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Tuesday, December 6, 1864.+-

Washington, DC.

Joint Committee announces to President that Congress is ready to receive communications. Senate Journal, 6.

President communicates Annual Message to Congress: Condition of foreign affairs reasonably satisfactory. No differences of any kind have arisen with republics to the south, and their sympathies are constantly expressed with cordiality. China seems to be accepting conventional laws which regulate commercial intercourse, and friendship of Japan toward U.S. has increased. Several ports have been opened and immigration encouraged. Financial affairs have been administered successfully. Public debt is $1,740,690,489. Money required to meet expenses of war derived from taxes should be increased. National banking system is proving to be acceptable to capitalists and to the people. Organization and admission of state of Nevada completed. Territories growing rapidly. Newly established Agriculture Dept. recommended to continued care of Congress. Movements that mold society for durability have occurred—Arkansas and Louisiana have organized loyal state governments. President recommends reconsideration and passage of proposed amendment to Constitution, abolishing slavery. In midst of war nation's material resources and manpower are more complete and abundant than ever. On basis of accessible evidence it would seem that no attempt at negotiation with insurgent leader could result in any good. "The war will cease on the part of the government, whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it." Annual Message to Congress, 6 December 1864, CW, 8:136-53.

President sends nomination to Senate: "I nominate Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States vice Roger B. Taney, deceased." Abraham Lincoln to the Senate, 6 December 1864, CW, 8:154.

Responds to crowd assembled at White House to congratulate him on Annual Message: "I have no good news to tell you, and yet I have no bad news to tell. . . . We all know where he [Gen. Sherman] went in at, but I can't tell where he will come out at." Response to a Serenade, 6 December 1864, CW, 8:154.

Cabinet meets. Welles, Diary.

Cong. Alley (Mass.) visits President, who allegedly says: "Although I may have appeared to you and to Mr. Sumner to have been opposed to Chase's appointment, there has never been a moment since the breath left old Taney's body that I did not conceive it to be the best thing to do. . . ." Clarence E. Macartney, Lincoln and His Cabinet (New York: Scribner, 1931), 267.

At 8 p.m., President meets with Judge David McDonald, of Indianapolis, Ind., and Senator Thomas A. Hendricks regarding appointment of McDonald as judge of U.S. District Court. Lincoln appoints McDonald to the post on December 13. "Diaries of Judge David McDonald," Indiana Magazine of History 28 (December 1932): 303; David McDonald to Abraham Lincoln, 15 December 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Abraham Lincoln to Godlove S. Orth, 13 December 1864, CW, 8:47.

[See December 10, 1864] Sends for Noah Brooks who finds him recording incident of Tennessee ladies [See December 1, 1864, December 2, 1864, December 3, 1864.], labelling it "The President's Last, Shortest, and Best Speech." Story Written for Noah Brooks, [6 December 1864], CW, 8:154-55.