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own them was not forgotten. His present power was not ignored. No Southerner of importance at this time went to Washington without presenting himself at Grant's headquarters, while many visited his house, and to all he proffered the same advice. Formal delegations came from the South to consult with public men upon the course they should pursue. These all came in contact with Grant, who was never unwilling to meet them. Among others was a very important deputation from Arkansas, and Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State, although he was opposed to the amendment, arranged an interview for the party at his own house with Grant. The General-in-Chief spoke very plainly; he declared to the delegates that he was their friend, and as their friend he warned them that the temper of the North was aroused, and if these terms were rejected harsher ones would be imposed. He argued and pleaded with them, and with every Southerner he met, for the sake of the South, for the sake of the entire co
ancy and loyalty that Grant had so often displayed toward him during the war. He now cruised along the coast of Mexico, visited one or two points, performed no duty of the slightest importance, and in a month or two returned. For all that had been accomplished he might as well have remained at St. Louis. He declares in his memoirs: I am sure this whole movement was got up for the purpose of getting General Grant away from Washington. Grant always attributed the conception of the scheme to Seward. About this time Grant received the following letter, which I opened and handed to him. After reading it he threw it into the fire, but I snatched it from the flames and thus preserved it: October, 1866. General,—I feel it to be my duty to warn you to be on your guard against assassination, also to be very careful of what you eat, and where you eat, for the next sixty days. I believe that the Knights have spotted you, Sheridan, and Sherman. I have written them to be careful. M
is successor. As soon as the new President betrayed his antagonism to those who had elected him, four out of his seven Ministers refused to second what they considered his apostacy. In July, 1866, the Postmaster-General and the Secretary of the Interior resigned, and in September they were followed by the Attorney-General, who was a Southern man, but unable to approve the President's policy. Three of those who remained supported Johnson and became abettors of all his devices and designs. Seward, the original Republican leader, fell away completely from his old associates; Welles, a bitter Democrat before the war, returned to his early allies; and McCulloch, who had never been prominent in politics or public life, decided to retain the place to which he had been elevated on the resignation of a superior. But Stanton, the Secretary of War, the Minister who had been most important of all, both to Lincoln and the country, who by his position and ability and energy and fidelity had
would naturally antagonize the Republicans, while, with the President's party, the President himself of course was chief. Johnson probably feared no rival but Grant. He flattered himself he could defeat any other candidate of the Republicans, so that by making Grant impossible he would secure his own success. Thus the Administration undoubtedly hoped to enjoy the benefit of Grant's popularity at the very moment they were seeking to undermine it; a bit of craft worthy of Machiavelli, or of Seward. But Grant protested earnestly against the entire proposition. He not only did this promptly in conversation, when Johnson announced the design, but on his return to his own headquarters he wrote the famous letter marked Private, which has already been given to the world. I quote the portion referring to Stanton: [Private.] headquarters armies of the United States, Washington, D. C., August 1, 1867. His Excellency, A. Johnson, President of the United States: Sir,—I take the
such peculiarities as decisive. No man ever grew or expanded in mind and taste and character more continuously and conspicuously. During the winter of 1868-9, Seward, as Secretary of State, attempted to settle the difficulties with England arising out of the Alabama claims. As the new Administration was just coming into power, the Republicans were very indignant that a discredited Cabinet should assume to control the policy of the nation in so important an affair. But Seward persisted, and a treaty was negotiated at London which was extremely unacceptable to the Republicans, and, indeed, to the majority of the nation, of whatever party. Grant was especially displeased, and expressed his feeling openly. He disliked Seward, to whom he attributed not a little of Johnson's craft, and he thought the negotiation an unwarrantable intrusion on his own approaching prerogatives. Besides this, he entirely disapproved the concessions of the Administration to England. Before the tr
re so close that they should be chosen for personal reasons; a view that his experience in civil affairs somewhat modified. If he had served a third term in the Presidency, his selections for the Cabinet would hardly have been made because he liked the men as companions or regarded them as personal friends. At this juncture also, Rawlins was constantly urging that Grant should have no men about him who could possibly become his rivals. He was always pointing to the trouble that Chase and Seward and other aspirants had made in Lincoln's Cabinet, and declared that a man who would not subordinate his own ambition to that of his chief should not be allowed to enter the Government. Grant never replied to remarks like these, but he would have been no more than human if he had remembered them. He certainly now took no man into his Cabinet whose Presidential aspirations seemed likely to come into conflict with his own. And Grant, from the first, I am sure, desired a re-election. He d
might have been brought to concur in them, but Seward was entirely opposed to the course that Grant diplomatic notes and protocols. Besides this, Seward may have thought the province his own, that heed. Since he could not have the assistance of Seward, he resorted to means of his own devising. Foonets; and on the 6th of September following Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Bigelow, our Minister to Francenot say anything which would be agreeable to Mr. Seward, and did not like, therefore, to send by hist will be up before the Cabinet to-day, and as Seward is absent, I am in hopes it will be decided toithin your command to the Liberals of Mexico. Seward is a powerful practical ally of Louis Napoleonertain a genuine admiration for many points in Seward's character as well as for his public service hasten the result at which he was aiming, and Seward opposing Grant's measures if not his object, inments addressed our own on the subject, and Mr. Seward made a formal application to the Mexicans in[6 more...]
hould not have been made, and was shocked that Seward could have thought of himself at such a crisis by the influences I have described, and that Seward for the sake of place and power followed in th somersault. No word intimating a belief that Seward originated Johnson's policy ever escaped him ie and at the same time forced him to carry out Seward's policy in Mexico. But though, as I have said, Grant never got over his dislike of Seward's course, either in the Mexican matter or in the genant, when he became President-elect, to invite Seward to remain in the State Department, but he neve to Mexico. Still the honors were divided. Seward had defeated Grant in what the soldier had soed, the existence of the Mexican Republic; but Seward himself was defeated in the great object of Jodid so much to accomplish, the final effort of Seward's diplomacy was foiled. But, after all, botd have been useless, if not impossible, unless Seward's skill had stayed the hostile and impatient h[33 more...]
and Motley. the beginning of Grant's intercourse with Motley was brought about through me. Mr. Motley made my acquaintance at Newport in 1868. He was visiting a man whom I did not know, but who was good enough to call on me and invite me to dinner; and I, like every one else, was charmed with the manner and conversation of the famous historian. General Grant was at that time a candidate for the Presidency, and Motley had recently returned from Vienna, after his quarrel with Johnson and Seward. He was an enthusiastic admirer of Grant, and took a lively interest in my history of the General's campaigns, the first volume of which had lately appeared. During the canvass he made an eloquent speech for Grant, and sent a copy to me at Galena, where I was spending the autumn with the General. We corresponded regularly after this, and Motley sent frequent messages through me to the President-elect, whom he did not meet until December. After the election he passed some months in Washin
n earlier still. It was positively arranged at the time of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson that he was to have the State Department if Wade had gone into the Presidency; and even under Lincoln there was an occasion when he expected to supplant Seward. He thought himself especially fit for the post, and if acquirement and ornate eloquence were the prime requisites for a Secretary of State he might have filled the position with a certain degree of brilliancy. But though, with Sumner's conseses, the man of the closet, the Senate, and of society. Sumner always felt—perhaps with many others—that the career of the soldier should have closed with the war. Arma cedant togoe was always in their hearts, if not upon their lips. Chase, and Seward, and Stanton, and some of their successors, felt themselves better equipped in the arts of statesmanship than they believed any mere warrior could be, and they were undoubtedly jealous of the civic honors given to those who, they thought, should
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