A Quiet Day at the White House

August 30, 1863

The president’s top two aides are away.  Mary and Tad Lincoln are on vacation.  No incoming or outgoing mail.  But politics is always on the agenda as gubernatorial elections in Ohio and Pennsylvania in early October.  Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase wrote that Pennsylvania Congressman John Covode “thought Gov. Curtin and his friends designed that he should be brought forward as a candidate for the Presidency, and that, if elected Governor he would shape matters in Pennsylvania so as to secure its delegates in the Convention, while a majority of the loyal men of Pennsylvania preferred me, and that the vote of the State controlled by Curtin would not be given to me unless under some arrangement which would pledge to Gov. Curtain and his friends the patronage in Pennsylvania.  To this I replied that no speculations as to Gov. Curtin’s future course could excuse the loyal men from supporting him now; that the future must take care of itself; that I was not anxious for the Presidency; that there was but one position in the Government which I really w’d like to have, if it were possible to have it without any sacrifice of principle or public interest, and that was the Chief Justiceship, and that should the wishes of our political friends incline to me as a nominee for the Presidency, those wishes be entirely of a public nature, for I certainly would never consent under any circumstances to make pledges as to appointments to office, but would insist upon being left entirely free to avail myself of the services of the best men in the country.”

Published in: on August 30, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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