Cornelius Cole was not nearly the diarist his wife was – I was more interested in his correspondence – but that doesn’t mean my research did not turn up something incidentally interesting. Again from my old notes, again something not relevant to my research topic, here’s Cole, then a member of the House of Representatives, on Lincoln (from an entry dated 8 Jul 1864):
Mr. Lincoln takes no care of himself + I fear he may be assassinated by some rebel who could easily make his escape. I call upon the President often + once with Hon John H Rice of Me when I expressed my fears to the President that they might assassinate him in order to throw matters into confusion + make an assault. I before or afterward stated the same fears to Mr. Stanton. To the suggestion Mr. Lincoln replied that when he first came to Washington he determined that he would not be dying all the while.
That he did not believe that he was to die in that way. That no one could do such a deed without expecting to lose his own life, and the life of each man was equally dear to himself. That if any body wanted to kill him it was easy to do it from a window any day while he was riding out 7th street. He did not think such was to be his fate.”