Presidential Election Preoccupies White House

November 1, 1864

President Lincoln meets with General Benjamin Butler, who is on is way to New York City to keep order during elections there. William O. Bartlett, a close associate of New York Herald proprietor James Gordon Bennett, writes President Lincoln after meeting with him: “In regard to New York I may remark that our latest advices from the central, Northern, and Western counties — all coming from sources entitled to confidence — represent that unless McClellan goes out of the city more than fifty thousand ahead, your majority in the State will still be large.”

Presidential aide John G. Nicolay writes Myer S. Isaacs of the New York Jewish Messenger: “The President directs me to acknowledge the reception of your favor of the 26h October. You are in error in the assumptions you make in regard to the circumstances of the recent interveiw [sic] to which you refer, between certain gentlemen of the Hebrew faith, and the President. No pledge of the Jewish vote was made by these gentlemen and no inducements or promises were extended to them by the President. They claimed no such authority, and received no such response as you seem to suppose. The President deems this statement due to you, and directs me to thank you for your letter.”

Attorney General Edward Bates writes: “I happened today, to hear Mr. Seward read to Mr. Lincoln a draft of [a] dispatch to one of our Ministers abroad, in which he stated the success of the new Maryland constitution. And, putting this in contrast with the Dred Scott decision, the dispatch affirms that the Supreme Court affirms, in that case, that Congress has no power to restrain the spread of slavery.

That is a plain error. And it seems to me strange that Mr. S.[eward] should go out of the way to cite the case, as if just to blunder over it. The case decides no such doctrine; and distinctly so declared in my opinion on ‘Citizenship.’

And so, the issue is direct between Mr. S.[eward] and me – He tells one of our ministers abroad, that the court did so decide and this, in a letter that must come out some day. And I tell all and this, in a letter that must come out some day. And I tell all the world in a printed opinion, that the court did not so decide. The difference between us is that he had no occasion to cite the case at all, while I was under the unavoidable necessity to discuss it and declare its true legal import.

And, in this way false views are propagated, for many will read the short letter who will never read the long case.

Journalist Noah Brooks writes that “the colored people of this District held [at night] held a jubilation in honor of the emancipation of Maryland, manifesting their intelligent appreciation of the advance into freedom of Maryland in their own style. One of the largest of their churches was thrown open, religious exercises were held, and enthusiastic addresses were made by their head men and preachers. After an hour spent in this way, they organized themselves into an impromptu torchlight procession, numbering some few hundreds, who bore aloft the borrowed torches and a few of the transparencies of the late Union torchlight procession, among which latter were some not specially adapted to the occasion, California figuring as ‘20,000 for the Union,’ and ‘Indiana gives a us a gain of five Congressmen,’ while Massachusetts was represented by a picture of Bunker Hill monument, with an objurgatory remark as to Toombs’ prediction cornering his roll-call of slaves. With these emblems, and a hoarse band of music, the somewhat irregular procession up to the White House, where loud and repeated cheers brought out the President, who began by saying: ‘I have to guess, my friends, the object of this call, which has taken me quite by surprise this evening.’ Whereupon a chief spokesman shouted, ‘The emancipation of Maryland, sah;’ at which the President proceeded as follows:

Published in: on November 1, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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