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Abraham Lincoln Letter to Alexander Stephens

This autographed letter, signed by Abraham Lincoln is of the utmost rarity. The letter resulted from the meeting of Lincoln and Alexander Stephens at the secret Hampton Roads Conference held on a boat in Virginia the night of Feb. 3, 1865, to discuss terms of a possible peace settlement. Lincoln and Stephens were old friends, having served together as the Whigs in the U.S. Congress. Although peace terms were not agreed to, a lesser matter was addressed. Stephens had a nephew who was a prisoner at Johnson's Island, and the family had lost all communication with him. He entreated Lincoln to supply information about his nephew. Upon returning to Washington, Lincoln telegraphed the commanding officer at Johnson's Island ordering that a Lieutenant John A. Stephens, prisoner of war be paroled and "report to me here in person, and send him to me..." Lincoln met with the young Stephens and wrote this letter, telling him it was for his uncle. He took a carte-de visit of himself, signed it A. Lincoln, and suggested he take it as well, noting that there were probably very few of them down South.

 

 

Transcription of Lincoln Letter

Executive Mansion
Washington, Feb. 10 1865

Hon. A.H. Stephens,

According to our agreement your nephew, Lieut. Stephens, goes to you bearing this note. Please, in return, to select and send to me, that officer of the same rank imprisoned at Richmond whose physical condition most urgently requires his release.


Respectfully,
A. Lincoln

 


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