President Lincoln Seeks to Pacify Kansas and Missouri

December 23, 1863

“The President tonight had a dream,” writes John Hay in his diary.  “He was in a party of plain people and as it became known who he was they began to comment on his appearance.  One of them said, ‘He is a very common-looking man.’  The President replied ‘The Lord prefers Common-looking people: that is the reason he makes so many of them.”

California journalist Noah Brooks write about divisions within the Lincoln Administration: “The Blairs are a great drawback to Lincoln, and so are Halleck and Stanton, the two last being excessively unpopular.  The Blair Family are thrusting themselves upon Mr. Lincoln, as his natural allies, so that it is difficult for people to believe that they are not the exponents of his policy, but he knows and seems to care nothing about their political views.  He tolerates Montgomery Blair in the cabinet because he is efficient in his Department, but, to my certain knowledge, he never read his Rockville speech until months after it was delivered.  He appears to care nothing at all about the political opinions of his cabinet provided they are useful in the separate departments.  But Blair, though a good Postmaster General, is the meanest man in the whole government.  Stanton is coarse, abusive and arbitrary; decides the most important questions without thought and never reconsiders anything, and abuses people like a fish-wife when he gets mad, which is very frequent, nevertheless he is industrious and apparently devoted to the interests of the Government.  But he and Halleck have blundered all along.”

Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary: “I took to the Senate today the nomination of Schofield as Major General.  The President had previously spoken to some of the Senators about it.  He is anxious that Schofield shd. be confirmed so as to arrange this Missouri matter properly.  I told Sherman Wilson Harris and Doolittle.  Senator Foote also agreed to do all he could to put the matter properly through.  But on the nomination being read in Executive session Howard of Michigan objected to its consideration and it was postponed.  Sherman and Doolittle tell me it will certainly go through when it is regularly taken up.

Lane came up to see the President about it, and told him this.  Lane is very anxious to have Kansas part of the plan at once carried out.”

Morgan says that Gratz Brown gave to Sumner to present to the Senate the radical protest against Schofield’s confirmation, and that Sumner presented it today.  The President sent for Sumner but he was not at his lodgings.

The President is very much disappointed at Brown. After three interviews with him h understood that Brown would not oppose the confirmation.  It is rather a mean dodge to get Sumner to do it in his stead.

Brown and Henderson both agree on Rosecrans.  The Presdt. Thinks he will get on very well for the Present, besides doing a good thing in the sending.

Hay adds:  “The President last night had a dream. He was in a party of plain people and as it became know who he was they began to comment on his appearance.  One of them said. “He is a very common-looking man.”  The President replied, “Common-looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”

“Waking, he remembered it, and told it as rather a neat thing.”

Published in: on December 23, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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