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[162] with the President that it was understood he could at any time enter the White House by the kitchen door.

The writer was once a member of a delegation of Missouri “Charcoals” that went to Washington to see the President. An hour was set for the interview, and we were promptly at the door of the President's chamber, where we were kept waiting for a considerable time. At last the door opened, but before we could enter, out stepped a little old man who tripped away very lightly for one of his years. That little old man was Francis P. Blair, Sr., and we knew that we had been forestalled. The President received us politely and patiently listened to what we had to say, but our mission was fruitless.

The Radicals of Missouri sent deputation after deputation to the White House, and got nothing they wanted. The Conservatives never sent a deputation, and got all they wanted. They had advocates at the President's elbows all the time.

With both State and Federal administrations against them, the Missouri Charcoals may be regarded as foolhardy in persisting in the fight they made for the deliverance of their State from slavery. They did persist, however, and with such success in propagating their views that Governor Gamble and the other Conservative leaders decided that heroic measures to hold them in check were necessary. He undertook to cut the ground from under their feet. The old convention that had killed emancipation “at the first pop,” or as much of it as was in existence, was called together by the Governor, who appealed to it to take such action as would

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Hamilton R. Gamble (1)
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