Monday, February 6, 2017

Diary of John Hay: August 13, 1863

Rode to-day with the President and the Secretary of State to the Capitol. Saw the statuary of the east pediment. The President objected to Power’s statue of the Wood chopper, as he did not make a sufficiently clean cut.

Coming home the President told Seward of what Frank Blair said about an interview he had had with Poindexter in the West. Poindexter said, “We are gone up; there is no further use of talking!” “How about your institution?” Frank asked. "Gone to the Devil!"

Seward said: “Slavery is dead; the only trouble is that the fools who support it from the outside do not recognise this, and will not, till the thing is over. In our Masonic warfare we made a great fight. The Masons were beaten; they knew and felt it, and retired from the fight. But the Jack Masons, as they were called, kept up their dismal howls of sympathy for the masons, long after they had given up the fight and forgotten all about it. So now, though slavery is dead, the Democratic party insists on devoting itself to guarding the corpse.” . . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 92-3; For the whole diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 79-80.

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