John P. Crawford to Abraham Lincoln, August 10, 1861

    Source citation
    John P. Crawford to Abraham Lincoln, August 10, 1861, New York, NY, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Author (from)
    Crawford, John P.
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.


    15 Murray St New York

    Aug 10. 1861

    Abraham Lincoln

    For God's sake let a plain man say a few plain words to you-- It is commonly reported and believed that Mr Seward is drunk, daily; and it is universally believed that Cameron is a thief-- All men believe you, upright -- but know you lack experience and fear you lack nerve-- You require the best advisers in the land, and when necessary you must sacrifice men to country-- While the whole country mistrusts Seward and Cameron you will not get your loan taken and men will become and are becoming lukewarm in the war-- If what I hear is true of Seward you must know it-- If you want proof against Cameron, go to the camp of the 14th Regt N. Y. S. M. at Arlington House and ask to see the blankets sold to them by the war department, to replace those they were ordered to throw away at the battle of Bull Run-- The regulation army blanket is made of all wool and weighs 10 or 11 pounds per pair and is charged to soldiers at $2.42 each blanket or $4.84 per pair-- These that have been sold to the soldiers since the retreat at Bulls Run weigh less than 5 pounds per pair, are more than half cotton the balance being a miserable mixture of Hair & Wool of very common quality and are worth by the bale in New York about $1.25 per pair and yet the quartermaster was ordered to charge them to our poor soldiers at the full price of the regulation army blanket -- viz -- $2.42 each blanket or $4.84 per pair just about four times their value-- When the quartermaster appealed to Major Rucker about it he said he had nothing to do with it, that Mr Cameron had bought the blankets in New York through Cummings and that they had nothing to do but obey orders and charge full price-- Now Mr Lincoln this is, in every way in which it can be looked at, a damnable robbery-- I saw the blankets and pronounce it so-- Your Soldiers hate this man Cameron and will soon learn to despise the government which keeps him in it-- If you mean to be faithful to your country investigate this matter for yourself, and if you find it as I say, then for your own sake for your country's sake for God's sake put him out of office You must be a Marquis Posa now and sacrifice your friend -- even if he be your dearest -- for the welfare and friendship of millions-- A holy regard for the right must force you to do it and may God help you--

    In this time of our Country's due extremity a Sot and a thief (plain & ugly but true names) ought not -- must not, hold the chief offices You can call Everett to the one and Banks or Holt to the other and fill them honorably honestly and capably I think--

    I have almost venerated W. H. Seward and grieved when he lost the nomination at Chicago but I thank God sincerely that his will was not as mine was then.-- God, has put you where you are Abraham Lincoln, -- don't forget that -- and he asks of you a faithful Stewardship

    That His Love and His wisdom may inform every act of your life and office is my daily prayer and let me add it is my faith

    faithfully yours

    John P Crawford

    When in the camp of the 14th looking for lost friends I saw the blankets -- bought & brought home one and will send you if you wish the testimony of the most reliable blanket merchants of this city as to their value

    J. P. C.

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