May 2, 1866

Anonymous letters are the certain signs of a character in which natural cowardice and meanness are blended together. We received one some time ago, and another very lately, short and bitter. The writer, at a safe distance from the object of his hatred, feels we suppose an imaginary triumph when he concocts such missiles, and compels his enemy (?) to read them. He dreams that he said all this to the object of his malice face to face, and, even when he awakes, is half induced to think that his anonymous abuse and slang is an evidence of real courage. Let him, however, be confronted but for a moment with his Imaginary foe, and his cowardly legs would tremble and knock together like those of Belshazzar of old. No man but a wretch or thief at heart would write an anonymous letter, and the best way to treat them is to put them in the fire.

May 5, 1866

….It may be that the next mail will bring the account of a great battle between the Austrian and Prussian armies.

Austria is said to have been for some months encroaching on the rights of Prussia, while Count Bismarck, as Prussian leader, has been equally active in a paper retaliation. Neither are willing to listen to terms of reconciliation, but are apparently bent on cooling their fever-heated passions by a gigantic system of blood-letting.

The available forces are represented to be large. Austria, and the German powers which are bound to support her, have nearly one million of troops. On the other side, Prussia has over half a million well-disciplined and thoroughly armed troops, without counting the forces of Italy pledged to take the field with her, which amounts to 200,000 men now massed on her northern frontier, ready to march at the word of Victor Emanuel under the leadership of Garibaldi.… Can one estimate the blood-shed, the want, the suffering, that must accrue when two million men are brought face to face in deadly combat? It may even involve France, Russia, Turkey and England. In that case Imagination cannot conceive of the terrible scenes that must follow.

Note: The Austro-Prussian War was fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side, and the Kingdom of Prussia and its German allies and Italy on the other. The major result of the war, which lasted seven weeks, was a shift in power among the German states away from Austria and towards a Prussian hegemony. It was also a step towards the unification of Germany under Prussia. Italy’s prize for being on the winning side was the Austrian province of Venetia.

May 9, 1866

A New White House

It has been proposed to build for the convenience of the President of this great nation, a new official residence in an airy and elevated part of the city of Washington. The building is desired to be a palace (if a republic can have such), with all the appointments needed for direct private use, for the use of the officials necessary to the Presidential office, for Cabinet consultations, saloons and apartments for public receptions and levees, and large anterooms for persons awaiting interviews. The present was once sufficient in dimensions to accommodate all who called upon the President for any purpose, but that day has gone past. Although the Executive Mansion is one hundred and seventy five feet long, it is exceeded in all dimensions by very many private residences….all things considered, we do believe a new mansion is required. Note: Of course, a new White House was never built.