President Lincoln Refuses to Meet with Job Seeker

December 28, 1862

As President Lincoln prepares to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, he writes General Hiram Walbridge explaining why he has refused to see Walbridge, who wants to be appointed military governor of Washington : “I have twice declined to see you on the ground that I understood the object of your desired interview, and that it was a matter of embarrassment to me.  My real respect and esteem for you makes me unwilling to leave the matter in quite so abrupt a form.  My embarrassment is that the place you seek not selfishly I think, is greedily sought by many others; and there is sure to be opposition both fierce and plausible to the appointment of any one who up to this time has not been in the military service.  What answer to it will I make?  Shall I say I did it for political influence?  That will be the more loudly objected to.  I need not point out to you where this objection will come from.  It will come from your competitors; it will come from party spirit; it will come from indignant members of Congress who will perceive in it an attempt of mine to set a guardian over them.  The longer I can get along without a formal appointment the better.”

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Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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