Snowstorm Blankets Washington at Night

March 21, 1864

President Lincoln writes Postmaster Montgomery Blair: “These young ladies, Miss Dugger and Miss Beattie, are from Illinois, & want employment. They are loyal and worthy, and I

shall be very glad indeed if places can be found for them.”

A delegation from the New York Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association calls on President Lincoln to make him an honorary member.  He responds: “You comprehend, as your address shows, that the existing rebellion, means more, and tends to more, than the perpetuation of African Slavery—that it is, in fact, a war upon the rights of all working people. Partly to show that this view has not escaped my attention, and partly that I cannot better express myself, I read a passage from the Message to Congress in December 1861….

The views then expressed remain unchanged, nor have I much to add. None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion as the working people. Let them beware of prejudice, working division and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature of a disturbance in your city last summer, was the hanging of some working people by other working people. It should never be so. The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor —property is desirable — — is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprize. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.

General Carl Schurz writes President Lincoln from New York: “At last I have received your letter of the 13th; it was not diverted to my hotel and I did, therefore, not hear of it until it was advertised in the papers.

My letters to you were dictated by the ardent desire to see the unity of the party unimpaired at the next presidential election, for without that unity the prospective result seems to me extremely doubtful. Having that object sincerely at heart and being willing to contribute all I can towards that end, I thought that my opinion and advice upon several points of importance might be entitled to some consideration, and I desired to volunteer them; for there are things which it is better to discuss in private than in public. In believing that a full exchange of views might be desirable not only to me but also to you, it seems I was mistaken.– While a number of Generals were permitted to visit Washington, it is difficult for me to understand, how my presence there could be attended with “unpleasant difficulties or even be detrimental to the public service.” I might perhaps claim a right to know, what particular unpleasant difficulty or what detriment to the service is meant; but I apprehend I have to submit not only to an incomprehensible refusal but also to a mysterious hint as to the cause of that refusal. I approached you with the feelings of a friend, not to ask for something but to offer something, and I find myself turned off very much like an enemy or a suspicious character. I must confess, I cannot understand this.

Still, while I have neither right nor inclination to thrust myself upon any person, I have not ceased to believe, that, in an emergency, I may be of some service to a cause. In this respect I am governed by no personal consideration; my feelings are to-day what they were yesterday. I did not think it would be so difficult, with your assistance, to procure me an opportunity to take an active part in the political contest some time in July or August and September; but if you think it is, I shall then have to decide the question of my remaining in the Army for myself when the time comes.

While I regret most sincerely that you deemed best to cut off a full exchange of views, I beg you not to construe this letter as a renewed application for permission to visit Washington. I merely could not refrain from giving words to the impression your letter produced upon me.

President Lincoln issues a proclamation approving the entry of Nevada as a state: “Whereas the Congress of the United States passed an Act which was approved on the 21st. day of March, last, entitled, “An Act to enable the people of Nevada to form a Constitution and State Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal Footing with the original States”;

And whereas, the said Constitution and State Government have been formed pursuant to the conditions prescribed by the fifth section of the Act of Congress aforesaid, and the certificate required by the said act, and also a copy of the Constitution and ordinances have been submitted to the President of the United States;

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