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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To Charles Sumner.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 1850.
MY DEAR SUMNER: I should rejoice in the election of Giddings to the Senate but no man can tell who will be elected. Mr. G's friends in the Senate of Ohio acted badly in voting for and electing a National Fillmore Whig as Speaker in preference to and over a radical Free Soil Democrat. This has, of course, exasperated the Old Line.
I am delighted with your assurance that a Freesoiler will be elected from Massachusetts. But you have no right to take yourself out of the list from which a selection shall be made. Let there be a free choice and the result acquiesced in cheerfully. You cannot withdraw to more quiet pursuits whether elected to the Senate or not. Freedom has need of all and more than all her able champions. The struggle is but just begun. When you have elected a Senator he will need support and the cause will need that he should be supported.
I can't tell what will be done this session. If somebody better qualified does not anticipate me I mean to discuss the fugitive slave bill in full. I mean, also, as occasion shall offer, to express my views on other topics. I wish besides, to show that I can do something for Ohio and Western Interests.
I don't know what Seward will do. I have never been able to establish much sympathy between us. He is too much of a politician for me. It is said that he is disinclined to agitation and disposed to be gracious to his Fillmore co-partizans.
I believe nothing will be matured this winter as to Presidential candidates. The canvass seems somewhat active; but it is hard to find out what men are and who they are with,. Parties are not cohesive enough for the practical purposes of Presidential patriots.
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