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    Description

    [Abraham Lincoln]: Great Content Anti-Lincoln Letter from Noted Irish Journalist. 10-page ALS, New York City, April 5, 1864 from Charles G. Halpine (non-de-plume Miles O'Reilly) to California Senator John Conness. This superb letter is written on five sheets of 8" x 10" lined paper, signed "Chas. G. Halpine" and witnessed by his alter-ego "Miles O'Reilly". Halpine was a journalist who served in the Civil War from 1861-1864 (69th New York Infantry, staff member for David Hunter and Henry Halleck, resigned his commission because of poor eyesight). In addition to his newspaper work, he published two volumes of essays, poems and humorous observations. This extensive letter is chock-full of political commentary on the 1864 election from the Democratic perspective.
    Read more of his comments in the extended description on line.


    More Information:

    It relates some anecdotes which, considering the source, may be true or total "blarney". After discussing the publication of his books ("tumbled higgledly-piggledly into the press"), he comments on career choices and politics: "... I would have pulled up stakes and moved to California for good, with the intention of 'tying up to your fortunes,' - as it was my honor heretofore to have done to those of my ever lamented, ever-honored friend S. A. Douglas, whose letters to me are now my most precious and prized possession. He used always to call me his 'battle-axe of the paper,' I having been chief editor of his N. Y. organ The Leader... I visited Bennett at Fort Washington... he had received a message from Senator Wilson and others who told him there were not ten in both houses of Congress who favored Mr. Lincoln's reelection: but that they were paralyzed by the want of a press. That Lincoln by patronage had bought up all the papers & c., and they they feared to take sides too openly against him, lest they should find themselves 'representatives without any constituencies'... Bennett thinks that a return of the old form of a 'Congressional caucus of both houses,' and a nomination so made, would beat out of sight both the Baltimore and Chicago conventions... [Bennett] is first for Grant, but would prefer Fremont, - I think we would prefer the Devil to Mr. Lincoln... Greeley dined with me... He says he will fight Lincoln as long as he can wield a pen... and that the fight will not be clunked down altogether on his shoulders... He complains that P. M. Blair is now making war on the Weekly Tribune and that he has already 'lost over 10,000 subscribers to that paper by the open and unscrupulous enmity of all the Blair postmasters thoughout the country.' ... when he saw you in the Senate and spoke to you about the necessity of organizing an opposition to Mr. Lincoln, - you said 'Hush! You mustn't talk that way, Greeley' ... He also complains that you appear to hold your California delegation for Old Abe, though he knows that you don't mean it. But tell him, Halpine, he said, 'that if he will take the lead in this matter and give me a mite of encouragement, - just a peg to hang an article on, I'll be behind him with every energy of my paper... no matter how the proprietors may grumble... Greeley told me that Nicolay (a good fellow) the President's Secy. called on him a week ago to see if he couldn't be 'straightened' for the Old Man. 'If he carries back to Lincoln all I gave him', added Horace, 'Lincoln will think it is the heaviest dose ever he got I bet... while I live I shall never take upon my soul the blood of any more of our people by supporting him [Lincoln]". Nicolay hinted that Lincoln on the election would 'throw over his deck-load i.e. Cabinet'. Greeley answered 'Throw over his deckload? Then he must throw over himself. He is the deckload of the government; and this business of bargaining secretly to throw over an administration which is openly endorsed by the re-election of its head, is a pretty mean, small business, Nicolay; and the offer of it makes me think worse of Lincoln than I ever thought before.' ... The moment my resignation is accepted, I shall leap back into the papers, and know that I can hurt Mr. Lincoln's chances." Some minor loss and discoloration to last sheet. One of the best Lincoln-related letters we have ever seen!



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