New York, November 10, 1860
To A. Lincoln, President-elect:
You will not, I hope, find what I have to say in this letter intrusive or unreasonable. If you should, you will, of course, treat it as it deserves to be treated. I have no doubt that you receive frequent suggestions from various quarters respecting the selection of your Cabinet when you take the Executive chair. It is natural that your fellow-citizens who elected you to office should feel a strong interest in regard to the choice of those men who are to act as your advisers and your special assistants in the administration of affairs. The confidence of the people in the wisdom and the virtue of the Government depends in a good degree on that choice. You will therefore, I trust, most readily pardon a little zeal in this matter, even if it should go somewhat beyond the limits of a well-bred courtesy.
You have numerous friends in this quarter, and they are among the most enlightened and disinterested of the Republican party, who would be greatly pleased if your choice of a Secretary of State should fall on Mr. Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio. He is regarded as one of the noblest and truest of the great leaders of that party, as a man in all respects beyond reproach — which you know few men are. He is able, wise, practical, pure — no associate of bad men, nor likely to counsel their employment in any capacity. A Cabinet with such a man in its principal department, associated with others worthy to be his colleagues, would immediately command the public confidence. Of course, I do not expect you to make any reply to this letter. You will receive it as an expression of my sincere desire for the success of your administration.
SOURCE: Parke Godwin, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 150