President Lincoln Goes to Dedication of Washington Chronicle Building

August 1, 1863

Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary regarding President Lincoln’s attendance at the dedication of the newspaper building owned by a friendly editor: “Washington newspaper editor John “Forney dedicated his new printing office today with a blow-out at the Chronicle Buildings on 9th Street.  The President went up with me.  Gen. [George] Thomas was there.  As the President shook hands with him & said Good-bye (Thomas being about to start for the West) he said, “General, you are going about a most important work.  There is a draft down there which can be enforced.”  “I will enforce it,”  Thomas replied.  A few moments afterward at the lunch at Forney’s quarter he used the Tycoon’s expression as his own & was cheered for it.  I regard his attitude as most significant.  He is a man accustomed through a long lifetime to watch with eager interest the intentions of power and the course of events; till he has acquired an instinct of expediency which answers to him the place of sagacity & principle.  He is a straw which shows whither the wind is blowing.  The tendency of the country is to universal freedom, when men like Thomas make abolition speeches at public dinners.”

President Lincoln writes New York Governor Horatio Seymour about continuation of the draft in New York City: “By what day may I expect your communication to reach me?  Are you anxious about any part, except the City & vicinity?”  Seymour had written Provost Marshal James Fry: “Mr. Waterbury told me on his return from Washington that the Draft would not be made in New York and Brooklyn without some notice being given to me. I see it is stated in some of the Journals that it will [be] made at once. I trust this is not so. I have in preparation a letter to the President which will reach him next week probably on Tuesday next”

President Lincoln writes New York Customs Collector Hiram Barney: “The bearer of this tells me he resides in your City, and has so resided for many years; that he has served for us in this war three months; that he has a son now a Colonel in the service under Gen. Corcoran, which son has served ever since the commencement of the war; that he also has a brother & a first cousin in the war. His name is Patrick Murphy, and he now seeks employment in the Custom-House. I shall be glad if you can find it for him.”

President Lincoln writes a memo: “The bearer of this says that William T. Smithson is imprisoned at the `Old Capitol’’ and has been indicted…in the District Court for treason. He asks to be turned over to the Civil Court according to a recent Act of Congress. Please consider the case & dispose of it according to law.”

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

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