Ami's SOA Today's Date in Lincoln's Life

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Friday January 4, 1861

Springfield, IL.

Sen.-elect Salmon P. Chase (Ohio), former governor of Ohio and candidate for Republican nomination in 1860, arrives in Springfield. "He comes by invitation of the President and will probably be tendered the Secretaryship of State."
After interview with Lincoln Chase writes Cong. Elihu B. Washburne (Ill.), friend of Lincoln: "It is a mistaken supposition that Mr. Lincoln has as yet tendered me the Treasury Dept."
 

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Thursday January 5, 1865

Washington D.C.

Lincoln authorizes Asst. Sec. Dana to perform duties of secretary of war in absence of Sec. Stanton .
Receives committee of Democratic senators from Maryland asking that State Sen.-elect Levin L. Waters be released from military custody.
Receives December salary warrant for $1,981.66 and tucks it away in desk. [This is one of four found in desk after his death.]
Returns to House of Representatives, for revision, joint resolution regarding internal revenue act.
Writes Stanton that "while Gen. Sherman's 'get a good ready' is appreciated, and is not to be overlooked, time, now that the enemy is wavering, is more important than ever before. Being on the down-hill, & some what confused, keeping him going. Please say so much to Genl. S."
 

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Friday January 6, 1865

Washington D.C.

Cabinet meets.
President receives telegram from Gen. Grant requesting prompt action in removing Gen. Butler from command.
Lincoln meets with Horace Greeley.
Deposits October salary warrant for $1,981.67 in Riggs Bank. Writes check to "Self" for $725.00.
Scolds Gen. Napoleon J. T. Dana for issuing order requiring affidavits of ownership and control over products transported under treasury regulations.
 

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Monday January 7, 1861

Springfield, IL.

Lincoln writes to U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull, of Illinois, regarding the question of whether or not Lincoln should appoint the controversial U.S. Senator Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, to a cabinet post. Trumbull warned, "Our truest friends in the Senate" do not support Cameron for treasury secretary. Lincoln writes, "What I would most like, and what I think he should prefer too, under the circumstances, would be to retain his place in the Senate...I may mention before closing that besides the very fierce opposition to Gen. C. he is more amply recommended for a place in the cabinet, than any other man."
 

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Thursday January 8, 1863

Washington D.C.

Lincoln replies to Gen. McClernand that Emancipation Proclamation has been issued and "broken eggs can not be mended."
Sends felicitations to José M. Acha on reelection to presidency of Republic of Bolivia. Proclaims treaty of peace, friendship, commerce, and navigation with Republic of Bolivia.
Senate confirms nomination of John P. Usher to be secretary of interior.
Writes Gen. Burnside: "I deplore the want of concurrence with you, in opinion by your general officers, but I do not see the remedy. . . . I do not yet see how I could profit by changing the command of the A.P. & if I did, I should not wish to do it by accepting the resignation of your commission."
Inquires of Mil. Gov. Johnson about Capt. Charles S. Todd, 6th Kentucky Regiment, killed at Battle of Murfreesboro.
 

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Monday January 9, 1865

Washington D.C.

President transmits to Senate information regarding limitation of naval armament on Great Lakes.
"The First evening reception of the season at the Executive Mansion" held with music by the Marine Band. "The President, who was dressed in a plain suit of black, with white kid gloves, stood just inside the door of the Blue or Oval Room, and was supported on the left by Deputy Marshal Phillips (who presented the visitors,) and on his right by Mr. John G. Nicolay, his private secretary." "President Lincoln seemed to be in good health and spirits, and received his friends with that unwavering good nature which characterizes his manner on such occasions." At 10:30, the President, escorting Mrs. Dennison, wife of Postmaster General William Dennison, led a promenade from the Blue Room to the East Room. Daily National Republican (Washington, DC), 10 January 1865, 3d ed., 2:4; Evening Star (Washington, DC), 10 January 1865, 2d ed., 2:1.
About 11 P.M. President stops receiving visitors and retires upstairs. At 12 P.M. wraps shawl around shoulders and walks to War Dept., accompanied by White House guard.
 

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Friday January 10, 1862

Washington D.C.

President transmits to Congress Austrian documents relating to "Trent" affair.
Consults with Thurlow Weed regarding reputation of Sec. Cameron and his removal from cabinet.
President goes to general Meigs much depressed re inactivity of army and McClellan's sickness. 'The people are impatient; Chase has no money, and he tells me he can raise no money; the Gen. of the Army has typhoid fever. The bottom is out of the tub. What shall I do?' President summons Gens. McDowell and Franklin, Secs. Seward and Chase, and Asst. Sec. Scott to "Council of War" at 8 P.M.
Writes Cameron: "The within is a copy of a letter just received from General Halleck. It is exceedingly discouraging. As everywhere else, nothing can be done."
 

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Friday January 11, 1861

Springfield, IL.

In a letter he marks, "Confidential," President-Elect Lincoln writes to Republican Congressman James T. Hale, of Pennsylvania. Hale and other border-state representatives seek to appease the states considering secession. Lincoln cites his recent election victory and vows not to "surrender to those we have beaten." Lincoln adds, "They now have the Constitution, under which we have lived over seventy years, and acts of Congress of their own framing, with no prospect of their being changed; and they can never have a more shallow pretext for breaking up the government, or extorting a compromise, than now."
Acknowledges receipt from Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, general in chief of the army, of correspondence and notes "concerning various military movements, suggested by yourself."
 

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Monday January 12, 1863

Washington D.C.

President and Sec. Stanton in morning conference on army affairs.
Lincoln instructs Judge Adv. Gen. Holt to revise proceedings of courtmartial in case of Gen. Fitz John Porter, on trial in connection with failure of Gen. Pope's campaign, August 1862, and to report on other aspects of trial.
Acknowledges receipt of resolutions of Connecticut Legislature favorable to administration forwarded by Gov. Buckingham (Conn.)
Senator Charles Sumner (Mass.) calls on President at night and reads letter from George Livermore of Boston acknowledging receipt of pen used by Lincoln to sign "New Years" proclamation (Emancipation Proclamation).
 

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Monday January 13, 1862

Washington D.C.

Cabinet in special meeting at 11 A.M. Lincoln names Edwin M. Stanton his secretary of war to succeed Simon Cameron. Sends to Senate nomination of Cameron as minister to Russia.
In afternoon convenes council of several generals, including Gen. McClellan, and cabinet members to discuss military plans. McClellan declines to give details of his plans for fear of leak; considers council military cabal against him.
President Lincoln writes to Brigadier General Don C. Buell concerning military strategy, and states that although his suggestions are not "orders," he would like them to be "respectfully considered." Lincoln offers his assessment of the war: "We have the greater numbers, and the enemy has the greater facility of concentrating forces upon points of collision." Lincoln suggests that the Union forces pressure the enemy "at different points, at the same time; so that we can safely attack, one, or both, if he makes no change."
 

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Saturday January 14, 1865

Washington D.C.

From 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M., Mrs. Lincoln holds her first reception of season. President and Robert stand on either side of her. Marine band plays. Large attendance.
President writes General Ulysses S. Grant to ask what is likely to be done with Henry S. Foote, former member of Confederate Congress who was captured in attempt to escape from Richmond to Washington.
 

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Sunday January 15, 1865

Washington D.C.

Secretary Welles receives message from Rear Admiral David D. Porter: "Fort Fisher is ours."
Secretary Seward sends notice to government offices to honor memory of Edward Everett who died at 4 A.M.
President telegraphs General Grenville M. Dodge at St. Louis to consider possibility of withdrawing troops from northern Missouri.
 

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Monday January 16, 1865

Washington D.C.

President grants audience to Mrs. Albert T. Bledsoe, wife of former Confederate cabinet officer and once Springfield acquaintance of Lincoln, and gives her pass through lines.
Francis P. Blair, Sr., returns from interview with President Jefferson Davis and reports to President Lincoln.
 

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Monday January 17,1848

Washington D.C.

Seizure of African-American waiter in Washington by three slave traders induces Joshua Giddings to introduce resolution to investigate slave trade in District or removing capital to free state. Congressman Lincoln votes against motion to table, but it passes. He votes in favor of resolution declaring it inexpedient to order our troops in Mexico to fall back.
 

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Monday January 18, 1864

Washington D.C.


Lincoln acknowledges receipt of two lithographed facsimiles of Emancipation Proclamation sent by Thomas B. Bryan.
Lincoln writes a note to "Whom it may concern" regarding Private John P. M. Thornton, with the 61st New York Volunteers, Company E. Lincoln explains, "Thornton . . . comes to me voluntarily under apprehension that he may be arrested, convicted, and punished as a deserter . . . I hereby direct him to report forthwith to his regiment for duty, and upon condition that he does this, and faithfully serves out his term, or until he shall be honorably discharged for any cause, he is fully pardoned for any supposed desertion heretofor committed."
He writes to William B. Sprague, of Albany, New York, in response to Sprague's request for Lincoln's autograph to be included in an "elegantly bound volume [of] autograph letters of all the Presidents of the United States." Sprague will donate the album to an upcoming fundraiser. Sprague explained, "When I asked a friend of mine how I could get a letter from you to crown the series, his instant reply was 'Write to the President himself.'" Sprague added, "I should prefer that the letter should not appear as addressed to myself; for in that case I can not say what temptation I might be under to keep it." Lincoln writes, "I send you this, for the use of the ladies mentioned, who are laboring for the relief of our sick and wounded soldiers."
 

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Thursday January 19,1865

Washington D.C.

President Lincoln writes to Lieut.-General Ulysses S. Grant regarding Robert Lincoln, the President's oldest son, who "wishes to see something of the war before it ends." Lincoln instructs Grant to respond with his honest opinion and without regard to Lincoln's position as President. Lincoln directs Grant to reserve "commission for more deserving candidates, and asks if Robert "could . . . without embarrassment to you, or detriment to the service," obtain "some nominal rank, I, and not the public, furnishing his necessary means?"
Lincoln attends ceremonies of U.S. Christian Commission in House of Representatives.
Directs Sec. Stanton to consider investigating appeals "made to us by persons claiming to have attempted to come through our lines with their effects to take the benefit of the Amnesty proclamation."
Lincoln writes to Major General Edward O. C. Ord regarding Frank Judd, who currently assumes an alias. Judd is the son of Norman B. Judd, who managed Lincoln's 1860 presidential campaign and who now serves as Minister to Prussia. Lincoln explains, "You have a man in arrest for desertion passing by the name of Stanley—William Stanley I think—but whose real name is different. He is the son of so close a friend of mine that I must not let him be executed. Please let me know what is his present and prospective condition."

Robert Lincoln
HD_lincolnRcir1860c.jpg
 

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Monday January 20, 1862

Washington D.C.

President signs appointment of E. M. Stanton as secretary of war.
Receives written protest from committee representing 14th Brooklyn Regiment against change in number to 84th NY.

Pianist and composer Alexander Wolowski performs selections for Mrs. Lincoln at the White House.
 

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Saturday January 21, 1865

Washington D.C.

General Ulysses S. Grant arrives in Washington for brief meeting with the President, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and General Philip E. Sheridan before returning to City Point, Virginia. President receives word from General Grant suggesting that Robert join his headquarters staff with rank of captain.
"Mrs. Lincoln wears a very heavy black corded silk, elaborately trimmed, a shawl of white point lace, and a headdress composed of black velvet and lace" at her afternoon reception. President attends and greeted visitors. Despite "exceedingly disagreeable" weather, the reception is well attended. Washington Chronicle, 22 January 1865; Evening Star (Washington, DC), 21 January 1865, 2d ed., 2:4.
 

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Thursday January 22, 1863

Washington D.C.

Gen. McClernand, reduced to corps commander, blames Gen. Halleck and interviews President who counsels "that for your sake, for my sake, & for the country's sake," he forget personal grievances.
Lincoln advises Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut to dismiss thought of coming to Washington now that "you stand well with the Sec. of War."
Promises to nominate Gen. Frederick Steele a major general upon satisfactory explanation of charges made against him for returning fugitive slaves.
Transmits eighty-nine military nominations to the Senate, including twenty-three for major generals, sixty-three for brigadier generals, and three for hospital chaplains.
 

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Friday January 23, 1863

Washington D.C.

Lincoln meets with Cabinet, except Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
President interviews Mrs. John Green who asks promotion for husband.
Mrs. Col. Kingsbury calls on Lincoln and asks that John J. D. Kingsbury be appointed to West Point.
President wishes secretary of war to arrange for Gen. Butler to start for New Orleans by February 1, 1863. "I think we can not longer dispense with Gen. Butler's service."
 

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