Willow-Dale, Doniphan Co. Kansas May 6th, 1861
The President of the U. S. of N. America
Mr. Abraham Lincoln
The addressed greeting:
Dear and noble Sir!
Your Honor will not be offended if one of your far off western, yet truely patriotic, and this country loving constituents, takes the privelege to address you by writing to you.
At least I hope your Honor will excuse me after reading what I have to write to you, of what I think is my duty to write, in these trying times. With a bleeding heart do I think of the dangers that are surrounding our heretofore so happy and prosperous Land and Nation. With every comming day the danger seems to increase; the rebels are getting more numberous and active and the traitors more bold and despert. And I think duty requires every true hearted citizen to cluster closely around the heart of our Nation - around the head of our worthy and honorable President - and show to the world, and especialy should it be made known to all those whose hearts are filled with treachery against our Dear, dear beloved Land that we the friends of the "Union" are Unanimous! that we are as "One Man." and that we are Strong and Able and at all times Willing to maintain any thing and every thing which is right, fair, and honorable. And let it be known to all nations, that we are maintering (?) the most glorious cause on earth, and that we are both Willing and Desirous to do it; and that we will never, no never cease till we come off conquerrers, triumphant at last.
We as a Nation have long lived as the most happy, the most prosperous, and the best governed, on earth; under the "Star Spangled Banner". Now why should we not be true to that Banner which waved gracefuly over us, and under which we have so long lived securely and savely? Could there be any crime more abomanable on earth, than our indifference to those beautiful Stars and Stripes, in a period so critical like this, when we see that its existence is about to be extinguished and destroyed? No. Never; as long as our hearts shall beat, and as long as there is blood in our veins, and as long as a muskel moves within us, shall we be true to Dur Banner - true to our Constitution - true to our Country and Goverment. If there are some rebeling against it, and trying to disgrace and stain its good reputation. Let us show them that we are not so easily sceared nor discouraged, and that we will fight to the last man before we give up. "We will not give up the ship". And as to be traitors to our country that can never be as long as reason remains with us. No we will never be traitors, no never, no never... But we will be true and firm as a rock to our well made rules and regulations and our glorious institutions, as long as we live. Aye forever and ever. Such is the general feeling and voice of the people of Kansas - And such let the motto be of every true hearted "Union Man" and then we have nothing to fear, but every thing to gain. We have justice, right, the glorious cause, etc. and above all the Allmighty Creator, Ruler and Preservor on -- what? Why on our side. But we must not cary on our work hasty nor passionately, but carefuly and prudently, with much consideration and reflection looking to God at the same time for wisdom and help.
And do nothing but what will meet the approbation of a Holy and a Pure God. What we do in such a manner will never have to be regreted and will finally lead to a glorious end. And those poor deluded brethren who are now rebeling against us, will share those blessings, and be happy with us.
We as a Nation, both North and South, East and West have sinned against God, our Dear Heavenlv Father, our Preservor and Benifactor. We have to be punished, our pride has to be subdued, and we have to humble ourself ourselves before the offended God, or else He will not own and accept us as His children any longer. And He will withdraw His blessings from us, and will finaly distroy us as obstinate idolators.
Now dear President - though you are honored with the highest office and honor that can be obtained on earth - I hope you are not above listening and paying attention to a petition brought before you by a poor and humble mechanic. And especialy when you are told that the nature of my petition is of such a kind that it will not take any thing of what you allready posses, but that it will only add more to it. We are told that the Father of our country, the worthy general "Washington" was a man of much prayer, and that he was daily keeping communion with his heavenly Father, and hence his glorious and wonderful success. And since I have reason to believe that we have the honor of having a God fearing and God loving man at the head of our present administration, I would take the privilege to humbly beseach you to follow in all things the examble of George Washington. And if you do this with an eye singled to Gods glory, I know you will not be put to shame.
I for my part would like to do much for our favored Land and I do not know of any thing whereby I could do more than by fervently praying for it and its Rulers, and I also do it with a cheerful heart every day. I am a citizen of St. Joseph, Mo., member of the O. L. Presbyterian church, and many are the prayers that have ascended to the throne of grace allready in my beloved church. But every thing is in confusion since fort Sumter is taken. The secessionists are very numberous and despert and a Union man has for a while been affraid to express himself openly. On the 20 of April the excitement was to its highest pitch; they hoisted secession flags and made secession speeches. To prevent the sheding of blood the Union men withdrew and interfered not in the least. But I could not look at their ruinous action - my heart was sore and aching with pain and grief. I have a small house in St. Joe and the worst of (it) is I owe some money on it yet, and to a secessionist at that, but I left every thing commiting it to the care of God, and came over here to Kansas.
Here is the object of my hearts love, one that is dearer to me than my own life, to whom I have been engaged to be married now nearly a year, but difficulties and obstructions came in our way that we have hitherto been prevented to unite in the bonds of holy wedlock. We had to go through many trials, tribulations and sorrows, but it was all for our own good we learned to seek God and pray to Him, and now all our trust is in Him. And now I came over here to join a company of Union men soldiers, to fight for my country if it is needed. I know that I am not among traitors in Kansas, but if (in) Missouri I could not say so. My Father lives in Ohio, but was originaly from the Alpine Switzerlan. I have been a Douglass Democrat and voted for him last fall. But I will now fight for Mr. Lincoln and the administration if it is necessary. And remain by subscribing my self as your humble Friend and obedient servant.
Chr. H. Isely