then it will be my
duty to cooperate
to save the Union
On dark day during the United States Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln presented his cabinet with a folded over piece of paper.
Some accounts have the piece of paper glued shut.
President Lincoln asked all the members of his Cabinet to sign the paper.
The paper is known as the Blind Memorandum.
This was on August 23, 1864.
General Grant was bogged down in Virginia while advancing on Richmond.
General Sherman was bogged down in Georgia while advancing on Atlanta.
And things overall looked rather bleak for President Lincoln’s re-election in a little over 2 months.
It was so bleak in fact that John Nicolay, the President’s Secretary wrote, “Everything is darkness and doubt and discouragement. Our men see giants in the airy and unsubstantial shadows of the opposition, and are about to surrender without a fight.”
With that in mind, President Lincoln prepared his ‘Blind Memorandum’ and asked his Cabinet to sign and agree to what it said sight unseen.
Within weeks General Sherman took Atlanta.
When that happened the outlook for the future of the Lincoln Administration and the outlook of President Lincoln improved.
That fall, President Lincoln was relected.
Sometime afterward at a Cabinet meeting, President Lincoln took a penknife and sliced open the ‘Blind Memorandum.’
It stated it President Lincoln’s brief but clear and concise reasoning and wording that:
“This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President elect, as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he can not possibly save it afterwards.“
The President signed it with his customary, A. Lincoln.
The back was signed by:
William Seward (Secretary of State)
W. P . Fessenden, (Secretary of the Treasury)
Edwin M. Stanton (Secretary of War)
Gideon Welles (Secretary of the Navy)
Edwin Bates (Attorney General)
Montgomery Blair (Postmaster General)
Caleb Usher (Secretary of the Interior)
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.
Donald Trump was the 45th President of the United States.
They both lived in the White House in Washington, DC.
Not much in common after that.