Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Diary of John Hay: April 30, 1861

Three Indians of the Pottawatomies called to-day upon their great father. . . . The President amused them greatly by airing the two or three Indian words he knew. I was amused by his awkward efforts to make himself understood by speaking bad English: e. g. — Where live now? When go back Iowa?

Frederick Hassaurek and I dined together. He seems stung by the inaction which his lameness, besides his foreign duties, imposes upon him. He evidently chafes with generous emulation of the coming glories of Schurz in the field. He is a delicate-souled and thoughtful genius, but has not the vigor and animal arrogance that help Schurz bully his way through life. H will probably indulge his bent for literature in the high solitude of Quito. He intimated a course of articles in the Atlantic and an ultimate book.

Coming home from the theatre I met Blair, Schurz and Fox coming out of the audience chamber. Going in, I saw the great map of Virginia, newly hung, and fronted by conscious-looking chairs. The air is full of ghastly promises for Maryland and Virginia. Meanwhile the north is growing impatient. Correspondents talk impertinently, and the N. Y. Times advises the immediate resignation of the Cabinet, and warns the President that he will be superseded. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 27-8; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay, p. 14-5;

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