Document: Abraham Lincoln, Memorandum for Cabinet, [July 14, 1864]1
1 Lincoln prepared this memorandum for his cabinet, though there is no evidence that he actually read it to them. Gen. Halleck had protested to Secretary of War Stanton that Postmaster General Mongomery Blair had unfairly criticized the military officers defending Washington from the attack by the Confederate forces under Gen. Jubal Early. Early’s troops had burned Blair’s house in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington, before retreating, and Blair was reported as saying that the officers’ inability to prevent this was a “disgrace.” Halleck’s rejoinder was that “it is due to the honor of the accused that the slanderer should be dismissed from the cabinet.” Lincoln would not consider dismissing Blair, telling Stanton that “I do not consider what may have been hastily said in a moment of vexation at so severe a loss, is sufficient ground for so grave a step.” See Henry W. Halleck to Edwin M. Stanton, July 13, 1864, Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, July 14, 1864 and Lincoln to Stanton, July 14, 1864.
I must myself be the judge, how long to retain in, and when to remove any of you from, his position. It would greatly pain me to discover any of you endeavoring to procure anothers removal, or, in any way to prejudice him before the public. Such endeavor would be a wrong to me; and much worse, a wrong to the country. My wish is that on this subject, no remark be made, nor question asked, by any of you, here or elsewhere, now or hereafter--
Document: James R. Gilmore to Abraham Lincoln, July 21, 1864
This ridiculous statement having been made, it strikes me it is best to prepare an exact account of the trip and having have it published in the next Atlantic Monthly -- first submitting it to you. Such a paper I will get ready and forward to you in a few days, unless in the mean time you request to the contrary--
Yours very Truly,
J. R. Gilmore
Document: Schuyler Colfax to Abraham Lincoln, July 25, 1864
3 Numerous Confederate agents in Canada were, at this time, making contact with Peace Democrats as well as Radical Republicans in the North, both with a view to peace and the defeat of Lincoln in November. See William C. Jewett to Horace Greeley, July 5, 1864; Greeley to Lincoln, July 7, 1864, and Lincoln’s response of July 9.
4 James R. Doolittle
5 Both Union-occupied states adopted new constitutions in 1864 which provided for the emancipation of slaves.
Pardon these suggestions. I have conversed with so many leading men about the present situation, I felt impressed to send you this summing-up of their views.
Yrs very truly
Document: James R. Gilmore to Abraham Lincoln, August 3, 1864
No 37 West Cedar St. Boston,
Aug 3. 1864
My dear Mr Lincoln;
I send you herewith, as promised, proof of “Our Visit to Richmond” for the next “Atlantic”1
1 Gilmore’s article appeared under the pseudonym “Edmund Kirke” in the September 1864 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. The article recounted his visit to Richmond with Col. James F. Jaquess. See Gilmore to Lincoln, July 21, 1864, as well as numerous other letters in this collection.
If you wish any part of it altered, suppressed, or added to, please advise me by the 7th inst. and I will govern myself by your wishes. If I do not hear from you, I shall conclude it is not objectionable and will let it go to press.
very respy & truly
J. R. Gilmore.
Document: John McMahon to Abraham Lincoln, August 5, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 825 P.M. Aug 5 1864.
From Harmbrook Bradford Co Pa Aug 5 1864
The following lines will give you to understand what is justice & what is truth to all men
My Dear Sir I hope you will be kind enough to pay attention to these few lines
I am yours &c
Equal Rights & Justice to all white men in the United States forever-- White men is in Class number one & black men is in Class number two & must be governed by white men forever1
2 On August 5 the New York Tribune published the Wade-Davis manifesto, which condemned Lincoln’s pocket veto of their bill establishing a congressional plan of reconstruction.
Granted, if you please, that Mr. Lincoln ought to have signed the approved the reconstruction law, is his neglect to do so a sufficient reason for making war upon him, and thus lessen his chances for re-election.
In this hour of his the country’s greatest peril much should be overlooked by all thoes who desire that it should live.
At the commencement of the rebellion, and for some time afterwards, Mr. Lincoln hesitated as to the proper course to be pursued by the government towards slavery, and the use of Slaves as Soldiers. Union men were decided divided on these questions. At length he became convinced that our cause would be strengthened by their liberation, as far as possible, and their use in our armies -- and hence his proclamation.
More of our public men who then entertained what were called ul ultra views on the Slavery question, were applauded his act -- whilst those opposed to them, quietly ac acquiesed in it.
Is it not a little strange that most of the opposition to Mr. Lincoln, among Union men, is to be found among the very men who were loudest in their accomendations of the proclamation of freedom, as they called it?
Mr. Lincoln can be re-elected, -- but, it will require the United effort of all those who do not wish to see the restoration of the slave power in more than its former hideousness.
It is time now for the pioneer in the anti-slavery movement above all others, now to shrink from sustaining the President merely be cause, in all things, they do not agree with him.
The address to which I refer will do harm, unless you take a very early occasion, in a speech or letter, to say, that you mean to support Mr. L, notwithstanding his difference with you about the re-construction law -- and, as a friend, I do wish you may do so.
Yours & &
J. D. D.
Aug. 7 -- 1864
My dear sir.
I send you a copy of a letter sent by me to Mr. Wade to-day.
Please read it to the President, if you think proper.
Document: George B. Senter to John G. Nicolay, August 10, 18641
1 George B. Senter was mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.
Cleveland Ohio Aug 10th 1864
My dear Sir.
My engagements are so pressing that I cannot leave home at present or I should immediatly visit Washington, but I feel it my duty to give you my views of the state of things in Ohio. I have at the suggestion of our Committee been through Ohio, Michigan Ind Ills & Iowa, & must say our matters drag a little, & it is now high time for us to go to work in earnest. Of course the warm friends of Mr Chase2 are many of them sure & will not be very efficient, but still we may count on their support.
3 Benjamin F. Wade. The “onslaught” is probably a reference to the Wade-Davis manifesto which appeared in the press on August 5. The manifesto was a condemnation of Lincoln’s pocket veto of the Wade-Davis bill, establishing a Congressional plan for reconstruction.
5 A “hog reeve” was a town official charged with rounding up stray hogs and turning them over to the pound keeper, who fed them until they were claimed by the owner.
But now that Mr Wade has taken open ground of hostility to Mr Lincoln, it is hoped we may have speedy relief-- Mr Wade could never have written such a document as the protest-- Its subtle sophistry is Winter Davis,6 but the Malignity is Wades. If the President will permit such treason in the Camp, we might as well lay down our arms and surrender. I have seen no Copperhead attack half to malignant false, or mean as the assault of Wade & Davis, and unless the President takes hold of the matter & shows Mr Wade that he does not fear him, he might as well decline to run.
6 Henry Winter Davis
Every man who holds his appointment under Wade ought to be removed at once-- It will not only bring him to terms, but will exert a most salutary influence-- Indeed new appointments could be made that would help the cause powerfully-- There is neither ability zeal, or material aid to be had from a single appointee that Wade has made And all that might be had by the exercise of Judicious patronage.
We need also a press here devoted to the cause and that we can entirly control, which we can have if we will. I send you a copy of the Cleveland Herald with some articles marked-- We might have the entire control of this sheet-- And it has the largest circulation of any paper in the State, but it needs some attention. I must further add, unless we can head off this attack of Wade’s, the struggle will be doubtful. Let me hear from you immediately and I hope to be able in a short time to come to Washington
I am Very Truly
Geo B. Senter
Document: Daniel W. Wise to John G. Nicolay, August 17, 1864
1 This 76-page book was authored by William M. Thayer, and finally entitled, The Character and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.
By your position & acquaintance can you influence any party or club, or assn. to interest themselves in its general distribution
If so, you might put them in direct communication with me--
I am desirous to see the President reelected, & am working steadily & earnestly for that purpose-- As I have no office or favor to ask, it is wholly unselfish on my part--
I also mail a copy of the “Document” to the President, which please do me the favor to see that he gets--
Yours very Truly
Danl. W. Wise.
Document: Abraham Lincoln, Letter to The Shakers, August 8, 1864 [Copy in John Hay’s Hand]1
1 Lincoln was apparently the recipient of a chair made and sent by a Shaker community. His secretary, John Hay, may well have drafted this acknowledgement, but nothing further is known about this matter.
Washington; August 8, 1864.
My good friends
I wish to express to you my cordial thanks for the very comfortable chair you sent me some time since and to tell you how gratefully I appreciate the kindness which prompted the present.
At the same time And I must beg that you will pardon the length of time that, through an oversight in my office, has elapsed without an acknowledgment of your kindne present kindness.
I am very truly
Yr. friend & Servt
Document: Cuthbert Bullitt to John G. Nicolay and John Hay, August 20, 1864
New Orleans Augt 20th 64
Knowing how our worthy President;s pressed for time to Read the communications presented him, induces me to ask your polite attention to the enclosed communication, in reply to the attack of Thos. J Durant.1
It is useless to tell you that the protest of Winter Davis & Ben Wade emanates from Durant or rather it is a joint partnership concern--2
2 Henry Winter Davis and Benjamin F. Wade published, in the August 5 edition of the New York Tribune, a manifesto which condemned Lincoln’s pocket veto of their bill establishing a congressional plan of reconstruction.
4 Durant’s letter to Bullitt, criticizing administration policies in Louisiana is not in this collection, but Lincoln’s July 28 response to Bullitt is.
this letter of Mr Durant is some several pages long, in which he complains bitterly of the course pursued by the President, the Administration & the military, in fact his entire position, the reverse of what it is now,
We have to fight the enemy here, every foot of the ground, untill the election is over, & though Mr Lincolns friends are somewhat disapointed in his not turning his enemies out of office we do not despair--
If possible send Mr Durants letter by return mail as it will serve the cause of Mr Lincoln
Your Very Obt Servt
Cuthbert Bullitt d4299600
Document: Abraham Lincoln to Timothy P. Andrews, September 3, [Copy in a Secretarial Hand]1
1 Edward J. Mallett had already been named an official paymaster of volunteers in August of 1863, and he was, as requested, assigned to New York City. The wording of the recipient’s copy, which is in Lincoln’s autograph, is different from this file copy. See Collected Works, VI, 430.
2 Lincoln conferred with Henry J. Raymond, editor of the New York Times, about a possible mission to Jefferson Davis to determine whether or not a peace conference could be arranged. No such mission took place. See Raymond to Lincoln, August 22, 1864; and Lincoln to Raymond, August 24, 1864.
Document: John G. Nicolay to William T. Otto, August 22, 18641
1 Otto was Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
Washington, Aug. 22, 1864.
My dear Sir:
In accordance with our conversation of today, I will be obliged if you will have an appointment made out for Edward D. Neill of Minnesota to be Secretary to the President to sign Land Patents.2
3 Clement C. Clay and James P. Holcombe were two of several Confederate representatives in Canada at this time who were making contact with Northern Peace Democrats and Radical Republicans in the United States.
4 Several letters that passed between Lincoln and Greeley regarding the abortive peace conference at Niagara Falls are in the collection. See especially, Greeley to Lincoln, July 7, 1864; and Lincoln to Greeley, July 9, 1864.
I do not ask you to give me any official character but merely your permission to explain the correspondence above mentioned to them as you explained it to me, And also to tell them that you do not believe Mr Davis is willing to return to the Union.
A telegraphic despatch from you saying “you may do so” will answer the purpose I have in view. My reason for asking for a telegraphic reply is that I should prefer to go to Niagara next Saturday.6
I am confident that in addressing you in this way I lay myself open to the imputation of being impertinent and offensive and I have written to you in consequence of the strong and earnest representations which have been made to me.
Document: John G. Nicolay to William Dorsheimer, August 27, 18641