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Saturday, July 28, 1849.+-

Springfield, IL.

Lincoln writes to Secretary of State John M. Clayton and offers advice regarding President Zachary Taylor's policy of granting the various cabinet heads the power to fill department positions. Lincoln writes, "I am disappointed with the effect of it on the public mind. It is fixing for the President the unjust and ruinous character of being a mere man of straw. This must be arrested, or it will damn us all inevitably. . . . [T]he public must be brought to understand, that they are the President's appointments. He must occasionally say, or seem to say, 'by the Eternal,' 'I take the responsibility.' " Abraham Lincoln to John M. Clayton, 28 July 1849, CW, 2:60.