Monday, June 19, 2017

Diary of John Hay, September 23, 1864

Senator Harlan thinks that Bennett’s support is so important, especially considered as to its bearing on the soldier vote, that it would pay to offer him a foreign mission for it, and so told me. Forney has also had a man talking to the cannie Scot who asked plumply, “Will I be a welcome visitor at the White House if I support Mr. Lincoln?” What a horrible question for a man to be able to ask! So thinks the President apparently. It is probable that Bennett will stay about as he is, thoroughly neutral, balancing carefully until the October elections, and will then declare for the side which he thinks will win. It is better in many respects to let him alone.

SOURCES: Abstracted from Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 221; Michael Burlingame & John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 229-30

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