I investigated the prison system in Washington City. My duties as United States Federal Marshal of the Districct of Columbia will include being the prisons’ administrator, feeding and transporting prisoners, and serving whatever other duties were assigned to me by the President. I would get a base salary and then expenses for whatever was needed in the feeding and transporting as needed.
The President wanted me close by in social settings at the White House, especially at times when there would be an important reception or dinner. Being a “social” dandy, I was certainly open to those additional duties. Mr. Lincoln was emphatic, saying that due to the importance of my position, I was not allowed to drink at those functions. That certainly put a damper on my enthusiasm for attending said events.
I also continued to keep an eye on Mr. Lincoln, as his self-appointed bodyguard. Washington City was full of scoundrels, not all of those being held in my jails. There were many southern sympathizers walking the streets, plus unfriendly politicians who had not been enamored by the Lincoln election, plus a whole list of other unsavory characters. As my wife Sally would have said if she had been here, “this ain’t Paris.”
W. H. Lamon