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[375]

At this point, Mr. Saltonstall, of Newton, stepped on the platform, and said, he held a letter in his hand from a friend in Baltimore, which stated that a formal proposition was made at Altoona to remove General McClellan from the command of the Army of Virginia. On being asked which of the Governors it was who had made the proposition, Mr. Saltonstall said that the letter was of a private nature, and he was not permitted to give all its contents; ‘but the convention could well imagine who made the proposition.’ The meeting understood him to mean Governor Andrew.

Two days after the convention was held, Mr. Saltonstall addressed a letter to the editor of the Boston Journal to correct an error he had made; by which it appeared that Mr. Saltonstall's statement had, for its basis, the following paragraph, which was in a letter addressed to him by a friend in Baltimore:—

I learn from Governor B. [meaning Governor Bradford, of Maryland], that there was a formal proposition made to remove the Commanding General. He does not feel at liberty to say more.

Mr. Saltonstall's explanation was, that he had mistaken the word no for the letter a; and, instead of saying a formal proposition had been made, &c., the letter really said that no formal proposition had been made. No gentleman supposed Mr. Saltonstall was intentionally guilty of misrepresentation. The explanation, therefore, was satisfactory to the public, though the mistake, necessarily, was very annoying to the gentleman who made it.

When Governor Bradford was informed of Mr. Saltonstall's statement, he immediately telegraphed to Governor Andrew, disavowing having made it, to which Governor Andrew replied that—

No explanation was needed between us on the matter in question; for of course I knew that any declaration that such a statement had been made by or from you must be mistaken. . . . The truth is, that I made no proposition, formal, informal, direct, indirect, near, or remote, for the appointment, promotion, or displacement, or for any other dealing, with any officer, high or low, in our military service.

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