Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/17

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tact with him. Up to the time of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, several members of his cabinet were engaged in what Lamon calls "venomous detractions" of his character both as a man and as a statesman. Nor were these detractions by any means confined to his cabinet. Besides Seward, Stanton and Chase of the cabinet, Hamlin, Freemont, Sumner, Trumbull, Wade, Wilson, Thad. Stevens, Beecher, Henry Winter Davis, Greeley and Wendell Phillips were among those who did not hesitate to denounce and belittle him in every way in their power. Members of his cabinet were in the habit of referring to him as "the baboon at the other end of the avenue," and some senators referred to him as the "idiot of the White House." (Facts and Falsehoods, p. 9. ) Lamon says:

"The opposition to Lincoln became more and more offensive. The leaders resorted to every means in their power to thwart him. This opposition continued to the end of his life." (Idem, p. 32.)

Nicolay and Hay say that—

"Even to complete strangers Chase could not write without speaking slightingly of President Lincoln. He kept up this habit to the end of Lincoln's i life. Chase's attitude toward the President varied between the limits of active brutality and benevolent contempt." (Idem, p. 12.)

Colonel McClure says:

"Outside of the cabinet, the leaders were quite as distrustful of President Lincoln's ability to fill the great office he held." (Idem, p. 32.)

And Charles Francis Adams (the elder), in his memorial address on Mr. Seward, says Mr. Lincoln, was "selected partly on account of the absence of positive qualities," and "with a mind not open to the nature of the crisis."

And he further says:

"Mr. Lincoln (in his contact with Seward) could not fail to perceive the fact that whatever estimate he might put on his own natural judgment, he had to deal with a superior in native intellectual power, in extent of acquirement, in breadth of philosophical experience, and in the force of moral discipline. On the other hand, Mr. Seward could not have been long blind to the deficiencies of his chief in these respects." (See Well's Reply to Adams, p. 24.)