President Lincoln Declines to Intervene; Slavetrader Hanged

February 19, 1862

Slavetrader Nathaniel Gordon was hanged in New York.   According to Attorney General Edward Bates, a firm proponent of Gordon’s execution,  “Recd. From the Prest. a package – letter from Judge Dean and some other Docs – urging the commutation of Gordon’s sentence.  I ansd him hastily, but decidedly – advising him to decline to interpose any farther, to stop the course of law, in the case of Nathaniel Gordon.”

New York political boss Thurlow Weed visits the White House after getting a telegram from a presidential aide the previous day.  Weed went to Washington were he dined with Secretary of State William H. Seward.   According to historian Glyndon Van Deusen, “Lincoln explained that there was urgent need for $15,000 and that this money could not be taken from any available appropriation.   Could Weed raise the amount?”   Weed could and did, but he never found out the reason the money was needed.”

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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