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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To Charles Sumner.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, '50.

MY DEAR SUMNER: You ask for a word of cheer. The response must come from a sad heart. I have just heard the tidings of the death of a beloved sister, than whose a sweeter, kinder, more affectionate heart never yearned towards a brother. You may remember that when I was in Boston last fall I went up to New Hampshire to see her. Little thought I it was our last meeting on earth. But God has so willed it - would that I could say more truly from the heart God's will be done!
My wife, too, is still very ill; but I hope is mending slowly. I fear, however, her constitution will never recover wholly from the shock it has sustained.
What a vale of misery this world is! To me it has been emphatically so. Death has pursued me incessantly ever since I was twenty-five. My path has been - how terribly true it is - through the region of his shadow. Sometimes I feel as if I could give up - as if I must give up. And then after all I rise and press on. Have you ever experienced these feelings? I should faint certainly if I did not believe that God in mercy as well as wisdom orders all things well, and will not suffer those who trust in Him through Christ to be utterly cast down.
There is much commotion here, and some feel discouraged. Our cause is just and it will triumph; no matter how the territorial issue maybe decided. I still think the Proviso will pass the House, and I think that it will pass the Senate. The South seems determined to insist on territorial government being instituted; and I do not see how the question can be avoided. If it comes fully to a vote I shall believe we shall carry it until the result shall teach me the contrary.
Cordially your friend,

P. S. You must go to wah , all hands, in Palfrey's district.

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