President Lincoln Discusses Construction of Confederate Ships in England

April 1, 1863

Attorney General Edward Bates takes friend Samuel T. Glover to the White House to talk about Missouri affairs and the possible replacement of Missouri commander Samuel Curtis, but were not able to do so because Secretary of State William Seward “and a Mr. Oakford (a native of Pa. And for long resident of England[)] was in consultation, abt. the English furnishing ships to the rebels, and the meanings of counteracting them.”   Bates biographer Marvin R. Cain writes:  “Immediately, Bates detected a change of heart in Lincoln, who had been half-convinced that Curtis’ harsh rule in Missouri was necessary and that Gamble’s protestations were those of a self-seeking politician.  Bates called at the White House, hoping to change Lincoln’s mind and persuade him to appoint Sumner’s successor at Once.  Curtis had to be replaced, he advised, or the Missouri Situation would grow worse. He dramatically described these conferences and his apprehensions to Gamble. ‘Sometimes he [Lincoln] almost yields to my remonstrances, and resolves to play the man to serve the state; and then seemed to get the better of him the influences of extreme politicians and the fear of offending certain Major Generals.”

President Lincoln writes General David Hunter, the army commander in the Southeast, regarding the use of black laborers: “I am glad to see the accounts of your colored force at Jacksonville, Florida.  I see the enemy are driving at them fiercely, as is to be expected. It is important to the enemy that such a force shall not take shape, and grow, and thrive, in the South; and in precisely the same proportion, it is important to us that it shall. Hence the utmost caution and vigilance is necessary on our part.  The enemy will make extra efforts to destroy them; and we should do the same to preserve and increase them.”

Published in: on April 1, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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