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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To E. S. Hamlin.
WASHINGTON CITY, July 19, 1852.
SIR, I say as usual, "ditto to Mr. Burke." The ideas of your letter are my own. I fear more danger - much more to the cause of Freedom from Pierce's election than from Scott's. Still, if, the least dependence can be placed on the professions of the Freesoil Democrats who are supporting him, even he will not be able to do much mischief should the vote for the Pittsburgh nominees prove large & their support warm. Clay writes me the cause moves steadily on in Kentucky: and I think it probable that all the boarder slave states will be represented at Pittsburg, as well as all the Free States. This will make a great impression, & if the vote shall correspond, and the Freesoil Democrats shall prove true, not much need be apprehended even from Pierce.
The present duty seems to be that of putting the Pittsburg Convention on the right ground and under the right In
name - then getting the right candidates and then giving the largest possible vote. My judgment is that it should assume the name of the Independent Democracy - adopt the Buffalo Platform - modified by the introduction of judicious Land Reform & European Freedom Resolutions - and nominate Hale for President & Spaulding or some other good western democrat for Vice & make the best fight possible. Much has been said to me about receiving the nomination, but my judgment is against it. Hale & Sumner urge me & our friends in the House I think agree with them - that as a Democrat I would carry the largest votes - but I think Hale is good enough Democrat - far better certainly than
Cass or Buchanan or Pierce or King; and I wish to be out of the scrape for many reasons.
I hear from Cleveland that there is a good deal of feeling there against me, & I should not be surprised if there were some in Cincinnati.
You will see my letter to Butler before long. The Herald Correspondent here applied to me to allow its appearance first in that paper, which I consented to thinking it would be read by more of the class I wish to reach, than in any other paper at first. I hope you will approve of it.
I wish very much that you w'd. buy the Nonpariel & put Miller there, or get somebody else to do so. I will cheerfully contribute $500.
P. S. I want to ask you two or three questions in confidence, and to beg of you perfectly frank answers.
Do you think I ought to be reelected? Do you think there is any probability of my reelection; and, in this connection, what so far as you know are the sentiments of the Democrats towards me? What do you think my course ought to be in relation to state politics?
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