Replacement Suggestions of Chief Justice Taney Hit White House

October 17, 1864

Recommendations to replace Chief Justice Roger B. Taney continue to flow to the White House – some obscure, some prominent. Former Ohio Governor David Todd writes President Lincoln: Allow me to advise that you leave the Chief Justiceship vacant until after the fall of Richmond. And then tender the position to [Secretary of War Edwin M.] Stanton. “I know whereof I speak” We have carried this State by about 50.000. including the Soldier’s vote. Your majority will be from 20.000 to 30.000. better, say 75.000.”

Perhaps more welcome was a letter from William Warburton: “I forward to day by Adams Express, another Hat, in place of the one first sent you, returned. I feel much gratified that Your Excellency has indicated your willingness to accept a Hat from your humble servant.

It will give me great pleasure to know that the Hat now sent fits properly, and is pleasing to you.

About this time, an Austrian vice consul, E.T. Hardy, wrote his government: “Mr. Lincoln will probably be the re-elected next President. It is usual to regard him as inferior intellect to some members of his cabinet, at the head of whom Mr. Seward is supposed to stand. But Mr. Lincoln wears well. As he is more honest, so he is more logical than the Secretary of State: as he is more original, so are his turns more unexpected, he is very shrewd and pointed in his observations and acts. I should regard him as a more formidable antagonist in any encounter than the Secretary, whose specious plausibilities are not always discreet.”

From Illinois, however, Congressman Elihu B. Washburne is pessimistic: “It is no use to deceive ourselves about this State.”

We have no close, active, efficient organization. Everything is at sixes and sevens and no head or tail to anything.

There is imminent danger of our losing the State.

Moulton, our candidate for Congressman at large, was here yesterday. He has been canvassing the State diligently since the 12th of August and he says that to-day we would lose the State by 10.000 majority without the soldiers vote.3

Steps must be taken, instantly, to have every soldier home possible.

Please consult with Mr. Stanton and have the most efficient measures taken to have our soldiers started home at once. There are vast numbers of them in hospitals and at garrisoned forts, who can be spared, if we cannot get any from the front

We shall lose 20.000 votes on our majority of 1860 in four northern Congressional districts.

The Copperheads are working with desperation.

If you would save our State from the most appalling calamity, pray do not neglect what I herein suggest about getting the soldiers home.– We want them home not only on the election day, but several days before.

Former Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning writes in his diary: “Called on the President and urged on him the appointment of Mr Stanton as chief Justice. He said nothing in reply to what I urged except to admit Mr Stantons ability, and fine qualifications. I think he was pleased with what I said and I have some hope that he will adopt my suggestion.”

The complications of politics and the soldier vote is indicated in a letter from Norman Wiard to President Lincoln about Pennsylvania: “A few days before the Pennsylvania election,2 I learned that from three to four thousand of the employees of the Quarter Master Department, from Pennsylvania Ohio and Indiana had been over looked by all persons engaged in the effort to have voters at home during the election. I obtained this information from Col Ellison3 Q M of this Dept and immeadiatly went to the Capitol in company with Mr Halstead and informed Mr Washburne4 of the Con” Committee of the facts. He was much interested and imeadiatly called on the Sect” of War in reference to the matter The result was about one thousand voters went to Pennsylvania for the Union ticket who were [incited?] to go home by an arrangement made with the R. R. companies to send them at a fare of 1/4 of a cent a mile. The details of this arrangement was intrusted to Col Ellison Q M of this Dept, and to Captain Thomas5 Military Store keeper, each man being furnished with the necessary furlough. When they returned as I am informed, three of the men boasted they had voted the Copper Head ticket and upon hearing this Col Ellison discharged them. Where upon these Copper heads managed to get Col Ellison removed, and Captain Thomas it is said is to be subjected to the same discipline. It often proves dangerous for any one to support the administration a fact which is exciting much feeling among your supporters and friends. “

Lucien Anderson writes President Lincoln to report on conditions in Kentucky: “Genl. [Solomon] Meredith as you know is in command of the District We have made speeches in three of the Counties west of the river in accordance with the policy of the Gen’l which is wise & conciliatory the people in the Counties where we have been have attended and listened attentively and they profess to be all right in many places I think they intend to do right the town of Mayfield in Graves Co. which is near the center of the seven Counties west of the river heretofore occupied by our troops was last night evacuated and the troops withdrawn to this place which leav[e]s all these Counties subject to rebell & Gurillia rule unless these Counties are held of course no votes will be polled the Genl says he intends to reoccupy that place in a few days, but says his forces are not sufficient to hold beyond a doubt the whole of these Counties therefore he desires more troops immediately which I hope will be given him, the whole district shall be canvassed if tis possible to do so, nothing on my part shall be wanting, I hope Kentucky will do her duty in this contest, am not however sanguine, if she fails it will not be the fault of the true men of the state.”

Published in: on October 17, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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