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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To Mr. Sutliff.
WASHINGTON CITY, Jany. 16, 1851.
MY DEAR SIR, Mr. Hoadly, of
Cincinnatti, has requested me to write you in relation to his election as Judge of the Superior Court, and it gives me real pleasure, - except so far as his election would deprive the office in which I am interested of his services - to comply with his request. He is a gentlemen, of very rare abilities, and in my judgment, peculiarly qualified to fill a judicial station with honor to himself and credit to his appointers. His energy and industry give assurances that the business of the Court, which is terribly in arrear, would be brought up and expedited to the great advantage of suitors and lawyers. These qualifications are first worthy of consideration, in some respects but not in all. I rank even before these a generous devotion to human .liberty and a disposition to make law answer the ends of justice instead of the purposes of oppression. His views, I believe, of the Constitution and Law as bearing on the question of Human Rights are, I believe, the same as my own. What they are you know. It is something to be added to these considerations that Mr. Hoadly was one of that - it is not too much to say he was the leader
of that band of democrats, who forsook Cass when he forsook Democracy by writing the Nicholson letter, & stood with us on the Buffalo Platform. I hope, if your views of public duty permit it, that you will not, if it be possible to elect Hoadly, concur in the election of any other man, not as amply qualified, and especially not in the election of a Whig with the cooperation or under any arrangement with the friends of this administration.
Sumner is, I suppose, defeated at Boston. Websterism and Cassism coalesced against him, and every nerve was strained to defeat him by every appliance. The Hunkers have probably succeeded.
I enclose an article from the Toledo Republican, which seems to me to take right views of the course proper to be pursued in the Legislature by Free Democrats, if they cannot elect a man, [sic] out and out, of themselves. But I do not yet despair of such an election. Morse gave me a gleam of hope that you might yet be elected. I should be more than delighted to welcome you to a share of my toils. If it be impossible, however, to elect a radical free democrat, and the democrats should tender a man whose course of action has inspired his friends with the assurance that he is as good a freesoiler as I am a democrat it would be wisdom in my judgment, under present circumstances, to [sic] make arrangments with the old line for his election to the Senate & of an equitable proportion of Free Democrats to other offices. But I do not anticipate that the freesoilers can be satisfied in this way, for I do not suppose that men who refuse to vote for Medary could be brought to vote for any man who would be satisfactory to Freesoilers, even though taken from the old line ranks.
I do not myself anticipate any
election. It has been said that the Whigs will elect Hitchcock. If
they will, without any arrangment as to other offices, I take it for
granted the Free Democrats would not refuse their votes to a man who
has shewn his fidelity to our cause as he did during the campaign of
'48, and has abided in the Free Democratic organization ever since.
True his views are not radical like yours or mine; but that
difference would not excuse such as you and I from his support, any
more than it excused such as he is from my support in 1849. I would
not imitate their bad example. But I would enter into no
arrangement with the supporters of this Administration in
relation to elections upon any terms. It would be, I verily
believe, fatal to our organization and our progress. If
they choose to vote for one of our men without consideration, except
a preference for his character & capacity over opposing
candidates, well & good. Our Natural
allies are the old line democrats. If, under evil influences, they refuse the alliance, and you cannot elect independently, I say, for one, let the election go over and let us appeal to the people. I have no fears as to the result.
Nothing new here. The Hunker
Leaders of the old Line are down hearted. It becomes daily more and
more apparent that no one of them can unite the democratic party.
One of them remarked to me the other day that the democratic party
was broken up for ten years to come. I told I thought we should be
able to unite on true principles in two or three years: but he
didn't seem desirous of that
Shew this to Pardee and give my best regards to him.
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