Field, Phyllis F., "Weed, Thurlow," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01194.html.
Abraham Lincoln made Seward his secretary of state and consulted Weed regularly on patronage matters but remained independent in his assessment of both men and issues. Weed differed with Lincoln over rejecting concessions on slavery during the secession crisis, the timing of the Emancipation Proclamation (which he felt should have been delayed until more popular with the public), and the firing of General George B. McClellan, and he was disturbed by the unpopularity of the draft. Yet during the war he helped organize recruiting in New York City, acted as a military supplier in obtaining war goods (on commission), and used his influence when called upon by the president. He claimed, for instance, to have arranged a commission for the son of James Gordon Bennett, the editor of the New York Herald, in exchange for a lessening of criticism of the administration. During the winter of 1861-1862, Weed traveled in England and France, promoting favorable press coverage of the North and advising Seward on diplomatic matters, especially the necessity of releasing James Mason and John Slidell, Confederate commissioners who had been removed from the British mail packet Trent.