Partisan Newspaper Accuses Lincoln’s Son of War Profiteering

March 29, 1863/2013
Volume 4, Issue 13 (129 Issues Since 15 October 2010)

Partisan Newspaper Accuses Lincoln’s Son of War Profiteering

Robert Todd Lincoln, 1865, Library of Congress

Robert Todd Lincoln, 1865, Library of Congress

March 1863. One of the most adroitly vocal and vehement Copperheads — northerners with southern sympathies — was, according to Carl Sandburg, “Wilbur Fisk Storey, publisher of the Chicago Times, a broken-down newspaper he had vitalized and made the voice of the extremist enemies of the Lincoln administration. A Vermont boy, . . . Storey cultivated suspicion as a habit. During March ’63 . . . [w]ithout basis or explanation, . . . the Chicago Times and like party organs printed the one sentence: ‘The President’s son, “Bob,” as he is called, a lad of some twenty summers, has made half a million dollars in government contracts.’ That was the item entire. How or where the President’s son made his money, by what particular contracts, was not told or hinted at.”

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director

SOURCE

Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln, The Prairie Years and The War Years, 371.


Lincoln on the Importance of Black Troops

Sgt. Major Christain Fleetwood, Medal of Honor recipient in the Civil War

Sgt. Major Christain Fleetwood, Medal of Honor recipient in the Civil War

April 1, 1863. Lincoln wrote to Union General David Hunter to commend him for using black troops in his attack on Jacksonville, Florida. “It is important to the enemy that such a force shall not take shape, and grow, and thrive, in the South; and in precisely the same proportion, it is important to us that it shall. Hence the utmost certain caution and vigilence [sic] is necessary on our part. The enemy will make extra efforts to destroy them; and we should do the same to preserve and increase them.”

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director

SOURCE

“Black Soldiers,” Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

INTERESTING LINKS

“Teaching With Documents: The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War,” National Archives


Sick but Retaining His Sense of Humor, Lee Writes His Wife

General Robert E. Lee, circa 1864, by Julian Vannerson, Library of Congress

General Robert E. Lee, circa 1864, by Julian Vannerson, Library of Congress

April 3, 1863. General Lee wrote his wife, “I am getting better I trust though apparently very slowly & have suffered a great deal since I last wrote. I have had to call upon the doctors who are very kind & attentive & do every thing for me that is possible. I have taken a violent cold, either from going in or coming out of a warm house, perhaps both, which is very difficult to get rid of & very distressing to have.”
Two days later, he wrote her again, saying, “I am suffering with a bad cold as I told you, & was threatened the doctors thought with some malady which must be dreadful if it resembles its name, but which I have forgotten. . . . I have not been so very sick, though have suffered a good deal of pain in my chest, back, & arms. It came on in paroxysms, was quite sharp, . . . . They have been tapping me all over like an old steam boiler before condemning it.”

– Submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director

SOURCES

The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee, Dowdey and Manarin, eds., pp. 427-28.

Bruce Catton, Never Call Retreat, p. 102.


Senator Thaddeus Stevens Criticizes Emancipation Proclamation

Hon. Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, Library of Congress

Hon. Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, Library of Congress

April 4, 1863. Now, thanks to the film Lincoln, we can better understand a remark made by Pennsylvania Senator Thaddeus Stevens criticizing Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation; Stevens made the comment in a speech to the Union League in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on April 4, 1863: “The ‘Proclamation of Freedom,’ as it is charitably called, although indicative of a sound heart, does not reach the evil. It exempts from its operations every place where it could be enforced.”

– Submitted professor Beverly Wilson Palmer, Professor of History at Pomona College, Claremont, California

SOURCE

Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens, ed. Beverly Wilson Palmer and Holly Byers Ochoa, Pittsburgh, 1997, 391.

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Filed under Civil War Book of Days: 1863

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