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