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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To E. S. Hamlin.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 1850.

MY DEAR HAMLIN, Your last letter was very interesting to me. I regret that our friends in the Legislature do not purpose to act in concert with the Democrats in the Legislature in the elections. I regret it, because I do not see any thing in our present relations so different from those which existed last winter as to call for a different line of action. But to be sure it is now more necessary to preserve union among ourselves. Then, the Freesoilers elected as Whigs & Democrats respectively could not be expected to stand together as harmoniously as those elected last fall without concert with either of the old parties, all of whom now stand in the same position in which Morse & Townshend stood last winter, and I agree with you that action with either party is not so important as harmony among the Free Democrats.
Giddings is strongly of opinion that Hutchins should be nominated for Governor. In this I fully agree, provided that Wood is determined to remain mum, as all the information I get indicates that he will.
I should be glad to have Stanley Matthews elected Secretary of State; but if he cannot be nominated I hope Taylor may get it. Taylor has edited the Mirror with great discretion & perfect fidelity to the cause of Free Democracy. He has talent enough and sagacity enough to make a leading man; but his boiler will bear more steam than he puts on, except when something rouses him pretty thoroughly. I do hope that if Matthews cannot be made Secretary of State that his services may be secured as an Editor of the Standard. I will cheerfully do my part towards paying his salary, I wish we could have an equally competent man at the head of the Nonpareil. I would gladly, also, contribute liberally to pay his expenses. As to Matthews you may assess me according to your discretion: and why cannot you make up the amount needed in this way by just assigning to leading men in different parts of the State their respective quotas and telling them they must come forward with the dust?
Speaking of newspaper projects you may be interested in knowing that the Northern Democrats are talking seriously of establishing a Democratic Paper here in opposition to the Union. Bailey is also talking of issuing his Paper as a Daily. If he does not do so, I think the project of the Northern Democratic Daily & weekly will be pushed in earnest. I have offered to be one of fifty or if necessary one of twenty to make up $10,000 for the object. I believe the whole sum could be raised in a week. There is the strongest dissatisfaction felt in regard to the course of the Union.
Are you aware that Medary's correspondent " Oche " is also the correspondent of the Charleston Mercury? I am informed that such is the fact. I wonder that Medary continues his engagement with him, when he could have the services of men here who would contribute to spread a feeling conducive to the ascendancy of the Democratic Party in Ohio, rather than, by alienating the Antislavery wing contribute to its overthrow. Cant you talk to Medary on this subject, and advise me what he says and why he continues this man Wallace as his correspondent?
The signs here are favorable to freedom. The Dough. faces who voted against Root's resolution are getting thoroughly scared. Root had the floor today, & gave them, especially, Winthrop a terrible scathing. Mann, also, gave the slaveholders a talk on the frailties of dissolution, its modus operandi and certain consequences.
In the Senate it has become certain that California will be admitted with uncurtailed boundaries, which will give the deathblow to the Missouri Compromise Project; the Kentucky Senators, the Delaware Senators & Benton will vote for it and I know of no Northern Senator who will probably vote against it except Sturgeon. We would have passed Benton's proposition to instruct the Committee on Territories to report a bill for the admission of California unconnected with any other subject today, but for the wish expressed by Benton himself seconded by Webster that opportunity might be given to all for the expression of their views.
The Admission of California will be the forerunner, I think, of the defeat of the'slaveholders this winter on all their important propositions. Little Clemens has the floor for next Tuesday when we shall have blood & thunder in quantity. The California question of course, for the present suspends all action on Clay's resolutions on which I meant & still mean, if an opportunity occurs to speak, and develop fully the views & principles of the Free Democracy.
Give my kindest regards to all our friends at Columbus. I shall send them in a few days the speeches of Berrien & Davis as I want them to be aware of the extreme Southern positions, the real positions in fact of the Slave Power.
I am glad to say that Mrs. Chase's health is improving Is Mrs. Hamlin with you this winter? I see some statements about your colleagues of the Board in the Senate debates. What is meant?

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

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