John G. Nicolay's conversation with James Moorhead, May 12-13, 1880

Source citation
James Kennedy Moorhead, interview with John G. Nicolay, Washington, DC, May 12 and 13, 1880, in Michael Burlingame, ed., An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996), 41.
Type
Miscellaneous
Date Certainty
Exact
Transcriber
Transcription adapted from An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (1996), edited by Michael Burlingame
Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
Transcription date
The following transcript has been adapted from An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (1996).

Conversation with Hon J. K. Morehead At Washington May 12th & 13th 1880
I asked Mr. M. whether he remembered his visit to Springfield in January 1861 at Cameron’s instance or in his behalf, or the circumstances or conversation relating to his bringing back with him a letter from Mr. L to C. being simply a line inviting C. to visit him again at Springfield.)

I remember the visit very well. Mr. Alex. Cummings went with me. We went at Cameron’s instance to induce Mr. L. to appoint him into the Cabinet. We had letters of introduction. When we arrived at Springfield we met Judge Davis. This relieved us of much difficulty in formally opening our errand.

He came and reported to us that he had talked with Lincoln—and that Lincoln was not favorable to Cameron's appointment.

We finally had an interview with Lincoln ourselves. He was very much opposed to appointing Cameron, and expressed himself very emphatically in that direction.

Said he: “All through the campaign my friends have been calling me 'Honest Old Abe,’ and I have been elected mainly on that cry. What will be thought now if the first thing I do is to appoint C., whose very name stinks in the nostrils of the people for his corruption?”

We came away without any very strong expectations of success. We were satisfied a good deal would have to be done after Mr. L. came here to Washington if it was accomplished. I dont remember about the letter. I have an indistinct recollection that L. wished perhaps to see C. and have a plain talk with him about the objections which were urged against him &c.

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