December 28, Monday. Senator Doolittle came and had an hour’s conversation with me. Wanted, I soon saw, to ascertain my views without my being aware of his object; hence his first conversation related to permits for trade, getting out cotton, and other matters connected with the Treasury. I frankly gave him my opinion, stated my unequivocal opposition to the whole system of trade-permits — these schemes to fight and feed the enemy — and to all favoritism. If there is to be trade with the Rebels, let all participate. There were plans to make the Navy a convenience to certain parties, and subject to certain regulations of the Treasury Department, which I disapproved and resisted in all its stages.
On the subject of the Presidency, which he says is opening, the public mind seems settling on the President as the proper candidate. D. says, however, that there is an active, zealous, and somewhat formidable movement for Chase, and that Chase clubs are being organized in all the cities to control the nominating convention.