An Available Candidate [AUGUST 29-OCTOBER 5, 1863]
BETWEEN October, 1862, and August, 1863, Chase seems not to have kept a diary. These important months formed a period of growing tension within the administration. The replacement of McClellan by Burnside led in December, 1862, to the catastrophe at Fredericksburg. With repeated failure, Congressional outcry against Lincoln's administration grew angrier, and information was fed to the critics by the disgusted Secretary of the Treasury. To him, as to the other Republican Radicals, it appeared that the blame for the wavering policies and the unsuccessful military strategy of the President rested upon Secretary of State Seward, who had become a symbol of what was wrong with the administration. "While they seemed to believe in my honesty," Lincoln said of his critics, "they seemed to think that when I had in me any good purpose or intention Seward contrived to suck it out of me unperceived."
On December 19th a delegation of Republican Congressmen met with the President and demanded that he oust Seward. With characteristic skill, Lincoln avoided a direct response but arranged another meeting at which