Friday, February 28, 2014

The Pomeroy Circular endorsed Samuel Chase as the next president

Mr. Lincoln had waffled on the upcoming election. The eight previous presidents had not been elected to a second term,

On February 23, Samuel Pomeroy sent out a pamphlet regarding the upcoming election, calling Lincoln's reelection "practically impossible" due to Mr. Lincoln's "vacillation and indecision" and the "feebleness of his will". Pomeroy was echoing the sentiment of many of Pomeroy's fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives. Pomeroy endorsed the election of Samuel Chase, a Lincoln Cabinet member as Secretary of the Treasury.

Chase turned in his resignation to be able to spend more time campaigning. But Mr. Lincoln outfoxed him by failing to act on the resignation. Mr. Lincoln said instead that he would deal with the resignation when he could find time to do that.

Chase's bid for the presidency was further derailed later in the week when both the National Committee of the Republican Party and the Republican convention of Ohio (Chase's home state) both announced their endorsement of Mr. Lincoln in the upcoming election

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mr. Lincoln confers with Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew

This week President Lincoln challenged Massachusetts Governor Andrews concerning freemen and refugees from slavery being forceably detained on their passage northward.  Mr. Lincoln suspected that Governor Andrews, who personally had formed two regiments (2,000 men) known as the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (colored) in late 1862, was not directed toward equality in the governor's home state. Mr. Lincoln said to Andrews "if it really be true that Massachusetts wished to afford a permanent home...for...colored persons....I shall be only to glad to know it...I would not hinder from going, any person who is free by terms of the proclamation of any of the acts of Congress."

Mr. Lincoln, at this time, was also quite aware that the U.S. Colored Troops were indeed making a difference in the union army and Navy. By the end of 1863, he had been informed that over 50,000 colored soldiers had enlisted into the U.S.C.T. as organized by the legislation forming the Bureau of U.S. Colored Troops in May of this past year.

The first family hosted a private reception at the White House where those attending were entertained by the Commodore Foote and the Fairy Queen.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fire destroys the White House stables and six horses

A fire this week destroyed the White House stables. What was particularly troubling was the loss of six horse who died in the blaze, including a pony belonging to Willie that had been passed down to Tad when Willie died. The pony had been a gift to Willie and with his death, had been the only reminder that had remained in the White House. Several days later, Patterson McGee, a disgruntled former stable employee was arrested by the Metropolitan Police for deliberately setting the stable fire.

Congress appropriated $12,000 for the stables to be rebuilt. The president appointed Benjamin French to be in charge of the construction.

Mr. Lincoln again met with artist Francis Carpenter. They took young Tad along and walked together to Matthew Brady's Washington studio where several photographs were taken to help Mr. Carpenter with his portrait. It was on that occasion that the president was also photographed alongside of Tad.

Mary and Abraham Lincoln attended another play the evening of February 19. The play was Shakespeare's "Richard III" which they attended at Grover's Theater. The starring role was played by Edwin Booth, son of the famous Shakespearean actor Junius Brutus Booth.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Congress passes a bill to bring a warden into the district's jails

As expected, Congress approved bill submitted by Senator James E. Grimes of Iowa as warden for the jails of the District of Columbia. I had already prepared myself for this news and accepted it as another veiled attempt to disrupt the president's efforts.

Mr. Lincoln also spent time again with artist Francis Carpenter concerning ideas for the painting of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. Mr. Lincoln had given Mr. Carpenter use of a small closet for his paints and supplies. Unfortunately for Mr. Carpenter, the Lincoln's young son Tad had used the closet as a dressing room for his pretend theater and was outraged finding Mr. Carpenter had taken it over. In a huff, young Tad locked the closet and refused to give up the key. Mr. Lincoln was quite embarrassed by the situation, and after apologizing to the artist in residence, confronted Tad saying "do you know you are making your father a great deal of trouble?"  Tad reluctantly gave up the keys and closet at his father's insistence.

Our long-time friend and judge of the 8th Circuit of Illinois, Associate Justice David Davis visited with Mr. Lincoln this week. His recent appointment to the Supreme Court had been long desired by Judge Davis, but postponed until October 1862. Judge Davis had gotten on Mr. Lincoln's bad side by offering Cabinet appointments to men who turned their presidential votes at the Republican National Convention way back in 1860. Mr. Lincoln had specifically order Judge Davis, who was Lincoln's campaign manager, to not promise anything to anyone.