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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

 To E. S. Hamlin.

WASHINGTON, May 27, 1850.

MY DEAR HAMLIN, * What a singular political conjunction is that of Cass, Clay & Webster? What a curious spike team they make with Foote for a driver! Where will he drive them to? Political perdition, I imagine you to answer. And really I think you are more than half right. The signs are ominous of evil to the compromisors. Their patch work hardly seems to please anybody. The southern men will go against it, unless they can obtain amendments, which Clay himself dare not vote for - dare not simply because he would by so doing merely transfer himself to their ranks without followers. The break between Clay and the Administration seems to be complete and final. His course reminds every body of his action when Tyler came in. But the difference in circumstances between now and then is very remarkable. Taylor was elected President and is the head of the Whig Party by choice. Tyler became President by a dispensation of Providence and was never the bead of the Whig Party at all. Clay now holds a faction - then he lead a Party. The difference is great. He is in danger of being treated as a rebel. The article in the Republic this morning is significant of more to come. On the other hand the Southern extremists regard Clay with little favor - rather I might say with jealous dislike. He has never been with him, [them] and his attempt to bead them now - to put himself in their van and dictate to them their course excites no very amiable feelings among them. You may look with great confidence for the failure of the Compromise.
Great interest is felt here in regard to the result in Palfreys District. The democrats there have acted with great liberality, and we expect, with great solicitude the news of Palfrey's election. The result is decided by this time, and the wires are perhaps even now carrying tidings of it to every section of the country.
Corwin, I understand, is to speak soon. He intends I believe to take ground against Clay. He says he feels a little awkward, having escaped from Clay's service, in which he has been held so long, and is a little apprehensive of reclamation under the fugitive law - but he don't want to go back - he don't like the service. I think he will make a telling speech.
I learn, but am not certain as to the accuracy of my intelligence, that Taylor desired to keep the Texans out of New Mexico, but was overruled by his cabinet.
Write soon & often.
Mrs C. is better, but the disease, I fear, not vanquished.

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

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