Radical Delegation from Missouri Demands Changes

September 26, 1863

Missouri continues to be a hotbed of discontent between feuding Union factions.  The Radicals have sent a “Committee of Seventy” to Washington to meet with President Lincoln.   Attorney General Edward Bates writes in his diary: “Last night we recd. Letters from Broadhead and Rollins on the subject of the Radical Delegation.  This morning called on the Prest, gave him the letters and had a free and pointed conversation – i.e. he said he wd. not remove Schofield, unless something new and unexpected shd. Be made out agst him.”

Journalist Noah Brooks, a Lincoln confidant, writes of the upcoming 1864 presidential election: “Almost everybody would like to be President, and there are but few persons who realize any of the difficulties which surround a just administration of the duties of the Executive office.  The other day a delegation from Baltimore called upon the President by appointment to consider the case of a certain citizen of Baltimore whom it was proposed to appoint to a responsible office in that city.  The delegation filed proudly in, formed a semi-circle in front of the President, and the spokesman stepped out and read a neat address to the effect that, while they had the most implicit faith in the honesty and patriotism of the President, etc., they were ready to affirm that the person proposed to be placed in office was a consummate rascal and notoriously in sympathy, in not in correspondence, with the rebels.  The speaker concluded and stepped back, and the President replied by complimenting them on their appearance and professions of loyalty, but said he was at a loss what to do with ____, as a delegation twice as large, just as respectable in appearance and no less ardent in professions of loyalty, had called upon him four days before, ready to swear, every one of them, that —- was one of the most honest and loyal men in Baltimore.  ‘Now,’ said the President, we cannot afford to call a Court of inquiry in this case, and so, as a lawyer, I shall be obliged to decide that the weight of testimony, two to one, is in favor of the client’s loyalty, and as you do not offer even any attempt to prove the truth of your suspicions, I shall be compelled to ignore them for the present.’  The delegation bade the President good morning and left.’”

President Lincoln writes Henry M. Naglee: “A curious coincidence occured in the relieving of Gen Negley [Naglee] — towit, that the Secretarys order relieving him, and Gen. Foster’s request to have him relieved were simultaneous, & independent of each other. I do not know what Foster’s reason was; but I understand Stantons to be that Negley was disinclined to raise colored troops, and he, S, wanted some one there who would take to it more heartily.”

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Published in: on September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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