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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To E. S. Hamlin.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 1850.
MY DEAR HAMLIN, I find your letter of the 11h of July among my unanswered letters but my impression is very strong that I have answered it. Is it so or not?
I wrote you a day or two since enclosing a recommendation of Th. K. Smith by Donn Piatt for Collector at Cincinnati. - Smith was a student in our office, and always did well what I wished him to do. He has good talents, but I was, at one time, rather given to idling away his time. In this I think he has reformed since his marriage. He is poor & has his father's family to support. If you can give him the office I feel persuaded he will discharge its duties well, and do no discredit to your selection. That I shall be gratified by it I need not add. The only thing I know to Smith's disadvantage was his association as law partner with Read & Piatt which is somewhat to his discredit if not damage of his liberty principles.
Well - we
passed in the Senate a bill for the admission of California at last. After organizing Utah without the proviso &, what was ten times more objectionable, a bill giving half New Mexico and ten millions of dollars to Texas in consideration of her withdrawing her unfounded pretension to the other half, we were permitted to pass the California admission bill. The
Texas Surrender Bill was passed by the influence of the new administration which is Hunker & Compromise all over. The Message of Fillmore asserting the right of the United States and declaring his purpose to support it and then begging Congress to relieve him from the necessity of doing so by a compromise - that message did the work. That message gave the votes of Davis & Winthrop, of Mass - Clarke & Greene of R. I. Smith of Conn. & Phelps of Vermont to the Bill.
I hardly know what to wish in regard to the Cleveland Convention. Luckily this is the less important as my wishes have very little influence with the Clevelanders. I am persuaded that the Jeffersonian democracy will be bound to take distinct ground against the Hunkers who are straining every nerve to put Cass into the field again, and may succeed in nominating Woodbury, who is more objectionable. We must adhere to our principles, and, so long as those principles and the course of action which fidelity to them requires are not recognized by the Old Line Democrats, to our organization also. Perhaps a nomination for Governor would be useful at this time - especially if the right kind of a man and upon a reaffirmation of the democratic Platform of '48. In the National Contest which is impending I think Benton will go with us against the Hunkers, if they drive us to a separation.
I shall send this to Olmsted, expecting it will find you there. Wherever it may find you write me soon. There is no prospect of adjournment before September.
Since writing this letter last night, I have rec'd your last this morning. I thank you for it - now you are in my debt - remember.
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