John P. Verree to Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1861

    Source citation
    John P. Verree to Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1861, Washington, DC, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.
    January 1st 1861

    My Dear Sir
    My interest in the success of your administration, will, I trust, excuse me for troubling you about the movements of some of the members of this House from Penna.-- They desire to secure their friend Senator Cameron an appointment in your cabinett; and have, induced a minority of our delegation to sign a paper, recommending him to your favor; -- of that number, at least three, were not reelected to the next Congress; and the new members, I know; are opposed to the recommendation:-- I was urged to sign it, but declined believing ; -- that there never has been an administration since the inauguration of Washington, which has attracted more or as much of the attention of the country, as yours will;-- The recent expositions and peculations of the last four years, the deep mortification of national pride and the threatened disruption of the Union by unfaithful & dishonest Cabinet advisers, will attract more than ordinary interest to your selections

    You and your party have been villified and slandered so much that many conservative & timid men who earnestly supported you will look with concern at the first indications of your policy, and I assure you sir, the selection of Senator Cameron for any position in your cabinet will not only cause a feeling of deep disappointment here and throughout the state but will surround your administration with a quiet and undefined feeling of fear and suspicion of future investigations

    Nothing did more to secure the enthusiasm and unanimity in your favor than the general impression and belief of the corruption of the present administration and the confident belief that your character and history afforded the best guarantee of a change for the better

    If you do not already know that gentlemans character, I can assure you that is so generally understood & believed in Pa. that whether deserved or not, his identification with your administration in such confidential relations will weaken the confidence of the public and produce an unfavorable impression throughout the country and no where more than at home where he ought to be known

    It is natural you should feel a desire to compliment our state for its large vote, and no doubt the friends of Mr. Cameron are urging upon you the necessity of appointing him to gratify Penna. and if she was united earnestly and heartily upon any man like Missouri is upon Mr. Bates or Maine upon Mr Fesseden or N Jersey upon Mr Dayton or as Kentucky in former times was upon Mr Clay and Massachusetts upon Mr Webster, then the old Keystone ought to be gratified but I assure you, sir she is not so united, the position of Mr Cameron is such that -- out of respect to him -- and his friends it would be impolitic to appoint any other citizen of our state although there are others no doubt who would be gratified at this selection

    Pennsylvania does not require any cabinet appointment to satisfy her, she is so well pleased with her victory as the banner-state that she is unwilling to embarrass your administration with requiring an appointment, which I assure you will divide and distract her politically much more than if you should select some person from another state in whom she would have confidence, and whose history and record in regard to the principles of protection would be satisfactory to her.--

    At Chicago, Penna had four candidates she was anxious to nominate, McLean Lincoln Bates & Dayton, I do not include Mr Cameron for we did not want him, his friend urged him simply to advance his position in the future. We have now two of our candidates (supposing Mr. Bates to be selected) and if you should select the third the Hon W L Dayton you would satisfy our state and New Jersey and at the same time gratify a very large class who look upon him as an honest, fearless and well tried statesman of the old fashioned but not old fogy school, one under whose banner we fought in 1856 and had the ticket been reversed would have carried Pennsylvania then.

    I have this moment heard that Mr Cameron has been appointed and is now on his way to Springfield to arrange matters preparatory to his acceptance.

    Hoping that I may have been misinformed, I have concluded to send my protest to his selection, and if it is too late, to express the hope, that my fears may never be realized

    Very Truly Your friend

    & obt Humble Svt
    John P. Verree
    Minor Figures

    John Paul Verree (1817 - 1889) – Verree served in the United States House of Representatives between 1859 and 1863.
    How to Cite This Page: "John P. Verree to Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1861," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,