Lincoln Concerned about Cabinet, Security

Friday, January 4, 1861

Future Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase begins three-day visit with President-elect Lincoln.
Lincoln’s close friend, attorney Leonard Swett, writes him from Washington about potential cabinet nominees William H. Seward and Simon Cameron – and their concertation with the commanding general of the U.S. Army, Winfield Scott: “Things look much better than when I wrote before. Mr. Seward and Gen Cameron, since his return, have set on foot many things which will do good. Genl Cameron has been to Genl Scott & got him to get from Buchanan full authority to do as he pleased until of 4″ of March I mean in referent to the Inauguration. He has ordered two companies of Light Artillery & will shortly order two more to come & remain here. Scott says he will order enough to insure quiet. It seems to me you don’t need any more Cabinet officers here on the ground. What I said about no one taking responsibility to any thing was not true, for Seward has since said to me, that he was doing every thing he could same as if he was really Sec of State,”
Illinois Congressman Elihu B. Washburne had conversed with General Winfield Scott and reports on the conspiracy to seize the capitol and Scott’s preparations to prevent it Washburne said he and others had hired two detectives to get to the bottom of conspiracy. Lincoln’s friend reports: “On the 8th of this month a force leaves Charleston to capture one of the most important forts on the Coast of Florida, and a U.S. sloop of war is on the way now to protect it. ‘The little band at Fort Sumpter is in fine spirits,’ and Scott says that is all he can say now about matters in Charleston harbor. These things he authorized me to say to you, although he will keep you officially advised, of many of these matters.”

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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