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

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  the mouth,” wrote Lowell to Norton on August 1. “The war and its constant expectation and anxiety oppress me. I cannot think.” 1  17   Another manifestation of the general despondency was seen in the growing dissatisfaction with Lincoln. “I beg you, implore you,” wrote Greeley to Lincoln on August 9, “to inaugurate or invite proposals for peace forthwith. And in case peace cannot now be made consent to an armistice for one year.” In this private letter Greeley expressed the thoughts of very many men. Nine days later he wrote: “Lincoln is already beaten. He cannot be elected. And we must have another ticket to save us from utter overthrow.” Influential men of affairs in New York, Boston and the West were earnest in their belief that Lincoln should withdraw and make way for another candidate. This belief infected the Republican National Executive Committee, whose chairman, Henry J. Raymond, wrote to the President on August 22: “The tide is setting strongly against us … Nothing but the most resolute and decided action on the part of the Government and its friends can save the country from falling into hostile hands.… This great reaction in public sentiment” was due “to the want of military successes” and to the impression that Lincoln would not make peace save on the condition of the abandonment of slavery. So perturbed were the Committee that they went to Washington to plead with him. In a private letter of August 25 to Hay, Nicolay gave an account of their visit: “The New York politicians have got a stampede on that is about to swamp everything. Raymond and the National Committee are here to-day. R. thinks a commission to Richmond is about the only salt to save us; while the Tycoon [Lincoln] sees and says it
Note 1. Lowell, I, 339. [back]