Republican Politics Still Confused

September 5, 1864

Springfield attorney James C. Conkling writes to President Lincoln: “Gov [Richard] Yates has received a joint Letter from Horace Greely, Parke Godwin and … Tilton Editor of the Independent enquiring of him whether we can carry Illinois whether you can be elected and whether it would be advisable to nominate another candidate2 The Governor will answer most emphatically that we can carry Illinois — that you can be elected and that it would not be advisable to put any other candidate in the field His answer he will send to the Governors of the other States as said Letter has been sent to them also

This communication has no doubt some connection with the Cincinnati Convention to be held on the 28 inst and shews a systematic effort to interfere with your nomination Joseph Medill sends a Letter from Chicago to Gov Yates to the same effect

Cant something be done to check this proceeding and prevent the Convention? If it shall be held and any request shall be made through a committee or by the passage of resolutions, I hope that a firm emphatic refusal will be the only reply and that an appeal will be made to the people in opposition to the demands of a parcel of sore headed, disappointed, impracticable politicians If any change shall be made we are irretrievably ruined and I would rather see ten thousand Greelys crushed than any alteration in our programme as arranged at Baltimore That is the universal feeling here The campaign in Illinois is opening finely and our prospects are encouraging We shall carry the State by a large majority, if we can keep clear of these faint hearted, weakkneed politicians who are afraid of the popularity of McClellan.

Philadelphia North American journalist Henry Puleston writes presidential aide John G. Nicolay: “I was sorry to leave without seeing you last week and sorry to find you have left a few minutes before I arrived on Friday — nothing important, however– Thy Campaign is assuming a very cheerful aspect– The recent satisfactory military news has given the friends of the administration additional encouragement. Weed3 has written a good letter which will appear today or tomorrow and every thing seems from this standpoint to be working well for Mr: Lincoln– I understand McClellan4 is to write his letter of acceptance in season for the Maine Election, and that he is waiting now only for Dean Richmond. I am led to believe that his letter will set forth that he will not under any circumstance agree to any armistice or compromise based upon disunion– That the rebels should have every protection & right “under the constitution” & that unless they concur in this the rebellion shall be put down at all hazards. The peace platform will be practically ignored and Pendleton it is said has acquiesced to be governed by the sentiment of McClellan’s letter. This at least is the programme given me today by a very prominent Copperhead who is inside the ring. They say that now the campaign has opened the regular peace men will be forced to acquiesce &c. It looks, however as favorable for Mr. Lincoln as you could wish & I cannot see a possibility now of McClellan’s Election. I think we ought to have captured the “Herald”

New York real estate businessman Simeon Draper, a former chairman of the New York State Republican Party, writes President Lincoln regarding his recent patronage appointment – part of John G. Nicolay’s mission to bring about peace among the Republican factions in New York: “Permit me to acknowledge the receipt of my appointment as Collector of this City and at the same time assure you of my grateful appreciation of the important trust you have placed in my hands. I shall always feel happy in the performance of my duty to your satisfaction and in rendering myself of service to you in whatever direction you may desire.”

President Lincoln’s Confederate sister-in-law, Katherine Todd, writes for a favor: “You will doubtless be surprised at receiving a letter from me but never the less I hope it will be welcome– I have written to you to ask if you will grant an especial Exchange of Brig Genl W N R. Beall of the Confederate States Army captured at Port Hudson Miss — last July 5th, 1863. He is a prisoner now at Johnsons Island, Ohio– Genl Beall’s family have always been old and warm friends of my Father’s and if you would grant my request We all would be under everlasting obligations If you would parole him to go to Richmond Va. and effect the Exchange of an Officer of an equal rank in the United States Army, any one you might name, no doubt would be exchange for Genl Beall– Should you object to an exchange, could you parole him to New York, Missouri or Kentucky for a few weeks, Hoping you will be kind enough to grant me this request. With love to Sister Mary, and kind wishes for yourself in which Emilie joins me. Trusting I may hear from you an answer to my letter.”

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