Patronage, Politics and Politics on White House Agenda

August 13, 1863

Lincoln aide John Hay writes in his diary that John “Conness has been here, the guest of [Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P.] Chase. [Charles] James is made Collector of San Franco. In place of [soon to be California Governor Frederick Ferndinand] Low.  I rather intimated to the Presdt. that this was Chases game and he replied good humoredly ‘I suppose C. thinks it is to his advantage.  Let him have him.”   The appointment of customs collectors occasionally resulted in patronage conflicts between President Lincoln and Secretary Chase.

Chase is plotting a bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Meanwhile, the president meets with Republican leaders Governor  David Tod and New York Senator Ira  Harris more inclined to Lincoln’s reelection.  About this time, Hay writes in his diary: “The Presidential aspiration of Mr Chase are said to have been compared by the President to a horsefly on the neck of a ploughhorse – which kept him lively about his work.”

President Lincoln writes Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt: “Major Alexander Montgomery, who has been dismissed from the Regular Army, is now with me, and denies the charges upon which he was dismissed, and which he says he now, for the first time, has officially heard. As the principal charge, can be given the appearance at least of being merely personally offensive to me, and as he denies it, I think he should have a Court-Martial, rather than to abide my arbitrary dismissal.

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Published in: on August 13, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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