President Lincoln Has Pastor for Supper

November 18, 1864

The pastor of the New York Presbyterian Church, Dr. Phineas Gurley, and his wife come for dinner.

Maine Senator-elect Cornelius Stone writes President Lincoln about an upcoming political dilemma – the desire of both Treasury Secretary William P. Fessenden and outgoing Vice President Hannibal Hamlin to be elected to the Senate. Stone writes: “I am a member-elect of the Senate of Maine, and wish to avoid an unpleasant contest for the U. S. Senatorship between Mr. Hamlin and Mr. Fessenden. I have a high regard for both of those gentlemen. I would be glad to know if it would meet your wishes to have Mr. Fessenden continue in the office he now holds, after the 4th of March, as I have seen it stated in the papers that he intends to resign about that time. If we as a legislature, by any sanction of his course as senator equivalent to a re-election, can induce him to continue in his present position will it meet your wishes? I do not wish to involve you in any way, but if you see fit to make any communication to me on this subject it will be thankfully received.”

Maryland resident Sarah A. Richards writes President Lincoln: “I hope you may think fit to propose some releif for the quondam Slave owners of the State of Maryland in your message to Congress

I assure you it falls heavily upon the widow and orphan to be deprived of their property (and in many instances their only support) without remuneration. You are such a just person I am sure you will coenside with me in the opinion that something ought to be done for that class of which I am in both instances a member. Those who were foremost is rejecting your offer of emancipation with compensation, never owned a Slave, and therefore had no personal interest in the matter. It is only persons similarly situated as myself that have any claim upon the sympathy of the Govt. I have had two or three very pleasant personal interviews with you but when I saw you on the 20 of last month the Convention had not decided the all important question, or I should have spoken to you on the subject at that time. There are always so many claimants upon your time that I always “leave undone what I ought to have done” Just before I came in the room to see you, a gentleman from St Louis (apparently of great inteligence) had been giving me hints of an impending counter-revolution which filled me with such horrors as almost to stultify my ideas upon any other subject. He said it was his opinion we were on the eve of one of the darkest epochs that has yet cast its shadow over our once happy country

Wily New York Congressman Fernando Wood writes President Lincoln: “I hope the rumours looking to Peace [reflected in a speech by General Benjamin F. Butler] are founded in fact – I am an earnest, and sincere friend to this result and ask you to consider me as willing to be used in any capacity that will facilitate it – If commissioners shall be appointed permit me to suggest that at least one shall be taken from my wing of the Democratic party – If Peace is desired some one whose course will make him an appropriate agent should be selected– You have the power, and doubtless will exercise it wisely, and patriotically.”

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Published in: on November 18, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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