The National Archives on Thursday added to its collection a short letter written by President Abraham Lincoln to help an ousted U.S. Mint director who was the son-in-law of a Republican senator.

In the new letter, Lincoln asked his treasury secretary, Salmon Chase, to allow the fired head of the U.S. Mint in San Francisco, Robert Stevens, to review the charges that led to his removal. Lincoln had appointed Stevens as a favor to Oregon Sen. Edward Baker, the ousted director's father-in-law.

The letter is written on yellowed stationary simply marked Executive Mansion, Washington, with a dashed line where the date — Nov. 14, 1863 — was filled in by hand. This was five days before Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

The letter was donated to the National Archives by Lawrence Cutler, a private collector from Scottsdale, Ariz.

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