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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To E. S. Hamlin.
WASHINGTON, June 28, 1852.
MY DEAR SIR, I received only today your letter of the 15th. I left the city on the adjournment over upon the assembling of the Whig Convention and was detained by the necessity of making some summer arrangement for my daughter who is at school in New York, and whose school has a vacation at this time. I was detained beyond my expectation and only reached the City this morning.
I agree with you in thinking that
I cannot consistently sustain Pierce, King, and the Slavery Platform
of Baltimore. I have declared my purpose not to do so. What is to be
done beyond I am not so clear about. If we could have an Independent
Democratic Rally, thoroughly democratic in name & fact, without
wild extravagance and without any shrinking from a bold avowal of
sound principles, I should support it cheerfully. But a mere
rally will simply elect Pierce and, I fear, ensure the indefinite extension of slavery. Can we have such a rally?
We might have had, could we have prevailed on the New York Barnburners to stand firm. Indeed if they had only stood firm we should never have been placed in a situation making a rally necessary. If I had time I could tell you much on this subject. Now without a single New York leader remaining firm what can we do? Whom can we nominate? At present it seems to me that we must endeavor to organize without nominations upon the Herkimer principle of refusing our support to nominations we cannot honorably support. A Democratic Association with its members pledged to carry out their democratic principles in to practical & consistent application to the slavery & other questions, & refusing their support at this election to Pierce & King, because of their own positions & the character of the platforms they are nominated upon - this seems to me the best present measure Next we should do what is possible to have a good nomination on a right platform & under the right name at Pittsburgh. If Wilmot and some good western Democrat say Spalding could be nominated for President & Vice President we could get a good vote for
them of the right sort. Hale don't want the nomination. He wishes to be free to canvass New Hampshire.
My impression derived from a journey in New York is that Pierce will not carry that State. The Whigs here are confident that Scott will carry Ohio. What do you think?
we could have the right kind of a Press in Ohio. But where can we get the money. I w'd. give $500 - who besides?
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