Tuesday, August 30, 2016

David Wilmot to Abraham Lincoln, July 11, 1860

Towanda July 11th. 1860.
Hon. A. Lincoln.

Dear Sir:

Your note of the 4th inst reached me on the 9th.

I wrote you from Chicago, saying I should return home by way of Phila., and that if I observed or heard anything worthy of note, I would write you from that City. My stay in Phila. was more brief than I anticipated – one day only and as I learned nothing of interest, I did not write you.

Your note of the 22d of May was directed to me at Phila. and did not come to hand untill a few days since. I was thinking of writing you when I recd. your last favor.

I see nothing discouraging in the condition of affairs in this State: indeed to me everything looks hopeful and promising. From the day of your nomination, I have had but little doubt of our success in this State. Since the clear development of Mr Buchanan's policy, there has been an overwhelming majority of our people opposed to his Administration. I believed they would generally write in support of any of the prominent candidates before our Convention, except Govs. Seward & Chase. These gentlemen had occupied positions of such mark in the conflicts of the past ten years, that the Conservative & American elements in this State were irrevocably committed against them; but would support other men of equally advanced republican positions, but who had not been held up before them for years, in so unfavorable a light

The division of the democracy of this State is formidable, and I believe irreconcilable. Forney can be of much greater service in moving against a Coalition or Union, than he could possibly be in supporting our ticket. He stands now a recognized & influential leader of the Douglass forces; in the other contingency, he would have been denounced as a traitor, and his influence greatly weakened. At this time Douglass is in the ascendent in this State over Breckenridge, but the latter will gain from this time to the Election. There is no starch in the Northern democracy, and unless the weakened democrats of the North, & especially of Penna, the most servile of the race, shall see, as they will, that Breckenridge is to losing the South, they will flock by the thousands to his standard. They dare not seperate themselves from the South. They understand the danger of such a position, and that away from the South, there is no democratic party.

I cannot feel a doubt of the result. The confusion of Bable has fallen upon the counsels of the Enemies of Freedom. They are doomed through their great iniquities, and by the inexorable moral law of Heaven, to defeat, shame & humiliation. The moral and political power of the party of Slavery is broken, and no patched up arrangements of its leaders, were such a thing possible, can save it from its just doom. The Democracy must turn from its errors, and receive its virtue and strength at the formation of its principles, before it can have the power to retain another political victory. In truth all that remains of democracy in this country, is embodied in the Republican party

I have written you a long and I fear tedious letter

I hope to see you in the fall

very respectfully yours
D. Wilmot

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