Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Washington Correspondence

WASHINGTON, April 1, 1862.

ED. HAWK-EYE – Dear Sir: Our great army has a multitude of representatives at the hotels and “all quiet on the Potomac” is what I see; at home I only hear it.

There is a desperate effort to prop up the fortunes of Gen. McClellan, yet all agree if he does not gain a great battle, and soon, he must doff his plume and give way to Banks or somebody who defies mud and dares to lead and to die.

This city is to be free, thank God.  The Emancipation bill will pass despite the [money] used to defeat it from Baltimore and the District.  Senator Sumner’s speech was very fine as an historic statement.  He gained good attention for full two hours, and part of the speech I have no doubt, will be read with delight in Iowa.

The Iowa employees so far as I have seen them are a credit to the State, and are gradually being promoted in the Departments.

Mrs. Senator Harlan has just returned from a visit to Port Royal.  Hers was truly a mission of mercy, and at the proper time she will make public facts and theories in regard to the Carolina negroes and what can be done and what ought to be.  In her view it is a great missionary work, and can only be prosecuted by government aid in part, and the banishment of sundry official negro haters who seems to hold the power wherever there is a military occupation by the Union troops.

Senator Harlan is one of the busiest men in Washington.  Ash chairman of the Public Land Committee he is hard at work.  There is a promise of his doing some large work for the State; yet I must not particularize.  The facts will justify a large expectation and time will give more details.

Mr. Grimes has certainly a high rank here as Senator.  The commercial men of New York name him as a Secretary of the Navy, in the event of a place being made by Secretary Welles retirement.  Any one who reads the Globe cannot help seeing that the Governor knows all about this District, and that he must be the worker on the Naval Committee – not to mention the many jobs he spoils by a question, or by a very short telling, insinuating speech.

Who is this man Wilson? asks a member of the House.  I never heard of him before, but he did make a “big speech,” killing a bad Railroad bill.  He was enough for two or three of the most adroit of the old members.

I can say only for our Representative that he got Sorghum exempted from the Tax bill; that he is acting as one of the working men on the Judiciary Committee, and will get a bill for an United States Court, placing Iowa in the center of the District, embracing Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota.  Who will consent to be Judge? – on the supreme bench for life.  Have we any man who would take the place?

In the House I noticed how instinctively our Democracy voted against the tax on dogs – but it carried; but they went in for a high tax on pianos, melodeons, &c.  Don’t they love music?

I saw Le Grand Byington, a seeker for a seat in Vandever’s place, hand in glove with the traitor Vallandigham.  It will be a fine thing for him to get mileage and perchance a seat, back by 4,000 traitors votes!  Wilson will make a big fight against him, I guess.


– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 12, 1862, p. 1

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