Attempt Made to Postpone Republican National Convention

April 1, 1864

John G. Nicolay from New York writes to fellow presidential aide John Hay regarding an attempt to postpone the Republican presidential convention: “I had determined to start home tonight, but reading the villainously unfair and untrue editorial in the Tribune of this morning, I have determined to stay til I can have another talk with [Horace] Greeley and Gay, and tell them a fact or two, so that if they print misrepresentation in the future they should do so knowingly. As Mr. Greeley only comes to his office very late in the evening I do not know how soon I may be able to get off.” Nicolay writes home: “I have been mainly occupied with seeing and talking with politicians in regard to the next Presidential election, about which there seems to be more diversity of views and interests here than anywhere else in the country, although the general fact that Lincoln’s re-nomination and re-election is considered almost a foregone conclusion even by those who are dissatisfied with that result and who therefore adopt the belief very reluctantly and unwillingly.”

Despite weather, the regular Saturday afternoon reception is held. Benjamin Brown French, federal commissioner of buildings, writes in his diary: “Saturday at one I went to the President’s in the rain & snow mixed, and attended the reception. Considering the awful weather the reception was a fine one. The President look well, and seemed happy, and Mrs. Lincoln was uncommonly cheerful. The city councils of Baltimore, who came here to visit the Deaf, Dumb & Blind Institution at Kendall Green, attended the reception with a committee of our own Councils, and Mrs. Horner of the Baltimore Councils sang most beautifully ‘We are coming Father Abraham, five hundred thousand more.’ All present who could sing joined in the Chorus, and the whole went off grandly.

After the reception was over Mrs. Lincoln took me up into the Library to see a most beautiful arrangement of wax fruit, etc., made by a negro woman and presented to herself and Mr. Lincoln. She seemed to appreciate it   very highly & to be exceedingly pleased with it.

She remarked that she had not been in that room until that day since poor little Willie died. It was his favorite resort and she could not bear to visit it, and the tears came into her eyes, & my very soul pitied her. Alas, alas! What are all the honors of this world when offset against such an affliction as that poor woman has undergone!

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes: ‘There was nothing of special interest to-day in the Cabinet. Stanton was not present, nor was Blair. Chase calls for largely additional taxes, which I have no doubt are necessary. There should have been heavier taxes the last two years, double what have been collected. Undoubtedly demagogues will try to prevent this necessary measure for party ends, but I believe the good sense and intelligence of the people will prevail over the debasing abuse of party- I apprehend that Chase is not making the most of his position, and think he has committed some errors. No one could have altogether avoided them.”

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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