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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/75

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THE STATESMAN

merely said: "I will stand outside and hold McClellan's horse for him if he will only bring us success."

Seward was called to become Secretary of State. He was the recognized leader of the Republican party, a candidate for the presidency, and in the Cabinet expected to be the power behind the throne. Compassionating what he supposed to be Lincoln's weakness, Seward actually wrote him a letter, proposing to take charge of the government and become acting-President. Lincoln refused this extraordinary suggestion, but with so much tact and kindness that he made Seward one of his warmest supporters and was able to avail himself of his great talents for the country's good. It was only a few weeks after this letter that the Secretary of State wrote to Mrs. Seward: "The President is the best of us all."

Throughout his presidency Lincoln refused to treasure up any personal injury and utilized even his enemies to help him save the country. He kept Chase as Secretary of the Treasury even when he knew that he was plotting to secure the nomination for the presidency.

Lincoln had first met Edwin M. Stanton when he had been retained with the latter in one of the most important cases of his legal career. "Where did that long-armed creature