Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 54
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 54
  Meigs heard a rumor that Frémont had in mind a project resembling the conspiracy of Aaron Burr’s. Somewhat more than two years later Lincoln, in an expansive mood, unbosomed himself to his private secretaries and two other friends, saying, Mrs. Frémont (who had brought a letter from the General justifying his proclamation) “sought an audience with me at midnight 1 and taxed me so violently with many things that I had to exercise all the awkward tact I have to avoid quarreling with her.… She more than once intimated that if General Frémont should conclude to try conclusions with me, he could set up for himself.” To this, the minister of the United States to Prussia, an old Illinois friend of Lincoln’s, replied: “It is pretty clearly proven that Frémont had at that time concluded that the Union was definitely destroyed, and that he should set up an independent government as soon as he took Memphis and organized his army.” 2 That Lincoln felt there was some basis for this report is indicated by a paper which Nicolay left in a sealed envelope endorsed: “A private paper, Conversation with the President, October 2, 1861,” in which one of the headings is “Frémont ready to rebel.” 3 Nevertheless, it is hardly probable that Lincoln was disturbed enough by the report to let it have the slightest weight in his action. It was more to the point that Montgomery Blair had recommended Frémont’s removal for inefficiency and that Cameron’s and Thomas’s conclusions had made it imperative. These two reported that Frémont “was incompetent and unfit for his extensive and important command” and that he had “around him in his staff persons directly and indirectly concerned in furnishing supplies.” On October 24, the President issued the order for his removal. Before the removal was effected, E. B.
Note 1. During September, 1861. [back]
Note 2. J. Hay, I, 133. [back]
Note 3. Nicolay, 177. [back]

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