General Carl Schurz Meets with President Lincoln

August 11, 1864

Presidential aide John Hay writes General Carl Schurz: “The President directs me to request that you will proceed at once to Washington and report to him in person.”

Historian Allen C. Guelzo wrote: “The people promised themselves when General Grant started out that he would take Richmond in June,’ Lincoln told Schuyler Hamilton that August. ‘He didn’t take it, and they blame me.’ And this time the consequences were likely to be severer than merely public disapproval. Lincoln was now staring a re-election campaign in the face in November, and unless he resorted to martial law to cancel the election (something he never seems to have seriously considered at any moment), he might conceivably lose it to a Democratic candidate who would settle for peace at any price. ‘You think I don’t know I am going to be beaten,’ Lincoln warned Hamilton, ‘but I do, and unless some great change takes place, badly beaten.”

New York Tribune Editor Horace Greeley writes to President Lincoln regarding requests to publish correspondence regarding the aborted Niagara Falls peace negotiations in July: “I do not feel disposed to let my letters to you go to the public with such suppressions as you indicate by the red pencil marks.1 I cannot see that you are at all implicated in my ed evinced in season for effect on the North Carolina election. I was very anxious for Holden’s2 success; I think it might have been secured by the course I indicated; and that is a part of the record that I am not willing to suppress. And I do not think the other suppressions at all material, yet they seem to weaken the argument, which I wish to have judged as I made it, if at all. I prefer, then, not to print the correspondence, unless as it was written.

But, in order that no injustice be done you, I give free and full consent to the publication in your behalf of your letters and dispatches only, should you choose to have them published, so as to place your own position in the premises as you would have it.

Major Hay will assure you that, on meeting me here on the 16th ult., he said nothing, hinted nothing to me, of any condition or reservation as to the terms which were to be offered from the other side. I certainly considered all that waived by your dispatch of the 15th.4 I think, then, I was fully justified in understanding your answer to yours of [mine?] of the 13th5 as fully contained in the safe conduct which he gave me, unembarrassed by any conditions.

I believe I am sufficiently lucid. I am willing to publish the entire correspondence, precisely as it occurred, if you think that best; or, in default of that, I am willing that you should publish your own letters and dispatches without mine. I should wish to insert at the close of your paragraph on page 3, “The President understands” these words. “Major Hay said nothing to Mr Greeley of any terms or conditions, and Mr. G. understood all such to have been raised by the President’s dispatch of the 15th.”

I desire this, and deem it just, but do not insist on it. Publish without if you see fit.

An Illinois Army colonel requests reinstatement in a letter to President Lincoln: “On the 7″ of June last while in Washington I placed in hands of Major [John] Hay “Private Secy” a Communication addressed to yourself also a Letter of Introduction from Gov Richd Yates. In the Communication I stated that I had Resigned my Commission of Colonel of the 101st Regiment Illinois Volunteers upon Surgeons Certificate of Disability but, after remaining at home a few weeks under the care of my family Physician I have recov’d partially, and desired again to enter the service of the County to aid all in my power to the Suppression of this Wicked Rebellion. In that Communication I requested that my Resignation be revoked and I again ordered to duty At the time above refered to Major Hay informed me that I had been Recommended for Promotion. Subsequently, on the 3d day of July I recv’d a Communication from Major Hay informing me that my Communication above refered to, had been submitted to the Secy of War for Decision. Since that time I have recivd “No” Answer Will you confer upon me the favor to have my Communication “Answered” in some manner, either for or against You are informed from your former acquaintance with “me” That I have always been a Democrat I am the same opinion to day. When I say Democrat I mean one of the School Jefferson, Jackson & Douglas. My “Platform” is the Federal Union ” must” be presvd. I hold that altho some of the “official” acts of the administration do not agree with my Ideas. “Yet” “It is no time “now” to swap Horses” I also hold that if we wish the Constitution maintained and the Union ” perpetuated”, There must be no change in the “Administration” at this time The Emancipation Proclamation I heartily endorse “Not” only as military Necessity, but as necessary for the perpetuation of a Republican Democratic Government. That we can have no permanent Peace in the Union while slavery exists in it, hence the irritating cause ‘must’ be removed to prevent further recurence or excuses for Rebellion In other words, “a House Divided” “against itself” cannot “stand” And upon these principles while waiting for an answer from your honorable self to the Communication refered to in the within, (before commencing again the practice of my profession) I have been making speeches in various sections upon the above platform or principles. Permit me to state that I am now forty two years of age. That I have never “voted” in a single instance any other vote but a “Democratic vote” nor split my Ticket. But now have thrown my Banner to the Breese inscribed thereon Lincoln & Johnson, as the only true “Democrats” for President and vice President. When the Rebellion commenced I differed from my former Democratic Brethren, at the Convention in Springfield Jany 16″ 1861 when anti Coercion Resolutions were passed, proved my Faith and principles by Volunteering in the Army of the Union and served for twenty month During that period I had the Honor to command the 3d Divini of the 11″ Army Corps a part of the Winter 1864. Subsequently commanded the 1st Brigade of the same Division and Corps. Also had the honor to Command the Post of Bridgeport Ala in October 1863. Subsequently was ordered to command at Union City Tenn a mixed Brigade of Cav, Artillery, and Infantry, I think with credit to myself and the satisfaction of my Comdg officers

The above is my military history and in requesting that I may again be ordered to the service it is for the reason that I am desirous that this Rebellion may be crushed out and I am desirous to contribute all in my power to that end

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

President Lincoln Discusses Fate of Freed Slaves

August 10, 1864

President Lincoln meets with Col. John Eaton, Jr., a Methodist preacher who had been appointed superintendent of freedmen for Department of Tennessee. Eaton recalled in his memoirs: “On reaching Washington on August 10, I went directly to the White House. Mr. Lincoln was alert to know the facts I had come to present, and his reception of me was cordiality itself. Although he felt the force of the argument in favor of making the most out of the crops, and of introducing into that disaffected section of the country a population which might be presumed to be loyal and devoted to the interests of the Union, he was at the same time fully prepared to consider the question from every point of view. When I told him of the danger and suffering of the Negroes occasioned by raids upon plantations, of the difficulty of exercising adequate authority and restraint over operations so extended and remote from the military posts, when I related the freedom with which the lessees interpreted and applied the orders issued by the Treasury, Mr. Lincoln’s keen face sharpened with indignation. ‘I have signed no regulations authorizing that!’ he exclaimed more than once in the course of my narrative.” In his conversations President Lincoln relayed his confidence in General Grant. President Lincoln told Eaton: “Before Grant took command of the eastern forces we did not sleep at night here in Washington. We began to fear the rebels would take the capital, and once in possession of that, we feared that foreign countries might acknowledge the Confederacy. Nobody could foresee the evil that might come from the destruction of records and of property. But since Grant has assumed command on the Potomac, I have made up my mind that whatever it is possible to have done, Grant will do, and what ever he doesn’t do, I don’t believe it to be done. And now we sleep at night.”

New York lawyer James Hamilton, the son of Alexander Hamilton, writes President Lincoln: “I am led by a sense of public duty, as well as from personal regard for you; to make the following suggestion” regarding slavery:

Whenever we meet with a signal military success, such as the taking of Atlanta or Petersburgh — I advise; that you send a Gentleman to Richmond in your name to inform Mr Jefferson Davis that whenever the enemy will lay down their arms; you will conveen Congress and urge them to pass a law to pay for all “persons ” shall be made free and that the Legislature of every such state shall declare that slavery is forever abolished in such state — and that you will further earnestly recommend; that all confiscation laws be repealed; and all property heretofore sold under such laws be returned to the former owners thereof; except in those cases in which to do so would involve the violation of personal rights acquired to such property — and also that an act of General amnesty be passed, the proposed payments to be made — by the Bonds of the U S redeemable at the pleasure of the Government after twenty years with interest to be paid half yearly at the rate of so 6% per an.

Such an offer made at such a time would commend itself to the approval of all mankind — and if rejected would reunite the People of the Loyal States; in a most vigorous prosecution of the war.

Should you think favorably of this suggestion; which is made after the most deliberate consideration; I will with pleasure go to Washington to confer with you on the subject; and allow me to say without intending to ask the employment; I am ready to take the responsibility of the advice I give; by becoming the instrument for carrying it out; without being paid for my services

Virginia Governor Francis H. Peirpoint writes to President Lincoln to complain about General Benjamin F. Butler’s interference with civil and judicial affairs in Norfolk, Virginia.

A more personal request regarding Virginia is sent to President Lincoln by a former Illinois legal client, Richard Lloyd: “In the writer you will no doubt recognise your humble quondam client, in a suit in ejectment at Springfield in which you gained my cause, I write you now to, solicit your favor in a matter of some importance to me, Some ten years since my Father the late John Lloyd of Alexandria Virginia died leaving the Estate to my Step Mother during her life & then to his heirs, She is since decd The residence in Alexandria now occupied by Mr J Packard I am notified is ordered to be given up by him for the benefit of the Treasury Dept, This would surely be an act of wrong. You nor any other person would question my loyalty a citizen of Illinois since 1842 I shall start for Washington on Monday next Be so kind as to order Mayor Silvey to stay proceedings, untill I can be there to defend my right.”

Published in: on August 10, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

President Pushes Publication of Niagara Peace Proceedings

August 9, 1864

President Lincoln writes New York Tribune Horace Greeley regarding the aborted Niagara Falls peace negotiations in July: “Herewith is a full copy of the correspondence, and which I have had privately printed, but not made public. The parts of your letters which I wish suppressed, are only those which, as I think give too gloomy an aspect to our cause, and those which present the carrying of elections as a motive of action. I have, as you see, drawn a red pencil over the parts I wish suppressed.

As to the A.H. Stephens matter, so much pressed by you, I can only say that he sought to come to Washington in the name of the ‘Confederate States,’ in a vessel of ‘The Confederate States Navy,’ and with no pretence even, that he would bear any proposal for peace; but with language showing that his mission would be Military, and not civil, or diplomatic. Nor has he at any time since pretended that he had terms of peace, so far as I know, or believe. On the contrary, Jefferson Davis has, in the most formal manner, declared that Stephens had no terms of peace. I thought we could not afford to give this quasi acknowledgement of the independence of the Confederacy, in a case where there was not even an intimation of any thing for our good. Still, as the parts of your letters relating to Stephens contain nothing worse than a questioning of my action, I do not ask a suppression of those parts.”

Greeley writes Lincoln: “Your dispatch of Saturday only reached me on Sunday, when I immediately answered by letter [dated Monday, August 8]; yesterday I was out of town; and I have just received your dispatch of that date. . . . I will gladly come on to Washington whenever you apprise me that my doing so may perhaps be of use. `But I fear that my chance for usefulness has passed.”

Greeley responds to Lincoln’s new telegram: “I do not feel disposed to let my letters to you go to the public with such suppressions as you indicate by the red pencil marks. I cannot see that you are at all implicated in my anxiety that a generous offer should be made and a kindly spirit evinced in season for effect on the North Carolina election…I…think…the…suppressions…weaken the agreement, which I wish tohave indeed as I made it, if at all. I prefer…not to print the correspondence, unless as it was written.” He added: “I give free and full consent to the publication…of your letters and dispatches only, should you choose to have them published…’

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: At the Cabinet to-day there was no special business. Seward and Stanton were not present. Mr. Fessenden is absent in Maine. Governor [Michael] Hahn of Louisiana was present a short time.

Alluding to the Niagara peace proceedings, the President expressed a wiling that all should be published. Greeley had asked it, and when I went into the President’s room Defrees was reading the proof of the correspondence. I have admired its entire publication from the first moment I had knowledge of it. Whether it was wise or expedient for the President to have assented to Greeley’s appeal, or given his assent to any such irregular proceedings, is another thing, not necessary to discuss. Mr. Seward was consulted in this matter, and no other one was called in that I am aware. Mr. Fessenden says he happened, accidentally and uninvited, to come in and was knowing to it. No other member of the Cabinet was consulted, or advised with, until after the meeting took place at Niagara.

Presidential aide John Hay writes General Carl Schurz that he had shown President Lincoln his letters: “I wish to assure you that your correspondence is always carefully placed before the President as soon as received, if marked Private, without inspection, & that it is always a pleasure for me to be honored by any request from you within my power to execute.”

President Lincoln decides to ask Schurz, an influential German-American politician, to visit. Historian H. L. Trefousse wrote in Carl Schurz: A Biography: “Schurz, who had taken leave…did not have to be asked twice. He rushed to Washington, where the President took him to the Soldiers Home for a confidential conference.   Fully aware that efforts were being made to replace him, Lincoln said he might even step down if he were certain that somebody more qualified would take his place But so far he had failed to see such a candidate; consequently, he would stay on. Offering to find a command for Schurz in Rosecrans’s inactive department, he was not surprised when the general turned it down. The meeting ended with an agreement that Schurz would make a series of campaign speeches for the administration — always with the understanding that after the election he would return to the army.”

Indiana Governor Oliver Morton writes President Lincoln: “I trust it will not be deemed a Decimation, if I say that a prudent and wise Statesman can make good points by mere luck sometimes; I have come to the conclusion, Your late letter to “Whom it may concern” was a fortunate thing; it has disarmed a class of Democrats of one important weapin, all who preached up, that you would not be for, or yield your assent to an honorable peace;1 The German opposition is fast wasting away in many localities, in this city particularly– Carney owns the only German paper in this State that hangs out for Fremont & Cochran; his other two papers The Evening Bullitin (which he Bribed in his Senatorial fraud, after I had committed it first of all papers in the State for you) still keeps our Ticket at its Colums head — but writes bad articles under the name of supporting our ticket; but it of course is harmless and has no influence in the State, The Times ” Old man Vaughan” does the same thing — neither can do us harm, Kansas will be certain to give you her vote, Lane is now carrying a vigerous canvass, having a perfect triumph where ever he goes for our ticket.”

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

Republicans Roiled by Discontent

August 8, 1864

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles also observes in his diary: “Mr. Seward sent me to-day some stranger documents from Raymond, Chairman of the National Executive Committee. I met R. some days since at the President’s with whom he was closeted. At first I did not recognize Raymond, who was sitting near the President conversing in a low tone of voice. Indeed, I did not look at him, supposing he was some ordinary visitor, until the President remarked, ‘Here he is; it is as good a time as any to bring up the question.’ I was sitting on the sofa but then went forward and saw it was Raymond. He said there were complaints in relation to the Brooklyn Navy Yard; that we were having, and to have, a hard political battle the approaching fall, and that the fate of two districts and that of King’s County also depended upon the Navy Yard. It was, he said, the desire of our friends that the masters in the yard should have the exclusive selection and dismissal of hands, instead of having them subject to revision by the Commandant of the yard. The Commandant himself they wished to have removed. I told him such changes could not well be made and ought not to be made. The present organization of the yard was in a right way, and if there were any abuses I would have them corrected.

He then told me that in attempting to collect a party assessment at the yard, the Naval Constructor had objected, and on appealing to the Commandant, he had expressly forbidden the collection. This had given great dissatisfaction to our party friends, for these assessments had always been made and collected under preceding administrations. I told him I doubted if it had been done,–certainly not in such an offensive and public manner; that I thought it very wrong for a party committee to go into the yard on pay-day and levy a tax on each man as he received his wages for party purposes; that I was aware parties did strange things in New York, but there was no law or justice in it, and the proceeding was, in my view, inexcusable and indefensible; that I could make no record enforcing such assessment; that the matter could not stand investigation. He admitted that the course pursued was not a politic one, but he repeated former administrations had practiced it. I questioned it still, and insisted that it was not right in itself. He said it doubtless might be done in a more quiet manner. I told him if obnoxious men, open and offensive opponent of the Administration, were there, they could be dismissed. If the Commandant interposed to sustain such men, as he suggested might be the case, there was an appeal to the Department; whatever was reasonable and right I was disposed to do. We parted, and I expected to see him again, but, instead of calling himself, he has written Mr. Seward, who sent his son with the papers to me. In these papers a party committee propose to take the organization of the navy yard into their keeping, to name the Commandant, to remove the Naval Constructor, to change the regulations, and make the yard a party machine for the benefit of party, and to employ men to elect candidates instead of building ships. I am amazed that Raymond could debase himself so far as to submit such a proposition, and more that he expects me to enforce it.

The President, in a conversation with Blair and myself on the Wade and Davis protest, remarked that he had not, and probably should not read it. From what was said of it he had no desire to, could himself take no part in such a controversy as they seemed to wish to provoke. Perhaps he is right, provided he has some judicious friend to state to him what there is really substantial in the protest entitled to consideration without the vituperative asperity.

The whole subject of what is called reconstruction is beset with difficulty, and while the executive has indicated one course and Congress another, a better and different one than either may be ultimately pursued. I think the President would have done well to advise with his whole Cabinet in the measures he has adopted, not only as to reconstruction or reestablishing the Union, but as to this particular bill and the proclamation he has issued in regard to it.

President Lincoln writes General Stephen G. Burbridge: “Last December Mrs. Emily T. Helm, half-sister of Mrs. L. and widow of the rebel general Ben. Hardin Helm stopped here on her way from Georgia to Kentucky, and I gave her a paper, as I remember, to protect her against the mere fact of her being Gen. Helm’s widow. I hear a rumor to-day that you recently sought to arrest her, but was prevented by her presenting the paper from me. I do not intend to protect her against the consequences of disloyal words or acts, spoken or done by her since her return to Kentucky, and if the paper given her by me can be construed to give her protection for such words or acts, it is hereby revoked pro tanto. Deal with her for current conduct, just as you would with any other.”

President Lincoln writes Benjamin F. Butler: “Your paper…about Norfolk matters is received, as also was your other, on the same general subject dated, I believe some time in February last. This subject has caused considerable trouble, forcing me to give a good deal of time and reflection to it. I regret that crimination and recrimination are mingled it. I surely need not to assure you that I have no doubt of your loyalty and devoted patriotism; and I must tell you that I have no less confidence in those of Gov. Pierpoint and the Attorney General. The former, at first, as the loyal governor of all Virginia, including that which is now West-Virginia; in organizing and furnishing troops, and in all other proper matters, was as earnest, honest, and efficient to the extent of his means, as any other loyal governor. The inauguration of West-Virginia as a new State left to him, as he assumed, the remainder of the rebel lines, and consequently within his reach, certainly gives a somewhat farcical air to dominion; and I suppose he, as well as I, has considered that it could be useful for little needs to be known to be relieved from all question as to loyalty and thorough devotion to the national cause; constantly restraining as he does, my tendency to clemency for rebels and rebel sympathizers. But he is the Law-Officer of the government, and a believer in the virtue of adhering to law.

Coming to the question itself, the Military occupancy of Norfolk is a necessity with us. If you, as Department commander, find the cleansing of the City necessary to prevent pestilence in your army–street lights, and a fire department, necessary to prevent assassination and incendiarism among your men and stores–wharfage necessary to land and ship men and supplies–a large pauperism, badly conducted, at a needlessly large expense to the government, and find also that these things, or any of them, are not reasonably well attended to by the civil government, you rightfully may, and must take them into your hands. But you should do so on your own avowed judgment of a military necessity, and not seem to admit that there is no such necessity, by taking a vote of the people on the question. Nothing justifies the suspending of the civil by the  military authority, but military necessity, and of the existence of that necessity the military commander, and not a popular vote, is to decide. And whatever is not within such necessity should be left undisturbed. In your paper of February you fairly notified me that you contemplated taking a popular vote; and, if fault there be, it was my fault that I did not object then, which I probably should have done, had I studied the subject as closely as I have since done. I now think you would better lace whatever you feel is necessary to be done, on this distinct ground of military necessity, openly discarding all reliance for what you do, on any election. I also think you should so keep accounts as to show every item of money received and how expended.

The course here indicated does not touch the case when the military commander finding no friendly civil government existing, may, under the sanction or direction of the President, give assistance to the people to inaugerate one.

President Lincoln writes New York Tribune Editor Horace Greeley: “I telegraphed you Saturday. Did you receive the despatch? Please answer.”

From Kansas, Lincoln friend Mark W. Delahay writes President Lincoln: “I trust it will not be deemed a Denigation, if I say that a prudent and wise Statesman can make good points by mere luck sometimes; I have come to the conclusion, Your late [July 8] letter to “Whom it may concern” was a fortunate thing; it has disarmed a class of Democrats of one important weapin, all who preached up, that you would not be for, or yield your assent to an honorable peace;1 The German opposition is fast wasting away in many localities, in this city particularly– Carney owns the only German paper in this State that hangs out for Fremont & Cochran; his other two papers The Evening Bullitin (which he Bribed in his Senatorial fraud,4 after I had committed it first of all papers in the State for you) still keeps our Ticket at its Colums head — but writes bad articles under the name of supporting our ticket; but it of course is harmless and has no influence in the State, The Times ” Old man Vaughan” does the same thing — neither can do us harm, Kansas will be certain to give you her vote, Lane is now carrying a vigerous canvass, having a perfect triumph where ever he goes for our ticket.”

Published in: on August 8, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

President Lincoln Confers with Generals Grant and Halleck at War Department

August 7, 1864

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary:” Going into the War Department [Sunday] morning to inquire if any tidings had been received concerning Colonel Stedman of the 11th Connecticut Infantry, who was wounded, probably mortally, on Friday, I found the President with General Grant, Stanton, and General Halleck in the Secretary’s room. I proposed leaving on making the single inquiry, provided they’ were in secret council, but the President and General Grant declared they were not, for me. Learning that poor Stedman was dead, and that some little intelligence had been received from Mobile] I soon left, for there was, it appeared to me, a little stiffness as if I had interrupted proceedings. General Grant has been to Frederick and placed Sheridan in command of the forces on the upper Potomac instead of Hunter, which is a good change, for H., though violently earnest, is not exactly the man for that command. I think him honest and patriotic, which are virtues in these days, but he has not that discretion and forbearance sufficient to comprehend rightly the position that was given him

It may have been this Sunday when John Hay writes fellow presidential aide John G. Nicolay from New York: “I am stranded here, badly bored with nothing to do but wait for tomorrow.”

I have lost my knife. I wish you would put one in an envelope and send it to me here.

Everybody is out of town. New York is duller than Washington. I saw Boutwell for a while today. He takes rather an encouraging view of the political situation. I won’t go to see Greeley unless the Prest desires it.

General David Hunter, commanding in the Shenandoah Valley, asked to be relieved: “In sending the rebel citizens & their families beyond our lines I was obeying the order of Lieut Gen Grant communicated through Gen Halleck your Chief of Staff with several thousand wealthy rebel spies in our midst constantly sending information & supplies to the Enemy & pointing out union men to their vengeance it is impossible to conduct the affairs of any Department sucessfully I most humbly beg that I may be relieved from command of the Dept of West Virginia.”

In the wake of the Wade-Davis Manifesto, Indiana political leader John Defrees writes Ohio Senator Benjamin F. Wade (and sends a copy to the White House): “Either Mr. Lincoln or a Copperhead must be the next President.”

If the latter, an ignomenious peace — a recognition of the Southern Confederacy, or the adoption of the Constitution of the Confederacy by all the States, will certainly follow.

Of course, you are not in favor of thus ending the present struggle for the existence of the nation; and yet, the address by Winter Davis and yourself is so construed and will be so used by those who wish the electin of a Copperhead.

Granted, if you please, that Mr. Lincoln ought to have signed the approved the reconstruction law, is his neglect to do so a sufficient reason for making war upon him, and thus lessen his chances for re-election.

In this hour of the country’s greatest peril much should be overlooked by all thoes who desire that it should live.

At the commencement of the rebellion, and for some time afterwards, Mr. Lincoln hesitated as to the proper course to be pursued by the government towards slavery, and the use of Slaves as Soldiers. Union men were divided on these questions. At length he became convinced that our cause would be strengthened by their liberation, as far as possible, and their use in our armies — and hence his proclamation.

More of our public men who then entertained what were called ultra views on the Slavery question, applauded his act — whilst those opposed to them, acquiesed in it.

Is it not a little strange that most of the opposition to Mr. Lincoln, among Union men, is to be found among the very men who were loudest in their accomendations of the proclamation of freedom, as they called it?

Mr. Lincoln can be re-elected, — but, it will require the United effort of all those who do not wish to see the restoration of the slave power in more than its former hideousness.

It is time for the pioneer in the anti-slavery movement above all others, now to shrink from sustaining the President merely be cause, in all things, they do not agree with him.

The address to which I refer will do harm, unless you take a very early occasion, in a speech or letter, to say, that you mean to support Mr. L, notwithstanding his difference with you about the re-construction law — and, as a friend, I do wish you may do so.

From Green Bay, Wisconsin, Advocate editor Charles Robinson writes President Lincoln asking clarification about his war policy: “I am a War Democrat, and the editor of a Democratic paper. I have sustained your Administration since its inauguration, because it is the legally constituted government– I have sustained its war policy, not because I endorsed it entire, but because it presented the only available method of putting down the rebellion– In the course of pursuing this policy, I have had occasion to assist in the defeat of a “Copperhead” ticket in this State, giving and taking some hard knocks with some of my party in consequence. It was alleged that because I and my friends sustained the Emancipation measure, we had become abolitionized. We replied that we regarded the freeing of the negroes as sound war policy, in that the depriving the South of its laborers weakened the strength of the Rebellion. That was a good argument, and was accepted by a great many men who would have listened to no other. It was solid ground on which we could stand, and still maintain our position as Democrats– We were greatly comforted and strengthened also by your assurance that if you could save the Union without freeing any slave, you would do it; if you could save it by freeing the slaves, you would do it; and if you could do it by freeing some, and leaving others alone, you would also do that.

The Niagara Falls “Peace” movement was of no importance whatever, except that it resulted in bringing out your declaration, as we understand it, that no steps can be taken towards peace, from any quarter, unless accompanied with an abandonment of slavery. This puts the whole war question on a new basis, and takes us War Democrats clear off our feet, leaving us no ground to stand upon– If we sustain the war and war policy, does it not demand the changing of our party politics?

I venture to write you this letter, then, not for the purpose of finding fault with your policy — for that you have a right to fix upon without consulting any of us — but with the hope that you may suggest some interpretation of it, as well as make it tenable ground on which we War Democrats may stand — preserve our party [consistently?] — support the government — and continue to carry also to its support those large numbers of our old political friends who have stood by us up to this time.

I beg to assure you that this is not written for the purpose of using it, or its possible reply, in a public way. And I take the pains to send it through my friend Gov. Randall in the belief that he will guarantee for me entire good faith–

Published in: on August 7, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

President Lincoln Seeks to Publish the Lincoln-Greeley Correspondence from July

August 6, 1864

President Lincoln writes New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley: “Yours to Major Hay about publication of our correspondence received. With the suppression of a few passages in your letters in regard to which I think you and I would not disagree, I should be glad of the publication. Please come over and see me.” Greeley, who increasingly opposed to Lincoln’s reelection, does not respond until August 9. He chooses to press Lincoln to undertake further peace efforts – despite the clear disaster of the Niagara Falls non-negotiations:

I fear that my chance for usefulness has passed. I know that nine-tenths of the whole American people, North and South, are anxious for peace — peace on almost any terms — and utterly sick of human slaughter and devastation. I know that, to the general eye, it now seems that the rebels are anxious to negotiate and that we repulse their advances. I know that if this impression be not removed we shall be beaten out of sight next November. I firmly believe that, were the election to take place tomorrow, the Democratic majority in this State and Pennsylvania would amount to 100,000, and that we should lose Connecticut also. Now if the Rebellion can be crushed before November it will do to go on; if not, we are rushing on certain ruin.

What, then can I do in Washington? Your trusted advisers all think that I ought to go to Fort Lafayette for what I have done already. Seward wanted me sent there for my brief conference with M. Mercier. The cry has steadily been, No truce! No armistice! No negotiation! No mediation! Nothing but surrender at discretion! I never heard of such fatuity before. There is nothing like it in history. It must result in disaster, or all experience is delusive.

Now I do not know that a tolerable peace could be had, but I believe it might have been last month; and, at all events, I know that an honest, sincere effort for it would have done us immense good. And I think no Government fighting a rebellion should ever close it ears to any proposition the rebels may make.

I beg you, implore you, to inaugurate or invite proposals for peace forthwith. And in case peace cannot now be made, consent to an armistice for one year, each party to retain unmolested, all it now holds, but the rebels ports to be opened. Meantime let a national convention be held, and there will surely be no more war at all events.”

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “I had a telegram from Tom this morning, stating that Colonel Stedman was mortally wounded and would probably not survive the night, that General Ord desired his promotion without delay, that it might be received before his death, and wishing me to call at once on the President. I did so, who responded readily to the recommendation, and I then, at his request, saw Secretary Stanton, who met me in the right spirit.

While at the President’s Blair came in, and the President informed us he had a telegram from Greeley, desiring the publication of the whole peace correspondence. Both Blair and myself advised it, but the President said he had telegraphed Greeley to come on, for he desired him to erase some of the lamentations in his longest letter. I told him while I regretted it was there, the whole had better be published. Blair said it would have to come to that ultimately. But the President thought it better that part should be omitted.

I remarked that I had seen the Wade and Winter Davis protest. He aid, Well, let them wriggle, but it was strange that Greeley, whom they made their organ in publishing the protest, approved his course and therein differed from the protestants. The protest is violent and abusive of the President, who is denounced with malignity for what I deem the prudent and wise omission to sign a law prescribing how and in what way the Union shall be reconstructed. There are many offensive features in the law, which is, in itself, a usurpation and abuse of authority. How or in what way or ways the several States are to put themselves right–retrieve their position–is in the future and cannot well be specified. There must be latitude given, and not a stiff and too stringent policy pursued in this respect by either the Executive or Congress. We have a Constitution, and there is still something in popular government.

In getting up this law it was as much an object of Mr. Winter Davis and some others to pull down the Administration as to reconstruct the Union. I think they had the former more directly in view than the latter. Davis’s conduct is not surprising, but I should not have expected that Wade, who has a good deal of patriotic feeling, common sense, and a strong, though coarse and vulgar, mind, would have lent himself to such a despicable assault on the President.

Published in: on August 6, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

President Lincoln Hears Wade-Davis Manifesto

August 5, 1864

“The Wade-Davis manifesto appeared on August,” wrote Historian William Frank Zornow in Lincoln and the Party Divided The document was a derogatory, malevolent denunciation of the Chief Executive. It accused him of trying to control the electoral votes of the reconstructed states and called upon all loyal party men to repudiate him. Rumors were flying that these two Congressional leaders intended to follow up the protest with an appeal for Lincoln’s impeachment.   Lincoln’s friends were vehement in their denunciations of the manifesto, but Lincoln took the whole incident with his customary aplomb. ‘It is not worth fretting about,’ he reassured one of his friends. Lincoln’s sel-assurance may have been a guise to conceal his worry over the affair, but he may have sen what the politicians in Washington did not see – that the manifesto had not had its desired effect upon the public. James Garfield, for example, found it expedient to spike a rumor in his Ohio district that he had helped write it. Benjamin Wade was universally denounced throughout Ohio and his name stricken from the list of speakers in that state. Henry Davis became so unpopular in Maryland that he was later defeated for re-election.   Many years afterward Albert Riddle recalled that ‘everywhere, North, East, South, and West, the masses were with Mr. Lincoln. No President was ever more cordially sustained by the people.’ On the other hand, he recollected that ‘thinking Union men were quite unanimous in sustain Mr. Wade and Mr. Davis, as was the majority of both Houses of Congress. It seemed to be the same old story; Lincoln was supported by the people and opposed by the Unconditional political leaders.” The Manifesto stated:

‘We have read without surprise, but not without indignation, the Proclamation of the President of the 8th of July,’ it began.   Then it continued:

The President, by preventing this bill from becoming a law, holds the electoral votes of the rebel States at the dictation of his personal ambition…

A more studied outrage on the legislative authority of the people has never been perpetrated.

Congress passed a bill; the President refused to approve it, and then by proclamation puts as much of it in force as he sees fit, and proposes to execute those parts by officers unknown to the laws of the United States and not subject to the confirmation of the Senate!

The bill directed the appointment of Provisional Governors by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The President, after defeating the law, proposes to appoint without law, and without the advice and consent of the Senate, Military Governors for the rebel States!

He has already exercised this dictatorial usurpation in Louisiana, and he defeated the bill to prevent its limitation….

The President has great presumed on the forbearance which the supports of his Administration have so long practiced, in view of the arduous conflict in which we are engaged, and the reckless ferocity of our political opponents.

But he must understand that our support is of a cause and not of a man; that the authority of Congress is paramount and must be respected; that the whole body of the Union men in Congress will not submit to be impeached by him of rash and unconstitutional legislation; and if he wishes our support, he must confine himself to his executive duties — to obey and execute, not make the laws — to suppress by arms armed rebellion, and leave political reorganization to Congress.

If the supporters of the Government to insist on this, they become responsible for the usurpations which they fail to rebuke, and are justly liable to the indignation of the people whose rights and security, committed to their keeping, they sacrifice.

Let them consider the remedy for these usurpations, and having found it, fearlessly execute it.

At night, the Wade-Davis Manifesto is read to President Lincoln by Secretary of State Seward in evening.   He responds: “I would like to know if protestors intend openly to oppose his election — the document looks that way.”   Mr. Lincoln was helped by the stupidity and bad timing of his enemies. Historian Gerard S. Henig noted in Henry Winter Davis:“Lincoln was nevertheless hurt and angered by the ‘protest,’ especially since it came from two members of his own party. ‘To be wounded in the house of one’s friends is perhaps the most grievous affliction that can befall a man,’ he confided to Noah Brooks. But the President was first and always a masterful politician, and he was quick to realize that Wade and Davis had clearly gone too far. Commenting that he had not and did not care to read the manifesto, he told a characteristic story.

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary regarding the morning Cabinet meeting: “Only four of us with the President today. Mr. Fessenden has gone to Maine. Seward and Stanton were absent when the rest were there.

I was with the President on Wednesday when Governor Morgan was there, and the President produced the correspondence that had passed between himself and Chase at the time C. resigned. It was throughout characteristic. I do not think the event was wholly unexpected to either, and yet both were a little surprised. The President fully understands Chase and had made up his mind that he would not be again overridden in his own appointments. Chase, a good deal ambitious and somewhat presuming, felt he must enforce his determinations, which he had always successfully carried out. In coming to the conclusion that a separation must take place, the President was prompted by some, and sustained by all, his Cabinet without an exception. Chase’s retirement has offended nobody, and has gratified almost everybody.”

Attorney General Edward Bates writes in his diary: “Delivered to the President J.O. Broadhead’s sad letter on Mo. affairs (a fair copy of it). He read it in silence, and seemed deeply moved. But I foresee that no good will come of it. The Prest knows what is right, as well as any man, and would be glad to see it done, but, unhappily, lacks the nerve to do it.

“I had a pretty long conversation with him, about the appeal of the Govr. Pierepoint [Pierpont]) and other officers of Va. Against Gen butler’s proceedings to put down civil law in Norfolk. I was ashamed when I found that he had done nothing upon the subject – slurred it over in silence, only because he is afraid Gen B.[utler] ‘will raise a hubbub about it.’ I reminded him that it was a formal opinion of his own Atty Genl., to the effect that Genl B[utler]’s proceeding was a mere usurpation, and a grave offence. That is a case pending which must be decided – that not to revoke the order is to approve and sanction it – &c[.]

“But all in vain – He was impassive as water.”

“I will come over in a few minutes,” President Lincoln writes when informed in the morning that General Ulysses S. Grant has arrived at War Department. General Philip H. Sheridan visits the President , who has been called to Washington and ordered to join Grant at Monocacy Junction.”   Sheridan is appointed to command the Army of the Shenandoah. President Lincoln tells Sheridan that Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton “had objected to my assignment to General Hunter’s command because he thought me too young, and that he himself had concurred with the Secretary; but now, since General Grant had plowed round the difficulties of the situation by picking me out to command the boys in the field, he felt satisfied with what had been done and hoped for the best.”

President Lincoln writes Morton McMichael: “When the Philadelphia Post-Master was here on the 20th. of June last, I read to him a paper…..He promised me to strictly follow this. I am now told that, of the two or three hundred employees in the Post-Office, not one of them is openly for Judge Kelly. This, if true, is not accidental. Left tot heir free choice, there can be no doubt that a large number of them, probably as much or more than half, would be for Kelly. And if they are for him, and are not restrained, they can put it beyond question by publicly saying so. Please tell the Post-Master he must find a way to relieve me from the suspicion that he is not keeping his promise to me in good faith.” John W. Forney had written from Philadelphia: ‘The political condition of the district represented by the Hon Wm. D. Kelly is such that your immediate interposition is necessary. He is clearly the choice of the Union people…for renomination, and I greatly fear if he should be defeated, for that renomination, by the malpractice of partisans who claim to be your friends, that we may lose the elections in October next…” Postmaster Cornelius Walborn posted a notice on August 9:

To the Employees of the Philadelphia Postal District.

Whereas I am charged with coercing you to oppose the nomination of Wm D. Kelly for Congress.

Now this is to notify you that you are expected to sustain men of known loyalty only, for all offices, but you are at liberty, as far as I am concerned to exercise your own views in reference to who should be nominated for Congress, or any other office in the gift of the people…

From elsewhere in southern Pennsylvania, influential editor Alexander K. McClure writes President Lincoln: “Franklin county has lost fully $5,000,000 since the war commenced, Still, we have filled every quota of troops called for.

A draft is now pending calling for 800 men. I beg of you allow us to raise thrice the number of our quota to be confirmed by the Nat. Government, & to be paid when on drill or duty by the State; to be subject to call for border defence, & only for that. Our Industry is broken up. This would restore it & protect it; and it would be but an act of sheer justice to thus exempt them from the draft.

Can it be done? If you refer this letter to the Departments, it will not be done. Chambersburg is in ruin1 to-day solely because your Departments have turned a deaf ear to all propositions to put our border people in a position for self-defence.

I am fully advised of what has transpired; & I know that Gen Couch’s suggestions have been utterly disregarded; and the result is the plundering of the border & the burning of our town. The removal of Gen Couch would therefore be a wrong which you cannot afford to allow.

In the wake of the aborted Niagara Falls negotiations, New York Times editor Henry J. Raymond repeatedly demanded that the correspondence with his rival editor, Horace Greeley of the New York Times.   Today, Raymond writes President Lincoln:

I enclose an article from the Tribune of this morning. It seems to me that the public interest would be served – & certainly your action would be vindicated, which amounts to the same thing – by the publication of the correspondence in question.

If you concur in this opinion & see no objection to such a course I shall be very glad to receive from you a copy with authority to publish it.

The previous day Greeley wrote presidential aide John Hay: “The Times of this morning calls for the publication of my letters to the President and his replies thereto relative to the Niagara Falls matter.1 I am no keeper of letters, and have no copy of any of mine except possibly the first or longest.– If you happen to have all the correspondence, I wish you would lend it me for publication; or, if you can prepare copies to be promptly made of it all and sent me, I will pay for copying. I have no special desire to see it in print, but certainly not the least objection. Help me to give it all, and I trust good will come of it.”

Published in: on August 5, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Wade-Davis Manifesto Released

August 4, 1864

In response to President Lincoln’s veto of their reconstruction legislation, Senator Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio and Representative Henry Winter Davis of Maryland issued a manifesto “To the Supporters of the Government” that stated:

The President, by preventing this bill from becoming a law, hold the electoral votes of the rebel States at the dictation of his personal ambition. If those votes turn the balance in his favor, is it to be supposed that his competitor, defeated by such means, will acquiesce? If the rebel majority assert their supremacy in those States, and send votes which elect as enemy of the government, will we not repel his claims? And is not that civil war for the presidency inaugurated by the votes of rebel States? Seriously impressed with these dangers, Congress, ‘the proper constitutional authority,’ formally declared that there are no State governments in the rebel States, and provided for their erection at a proper time; and both the Senate and House of Representatives rejected the Senators and Representatives chosen under the authority of what the President calls the free constitution and government of Arkansas. The President’s proclamation ‘holds for naught’ this judgment and discards the authority of the Supreme Court and strides headlong toward the anarchy his proclamation of the 8th of December inaugurated. If electors for President be allowed to be chosen in either of those States, a sinister light will be cast on the motives which induced the President to ‘hold for naught the will of Congress rather than his governments in Louisiana and Arkansas. That judgment of Congress which the President defies was the exercise of an authority exclusively vested in Congress by the constitution to determine who is the established government in a State, and in its own nature and by the highest of judicial authority binding on all other departments of the government…A more studied outrage on the legislative authority of the people has never been perpetrated. Congress passed a bill; the President refused to approve it, and then by proclamation puts as much of it in form as he sees fit, and proposes to execute those parts by officers unknown to the laws of the United States and not subject to the confirmation of the Senate. The bill directed the appointment of provisional governors by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President, after defeating such a law proposes to appoint without law, and without the advice and consent of the Senate, military governors for the rebel States! He has already exercised the dictatorial usurpation in Louisiana, and he defeated the bill to prevent its limitation…

The President has greatly presumed on the forbearance which the supporters of his administration have so long practiced, in view of the arduous conflict in which we are engaged, and the reckless ferocity of our political opponents. But he must understand that our support is of a cause and not of a man; that the authority of Congress is paramount and must be respected and that the whole body of the Union men of Congress will not submit to him. Impeached by him of rash and unconstitutional legislation; and if he wished our support, he must confine himself to his executive duties – to obey and execute, not make the laws – to suppress by arms armed rebellion, and leave political reorganization to Congress.

If the supporters of the government fail to insist on this, they become responsible for the usurpations which they fail to rebuke, and are justly liable to the indignation of the people, whose rights and security, committed to their keeping, they sacrifice. Let them consider the remedy for these usurpations, and having found it, fearlessly execute it!

Attorney General Edward Bates writes in his diary about civil-military affairs in Virginia: “The President knows as well as I do, that Genl. Butler’s proceedings to overthrow the Civil Law at Norfolk, and establish his own despotism in its stead, is unlawful and wrong, and without even a pretence of military necessity, and yet, he will not revoke the usurping orders, for fear Genl butler will ‘raise a hubbub about it.’ Alas! That I should live to see such abject fear -such small stolid indifference to duty – such open contempt of constitution and law – and such profound ignorance of policy and prudence!

My heart is sick, when I see the President shrink from the correction of gross and heinous wrong because he is afraid ‘genl butler will raise a hubbub about it.’

General Ulysses S. Grant wires President Lincoln from City Point, Virginia: “I will start in two hours for Washington & will spend a day with the Army under Genl Hunter.”

As part of the continuing conflict between civil and military authorities in Norfolk, Virginia, Governor Francis H. Peirpoint: “I learn through the Papers and otherwise that Genl Butler has arrested Judge E K Snead of Norfolk Va for attempting to hold his court under the laws of the State of Virginia in that city & has him now in confinement I respectfully ask his immediate release. Please inform me of your action in the case.”

Published in: on August 4, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

President Lincoln Directs Order to General Philip Sheridan

August 3, 1864

President Lincoln writes General Ulysses S. Grant: “I have seen your despatch in which you say, ‘I want Sheridan put in command of all the troops in the field, with instructions to put himself south of the enemy, and follow him to the death. Wherever the enemy goes, let our troops go along.’ This, I think, is exactly right, as to how our forces should move. But please look over the despatches you may have received from here, even since you made that order, and discover, if you can, that there is any idea in the head of any one here of ‘putting our army south of the enemy,’ or of ‘following him to the death‘ in any direction. I repeat to you it will neither be done nor attempted unless you watch it every day, and hour, and force it.”

Grant wrote in his memoirs that he responded: “‘’I would start in two hours for Washington,’ and soon got off, going directly to the Monocacy without stopping at Washington on my way. I found General Hunter’s army encamped there, scattered over the fields along the banks of the Monocacy, with many hundreds of cars and locomotives, belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio, Railroad, which he had taken the precaution to bring back and collect at that point. I asked the general where the enemy was. He replied that he did not know. He said the fact was, that he was so embarrassed with orders from Washington moving him first to the right and then to the left that he had lost all trace of the enemy.”

General Benjamin F. Butler writes about one of the cases of imprisonment which has led to conflict with civil authorities and repeated complaints by Governor Francis H. Peirpoint: “In the case of Edward K Snead of Norfolk who was stayed because he threatened disobedience to my orders & whose case I have reported to you by mail, no further present action need be taken as Snead has given his word not to disobey any military order of this Dept & has been released to go about his business.”

Philadelphia Congressman William D. Kelley again demands the dismissal of Philadelphia Cornelius A. Walborn, who has instructed Post Office employees to oppose Kelley’s renomination: “If Mr Walborn is permitted to pursue the dictatorial course he is now engaged in — as he falsely asserts with your approval — they will I fear be scenes of disgraceful violence in many precin[c]ts

I find no opposition that is not fomented by him — the Navy agent — & their patron Genl Cameron — and that would vanish as by magic, were it not that they have impressed their adherents with the conviction that they are executing your wishes as expressed to Mr Walborn.

I beg leave again to remind you that I do not appeal to you for support; but simply ask you, for the sake of the great cause we have at heart, to relieve yourself from an odious responsibility which is thus falsely put upon you.

Fearing that my letters to you are tampered with I will withold my frank from this & let my daughter direct it. It is with pain that I thus add to your many anxities. I would not do it did not a sense of duty constrain me

Kelley is supported by a letter to President Lincoln by John W. Forney, a key political player and editor in both Philadelphia and Washington: “The political condition of the district represented by the Hon Wm D. Kelly is such that your immediate interposition is necessary. He is clearly the choice of the Union people of the dis-trict for renomination, and I greatly fear if he should be defeated, for that renomination, by the malpractice of partisans who claim to be your friends, that we may lose the election in October next.”

Published in: on August 3, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Lincoln Cabinet Meets on Military Positions of Grant and Sherman

August 2, 1864

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “Attorney-General Bates, who spent last evening with me, opened his heart freely as regards the cabinet. Of Blair he thought pretty well, but said he felt not intimacy with, or really friendly feelings for, any one but me; that I had his confidence and respect, and had from our first meeting. Mr. Seward had been constantly sinking in his estimation; that he had much cunning but little wisdom, was no lawyer and no statesman. Chase, he assures me, is not well versed in law principles even,–is not sound nor of good judgment. General [Henry W.] Halleck he had deliberately charged with intentional falsehood and put it in writing, that there should be no mistake or claim to have misapprehended him. He regretted that he President should have such a fellow near him.”

Attorney General Edward Bates writes: “There were but three of us at C.C. to day – Welles, Blair and I – The Pres: explained some particulars of G[r]ant’s and of Sherman’s positions, making affairs more favorable to us, than they seem on the outside.

The Prest. is incensed at, Gibson’s letter of resignation – and strikes back, I think, in blind impetuosity agst Welling as well as Gibson. I repeated to him my clear opinion that he had no chance of Mo. from the Radicals – Unless he backed his friends there, the state is inevitably lost.

Both former Surgeon General William A. Hammond, and his wife request interview – presumably to protest his dismissal. President Lincoln writes: “Under the circumstances, I should prefer not seeing Mrs. Hammond.”

Shakespearean actor James Hackett writes President Lincoln: “As ” Genl. Sanford” was lately on a mission to Secy. Stanton; and ” Ex. Judge Cowles” — formerly a supporter of is — now a backslider to your administration, and, as ” John K. Hackett” is my only son, (& aged 43,) — possibly the enclosed cut may afford information useful at some future time– ”

The late Davy Crockett contended with his fellow member of Congress, the late C. C. Cambrelling, — in palliation of the charge which he admitted he could not entirely deny — ” want of edication” — that — “some men were too high larnt — John Quincy Adams being one of such, — his superfluous larning sometimes confused his head & his purpose”– Crockett (according to Mr. Cambrelling, who told me the anecdote — which I think I once repeated to you) proceeded very ingeniously & humorously to instance a case, where ” a man knew too much ” & suffered for it”–

“In Tennessee, one John Jones was objected to, as a political candidate for an office; ‘because, he was so illiterate he could’nt spell his given name — John,’ & a wager of $10. was offered & taken that ‘he could not be larnt to spell it within 24 hours’– The taker of the bet did teach him, in less than one hour, to pronounce J — O — H — N –; & should have been satisfied, but must needs — as he thought — to win for sartin , & make use of all the time allowed, — larn him the whole alphabet — from A to Izzard– John, so crammed with unnecessary larnin’, after having pronounced, before the appointed judges of his ability, the letters ‘ J’ — ‘ O’ — ‘ H’ — fluently, was interrupted by him who had taken the wager, — “Well done, John! all right! now for the last letter!” — meaning the — N –: but, poor John, thinking he meant of the alphabet, which he had worked so hard to get into his head, cried out: — “Izzard by G–d!” and lost his friends’ bet.”

There is something said in Shakespeare about “a thrice told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.” I feel sure you never heard this from me but ” onest” before; & contend that if you had, ” twict,” you still have the advantage of any listener, who, if bored, cant throw his ears — as you can the enclosed — in the fire, unread– Yrs. always

Published in: on August 2, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment