ROSCOE CONKLING AND JUDGE FOLGER-1867-1868
A T the beginning of my fourth year at Albany, in 1867, came an election to the Senate of the United States. Of the two senators then representing the State, one, Edwin B. Morgan, had been governor, and combined the qualities of a merchant prince and of a shrewd politician; the other, Ira Harris, had been a highly respected judge, and was, from every point of view, a most worthy man: but unfortunately neither of these gentlemen seemed to exercise any adequate influence in solving the main questions then before Congress.
No more important subjects have ever come before that body than those which arose during the early years of the Civil War, and it was deeply felt throughout the State that neither of the senators fitly uttered its voice or exercised its influence.
Mr. Cornell, with whom I had then become intimate, was never censorious; rarely did he say anything in disapproval of any man; he was charitable in his judgments, and generally preferred to be silent rather than severe; but I remember that on his return from a stay in Washington, he said to me indignantly: "While at the Capitol I was ashamed of the State of New York: one great question after another came up; bills of the highest importance were presented and discussed by senators from Ohio, Vermont, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, and the rest; but from New York never a word!"
The question now was, who should succeed Senator