Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
Friday, 19th February, 1847.
My office was crowded this morning with visitors, most of them seeking military appointments. For the last week I have been greatly annoyed by this kind of importunity. The city is crowded with young men, many of them loafers without merit, seeking military appointments. Members of Congress tell me that they are compelled to come with their constituents to present their claims, and some of the members apologize for troubling me as much as they do. One thing is certain, and that is that I could soon have an army of officers, such as they would be, if I could appoint all the applicants. . . I am often exceedingly disgusted with the scenes which occur in my office, but keep my temper and endure the painful labour which is imposed upon me with patience. I could bear this labour with more patience if members of Congress and others were more candid, and would not, as they do, constantly deceive me about appointments. I am almost ready at some times to conclude that all men are selfish, and that there is no reliance to be placed in any of the human race.
- Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845-1849, Covering the Mexican War, the Acquisition of Oregon, and the Conquest of California and the Southwest-Book by Allan Nevins, James Polk; 1929