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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To Hon. T. R. Stanley, Mc Arthur, Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Oct 25, [1859.]

MY DEAR SIR: We were delighted to bear of your election to the Senate, and I was particularly gratified by your letter confirming the good news, and assuring me or your personal good will. Believe me that I value the esteem of such men as yourself far more highly than any office; and only regret, when I compare my knowledge of myself with that esteem, that I cannot feel it is better deserved.
Surely there should be no disagreement between Republicans as to the Tariff. Whatever may be any man's theoretical views of Free Trade, we are all agreed that there is no prospect of the adoption of the policy - of unrestricted commercial intercourse by civilized nations during the lifetime of any of us; and no one, I believe, professes the adoption of that policy by the United States without concurrence of other nations. Certainly I do not. I am a practical man, and wish to take practical views of this Tariff question as every other, avoiding ultraism in every direction. I know that we have always had a Tariff. I know that we have never had a horizontal Tariff, unless the Compromise Act of 1833 may be called such. I know that for a long time to come, and perhaps as long as our Union shall endure, we shall have a Tariff. Now, these things being so, I am clearly of opinion that Tariff laws, like all other laws, should be so framed as to do as much good and as little harm as possible; and I am, therefore, in favor of such discriminations as will best secure and promote the interests of labor - of our own labor - and the general wellbeing of our own people. No man, in my judgment, deserves the name of an American Statesman who would not so shape American Legislation and Administration as to protect American Industry and guard impartially all American Rights and Interests.

P. S. This letter is not for publication, for I am not ambitious of the reputation of a letter-writer. But it contains nothing which I do not say to everybody who talks to me about the subject to which it relates.

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

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