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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
From H. B.
BOSTON, Oct. 6, 1845.
MY DEAR CHASE: I am much obliged to you for your letter: tho I must be so ungracious as to add, that good as your letter was, I should have been more pleased if you had been present & read it yourself.
I have not complied with your request to address you immediately at the close of our grand Convention; for the reason, that the exciting labors of the week completely knocked me up, leaving me with a severe nervous headache & a biting ague in my teeth, which I am now just getting over.
We had a great Convention. Probably upwards of 2000 delegates were present. Our audiences numbered more than 3,000. Gen. Fessenden presided with much ability, & able speeches were made by ex-chief justice Hutchinson & Col. Miller (the Greek hero) of Vermont; Messrs Pierpont, Lovejoy, Burritt, Sewall, Jackson, & others of Massachusetts; Gerrit Smith, Wm Goodell & Lewis Tappan, of New York; Dr. Le Moyne & Wm Elder, of Pa; and other gentlemen from other states. Every free state (I believe Indiana must be excepted), Wisconsin, Iowa, & the District of Columbia, were represented; & even a Kentucky slave holder appeared on the platform & opposed the adoption of the Address, & was replied to & annihilated by Lewis Clark, the Kentucky fugitive, whom the slave holder, in his rejoinder, spoke of as " the gentleman who had preceeded
him !" Letters, good, bad & indifferent, were read from Hon. Messrs. W- H. Seward, Charles Francis Adams, (son of J. Q. A.) Stephen C. Phillips, Theodore Sedgwick of New York, Wm B. Calhoun (long member of Congress from this state) &c. &c. Capt. Jonathan Walker showed his branded hand to the audience, Miss Delia Webster showed her homely face &c.
The resolutions & address are
& safe, tho not all that I could have desired, nor all that I expected. Whittier was to have written the address, & he made preparations to do so. But, his health & spirits failed him just at the crisis. He would have drawn up a rich, tasteful, beautiful document, strong & apposite in its facts, & felicitous in its language, not distinguished by great force of argument, but thrilling in its appeals & conciliatory in its spirit. His failure made it necessary for us to fall back upon an address prepared by Gerrit Smith. It is able, strong, calm, but quite elementary & A. B. C. like in its character. It is safe, & I think you will be of the opinion that it will do good. It will be instructive to those who have not read much on our subject. Mr. Sewall presented an able report on Texas annexation. We failed, too, in getting the resolutions from the source we applied to - & did not know that we had failed till just as the Convention was assembling; & then we threw together what we could lay our hands upon. The resolutions are safe on the constitutional question. A long series was introduced by Mr. Spooner, embodying the views in his recent pamphlet. We did not adopt them, but merely referred them to the committee of publication, to print with the proceedings. Some resolutions on the moral & Biblical bearings of our cause, were introduced & adopted. They are strong & right - drawn by Rev. A. A. Phelps, of New York - but are rather out of place. They will do no hurt, I think.
known that we should be driven to the straits we were, I think I should have put my poor pen to paper on the address & resolutions. But, with the cares on me (& I did everything but write the address & resolutions) - even to all the editorials in the Emancipator) I encroached so much on professional business, that I had no more time to spare.
The Convention has made a deep impression. We sat Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, & Mr. Smith "preached politics" to a large audience in the Temple Sunday evening. His sermon was a splendid production.
As ever, yours faithfully,
H. B. STANTON.
We stuck to our "one idea," & did not touch the Presidency.
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