Friday, January 27, 2017

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, August 7, 1863

Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 7, 1863.

. . . . Bob and his mother have gone to the white mountains. (I don't take any special stock in the matter, and write the locality in small letters.) Bob was so shattered by the wedding of the idol of all of us, the bright particular Teutonne, that he rushed madly off to sympathise with nature in her sternest aspects. They will be gone some time. The newspapers say the Tycoon will join them after a while. If so, he does not know it. He may possibly go for a few days to Cape May, where Hill Lamon is now staying, though that is not certain.

This town is as dismal now as a defaced tombstone. Everybody has gone. I am getting apathetic and write blackguardly articles for the Chronicle from which West extracts the dirt and fun, and publishes the dreary remains. The Tycoon is in fine whack. I have rarely seen him more serene and busy. He is managing this war, the draft, foreign relations, and planning a reconstruction of the Union, all at once. I never knew with what tyrannous authority he rules the Cabinet till now. The most important things he decides, and there is no cavil. I am growing more and more firmly convinced that the good of the country absolutely demands that he should be kept where he is till this thing is over. There is no man in the country so wise, so gentle and so firm. I believe the hand of God placed him where he is.

They are all working against him like braves though, — Hale and that crowd — but don't seem to make anything by it. I believe the people know what they want, and unless politics have gained in power and lost in principle, they will have it

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 89-91; For the whole letter see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 75-6 and Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 48-9.

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