Horse and Stable Issues Preoccupy White House

February 11, 1864

President Lincoln deals with the aftermath of the White House stable fire the previous night. He meets at the White House with U.S. Commissioner of Buildings Benjamin French.   Suspicion for the fire falls on Patterson McGee, a White House coachman who had been fire on the day of the fire. McGee is arrested.   Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, writes presidential secretary John G. Nicolay:

It is my opinion that the Equine Quadrapeds you have had the honor to see me handle with such skill, had better have the benefit of a little more exercise before they are put into practical traction of vehicles of pleasure–

A man known as “Shanks” kindly offers me the use of his mare to return from the National Hotel on the evening of Feb 11th 1864.

I take this opportunity, Mr. Private Secretary, to renew to your Private Secretaryship the assurance of my most distinguished consideration….

President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: n January 1863, the Provost Marshal at St. Louis, having taken the control of a certain Church from one set of men and given it to another, I wrote Genl [Samuel] Curtis on the subject as follows:

the U. S Government must not, as by this order, under take to run the Churches. When an individual in a church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest, he must be checked; but the churches, as such, must take care of themselves. It will not do for the U. S. to appoint trustees, supervisors or other agents for the churches.2

Some trouble remaining in this same case, I, on the 22d of Dec. 1863, in a letter to Mr O. D. Filley, repeated the above language; and among other things added. “I have never interfered, nor thought of interfering as to who shall or shall not preach in any church; nor have I knowingly, or believingly, tolerated any one else to so interfere by my authority. If any one is so interfering by color of my authority, I would like to have it specifically made known to me — I will not have control of any church on any side.”

After having made these declarations in good faith, and in writing, you can conceive of my embarrassment at now having brought to me what purports to be a formal Order of the War Department, bearing date November 30th 1863, giving Bishop Ames4 control and possession of all the Methodist churches in certain Southern Military Departments, whose pastors have not been appointed by a loyal Bishop or Bishops, and ordering the Military to aid him against any resistance which may be made to his taking such possession and control-

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Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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