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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 13, 1865.
MY DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 27th Dec. What you say of colored suffrage is doubtless correct, but it is difficult if not impossible, to make these new Free State men, who compose our Legislature, take the same view of it as you do. Of this matter I have fully spoken in previous letters. Without being here you cannot easily understand how much these people have learned in regard to the colored man and his rights and how much they have yet to learn.
Banks expressed himself to you as " decidedly in favor of the liberal extension of the right of suffrage to colored citizens " - he was doubtless sincere, but even he cannot soon remove the prejudices which the poor whites of the South have been acquiring during their whole lives. Only some strong political necessity will induce the Legislature to extend the right of suffrage, and if such extension was made a condition of the recognition of the State, it would probably be granted.
The inexpedient secession from the Free State Movement, of Mr. Durant and his party, was very unfortunate. I thought then and I think now, that they should join with the others and control events as much as possible. But now instead of being able to do anything of consequence to the colored race, they have no voice.
I admire Mr. Durant and am sorry he is such a good hater. In speaking in a former letter, of Judge Whitaker
as the only good man to be U. S. Judge, I did not think of Mr. Durant. As you know them both however, it is not necessary for me to say more.
was elected last Monday, Senator for the term of six years from the 4th of next March, - as I said he would be.
I learned from private sources -
although it is not yet publicly know that he has nominated for Chief Justice of the State, Judge Whitaker, and for Associate Justices; Heistand, Ilsley and one other. I know only Whitaker and Heistand - the others are from the country and have been confirmed by the Senate - but Whitaker and Heistand have not yet been confirmed. I think they will be however, although the Legislature pretend to have fears of their soundness on the Slavery Question. The real reason of their hesitation is, that they wish to give these appointments into the hands of Gov. Wells when he comes into office, for they perceive that there is a new power to dispense patronage which they desire to propitiate.
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