Sick President Works on Annual Message to Congress

November 30, 1863

From his bed, President Lincoln composes his Third Annual Message to Congress. Attorney General Edward Bates writes in his diary: “The President has been sick ever since Thursday – I saw him, Saturday, and he was then a little better.  Today, Monday, he is still improving, as I hear.”

White House aide William O. Stoddard writes in an anonymous newspaper dispatch: “This week will witness the arrival of most of the members of the two Houses of Congress.  Some of them are here already, and are busy with the organization.  Some men predict an exciting time over it, but the majority seem to think that Colfax, or some other good man, will be quietly chosen Speaker; a new Clerk will be made in place of Emerson Etheridge, and the business of the session will be industriously entered upon.”  Stoddard added: “The President’s Message, and the various budgets of the Cabinet, all promise to be of unusual interest, and their respective authors are busy upon.  The President has been ill for several days, one of our Washington on dits is that a great part of the Message has been written by him in bed.”

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

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