Monday, March 24, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 152

‘When the Pennsylvania miners broke out in open rebellion against the operation of the draft law – detested but necessary - in their section, worried Harrisburg officials inquired whether Lincoln would send troops to execute the law. Entrusting nothing to paper, Lincoln sent a confidential messenger to A. K. McClure, the aide of the Pennsylvania governor: “say to McClure that I am very desirous to have the laws fully executed, but it might be well, in an extreme emergency, to be content with the appearance of executing the laws; I think McClure will understand.” McClure did understand, and he made no more than a feeble effort to subdue the miners’ revolt, but let the agitation die out of its own accord. Thus, the Lincoln administration won the credit both for preserving the peace and for enforcing the draft.’
- David Donald

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