This extravagant rhetoric would seem merely grotesque, were it not embittered by the reflection that it was the signal which carried many additional thousands of brave soldiers to death, in continuing a palpably hopeless military struggle.
Blair—Chase Chief Justice—Speed Succeeds Bates—McCulloch Succeeds Fessenden—Resignation of Mr. Usher—Lincoln’s Offer of $400,000,000—The Second Inaugural—Lincoln’s Literary Rank—His Last Speech
The principal concession in the Baltimore platform made by the friends of the administration to their opponents, the radicals, was the resolution which called for harmony in the cabinet. The President at first took no notice, either publicly or privately, of this resolution, which was in effect a recommendation that he dismiss those members of his council who were stigmatized as conservatives; and the first cabinet change which actually took place after the adjournment of the convention filled the radical body of his supporters with dismay, since they had looked upon Mr. Chase as their special representative in the government. The publication of the Wade-Davis manifesto still further increased their restlessness, and brought upon Mr. Lincoln a powerful pressure from every quarter to satisfy radical demands by dismissing Montgomery Blair, his Postmaster-General. Mr. Blair had been one of the founders of the Republican party, and in the very forefront of opposition to slavery extension, but had gradually attracted to himself the hostility of all the radical Republicans in the country. The immediate cause of this estrangement was the bitter quarrel that developed between his family and General Fremont in Missouri: a quarrel in which the Blairs were undoubtedly right in the beginning, but which broadened and extended until it landed them finally in the Democratic party.