Lincoln Receives Guests & Delegations

Ladies Parlor, Willard's Hotel

Tuesday: February 26, 1861

As he would the following day, President-elect Lincoln takes a long early-morning walk before a day of meetings.

Lincoln aide John Hay writes for a newspaper: “If the President was in any respect an object of sympathy while on his travels, he is certainly doubly so now. He has exchanged the minor tribulations of hand-shaking and speech-making for the graver woes which attach to the martyr toasted between two fires. The conservatives have chiefly had the presidential ear since the unexpected arrival last Saturday morning. Last night a deputation of the straight-outs had an interview with him, their rumored object being to defeat the appointment of Gen. [Simon] Cameron to the cabinet. A protest, signed by a number of senators, to a similar effect was yesterday sent him, and every effort possible in his disfavor is being made.”

Mrs. Lincoln holds both an afternoon and evening reception. Hay added: “Mrs. Lincoln receives nightly at her parlor at Willard’s. She has won all hearts by her frank, unaffected cordiality of manner, and the unconventional simplicity with which she greets those who call to pay the respect due the wife of the President. Young Bob has been extensively lionized, and a good deal of regret is expressed by the ladies at his approaching departure for Harvard. The private secretaries of the President, Nicolay and Hay, are toiling early and late with a mass of correspondence, of the extent of which I can convey no adequate idea. Some of the communications are pious, some blasphemous, many long a few threatening, and all contain applications for some little office. Judging from the number of these missives, it would seem that the number of people in the United States who find it impossible to earn an honest living must be appalling.”

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 8:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mary & Robert Come Home…Finally

Mary Todd Lincoln

Friday January 25, 1861

Mary Todd Lincoln, accompanied by Robert Todd Lincoln, returns from a shopping trip to New York. Lincoln had expected them to arrive earlier and had gone to the train station on Wednesday and Thursday.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Robert’s Dilemma at Harvard

Sunday, December 2, 1860

At Harvard University, Lincoln’s eldest son Robert writes his mother that he had declined an invitation to a supper to celebrate the Republican election victory.

Robert Todd Lincoln

“I was sitting in my room about 6:30 when two boys came in and handed me an admission ticket, on the back of which the fellow had written asking me to come over as they were calling for me. I wrote him a note excusing myself. He must be the biggest fool in the world not to known I did not want to go over, when if I did I would be expected to make a speech! Just phancy my phelinks mounted on the rostrum holding ‘a vast sea of human faces, etc.’”

Published in: on December 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lincoln leaves for Chicago

Wednesday, November 21, 1860

President-elect Lincoln and wife Mary Todd Lincoln leave Springfield for Chicago where he will confer with Vice President-elect Hannibal Hamlin and others concerning the composition of his Cabinet. Lincoln had been a frequent visitor to Chicago where he often tried cases and gave political speeches. At the Republican National Convention at the Wigwam there on May 16, Lincoln had defeated favored New York State William H. Seward for the nomination.  Lincoln was viewed as more electable in key states that Republicans needed to win the election.  Reluctantly, Seward would become Lincoln’s secretary of state.

The Lincolns are accompanied Senator Lyman Trumbull and his wife.  Trumbull will introduce him to Hamlin at the Tremont Hotel, where Lincoln customarily stayed when in Chicago.

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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