Monday, September 5, 2016

Leonard Swett to Abraham Lincoln, January 8, 1861

Washington Jan 8, 1861
Hon A Lincoln

Dear Sir

When Gen'l Cameron returned from Springfield he showed me your letter When the appointment was made known it created some talk may many taking the ground it was a good one & others unfit to be made Friday I think your telegraph came He showed it to me but did not suppose it changed your intention Saturday he was sent for & went to Harrisburg By Monday the two Senators were agreed upon – Cowan for the long term & some one I dont know who for the short term To day in pursuance of that agreement they probably elect Cowan This morning Cameron called on me & showed your letter. He complains he has been badly treated says he only consented to take the place to please his friends. He complains of the form of your letter He thinks it contains an intimation of imputation of upon his character and mortifies him I have had a long talk with him & he finally agreed he would say to every one that he would not go in to the cabinet & that I might telegraph to that effect

I assured him your motives were good & if you could have an interview you would satisfy him He said if you had written him a kind letter, setting forth that you had contemplated calling him into the Cabinet & had invited him to S. with that view but in the condition of the country you had for motives of no unkindness to him but for reasons of state had changed your mind & had asked him to relieve you, he would most cheerfully have done so.

He agreed I might copy the letter which I send. He also agreed he would not act badly but would sustain you & be friendly to you but thought you ought to explain fully the reason of your action at some full future time He said he would as leef have an enemy at home as in N Jersey & did not want Dayton to be appointed. I think from his talk if you should appoint no one in Penna. or N. Jersey the matter might be reconciled If you should I think it could not be but would lead to open hostility He seemed to wish the patronage of Penn. should not be given to his foes I think he cares more about this than about going into the Cabinet

Considering the whole affair he talk nobly & manly about the whole affair McClure came home & has been trying to bargain with Cameron to consent to his appointment upon condition that he might be returned to the Senate Things look fearfully here If Virginia goes Maryland is very doubtful Within a day or two, I have heard very little objection to Cameron & think in a day or two it would have been all undid. I think you will hear complaint about all appointments.

Yours Truly
Leonard Swett

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