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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To E. S. Hamlin.
WASHINGTON CITY, August 22, 1850.
MY DEAR HAMLIN, I recd. yours of the 14th this morning. Doubtless you have, also, just rec'd my last to you, which answers in part the enquiries you make.
I have no faith at all in this
administration. It has pursued the Whig policy of Evasion thus far.
The resolute face towards Texas was assumed for the North. The
appeal for a settlement of the boundary question, when they well
knew that settlement by Congress, except by millions for nothing,
was out of the question was for the south. It was as if our Fathers
had said to Tripoli, you have no right to hold our fellow citizens
in bondage and we will wage war with you if you do, and at the same
time had said if you will release half of them we will pay you so
many millions & say nothing about the rest. I hate oppression,
but I despise truckling. I abhor the doctrines of the extreme South,
but I contemn W big policy. I am not for any union with any body who
will not in good faith adopt and uphold the principles of the
Buffalo & Columbus platforms. I do not believe the Whigs
can adopt them for on other questions than that of Slavery
they are democratic. I do not believe the National!
democratic party will adopt them; for they hope more from treason to freedom than from union with radical democrats. Let both these gang their gaits. I am for maintaining our independent organization as a Jeffersonian Democratic Party & let who will desert or give back maintaining it firmly.
I hoped that Judge Wood would put such an exposition of the Columbus old Line Antislavery Resolution as would make his election an antislavery democratic triumph. I wished to support him. I yet wish to do so. But, at present, I wait for future developments. I look for the action of the Free Dem. Convention held today with great interest. If it is really democratic it will do much good.
anxious for the election of the free democratic candidate in the 21st district. I suppose from the information I receive that Dr. Townshend will be the man. 1 think his election of far greater importance to Freedom than any success of one candidate for Governor over another. The Freesoil Whigs, I suppose, will oppose him as they did me - I trust, with as little success.
As to the withdrawal of Judge McLean's name, that lie can do no harm. I have the Judge's own letters in my possession, which, if necessary, will speak for themselves. Besides I am not in the least sorry that the Judge was not our
candidate. He could not have been elected: and the chances are three to one that he would have declined it or withdrawn. If he could have been elected who can say that be would have stood the test better than Webster or Fillmore. He is quoted now as authority for Webster's Fugitive Slave bill. And his decision in Indiana is such as I, though reposing the greatest confidence in his personal integrity, cannot sanction.
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