Letter from President Lincoln to Erastus Corning and others (June 12, 1863), in 8 Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, 1862–1863, at 313 (John G. Nicolay & John Hay eds., N.Y., The Tandy-Thomas Co. new ed. 1894):
And yet, let me say that, in my own discretion, I do not know whether I would have ordered the arrest of Mr. Vallandingham. While I cannot shift the responsibility from myself, I hold that, as a general rule, the commander in the field is the better judge of the necessity in any particular case. Of course I must practise a general directory and revisory power in the matter.
The error in spelling—“Vallandingham” should be “Vallandigham”—appears to be made by Nicolay & Hay, the Complete Works’ editors, not by Lincoln. The same might also be said for the editors’ use of “practise” rather than “practice.” See Abraham Lincoln to Erastus Corning and Others, [June] 1863, American Memory: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress (last visited July 30, 2015) (displaying Lincoln’s original letter), http://tinyurl.com/nrs4ho6 (copy #1), and http://tinyurl.com/p7oa57j (copy #2).
Good editors are difficult to find. See generally Seth Barrett Tillman, Ex parte Merryman: Myth, History, and Scholarship, 224(2) Mil. L. Rev. (forthcoming Summer 2016) (peer reviewed) (discussing Corning-Lincoln correspondence, and also the Corning-Merryman relationship).
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