Showing posts with label Republicans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republicans. 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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Abraham Lincoln’s Speech at Leavenworth, Kansas, December 3, 1859

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: You are, as yet, the people of a Territory; but you probably soon will be the people of a State of the Union. Then you will be in possession of new privileges, and new duties will be upon you. You will have to bear a part in all that pertains to the administration of the National Government. That government, from the beginning, has had, has now, and must continue to have a policy in relation to domestic slavery. It cannot, if it would, be without a policy upon that subject. And that policy must, of necessity, take one of two directions. It must deal with the institution as being wrong or as not being wrong.

Mr. Lincoln then stated, somewhat in detail, the early action of the General Government upon the question—in relation to the foreign slave trade, the basis of Federal representation, and the prohibition of slavery in the Federal territories; the Fugitive Slave clause in the Constitution, and insisted that, plainly that early policy, was based on the idea of slavery being wrong; and tolerating it so far, and only so far, as the necessity of its actual presence required.

He then took up the policy of the Kansas-Nebraska act, which he argued was based on opposite ideas—that is, the idea that slavery is not wrong. He said: “You, the people of Kansas, furnish the example of the first application of this new policy. At the end of about five years, after having almost continual struggles, fire and bloodshed, over this very question, and after having framed several State Constitutions, you have, at last, secured a Free State Constitution, under which you will probably be admitted into the Union. You have, at last, at the end of all this difficulty, attained what we, in the old North-western Territory, attained without any difficulty at all. Compare, or rather contrast, the actual working of this new policy with that of the old, and say whether, after all, the old way—the way adopted by Washington and his compeers—was not the better way.”

Mr. Lincoln argued that the new policy had proven false to all its promises—that its promise to the Nation was to speedily end the slavery agitation, which it had not done, but directly the contrary—that its promises to the people of the Territories was to give them greater control of their own affairs than the people of former Territories had had; while, by the actual experiment, they had had less control of their own affairs, and had been more bedeviled by outside interference than the people of any other Territory ever had.

He insisted that it was deceitful in its expressed wish to confer additional privileges upon the people; else it would have conferred upon them the privilege of choosing their own officers. That if there be any just reason why all the privileges of a State should not be conferred on the people of a Territory at once, it only could be the smallness of numbers; and that if while their number was small, they were fit to do some things, and unfit to do others, it could only be because those they were unfit to do, were the larger and more important things—that, in this case, the allowing the people of Kansas to plant their soil with slavery, and not allowing them to choose their own Governor, could only be justified on the idea that the planting a new State with slavery was a very small matter, and the election of Governor a very much greater matter. “Now,” said he, “compare these two matters and decide which is really the greater. You have already had, I think, five Governors, and yet, although their doings, in their respective days, were of some little interest to you, it is doubtful whether you now, even remember the names of half of them. They are gone (all but the last) without leaving a trace upon your soil, or having done a single act which can, in the least degree, help or hurt you, in all the indefinite future before you. This is the size of the Governor question. Now, how is it with the slavery question? If your first settlers had so far decided in favor of slavery, as to have got five thousand slaves planted on your soil, you could, by no moral possibility, have adopted a Free State Constitution. Their owners would be influential voters among you as good men as the rest of you, and, by their greater wealth, and consequent, greater capacity, to assist the more needy, perhaps the most influential among you. You could not wish to destroy, or injuriously interfere with their property. You would not know what to do with the slaves after you had made them free. You would not wish to keep them as underlings; nor yet to elevate them to social and political equality. You could not send them away. The slave States would not let you send them there; and the free States would not let you send them there. All the rest of your property would not pay for sending them to Liberia. In one word, you could not have made a free State, if the first half of your own numbers had got five thousand slaves fixed upon the soil. You could have disposed of, not merely five, but five hundred Governors easier. There they would have stuck, in spite of you, to plague you and your children, and your children's children, indefinitely. Which is the greater, this, or the Governor question? Which could the more safely be intrusted to the first few people who settle a Territory? Is it that which, at most, can be but temporary and brief in its effects? or that which being done by the first few, can scarcely ever be undone by the succeeding many?

He insisted that, little as was Popular Sovereignty at first, the Dred Scott decision, which is indorsed by the author of Popular Sovereignty, has reduced it to still smaller proportions, if it has not entirely crushed it out. That, in fact, all it lacks of being crushed out entirely by that decision, is the lawyer's technical distinction between decision and dictum. That the Court has already said a Territorial government cannot exclude slavery; but because they did not say it in a case where a Territorial government had tried to exclude slavery, the lawyers hold that saying of the Court to be dictum and not decision. “But,” said Mr. Lincoln, “is it not certain that the Court will make a decision of it, the first time a Territorial government tries to exclude slavery?”

Mr. Lincoln argued that the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, carried out, renews the African Slave Trade. Said he: “Who can show that one people have a better right to carry slaves to where they have never been, than another people have to buy slaves wherever they please, even in Africa?”

He also argued that the advocates of Popular Sovereignty, by their efforts to brutalize the negro in the public mind—denying him any share in the Declaration of Independence, and comparing him to the crocodile—were beyond what avowed pro-slavery men ever do, and really did as much, or more than they, toward making the institution national and perpetual.

He said many of the Popular Sovereignty advocates were “as much opposed to slavery as any one;” but that they could never find any proper time or place to oppose it. In their view, it must not be opposed in politics, because that is agitation; nor in the pulpit, because it is not religion; nor in the Free States, because it is not there; nor in the Slave States, because it is there. These gentlemen, however, are never offended by hearing Slavery supported in any of these places. Still, they are “as much opposed to Slavery as anybody.” One would suppose that it would exactly suit them if the people of the Slave States would themselves adopt emancipation; but when Frank Blair tried this last year, in Missouri, and was beaten, every one of them threw up his hat and shouted “Hurrah for the Democracy!”

Mr. Lincoln argued that those who thought Slavery right ought to unite on a policy which should deal with it as being right; that they should go for a revival of the Slave Trade; for carrying the institution everywhere, into Free States as well as Territories; and for a surrender of fugitive slaves in Canada, or war with Great Britain. Said he, “all shades of Democracy, popular sovereign as well as the rest, are fully agreed that slaves are property, and only property. If Canada now had as many horses as she has slaves belonging to Americans, I should think it just cause of war if she did not surrender them on demand.[”]

“On the other hand, all those who believe slavery is wrong should unite on a policy, dealing with it as a wrong. They should be deluded into no deceitful contrivances, pretending indifference, but really working for that to which they are opposed.” He urged this at considerable length.

He then took up some of the objections to Republicans. They were accused of being sectional. He denied it. What was the proof? “Why, that they have no existence, get no votes in the South. But that depends on the South, and not on us. It is their volition, not ours; and if there be fault in it, it is primarily theirs, and remains so, unless they show that we repeal them by some wrong principle. If they attempt this, they will find us holding no principle, other than those held and acted upon by the men who gave us the government under which we live. They will find that the charge of sectionalism will not stop at us, but will extend to the very men who gave us the liberty we enjoy. But if the mere fact that we get no votes in the slave states makes us sectional, whenever we shall get votes in those states, we shall cease to be sectional; and we are sure to get votes, and a good many of them too, in these states next year.

“You claim that you are conservative; and we are not. We deny it. What is conservatism? Preserving the old against the new. And yet you are conservative in struggling for the new, and we are destructive in trying to maintain the old. Possibly you mean you are conservative in trying to maintain the existing institution of slavery. Very well; we are not trying to destroy it. The peace of society, and the structure of our government both require that we should let it alone, and we insist on letting it alone. If I might advise my Republican friends here, I would say to them, leave your Missouri neighbors alone. Have nothing whatever to do with their slaves. Have nothing whatever to do with the white people, save in a friendly way. Drop past differences, and so conduct yourselves that if you cannot be at peace with them, the fault shall be wholly theirs.

“You say we have made the question more prominent than heretofore. We deny it. It is more prominent; but we did not make it so. Despite of us, you would have a change of policy; we resist the change, and in the struggle, the greater prominence is given to the question. Who is responsible for that, you or we? If you would have the question reduced to its old proportions go back to the old policy. That will effect it.

“But you are for the Union; and you greatly fear the success of the Republicans would destroy the Union. Why? Do the Republicans declare against the Union? Nothing like it. Your own statement of it is, that if the Black Republicans elect a President, you won't stand it. You will break up the Union. That will be your act, not ours. To justify it, you must show that our policy gives you just cause for such desperate action. Can you do that? When you attempt it, you will find that our policy is exactly the policy of the men who made the Union. Nothing more and nothing less. Do you really think you are justified to break up the government rather than have it administered by Washington, and other good and great men who made it, and first administered it? If you do you are very unreasonable; and more reasonable men cannot and will not submit to you. While you elect [the] President, we submit, neither breaking nor attempting to break up the Union. If we shall constitutionally elect a President, it will be our duty to see that you submit. Old John Brown has just been executed for treason against a state. We cannot object, even though he agreed with us in thinking slavery wrong. That cannot excuse violence, bloodshed, and treason. It could avail him nothing that he might think himself right. So, if constitutionally we elect a President, and therefore you undertake to destroy the Union, it will be our duty to deal with you as old John Brown has been dealt with. We shall try to do our duty. We hope and believe that in no section will a majority so act as to render such extreme measures necessary.”

Mr. Lincoln closed by an appeal to all—opponents as well as friends—to think soberly and maturely, and never fail to cast their vote, insisting that it was not a privilege only, but a duty to do so.

SOURCE: Roy P. Bassler, Editor, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 3, p. 497-502 which cites Illinois State Journal, December 12, 1859 as its source.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gerrit Smith: Destroy Not Man's Faith In Man!, June 12, 1862


A people are demoralized by being trained to the ready entertainment of charges of corruption against those, whom they select to be their rulers, teachers and exemplars. For, when they can easily suspect such ones of baseness and crime, their faith in man is destroyed. It scarcely need be added that, when they have no longer faith in man, they will be quick to acquiesce in the application of a very low standard of morality to their leaders, and a still lower one to themselves. I say a still lower one, inasmuch as they will, naturally, expect a less degree of moral worth in the masses than in the individual, who is, here and there, selected from the masses on account of his superior wisdom and virtue. How much better it would be to persuade the people that it is their duty to hold sacred the reputation of those, whom they elevate to posts of honor! For how much more like would they, then, be to elevate those only, whose reputation is worthy to be held sacred! Moreover, what could be more elevating to themselves than such carefulness in selecting their guides and representatives!

I have been led to make these remarks by seeing the recent calumnious and contemptuous treatment of the Chief Justice and such Senators as Mr. Fessenden and Mr. Trumbull. The flood-gates of defamation were opened upon Mr. Fessenden and Mr. Trumbull, because they voted for the acquittal of the President. I wish they had voted for his conviction. For, although I had not, previously, taken much interest in the proposition to impeach him, nevertheless, after reading those parts of his last Annual Message in which he traduces the colored citizens of our country, I was quite willing to have him removed from office. Were Victoria to take such an outrageous liberty with the Irish or Scotch or Welsh, she would quickly be relieved of her crown. I do not forget that insulting the negro is an American usage. But not with impunity should the President of the whole American people insult, in his official capacity, any of the races, which make up that people — least of all the race, which is, already, the most deeply wronged of them all. This gross violation of the perfect impartiality, which should ever mark the administration of the President's high Office — this ineffable meanness of assailing the persecuted and weak, whom he might rather have consoled and cheered, should not have been overlooked, but should have been promptly and sternly rebuked. How petty the President's affair with Mr. Stanton, compared with his unrelenting wicked war upon these black millions, to whose magnanimous forgiveness of our measureless wrongs against them, and to whose brave help of our Cause we were so largely indebted for its success!

I said that I wish Mr. Fessenden and Mr. Trumbull had voted for the conviction of the President. Nevertheless, in the light of their life-long uprightness, I have not the least reason to doubt that they voted honestly. Nay, in the light of their eminent wisdom, I am bound to pause and inquire of my candid judgment whether they did not vote wisely as well as honestly.

This clamor against the Chief Justice was not, as is pretended, occasioned by his conduct in the Impeachment Trial. That this conduct was wise and impartial, scarcely one intelligent man can doubt. This clamor proceeded from the purpose of preventing his nomination to the Presidency. It is said that he desires to be President. But a desire for this high Office is not, necessarily, culpable. Instead of being prompted in all instances by selfishness, it may in some instances be born of a high patriotism and a disinterested philanthropy. For one, I should rejoice to see the Chief Justice in the Presidency; — and I say this, after a-many-years intimate acquaintance with him — after much personal observation of the workings of his head and heart. I, however, expect to vote for Grant and Colfax. I like them both; and, in the main, I like the platform on which they stand. Nevertheless, if contrary to my expectations, the Democrats shall have the wisdom to nominate the Chief Justice, and along with him a gentleman of similar views and spirit — a gentleman honest both toward the Nation's creditors and toward the negro — I shall prefer to vote for the Democratic Candidates. And why, in the case of such nomination by the Democrats, should not every Republican be willing, nay glad, to sustain the nomination? If the Democrats, at last sick and ashamed, as I have no doubt tens of thousands of them are, of ministering to the mean spirit of caste — prating for “a white man's government,” and defying the sentiment of the civilized world — shall give up their nonsense and wickedness, and nominate for office such men as Republicans have been eager to honor — how wanting in magnanimity and in devotion to truth, and how enslaved to Party, would Republicans show themselves to be, were they not to welcome this overture, and generously respond to these concessions!

By all means should the Republicans let, ay and help, the Democratic Party succeed at the coming Election, provided only that its candidates be the representatives of a real and righteous, instead of a cutaneous and spurious, Democracy. That success would bring to an end this too-long-continued War between Republicans and Democrats. That success would turn us all into Republicans and all into Democrats. The old and absorbing issues about Slavery and its incidents would, then, have passed away. The “everlasting negro,” having gained his rights, would then have sunk out of sight. Doubtless, new Parties would, ere long, be formed. But they would be formed with reference to new questions or, more generally, to old ones, which, by reason of the engrossing interest in the Slavery Battle, have been compelled to wait very long, and with very great detriment to the public weal, for their due share of the public attention.

And, then too, when the quarrel between the Republican and Democratic Parties had ended, Peace between the North and the South would speedily come. Hitherto, the Republican Party has been so anxious to keep a bad Party out of power, that it has not been in a mood to use or study all the means for producing Peace between the North and South. It should, immediately on the surrender of the South, have inculcated on the North the duty of penitently confessing her share of the responsibility for the War—a share as great as the South's, since the responsibility of the North for Slavery, out of which the War grew, was as great as the South's. Quickly would the South have followed this example of penitent confession. And, then, the two would have rivalled each other in expressions of mutual forgiveness and mutual love. Amongst these expressions would have been the avowal of the North to charge no one with Treason, and to open wide the door for the return of every exile, who had not, by some mean or murderous violation of the laws of war, shut himself out of the pale of humanity. And amongst these expressions would have been the joyful consent of the North to let fifty or a hundred millions go from the National Treasury toward helping her War-impoverished sister rise up out of her desolations. The heart of the South would, now, have been won; and she would have manifested the fact by tendering to the North a carte blanche — feeling no fear that there would be any designed injustice in the terms of “Reconstruction,” which her forgiving and generous foe should write upon it. Yes, there would, then, have been Peace between the North and the South — a true and loving and enduring Peace. Ashamed of their past, they would unitedly and cordially have entered upon the work of making a future for our country as innocent and as happy as that past had been guilty and sorrowful. It is not, now, too late to have, by such means, such a Peace. We should, surely, have it, were there to be, at the coming Election, that oneness between Republicans and Democrats, which good sense and good feeling call for.

Is it said that the money, which in loans or (preferably) gifts to the South, I ask to have used in effecting this Peace would make the Peace cost too much? I answer that it would be returned tenfold. The improvement in our National credit, resulting from such a Peace, would, very soon, enable our Government to borrow at an interest of four per cent. Comparatively small, then, would be our taxes, and, by the way, comparatively small, then, would be the temptation to cheat the Nation's creditors.

Peterboro JUNE 12 1868.
G. S.
Bottom of Form

SOURCES: Octavius Brooks Frothingham, Gerrit Smith: A Biography, p. 266-7; Smith, Gerrit. Destroy not man's faith in man! Accept the right man, whichever party nominates him! ... G. S. Peterboro. Peterboro, 1868. Pdf.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Amos A. Lawrence to Govenor Charles L. Robinson: July 24, 1858

July 24, 1858.

I am under the harrow again in regard to politics, and do not see any way of escape. If put up to run against Mr. Banks, I shall be beaten soundly. If for Congress, I might be successful; but it would be like cutting off my right hand to leave my wife and seven children (one recently), my business and all, to go to Washington. Without any desire to shirk the responsibility which every good citizen ought to be willing to assume, I am distressed beyond measure. If it were not for making myself ridiculous I would join the red-hot Republicans (who have many candidates) and so get rid of the difficulty.

SOURCE: William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 143-4

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Amos A. Lawrence to Senator Jefferson Davis, December 22, 1859

Boston, December 22, 1859.

Dear Sir, — I am sorry to see, by a reported speech of yours, that you are among those who have been duped by vile fellows who believe that a large number of decent men in this part of the country are implicated in the affair of Harper's Ferry. Among other names I find my own, and I am the person alluded to as a cotton speculator who employed Brown to do his work. To show you how absurd this whole plan of libel will appear when it is examined, I will state my own case.

1st. I am the son of Amos Lawrence, now deceased, whom you knew, and who brought me up to be a “national” man, as we understand that term. 2d. I have been so decided in my own opposition to the formation of sectional parties, that those who voted for Fillmore in Massachusetts, in 1856, nominated me for governor, but I declined. They have requested me to be a candidate every year since that, and last year I did run against Mr. Banks. 3d. Though largely interested in cotton factories as a shareholder, I never owned a bale of cotton in my life, and never had any business with any person whom I knew as a speculator in cotton. Some years ago I took a great interest in our people who settled in Kansas, many of whom went from Lowell and Lawrence with their families. They were shockingly abused, and if it were not for my wife and seven children at home, I would have taken a more active part in that business. But that has passed long ago; it did not induce me to join the Republicans, though it did most of my friends. I took part with Mr. William Appleton and my relative Mr. F. Pierce in the Faneuil Hall meeting here the other day, and with most of our people am called a “hunker,” and even in Mississippi should be a law and order man. You will do me a favor, if you will prevent my being summoned to Washington on so foolish an errand as to testify about Harper's Ferry.

Respectfully and truly yours,
A. A. L.

SOURCE: William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 136-8

Monday, December 17, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 24, 1863

To-day we have a cold northwest storm of wind and rain, and we have our first fire in the parlor.

The elections in Ohio and Pennsylvania have gone for the Republican (War) candidates. We rely on ourselves, under God, for independence. It is said Gen. Lee learned that 15,000 Republican voters were sent from Meade's army into Pennsylvania to rote, and hence he advanced and drove back the Federal army. Yet he says that Meade's army is more numerous than his. It is not known what our losses have been, but the following dispatch from Lee gives an accurate account of the enemy's loss in prisoners.

headquarters Army Northern Virginia,
October 23d, 1863.                
Gen. S. Cooper, A. and I. General.

Gen. Imboden, on the 18th, attacked the garrison at Charlestown, Shenandoah Valley, captured 434 prisoners, with their arms, transportation, and stores. To these, add prisoners already forwarded, makes 2462.

R. E. Lee.
Official: John Withers, A. A. General.

And Capt. Warner says he is now feeding them.

Gen. Lee writes on the 19th inst., that it is doubtful whether Gen. Meade will remain where he is, behind his fortifications along Bull Run, or make another movement on Richmond. A few days will decide this matter. He says Meade has superior numbers. If he remains, Gen. Lee will advance again, provided he can get quartermaster supplies for his army. But at present, thousands of his men are barefooted, without overcoats, blankets, etc. He says it was the sublimest spectacle of the war to see men in such condition move forward with such cheerfulness and alacrity, in the recent pursuit of the enemy. He deprecates sending any of his regiments to West Virginia and East Tennessee, and thinks Gen. Sam Jones has not evinced sufficient energy and judgment in that quarter. He says it would be better to send reinforcements to Chattanooga, where it is practicable to conduct a winter campaign. He could drive the enemy from the Peninsula, Gloucester Point, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, but to keep them away Lee would have to station an army there. If North Carolina be menaced, he advises that the troops at Richmond and Petersburg be sent thither, and he will replace them with troops from his army. He thinks it the best policy not to disperse troops in Virginia.

From this letter it is easy to perceive that the Secretary of War, in the absence of the President, has been making suggestions to Gen. Lee, none of which does he deem it good policy to adopt, the Secretary not being versed in military matters.

A private note from Gen. Lee, dated the 13th inst, which I saw to-day, informs the Secretary of War that much of the benefits he anticipated from his movement, then in progress, must be lost, from the fact that the enemy had been informed of his purposes. This it was the duty of the government to prevent, but Mr. Seddon, like his predecessors, cannot be convinced that the rogues and cut-throats employed by Gen. Winder as detectives, have it in their power to inflict injury on the cause and the country. The cleaning of the Augean stables here is the work which should engage the attention of the Secretary of War, rather than directing the movements of armies in the field, of which matter he knows nothing whatever.

The Secretary of War wrote a long and rather rebuking letter to-day to Mr. Sheffey, chairman of the Committee on Confederate Relations, of the General Assembly, who communicated a report, and resolutions of the House of Delegates, in relation to details of conscripts, and the employment in civil offices of robust young men capable of military service, and urging the department to appoint men over forty-five years of age to perform such services, and to impress free negroes to do the labor that soldiers are detailed for. The Secretary thinks the Confederate Government knows its duties, and ought not to be meddled with by State Governments. It touched Mr. Seddon nearly.

By the last Northern papers I see President Lincoln has issued a proclamation calling for 300,000 more volunteers, and if they “do not come when he calls for them,” that number will be drafted in January. This is very significant; either the draft has already failed, or else about a million of men per annum are concerned in the work of suppressing this “rebellion.” We find, just at the time fixed for the subjugation of the South, Rosecrans is defeated, and Meade is driven back upon Washington!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 80-2

Thursday, September 27, 2018

William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, Sunday, December 12, 1859

New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 12.

. . . I am stopping at the City Hotel which is crowded and have therefore come to this my old office, now Captain Kilburn's, to do my writing. I wish I were here legitimately, but that is now past, and I must do the best in the sphere in which events have cast me. All things here look familiar, the streets, houses, levees, drays, etc., and many of the old servants are still about the office, who remember me well, and fly round at my bidding as of old.

I have watched with interest the balloting for speaker, with John as the Republican candidate. I regret he ever signed that Helper book, of which I know nothing but from the extracts bandied about in the southern papers. Had it not been for that, I think he might be elected, but as it is I do not see how he can expect any southern votes, and without them it seems that his election is impossible. His extreme position on that question will prejudice me, not among the supervisors, but in the legislature where the friends of the Seminary must look for help. Several of the papers have alluded to the impropriety of importing from the north their school teachers, and if in the progress of debate John should take extreme grounds, it will of course get out that I am his brother from Ohio, universally esteemed an abolition state, and they may attempt to catechize me, to which I shall not submit.

I will go on however in organizing the Seminary and trust to the future; but hitherto I have had such bad luck, in California and New York, that I fear I shall be overtaken here by a similar catastrophe. Of course there are many here such as Bragg, Hebert, Graham, and others that know that I am not an abolitionist. Still if the simple fact be that my nativity and relationship with Republicans should prejudice the institution, I would feel disposed to sacrifice myself to that fact, though the results would be very hard, for I know not what else to do.

If the Southern States should organize for the purpose of leaving the Union I could not go with them. If that event be brought about by the insane politicians I will ally my fate with the north, for the reason that the slave question will ever be a source of discord even in the South. As long as the abolitionists and the Republicans seem to threaten the safety of slave property so long will this excitement last, and no one can foresee its result; but all here talk as if a dissolution of the Union were not only a possibility but a probability of easy execution. If attempted we will have Civil War of the most horrible kind, and this country will become worse than Mexico.

What I apprehend is that because John has taken such strong grounds on the institution of slavery that I will first be watched and suspected, then maybe addressed officially to know my opinion, and lastly some fool in the legislature will denounce me as an abolitionist spy because there is one or more southern men applying for my place.

I am therefore very glad you are not here, and if events take this turn I will act as I think best. As long as the United States Government can be maintained in its present form I will stand by it; if it is to break up in discord, strife and Civil War, I must either return to California, Kansas or Ohio. My opinions on slavery are good enough for this country, but the fact of John being so marked a Republican may make my name so suspected that it may damage the prospects of the Seminary, or be thought to do so, which would make me very uncomfortable. . .

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 75-7

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Salmon P. Chase to Congressman Thaddeus Stevens,* Washington, January 9, 1861

Columbus, O. Jany. 9. [61.]

My Dear Sir. Your note came when I was in Springfield at Mr. Lincoln's request. I arrived after your Pennsylvanians had all gone. Mr. Lincoln conversed frankly & fully. He is a man to be depended on. He may, as all men may, make mistakes; but the cause will be want of sufficient information, not unsoundness of judgment or of devotion to principle. It is the business of Republicans occupying responsible positions or possessing in private stations, the confidence of their fellow citizens, to give him that information which is indispensible to right conclusions. I am glad to find your course in opposing concessions of principle approved throughout the North west. Why can't Republicans await the coming in of their own administration, and then act generously as well as justly.

I shall always be glad to hear from you & you may be sure your confidence will be respected.

* From letter book 7, pp. 79-80. Thaddeus Stevens, 1792-1868. Member of Congress 1849-1853; 1859-1868.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 295

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Salmon P. Chase to Senator Henry Wilson,* Washington, December 13, 1860

Columbus, Dec. 13, [60.]

Dear Wilson, You will not I trust think me obtrusive if I give you briefly my thoughts concerning the duties of the hour.

Departure from the original policy of the govt. concg. Sl'y is the cause of our frequent dangers; return to that policy is the true remedy.

But this remedy cannot be applied by Republicans until they come into power. Its principal elements then will be, I think, maintenance of the union & enforcement of the laws against all opposition, by temperate but inflexible action; adhesion to the great principle of separating the Fedl. Govt, fr Sl’y.; & manifestation of goodwill, real, unaffected goodwill — toward the slave States, & their people, by every concession consistent with adhesion to principle.

Under this last head of concession may be included such legislation as will provide compensation for escaping fugitives, if pursued, arrested, & proved to be such by the claimant, and means of settling them in Hayti or elsewhere, — or an amendment of the Constitution giving to the Slave States representation for their entire population in consideration of the abrogation of the Fugitive Surrender Clause.

But I expect the Republicans can do nothing in this way until they become responsible, under the recent decision of the people, for the Administration of the Govt.; and all attempts, on their part, to do anything, under existing circumstances will, I fear, prove unfortunate.

If my humble counsel might prevail I would say, Let Republicans simply insist that the actual Admn. do its duty in maintaining the just authority of the Fedl. Govt. & in enforcing the laws of the Union; let them hold the Prest. & the Party wh. elected him to their entire responsibility; let them proclaim their own purpose, when in power, to administer the Govt, fairly, honestly, & Firmly, in a spirit of true goodwill & perfect equity towards every section, every state, & every citizen without entering into any detail in regard to propositions to be made or measures to be adopted; and finally let them give an earnest of their readiness & ability to do their duty by urging as promptly as possible the consideration of the practical measures, now demanding the action of Congress.

Among these measures the most important seem to me to be these:

1. The admission of Kansas. Why cannot the Senate take up & pass the bill for her admission without delay — at least before Christmas? That wd. do much to inspire confidence in its ability to meet the crisis.

2. The passage of the Tariff Bill. Whatever may be the defects of Mr. Morrill's bill — I have not studied it & do not know that it has any — it is clear that some measure must be adopted to revive the sinking credit of the nation; and this bill will certainly contribute to that result. A Treasury note bill without a Tariff bill is a dangerous experiment. The two together may answer a good purpose.

3. Provision for an Early election of Congressmen in States where no elections have yet been held; & for their election on the same day hereafter.

Why not provide for their election this year in March, on the day of the New Hampshire election, and in future years on the Tuesday following the 1st Mon. of Nov. which is now the day of the Pres1. election? The Prest. & Congress all to be elected on the same day.

4. The homestead bill. It has already passed the House. Why not take it up & push it through the Senate?

5. Whatever laws may be necessary to enable the Prest. to overcome forcible resistance to the execution of Existing laws. When I say forcible I do not mean peaceful resistance through judicial action. It must be an extremely extreme case wh. will warrant fed. interference, by force, with the action of State tribunals, through Habeas Corpus or other process. But whatever legislation may be necessary—and the message indicates the want of some — Should be provided & provided at once.

There may be other measures wh. need prompt action but these five are most prominent in my mind.

If the Repubs. in Cong, will address themselves vigorously to this course of action and then let the country see that they have the dispon. & abily. to meet the need & perform the duty of the hour, they will inspire genl, confidence & prepare the success of the incoming admn.

Weak concession will accomplish nothing, intemperate denunciation will accomplish nothing: manful discharge of present duty, with little talk and no delay, will accomplish much — I hope everything.

* From letter book 7, pp. 77-78. Henry Wilson 1812-1875. United States Senator from Mass. 1855-1873; Vice-President ol the United States 1873-1875.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 293-5

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Samuel Gridley Howe to Charles Sumner, September 26, 1850

Boppart, Sept. 26, '50.

My Dear Sumner: — . . . I leave Boppart this week for England via Paris. ... As for political matters, . . . my impressions, from all I see, are strongly in favour of the notion that, malgré the reaction, there has been an immense gain to the cause of liberty in Germany.

I have been surprised to find how easily some of the ardent republicans have become discouraged, and how they have lost faith in the people. Varrentrapp, a most excellent Republican, is despondent. It is because their faith did not go deep enough; it was founded not upon the core of humanity, which is always sound, but upon the supposition of the people having attained a degree of intelligence and virtue which they proved in the hour of trial not to have attained. I tell them that to doubt is to be damned; that to doubt the capacities of humanity is to blaspheme God, and be without religion in the world. They shake their heads and call me red, very red; perhaps they think me green. . . .

Most affectionately yours,
s. G. H.

SOURCE: Laura E. Richards, Editor, Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, Volume 2, p. 325-6

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Salmon P. Chase to George G. Fogg, Esq.,* August 20, 1860

Columbus Nov. 10, [I860]

My Dear Friend, There is no one whom I would more willingly “entrust with my views and feelings” on any subject than yourself. No man, in my belief, better deserves the confidence of the true friends of the cause which has just triumphed so gloriously through the election of Mr. Lincoln.

Your “apprehensions” that I “do not desire the place” you speak of, are well founded. I appreciate beyond my capacity of expression, the sentiments of regard and confidence which Mr. Lincoln has expressed towards me. To manifest, in some measure, that appreciation by an honest, faithful and unselfish support of his administration is among my most cherished wishes. One wish only more occupies my heart — that his administration by its fidelity to the principles of the great and noble party which has elected him may ensure the permanence and permanent ascendancy of the organization and thereby the welfare and happiness of the country.

It would be most agreeable to me to render what help I may to the attainment of these ends in a station absolutely private. My duty to my brother Republicans of Ohio, however, requires me to take the part they have assigned me, and, as one of the Senators from this State to labor for the advancement of the cause they love. I have no political objects or aspirations beyond the simple performance of that duty.

Besides this, I know I have not the sort of ability necessary to fill the position you refer to, as it ought to be filled. The best I could do would be a mere approximation to what I think ought to be done.

My wish, therefore, is to make no change of position; but to give to Mr. Lincoln, in the place my State has directed me to take, whatever aid a true personal friend and faithful supporter of the common cause can give, in carrying on the government.

Such are my views and feelings candidly expressed. I can not, therefore say that I will take an administrative “post if offered under circumstances entirely agreeable.” Such an offer would, however, doubtless, impose on me the duty of carefully considering, with the advice of judicious friends the question of duty, and I should not, 1 hope permit any considerations purely personal to prevent me from taking that course which public obligations might seem to require.

* From letter-book 7, pp. 71-72. George Gilman Fogg, 1815-1881; editor Manchester (N. H.) Independent Democrat, 1854-1861; member of Republican national committee, 1856-1864; United States minister to Switzerland, 1861-1865; United States Senator, 1866-1867.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 290-1

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Senator Charles Sumner to George L. Stearns, March 16, 1860

Here are the wages of your testimony!

I am obliged for your suggestion. Have faith. I believe when in active health, I have never done less than was expected of me. I hope not to fall short hereafter.

I have twice visited Hyatt in jail. He is serene and tranquil, determined to stay there at least five years, if before then he is not discharged.

Half of our Republicans need conversion to first principles. Lawyers are strong in defending a point, already occupied. They will find any required number of reasons for their cause. But they are not leaders where great principles are in question. Ask Mr. Sewall if I am not right.

SOURCE: Preston Stearns, The Life and Public Services of George Luther Stearns, p. 214

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Salmon P. Chase to Joseph H. Bannett, Esq.,* May 30, 1860

Columbus, May 30, [I860.]

My Dear Sir, Your letter of the 22d reached me some days ago and I thank you for it. I have never doubted your friendship. You have given proofs of it when it was important & timely.

But you will pardon me, I hope, if I am entirely candid. It does seem to me that there are influences about the Gazette Office which are, without any reason, unfriendly. Before your return from Chicago a paragraph was copied from the Times of a very mean character — the object of which seemed to be to depreciate & vilify Elliott & Mullett and through them to disparage me. Now whatever may be said of the discretion of some of the acts and words of these gentlemen, they are undoubtedly active, earnest and hardworking Republicans and as such deserve recognition and respect. That they are friends of mine is, I hope, no crime. I am sure it is not in your estimation. I shall be sorry to think it is in the estimation of any of those connected with the Gazette. They are friends and I am grateful for their friendship. It was given early — from no personal motives, — and has been long continued. It is earnest, sincere and faithful. It does not make me responsible for all they do or say, or require my approval of all or any of their sayings or doings. But it does require me to reciprocate their good will; to give them credit for honorable motives; and to desire that they have like credit with others. Hence I was so sorry to see that article in the Gazette. I saw no good to come from it — but harm rather.

And to-day I find in the Gazette an extract from some correspondent which says that “Guthrie is playing the part of Chase at Chicago, who really had no chance but would not allow his state to vote for any but himself.” Is it right to give such a reference to me a conspicuous place in the Editorial columns of the Gazette? It may be that I had no chance at Chicago; but I suppose that nobody doubts that had the Ohio delegation manifested the same disregard of personal preferences, which was exhibited by the New York, Illinois and Missouri delegations, and given to me, as the nominee of Ohio, the same earnest and genuine support which was given to Mr. Seward, Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Bates by those delegations respectively, that my vote on the first ballot would have largely exceeded Mr. Lincoln's; and there are those who felt themselves constrained to vote for other candidates in consequence of the division of the Ohio delegation, who do not hesitate to give it as their judgment that had our delegation acted towards me in the same generous spirit which was manifested by the other delegations towards the candidates presented by their states, the nomination would have been given to Ohio. Be this as it may — and I am not at all sorry that the nomination fell to another since that other is so worthy — the fling of the correspondent is as ungenerous as it is injurious. No man knows better than you that I never sought to prevent the delegation from voting for anyone but myself. All I desired was unity and good faith. True I wanted no merely complimentary vote. When the Republicans of Ohio nominated me they contemplated no such child's play, hiding something; not much like child's play, for such play under such circumstances cannot be innocent. You saw, I presume, my letter to Mr. Eggleston. It expressed my real sentiments. The Convention had named me in good faith. There was no such reason to suppose that I could not be elected if nominated, as would make an earnest effort to give effect to the preference of the Ohio Convention, unpatriotic. Justice to me, I am not afraid to say that boldly — justice to me, no less than good faith to the Republicans of Ohio, demanded such — an effort. It is useless to discuss the causes why it was not made. Far however from desiring to control the delegation or any member of it in adhering to me, I should never have allowed my name to be presented at all had I anticipated the division which actually took place; so that in this as well as the other respect the allegation of the correspondent is as unjust as it is ungenerous. I repeat the expression of my regret that such things get into the Gazette.

I am ready to join with you in “endeavoring to remove all the old roots of bitterness growing out of diverse antecedents.” Such, in my administration of the State Government, was my constant endeavor. The result is seen in the present union and strength of the Republican Party in Ohio. Last winter and at Chicago however more of those “roots” were served up for my entertainment than suited either my palate or my digestion. I trust that as little similar entertainment may be offered hereafter as possible.

* From letter-book 7, pp. 66-68.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 286-8

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Governor Salmon P. Chase to Senator Charles Sumner, January 20, 1860

Columbus, Jan’y 20, 1860.

Dear Sumner, There are a few Republicans in the Legislature who think decided opposition — especially of a practical character — to slavery & its domination somewhat heretical, if not fanatical, and they do not like the idea that such a man as I am should be made Senator. They are few; but it has been feared that, if excited to factious action by disregarding altogether their wishes, they might be able, with the aid of the democrats, to defeat an election. I doubt whether they would do so in any event; but it was probably wisdom to give them no pretext. At least the majority thought it best to give them time; and accordingly the nomination was postponed to Feb. 1, when it will doubtless be made, & the election will follow very soon — perhaps the next day. There are no indications of serious opposition. It gratifies me exceedingly that the true & earnest friends of our cause — among whom I count you chief — seem to desire so much my return to my old post. I confess however that I have myself little or no desire to return to it. I weary of political life & strife. Nothing but the clearly indicated will of the Republicans & especially of the most earnest & faithful among them would induce me to think of entering it again. Even that higher post to which you alluded would attract me less by its distinctions than it would repel by the apprehensions, which its responsibilities must awaken, of failure in effecting that elevation in tone, object, & action at home and abroad, which alone makes change of administration desirable. It would be a great thing indeed to reform administration at home; to infuse it with the spirit of liberty, justice, & equity; to enable our diplomacy to fill its posts with men whose hearts are sound as their heads; & by these means add dignity to national character & permanence to national institutions. But who, knowing himself & knowing the time, will dare to promise himself that he can do this?

Cordially & faithfully,

My little Nettie has learned to admire you as much as her sister Kate. Your picture hangs in my dining room & in my library, and they think of you as a near friend.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 284-5

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Governor Salmon P. Chase to Thomas Spooner, Esq.,* New York City, New York, December 18, 1859

Columbus, Dec 18, [1859.]

Dear Spooner: From what you say in yours of the 14th, I infer you had not received mine previously written to you. It was directed to Cincinnati, and perhaps it has since reached you.

I do not desire to be quoted as expressing any opinions as to time or place of holding the Convention, or as to the mode of its organization either in respect to membership or number of delegates — or mode of electing them. The reasons for my not desiring even to seem to influence members of the Convention are obvious.

You, as our Ohio member, have a right to my views, and I will give them to you briefly:

1st. The Convention should be held between the Alleghenys and the Mississippi. It would be best, I think, to hold it at Pittsburg, Wheeling, Cincinnati or Covington, but next best, to hold it at Columbus, Indianapolis, Springfield or St Louis. Among these next best places, my judgment would incline to Indianapolis.

2d. The Convention should be held soon after the Democratic. This, I think, would be best. No considerable harm would probably result, however, if not held till the 17th June, as in 1856.

3. The Convention should be composed of all who are opposed to the extention of Slavery beyond the limits of Slave States, and in favor of reform in National Administration. The call should be addressed to Republicans and all others, without distinction of party, willing to unite for these objects. A resolution should be adopted expressing the opinion of the Committee that the members of the People's party of New Jersey and Penn'a, and all citizens of other States holding similar political principles, are regarded as described in the call and invited to participate in the Convention, but the Call should not be addressed to those parties as such.

4. The Committees should apportion the delegates among the States by recommending the election of, say, four Senatorial delegates from each State, and one Representative from each Congressional District, and additional representatives from each Congressional District for each six or seven thousand votes cast for Republican candidates, and another for a majority fraction of that number. Votes for opposition or people's Candidates in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, and for Anti-Lecompton Democrats supported by the Republicans, should be counted the same as Republican votes.

5. The Committee should recommend, and strongly recommend, the election of Senatorial delegates by State Conventions, and of Representative Delegates by District Conventions.

I have no time to argue these views. I am, however, strong in the faith that their adoption would secure fairness and equal representation in the nomination — harmony and vigor in the support of the nominees — In what is now a duty — success not merely for our organization but for our principles — success, therefore, lasting and honorable.

Ashley, I understand, will represent Kentucky under Clay's proxy. You can show this letter to him and if you think proper to Mr. Willey or Mr. Howard of Connecticut. Let me hope that you and Ashley will act together. It is desirable, many ways.

* From letter book 7, pp. 61-62

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 283-4

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Governor Salmon P. Chase to Hon. Timothy R. Stanley,* McArthur, Ohio, October 25, 1859

Columbus, Oct 25, [1859.]

My Dear Sir: We were delighted to hear of your election to the Senate, and I was particularly gratified by your letter confirming the good news, and assuring me or your personal good will. Believe me that I value the esteem of such men as yourself far more highly than any office; and only regret, when I compare my knowledge of myself with that esteem, that I cannot feel it is better deserved.

Surely there should be no disagreement between Republicans as to the Tariff. Whatever may be any man's theoretical views of Free Trade, we are all agreed that there is no prospect of the adoption of the policy of unrestricted commercial intercourse by civilized nations during the lifetime of any of us; and no one, I believe, professes the adoption of that policy by the United States without concurrence of other nations. Certainly I do not. I am a practical man, and wish to take practical views of this Tariff question as every other, avoiding ultraism in every direction. I know that we have always had a Tariff. I know that we have never had a horizontal Tariff, unless the Compromise Act of 1833 may be called such. I know that for a long time to come, and perhaps as long as our Union shall endure, we shall have a Tariff. Now, these things being so, I am clearly of opinion that Tariff laws, like all other laws, should be so framed as to do as much good and as little harm as possible; and I am, therefore, in favor of such discriminations as will best secure and promote the interests of labor — of our own labor — and the general wellbeing of our own people. No man, in my judgment, deserves the name of an American Statesman who would not so shape American Legislation and Administration as to protect American Industry and guard impartially all American Rights and Interests.

P. S. This letter is not for publication, for I am not ambitious of the reputation of a letter-writer. But it contains nothing which I do not say to everybody who talks to me about the subject to which it relates.

* From letter-book 7, p. 55-6

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 281-2

Friday, May 11, 2018

William T. Sherman to John Sherman, September 1859

Lancaster, Ohio, Sept., 1859.

I will come up about the 20th or 25th, and if you have an appointment to speak about that time, I should like to hear you, and will so arrange. As you are becoming a man of note and are a Republican, and as I go south among gentlemen who have always owned slaves, and probably always will and must, and whose feelings may pervert every public expression of yours, putting me in a false position to them as my patrons, friends, and associates, and you as my brother, I would like to see you take the highest ground consistent with your party creed. . .

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, Editor, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 39

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Diary of John Hay: Tuesday, December 24, 1863

I dined to-day with S. S. Cox. He spoke of Greeley’s foolish  Chase explosion the other night at Wendell Phillip’s Cooper Institute meeting, and said Chase was working night and day. He has gotten nearly the whole strength of the New England States. If there is any effort made in Ohio he can be beaten there.  He has little strength in his own State.

I asked him whom his party would nominate.

C. “Gen'l McClellan! We will run McClellan. He is our best ticket. He lost some prestige by his Woodward letter. But it was necessary. He never would have gotten the nomination without it.”

“You don't agree with the Herald on Grant?”

C. “Grant belongs to the Republicans. We can't take him after his letter to Washburne. But for that, we might have taken him. The Republicans won't take him either. They have got his influence, and have no further use for him.”

“If I were a soldier I should much prefer commanding the U. S. Army for life, to four years in the Executive Mansion. I think Grant would.”

“So would McClellan, I know."

I met him again to-night in the Theatre. He says he is getting tired of Washington. He wants to spend a few years in Europe. He will go, if McClellan is next President; — thinks he will anyhow. Says it is delightful to be in the minority; you are not bored by your people for office. — “Glad you like it!” quoth I. “We will try to keep you so.”

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 143-4; for the entire diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letter of John Hay, p. 143-4

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 24, 1863

Gen. Longstreet is now in command of Gen. Smith's late department, besides his own corps. Richmond is safe.

Our papers contain a most astonishing speech purporting to have been delivered by Mr. Conway, in the United States Congress. Mr. C. is from Kansas, that hot-bed of Abolitionism. He is an avowed Abolitionist; and yet he advocates an immediate suspension of hostilities, or at least that the Federal armies and fleets be ordered to act on the defensive; that the independence of the Confederate States be recognized, upon the basis of a similar tariff; free-trade between the North and South; free navigation of the Mississippi, and co-operation in the maintenance of the Monroe doctrine. I like the indications apparent in this speech. Let us have a suspension of hostilities, and then we can have leisure to think of the rest. No doubt the peace party is growing rapidly in the United States; and it may be possible that the Republicans mean to beat the Democrats in the race, by going beyond them on the Southern question. The Democrats are for peace and Union; the Republicans may resolve to advocate not only peace, but secession.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 263-4

Friday, February 24, 2017

Diary of John Hay: November 1, 1863

This evening Gen'l Schenck ,accompanied by Gen'l Garfield and Judge Kelley , came in to insist upon some order which would prevent disloyal people from voting at the ensuing Maryland election. Before going into the President's room (Kelley and Garfield sitting with me in the ante-room) Kelley spoke very bitterly of Blair’s working against the Union party in Maryland.

After they were gone I handed the President Blair’s Rockville speech, telling him I had read it carefully, and saving a few intemperate and unwise expressions against leading Republicans which might better have been omitted, I saw nothing in the speech which would have given rise to such violent criticism.

“Really,” says the President, “the controversy between the two sets of men represented by him and by Mr. Sumner is one of mere form and little else. I do not think Mr. Blair would agree that the States in rebellion are to be permitted to come at once into the political family and renew the very performances which have already so bedeviled us. I do not think Mr. Sumner would insist that when the loyal people of a State obtain the supremacy in their councils and are ready to assume the direction of their own affairs, that they should be excluded. I do not understand Mr. Blair to admit that Jefferson Davis may take his seat in Congress again as a representative of his people; I do not understand Mr. Sumner to assert that John Minor Botts may not. So far as I understand Mr. Sumner he seems in favor of Congress taking from the Executive the power it at present exercises over insurrectionary districts, and assuming it to itself. But when the vital question arises as to the right and privilege of the people of these States to govern themselves, I apprehend there will be little difference among loyal men. The question at once is presented, in whom this power is vested; and the practical matter for decision is how to keep the rebellious populations from overwhelming and outvoting the loyal minority.”

I asked him if Blair was really opposed to our Union ticket in Maryland. He said he did not know anything about it — had never asked. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 115-7; For the whole diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 112-3.