I will tell you, sir, where perhaps I erred. It was in not going to the President and telling him frankly my opinion of the treaties. Knowing his present interest in annexation, it is easy to imagine that had I seen him on the subject and exposed its true character, some misapprehension would have been avoided; but on careful reflection at the time, I did not regard it as expedient. I thought it more gentle and considerate to avoid discussions with him, being assured that he would ascertain the judgment on annexation through the expression of public sentiment in the newspapers and various report. If in this respect I erred, it was an honest mistake, believing at the time that I was pursuing the more delicate course. Here let me add that I acted also according to my experience with treaties. I am told of a boast by Mr. Seward that he has negotiated half of the treaties of this government. I know not how this is; but if it be true, then have I had the responsibility of carrying half the treaties
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1 According to one of the President's secretaries, he was at this time affected by adulation and not disposed to consult others. （Badeau's ‘Grant in Peace,’ pp. 156-158, 159, 160.) This may be true, but it is not the more credible because Badeau states it. This writer implies, though he has not the hardihood to say so explicitly, that the senator could have been brought to support the treaty by an appointment being given to J. M. Ashley. Ibid., pp. 214 215.
2 In Senate, Dec. 21, 1870. Congressional Globe, p. 253.
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