Saturday, July 23, 2016

William Cullen Bryant to Abraham Lincoln, January 3, 1861

New York January 3d 1861.
My dear Sir,

I have this moment received your note Nothing could be more fair or more satisfactory than the principle you lay down in regard to the formation of your council of official advisers. I shall always be convinced that whatever selection you make it will be made conscientiously.

The community here had been somewhat startled this morning by the positiveness with which a report had been circulated, reaching this city from Washington that Mr. Simon Cameron was to be placed in the Treasury Department. Forgive me if I state to you how we all should regard such an appointment – I believe I may speak for all parties, except perhaps some of the most corrupt in our own – The objection to Mr. Cameron would not be that he does not opinion hold such opinions as we approve, but that there is among all who have observed the course of our public men an utter, ancient and deep seated dullness of his integrity – whether financial or political. The announcement of his appointment, if made on any authority deserving of credit would diffuse a feeling almost like despair. I have no prejudices against Mr Cameron except such as arise from observing in what transactions he has been engaged as I have reason to suppose that whatever opinion had been formed respecting him in this part of the country has been formed on perfectly impartial and disinterested grounds. I pray you, again, to excuse this my giving you this trouble. Do not reply to this letter – Only let us have honest rigidly upright men in the departments – whatever may be their notions of public policy. I am, dear Sir,

Very truly &c &c
W C Bryant
Hon. A. Lincoln.

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