Monday, August 29, 2016

William Cullen Bryant to Reverend Horatio N. Powers, of Chicago, August 17, 1862

roslyn, September 15, 1862.

Your letter of the 7th instant makes a very natural suggestion. Lest you should suppose that the real friends of the country in this neighborhood have been remiss, I would inform you that this very method which you mention has been tried with Mr. Lincoln. Some of our best and most eminent men have visited Washington to remonstrate with him, but with only partial effect. The influence of Seward is always at work, and counteracts the good impressions made in the interviews with men of a different class. I was strongly pressed to go to Washington myself, and went somewhat reluctantly, not having any confidence in my powers of per suasion. I saw Mr. Lincoln, and had a long conversation with him on the affairs of the country, in which I expressed myself plainly and without reserve, though courteously. He bore it well, and I must say that I left him with a perfect conviction of the excellence of his intentions and the singleness of his purposes, though with sorrow for his indecision. A movement is now on foot to bring the influence of our best men to bear upon him in a more concentrated manner, by a wider concert among them. Meetings have been held for that purpose and a committee raised.

SOURCE: Parke Godwin, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 178-9

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