President Lincoln Discusses Possible Changes in Administration

October 2, 1864

Attorney General Bates is considered for a federal judgeship. Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary: “Today I receive a letter from Wm N. Grover saying certain of his friends had agreed to press his name for Judge of the District Court, Western Missouri, in place of Judge Welles. He adds, however, that in case Judge Bates, Attorney General, should desire the appointment he would not stand in his way, believing that Bates’s appointment would be very advantageous & satisfactory to the Union people of the state. He requested me to make this known both to Mr Bate & the President. I read his letter to the President & at the same time referred to the recent indiscreet announcement made by Cameron, that in the even of a reelection the Prest wd call around him fresh & earnest men. He said, ‘They need not be especially savage about a change. There are now only 3 left of the original Cabinet with the Government.” He added that he rather thought he would appoint Mr Bates to the vacant judgeship if he desired it. He said he would be troubled to fill his place in the Cabinet from Missouri, especially from among the Radicals. I thought it would not be necessary to confine himself to Missouri: that he might do better further South, by taking Mr Holt from Kentucky.

He did not seem to have thought of that before. But said at once, “that would do very well. That would be an excellent appointment. I question if I could do better than that. I had always thought, thought I had never mentioned it to anyone, that if a vacancy should occur on the Supreme Bench in an Southern District, I would appoint him. But giving him a place in the Cabinet would not hinder that.'”

President Lincoln meets with Missouri Democrat William McKee about St. Louis politics. The President is sent a letter by a Union woman: “I have been North nearly three months, in that time have visited the “White Mountains” Boston and several “New England” villages, as well as, several small villages in “Central New York” also the cities of Albany Utica and New York, had heard the one great topic continually discussed, the “Presidential Election” have come to the conclusion, after a careful hearing of the subject in all its bearings — Your re-election will be the most glorious triumph ever known in America– I am very positive of your re-election, there is no longer a shadow of a doubt in the matter, I hope you will take no exception to this antedating the time, I could not wait for the return of the ballot box, to inform you of your success– Pardon my enthusiasm, but my entire summer trip has been spent in quietly urging your merits and claims on the people, in public parlors, at dinners, evening parties, quiet firesides, cars, Steamboats, stages, and whereever I have been, A gentleman at the “White Mountains, said “the Democrats had lost more than twenty votes by that Washington lady” they have been losing ever since, and will until the election is over, then we have no further use for them at present, I am not a “woman’s rights woman” but believe I have something to do, have one brother and ten really knows my object in visiting so many different places, if my funds last will stay here until the election is over. I have been a copyist, since I lost my Seminary by the Rebels at the Commenciment of the war, was handsomely situated in Washington, had daughters of a large number of Senators and Members both North and South — in my Seminary, therefore, have been and am thoroughly posted in the war, in the Admintration &c, I hope, you will keep this quiet and private, as I have no desire to appear before the public in a political point of view — but simply, first, to inform you that your re-election is sure — with many wishes for your health and happiness, I remain your faithful and devoted subject.”

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