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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To Charles Sumner.
WASHINGTON CITY, Feb. 26, 1851.
MY DEAR SUMNER, I have long desired to write you, but have postponed it from day to day in the hope that I might be able to congratulate you on your election. I suppose another attempt has been made today, but the past has discouraged me. The treachery of the rascals who have hitherto defeated you is probably too deep to be repented of. But there will be a glorious issue to go to the people upon. The Free Democracy and the Old Line Democracy will now be drawn into closer sympathy. I think this approximation is needed. Your old style for our organization of the Free Democracy, rather than Free Soil, you know, was always most acceptable to me. In fact I should not myself be willing to fight in a mere free soil party at the present time. I should be too uncertain whither it would drift. We must soon grapple with the great question of emancipation. It will not be long before the gentlemen who are always for compromise, will be ready for some scheme of emancipation by which the masters will be indemnified. Capital in mills and shops and stocks and capital in men women & children will ally themselves together and propose a grand national debt for raising the means of compensation. To be safe we must place ourselves on the ground of the separation of the Genl. Government from slavery leaving all questions of slavery within states to the states themselves. This is the democratic view, and harmonizes with the original policy of the Government,
But why talk to you of these things, when you know all about them? Let me hear from you. I shall leave on Tuesday morning or evening for Cincinnati.
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