(1809-1865) 16th President of the United States (1861-1865).
Very fine content autograph endorsement signed ("A. Lincoln") as President on the docket of an autograph letter signed of Adjutant General J.B. Stonehouse, 2pp, 9¾ x 7¾", Albany, Oct. 22 1863. To Colonel Ray Tompkins concerning the raising of a volunteer regiment in New York for federal service. Reeling from the aftermath of the New York Draft Riots of July 1863, New York Governor Horation Seymour, an anti-Lincoln Democrat, was apparently reluctant to organize new regiments for the Union army, fearing further popular backlash. In an attempt to work around this, he advised Col. Ray Tomkins, who had petitioned to raise a volunteer regiment, via the Adjutant General that he was "undecided whether any more regimental authorization will be granted. If it should be determined so to do, the Governor desires me to say your application shall have early attention."
It appears that Tompkins took the letter to Washington in late October and managed to get it presented to Lincoln.* When the request reached the President's desk, Lincoln, displaying his political savvy, was able to tactfully "override" the governor and authorized the formation, together with the specific number of troops to be raised. Lincoln writes in full, on 2 Nov. 1863: "If the Secretary of War, and the Governor of New York approve, I am for Col. Tompkins, raising a thousand men in any way he chooses. A. Lincoln.
Governor Horatio Seymour
added his tepid "approval" of the measure on 11 Dec. 1863, noting in an autograph endorsement signed below Lincoln's: "If the consent of the Secretary of War is obtained, I shall not withhold my approval." Colonel Ray Tompkins was the commander of the 73rd New York State Guard and was a resident of Staten Island. Weak folds reinforced and missing docket panel, replaced with conservation paper; light soiling, else very good to fine condition. Housed in a professional acid-free mat.
*The Annual Report of the Adjutant-General (1863) Vol I, p. 38: "The 73d regiment (infantry) were not inspected, owing to the absence of Col. Ray Tompkins, at Washington on government business…."
Estimated Value $15,000 - 20,000.