President Lincoln Warns Son About Smallpox

January 19, 1864

President Lincoln writes son Robert Todd Lincoln: “There is good deal of small-pox here.  Yours friends must judge for themselves whether they ought to come or not.”   President Lincoln had only recovered from a mild case of smallpox the previous month.  His valet would die from the disease.

Cabinet meeting discusses cotton trade.  Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “At the Cabinet to-day the President read letters from certain Louisiana planters and from General Banks and others, urging the admission of cotton within our lines. He also read the rough draft of a letter prepared by himself, designating New Orleans and Baton Rouge as depots for cotton to be brought thither, sold for ‘greenbacks,’ etc., etc.  It had been submitted to Chase and Stanton previously, who both indorsed and perhaps advised, if they did not first suggest, it.  Seward and Blair thought it might operate well. Stanton and General Grant was opposed to action in his command, but as Banks favored it, he thought it might be well to let the matter go forward as the President proposed.  I suggested that the effect would be good to open the whole country west of the Mississippi above New Orleans. But the President said it might disturb General Grant.”

Published in: on January 19, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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