Washington Grieves for Former Interior Secretary Caleb Smith

January 9, 1864

After meeting with a naval captain recommended by New York Senator Edward Moran, President Lincoln writes Admiral John Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard: “Capt. Lavender wishes to show you a contrivance of his for discovering, and aiding to remove, under-water obstructions to the passage of vessels, and has sufficiently impressed me to induce me to send him to you. He is sufficiently vouched to me as a worthy gentleman; and this known, it needs not my asking for you to treat him as such

Dahlgren replied: “Captain Lavender arrived duly with your note, which I was much pleased to receive, and gave it my immediate attention;—There seems to me no objection to a a [sic] trial of his project, and I beg leave, therefore, to recommend that such be made at some Navy Yard under the eye of one or more experienced persons.

`It would be almost impossible to make the machine here, a material and mechanics are unequal to the daily pressing wear and tear of the vessels of the Squadron.

President Lincoln orders: “Information having been received that Caleb B. Smith, late Secretary of the Interior, has departed this life, at his residence in Indiana, it is ordered that the Executive Buildings at the seat of the Government be draped in mourning, for the period of fourteen days, in honor of his memory as a prudent and loyal counsellor and a faithful and effective coadjutor of the Administration in a time of public difficulty and peril. The Secretary of State will communicate a copy of this order to the family of the deceased together with proper expressions of the profound sympathy of the President and Heads of Departments in their great and irreparable bereavement.”

In the afternoon, Mrs. Mary Lincoln holds her first regular Saturday reception of the season.

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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