Connecticut Patronage Bedevils President

December 21, 1863

President Lincoln writes Connecticut Senators Lafayette S. Foster and James Dixon: “The Marshalship of Connecticut has given me some trouble. Of the Sec. of the Navy, Gov. of the State, two Senators, and three Representatives in Congress, who have made recommendations, two are for Mr. Nichols, two for Mr. Hammond, two for Mr. Barnum, and one for Mr. Phelps. [2] Nothing has been said to me against the integrity or capacity of any of these candidates. So far as stated, three of them are equally well presented. Something more than a year ago Mr. Hammond was so well presented to me for one of the Internal Revenue offices, that it was with great regret I felt constrained to decline giving it to him; and I then wrote one of his friends substantially that I would be glad of a future opportunity to recognize him. I think I should now do this when he stands at least the equal of any competitor, on other grounds. Accordingly I send up his nomination. Please show, or state this to the other gentlemen. He added:

Since writing the above I have seen letters from six different, and as I understand, respectable and influential citizens of Connecticut, protesting against the appointment of Mr. Hammond.

President Lincoln write Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “Sending a note to the Secretary of the Navy as I promised, he called over and said that the strikes in the Ship-yards had thrown the completion of vessels back so much, that he thought Gen. Gilmores proposition entirely proper. He only wishes (and in which I concur) that Gen. Gilmore will courteously confer with and explain to Admiral Dahlgren.

In regard to the Western matter, I believe the programme will have to stand substantially as I first put it. Henderson and especially Brown believe that the social influences of St. Louis would inevitably tell injuriously upon Gen. Pope, in the particular difficulty existing there; and I think there is some force in that view. As to retaining Gen. S. temporarily, if this should be done, I believe I should scarcely be able to get his nomination through the Senate. Send me over his nomination, which however I am not yet quite ready to send to the Senate

While at the  War Department, President Lincoln reads decoded message intended for Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin,.”

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Published in: on December 21, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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