Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Diary of John Hay: October 29, 1863

I went down to Willard’s to-day and got from Palmer, who is here, a free ticket to New York and back for Walt. Whitman, the poet, who is going to New York to electioneer and vote for the union ticket.

Saw Garfield and Hunter. Hunter is just starting for the West on a tour of inspection. I would give my chances for to go with him, but Nicolay still stays in the sunset, and I am here with a ball and chain on my leg. . . .

I told the Tycoon that Chase would try to make capital out of this Rosecrans business. He laughed and said, “I suppose he will, like the blue-bottle fly, lay his eggs in every rotten spot he can find.” He seems much amused at Chase’s mad hunt after the Presidency. He says it may win. He hopes the country will never do worse.

I said he should not, by making all Chase’s appointments, make himself particeps criminis.

He laughed on, & said he was sorry the thing had begun, for though the matter did not annoy him, his friends insisted that it ought to.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 112-3; For the whole diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 109-11

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