Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 191
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 191
shall be requested to withdraw his resignation.” “Yes,” from Lincoln. “I feel bound to say,” then replied the Senator, “that as Mr. Seward has seen fit to resign, I should advise that his resignation be accepted.” It was 1 A.M. when the senators left the White House. 1  21
  On this Saturday morning, December 20, the President sent for Chase, telling him on his arrival, “This matter is giving me great trouble.” Chase replied that “painfully affected by the meeting last evening … he had prepared his resignation of the office of Secretary of the Treasury. ‘Where is it?’ said the President quickly, his eye lighting up in a moment. ‘I brought it with me,’ said Chase, taking the paper from his pocket. ‘I wrote it this morning.’ ‘Let me have it,’ said the President, reaching his long arm and fingers toward Chase, who held on seemingly reluctant to part with the letter which was sealed and which he apparently hesitated to surrender.… The President was eager … took and hastily opened the letter. ‘This,’ said he with a triumphal laugh, ‘cuts the Gordian knot.… I can dispose of the subject now without difficulty; I see my way clear.’” 2 Then Stanton, who was in the President’s office with Chase, offered his resignation. “You may go to your Department,” Lincoln replied, “I don’t want yours. This,” holding out Chase’s letter, “is all I want; this relieves me; my way is clear; the trouble is ended; I will detain neither of you longer.” 3 Soon after Chase, Stanton and Welles (who was also present at the interview) had left, Lincoln, still holding Chase’s letter in his hand said to Senator Harris who had called, “Now, I can ride; I have got a pumpkin in each end of my bag.” 4  22
  Lincoln’s elation at having in his hands the resignation
Note 1. Fessenden, I, 247. [back]
Note 2. Welles’s Diary, I, 201. [back]
Note 3. Ibid., [back]
Note 4. N. & H., VI, 271. [back]


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