Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How Baber Got His Commission

Armstrong of the Tiffin (Ohio) Advertiser, who has just returned from a visit to Washington, relates the following, which is sufficiently life-like to be true.

Almost everybody about Columbus, Ohio, knows Baber, while out of the capital.

Baber is the individual who published the Douglas and Lincoln debates, and but the ball in motion that finally landed Uncle Abraham into the White House.  Baber, hence claims to be Warwick, the Kingmaker, and for his services has been rewarded with the office of Paymaster in the United States Army.

When the President appointed the Major to his position he desired him to call upon the Secretary of War and receive his commission.  Now Cameron is besieged and hunted by hundreds, and is hard to reach.  Baber stood at the gate for a long while, the hours wore away, and no attention was paid to his appeals by the secretary at the door.

Finally, Baber – who had for long years warred Chase – concluded to call upon that functionary to assist him, on the principle that Chase is always willing to do more for his enemies than his friends.  The Governor went with Baber, and Sesame opened.  Chase with Baber at his side, strode into the War Department and up to Cameron.

“Cameron,” said Chase, “here is the man who beat you and me for the Presidency at Chicago.  Give him his commission, quick, or Abe will have him in his Cabinet in place of one of us.”

Baber got his papers and gleefully relates how courteously his old friend “came down.”

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 8, 1862, p. 2

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