Showing posts with label Horace Greeley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Horace Greeley. Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Diary of Gideon Welles: Tuesday, July 26, 1864

Fessenden has got out an advertisement for a new loan and an address to the people in its behalf. Am not certain that the latter is judicious. Capitalists will not as a general thing loan or invest for patriotism, but for good returns. The advertisement gives high interest, but accompanied by the appeal will excite doubt, rather than inspire confidence among the money-lenders. I am inclined to think he will get funds, for his plan is sensible and much wiser than anything of his predecessor. The idea with Chase seemed to be to pay low interest in money but high prices in irredeemable paper, a scheme that might have temporary success in getting friends and popularity with speculators but is ruinous to the country. The errors of Chase in this respect Mr. Fessenden seems inclined to correct, but other measures are wanted and I trust we shall have them.

Only Bates, Usher, and myself were at the Cabinet to day. Stanton sent over to inquire if his attendance was necessary.

There are rumors that the retreating Rebels have turned upon our troops in the valley, and that our forces, badly weakened by the withdrawal of the Sixth Army Corps, are retreating towards Harper's Ferry. This is not improbable. They may have been strengthened as our forces were weakened.

Rode out this evening, accompanied by Mrs. Welles, and spent an hour with the President and Mrs. Lincoln at the Soldiers' Home.

The papers contain a letter from Governor Letcher stating that General Hunter gave the order for burning his (L.'s) house. I shall wish to hear from H. before believing that he could give such an order, and yet I confess I am not without apprehensions, for Hunter is not always possessed of so much prudence as one should have who holds so responsible a position. The burning of the Institute at the same place and time was not creditable to the army, and if there is any justification or ameliorating circumstances, they should be made to appear. The crude and indefensible notions of some of our people, however, are not general. Indiscriminate warfare on all in the insurrectionary region is not general, and few would destroy private property wantonly.

The New York papers are engaged in a covert and systematic attack on the Navy Department, — covert so far as the Republican or Administration press is concerned. Greeley of the Tribune is secretly hostile to the President and assails him indirectly in this way; so of the Evening Post, a paper hitherto friendly but whose publisher is under bail for embezzlement and fraud which the Navy Department would not conceal. The Times is a profligate Seward and Weed organ, wholly unreliable and in these matters regardless of truth or principle. It supports the President because it is the present policy of Seward. The principal editor, Raymond, is an unscrupulous soldier of fortune, yet recently appointed Chairman of the Republican National Executive Committee. He and some of his colleagues are not to be trusted, yet these political vagabonds are the managers of the party organization. His paper, as well as others, are in a combination with Norman Wiard and pretenders like him against the monitors. Let the poor devils work at that question. The people will not be duped or misled to any great extent by them.

There are demonstrations for a new raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania. I told the President I trusted there would be some energy and decision in getting behind them, cutting them off, and not permitting them to go back, instead of a scare and getting forces to drive them back with their plunder. He said those were precisely his views and he had just been to see and say as much to Halleck. I inquired how H. responded to the suggestion. The President said he was considering it, and was now wanting to ascertain where they had crossed the Potomac and the direction they had taken.

I apprehend it is not a large force, but a cavalry raid, which will move rapidly and create alarm. Likely they will go into the Cumberland Valley and then west, for they will scarcely take the old route to return. But these are crude speculations of mine. I get nothing from Halleck, and I doubt if he has any plan, purpose, or suggestion. Before he will come to a conclusion the raiders will have passed beyond his reach.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 86-8

Diary of Gideon Welles: Saturday, August 6, 1864

I had a telegram from Tom this morning, stating that Colonel Stedman was mortally wounded and would probably not survive the night, that General Ord desired his promotion without delay, that it might be received before his death, and wishing me to call at once on the President. I did so, who responded readily to the recommendation, and I then, at his request, saw Secretary Stanton, who met me in the right spirit.

While at the President's Blair came in, and the President informed us he had a telegram from Greeley, desiring the publication of the whole peace correspondence. Both Blair and myself advised it, but the President said he had telegraphed Greeley to come on, for he desired him to erase some of the lamentations in his longest letter. I told him while I regretted it was there, the whole had better be published. Blair said it would have to come to that ultimately. But the President thought it better that that part should be omitted.

I remarked that I had seen the Wade and Winter Davis protest. He said, Well, let them wriggle, but it was strange that Greeley, whom they made their organ in publishing the protest, approved his course and therein differed from the protestants. The protest is violent and abusive of the President, who is denounced with malignity for what I deem the prudent and wise omission to sign a law prescribing how and in what way the Union shall be reconstructed. There are many offensive features in the law, which is, in itself, a usurpation and abuse of authority. How or in what way or ways the several States are to put themselves right — retrieve their position - is in the future and cannot well be specified. There must be latitude given, and not a stiff and too stringent policy pursued in this respect by either the Executive or Congress. We have a Constitution, and there is still something in popular government.

In getting up this law it was as much an object of Mr. Winter Davis and some others to pull down the Administration as to reconstruct the Union. I think they had the former more directly in view than the latter. Davis's conduct is not surprising, but I should not have expected that Wade, who has a good deal of patriotic feeling, common sense, and a strong, though coarse and vulgar, mind, would have lent himself to such a despicable assault on the President.

There is, however, an infinity of party and personal intrigue just at this time. A Presidential election is approaching, and there are many aspirants, not only for Presidential but other honors or positions. H. Winter Davis has a good deal of talent but is rash and uncertain. There is scarcely a more ambitious man, and no one that cannot be more safely trusted. He is impulsive and mad and has been acute and contriving in this whole measure and has drawn Wade, who is ardent, and others into it. Sumner, I perceived, was bitten before he left Washington. Whether he has improved I am not informed. Sumner is not a constitutionalist, but more of a centralist than the generality of our people, and would be likely to sanction what seem to me some of the more offensive features of this bill. Consolidating makes it more a government of the people than of the States.

The assaults of these men on the Administration may break it down. They are, in their earnest zeal on the part of some, and ambition and malignity on the part of others, doing an injury that they cannot repair. I do not think Winter Davis is troubled in that respect, or like to be, but I cannot believe otherwise of Wade and others; yet the conduct of Wade for some time past, commencing with the organization of the present Congress in December last, has, after the amnesty proclamation and conciliatory policy of reconstruction, been in some respects strange and difficult to be accounted for, except as an aspiring factionist. I am inclined to believe that he has been bitten with the Presidential fever, is disappointed, and, in his disappointment, with a vague, indefinite hope that he may be successful, prompted and stimulated not only by Davis but Colfax, he has been flattered to do a foolish act.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 94-6

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: March 4, 1862

John B. Gough lectured in Bemis Hall last night and was entertained by Governor Clark. I told Grandfather that I had an invitation to the lecture and he asked me who from. I told him from Mr. Noah T. Clarke's brother. He did not make the least objection and I was awfully glad, because he has asked me to the whole course. Wendell Phillips and Horace Greeley, E. H. Chapin and John G. Saxe and Bayard Taylor are expected. John B. Gough's lecture was fine. He can make an audience laugh as much by wagging his coat tails as some men can by talking an hour.

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 139-40

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Diary of Gideon Welles: Friday, July 22, 1864

At the Cabinet-meeting the President read his correspondence with Horace Greeley on the subject of peace propositions from George Saunders and others at Niagara Falls. The President has acquitted himself very well, — if he was to engage in the matter at all, — but I am sorry that he permits himself, in this irregular way, to be induced to engage in correspondence with irresponsible parties like Saunders and Clay or scheming busybodies like Greeley. There is no doubt that the President and the whole Administration are misrepresented and misunderstood on the subject of peace, and Greeley is one of those who has done and is doing great harm and injustice in this matter. In this instance he was evidently anxious to thrust himself forward as an actor, and yet when once engaged he began to be alarmed; he failed to honestly and frankly communicate the President's first letters, as was his duty, but sent a letter of his own, which was not true and correct, and found himself involved in the meshes of his own frail net.

Colonel Jaquess is another specimen of inconsiderate and unwise, meddlesome interference. The President assented to his measure and gave him a card, or passport, to go beyond our lines. There is no doubt that the Colonel was sincere, but he found himself unequal to the task he had undertaken. Instead of persuading Jeff Davis to change his course, Davis succeeded in persuading poor Jaquess that the true course to be pursued was to let Davis & Co. do as they pleased. The result was that Jaquess and his friend Gilmore (alias Kirke), who went to Richmond to shear, came back shorn.

In these peace movements, the President has pursued his usual singular course. Seward was his only confidant and adviser, as usual in matters of the greatest importance. He says that Mr. Fessenden accidentally came in on other business while he was showing Seward the Greeley correspondence, and he was let into a knowledge of what was going on, but no one else. John Hay was subsequently told, before going off, and now, to-day, the Cabinet are made acquainted with what has been done. The President, instead of holding himself open to receive propositions, has imposed conditions and restrictions that will embarrass the parties.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 83-4

Saturday, May 16, 2020

From the World.

Peace, on the basis of a restored Union, is a consummation so devoutly to be wished that the people will watch with intense interest the faintest indications of its return.  Now that the Government, by authorizing Mr. Greeley’s mission, has turned the public mind in that direction, the country will hardly let the occasion pass without a free expression of opinion on the possibility, method, conditions, and probable consequences of the peace which all but army contractors and abolitionists so ardently desire.  The President having sanctioned the Niagara negotiations, the subject is fairly before the public for such discussion as may seem appropriate.

We are bound to say that we expect no results from the breaking of the diplomatic ice across the Niagara river.  It is, probably, on one side and on the other, a mere politician’s trick.  But it wears the external form of duly authorized preliminaries to a more formal negotiation   On the same side, the presence of the private secretary of the President of the United States is as valid an authentication of Mr. Greeley’s mission as would be a written letter of credentials; and it is to be presumed that the President would not have given the affair this degree of countenance had he not been satisfied that the alleged commissioners on the other side were duly authorized.  The selection of Mr. Greeley as an intermediary was on many accounts politic, and especially as protecting Mr. Lincoln from the kind of imputations put upon Secretary Seward for his informal intercourse with rebel commissioners in the first days of the Administration, previous to the attempt to provision Fort Sumter.

P. S. Since writing the above we have received the papers that passed in this odd negotiation; and, if the subject were not to serious for laughter, we should go into convulsions.  That dancing wind-bag of popinjay conceit, William Cornell Jewett, has achieved the immortality he covets; he has reversed the adage about the mountain in labor bringing forth a ridiculous mouse—the mouse has brought forth this ridiculous mountain of diplomacy.  This is Jewett’s doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes!  He got Greeley and the President’s private secretary to the Falls on a fool’s errand, and made even the President an actor in this comedy; he has bade each of them play the part so well suited to himself, of

———“A tool
That knaves do work with, called a fool.”

Sublime impudence of George Sanders!  Enchanting simplicity of Colorado Jewett!  “But—ah!—him”—how, oh benevolent Horace, shall we struggle with the emotions (of the ridiculous) that choke the utterance of THY name?  Greeley and Jewett—Jewett and Greeley; which is Don Quixote and which is Sancho Panza?

SOURCE: The Daily True Delta, New Orleans, Louisiana, Tuesday, August 2, 1864, p. 1

What Is Said Of The Peace Negotiations

The New York World, in commenting on the Niagra correspondence, closes an article as follows:

We are convinced that there is no sincerity in any of the parties to this singular transaction.  The rebels naturally feel a deep interest in our presidential election, and their emissaries are in Canada with a view to influence its result.  The unflinching purpose of their leaders is separation, and to this end they are plotting to divide the Democratic party at Chicago, as they divided it at Charleston in 1860.

P. S. Since writing the above we have received the papers that passed in this odd negotiation; and, if the subject were not to serious for laughter, we should go into convulsions.  That dancing wind-bag of popinjay conceit, William Cornell Jewett, has achieved the immortality he covets; he has reversed the adage about the mountain in labor bringing forth a ridiculous mouse—the mouse has brought forth this ridiculous mountain of diplomacy.  This is Jewett’s doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes!  He got Greeley and the President’s private secretary to the Falls on a fool’s errand, and made even the President an actor in this comedy; he has bade each of them play the part so well suited to himself, of

—“A tool
That knaves do work with, called a fool.”

Sublime impudence of George Sanders!  Enchanting simplicity of Colorado Jewett!  “But—ah!—him”—how, oh benevolent Horace, shall we struggle with the emotions (of the ridiculous) that choke the utterance of THY name?  Greeley and Jewett—Jewett and Greeley; which is Don Quixote and which is Sancho Panza?

SOURCE: The Mount Vernon Republican, Mount Vernon, Ohio, Tuesday, August 9, 1864, p. 2

Friday, May 15, 2020

The N. Y. World on the Peace Plotters.

The Copperhead press out west bloviated in favor of peace, and, and endorsed the Peace Commissioners and the peace programme of the loafing diplomats at Niagara, and denounced the President without stint. But the New York World—which has more sense if not more patriotism than these Copperhead thumb-wipers of Jeff. Davis’s myrmidons—was not to be caught in such a transparent net.  It saw through the rebel scheme of Sanders & Co. to strengthen the peace wing of the party at Chicago, and denounces and ridicules it in unsparing terms.  The World says:

We are convinced that there is no sincerity in any of the parties to this singular transaction.  The rebels naturally feel a deep interest in our presidential election, and their emissaries are in Canada with a view to influence its result.  The unflinching purpose of their leaders is separation, and to this end they are plotting to divide the Democratic party at Chicago, as they divided it at Charleston in 1860.

And the World is anxious to repudiate the entire transaction, and to place the odium of the negotiation upon other parties, and thus closes its editorial on the transaction which constitutes the chief stock in trade of the dunderhead, copperbottomed politicians hereabouts.  The editor of the World says:

Since writing the above we have received the papers that passed in this odd negotiation; and, if the subject were not to serious for laughter, we should go into convulsions.  That dancing wind-bag of popinjay conceit, William Cornell Jewett, has achieved the immortality he covets; he has reversed the adage about the mountain in labor bringing forth a ridiculous mouse—the mouse has brought forth this ridiculous mountain of diplomacy.  This is Jewett’s doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes!  He got Greeley and the President’s private secretary to the Falls on a fool’s errand, and made even the President an actor in this comedy; he has bade each of them play the part so well suited to himself, of

—“A tool
That knaves do work with, called a fool.”

Sublime impudence of George Sanders!  Enchanting simplicity of Colorado Jewett!  “But—ah!—him”—how, oh benevolent Horace, shall we struggle with the emotions (of the ridiculous) that choke the utterance of THY name?  Greeley and Jewett—Jewett and Greeley; which is Don Quixote and which is Sancho Panza?

SOURCE: The Daily Gate City, Keokuk, Iowa, Tuesday, July 26, 1864, p. 1

Diary of Edward Bates: July 22, 1864

In C.[abinet] C[ouncil]—present, Welles, Usher, Blair, Bates, and part of the time, Fessenden. absent Seward and Stanton—

The Prest. gave a minute account of the (pretended) attempt to negotiate for peace, thro' George [N.] Sanders, Clem. C. Clay and Holcolm[be] by the agency of that meddlesome blockhead, Jewitt [Jewett] and Horace Greel[e]y. He read us all the letters.

I am surprised to find the Prest. green enough to be entrapped into such a correspondence; but being in, his letters seem to me cautious and prudent.

Jewitt [Jewett] a crack-brained simpleton (who aspires to be a knave, while he really belongs to a lower order of entities) opens the affair, by a letter and telegram to Greel[e]y; and Greel[e]y carries on the play, by writing to the President, to draw him out, and, if possible, commit him, to his hurt — while the pretended Confederate Commissioners play dumby, — wa[i]ting to avail themselves of some probable blunder, on this side.

I noticed that the gentlemen present were, at first, very chary, in speaking of Greel[e]y, evidently afraid of him and his paper, the Tribune; and so, I said “I cant [sic] yet see the color of the cat, but there is certainly a cat in that mealtub.” The contrivers of the plot counted largely on the Presidents [sic] gullibility, else they never would have started it by the agency of such a mad fellow as Jewitt [Jewett] — perhaps they used him prudently, thinking that if bluffed off, at the start, they might pass it off as a joke.

I consider it a very serious affair — a double trick. — On the part of the Rebel Commissioners (now at Niagara, on the Canada side) the hope might have been entertained that a show of negotiation for peace might produce a truce, relax the war, and give them a breathing spell, at this critical moment of their fate. And as for Greel[e]y, I think he was cunningly seeking to make a pretext for bolting the Baltimore nomination.

The President, I fear, is afraid of the Tribune, and thinks he cant [sic] afford to have it for an enemy. And Usher tries to deepen that impression. But Blair says there is no danger of that; that Greel[e]y is restrained by Hall,1 who controls the paper, and Greel[e]y too, owning 6/10 of the stock, and is a fast friend of the President — (of that? [I question.])

<[Note.] Oct [ ]. It appears that Greel[e]y is now ruled in, as Blair said. He is now a sound (?) Lincoln man — Elector at large, for the State of N. Y! Having, vainly, exhausted his strength against Mr. Lincoln's candidacy, he now, adopts the candidate (manifestly forced upon him, by popular demonstration) and plays the next best game, i. e. tries to convert him to his own use, by making him as great a Radical as himself. >

1 Henry Hall, son of a leading New York jurist, was connected with the Tribune for twenty-six years during eighteen of which he was business manager.

SOURCE: Edward Bates, Diary of Edward Bates, p. 388-9

Clement C. Clay Jr. to Judah P. Benjamin, August 11, 1864

August 11, 1864.
Secretary of State Confed. States of America, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I deem it due to Mr. Holcombe and myself to address you in explanation of the circumstances leading to and attending our correspondence with Hon. Horace Greeley,* which has been the subject of so much misrepresentation in the United States, and, if they are correctly copied, of at least two papers in the Confederate States.

We addressed a joint and informal note to the President on this subject, but as it was sent by a messenger under peculiar embarrassments it was couched in very guarded terms and was not so full or explicit as we originally intended or desired to make it. I hope he has already delivered it and has explained its purpose and supplied what was wanting to do us full justice.

Soon after the arrival of Mr. Holcombe, Mr. Thompson, and myself in Canada West it was known in the United States and was the subject of much speculation there as to the object of our visit. Some politicians of more or less fame and representing all parties in the United States came to see Mr. Holcombe and myself—Mr. Thompson being at Toronto and less accessible than we were at the Falls—either through curiosity or some better or worse motive.

They found that our conversation was mainly directed to the mutual injury we were inflicting on each other by war, the necessity for peace in order to preserve whatever was valuable to both sections, and probability of foreign intervention when we were thoroughly exhausted and unable to injure others, and the dictation of a peace less advantageous to both belligerents than they might now make if there was an armistice of sufficient duration to allow passion to subside and reason to resume its sway.

In the meantime Mr. George N. Sanders, who had preceded us to the Falls, was addressing, directly or indirectly, his ancient and intimate party friends and others in the United States supposed to be favorably inclined, assuring them that a peace mutually advantageous to the North and the South might be made, and inviting them to visit us that we might consider and discuss the subject. He informed us that Mr. Greeley would visit us if we would be pleased to see him. Believing from his antecedents that he was a sincere friend of peace, even with separation if necessary, we authorized Mr. Sanders to say that we would be glad to receive him. Mr. Greeley replied, as we were told, through Mr. Jewett, who had been an active and useful agent for communicating with citizens of the United States, that he would prefer to accompany us to Washington City to talk of peace, and would do so if we would go. We did not then believe that Mr. Greeley had authorized this proposal in his name, for neither we nor Mr. Sanders had seen it in any telegram or letter from Mr. Greeley, but had it only from the lips of Mr. Jewett, who is reported to be a man of fervid and fruitful imagination and very credulous of what he wishes to be true. Notwithstanding, after calm deliberation and consultation we thought that we could not in duty to the Confederate States decline the invitation, and directed Mr. Sanders to say that we would go to Washington if complete and unqualified protection was given us.

We did not feel authorized to speak for Mr. Thompson, who was absent, and we moreover deemed it necessary that he or I should remain here to promote the objects that the Secretary of War had given us and another in charge.

Mr. Sanders responded in his own peculiar style, as you have seen, or will see by the inclosed copy of the correspondence, which was published under my supervision. We did not expect to hear from Mr. Greeley again upon the subject, and were greatly surprised by his note from the U.S. side of the Falls, addressed to us as “duly accredited from Richmond as the bearers of propositions looking to the establishment of peace.”

How or by whom that character was imputed to us we do not know. We suspect, however, that we are indebted for the attribution of the high and responsible office to Mr. Jewett, or to that yet more credulous and inventive personage, Dame Rumor. Certainly we are not justly chargeable with having assumed or affected that character, or with having given any one sufficient grounds to infer that we came clothed with any such powers. We never sought or desired a safe-conduct to Washington, or an interview with Mr. Lincoln. We never proposed, suggested, or intimated any terms of peace to any person that did not embrace the independence of the Confederate States. We have been as jealous of the rights, interest, and power of our Government as any of its citizens can be, and have never wittingly compromised them by act, word, or sign. We have not felt it our duty to declare to all who have approached us upon the subject that reunion was impossible under any change of the Constitution or abridgment of the powers of the Federal Government. We have not dispelled the fond delusion of most of those with whom we have conversed—that some kind of common government might at some time hereafter be re-established. But we have not induced or encouraged this idea. On the contrary, when obliged to answer the question—“Will the Southern States consent to reunion?”—I have answered:

Not now. You have shed so much of their best blood, have desolated so many homes, inflicted so much injury, caused so much physical and mental agony, and have threatened and attempted such irreparable wrongs, without justification or excuse, as their believe, that they would now prefer extermination to your embraces as friends and fellow-citizens of the same government. You must wait till the blood of our slaughtered people has exhaled from the soil, till the homes which you have destroyed have been rebuilt, till our badges of mourning have been laid aside, and the memorials of our wrongs are no longer visible on every hand, before you propose to rebuild a joint and common government. But I think the South Will agree to an armistice of six or more months and to a treaty of amity and commerce, securing peculiar and exclusive privileges to both sections, and possibly to an alliance defensive, or even, for some purposes, both defensive and offensive.

If we can credit the asseverations of both peace and war Democrats, uttered to us in person or through the presses of the United States, our correspondence with Mr. Greeley has been promotive of our wishes. It has impressed all but fanatical Abolitionists with the opinion that there can be no peace while Mr. Lincoln presides at the head of the Government of the United States. All concede that we will not accept his terms, and scarcely any Democrat and not all the Republicans will insist on them. They are not willing to pay the price his terms exact of the North. They see that he can reach peace only through subjugation of the South, which but few think practicable; through universal bankruptcy of the North; through seas of their own blood as well as ours; through the utter demoralization of their people, and destruction of their Republican Government; through anarchy and moral chaos—all of which is more repulsive and intolerable than even the separation and independence of the South.

All the Democrat presses denounce Mr. Lincoln's manifesto in strong terms, and many Republican presses (and among them the New York Tribune) admit it was a blunder. Mr. Greeley was chagrined and incensed by it, as his articles clearly show. I am told by those who profess to have heard his private expressions of opinion and feeling, that he curses all fools in high places and regards himself as deceived and maltreated by the Administration. From all that I can see or hear, I am satisfied that the correspondence has tended strongly toward consolidating the Democracy and dividing the Republicans and encouraging the desire for peace. Many prominent politicians of the United States assure us that it is the most opportune and efficient moral instrumentality for stopping the war that could have been conceived or exerted, and beg us to refrain from any vindication of our course or explanation of our purposes.

At all events, we have developed what we desired to in the eyes of our people—that war, with-all its horrors, is less terrible and hateful than the alternative offered by Mr. Lincoln. We hope that none will hereafter be found in North Carolina, or in any other part of the Confederate States, so base as to insist that we shall make any more advances to him in behalf of peace, but that all of our citizens will gird themselves with renewed and redoubled energy and resolution to battle against our foes until our utter extermination, rather than halt to ponder the terms which he haughtily proclaims as his ultimatum. If such be the effect of our correspondence, we shall be amply indemnified for all the misrepresentations which we have incurred or ever can incur.

Mr. Greeley's purpose may have been merely to find out our conditions of peace, but we give him credit for seeking higher objects. While we contemplated and desired something more, yet it was part of our purpose to ascertain Mr. Lincoln's condition of peace. We have achieved our purpose in part; Mr. Greeley has failed altogether. He correctly reports us as having proposed no terms. We never intended to propose any until instructed by our Government. We have suffered ourselves to be falsely reported as proposing certain terms—among them reunion—for reasons that our judgment approved, hoping that we would in due time be fully vindicated at home.

If there is no more wisdom in our country than is displayed in the malignant articles of the Richmond Examiner and Petersburg Register, approving of the ukase of Mr. Lincoln, the war must continue until neutral nations interfere and command the peace. Such articles are copied into all the Republican presses of the United States, and help them more in encouraging the prosecution of the war than anything they can themselves utter.

If I am not deceived, the elements of convulsion and revolution existing in the North have been greatly agitated by the pronunciamento of the autocrat of the White House. Not only Democrats, but Republicans are protesting against a draft to swell an army to fight to free negroes, and are declaring more boldly for State rights and the Union as it was. Many say the draft cannot and shall not be enforced. The Democracy are beginning to learn that they must endure persecution, outrage, and tyranny at the hands of the Republicans, just as soon as they can bring back their armed legions from the South. They read their own fate in that of the people of Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland. They are beginning to lean more on the side of our people as their natural allies and as the champions of State rights and of popular liberty. Many of them would gladly lock arms with our soldiers in crushing their common enemy, the Abolitionists. Many of them would fall into our lines if our armies occupied any States north of the Ohio for a month, or even a week. Many of them are looking to the time when they must flee their country, or fight for their inalienable rights. They are preparing for the latter alternative.

The instructions of the Secretary of War to us and the officer detailed for special service have not been neglected. We have been arranging for the indispensable co-operation. It is promised, and we hope will soon be furnished. Then we will act. We have been disappointed and delayed by causes which I cannot now explain.

I fondly trust that our efforts will not be defeated or hindered by unwise and intemperate declarations of public opinion, by newspaper editors or others who are regarded as its exponents.
We have a difficult role to play, and must be judged with charity until heard in our own defense.
I am much indebted to Mr. Holcombe, Mr. Sanders, and Mr. Tucker for the earnest and active aid they have given me in promoting the objects of Mr. Thompson's and my mission.

Mr. Thompson is at Toronto and Mr. Holcombe is at the Falls. If here, or if I could delay the transmission of this communication, I should submit it to them for some expression of their opinions.

As I expect this to reach the Confederate States by a safe hand, I do not take the time and labor necessary to put it in cipher—if, indeed, there is anything worth concealing from our enemies.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

* See Series III, Vol. IV.
† Not found.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series IV, Volume 3 (Serial No. 129), p. 584-7

William C. Jewett to Horace Greeley, July 5, 1864


Niagara July 5th 1864
My dear Mr Greely

In reply to your note— I have to advise having just left Hon Geo. N. Sanders of Ky on the Canada side — I am authorised to state to youfor our use onlynot the publicthat two Ambassadersof Davis & Co are now in Canadawith full & complete powers for a peace & Mr Sanders requests that you come on immediately to me at Cataract House — to have a private interview, or if you will send the Presidents protection for him & two friends, they will come on & meet you. He says the whole matter can be consummated by me[,] you — them & President Lincoln— Telegraph me in such form — that I may know — if you come here — or they to come on — with me.

W. C. Jewett

SOURCE: Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.: Lincoln, Abraham. Abraham Lincoln papers: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833 to 1916: William C. Jewett to Horace Greeley, Tuesday,Negotiations at Niagara Falls. July 5, 1864. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Horace Greeley to Abraham Lincoln, July 7, 1864

New York, July 7th, 1864.
My Dear Sir:

I venture to inclose you a letter and telegraphic dispatch that I received yesterday from our irrepressible friend, Colorado Jewett, at Niagara Falls. I think they deserve attention. Of course, I do no indorse Jewett's positive averment that his friends at the Falls have “full powers” from J. D., though I do not doubt that he thinks they have. I let that statement stand as simply evidencing the anxiety of the Confederates everywhere for peace. So much is beyond doubt.

And thereupon I venture to remind you that our bleeding, bankrupt, almost dying country also longs for peace — shudders at the prospect of fresh conscriptions, of further wholesale devastations, and of new rivers of human blood. And a wide-spread conviction that the Government and its prominent supporters are not anxious for Peace, and do not improve proffered opportunities to achieve it, is doing great harm now, and is morally certain, unless removed, to do far greater in the approaching Elections.

It is not enough that we anxiously desire a true and lasting peace; we ought to demonstrate and establish the truth beyond cavil. The fact that A. H. Stephens was not permitted, a year ago, to visit and confer with the authorities at Washington, has done harms, which the tone of the late National Convention at Baltimore is not calculated to counteract.

I entreat you, in your own time and manner, to submit overtures for pacification to the Southern insurgents which the impartial must pronounce frank and generous. If only with a view to the momentous Election soon to occur in North Carolina, and of the Draft to be enforced in the Free States, this should be done at once.

I would give the safe conduct required by the Rebel envoys at Niagara, upon their parole to avoid observation and to refrain from all communication with their sympathizers in the loyal States; but you may see reasons for declining it. But, whether through them or otherwise, do not, I entreat you, fail to make the Southern people comprehend that you and all of us are anxious for peace, and prepared to grant liberal terms. I venture to suggest the following

Plan of Adjustment.

1. The Union is restored and declared perpetual.

2. Slavery is utterly and forever abolished throughout the same.

3. A complete Amnesty for all political offenses, with a restoration of all the inhabitants of each State to all the privileges of citizens of the United States.

4. The Union to pay $400,000,000 in five per cent. U. S. Stock to the late Slave States, loyal and Secession alike, to be apportioned pro rata according to their Slave population respectively, by the Census of 1860, in compensation for the losses of their loyal citizens by the Abolition of Slavery. Each State to be entitled to its quota upon the ratification, by its Legislature, of this adjustment. The bonds to be at the absolute disposal of the Legislature aforesaid.

5. The said Slaves States to be entitled henceforth to representation in the House on the basis of their total instead of their Federal population — the whole being now Free.

6. A National Convention, to be assembled so soon as may be, to ratify this adjustment and make such changes in the Constitution as shall be deemed advisable.

Mr. President, I fear you do not realize how intently the People desire any Peace consistent with the National integrity and honor, and how joyously they would hail its achievement and bless its authors. With U. S. Stocks worth but forty cents, in gold, per dollars, and drafting about to commence on the third million of Union soldiers, can this be wondered at?

I do not say that a just Peace is now attainable, though I believe it to be so. But I do say that a frank offer by you to the insurgents of terms which the impartial will say ought to be accepted, will, at the worst, prove an immense and sorely-needed advantage to the National cause: it may save us from a Northern insurrection.

Yours truly,
Horace Greeley

P. S. Even though it should be deemed unadvisable to make an offer of terms to the Rebels, I insist that, in any possible way it is desirable that any offer they may be disposed to make should be received and either accepted or rejected. I beg you to write those now at Niagara to exhibit their credentials and submit their ultimatum.

H. G.

SOURCE: Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress: Lincoln, Abraham. Abraham Lincoln papers: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833 to 1916: Horace Greeley to Abraham Lincoln, Thursday,Negotiations at Niagara Falls. July 7, 1864. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, July 9, 1864

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 9, 1864.

DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 7th with inclosures received.* If you can find any person anywhere professing to have any proposition of Jefferson Davis in writing, for peace, embracing the restoration of the Union and abandonment of slavery, whatever else it embraces, say to him he may come to me with you; and that if he really brings such proposition, he shall at the least have safe-conduct with the paper (and without publicity if he chooses) to the point where you shall have met him. The same if there be two or more persons.

Yours, truly,

* Not Found

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume 4 (Serial No. 125), p. 486

Clement C. Clay and James P. Holcombe To Horace Greeley, July 21, 1864

Niagara Falls, Clifton House, July 21, 1864.
To the Honorable Horace Greeley:—
Sir : — The paper handed to Mr. Holcombe on yesterday, in your presence, by Major Hay, A. A. G., as an answer to the application in our note of the 18th instant, is couched in the following terms:—
EXECUTIVE MANSION,               
Washington, July 18, 1864
Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, will be received and considered by the Executive Government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points, and the bearer or bearers thereof shall have safe-conduct both ways.
The application to which we refer was elicited by your letter of the 17th instant, in which yon inform Mr. Jacob Thompson and ourselves that you were authorized by the President of the United States to tender us his safe-conduct, on the hypothesis that we were ‘duly accredited from Richmond as bearers of propositions looking to the establishment of peace,’ and desired a visit to Washington in the fulfilment of this mission. This assertion, to which we then gave and still do, entire credence, was accepted by us as the evidence of an unexpected but most gratifying change in the policy of the President, — a change which we felt authorized to hope might terminate in the conclusion of a peace mutually just, honorable, and advantageous to the North and to the South, exacting no condition but that we should be ‘duly accredited from Richmond as bearers of propositions looking to the establishment of peace.’ Thus proffering a basis for conference as comprehensive as we could desire, it seemed to us that the President opened a door which had previously been closed against the Confederate States for a full interchange of sentiments, free discussion of conflicting opinions, and untrammelled effort to remove all causes of controversy by liberal negotiations. We, indeed, could not claim the benefit of a safe-conduct which had been extended to us in a character we had no right to assume, and had never affected to possess; but the uniform declarations of our Executive and Congress, and then thrice-repeated and as often repulsed attempts to open negotiations, furnish a sufficient pledge to us that this conciliatory manifestation on the part of the President of the United States would be met by them in a temper of equal magnanimity. We had, therefore, no hesitation in declaring that if this correspondence was communicated to the President of the Confederate States, he would promptly embrace the opportunity presented for seeking a peaceful solution of this unhappy strife. We feel confident that you must share our profound regret that the spirit which dictated the first step toward peace had not continued to animate the councils of your President. Had the representatives of the two governments met to consider this question, the most momentous ever submitted to human statesmanship, in a temper of becoming moderation and equity, followed, as their deliberations would have been, by the prayers and benedictions of every patriot and Christian on the habitable globe, who is there so bold as to pronounce that the frightful waste of individual happiness and public prosperity which is daily saddening the universal heart might not have been terminated, or if the desolation and carnage of war must still be endured through weary years of blood and suffering, that there might not at least have been infused into its conduct something more of the spirit which softens and partially redeems its brutalities?
Instead of the safe-conduct which we solicited, and which your first letter gave us every reason to suppose would be extended for the purpose of initiating a negotiation, in which neither government would compromise its rights or its dignity, a document has been presented which provokes as much indignation as surprise. It bears no feature of resemblance to that which was originally offered, and is unlike any paper which ever before emanated from the constitutional executive of a free people. Addressed ‘to whom it may concern,’ It precludes negotiations, and prescribes in advance the terms and conditions of peace. It returns to the original policy of ‘no bargaining, no negotiations, no traces with Rebels except to bury their dead, until every man shall have laid down his arms, submitted to the government, and sued for mercy.’
Whatever may be the explanation of this sudden and entire change in the views of the President, of this rude withdrawal of a courteous overture for negotiation at the moment it was likely to be accepted, of this emphatic recall of words of peace just uttered, and fresh blasts of war to the bitter end, we leave for the speculation of those who have the means or inclination to penetrate the mysteries of his cabinet, or fathom the caprice of his imperial will It is enough for us to say that we have no use whatever for the paper which has been placed in our hands.
We could not transmit it to the President of the Confederate States without offering him an indignity, dishonoring ourselves, and incurring the well-merited scorn of our countrymen. While an ardent desire for peace pervades the people of the Confederate States, we rejoice to believe that there are few, if any, among them who would purchase it at the expense of liberty, honor, and self-respect. If it can be secured only by their submission to terms of conquest, the generation is yet unborn which will witness its restitution.
If there be any military autocrat in the North who is entitled to proffer the conditions of this manifesto, there is none in the South authorized to entertain them. Those who control our armies are the servants of the people, — not their masters; and they have no more inclination, than they have the right, to subvert the social institutions of the sovereign States, to overthrow their established constitutions, and to barter away their priceless heritage of self-government. This correspondence will not, however, we trust, prove wholly barren of good result.
If there is any citizen of the Confederate States who has clung to a hope that peace was possible with this administration of the Federal government, it will strip from his eyes the last film of such delusion; or if there be any whose hearts have grown faint under the suffering and agony of this bloody struggle, it will inspire them with fresh energy to endure and brave whatever may yet be requisite to preserve to themselves and their children all that gives dignity and value to life or hope and consolation to death. And if there be any patriots or Christians in your land, who shrink appalled from the illimitable vista of private misery and public calamity which stretches before them, we pray that in their bosoms a resolution may be quickened to recall the abused authority, and vindicate the outraged civilization of their country. For the solicitude you have manifested to inaugurate a movement which contemplates results the roost noble and humane we return our sincere thanks, and are most respectfully and truly your obedient servants,
C. C. Clay, Jr.
James P. Holcombe.
SOURCE: James Parton, The Life of Horace Greeley, p. 475-7

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A New Sensation—Talk of Peace—Unofficial Commissioners to Richmond—Unofficial Rebel Commissioners—The War to be Carried on for Abolition Purposes Only.

WASHINGTON, July 21, 1864.
Editors of the Enquirer:

Since I closed my letter at noon, a new sensation has appeared on the political board.  The word Peace has been uttered this afternoon as if had some insignificance.  We find that two prominent friends of the Administration have, with the direct approval and aid of Mr. Lincoln, visited Richmond, held conferences with Jeff. Davis and his Secretary of War, and returned highly pleased with the courtesy with which they were received and treated at the Confederate Capital.  Then on the other side, we have the correspondence between certain Confederate gentlemen, Horace Greely and the President in relation to a restoration of the Union by means of peace.  No other talk has been heard this afternoon, except about these two missions.  Though neither of the quasi commissioners—those from the North to Richmond, nor those at Niagara had official authority, yet each acted with the consent of its respective government; and that is a mode often resorted to by belligerent parties, to ascertain the sentiments of the other preliminary to regulate authorized negotiations.

The Commissioners to Richmond were Colonel Jos. F. Jaques, of the 73rd Illinois volunteers, and Mr. Edward Kirke, a gentleman of some literary pretentions and merit.  They have returned to the city, and it is well understood they went to Richmond to ascertain, if the war could not be stopped by a return of the seceded states on terms alike honorable to both parties.  They were in Richmond three days, had free Conference with Mr. Davis and his Secretary, Mr. Benjamin, on the subject of their visit, were treated like gentleman, and returned in good spirits.

You have doubtless read the result of the attempt made by the Southern Commissioners, at Niagara, to obtain an interview with Mr. Lincoln. It was a failure.  The contrast between the conduct of the authorities, at Richmond, towards Messrs. Jaques and Kirke, and that of Lincoln to Messers. Clay and Holcomb, is a painful one to the people of the North.  It shows there are gentleman at the head of the government at Richmond, and a boor at the head of the government at Washington.  The former are not afraid to be talked to on the subject of our difficulties by even unofficial visitors, while the latter seems to think that not only his own dignity, but the cause of the North itself, would be compromised by a conference with gentlemen from the Confederacy.  Humanity and civilization will  accord to the authorities at Richmond the mood of the praise for their willingness to listen to any within their lines, by permission of the President of the United States.

Mr. Lincoln lays down a finality, which, will preclude any conference for a settlement.  That finality is the unconditional abolishment of slavery.  He will not listen to peace on any other terms.  He will not hear what the South may have to say.  He closes all avenues of conciliation except through that one door.  He says the war shall not stop until the blacks are all freed.  He says that this is not a war for the Union, but a war for the negro.  He says that he orders conscriptions, that men are torn from their families, their relatives and friends not to restore the Union, but to free the negro.  He admits that we are making an enormous public debt, that will bring untold sorrow upon toil and labor, not for our liberty or the protections of our government, or the preservation of our national life, but to make the negro like the white man.  He sets up a condition precedent, which must be performed before the seceded States can return to the union, and which he has no authority to impose.  This war is to be continued for no other object than the abolition of slavery. Mr. Lincoln gives that to be distinctly understood.  The country will know hereafter precisely, what the war is continued for.  Every solder will know what he is fighting for, and every one that is killed will lose his life not for the Union, the Stars and Stripes, but for the negro.


SOURCE: The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday, July 25, 1864, p. 2; Maysville Weekly Bulletin, Maysville, Kentucky, Thursday, July 28, 1864, p. 2.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Horace Greeley to Abraham Lincoln, August 9, 1864

Office of the Tribune,            
New York, Aug. 9, 1864
Dear Sir:

Your dispatch of Saturday only reached me on Sunday, when I immediately answered by letter; yesterday I was out of town; and I have just received your dispatch of that date. I do not venture to telegraph you since I learned by sad experience at Niagara that my dispatches go to the War Department before reaching you. But I will gladly come on to Washington whenever you apprise me that my doing so may perhaps be of use.

But I fear that my chance for usefulness has passed. I know that nine-tenths of the whole American People, North and South, are anxious for Peace — Peace on almost any terms — and utterly sick of human slaughter and devastation.

I know that to the general eye, it now seems that the Rebels are anxious to negotiate, and that we repulse their advances.

I know that, if this impression be not removed, we shall be beaten out of sight next November. I firmly believe that, were the election to take place to-morrow, the democratic majority in this State and Pennsylvania would amount to 100,000, and that we should lose Connecticut also.

Now if the Rebellion can be crushed before November, it will do to go on; if not, we are rushing on certain ruin.

What, then, can I do in Washington? Your trusted advisers nearly all think I ought to go to Fort Lafayette for what I have done already. Seward wanted me sent there for my brief conference with Mr Mercier. The cry has steadily been — No truce! No Armistice! No negotiation! No mediation! Nothing but surrender at discretion! I never heard of such fatuity before. There is nothing like it in history. It must result in disaster, or all experience is delusion.

Now, I do not know that a tolerable Peace could be had; but I believe it might have been last month; and, at all events, I know that an honest, sincere effort for it would have done us immense good. And I think no Government fighting a Rebellion should ever close its ears to any proposition the Rebels may make.

I beg you, implore you, to inaugurate or invite proposals for Peace forthwith. And in case Peace cannot now be made, consent to an Armistice for one year — each party to retain unmolested all it now holds, but the Rebel ports to be opened. Meantime, let a National Convention be held, and there will surely be no more war at all events.

Horace Greeley

SOURCE: Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., Lincoln, Abraham. Abraham Lincoln papers: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833 to 1916: Horace Greeley to Abraham Lincoln, Tuesday,Peace negotiations and publication of correspondence. August 9, 1864. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Horace Greeley to Charles A. Dana, December 1, 1855

WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 1, 1855.

FRIEND DANA: I think ——— worth $150 per month. He has facilities at the west end which I have not and never can have, and living here is horribly dear for those who have to see people. By and by he may perfect his opportunities with Marcy & Co., and then you can stop him. For the present better pay $200 a month than lose him. I see him and confer with him several times a day; but it is best that the business should all go through one channel. So I wish you would write him accepting his terms. If you can easily repeat the hint I have given him, that we value facts more than opinions, it will be well. Everybody we employ to gather information seems to think he has the paper to edit, and I expect soon to have a notice from Dennis that, if we don’t change our course on some public question, he will be obliged to relieve himself of all responsibility in the premises by dissolving his connection with the Tribune.

I thank you for your reply to Dr. Bailey. He is eaten up with the idea of making Chase President.

I am doing what I can for Banks; but he won't be Speaker. His support of the Republicans against the K. N. ticket this fall renders it impossible. If we elect anybody it will be Pennington or Fuller. I fear the latter. Pennington is pretty fair, considering. He will try to twist himself into the proper shape, but I would greatly prefer one who had the natural crook.

Phelps to-night announced in Democratic caucus that two of the Missouri Whigs would vote their side. Glad of it.

The news from Kansas is helping us.

You ought to see the loving glances I get from Whitfield. We know each other first-rate, but are not introduced.  I think the House will organize on Monday; if not, Tuesday will fetch it.

I hate this hole, but am glad I have come. It does me good to see how those who hate the Tribune much, fear it yet more. There are a dozen here who will do better for my eye being on them. Schouler is particularly cordial.

As to old McRea, I think, we may as well let him have his $10 a week for a few weeks yet, though I can't use him. I wouldn’t mind his being a genius, if he was not a fool. He has no idea of keeping his mouth shut, but tells everybody he is connected with the Tribune, but doesn’t go its isms, etc. He annoys me to the amount of $10 per week at least; but let him wait a little.

H. G.
C. A. DANA, Esq.

SOURCE: Horace Greeley, Greeley on Lincoln: With Mr. Greeley's Letters to Charles A. Dana and a Lady Friend, p. 87-9

Horace Greeley, Henry Ward Beecher et al to Gerrit Smith, June 1865

June, 1865.
Gerrit Smith, Esq., New York:

Dear Sir, — The events which, with increasing emphasis are inscribing our national history, attract and impress the public mind. We think that information is needed and counsel required. We know that the interest which you have felt in the conflict which is passed, continues to the stages of its pacification and close.

Understanding your willingness to communicate with your fellow citizens on national topics, we would be pleased could you address a public meeting in this city, at the Cooper Institute, on the evening of next Thursday, the 8th instant, on the present attitude of the country.

Horace Greeley,
C. Godfrey Gunther,
E. H. Chapin,
Henry Ward Beecher,
Rich'd O'gorman,
David Dudley Field,
Sam'l L. M. Barlow,
Henry W. Bellows,
Hiram Ketchum.

SOURCES: Octavius Brooks Frothingham, Gerrit Smith: A Biography, p. 293

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Diary of Gideon Welles: Thursday, April 14, 1864

The Baltimore American of this morning contains my report in relation to the ironclads and Du Pont. A synopsis, very brief, has been sent out by the agent of the news papers, but the Press only to a limited extent publishes even the megre abstract.  I believe the N.Y. Tribune does not publish it or take any notice of it. Du Pont and his satellites have been busy, and Greeley and others take such a partisan, personal view of all questions that no honest or fair treatment can be expected of them in a case like this. Without ever looking at facts, Greeley has always vigorously indorsed Du Pont and had his flings at the Navy Department.

Gold is reported at 190 to-day; that is, it requires one hundred and ninety dollars of Treasury notes, Chase's standard, to buy one hundred dollars in gold, paper has so depreciated.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 11-2

Monday, November 5, 2018

Robert Toombs to James Thomas, April 16, 1848

Washington, D. C. Apr. 16, 1848.

Dear Thomas, I received your letter of the 9th inst. today and I am very glad to hear you are improving. You did not state to what point in Kentucky you expected to direct your steps. I have an extensive acquaintance with the public men of Kentucky and could give or furnish you letters to almost any point, and if you know where you will probably remain longest and will write me I will procure such letters as would no doubt greatly increase the comfort and pleasure of your trip. I could send them to any point you might designate, if you are about leaving. Mr. Crittenden, my particular friend and messmate, will leave here for Kentucky about the first of June on a gubernatorial canvass in Kentucky. I will commend you to him especially, and I hope you may fall in with him somewhere in the state, if not at Frankfort, his residence. I will send by this mail or the next some letters for Louisville where I suppose you will most likely land in Kentucky. I hope you will find it convenient to call by Washington. There is much to see here to interest an intelligent stranger; men, if not things.

Clay has behaved very badly this winter. His ambition is as fierce as at any time of his life, and he is determined to rule or ruin the party. He has only power enough to ruin it. Rule it he never can again. In February while at Washington he ascertained that the Kentucky convention would nominate Taylor. He procured letters to [McMillen ?] that he would decline when he went home, and the Taylor men from Kentucky under this assurance wrote home to their friends not to push him off the track by nominating Taylor. Mr. Clay never intended to comply, but without now having the boldness to deny it he meanly hints at having changed his determination. Bah! He now can deceive nobody here. The truth is he has sold himself body and soul to the Northern Anti-slavery Whigs, and as little as they now think it, his friends in Georgia will find themselves embarrassed before the campaign is half over. I find myself a good deal denounced in my district for avowing my determination not to vote for him. It gives me not the least concern. I shall never be traitor enough to the true interests of my constituents to gratify them in this respect. I would rather offend than betray them. Mr. Botts of the House and Mr. Berrien of the Senate and Mr. Buckner of Kentucky are the only three men from the slave states who prefer Mr. Clay for our candidate, and there are not ten Southern representatives who would not support Genl. Taylor against him if he were nominated. The real truth is Clay was put up and pushed by Corwin and McLean, Greeley & Co. to break down Taylor in the South. Having made that use of him they will toss him overboard at the convention without decent burial. It is more than probable that a third candidate may be brought forward, and Scott stands a good chance to be the man. For my part I am a Taylor man without a second choice.

SOURCE: Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Editor, The Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1911, Volume 2: The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb, p. 103-4

Monday, July 23, 2018

Salmon P. Chase to Charles A. Dana, Esq.,* New York, November 10, 1860

Columbus, Nov. 10. [I860]

I do not know what to say in reply to your wish that I may go into Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, except to thank you for the implied appreciation by which I am ashamed to confess myself not the less gratified, however conscious that it is beyond my deserts.

Certainly I do not seek any such place. I greatly prefer my position as Senator, & would indeed prefer to that a private Station could I now honorably retire.

For, of the great objects which first constrained me into political life, one, the overthrow of the Slave Power, is now happily accomplished and the other, the denationalization of Slavery and the consequent inauguration of an era of constitutional enfranchisement, seems sure to follow,—so that I do not feel any longer that I have “a mission & therefore allow myself to grow somewhat weary of the harness. But for the present I cannot get unyoked; and must work on a while longer.

And I greatly prefer to work in a Legislative rather than in an administrative position. It is more pleasant on many accounts. Still I do not say that I wd refuse the post you refer to. Indeed it wd be rather superflous to decline what has not been offered. Neither do I say that I would accept it: — but only this: — that if the offer were made, without any urgency on the part of my friends and under circumstances otherwise agreeable to me, I should feel bound to consider it honestly & carefully, with the help of the best advisers I could consult, & should be governed in my decision, not so much by my personal inclinations as by my obligations to the cause and its true &. faithful friend.

I thank you for giving my Covington Speech a place in the Tribune. It has attracted a good deal of attention & will, I hope, do some good.

Give my best regards to Mr. Greeley, — who will, I trust, now find appreciation in some measure proportioned to his pub. Services — and to your other colaborers. How your work shames ours.

* From letter-book 7, pp. 72-73. Charles Anderson Dana, 1819-1897; editor: managing editor of the Tribune, 1849-1862; Assistant Secretary of War, 1863-1865; editor New York Sun, 1868-1897.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 292