Letter From Washington
August 20, 1866
Southerners believe the success of the Philadelphia Convention will translate to the upcoming elections. Radicals can not deny a new wave of Conservatism which has set in, and Stanton has now decided to follow example of other Conservative members of the Cabinet.
The adjournment of the National Union Convention marks the inauguration of a vigorous campaign by the friends of the Peace and Union party, which the Radicals will fail to meet, however strong their intentions at present. They cannot stem the tide of conservatism which has set in. Meetings will now be held all over the country to ratify the proceedings of the Convention; and, judging from the exuberance and joy depicted upon the countenances of the President and his friends at the success of the Convention, there may be no doubt of a corresponding success in the elections. The Secretary of State is sanguine of the success of the Administration policy in the coming fall. Mr. Wells predicts large conservative majorities in Connecticut, and Mr. McCulloch, the only other known conservative member of the Cabinet now here,-Randall being in Philadelphia-is highly delighted at the aspect of affairs. Perhaps Mr. Stanton feels encouraged, but it so it is hard to perceive it. He preserves his usual silence, but many think that now, for the tlrst time, the issue has been clearly, definitely, and thoroughly defined, he will come out fair on the Administration platform, or else follow the example of other members of the Cabinet who did not agree therewith, and resign his portfolio for a more congenial occupation.
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“Letter From Washington,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed January 16, 2018, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/291.