President Lincoln Seeks Aid for Former Landlady

July 21, 1864

As a one-term congressman in the late 1840s, Abraham Lincoln had boarded at Mrs. Ann Spriggs’ boarding house on Capitol Hill. As president, Lincoln now writes Secretary of the Treasury William P. Fessenden: “The bearer of this is a most estimable widow lady, at whose house I boarded many years ago when a member of Congress. She now is very needy; & any employment suitable to a lady could not be bestowed on a more worthy person.” Mrs. Spriggs apparently got a job as a Treasury clerk.

Washington political fixer Francis P. Blair, Sr. visits with General George B. McClellan in New York. He wants McClellan, who had been without a command since November 1862, to request that President Lincoln reinstate him. Such a move might effectively remove McClellan as a potential presidential candidate. Historian David Long write in The Jewel of Liberty: “In a July 22 response to Blair that McClellan prepared but never sent, he wrote that he was ‘not an aspirant for the Presidency,’ although he believed that ‘no true man should refuse it, if it is spontaneously conferred upon him, and he is satisfied that he can do good to his country by accepting it.’

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Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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