Writing to Gideon Welles, Abraham Lincoln Attends to a Request From Jewish Congressman Leonard Myers

September 9, 1864

Add to History Board Share Print
Back to The Collection
Manuscript
See full images and transcript
Writing to Gideon Welles, Abraham Lincoln Attends to a Request From Jewish Congressman Leonard Myers
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 2340

Quick Reference

      Background

      The Civil War-era Congressman Leonard Myers was like most politicians of his time, but for three things: first, he was a Jew; second, he was a Jew representing an overwhelmingly gentile district; and third, and most significantly, he possessed a profound sense of civic duty, evincing a genuine concern for protecting the rights of all kinds of people, including such traditionally “dispossessed” groups as immigrants, laborers, inventors, soldiers and sailors, and former slaves. A cultured and dedicated young lawyer, he went on to become a distinguished and gracious elder statesman, highly respected by all, on both sides of the aisle.

      Lincoln, it would seem, knew and liked him - well enough for Myers to write him almost monthly on behalf of those seeking an introduction, an appointment, or something to do with the machinations of war. And Lincoln, apparently, was eager to accede and help. Here he writes Naval Secretary Gideon Welles that Myers (then on the Naval Committee) wished one Charles R. Wilson "appointed to the Naval School. Let it be done so soon as I have a vacancy not already promised." Lincoln then added, "I really wish this done. "And, it was.

      Myers was, incidentally, a cousin of the American composer and virtuoso pianist, Louis Moreau Gottschalk - who was a favorite of Lincoln's, and performed for him on more than one occasion.

      Autograph Letter Signed ("A. Lincoln"), as President, 1 page, octavo, Executive Mansion, Washington, September 9, 1864. To Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.
      Read More

      all pages and transcript

      Page 1/1

      Page 1 transcript
      Executive Mansion, 

      Washington, Sep. 9, ; 1864. 

      Hon. Sec. of Navy. 

      My dear Sir 

      Hon. Mr. Myers of Philadelphia wishes Charles R. Wilson, of that city appointed to the Naval School --  Let it be done so soon as I have a vacancy not already promised.  I really wish this done. 

      Yours truly 

      A. LINCOLN