Pay of Negro Chaplain Discussed with Attorney General and Senator Charles Sumner

May 26, 1864

Attorney General Edward Bates writes in his diary:“On the 26th. of May happening to meet Mr. [Charles] S.[umner] at the President’s, he asked me if I had heard what was thought at the North, about my recent opinion upon the pay of black chaplains in the army. I said, no, I have not seen in the news papers, any mention of the Opinion (which was true). He then had praised me very highly, for that opinion and the one on Citizenship – I answered, ‘Perhaps Mr. Garrison mistakes me for an Abolitionist.’ And then I told him that a learned friend (German) at St Louis (I did not tell him that it was Dr. Chs. L. Bernays) had written me that the Radicals of Mo., would never forgive me for proving that negro[e] had some rights by law, whereas they insist that all the rights of negro[e]s are derived from their bounty!”

Presidential aide John G. Nicolay wrote New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley: “The following telegram appeared in the New York Tribune of yesterday, under the date of ‘May 24′:

The subject of arbitrary arrests was incidentally discussed in Cabinet council to-day. Mr. Chase manfully denounced them. The suppression of the New York papers and extradition of Areguelles were both condemned by him as devoid of policy and wanting law. The defence of those measures was more irritable than logical and assured.

1. The Cabinet councils of the President being private and confidential, the correspondent could have learned this incident from no one but Mr. Chase.

2. It is impossible that an official so sagacious and discreet at Mr. Chase should have made to any newspaper correspondent such a statement in regard to himself and his colleagues in the Government.

3. We have, therefore, no hesitation in pronouncing this statement unauthorized and unfounded.

4. The subject named was not discussed in the Cabinet on Tuesday.

5. Mr. Chase was not in Cabinet council on that day.

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Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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