Friday, May 30, 2014

A third party candidate emerges for the upcoming election

With the Republican National Convention approaching (June 7 in Baltimore) came the news that disillusioned Republicans had joined with Copperheads and had chosen John Fremont as a third party candidate.  While not surprised, Mr. Lincoln was disappointed.  Radical Republicans had not been on his side from day one. Some criticized his Emancipation Proclamation as not going far enough while others thought his Reconstruction ideas were too soft.  Mr. Lincoln knew could not win any points where the Radicals were concerned.

Fremont and Mr. Lincoln had been at odds throughout the war when Fremont was relieved of command for attempting himself to enlist contraband Negroes into his regiment. Fremont would now represent the "Radical Democracy -- a protest for the "imbecile and vacillating policy of the present administration." The New York Times reported the new party's convention to be "a congregation of malcontents, representing no constituents and controlling no votes." They reported only about 400 attended.

Meanwhile, Congress had stripped me of part of my salary in a dispute over my financial reports.  As if that weren't enough, I was in a carriage mishap. I am badly bruised from falling from my carriage. And I am expected to be at the Baltimore Convention next week.


Friday, May 23, 2014

The president suspends the operation of two newspapers

The president was troubled by reports in the New York World and Journal of Commerce newspaper who had both printed proclamations erroneously attributed to him.  his reaction was to suspend operation of both newspapers. After conferring with Secretaries Stanton and Seward, Mr. Lincoln does not go ahead with his plan to arrest the newspaper editors in question or the publishers. By the end of the week, he had also lifted the publishing ban for both newspapers.

Mr. Lincoln wrote to U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on behalf of Mrs. Booth, wife of Major Lionel Booth of the U.S. Colored Troops, who had fallen at Fort Pillow. Mr. Lincoln suggested that colored soldier's descendants should be allowed the same provisions as had been already approved for widows and orphans of white soldiers.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mr. Lincoln's response to an argument among two Senators

Earlier in the week, a band from the 27th Michigan Volunteers serenaded the president and friends at teh White House.

The president was grateful this week to receive a cane presented by John Birely, a Philadelphia ship builder who had built the cane from wood from the wreck of the U.S. ship The Alliance which had sunk in the Rd Rover in Delaware.  Birely called himself "an old soldier and officer of the War of 1812."

Mr. Lincoln became annoyed when he became involved in a dispute between Senator Samuel Pomeroy and Senator Lane, both from Kansas regarding who they supported to be the state assessor.  Finally done with the whole argument, Mr. Lincoln told them to "make a sincere effort to get out of the mood you are in.  It does neither of you any good -- it gives you the means of tormenting my life out of me, and nothing else."

Mr. Lincoln was quite troubled this week by the death of General Wadsworth. Wadsworth was Grant's oldest division commander at age 56.  A veteran of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, General Wadsworth was wounded at the Wilderness on May 5 and died two days later in an enemy hospital.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The incident at Fort Pillow is discussed by the Cabinet

At the Cabinet meeting this week, Mr. Lincoln presented each Cabinet member with a report of the atrocities at Fort Pillow, TN where a number of U.S. Colored Troops were reportedly massacred after they had surrendered. He was looking for their input on what the course of the government should be in response to that troubling action by the Confederates. Several days later, each member offered their response out loud to the other members of the Cabinet.

This week the Marine band resumed their concert series on the White House grounds.  The concerts had been put on hold for some time. The crowd enthusiastically welcomed their patriotic and uplifting musical renditions. Instead of speaking, Mr. Lincoln calls for and receives three cheers for General Grant and the armies under his command.

Mr. Lincoln receives very unfavorable news of the Union army's actions at the Wilderness. He retires with what he said was a "saddened heart."

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mr. Lincoln pardons twenty-five Dakota Indians

This week Matthew Brady sends several of his photographs to the White House to make stereoscopic studies of the president at work in his office.

He shared a smile in relating a telegram he got from Mrs. Lincoln who is with their son Tad at work. Tad had asked about the goats. Mr. Lincoln shared that he returned a telegram saying "Tell Tad the goats and father are very well..especially the goats."

The president pardoned twenty-five of the Indian prisoners being held in Davenport, Iowa at Camp McClellan who were part of the recent Dakota uprising. Special Commissioner for Indian Affairs, George E. H. Day, had pleaded for mercy on their behalf.

On a letter to General Ulysses S. Grant, Mr. Lincoln expressed "entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time....And now with a brave Army and a just cause, may God sustain you."