Return to Ohio ALHN
SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To A. M. G.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15,1855,
FRIEND, It is impossible for me to change my ground. I went into the
Peoples Movement last year heartily and in earnest. I am for going
on with it, proscribing nobody who does not manifest a disposition
to proscribe us. I shall not complain, if not elected as a candidate
for Governor, on any personal ground. To leave me off the ticket
would be rather a favor personally than otherwise. If it be done and
done honestly for the good of the cause, & not with a view to
convert the People's Movement into a simple Know nothing
organization, neither I nor any of my friends could object to it.
If, however, it should be done merely to satisfy a proscriptive
spirit the case would be different. If it should be attempted to
impose the K. N. Shibboleth upon all the candidates for public
suffrage in the People's Convention;—there might be & would be a
duty to perform by those who cannot accept it. For myself I shall
be, come what may, true to my antecedents & my democratic faith.
I do not seek any position on the ticket. I could not accept a
nomination for a Judgeship. Whether I would take any other would
depend on the character of the nomination and the platform.
It seems to me that no such
other movement as you suggest is likely to occur. Of course I could
not participate in any such, unless the course of events should show
that those who think & feel as I do are to be rejected by the
People's Movement, which I do not anticipate. If that movement
should be so perverted from its original objects that we could not
net with it, then we should be obliged to shape an independent
course for ourselves. It is too early yet to determine what that
course should be.
you would abate something of your tone against the Kns I think it
would be wise. Indeed if I were editing the paper I should say
little about them. What there is objectionable in their organization
will be most likely to cure itself; if you only keep. up an
intelligent, animated war against slavery, and insist that in the
People's Movement there must be the most liberal toleration of
differences of opinion & oposition, with a view to the
denationalization of slavery & the overthrow of -the Slave
Power. Keep your own democratic ideas prominent. Claim toleration
& give it.
in a great struggle going on in the Kn organization between the Anti
Slavery & the proslavery element. At present the antislavery
element has the advantage. But the elements cannot dwell together.
Be patient and time will separate the progressive from the
it answer for you to assume the sole editorial care of the
Columbian? I suppose Mr. Hamlin would be glad to be released, and in
that event you could have the benefit of my contribution to the
support of the paper, so far as it should be necessary. I merely
days ago I received a letter from a prominent Whig in Ohio who asked
if Mr. Hamlin was my organ & said that his course in the
Columbian was injuring me. I replied that Mr. H. was not my organ in
any sense, but edited the Col'n. so far as he edited it at all on
his own responsibility and in his own way, I added that I regretted
the tone & tenor of the articles in reply to the Sandusky
Register and on the Knownothings. I said nothing about his course
injuring me. I saw no evidence of it.
I just mention this because I thought it best
you & Mr. Hamlin should be apprized of whatever I do. But do not
think that I desire to control you in anything. I will give you my
ideas frankly: but you must allow them no weight beyond that which
your judgment sanctions - none at all merely because they are mine.
Wilson is true as steel on
the Slavery question: so are others here. They will break up the
order sooner than see it used for the purposes of slavery. You must
take the action of these men and the current of opinion in the free
states in estimating the probable action of the Kn organization. I
do not myself believe that it can be made as proslavery as either of
the old parties. Still -it occupies dangerous ground in this
respect: and we must keep a look out. If they are liberal in Ohio
this year I think we may be pretty confident that the movement will
liberalize itself ultimately so as to do little harm to anybody. In
Home | Ohio Counties | Ohio Biograpies | What's New?
Ohio's Fallen Officers | Ohio Military | Ohio Photo Album
Vintage Ohio Postcards | Crime & Punishment | Early Institutions
Ohio Fun Facts | Lookup Volunteers | Ohio Resources
Ohio Book Shelf
Barbara's Bordered Backgrounds