James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
with General Frémont. And if the election were next fall, to displace him would be to make him president. Herndon, the old law partner and later biographer of Lincoln, living in Illinois, said, Frémonts proclamation was right. Lincolns modification of it was wrong. Senator Grimes wrote from Iowa: The people are all with Frémont and will uphold him through thick and thin. Everybody of every sect, party, sex and color approves his proclamation in the Northwest and it will not do for the administration to causelessly tamper with the man who had the sublime moral courage to issue it.1
These expressions in private letters represented a phase of intelligent sentiment which troubled Lincoln, as is evident from his confidential letter to Senator Browning of Illinois, who, though regarded as a conservative, had approved Frémonts proclamation. It endangers the loss of Kentucky, he wrote [September 22]. I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we cannot hold Missouri, nor, as I think, Maryland. These all against us and the job on our hands is too large for us. We would as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of this capital. Lincoln had such a hold upon the people that he carried with him an efficient public opinion and, after due waiting, proceeded to the next step. He never had any thought of removing Frémont on account of his proclamation; but he felt that the mismanagement and corruption in Missouri must be corrected. Proceeding with caution, he sent to St. Louis Montgomery Blair and Meigs, the Quartermaster-General of the Army, and later Secretary Cameron and Adjutant-General Thomas: the four made a thorough and candid investigation.