Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Leonard Swett to Abraham Lincoln, November 30, 1860

Nov 30, 1860
Dear Lincoln

I received, yesterday the enclosed letter from Sanderson I suppose it was intended for your eyes, more than mine, and therefore I forward it to you. I am annoyed, a little, that these applications of Cameron's friends are made so prominently through Judge Davis & myself. Yet, on the whole, from what occured at Chicago I think they have a right to do it. My objection is that it seemingly puts us in the advocacy of Cameron and leaves the inference of our interest to do so This is not the truth about it The truth is, at Chicago we thought the Cameron influence was the controlling element & tried to procure that rather than the factions The negotiations we had with them, so far as I can judge was one of the reasons, which induced the Cameron leaders to throw the bulk of that force to you. That having been done and a correspondence having been kept up by us with them, during the summer, they naturally seek the same channel to get back to you. This is all the only reason I know of, why they write to us.

While I arrogate to myself no might to my opinion, yet if they want it, opinions are cheap & in this instance certainly wont do harm.

This flurry at the South it seems to me can be got along with, but I dont think it ought to be helped with. The Country wants firmness & justice Cameron has the negative merit of not being offensive to them the South.

If it is conceded Penn. should have a Cabinet officer the weight of party there, all other things equal, should, I think, indicate him. Cameron would seem to satisfy the majority Reed, or any other man, only a minority A reason for this may be, that in adition to Cameron's real strength the politicians can heal their local differences by having two vacancies in the Senate to fill.

My belief is that no man, other that C. can be selected there without considerable dissatisfaction There is also the argument too that the Cameron influence, as much as any thing nominated you, while the other influences there did & could do you no considerable good The arguments against him I dont fully know, for my intercourse has been with his fends The only exception to this is Joseph Lewis of West Chester & I think he is a fussy old fellow who doesn't amount to much

Is not the fact that Seward may be satisfied with a mission to England worthy of consideration Tis true he undertands the foreign relations of the Gov & would be of great service but the domestic relation are the ones most complicated—

I understand that Cassius Clay is anxious to get into the Cabinet Does not this complicate matters It seems to me, he would be more odious to the South than any man but Seward[.] Putnam has written me two very long letters. He wants a second class foreign mission & has asked me at a proper time to name it to you

Yours Truly
Leonard Swett

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