Government Printer Defrees, when one of the President’s messages was being printed, was a good deal disturbed by the use of the term “sugar-coated,” and finally went to Mr. Lincoln about it.
Their relations to each other being of the most intimate character, he told the President frankly that he ought to remember that a message to Congress was a different affair from a speech at a mass meeting in Illinois; that the messages became a part of history, and should be written accordingly.
“What is the matter now?” inquired the President.
“Why,” said Defrees, “you have used an undignified expression in the message”; and, reading the paragraph aloud, he added, “I would alter the structure of that, if I were you.”
“Defrees,” replied the President, “that word expresses exactly my idea, and I am not going to change it. The time will never come in this country when people won’t know exactly what ‘sugar-coated’ means.”