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Emily Todd Helm...

From Abraham Lincoln to Whom It May Concern [Draft]1, December 14, 1863

Executive Mansion,

Washington, December 14, 1863.

Whom it may concern.

It is my wish that Mrs Emily T. Helm, (widow of the late Gen. B. H. Helm, who fell in the Confederate service,) now returning to Kentucky ) may have protection of person and property, except as to slaves, of which I say nothing.

A. Lincoln

[ Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Mrs. Helm.

[Note 1 Emily Todd Helm was Mary Lincoln's younger half-sister. She married Benjamin Hardin Helm, who though offered a position in the Union Army by Lincoln, went with the Confederacy and commanded a brigade. After Helm's death at Chickamauga, Emily Helm, who had been living at Atlanta, concluded to return to her family home at Lexington, Kentucky. When she attempted to cross the Union lines at Fortress Monroe early in December, 1863, she refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the Union, whereupon Lincoln instructed the officer in charge to send her to the White House. She remained there about two weeks, despite adverse reaction to the spectacle of a Confederate general's widow staying in the Executive Mansion. Though the Lincolns would have had her remain even longer, Mrs. Helm left for Lexington in mid-December, carrying this pass which Lincoln made out for her.]