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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To E S. Hamlin.

PARKEVILLE, NEAR WOODBURY N. J. Jany 12, 1850.

MY DEAR HAMLIN, I have had no fair chance to write to you for the last few days, having been living at a Hotel, while looking out for permanent rooms. I at last found quarters to my mind - that is as much to my mind as I could expect - and on Thursday had my things moved into them. Wood's room adjoins mine & Carter's is on the floor below, and we three are the sole inmates of the House. We are to take our meals at the [illegible], where there is a goodly lot of freesoil democrats. Wood is as true a man as I ever met with. Carter is as true as Wood in his purposes, but is not quite so clear in his action. We should have a first rate delegation, if we only had Brinkerhoff, in the place of John K. Miller: for [sic] he would keep Hoagland right and prevent any wavering among the rest.
The Senate adjourned on Thursday till Monday, and I came off immediately, without having taken possession of my new quarters, to see Mrs Chase, and, travelling all night, reached here yesterday morning, after 12. I found her still improving, and, though not out of danger, with a better prospect of recovery than heretofore. The Doctor is confident that there is as yet no lesion of the lungs, and thinks if the inflammation of the tubercles can be arrested before disorganization, a cure can be effected. He seems to be much encouraged, and I have great confidence in him.
You will see that I made a little speech on Monday. I dont know how the Reporters will dress it up, but if they do no better by it than they have done by the telegraphic abstract, it will not do me much credit. It was an offhand affair - intended, only, as first attempt on a small scale by way of feeling my way. It stirred up the Southerners wonderfully.
You will see that the slaveholders have achieved another triumph in the House in the election of a clerk. The Whigs gave the slaveholders a slaveholding speaker; and in return the slaveholders have given the Whigs a slaveholding clerk. The slaveholders who would have a 2/3'd. rule at Baltimore, find at Washington that even a plurality rule will suffice. When will submission have an end? Evidently the northern men have been studying Hosey Biglow.

We begin to think its nater
To take sarse and not be riled: -
Who'd expect to see a toter
All on eend at bein' biled?

But perhaps I wrong them. I see that on the ballot for the slaveholding sergeant at arms only 88 voted for the caucus nominee. Some of them were, doubtless, men who were unwilling to drain the absolute dregs of the cup of humiliation. However there is one comfort and that not a small one in the election of Campbell. That ineffable dough-face Forney is defeated, and that too by the votes of the very men for whose suffrages he degraded himself. The Southerners have kicked their own dog, and who had a better right to do it.
I see Wood is nominated. The Platform I have not yet seen: but the despatch to Disney which brought the news of Wood's nomination, predicted the adoption of the resolutions of '47. As the despatch came from Lilley - one of our Hamilton Anti-proviso men - I hope it may turn out that a better platform was constructed. What will our Free Democracy now do? I am particularly solicitious to know their views. I trust nothing will be done precipitately or rashly. We must take a course which will secure the ascendency of our principles, and men who may be relied on for a staunch and fearless advocacy of them. The next Legislature will be more important to us than a Governor: and concert and harmony with the Old Line Democracy is necessary to secure the ascendancy of our principles and men in that body. I cannot help thinking that this session of Congress will go far make the whole Northern Democracy thoroughly anti slavery. If they can stand such insults as are daily heaped on them by their southern associates I am greatly mistaken.

P. S. I neglected to mention that some efforts are made to procure the rejection of Perry? (Columbus Postmaster) What do you think of him? My impressions and feelings are all favorable. If you think fit, it may not be amiss to suggest to him, the expediency of forwarding a representation of some influential Democrats & free Democrats endorsing him as fit and capable. No rejections will be made on mere grounds of difference in political views: but some will try to make opposition to the war a test of disqualification.

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Annual Report of the American Historical Association; Volume II; Washington, Government Printing Office; 1903

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