Six Months at the White House/XXIX

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It seems necessary at this point that an explanation should be given of a leading article which appeared in the New York "Independent," upon the withdrawal of Mr. Chase from the political canvass of 1864, widely copied by the country press, in which it was stated that the concluding paragraph of the proclamation was from the pen of Secretary Chase. One of Mr. Lincoln's intimate friends, who felt that there was an impropriety in this publication, at that time, for which Mr. Chase was in some degree responsible, went to see the President about it. "Oh," said Mr. Lincoln, with his characteristic simplicity and freedom from all suspicion, "Mr. Chase had nothing to do with it; I think I mentioned the circumstance to Mr. Tilton, myself."

The facts in the case are these: While the measure was pending, Mr. Chase submitted to the President a draft of a proclamation embodying his views upon the subject, which closed with the appropriate and solemn words referred to: "And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God!"

Mr. Lincoln adopted this sentence intact, excepting that he inserted after the word "Constitution" the words "upon military necessity."