Now, we had in our delegation a gentleman who was accustomed to imbibe somewhat freely on occasions like that. He had pushed himself to the front, and, when the door opened for us, in he rushed shouting: “Mr. President! Mr. President! Mr. President! we have found that old sow and pigs for you!”
The President, who was standing on the opposite side of the room, looked somewhat startled at first; but as he evidently recalled the illustration he had given to us, and which was being returned to him, a broad grin went over his face, although nothing further was said about the swine. But the incident was disastrous to our business. We were relying on a prominent St. Louis lawyer, who was with us, to present our case in a calm and impressive way; but he, taking offense at being so unceremoniously forestalled, kept his intended speech to himself. His dignity was hurt, and he had nothing to say. In fact, he walked away and left us. The result was that our claims were rather lamely presented, except by the first speaker, and we left the official presence not a little chagrined and with no favorable assurance having been obtained.
By all recognized party rules, when the nominating convention had given the Missouri Radicals the stamp of regularity, the President was bound to prefer them in the bestowal of patronage. He did nothing of the kind. At his death, practically all of the offices in Missouri that were under his control were held by Claybanks. These men became enthusiastic supporters of Andrew Johnson, and, at the end of his term, to a man went over to the Democratic party, of which their leader, General Blair, was soon made, on the ticket with Horatio Seymour, the Vice-Presidential candidate. At Lincoln’s death, the Claybanks, as an organization, went out of business.
Very different was the treatment the Charcoals received at the hands of General Grant when he became President. He made the leader of the anti-Scofield delegation to Washington Chief Justice of the Court of Claims. He made two or three other leading Missouri Radicals foreign ministers and officially remembered many of the rest of them. He had been a Missourian, and it was well known that he was in sympathy with the Radicals in their fight with Lincoln.
Although the Missouri Radicals did not favor Mr. Lincoln’s candidature, with the exception of a few supporters of Fremont, they gave him their loyal support at the polls, and through this a large majority in the State. They acted towards him much more cordially than he ever acted toward them.
That Mr. Lincoln, in antagonizing the Missouri Free Soilers, acted otherwise than from the most conscientious impulses the writer does not for a moment believe. He opposed them because he disapproved of their views and policy. He said so most distinctly on one occasion. Certain German societies of St. Louis, having adopted a set of resolutions, entrusted them to James Taussig, a leading lawyer of that city, to present to the President in person. Mr. Taussig’s report of the results of a two hours’ interview can be found in several of Mr. Lincoln’s biographies. One passage from the report is here given because it clearly shows Mr. Lincoln’s attitude toward the Missouri problem.