendment abolishing Slavery in the United States.

The opposition caught up a report which had been put in circulation that evening that Peace Commissioners wer on the way to the City or were in the City Had this been true I think the proposed amendment would have failed, as a number who voted for it could easily have been prevailed upon to vote against it, on the ground that the passage of such a proposition would be offencive to the Commissioners.

Mr Lincoln knew that the Commissioners were then on their way to Ft Monroe where he expected to meet them and afterwards did meet them. You see how admirably he answered my note for my purposes and yet how truly.

You know how he afterwards met the So called Commissioners, whom he determined, at the time he wrote this note, should not come to the City. One or two gentlemen who were present when Mr Lincoln wrote the note, & to whom he read it have spoken to me about it, as being so characteristic of Mr Lincoln. Genl Carl Schutz spoke to me about it the other day when I was in Detroit & I thought if it was of sufficient importance for him to remember and refer to, that you might be pleased to get it.

Truly yours
J M Ashley

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2771 — 72; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:418 — 20



1. A mistake for 1865.

2. Carl Schurz.