Abraham Lincoln to John T. Towers, 3 May 18481
Mr J. T. Towers:Dear Sir:
I understand that the speech of Mr Wick, of Indiana, is printed at your office–2 Please send to the folding room for me, three hundred copies of it, and oblige
Yours &c.[etc.]A. Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln M. C.[Member Congress] from Illinois.
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2William W. Wick delivered this speech in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 25, 1848 in the midst of a three-day debate on a resolution introduced by Representative John G. Palfrey. The resolution called for the appointment of a five-person select committee to investigate pro-slavery riots that rocked the nation’s capital in the aftermath of the Pearl incident and offered their opinion whether legislation was necessary to prevent future rioting. On April 15, seventy-six or seventy-seven slaves from Washington, DC attempted to escape by hiding aboard a schooner named the Pearl. The plan was to sail down the Potomac River into the Chesapeake Bay and up the Delaware River to freedom in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Inclement weather delayed the Pearl’s voyage, and on April 17, a posse captured the runaways and returned them to Washington. This prompted three days of rioting by pro-slavery mobs.
Josephine F. Pacheo, The Pearl: A Failed Slave Escape on the Potomac (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 48-70, 171-80; Gilbert Hobbs Barnes, “Pearl Case,” Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), 5:239; “Speech of Mr. W. W. Wick, of Indiana, on the Privilege of Members and the Subject of Slavery. Delivered in the House of Representatives, April 25, 1848” (Washington, DC: Towers, 1848), 1-16; Cong. Globe, 30th Cong., 1st Sess., 649-56, 657-64, 665-73 (1848).

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Millicent Library (Fairhaven, MA).