The social and cultural climate of the United States during Lincoln's tenure as President of the United States was certainly heavily influenced by religious views. Particularly there was still an assumption among Americans that they were the "chosen" ones of the Bible's New Testament. As a result a belief in the reality of Jesus Christ was not just wide spread it was assumed on every level, especially for one holding the highest office in the land.
By looking into records dealing with Lincoln's views and interactions with others that dealt with religion or specifically Jesus we can get a view into the great liberator and his inner thinking. While Lincoln is often held up as a nearly beatific figure in his own right, the historical record indicates a much more pragmatic man. The letters and materials saved in the Lincoln Papers reflect this through his responses, comments etc on letters written to him.
Given that Lincoln's tenure was during a great time of upheaval within the country it is not surprising that many of the letters and communications directed to him call on religious ideas to support their various points of view. If we add to that the reality that the Confederate army and especially officer core had a deep and abiding belief in the will of God and the personal intercession of Jesus on the side of "right" then Lincoln's attitudes and approach to religious ideas becomes an even more interesting discussion of the times.
The letter letter
is from February 25, 1863. It was originally written by George F. Kelly to Abraham Lincoln. In the letter Mr. Kelly seeks to give Lincoln advice about the conduct of his official duties by quoting scripture to support his ideas. The letter is a second letter from Kelly as he indicates early on Lincoln has apparently kept the earlier letter. One of the most interesting things about this letter is the endorsement from Lincoln on the back of the envelope which is to the best or our knowledge his only response to it. The endorsement reads simply "A vision. Kelly"