December 12, Saturday. To-day the Members of Congress very generally visited the Russian fleet. I did not go down, but detailed two steamers which were at the yard to convey the members. Our Russian friends are rendering us a great service.
Senator Sumner called, and we had half an hour’s interesting conversation on the topics of the day and times. He compliments my Report. Senator Morgan also called. Says the nominating committee will, he thinks, nominate Hale Chairman of the Naval Committee, though reluctantly; no one wants him. Says Hale tendered him the appointment, but he knew not Hale’s power to bestow it. That wretched Senator knows not the estimation in which he is held by his associates, and I can perceive by this attempted manœuvre with Morgan that he supposes Morgan and myself have been conspiring against him, whereas the truth is we have never exchanged a word concerning him, nor have I attempted to influence a single Senator.