Officials Press President Lincoln for Patronage

August 11, 1862

Patronage often bedevilled President Lincoln.  New tax legislation opened up many Treasury Department jobs.  Connecticut Senator James Dixon writes President Lincoln to complain about two positions as federal tax collectors: “If Hammond & Holister are not appointed my humiliation & disgrace will be complete. Babcock & the Chairman of State Committee will see you by Wednesday. I rely with hope & confidence that you will spare our cause the injury & myself the intense mortification of a rebuke from you. Will you please reply & relieve my anxiety?”  Dixon follows up the same day with two more letters.  In one, he says: “Excuse my earnestness. How can I feel less when I know that the appointment of Mr Chase’s list is the death of your true friends & supporters in the state, as well as my own personal disgrace & humiliation.” The chairman of the Connecticut Republican party, Orville Platt, also writes President Lincoln:

I understand that the list recommended by Senator Dixon & others does not meet the approbation of Secretary Chase & that other persons have been recommended by him to you.

I have no hesitation in saying that the appointments recommended by Mr Dixon will satisfy the loyal People of the state, and that a large majority, nearly all, desire them to be made and will feel grieved and disappointed if any other persons are selected.

The same day, three top Illinois officials, all Lincoln friends, write President Lincoln to press for the appointment of Lincoln’s former law partner, Stephen T. Logan, as a federal judge: “We have reason to beleive [sic] that Judge Logan would accept the Judgeship of this Circuit now vacant, if tendered to him. It is needless for us to tell you how much pleasure his nomination would give us.”

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Published in: on August 11, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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