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To A. M. G.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15,1855,

DEAR 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.
If 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.
There 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 conservative.
Would 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 suggest this.
A few 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 haste,


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