Lincoln invites Orville H. Browning, attorney who later succeeds Stephen A. Douglas in U.S. Senate, to accompany him to Washington. Browning agrees to go as far as Indianapolis. Browning, Diary. Declines invitation from people of Massaschusetts to visit state for “want of time.” CW, IV, 186. Accepts invitation to visit Columbus, Ohio. Acknowledges invitation from citizens of Dayton, Ohio: “I will endeavor to pass through and at least bow to the friends there.” Ibid., 187. Withdraws $104.70 from Springfield Marine Bank. H.E. Pratt 175.
Lincoln writes Sen. Lyman Trumbull (Ill.): “Gen. C. [Cameron] has not been offered the Treasury, and, I think, will not be. It seems to me not only highly proper, but a necessity, that Gov. Chase shall take that place. … But then comes the fierce opposition to his having any Department.” CW, IV, 171. John A. Clark, Illinois political friend of Cong. Washburne (Ill.), calls on Lincoln, who “seems as calm and serene as a summer morning.” DLC—EBW, Clark to Washburne, Jan. 9, 1861. Dr. Charles H. Ray, editor, Chicago “Tribune,” visits briefly with Lincoln and is “interrupted by a visitor” before stating purpose of call. Ibid., Ray to Washburne, Jan. 7, 1861. Lincoln withdraws $20 from Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Company. Writes check for $10.97 to Bressmer, McQuinton & Matheny, dry goods. H.E. Pratt, Personal Finances, 175 [unless otherwise stated, citations of this author are to this work].
Early in morning Lincoln calls on former Lt. Gov. Gustave Koerner (Ill.), still in bed at hotel. Soon Lincoln returns with Norman B. Judd, Chicago Republican, to talk over appointment of Sen. Cameron (Pa.) to cabinet. Lincoln is “very much distressed.” Koerner and Judd oppose appointment, but Lincoln seems to think it necessary. Koerner, II, 114. “Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln and Gov. Chase of Ohio” attend church service. Harry E. Pratt, Concerning Mr. Lincoln, 35.
Sen.-elect Chase (Ohio) and former Cong. Amos Tuck (N.H.) have long interview with Lincoln, presumably about cabinet appointments. N.Y. Tribune, Jan. 7. Another visitor, an old man from Mississippi dressed in homespun, expresses wish that every man in South could talk face to face with President-elect. Illinois State Journal, Jan. 7.
Sen.-elect Salmon P. Chase (Ohio), former governor of Ohio and candidate for Republican nomination in 1860, arrives in Springfield. “He comes by invitation of the President and will probably be tendered the Secretaryship of State.” N.Y. Herald, Jan. 5. After interview with Lincoln Chase writes Cong. Elihu B. Washburne (ill.), friend of Lincoln: “It is a mistaken supposition that Mr. Lincoln has yet tendered me the Treasury Dept.” DLC—EBW, Chase to Washburne, Jan. 14, 1861.
Lincoln writes Sen. Simon Cameron (Pa.), candidate for Republican nomination in 1860: “Since seeing you things have developed which make it impossible for me to take you into the cabinet. … I suggest that you write me declining the appointment, in which case I do not object to its being known that it was tendered you.” CW, IV, 169–70. Apparently telegraphs Cameron letter is in mail. DLC—RTL, Cameron to Lincoln, Jan. 5, 1861. Writes Sen. William H. Seward (N.Y.), leader of Republican party: “It seems to me the inaugeration [sic] is not the most dangerous point for us. Our adversaries have us more clearly at disadvantage, on the second Wednesday of February, when the votes should be officially counted. … I think it is best for me not to attempt appearing in Washington till the result of that ceremony is known.” CW, IV, 170–71. Grants interview to Jeriah Bonham, owner-editor, Chicago “Farmer’s Advocate.” Bonham, 184.
Springfield. Many visitors call at Abraham Lincoln home. When one guest gives evidence of staying indefinitely, Lincoln appeals to group of Springfield young men to take him home. Paul M. Angle, Lincoln 1854–1861, 366.
Cameron’s visit brings results, for Lincoln writes: “I think fit to notify you now, that by your permission, I shall, at the proper time, nominate you to the U.S. Senate, for confirmation as Secretary of the Treasury, or as Secretary of War—which of the two, I have not yet definitely decided.” Lincoln also writes to Chase of Ohio, asking him to come to Springfield at once. CW, IV, 168.
Simon Cameron, cabinet candidate from Pennsylvania, arrives in Springfield. He proceeds to Lincoln’s residence, where he is received with Lincoln’s “customary artless Western heartiness.” N.Y. Herald, Jan. 7. Later they talk at Cameron’s hotel, and are accidentally joined by Edward Bates. Edward Bates, Diary.
Lincoln is convinced that Gulf states will secede, and is watching border states “with daily increasing interest.” N.Y. Herald, Jan. 3, 1861. Lincoln and Nicolay move out of governor’s office at state house. Lincoln plans to spend most of his time at home, and Nicolay takes room in Johnson’s Building, across from Chenery House. Lincoln expects to come in occasionally. ISLA—Nicolay Memo. Lincoln replies to William Cullen Bryant, who warned him about compromises of “well-known politician.” Lincoln says he did not press any compromise. “As to the matter of the cabinet, … I shall have a great deal of trouble, do the best I can.” He writes Seward his reaction to four names Seward proposed for cabinet. Lincoln also answers letter from James Watson Webb, New York Editor, Forts must be held or retaken. CW, IV, 163–65.
Lincoln writes Trumbull: “Gen. Duff Green is out here endeavoring to draw a letter out of me. I have written one, which herewith I inclose to you, and which I believe could not be used to our disadvantage. Still, if, on consultation with our discreet friends, you conclude that it may do us harm, do not deliver it.” [Enclosure, which states that Lincoln would not oppose constitutional amendment, and that he would uphold right of each state to control its domestic institutions, is not delivered.] CW, IV, 162–63.
“That popular mania—the collection of autographs of distinguished men.” “Herald” correspondent writes, “—has proved of late a source of considerable annoyance to Mr. Lincoln also, and hardly a mail reaches here without bringing him numerous requests.” N.Y. Herald, Jan. 5, 1861. Lincoln begins daily morning sittings for Thomas D. Jones, Cincinnati sculptor, at improvised studios at St. Nicholas Hotel. This hour enables Lincoln to escape visitors, relax, and think. Among the matters on his mind is struggle for and against Cameron. Lincoln writes memorandum of charges that Cameron bought his election to Senate in 1857, listing witnesses for and against him. He concludes that weight of evidence is for Cameron. Thomas D. Jones, Memories of Lincoln, 5–8; CW, IV, 165–67.
Two notables arrive in Springfield, Lincoln’s old friend E. D. Baker and David Wilmot of Pennsylvania. Lincoln calls on Wilmot at his hotel and spends most of day. N.Y. Tribune, Dec. 25. Lincoln writes to Trumbull. Lincoln has heard that South Carolina forts are to be surrendered. If true, he intends to announce publicly that they are to be retaken, to give Union men “a rallying cry.” He thanks Isaac N. Morris, Quincy, for introducing Union resolution in Congress, and asks Hamlin to find New Englander of Democratic antecedents for cabinet. “Or shall I decide for myself?” CW, IV, 161–62. Lincoln buys yard goods for his wife, and 11 handkerchiefs for Christmas presents. H.E. Pratt, 150.
Informed of rumor that Buchanan has instructed Major Anderson to surrender Fort Sumter if attacked, Lincoln exclaims, “If that is true they ought to hang him!” He adds that he has just written to Washburne “to tell General Scott confidentially that I wished him to be prepared, immediately after my inauguration, to make arrangements at once to hold the forts, or, if they had been taken, to take them back again.” ISLA—Nicolay Memo., Ms. Lincoln writes Major David Hunter that he thinks forts must be retaken, if they fall. Lincoln acknowledges letter from Peter H. Silvester of Coxsackie, N.Y., former colleague in Congress, but has time to write no more than that, and: “If Mr. B. surrenders the forts, I think they must be retaken.” He replies to letter from Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, another former congressional colleague, assuring him that South will not be harmed by Republican rule. CW, IV, 159–61.
Lincoln informs Trumbull of Weed’s visit, and says he gave him three resolutions which might do much good “if introduced, and unanimously supported by our friends.” He advises Gov. Curtin on Curtin’s inaugural remarks: “I think you would do well to express, without passion, threat, or appearance of boasting, but nevertheless, with firmness, the purpose of yourself, and your state to maintain the Union at all hazzards.” He thanks Francis P. Blair Sr. of Washington for his account of Blair’s interview with Gen. Scott. “If the forts shall be given up before the inauguration, the General must retake them afterwards.” Washburne has also talked to Scott, and reported. Lincoln writes Washburne to tell commanding general forts must be held or retaken. CW, IV, 157–59.
Thurlow Weed arrives and calls on Lincoln at home, where they confer until mid-afternoon. It is rumored that Weed has received little encouragement for his proposed compromise. Lincoln draws up three short resolutions for presentation to Republicans of Senate Committee of Thirteen. News of secession of South Carolina reaches Springfield and produces sensation. Lincoln, however, receives it calmly. CW, IV, 156–57; N.Y. Tribune, Dec. 21; N.Y. Herald, Dec. 25. Mrs. Lincoln buys more yard goods and edging. H.E. Pratt, 150.
Mississippian, “a live disunionist, wearing the emblem of secession.” calls on Lincoln. When conversation turns to secession, Southerner makes sullen remarks. Lincoln defines stand of his party and presents copy of Lincoln-Douglas debates, autographed. Visitor is visibly chastened. N.Y. Herald, Dec. 24.
Lincoln writes announcement of appointment of Edward Bates to cabinet for insertion in “Missouri Democrat.” To John D. Defrees he comments: “I am sorry any republican inclines to dally with Pop. Sov. of any sort. It acknowledges that slavery has equal rights with liberty, and surrenders all we have contended for.” He writes Montgomery Blair of Maryland that he is corresponding with Gilmer. Trumbull can show Blair copy of Lincoln’s letter. He complains to Henry J. Raymond of New York “Times” about misrepresentations of Mississippian, William Smedes, whose writing “Times” has published. “A very mad-man,” says Lincoln. CW, IV, 154–56.