President Lincoln Obtains Draft Substitute

September 30, 1864

John Summerfield Staples of Stroudsburg Pa is named as a draft substitute for President Lincoln from the District of Columbia.

President Lincoln writes Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas: “I have seen this man, who seems to be an intelligent & manly man, and whose story I believe to be true. If it does not invol[v]e much inconvenience, let the transfer he asks, be made.”  David G. Lindsay had written: “I inlisted in the 17th. Regt Pa. Cavalry and through some missunderstanding I was Sent to the 90th. Pa Infantry. My reason for my inlisting in the 17th. Pa Cavalry was that I had a Brother in that Regiment, and wished to be along with Him. . . . I most respectfully & earnestly request you Sir to transfer me to my proper Regiment the one in which I inlisted.”

President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “Edwin M. Stanton: “The accompanying is the draft of an order drawn up at the Treasury Department for me to sign. Please look over it, and say whether you perceive any objection.” Stanton responds: “`Having examined the draft of the Treasury Order in relation to Freedmen and Plantations, referred to me by your note of this date, I cannot recommend its execution by you. It seems to me subject to very grave objections, which ought to be removed by satisfactory explanation, before the President would give such sweeping sanction and approval to the acts of Treasury Agents, in respect to which neither he nor this Department has any sufficient information. The specific objections will be stated to you at your convenience.”

Attorney General Edward Bates writes in his diary of the morning cabinet meeting regarding statehood for Nevada: “To day, at C.C. I was surprised to hear Mr. [William H.] Seward insist that the Prest. should issue a proclamation declaring Nevada a state in the union, upon no better evidence than a short telegram of Gov Nye, and in the teeth, as I think, of the act of Congress, which requires the adoption of the constitution, by popular vote, and also a certified copy of the constitution to be sent to the Prest.

Mr. Fessenden declared, flatly, against it, and so did I. The Prest told Mr. S.[eward] to prepare [a] draft of a proclamation, and that he would think of it.

Mr. Welles shewed me a strange order of the Prest to authorize Mr. [ ] Hamilton, of Texas to bring out cotton, from certain ports in Texas, and send it to a govt. agent at N.[ew] O[rleans]. Mr. [Gideon] W.[elles] thinks that it amounts to an abrogation of the blockade, and tells me that his commanding officer, on that coast, says he will not regard the order. He also tells me that Fessenden declares that he does not recognize the order!!

It gives me pain to see so many instances of Mr. Seward’s extreme looseness in practical politics, and his utter disregard of the forms and the plain requirements of the law. He is constantly getting the President into trouble, and unsettling the best established policies of the…Government.

“It was he that procured the Prest’s cotton order, in favor of Hamilton; and nobody knows what fortunes some of his friends and proteges will make out of it. Mr. W. [elles] mentioned the matter, complainingly, to the Prest., who said he rec[k]oned it was all right; it had been arranged by S.[eward]!!

Historian William C. Harris wrote: “When Governor Johnson on 30 September announced a more stringent oath for voting in the presidential election, the Tennessee conservatives objected to Lincoln. John Lellyett, one of the conservative leders, delivered the protest tot he president. When Lellyett insisted that he override Johnson’s action and provide protection for McClellan supporters in the state, Lincoln refused and evidently treated the Tenessean in a rough way. Lellyett immediately wrote an account of the interview and sent it to the World, the Democratic organ in New York. He charged that Lincoln in abruptly ending the exchange with him declared: ‘I expect to let the friends of George b. McClellan manage thier side of this contest in their own way; and I will manage my side of it my way.’ The publican by the Democratic press of Lellyett’s account created considerable grist for the McClellan campaign mills in the North and border states. The Republican press ignored it.”

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Published in: on September 30, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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