ADfS, DLC-RTL. Blair replied on the same day:
``I have received your note of this date, referring to my offers to resign when ever you should deem it advisable for the public interests that I should do so and stating that in your judgment that time has now come.
``I now, therefore, formally tender my resignation of the Office of Postmaster General.
``I can not take leave of you without renewing the expressions of my gratitude for the uniform kindness which has marked your course towards, Yours very truly, M. BLAIR'' (DLC-RTL).
Montgomery Blair's unpopularity with the radical Republicans, Frémont's supporters in particular, is borne out by numerous letters in the Lincoln Papers which recommend his removal. Undoubtedly Lincoln's action was prompted by his desire to consolidate Republican support in the forthcoming election. A letter of Francis P. Blair, Jr., to his father, September 30, 1864, reads: ``I receivedPage 19 yours and my sisters letter yesterday giving an account of late transactions in Washington. I feel in regard to the matter precisely as you do. Indeed before I received your letter my instincts told me that my brother had acted his part for the good of the country and for the re-election of Mr. Lincoln in which the safety of the country is involved I believe that a failure to re-elect Mr. Lincoln would be the greatest disaster that could befall the country and the sacrifice made by the Judge to avert this is so incomparably small that I felt it would not cost him a penny to make. Indeed the only sacrifice involved in it appears to be the triumph which it gives to our enemies & the enemies of the Presidents. It is somewhat mortifying to reflect that this triumph has been given to those who are equally the enemies of the President & `the Blairs' but at the same time the Judge leaves the cabinet with an untarnished name and the reputation of having administered the Dept with the greatest ability & success and that as far as worldly considerations go, it is far better for him to go out than to remain in the cabinet. This is rather a contrast to the position of Chase, Fremont & all the rest of the enemies & persecutors of the `Blairs'. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).