James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  the reconstruction of the Union. Already successful in his management of the Treasury, Chase was in character and ability fit for the office of the President.  23   Lincoln had long known of Chase’s striving for the Presidency and, though at times this may have caused him some concern, his attitude towards it after the victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg is revealed in his remark of October, 1863, to his private secretary: “I have determined to shut my eyes, so far as possible, to everything of the sort. Mr. Chase makes a good Secretary and I shall keep him where he is. If he becomes President, all right. I hope we may never have a worse man.” 1  24   In various ways before the assembling of the national convention, the Union and Republican party pronounced in favor of Lincoln’s renomination. In spite of all that was urged against him by his opponents touching the manipulation by office-holders and politicians, there remains no doubt that the mass of citizens were lending aid to these movements. The President had gained the support of the plain people, of business men and of a goodly portion of the best intelligence of the country. Nothing in the study of popular sentiment can be more gratifying than this oneness of thought between farmers, small shop-keepers, salesmen, clerks, mechanics and the men who stood intellectually for the highest aspirations of the nation. Lowell wrote in the North American Review: “History will rank Mr. Lincoln among the most prudent of statesmen and the most successful of rulers. If we wish to appreciate him, we have only to conceive the inevitable chaos in which we should now be weltering had a weak man or an unwise one been chosen in his stead.” “Homely, honest, ungainly Lincoln,” wrote Asa Gray to Darwin, “is the representative man of the country.” 2  25
Note 1. N. & H., VIII, 316; J. Hay, I, 108. [back]
Note 2. IV, 461. [back]