PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION
LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph letter signed ("A. Lincoln") to Secretary of the Treasury [Salmon P. Chase], Executive Mansion, 13 July 1861. 1 page, 8vo, closed tear repaired on verso.
A UNION MAN IN THE DANGEROUS PORT OF NEW YORK
Lincoln puts a loyal set of eyes and ears in the dangerous port of New York. "Please send a nomination for Rufus F. Andrews, to be Survey[or] of the Port of New York." Chase complied and Andrews won his appointment. Just one month into his new job he detained a Philadelphia man, Thomas Steele Serrill, who arrived from England, boasting of his plans to deliver £40,000 from London bankers into Confederate coffers. The man turned out to be a loudmouth boaster rather than a traitor, and was soon realeased upon signing an oath of loyalty. But this is the kind of attentiveness that Lincoln wanted in the notoriously pro-Confederate city of New York.
Andrews's reward was to have Lincoln toss him overboard in September 1864 for the sake of electoral peace in New York state. The President bowed to Albany boss Thurlow Weed's demand to install Abram Wakeman as Surveyor. Andrews did not take it gracefully. He held no grudge against Lincoln--to whom he remained devoted--but he self-published a vicious 14-page pamphlet in December 1864 (Letter of Rufus F. Andrews to Thurlow Weed), calling Weed a demagogue, hypocrite, ingrate and a liar, and culminating with the request, "Why don't you emulate the last virtue of Judas Iscariot, and hang yourself?" Printed in Basler, First Supplement, 10:82.