Charlotte Cushman to [William H. Seward], Tuesday, July 09, 1861 (West Point appointment)

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Charlotte Cushman to [William H. Seward], Tuesday, July 09, 1861 (West Point appointment)


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Political Affairs


Cushman addresses Seward as a friend and confidant of President Lincoln. She asks for Seward's support in a matter of admission to West Point Military Academy for Lewis S. Chase. Additionally, she informs Seward about Mr Cameron possibly conspiring against Seward, which may involve stock market speculations. Cushman also talks about the current political situation with major decisions ahead.


Library of Congress, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Manuscript Division.


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


LoC, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Manuscript Division., series: Series 2. General Correspondence. 1858-1864





Letter Item Type Metadata


[42076, page 1] Dear & kind friend
at the risk of seeming a bore I think I thrust myself again on your valuable time. begging you to forgive me. I have to thank you for so much pleasure & comfort in my short sojourns near you. That I ought to be ashamed to ask any thing more of you. & for myself I would not. I took the liberty of speaking to you about a young friend in whom I took much intent whom I wished to have placed at West Point Military academy. You advised my

[42076, page 2] asking the President. when. if I found him in a "pliant[?] hour" you would take care to keep the young man in your mind. When you did in the honour to present me. I was so completely taken up with him & his humour. That I forgot my mission & came away. The mornings [sic] paper shows me that the proposition to increase the number of students at the academy. 3 to 1. is likely to pass--for the country seems willing to give the President[?] all he asks. I am indeed to pen my request to you hoping you may be willing to ask for me. that Mr Lincoln

[42076, page 3] in his kindness will give me one of the commissions at large for my young friend Lewis S. Chase. son of Alfernon[?] S. Chase now [inserted] of Baltimore (where he has resided as a merchant some fifteen years) but formerly of Boston Mass. This lad will make a capital soldier & do honour to his appointment. Beg Mr Lincoln to forgive me &  do you dear friend pardon me in your heart for this intrusion on your more sacred duties.
Mr Tucker. great friend, & stock agent of Mr Cameron from whom he has the information [last six words inserted] tells much of Genl Scotts [sic] plans. To influential [inserted] Wall St. Brokers. among whom are some severe

[42076, page 4] Virginia secessionists. who would not hesitate to transmit their knowledge thus gained. This I learned very oddly the other day--& there are those there who feel confident that Mr Cameron [Lincoln's Secretary of War] is using much influence against you personally. & not doing much to serve any but himself. Two very large Phila capitalists told me on Friday last. that the report circulated among them. was. that you would be out of the Cabinet in less than a month. whether Mr Cameron uses this for stock jobbing purposes I know not. but this seemed their conviction from assurances
He is doubted generally[?], throughout the country! The plan of Genl Scott given to me--as coming from Mr Tucker seemed

[42077, page 1] so fraud that I was indeed to believe[?] in the true one. & that my informant really knew what he was talking about.
The night I left Washington. I heard in Baltimore quite casually from his daughter. that Henry May had gone down into Virginia--&wondered much. since then, I see that he had an interview with the President before going.
What shall I say about the message for which. if you will believe[?] it. I have battled much! It seems to me so strange that many of our substantial[?] men. should be so fond of +++ & +++ flourish

[42077, page 2] in +++. that they are blind to a case so momentous. so solemn as this. & are not satisfied. with the simple plain statement of facts set down without varnish or ostentation in that message. which shall be more respected [inserted] [illegible crossed out]  +++ +++ hence than it is now. when men shall have better learned how valueless are words  for "Buncombe". Can we be even great. while we are so superficial. & shall we not be wiser & more reputable when we have a national debt heavy enough to give us some ballast. as we are--we seem to be individually & collectively

[42077, page 3] seeking to get the most we can, out of any +++. until we shall, at last, come to skinning "nothing" to cover over nakedness. The golden silence of the President. upon every subject--but the one for which congress is called together. seems to me above all value. Every day he is gaining ground. save among partisan politicians whose motions are "as clear as +++ in July. when we do see each grain of fraud":
& who cannot find honesty in any man. because they do not know it when they see it.
Forgive my ravings.

[42077, page 4] Can you tell me whether Mr Frederick Seward has sent the passports.
Goodbye. dear. good friend
God keep you for all who love you. prays ever
Your faithful
Charlotte Cushman


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876


Boston, MA, US

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Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876, “Charlotte Cushman to [William H. Seward], Tuesday, July 09, 1861 (West Point appointment),” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed April 22, 2024,

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