ALREADY irate over Grant's assertions of independence, the politicians were lying in wait to discipline the new President. According to the law passed to enable the Radicals to keep an eye on Johnson, the first session of the Forty-first Congress assembled on March 4. The next day, the President sent in the names of his Cabinet. In addition to Washburne and Stewart, the President nominated Judge E. Rockwood Hoar of Massachusetts, to be Attorney-General; General Jacob D. Cox, of Ohio, for Secretary of the Interior; and J. A. J. Creswell, of Maryland, as Postmaster-General. The much-discussed Pennsylvanian turned out to be Adolph E. Borie, appointed Secretary of the Navy. No nomination was made for the War Department.
Only good Republican names appeared on this roster, yet no one of them, with the possible exception of Creswell--who had been a secessionist early in the war, and more recently a violent Radical--would have been chosen by the politicians. Stupefied by the shock, the Senate ratified the list unanimously, while throughout the country the people rejoiced that Grant had "cut himself loose from a set of party hacks" who had been dominating the government.1 "GeneralGrant will have for his chief assistants only those who are untainted with the trickery and corruption which are the bane of contemporary politics," declared the toadying press,2 and Greeley's Tribune rejoiced that "the new Cabinet means business emphatically."3
But though a few sycophants and reformers may have rejoiced in the Cabinet, the politicians of both parties were enraged. "No patriot with right intentions," declared Welles, would have selected such a Cabinet, and the Democratic World declared that Grant had made "a terrible blunder . . . in taking no one in his confidence" while making his selections.4 Especially difficult to swallow were Washburne and Borie. Washburne's consistent fight for economy in government had____________________