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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
From H. B.
BOSTON, Feby 6, 1844.
DEAR SIR: I owe you an
apology for not replying sooner to your letter of Decem 15, I was happy to receive it, & was instructed by its perusal; and, if the statute of limitations has not begun to run, beg leave even at this late
day to thank you for it. My only excuse for delaying to answer it, is, the depredations of that old thief, procrastination, upon my time.
In regard to
the Buffalo Convention, I regret only one thing in its proceedings, viz, Mr. Pierpont's resolution. And, I regret that mainly because it seems to yield up our strongest ground in regard to the clause of the Constitution in question - to wit, that it does not include the case of fugitive slaves. At our approaching State Convention (Feb. 14 & 15th) we shall set this matter right, probably. However, when the mass of the community feel about slavery & southern arrogance as you & I do, they will find as few constitutional impediments as they will have conscientious scruples, against its abolition by political action. Mr. Andrews, the Texas lawyer, who accompanied Lewis Tappan Esq. to England, now resides in this city, & has prepared a pretty good argument embodying our views in reference to this clause of the Constitution. He thinks of publishing it. I wish you could see it - for I dislike to have a defective or weak argument go to the public, as embodying the views of the Liberal party.
Our Buffalo nominations are
well received in this State, and in New England generally, except by those impracticables, the Garrisonians, who are disposed to be satisfied with nothing. Mr. Birney was highly popular with us last fall. We are desirous of getting Senator Morris here next fall, to spend a few weeks in Massachusetts. Then we shall have done what neither of the other parties dare do - especially the Whigs - i. e., shown the people of Massachusetts our Presidential Candidates.
Stimulated by your advice, &
the success of your example, we have about made up our minds to have
a Daily Liberty newspaper in this city. Mr. Leavitt will be its
editor. I have no doubt of its reasonable success at the very
outset; of its ultimate complete success pecuniarily, of the very
great aid it will render our cause, I feel certain. Within a circle
of 40 miles around Boston, we give between 5 & 6000 Liberty
votes. Nearly every man of these votes is within 6 hours of the
city, by means of public conveyances - & half of them within 2
hours. Our paper, besides having a fair subscription in the city,
would be taken by many of our friends in all the neighboring towns.
Mr. Alden, who will probably be the publisher, is a respectable
financier & manager, & has some of those pushing
qualities so requisite to crowd such an enterprise upon the public attention.
M. Clay, He is doing nobly. His speech on the Texas question, is a grand thing. The compliment he pays to the Liberty party, is invaluable. For that, I presume we are indebted to you. At the recent meeting of the Massachusetts Anti S. Society (Garrisonian) Garrison read a letter from C. M. C. to some Quaker in Rhode Island, & highly complimented C. Garrison is an artful Jacobin, a genuine Robespierre, & he will spare no pains to mislead C. M. C. concerning the character & purposes of the Liberty party. He will no doubt write to him. I trust you will keep in close correspondence with Mr. Clay - for, if he keep on the High Road, he, will yet do wonders for Humanity.
expecting Alvan Stewart & Gerrit Smith with us on the occasion of our State Convention. Wish you could participate with us, give us the benefit of your counsels & cheer us with your voice. At our present Convention, we shall probably defer the nomination of presidential electors, till next September, when we intend holding a great mass Convention for that purpose - at which time we should be most happy to welcome you to the old Bay State.
Mr. Gilmore has been with us. What has been the precise extent of his success in his mission, I am not informed. He has done well, I believe. I hope he will meet with all the encouragement he so richly deserves, & that you will not only meet the enemy at Washington, but conquer him.
Clay's prospects begin to brighten, & be will be elected, unless "the democracy" can harmonize. Spencer is rejected as judge of the Sup. Court. If Ketchum, of N.Y. goes on
the bench, he will be with you on the Van Zandt case. He is something of an abolitionist. I shall be happy to hear from you.
Very truly & heartily yours,
H. B. STANTON.
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