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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To E. S. Hamlin.

Private . WASHINGTON, Feb 4, 1853.

DEAR HAMLIN, Thanks for your two letters, the last of which was received today.
I do not wonder that some of our friends of the Old Line feel uneasy in relation to our present position. It is a strong one and will be certain to deprive them of the control of the State, unless they are liberal & fair in their action. There is however nothing in it to alarm any real friend of democratic progress. All the liberals have to do is to pursue a just and conciliatory course towards us, and there will be in Ohio, in less than two years a united Democracy united upon principle and determined to maintain their principles everywhere - even in National Conventions, of which liberal men will be the natural exponents, and which will not only [be] irresistible in the State, but which will give tone to the nation. Judge Bartley in particular, has nothing to apprehend. I regard his election as certain beyond any contingency except that of a serious division in the democratic ranks or a repudiation by or in behalf of the Old Line Democrats of their present platform: neither of which events seems to me, at present, very probable.
Our present position, as Independent Democrats, is more useful to the liberals in the regular ranks than our incorporation into those ranks could be.
I was very much pleased with the results of the Free Democratic Convention. The resolutions were excellent & suited me exactly: but how happened it that those relating to myself and Giddings & Townshend were never printed.
0ur position it seems to me was never so strong as now. The Dem. Convention (old line) went right and the Ind't. Dem. Convention, also, went right, and the prospect here seems to be that the incoming administration will be liberal. Our present manifest duty and policy, it seems to me, is to strengthen our existing organization as much as possible.
Here the feeling is very good. Carter says lie shall do all he can to secure my reelection. Cable, I am told, says the same thing: and Johnson, of Coshocton, told me today that in his opinion the condition of things in Ohio indicated that result. Giddings expresses himself decidedly and earnestly for me. I do not, however, permit myself to indulge any sanguine expectations. I know how precarious are all calculations of the future: and shall be content whatever event may turn up - so that our cause goes forward.
It is my duty to testify truly as to the wishes of the people of Ohio in respect to a cabinet officer: and I have no doubt that Medary is the choice of four fifths of the Democracy if not a larger portion. Nor do I doubt that he can make a competent Postmaster General. I should expect from him if appointed an energetic and able administration. Thus thinking, I speak. I know he has not given me that hearing or favor in his paper which be might have done; but I allow much for his circumstances. I am sorry to differ from you in this matter, but the difference is of no great importance, as I have no hand in making cabinet officers The most I do is to give my honest opinion when asked.
The last statement from Concord is that Cushing, Dix and Medary are certain to go into the Cabinet. The next comer may bring a different story.
I like Manypenny very much and have great confidence in his ability and honesty both. The time may come when I shall be able to serve him, when it comes, sooner or later , I shall be ready - McLean is an old friend, and a warm hearted, generous fellow. His connection with the Miami Tribe has brought on him some enemies - but more have seized this matter as a means of enabling them to gratify old grudges. Some of those who are opposed to him are, also, very friendly to me. Of course I take no part in the quarrel, but endeavor to conciliate & harmonize.
I do wish you were in the control of the Nonpariel. I hope it may be arranged, and am willing to do my full part towards it at any time.
I have received a number of a German paper at Cincinnati supporting the Free Dem. ticket. Do you know anything of it?
Would it not be an even better disposition for the present of your time and talents to go through the state every where and organize; and especially make arrangements to secure the right kind of men in the Legislature? I have mentioned this matter to Rice & wish it might be arranged through the Committee. I will bear my full proportion of the expense.
I have heard what you write about Wilson. I doubt the extent of his influence at Concord. It is hardly so great as represented.
Medary is here. He has confined himself for the most part to the Agricultural Convention; and will start on his return day after tomorrow.

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Annual Report of the American Historical Association; Volume II; Washington, Government Printing Office; 1903

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