PRESIDENT GRANT made no secret of his chagrin the day after the Dominican vote. Talking to the bearded soldier-governor of Ohio, Rutherford B. Hayes, on the south portico of the White House, he exploded in denunciation of the Senate.1 Hayes quotes Grant as saying: "He had now an easy time in his office. The first three months was hard, but now all comfortable." He attacked Sumner as a mass of egotism, Schurz as an infidel, and Casserly of California as a bigoted Irish Catholic. But he gave more practical evidence of his wrath. Early that morning he sent Fish a curt note directing the nomination of Frederick T. Frelinghuysen of New Jersey as Minister to England in place of Motley.2
Shocked by the abruptness of the act, although he knew it had long been in contemplation, Fish sought to obtain a delay. The Cabinet met that afternoon. When he entered the room Grant asked if he had received the note. "Yes," said the Secretary, "but I wish to talk with you before you send in that nomination." Drawing the President to a corner, Fish told him plainly that Motley's removal would offend public sentiment--that it would be attributed to bad temper, and to a spiteful desire to punish the Minister for Sumner's opposition. Motley, he added, had done nothing whatever since the summer of 1869 that deserved condemnation. If Grant were determined to be rid of him, he should at least give him an opportunity to resign. "I urge you to let him remain until next winter," he concluded.3
"That," Grant replied with set jaw, "I will not do. I will not allow Mr. Sumner to ride over me."
"But it is not Mr. Sumner but Mr. Motley at whom you are striking."
"It is the same thing."
"The country will not so understand it."
"They will when the removal is made," declared Grant. And though Fish continued to plead and argue, he was immovable. The only concession he made was to permit a resignation. That afternoon, therefore, Fish sent Motley a brief note stating that the President found it desirable to make a change in the mission, and wished to allow him____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Hamilton Fish:The Inner History of the Grant Administration. Volume: 1. Contributors: Allan Nevins - Author. Publisher: F. Ungar Pub. Co.. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1957. Page number: 372.