Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Diary of John Hay: Tuesday, December 25, 1863

A lonesome sort of Christmas. I breakfasted, dined and supped alone. Went to the Theatre and saw Macbeth alone.

The President to-day got up a plan for extending to the people of the rebellious districts the practical benefits of the Proclamation. He is to send record-books to various points to receive subscriptions to the Oath, for which certificates will be given to the man taking the oath. He has also prepared a placard himself giving notice of the opening of the books and the nature of the oath required.

He sent the first of the books to Pierpoint to be used in Virginia. The second he will probably send to Arkansas.

The President was greatly amused at Greeley’s hasty Chase explosion and its elaborate explanation in the Tribune. He defended Gov. Chase from Phillips’ unjust attacks, saying that he thought Chase’s banking system rested on a sound basis of principle; that is, causing the capital of the country to become interested in the sustaining of the National credit. That this was the principal financial measure of Mr. Chase, in which he (L.) has taken an especial interest. Mr. C had frequently consulted him in regard to it. He had generally delegated to Mr. C exclusive control of those matters falling within the province of his Department. This matter he had shared in to some extent. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 144-5; for the entire diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letter of John Hay, p. 144-5.

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