President Lincoln Meets with Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin

September 28, 1864

President Lincoln has a political conclave with Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin.

Philadelphia Congressman William D. Kelley subsequently writes President Lincoln and encloses a newspaper clipping about the Curtin-Lincoln meeting: “You will see that I have clipped the foregoing paragraph from a morning paper.1 It fills me with pleasure, not because I am a partisan or admirer of Gov Curtin’s; but it promises to secure Penna for the ticket with which the welfare of the country is identified.

I care not what committees may report our state is not safe. It is very doubtful. The campaign is not being conducted by the state committee with reference to your election, but to so organising legislative and committee and other influence as to constrain you to accept Simon Cameron as Secty of War — or if that fail to restore him to the Senate. I am not mistaken on this, nor do I utter the language of prejudice. Our State Com. is ignoring every man, and every influence that is not devoted to Cameron. In my district though he knows he cannot defeat me, he is organising a movement to have me cut as a means of impairing my influence– He is also engaged in an attempt to defeat Col McClures election to the Legislature. He is everywhere courting the impression that he alone of Pennsylvanias sons is potential with you, and that he is certain of going into the Cabinet.

This impression must be removed, or you will in certain districts fail to win with the congressional ticket in such districts, and may lose the state– Let me particularise these districts Take those composed of Montgomery & Lehigh, of Schuylkill & Lebanon, and Berks Co. which is a district itself. I hope you will remember them & test my judgment by the results

What can be done? A paragraph that I read the other day suggests the remedy. It suggested the possible appointment of Secty Ussher to a judgeship. Make that appointment and put a Pennsylvanian in Usshers place. Let it be a man acceptable to the Gov & his friends. This will quiet Camerons intrigue, and silence their hostility to Stanton, who, spite of his brusquerie is one of the truest & ablest counsellors you have.

The man for the place is Joseph J Lewis. His name is the synonym for honesty throughout this state, and who is able and devoted to you.

No human being knows, or shall know from me, of this letter. It is of my own impulse, and I know that my suggestions are judicious

General William T. Sherman writes President Lincoln: “I have positive knowledge that Jeff Davis made a speech at Macon on the 22nd which I mailed to Gen. Halleck yesterday

It was bitter against [General Joseph] Johnston & Govr [Joseph] Brown. The militia is on furlough. Brown is at Milledgeville trying to get a legislature to meet next month but he is afraid to act unless in concert with other Governors.

Judge [Augustus] Wright of Rome has been here and Messrs Hill and Nelson former members of our Congress are also here now and will go to meet Wright at Rome and then go back to Madison and Milledgeville. Great efforts are being made to re-enforce Hood’s army and to break up my Railroads, and I should have at once a good reserve force at Nashville.

It would have a bad effect if I were to be forced to send back any material part of my army to guard roads so as to weaken me to an extent that I could not act offensively if the occasion calls for it.

The Rev. Augustus C. Thompson, pastor of the Eliot Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts, writes President Lincoln: “Nine months ago the failure of my health obliged me to seek rest and recreation in foreign travel. My tour embraced portions of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Greece. An official connection with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, naturally secured for me a kind reception by missionaries from this country wherever I met them. I spent many weeks in their company at different Stations. It was not a little gratifying to find them all thoroughly loyal to our Federal Government, and also to hear their expressions of confidence in yourself and hearty approval of your administration.

It was also delightful to listen to their prayers for “The President of the United States,” and it seems to me due to you, and I know it will be a gratification, to be informed that christian men and women in those remote lands pour out their hearts before Almighty God in supplication for yourself.

During all my absence nothing delighted me more than this, and to listen to those self-banished servants of Jesus Christ, on the banks of the Euphrates and elsewhere, as they raised our national songs and patriotic hymns. It was a peculiar pleasure to hear them amidst the scorched hills of Padan-Aram, sing with exulting hearts,

George Denison writes President Lincoln regarding the New Orleans Customs House: “ I am informed on good authority that a list of the officials under my charge, has been sent to you, with a statement of the action taken by each one in the last election in this State.1 A copy of said list & statement is now before me. It is quite incorrect, being a nearly accurate statement of the employés under my predecessor, many of whom are not now here. It is incorrect as to the action of some of the officials, & entirely omits the employés under me in the Permit Office, constituting nearly one half of the whole.

I have made thorough investigation with the following result. The whole number of officials under my direction is 233….The whole number, who through indifference or hostility, failed to vote, was 40. I regard the obligation on a Gov’t official to vote, as imperative. These persons were reminded by me of their duty, and they shall soon learn that it was not for their interest to disregard it

Tennessee Governor Andrew Johnson writes President Lincoln: “In reply to your despatch referring to Thos R Bridges who is to be executed on Friday the thirtieth inst I will say, from all the information I have upon the subject that a commutation to confinement in the Penitentiary at hard Labor during his natural Life is the utmost extent that Executive Clemency should be extended at this time.”

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