The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
To F. F. Lowe. August 17, 1863.
WASHINGTON, D. C.,
HON. P. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:
There seems to be considerable misunderstanding about the recent movement to take possession of the "New Almaden" mine. It has no reference to any other mine or mines.
In regard to mines and miners generally, no change of policy by the Government has been decided on, or even thought of, so far as I know.
The "New Almaden" mine was peculiar in this: that its occupants claimed to be the legal owners of it on a Mexican grant, and went into court on that claim. The case found its way into the Supreme Court of the United States, and last term, in and by that court, the claim of the occupants was decided to be utterly fraudulent. Thereupon it was considered the duty of the Government by the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney-General, and myself to take possession of the premises; and the Attorney-General carefully made out the writ and I signed it. It was not obtained surreptitiously, although I suppose General Halleck thought it had been, when he telegraphed, simply because he thought possession was about being taken by a military order, while he knew no such order had passed through his hands as general-in-chief.
The writ was suspended, upon urgent representations from California, simply to keep the peace. It never had any direct or indirect reference to any mine, place, or person, except the "New Almaden" mine and the persons connected with it.