Friday, April 25, 2014

Young Tad locks the closet being used by Mr. Carpenter

One of my favorite duties in the White House is to attend the receptions held by Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. The final one for the season was held on April 19 with a huge crowd attending. My duties, as always, were to keep an eye out for trouble None came my way this particular evening.

This week Mr. Lincoln sat for a portrait by F. B. Carpenter.  Mr. Carpenter, an very reputable artist, had commandeered one of the closets closest to the president's young son's "theater", much to the annoyance of Tad.  Tad locked the closet and hid the key. Only the gentle nudging of Mr. Lincoln, the father, persuaded Tad to give up the key so that Mr. Carpenter could get his supplies

On April 25, Mr. Lincoln invites a few friends including Pennsylvania Governor Curtin to witness the marching of General Burnside's troops (about 30,000 strong) past the White House enroute to reinforce the Army of the Potomac..


Friday, April 18, 2014

Mr. Lincoln meets with Chippewa Indian chiefs at the White House

A Mr. L.H. Putnam, a Negro man, visited the president this week. Mr. Lincoln was impressed that he was "a very intelligent colored man" and send him to Secretary Edwin Stanton to speak about the Colored Troops.

The president also received a delegation of Chippewa Indian chiefs, anxious for their supplemental treaty be approved by the Senate.  Mr. Lincoln assures them that the treaty had been passed on earlier in the week to Senate officials and then gives the chiefs an tour of the White House.

Mr. Lincoln also helped the opening of the Maryland Sanitary Commission Fair in Baltimore, commenting in his remarks that Baltimore seemed to be much more in favor of the Union than it had been at the beginning of the war. Over 6,000 persons were reported in the audience for his remarks.

In further military action, Mr. Lincoln commuted the sentence of twenty prisoners who had been sentenced to death by the firing squad for various offences.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mr. Lincoln writes about his views on slavery

This week the president took to writing his views on slavery.  it was constantly an issue.  Mr. Lincoln took to thinking about it often, and tweaking his stance frequently. This week he wrote "I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not think so, and feel. I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgement and feeling on slavery. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assume this ground, and now avow it."

Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln have attended the theater regularly over the last several weeks, seeing plays including King Lear, Der Freischutz, and Faust.  It is one of Mr. Lincoln's fondest pleasures, attending theater.  I for one am not enamored by his insistence on attending as I see the theater as an unsafe place for him to be seen. Not that my input has the slightest impact on his decision to go. He wants to hear my input, but just as quick to dismiss it.

His scheduled trip to Fortress Monroe to check on the troops was postponed. Mrs. Lincoln was not feeling well.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mr. Lincoln continues to not be concerned with his safety

I was Mr. Lincoln's bodyguard, so one should not be surprised that I was always concerned with his safety. Mr. Lincoln, on the other hand, did not seem to be concerned with his, saying "I long ago made up my mind that if anybody wants to kill me, he will do it."

It never became more apparent than this week when someone named Francis Xavier came into Mr. Lincoln's office to try to convince the Mr. Lincoln that he, Mr. Xavier, was indeed President of the United States. I was summoned and threw the man out. He was obviously "off his rocker" but still could have harmed Mr. Lincoln. Fortunately upon frisking Mr. Xavier, I found no weapons.

Mr. Lincoln met with Joseph H. Barrett, the commissioner of pensions, this week. Mr. Lincoln was fretting over an attempt by party officials to postpone the upcoming Republican National Convention, to be held in Baltimore, to a later date. Mr. Lincoln opposed the postponement.

He also delivered to the Senate a treaty signed by the Nez Perce Indians in the Washington Territory.