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Lincoln Originals at Cincinnati Museum Center

Request by H.E. Bridge & Co., July 21, 1863

H.E. Bridge & Company wrote to President Lincoln in July of 1863 requesting letters of trade recommending them as loyal men to trade in the South within the Union lines. They also inquired when the St. Francis River, a tributary of the Mississippi River in Arkansas and Missouri, would be open for trade. Lincoln gave his endorsement in a note to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) on July 21. Lincoln wrote that the men mentioned in the letter were “worthy men” and he wanted the secretary to allow one of the men, William Butler, to present this request. William Butler was an old friend of Lincoln’s from his days in Springfield and helped Lincoln when he was struggling financially.

From the CMC Manuscript Collection: Mss VF 3017.

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Request by H.E. Bridge & Co. - Page 1

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The name of the firm who desire to do a legitimate
trade in the South within our lines is H. E. Bridge
& Co, and is Composed of the following named parties
Hon. Hudson. E. Bridge of St. Louis Mo. . .
James. L. Lamb,Springfield Ill.
Hening & Woodruff- St. Louis Mo.
W. T. Hecox Chicago Ill
Hon Wm Butler Springfield Ill

We wish you to get
letters from Mr. Chase & others high in authority, to Mr. Mellen &
other Special Agents of the Treasury department recomending us
as good Loyal men and entitled to all the privileges of
trade – granted to the most worthy. We desire also to know
when the St Francis- & other tributaries of the Miss. River will
be opened to trade – and if we as a company can
depend upon being protected in any and all of our property
that we may have in the States of Tennesee Arkansas &
Mississippi – until such time as trade is regularly
opened & that we then be allowed to bring out all such property

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