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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To E. L. Pierce.

WASHINGTON, Mar. 12, 1854.

MY DEAR MR. PIERCE. Your letter is very cheering and consolatory. Here "where Satan's net is", the nearest sounds are those of denunciation and abuse. With these harsh tones it is very agreeable to hear intermingled the voices of friendship and sympathy.
Sumner was much pleased with your last letter to him, which he showed me. You did not compliment him too strongly on his speech. It was a splendid effort in clearness of historical statement; in beauty of style; and in force of expression unsurpassed by any previous utterance of his; though I must say as I told him that it did not equal, as an argument, his speech against the Fugitive Slave Law.
It gave me real pleasure to read Reemelin's remarks. He is a man of genius, force and knowledge. If he and Molitor side with the Independent Democracy we may hope for great things. If in addition to this [illegible] Day would Start a paper!
Thanks for your kind opinion of my speech. It was delivered from notes, written the morning I spoke - though I had given all the time I could command for two or three days to reading up and writing down. My preparation was very inadequate and I was surprised to get off so well as I did in the actual delivery. Perhaps I was indebted, in fact, for my success to the audience which was very brilliant. For the only time this session the ladies were admitted on the floor. It was corrected from the Reporter's notes on the jump on the Evening after the delivery and the next morning; for I had to dine at the French Minister's that next day and I wanted to have it out Monday. This will account for some defects of style which you must have noticed.
It is rather pleasant to feel that I have done some service in the battle; and to know that the service is appreciated. It is rather strange to me, however, to receive much commendation, having, almost my whole life, been laboring for an unpopular though just cause - unpopular perhaps because misunderstood.
I shall place Mr. Mann's name on my list and send him as well as yourself a copy of a new edition.
We Senators have no copies of the Census Report. I will endeavor to procure you one however.
I regret, very much, to have you say that you are not contented in the office. I hope your discontent is not with the office and that your longings for distant fields will be abated by time. Having acquired you, we must not lose . you.
I think of coming to Cincinnati before long.
Faithfully your friend,

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

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