Showing posts with label Edward Everett. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edward Everett. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Johnson and Farnsworth, May 22, 1861

ASHEBORO, May 22nd, 1861.

This State is now a perfect unit as the North seems to be. No man desired or worked harder than myself to preserve the Union, but the Abolitionists North and the fire-eaters South have gradually forced everybody into the ranks of the one or the other. In N. C. the Union sentiment was largely in the ascendant and gaining strength until Lincoln prostrated us. Congress having refused to pass the force bill, we felt that the President could abandon Sumter and Pickens without any sacrifice of his principles, but in conformity with the Legislative will. He induced the whole South so to believe. The assurance of Seward to Judge Campbell seems to have been made with deliberate duplicity, and we can not doubt that Mr. Lincoln knew his policy would disarm all Union men in the Southern States. He did more than all the secessionists to break up the Union, but whether he did this, not being statesman enough to comprehend the effect of his measures; or whether his purpose was to drive all the slave States into rebellion, thinking he could bring against us men enough, with the aid of a servile insurrection, to overthrow us and abolish Slavery, we are in doubt. If the Union be restored, the War must at once cease.  Our white population and our slaves will resist to the death. I infer from all I can see that Lincoln's measures have united the North. The have certainly united North Carolina. The North must stop her warlike measures and consent to a severance of the government—or the God of Battles must long gloat over the carnage of alienated brethren. Reason has left. Rage controls both sections.

God save the Country.-

Gov. Graham, as I presume you know, is universally respected for every quality which should commend the regard of good and wise men. He was as strong for the Union as Edward Everett till Lincoln's proclamation. I enclose a late speech of his. Have it published in some of your leading papers. Let good men North and South understand each other.


SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 50-1

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Diary of to Amos A. Lawrence: April 27, 1861

The President and exPresidents of Harvard College met at Whipple's by my request, to be photographed together for the college library. Messrs. Quincy, Everett, Sparks, Walker, and Felton. We waited for Mr. Everett, who had forgotten his appointment, and had a great deal of talk. Mr. Quincy was very bright and earnest. He told me he had enjoyed his life since he was seventy-four more than any previous part of it. He is now about ninety.

SOURCE: William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 161

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Samuel Gridley Howe to Senator Charles Sumner, January 16, 1853

Boston, Jan. 16th, 1853.

My Dear Sumner: — You never yet performed the friendly office of criticizing anything of mine that I did not thank you for it, and I do thank you for the black line drawn against an expression in Wednesday's Commonwealth. Almost always I feel the justice of your criticisms, and acknowledge your taste; this time, however, I think you run purity into purism. Surely, in a newspaper squib, meant as an answer to a squib, the use of an expression like that of poking fun, so common, and free from offence to anything but conservative conventionalism, is harmless. As for folks, it should have been marked as a quotation from another paper.

Dear Sumner, are you not illiberal and ultra-conservative in this one matter of style and form of expression? Would you not shut up the “well of English” from the healthy influences of the spirit of the age, and deprive language of the aid and the interest which the use of local and colloquial expressions give it? Writing is an art, a good art; and a good writer is an artist. It does seem to me absurd, however, to suppose it can be removed from that class of things capable of change and improvement; or to hold that we are to be tied down to the forms of expression used by classical writers. However, of one thing I am quite sure; you have so little sense of fun or, to use a less inelegant word, of the ludicrous, that you cannot make allowance enough for those who have more of it, and who stir up that sense in the popular mind by the use of what are considered, by mirthful people, very pleasant and agreeable liberties with language. God made man to be mirthful as well as moral; and Mirth may say to Morals, as Emerson makes the Squirrel say to the Mountain:

“If I am not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry!

However you may have developed many other sides to your character, one is dwarfed and undeveloped, the mirthful side.

So much for fun. Do continue to send me everything that you can, even my Spirit of the Press with one black line against it. It is not likely I shall continue it, however: it is like drumming in a pint pot. And yet, when I think of the five thousand readers of the paper, and reflect upon what I know, that my motives ought to appeal to and strengthen what is good and high in them, I think I ought to do all I can, consistently with other duties.

The Whigs here, Boston Whigs, are moving everything for Everett; they feel however that they may have cause to repent by and by of their success.

As for our friends, they are all dull or indifferent except the “Dalgetties.” They feel sure of carrying the State next year, and Wilson counts certainly upon the Gubernatorial chair. I think however that most of them are quite careless about the modus in quo. They look to the Democrats from a sort of fellow feeling. Now every element in my nature rises up indignantly at the thought of our principles being bartered for considerations of a personal and selfish nature; and all my feelings bid me do what my reason forbids — that is, make open war, cause a clean split; appeal to the “conscience Whigs” who formed the nucleus of our party, and march out of the ranks with a banner of our own.

There are many considerations against it, and not the least is the necessity of condemning severely the course of the party, and so losing the advantage of the real good it has effected.

We shall see. What do you say?
Yours ever,
S. G. H.

SOURCE: Laura E. Richards, Editor, Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, Volume 2, p. 389-91

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Diary of to Amos A. Lawrence: July 19, 1860

Inauguration of president at Cambridge. Heavy rain in morning. Went to Cambridge in the saddle; got to Boston from there at half past nine, wet through. Home at two and changed dress, then to Cambridge again. Went up in the pulpit where Mr. Felton was delivering his address with great earnestness. The Governor and all the dignitaries of church and state, including ex-Presidents Everett, Quincy, and Sparks. Mr. Quincy is quite feeble. I spoke to him afterwards and asked him if he was going to dinner with us, and he said “No,” he was too feeble. I fear the old gentleman has taken part for the last time in the celebration of his Alma Mater.

After the exercises in the church, we had the grand dinner in Harvard Hall; Henry Lee with his twenty marshals managing everything. I sat at the official table, next to Dr. Walton, the oldest graduate after Mr. Quincy; he is nearly ninety years old. Governor Banks spoke exceedingly well; so did Rev. Dr. Osgood. After satisfying my appetite, I went down and sat with my class.

SOURCE: William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 154-5

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Journal of Amos A. Lawrence, December 6, 1859

Storm. Agreed to be at Faneuil Hall and act as an officer of the meeting. Public meeting at Faneuil Hall. A grand affair. The crowd was very great even on the outside. Ex-Governor Lincoln presided. Though over eighty years old he appeared well. Mr. Everett spoke as well as I ever heard him. Then Caleb Cushing. The enthusiasm was tremendous whenever the Union was alluded to. The Democrats will try to make something of it.

SOURCE: William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 134

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Julia Ward Howe to her Sisters, Thursday, May 29, 1856

Thursday, 29, 1856

We have been in the most painful state of excitement relative to Kansas matters and dear Charles Sumner, whose condition gives great anxiety.1 Chev is as you might expect under such circumstances; he has had much to do with meetings here, etc., etc. New England spunk seems to be pretty well up, but what will be done is uncertain as yet. One thing we have got: the Massachusetts Legislature has passed the “personal liberty bill,” which will effectually prevent the rendition of any more fugitive slaves from Massachusetts. Another thing, the Tract Society here (orthodox) has put out old Dr. Adams, who published a book in favor of slavery; a third thing, the Connecticut legislature has withdrawn its invitation to Mr. Everett to deliver his oration before them, in consequence of his having declined to speak at the Sumner meeting in Faneuil Hall. . . .

1 In consequence of the assault upon him in the Senate Chamber by Preston Brooks of South Carolina.

SOURCE: Laura E. Richards & Maud Howe Elliott, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, Large-Paper Edition, Volume 1, p. 168

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Web Hayes, April 15, 1863

Camp White, April 15, Evening.

Dearest: — Your short business letter came this afternoon. I do not yet know about your coming here during the campaigning season. If we fortify, probably all right; if not, I don't know.

Lieutenant Ellen is married. His wife sent me a fine big wedding cake and two cans of fruit. Good wife, I guess, by the proofs sent me.

You speak of Jim Ware. What does he think of the prospects? I understand Jim in a letter to Dr. Joe says Dr. Ware gives it up. Is this so?

I send you more photographs. The major's resignation was not accepted and he is now taking hold of things with energy.

We are having further disasters, I suspect, at Charleston and in North Carolina. But they are not vital. The small results (adverse results, I mean,) likely to follow are further proofs of our growing strength.

What a capital speech Everett has made. He quite redeems himself.

Always say something about the boys — their sayings and doings.

Affectionately ever,
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 405

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Diary of John Hay: November 27, 1863

I dined to-day at Wise’s with Mr. Everett. He is a very delightful old gentleman in his personal and family relations. His talk to his grandchildren was very winning and graceful.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 130; For the whole diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 128.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Diary of John Hay: November 19, 1863

Nov. 18 we started from Washington to go to the consecration of the Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg. On our train were the President, Seward, Usher and Blair; Nicolay and myself; Mercier and Admiral Reynaud; Bertinatti and Capt Isola, and Lt Martinez and Cora; Mrs. Wise; Wayne MacVeagh; McDougal of Canada; and one or two others. We had a pleasant sort of a trip. At Baltimore Schenck’s staff joined us.

Just before we arrived at Gettysburg, the President got into a little talk with McVeagh about Missouri affairs. MacV. talked radicalism until he learned that he was talking recklessly. The President disavowed any knowledge of the Edwards case; said that Bates said to him, as indeed he said to me, that Edwards was inefficient and must be removed for that reason.

At Gettysburg the President went to Mr. Wills who expected him, and our party broke like a drop of quicksilver spilt. MacVeagh, young Stanton and I foraged around for a while — walked out to the College, got a chafing dish of oysters, then some supper, and, finally, loafing around to the Court House where Lamon was holding a  meeting of marshals, we found Forney, and went around to his place, Mr. Fahnestock’s, and drank a little whiskey with him. He had been drinking a good deal during the day, and was getting to feel a little ugly and dangerous. He was particularly bitter on Montgomery Blair. MacVeagh was telling him that he pitched into the Tycoon coming up, and told him some truths. He said the President got a good deal of that, from time to time, and needed it.

He says: — “Hay, you are a fortunate man. You have kept yourself aloof from your office. 
I know an old fellow now seventy, who was Private Secretary to Madison. He thought there was something solemn and memorable in it. Hay has laughed through his term.”

He talked very strangely, referring to the affectionate and loyal support which he and Curtin had given to the President in Pennsylvania, with references from himself and others to the favors that had been shown the Cameron party whom they regard as their natural enemies. Forney seems identified now fully with the Curtain interest, though, when Curtin was nominated, he called him a heavy weight to carry, and said that Cameron’s foolish attack nominated him.

We went out after a while following the music to hear the serenades. The President appeared at the door, said half a dozen words meaning nothing, and went in. Seward, who was staying around the corner at Harper’s was called out, and spoke so indistinctly that I did not hear a word of what he was saying. Forney and MacVeagh were still growling about Blair.

We went back to Forney's room, having picked up Nicolay, and drank more whiskey. Nicolay sang his little song of the “Three Thieves,” and we then sang John Brown. At last we proposed that Forney should make a speech, and two or three started out, Stanton and Behan and Nicolay, to get a band to serenade him. I staid with him; so did Stanton and MacVeagh. He still growled quietly, and I thought he was going to do some thing imprudent. He said, “if I speak, I will speak my mind.” The music sounded in the street, and the fuglers came rushing up, imploring him to come down. He smiled quietly, told them to keep cool, and asked, “are the recorders there?” “I suppose so, of course,” shouted up the fugler. “Ascertain!” said the imperturbable Forney: “Hay, we'll take a drink.” They shouted and begged him to come down. The thing would be a failure; it would be his fault, etc. “Are the recorders congenial?” he calmly insisted on knowing. Somebody commended prudence. He said sternly, “I am always prudent.” I walked down stairs with him.

The crowd was large and clamorous. The fuglers stood by the door in an agony. The reporters squatted at a little stand in the entry. Forney stood on the threshold, John Young and I by him. The crowd shouted as the door opened. Forney said; “My friends these are the first hearty cheers I have heard to-night. You gave no such cheers to your President down the street. Do you know what you owe to that great man? You owe your country — you owe your name as American Citizens.”

He went on blackguarding the crowd for their apathy, and then diverged to his own record, saying he had been for Lincoln in his heart in 1860, — that open advocacy was not as effectual as the course he took — dividing the most corrupt organisation that ever existed — the pro-slavery Democratic party. He dwelt at length on this question, and then went back to the Eulogy of the President, that great, wonderful, mysterious, inexplicable man, who holds in his single hands the reins of the republic; who keeps his own counsels; who does his own purpose in his own way, no matter what temporising minister in his Cabinet sets himself up in opposition to the progress of the age.

And very much of this.

After him Wayne MacVeagh made a most touching and beautiful spurt of five minutes, and Judge Shannon of Pittsburg spoke effectively and acceptably to the people.

“That speech must not be written out yet,” says Young. “He will see further about it when he gets sober,” as we went up stairs. We sang John Brown and went home.

In the morning I got a beast and rode out with the President and suite to the Cemetery in the procession. The procession formed itself in an orphanly sort of way, and moved out with very little help from anybody; and after a little delay Mr. Everett took his place on the stand, — and Mr. Stockton made a prayer which thought it was an oration — and Mr. Everett spoke as he always does, perfectly; and the President, in a firm, free way, with more grace than is his wont, said his half dozen lines of consecration, — and the music wailed, and we went home through crowded and cheering streets. And all the particulars are in the daily papers.

I met Genl Cameron after coming in and he, MacVeagh and I, went down to dinner on board the U. C. R. R. Car. I was more than usually struck by the intimate jovial relations that exist between men that hate and detest each other as cordially as do those Pennsylvania politicians.

We came home the night of the 19th.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 120-5; For the whole diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 119-22.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Edward Everett to William Cullen Bryant, January 4, 1865

boston, January 4th

I have this day received your favor of the 2d, with an enclosed printed paper, to which my signature is requested, to be “immediately” returned. I should have preferred a little time for reflection on a proposal of so much gravity, and it would be presumptuous in me to decide off-hand that a law might not by possibility be framed in the present state of the country by which slavery should be constitutionally prohibited by Congress. I must own, however, that I do not find in the Constitution (from which alone Congress derives not only its powers but its existence) any authority for such a purpose. If this view is correct (and I am not aware that it has ever been contested by any party), the passage of a law like that proposed would be the inauguration of a new revolution; that is, the assumption of powers of the widest scope, confessedly not conferred by the frame of government under which we live. The legislation to which General Washington referred, in his letter of 1786, quoted in the printed paper, was, of course, State legislation. So was that of Pennsylvania, so justly commended in the paper. I would fear that an attempt like that prayed for would not only render more difficult the adoption of the constitutional amendment now pending, but throw obstacles in the way of the prohibition of slavery now in rapid progress under State authority, with reference to which there is no doubt.*

* This letter was among the last Mr. Everett wrote; eleven days after the date of it he died ; and Mr. Bryant, though he had been no admirer of his earlier political course, paid handsome tributes to his memory in speeches before the New York Historical Society and the Union League Club. (a)

(a) See “Orations and Addresses.” D. Appleton & Co.

SOURCE: Parke Godwin, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 224

Sunday, July 17, 2016

William Barton Rogers to Henry Darwin Rogers, May 29, 1860

Boston, May 29, 1860.

. . . We go to Lunenburg on Friday. As soon as there I shall write out my observations on binocular vision, etc., in a form suited for presentation.

Our “Reservation Committees” are to continue their action until the next meeting of the Legislature, feeling strong hopes of obtaining the grant of land on the Back Bay through further efforts. They have urged me to accept the chairmanship, and I have conditionally agreed. Among our present purposes is that of framing a plan for a Technological department, with which some of our leading men, as Erastus Bigelow, Ignatius Sargent, etc., think they can secure a subscription of $100,000 from the manufacturers and merchants, and that being assured, we can come before the Legislature with an irresistible claim.

Now can you not, while in London, gather up all documents relating to the Kensington Museum, that in Jermyn Street, etc., which might be of assistance in digesting such a plan? You will do us a great service by sending me such as you collect....

The anti-Darwin review in the last “Edinburgh” is, I suppose, by Owen. It does not seem to me to be altogether fair or philosophic. I see a notice of his “Palaeontology “ in the small type of the "Westminster," which I ascribe to Huxley, and which certainly shows up the deficiencies and errors of that treatise very positively.

This morning's paper brought the sad announcement of the death of Theodore Parker. The news lately received from Florence led us to look for such a result. But now that it is certain, how deep will be the grief of the large circle of friends upon whom it will fall as one of the heaviest of bereavements. No one will be more sincerely mourned, or leave a more lasting memory in the affections and gratitude of liberal hearts everywhere, than our noble, self-sacrificing, gently loving and heroic friend. I feel that his name will be a power, and that the free and wise words that he has written, and the disciples he has reared, will continue the labours of humanity and freedom which he showed such unfaltering boldness in carrying on. You and I have lost a good friend, who knew how, better than almost any other, to appreciate the free thought that was in us. I shall never forget his kind words of you and to me, as with a tearful eye I last parted from him.
You have no doubt seen the action of the Chicago Convention. How decorous and manly and consistent their course, compared with the Democratic and the old-fogy conventions that preceded! There is good reason to expect the success of the Republican ticket; Lincoln and Hamlin are both men of superior endowments, are honest and patriotic, and sufficiently versed in affairs.

The Union-saving party is looked upon as a “dead thing” Some one lately said to one of these gentlemen, who had just been telling him that they had nominated “Bell and Everett,” “Why did you not choose?” “Why, he has been dead this twelvemonth!” was the reply. “Not so dead as either of your nominees,” was the rejoinder.

SOURCE: Emma Savage Rogers & William T. Sedgwick, Life and Letters of William Barton Rogers, Volume 2, p. 34

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

William Barton Rogers to Henry Darwin Rogers, May 17, 1860

Boston, May 17,1860.

My Dear Henry,  . . . On Friday I made my address to the Natural History Society on their thirtieth anniversary, and according to all accounts was more than usually successful. As I did not prepare in writing, I have, of course, nothing permanent to show for it. But I suppose the chief object was attained, and I am content.

I have been making some further experiments on photographing the electrical light, and on binocular vision, the details of which I will send you in my next, with the request, perhaps, that you would present them at the Oxford meeting. I have obtained a very beautiful photographic impression of the stratified discharge, thus showing the absence of actinic as well as luminous rays in the dark interspaces. . . .

Mr. Alger has lately shown me a letter of yours to Herbert Spencer in regard to the publication of the latter's works in this country. He and Mr. Silsbee, of Salem, are interesting themselves in getting subscribers, as I most certainly shall do. Some of Spencer's reviews, which I have read, struck me as very remarkable productions. After a time I am sure that his writings will be in great request with the more liberal thinkers here.

The Constitutional-Union party, at their late convention in Baltimore, nominated Bell, of Tennessee, for President, and Everett for Vice-President. Hillard was one of the chief speakers, and won a shower of bouquets from the ladies. As no opinions were expressed, or principles announced, in regard to any of the stirring questions of the day, of course all went smoothly and pleasantly.

I was saddened to hear yesterday that Theodore Parker has been rapidly going down, and that he is not expected to be able to leave Florence. Desor has been with him, and perhaps is still his companion. But probably you know more of his condition and purposes than we do. . . .

Your affectionate brother,

SOURCE: Emma Savage Rogers & William T. Sedgwick, Life and Letters of William Barton Rogers, Volume 2, p. 33-4

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lord Wensleydale to John L. Motley, February 7, 1862

February 7, 1862.

My Dear Motley: My dear wife and myself have had for weeks past a great longing to hear something about you and your belongings. As I do not know how to gain information on that not uninteresting subject from any other quarter, I must ask you myself how you are all going on. I did hear, some month or two ago, that Mrs. Motley and your daughters were going to spend a part of the winter at Pau; two or three weeks since I was told this was inaccurate, and that you are now all at Vienna together, which is much more satisfactory, no doubt, to you and your friends.

I hope you all found it as agreeable as we did on two different occasions when we spent some days there in 1835 and 1853. To be sure, you do not live among a free people, as you and I have been accustomed to do, but you live, as I have found, among a people full of bonhomie and kindness, well disposed and quiet, with a fair admixture of intelligence, brave and loyal; and it sometimes happens that our freedom prevents our being so agreeable. We found abundant civility from Esterhazy, whom I dare say you know. I was in great anxiety at the time of the unfortunate affair of the Trent. How I should have hated to be at war with your free and great country! How unfeignedly I rejoiced to hear the almost unexpected news that the dispute was settled, and how sincerely I hope that no other event will occur to prevent us remaining at peace with each other forever! Your immediate fellow-countrymen, the Northerners, have much too strong a feeling that we do not wish them well. The “Times” and other papers have dealt so much and so long in abuse and insolent remarks, and are in such circulation here, that your fellow-countrymen assume they express the public feeling, which I think is far from being the case. No doubt we were provoked by the proceeding of Captain Wilkes. The sentiment was unanimous and intense, but as the act has been disavowed (and it could not possibly have been justified), the feeling is rapidly dying away, and I hope we shall continue good friends, and I am sure we shall endeavor to act with perfect neutrality between the belligerents; for such they must be considered to be, though you were, in my opinion, perfectly right in those two letters you published in the early part of the summer, when you proved the Southerners then to be rebels. We lawyers feel rather inclined to be surprised that so much bad international law should be laid down by such authorities as Messrs. Everett, Seward, G. and C. Sumner. There is but one opinion on that subject among us. Most of them relied upon a dictum of Lord Stowell, not fully explained in our treatises on international law, viz., that ambassadors were seizable whilst proceeding from a belligerent to a neutral country. All that was meant was that an ambassador was seizable in passing through the country of a belligerent — that his diplomatic character would not protect him there.

The last despatches of Earl Russell, stating the legal argument, are very good — all the legal parts the Solicitor-General's, Roundell Palmer. This was mentioned last night in the House of Lords.

I hope what the noble earl and also Lord Granville said as to future conduct on our part may not be unacceptable in America.

My lady is a great sufferer from gout, having been since Saturday in bed. I began the New Year with a week of bed from the same cause. I am now well.

She desires her kindest remembrances to your ladies and yourself, and sincere good wishes for your prosperity. I agree most truly.

Believe me
Yours very sincerely,

SOURCE: George William Curtis, editor, The Correspondence of John Lothrop Motley in Two Volumes, Library Edition, Volume 2, p. 234-7

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Diary of Salmon P. Chase: Thursday, September 25, 1862

At Department as usual. The President sent for me to meet the Secretary of War. Found he had nothing to talk about except the supply of an additional sum to Gov. Gamble, of Missouri, to be used in defending the State against invasion and guerillaism. Agreed to confer with the Secretary of War on the subject. Enquired as to progress of the War. No information, and nothing satisfactory as to what is to be expected. Coming out Stanton told me that McClellan wants bridges built across the Potomac and Shenandoah, as preliminaries to movement; to which Halleck wont consent. Dan helps Zeke doing nothing.1

Delighted this morning by news of Gen. Wadsworth's nomination for Governor of New York, on the first ballot.

In the afternoon, went with Garfield to see Hooker, who was very free in his expressions about McClellan. He said it was not true that either the army or the officers were specially attached to him; that only two corps, whose commanders were special favorites and whose troops had special indulgences, could be said to care anything about him; that other officers — he himself certainly — thought him not fit to lead a great army; that he is timid and hesitating when decision is necessary; that the battle of Antietam was near being lost by his way of fighting it, whereas, had the attack been simultaneous and vigorous on the enemy's right, center and left, the rout would have been complete; that our force in the battle exceeded the enemy's by 30,000 men, and that the defeat of the enemy should have been final. He said also, that when Pope had drawn off a large part of the rebel force from Richmond and orders came to McClellan to withdraw, he urged him to give, on the contrary, orders for advance; that the orders were actually given and then revoked, much to his chagrin. This recalled to my mind a conversation with Gen. Halleck at that time. I said to him, that it seemed to me our people could now certainly take Richmond by a vigorous push, as Pope had 60,000 of the rebels before him, and at least half of the remaining 60,000 were south of the James, leaving only 30,000 with the fortifications on the north side; to which Gen. Halleck replied, that it was too dangerous an undertaking. I said, “If this cannot be done, why not return to Fredericksburgh, leaving Richmond on the left?” “This,” he said, “would be quite as dangerous — a flank movement, in which our army would be exposed to being cut off and totally lost.” Gen. Hooker said that the movement I suggested could have been executed with safety and success. He said, also, that he was somewhat reconciled to leaving the Peninsula by being told that it was a plan for getting rid of McClellan, and the only one which it was thought safe to adopt. This he thought so essential, that anything necessary to it was to be accepted.

Returning from Gen. Hooker's, as well as going, Gen. Garfield gave me some very interesting portions of his own experience. This fine officer was a laborer on a canal in his younger days. Inspired by a noble ambition, he had availed himself of all means to acquire knowledge — became a Preacher of the Baptist Church — was made the President of a flourishing Literary Institution on the Reserve — was elected to the Ohio Senate, and took a conspicuous part as a Republican leader. On the breaking out of the War he became a Colonel — led his regiment into Eastern Kentucky — fought Humphrey Marshall near Prestonburgh — gained position rapidly — was made at my instance, a Brigadier — fought under Buell at Shiloh — and was now in Washington by direction of the Secretary of War, who proposes to give him the Department of Florida. A large portion of his regiment, he said, was composed of students from his college.

Went to Seward's to dinner, where I met the Marquis of Cavendish, and his brother, Col. Leslie of the British Army; Mr. Stuart and Mr. Kennedy of the British Legation; Genl. Banks, and Mr. Everett. Gen. Banks earnest against more separation of forces until the rebel army is crushed.

Home. Found there Genl. and Mrs. McDowell. Soon after, Capt. and Mrs. Loomis came in. Could not help the Captain who wished to be Quartermaster of Genl. Sigel's Corps.

To bed tired and unwell

1 A reference to the familiar story of Daniel Webster's boyhood.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 94-6

Friday, June 5, 2015

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: September 20, 1861

Col. J. A. Washington has been killed in a skirmish. He inherited Mount Vernon. This reminds me that Edward Everett is urging on the war against us. The universal education, so much boasted of in New England, like their religion, is merely a humbug, or worse than a humbug, the fruitful source of crime. I shall doubt hereafter whether superior intelligence is promotive of superior virtue. The serpent is wiser than the dove, but never so harmless. Ignorance is bliss in comparison with Yankee wisdom.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 80

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Diary of Edward Bates: October 26, 1859

R. M. Field14 brot' to my office and introduced to me, his college mate, Judge Saml. Miller, of Rochester N. Y. He is retired from business – being rich, I suppose – and has been travelling thro' the Southern states, Cuba &c[.] He seems to be a warm politician, a whig, I suppose, as he claims special friendship with Govr. Hunt15 – He has served in the N. Y. Senate, and has been a Judge.

Says he is personally very friendly with Mr. Douglas, who is a relative of his wife.

Also, there was introduced to me today, Mr. Henry Livingston, editor of the Alta California.

I had an hours [sic] talk with him and find him a pleasant, intelligent man. Judge Miller (who casually met him in my office) says he knew him in his youth, that his father is a worthy citizen of Rochester, now fallen poor.

[Three clippings from the St. Louis Evening News : 1. “Gov. Wise16 and Old Brown”17 quoting at length from a Richmond speech in which Governor Wise characterized Brown; 2.”Pierce for President” predicting that the Pierce men will lie low until Douglas, Wise, Hunter,18 and Breckinridge6 have defeated each other and will then try to secure Pierce's nomination as a dark  horse; 3. “Gov. Wise Ahead” pointing out how fortunate the John Brown raid was for Governor Wise's aspirations for the nomination for President.]

14 Roswell M. Field : St. Louis lawyer who initiated and tried the Dred Scott case in the Circuit Court ; a staunch unionist who helped prevent Missouri's secession ; an authority on land-title disputes arising out of the conflicting claims under Spanish, French, and congressional grants prior to the organization of the State.

15 Washington Hunt: Whig governor of New York, 1850-1852 ; congressman, 1843-1849; supporter of the Compromise of 1850 ; chairman of the Whig National Convention in 1856; chairman of the Constitutional Union Convention which nominated Bell and Everett in 1860; McClellan Democrat in 1864 ; delegate to Johnson's National Union Convention in 1866.

16 Supra, April 28, 1859, note 38.

17 Supra, Oct. 25, 1859.

18  Rohert M. T. Hunter of Virginia : Democratic congressman, 1837-1861; Confederate secretary of State, 1861-1862; then Confederate senator, 1862-1865; representative of the Confederacy at the Hampton Roads Conference with Lincoln and Seward in 1865. He was a leading advocate of states' rights and a strong candidate for the nomination for the Presidency in the Democratic Convention at Charleston in 1860. He remained in the Senate in 1861 until Virginia seceded.

19 John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky: Democratic congressman, 1851-1855; vice-president of the U. S., 1857-1861; U. S. senator, 1861; candidate of the Southern Democracy for the Presidency in 1860 ; opponent of congressional action on slavery in the Territories. When the War came he believed in the abstract right of secession but opposed it in practice, and yet also opposed coercion of states to keep them in the Union. He tried to secure adoption of the Crittenden Compromise, but finally joined the Confederate Army, became brigadier-general, fought in Kentucky in 1861-1862, at Shiloh. Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and Port Hudson in 1862, at Jackson, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge in 1863, and in southwest Virginia, at Cold Harbor, in the Shenandoah, and in Early's raid on Washington in 1864. In February, 1865, he was made Confederate secretary of War.

SOURCE: Howard K. Beale, Editor, The Diary of Edward Bates, 1859-1866, p. 51-2

Monday, April 20, 2015

Edward Everett to Charles Francis Adams, October 29, 1861

BosTON, 29 October, 1861.

MY DEAR MR. ADAMS, – I had much pleasure in receiving yours of the 5th of October by the last steamer. The fair prospect, to which you allude, as produced by the prosperous turn of things here, is a little clouded by the news, which this steamer will carry to you of another reverse to our arms near Leesburg. It seems to have been a sad blundering piece of business. There is a general willingness to lay the blame on poor Colonel Baker. Les morts, aussi bien que les absens, ont toujours tort. The great naval expedition has sailed from Fortress Monroe. Its success, if it fully succeeds, will be all important, — and its failure proportionately disastrous. Mr. de Stoeckel sat half an hour with me today. He talked in the sense of Prince Gortschakoff's letter; but rather gloomily of our cause. He distrusts the ability of McClellan to handle the large army under his command, and thinks General Scott, tho’ his faculties are unimpaired, pretty nearly “used up”; – I am sorry to use that cant phrase of the noble old chief. Stoeckel says that France and England have intimated to our Government, that the domestic interests of their subjects absolutely require, that the supply of cotton should not be much longer obstructed, and that if the present state of things continues, they shall be compelled, with great reluctance, to take measures for the relief of their subjects, who, according to Stoeckel, will otherwise starve or rebel; and of course the latter. He says he knows these intimations have been made. I read to Stoeckel a part of your letter, — not of course that which you wrote in confidence. He said, a propos of the European Complications, that Prince Gortschakoff wrote him that they were numerous and grave; that Russia could not prevent their existence, but thus far had been able to prevent their leading to war; and that as this season had passed without a rupture, and Winter was at hand, Peace was sure to be preserved, at least till next year. Baron Brunnow writes to Stoeckel, that John Bull affects to weep from sympathy, when brother Jonathan cries with the tooth-ache, but chuckles in his sleeve, as poor Jonathan's teeth, with which he is accustomed to bite so hard, are pulled out by his own doctors. Mr. Seward has requested me to come to Washington to confer on some public business (he does not say what) and I shall start on Wednesday. . . .


SOURCE: Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 45: October 1911 – June 1912, November 1911 Meeting, p. 78-9

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Charles Eliot Norton to George William Curtis, February 26, 1863

Shady Hill, 26 February, 1863.

. . . It was pleasant to hear from you of your visit to Philadelphia, and to hear from John,1 on the same day, his glowing account of it. What a loyal place Philadelphia has become! We should be as loyal here if we had a few more out-and-out secessionists. Our Union Club — we have dropped the offensive word “League” — promises well: two hundred members already, and Mr. Everett and his followers pledged to principles which suit you and me. We are proposing to take the Abbott Lawrence house on Park Street, and to be strong by position as well as by numbers. But nothing will do for the country, — neither Clubs nor pamphlets nor lectures, nor Conscription Bills (three cheers for the despotism necessary to secure freedom), nor Banking Bills, nor Tom Thumb, nor Institutes, — nothing will do us much good but victories. If we take Charleston and Vicksburg we conquer and trample out the Copperheads, — but if not?

I confess to the most longing hope, the most anxious desire to know of our success. I try to be ready for news of failure, indeed I shall be ready for such news if it comes, and we must all only draw a few quick breaths and form a sterner resolve, and fight a harder fight.

Where is the best statement, in a clear and quiet way, of the political necessity of the preservation of the Union, its vital necessity to our national existence? Seward has done harm by keeping up the notion of the old Union, — but who has seen clearest the nature of the new Union for which we are fighting? . . .

1 Their common friend, John W. Field of Philadelphia, with whom Norton had travelled in Sicily.

SOURCE: Sara Norton and  M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Letters of Charles Eliot Norton, Volume 1, p. 260-1

Monday, April 13, 2015

Edward Everett to Charles Francis Adams Sr., August 20, 1861

BosToN, 20 August, 1861.

MY DEAR SIR, - I had great pleasure in receiving your letter of the 26th July, and in your favorable opinion of my oration, which has also been kindly spoken of here.1

You informed me some time ago that Lord John – no longer Lord John2 — had read you a part of my letter to him of the 29th of May. I have thought you might like to see his answer, of which I accordingly send you a copy. I also venture to place under cover to you my reply to him, unsealed, should you be inclined to read it. You will be pleased before sending it, to seal it with some indifferent seal. I do not think I can add anything, as to the progress of the war, beyond what the papers will tell you. The Secretary of the Treasury has made satisfactory arrangements for the great loan. The Boston banks take at once ten millions. Some significant remarks were made at a meeting of the Presidents of our Banks, by Mr. Wm. Gray, to the effect that the country desires a united and efficient cabinet; and Mr. Gray, W. T. Andrews and another gentleman were chosen a committee to make this suggestion formally to the President. It was supposed to be aimed at General Cameron and Mr. Welles. A rather unpleasant impression was produced on the public mind yesterday, by the call of the Secretary of War, to have all the volunteers, accepted either by the Department or the State Governments, hastened on to Washington, with or without equipments and arms.

We are so unaccustomed to war, that every little incident, and especially every reverse tells upon the public mind, far beyond its importance, and the pulse of the community rises and falls, like the mercury in the thermometer.

Our newspapers are filled with the absurdest suggestions, about the unfriendly interference of England and France. But I am confident, that before the next crops of cotton and tobacco are ready for shipment, the Southern Ports will be so effectually blockaded, as to put any such interference out of the question. . . .


1 Probably the address on “The Questions of the Day,” delivered in New York, July 4, 1861, and printed in Orations and Speeches, IV. 345.

2 Lord John Russell had been raised to the peerage, as Earl Russell, in July, 1861, the preceding month.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 45: October 1911 – June 1912, November 1911 Meeting, p. 76-7

Lord John Russell to Edward Everett, July 12, 1861

PEMBROKE LODGE, July 12, 1861.

MY DEAR MR. EVERETT, – I have hitherto delayed answering your letter of the 28th of May, in hopes that a better feeling, and I must say a juster feeling towards us might spring up in the United States. I am not sure that this is the case, but I am told there has been a lull. In the interval before a fresh storm arises, I will write a few lines as to our position. I shall say little as to yours; I respect the unanimous feeling of the North, and still more the resolution not to permit the extension of slavery which led to the election of President Lincoln. But with regard to our own course, I must say something more. There were according to your account 8 millions of freemen in the Slave States. Of these millions upwards of five have been for sometime in open revolt against the President and Congress of the United States. It is not our practice to treat five millions of freemen as pirates, and to hang their sailors if they stop our merchantmen. But unless we meant to treat them as pirates and to hang them we could not deny them belligerent rights. This is what you and we did in the case of the South American Colonies of Spain. Your own President and Courts of Law decided this question in the case of Venezuela. Your press has studiously confused the case by calling the allowance of belligerent rights by the name of recognition. But you must well know the difference. It seems to me however that you have expected us to discourage the South. How this was to be done, except by waging war against them I am at a loss to imagine. I must confess likewise that I can see no good likely to arise from the present contest. If on the 4th of March you had allowed the Confederate States to go out from among you, you could have prevented the extension of Slavery and confined it to the slaveholding States. But if I understand your Constitution aright you cannot do more in case of successful war, if you have to adhere to its provisions and to keep faith with those states and parts of states where slavery still exists which have not quitted the Union.

I regret the Morrill Tariff and hope it will be repealed. But the exclusion of our manufactures from your markets was surely an odd way of conciliating our good will.

I thank you for your condolence on the death of my brother. It is a grievous loss to me, after half a century of brotherly affection. I remain,

Yours faithfully,

SOURCE: Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 45: October 1911 – June 1912, November 1911 Meeting, p. 77-8