Reelection Politics Consume Capital

September 18, 1864

Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton writes Indiana Governor Oliver Morton: “It appears from a dispatch received from General [William T.] Sherman last night that his army is jealously watching whether the draft will be suspended or enforced. The general says:

“‘If the President modifies it to the extent of one man, or wavers in its execution, he is gone. Even the army would vote against him.

“You can judge from this what effect the recall of troops and delaying the draft is likely to have on your election.”

New York Republican political boss Thurlow Weed, frequently concerned about political disaster, writes Secretary of State William H. Seward from New York City: “The Democrats had a formidable Turn-out here last night. It is the first time that they really acted like working.

Our Secretary of State is alarmed about the Soldiers Vote. The Law is loosely drawn, and he says that they can, with Democratic Inspectors here, work in any number of Fraudulent Votes. This must be looked to, and yet it may be irremediable.

[Pennsylvania Governor] Curtin is here. I aim to talk with him to-day. He is said to be luke-warm. [Hooper?], who was sour a week ago, is right now. He was at Breakfast with me this morning.

[Henry J.] Raymond says that Mr Lincoln is refusing to avail himself of an element of strength. This, if it be needed, is not wise.

If all is well without it, then let it go– But I would hold the power until after the October Elections.

I had Draper and Wakeman pleasantly together yesterday.

Also from New York, Boston Republican businessman John Forbes writes Francis P. Blair, Sr., an old-time Washington regular and father of deposed Postmaster General Montgomery Blair: “I telegraphed Mr Wm Cullen Bryant from Washington on Friday but he was not in the city either that day or yesterday and so I missed him, but I have no sort of doubt he will be with us and I give you enclosed a cutting from his Fridays paper which accords entirely with our views–

I spent yesterday in seeing various friends in New York & discussing the best mode of bringing out our idea & finally left for home with an understanding that a letter should be written as originally intended instead of calling a public meeting & inviting the President to express his views upon that occasion, as was suggested by some.

I regretted to find that some prominent men of the old Democratic line, who were on the fence a week ago have jumped down on the wrong side, Brady1 & John Van Buren among them — : The rich men too and the young men of fashion — the ” Jeanesse doré” as Carlyle calls them are going for McLlellan more generally than I like–

I can understand how boys aping Arisotocracy can be mis led but how men of property can see the currency & the Bonds left at the mercy of a Peace party is totally incomprehensible — even putting patriotism & self respect out of sight.

It is however all the more important to face the situation & to meet it by bringing into prominence the great Issue — Democratic Institutions against Aristocratic ones–

Mr Lincoln must not depend upon the rich or Aristocratic classes — nor upon the city poeple –; He must appeal to the hard handed poeple of the Country upon a plain square Issue, which they can understand — and there is no time to be lost –; We ought to have a year ago, but it is not too late—- One election campaign like this with our Sons & Brothers in the battle field counts for ten Common years–

On the other side the Aristocratic party have an immense bribe held out to them in the control of the Government for four years and the oppertunity it would give them to change our form of Government into a permanent Oligarchy–:

With this glittering prize ahead nothing that money can do will be wanting to defeat us–

With such men as Belmont, Sherman, Corning and a host of other milllionaires against us you can see how easy it would be to get a corruption fund of ten or twenty million Greenbacks put up by parties who in case of success would gather five times the amount out of the public chest–

Who can doubt that the British aristocracy who have been building Alabamas6 & blockade runners — and Louis Napolean with his Mexican Elephant7 on his hands will contribute or that Jeffn Davis who pays no home debts will send a few cargoes of cotton to fight his battle at the Polls–?

New York is crowded with Secesh who will vote and pay for McLellans Election

We must meet this array by the simple and sure flank movement of invoking the popular element — appealing to the plain poeple against the Plantation and Bank paper Aristocracy–

If we can do this successfully we can laugh at our enemies North & South and we will found a Nation based upon true Democracy instead of the mere Confederacy which these poeple pretend that we have been and are–

I enclose a copy of an article which I wrote two years ago upon Emancipation regarding it from a conservative point of view & which has some of our present ideas in it

We have now a far bigger Issue than the mere Emancipation of the Negro but really including it — the success of free Institutions for our own Country and for all the world–

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Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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