|1.||Later investigation by an executive commission elicited accusations that George S. Denison extorted bribes while serving at New Orleans. Ludwell H. Johnson, Red River Campaign: Politics and Cotton in the Civil War ( Baltimore, 1958; reprint, Kent, Ohio, 1993), 53, 289.|
|2.||Bullitt wrote on March 7 with an assessment of pro-Union sentiment in Louisiana and an evaluation of the potential for military successes on the Mississippi River and in Alabama. "Mr. Dennison has been all I could wish," he concluded, "my relations with him will be most cordial & it will be my duty & pleasure to stand by you, & the administration, right or wrong." Bullitt to Chase, Mar. 7, 1863 ( Chase Papers, L.C.).|
Letter in clerk's hand on letterhead stationery, signed by Chase. Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (micro 25:0550).
February 27, 1863
I learned to-day at the Senate Chamber that the nomination of Mark Howard, as Collector of Internal Revenue for the First District of Connecticut, was rejected by that body.1
It is due to Mr. Howard to say that no more faithful, capable or honest man has been appointed to any Collectorship under the law; and that he has performed the responsible duties of the office to the entire satisfaction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue2 and myself.
I am told by Senators that Mr Howard's nomination was rejected at the instance of Senator Dixon and merely in deference to his personal wishes, notwithstanding the unanimous Report of the Committee on Finance in favor of confirmation, and without the slightest impeachment of the character or capacity of the nominee.3
Such, I have no doubt, is the fact; and I feel bound by my duty to an honest man, to your Administration, and to the public interests placed under my charge in this Department, to protest, most respectfully, against the appointment to the vacancy created by this rejection, of any person recommended by gentleman who procured it. Such an appointment would, indeed, manifestly tend to the grossest absuses; for if gentlemen, hostile to a particular nominee or eager to secure his place for some favorite, can expect to control the appointment after rejection, it is manifest that confirmations will depend less on merit than on animosity or favoritism.
In my judgment, Mr Howard should be renominated, in order that the Senate may have an opportunity to reconsider its action, calmly and dispassionately. His renomination, indeed, under the circumstances, seems to me a simple act of justice to him, and a proper assertion of your own right to have your nominations considered on their merits.
Should your judgment differ from mine on this point, I shall ask permission to recommend some other person selected on the same