House Of Representatives,
Boston, April 25, 1850.
My Dear Pike: You don't know how glad I was to receive your letter of the 20th inst. The spirit of the letter was in unison with my own feelings and with the feelings of all good Whigs in this quarter. The ways of Congress to some are “past finding out,” but they are now being discovered. I know that I do not overstate the fact when I tell you that our good old President is daily increasing in popular favor and regard, and Clay and Webster are decreasing in a like ratio.
We are determined here to stand by the administration, and no longer pay court to Hunkerdom anyhow. I have taken an unequivocal position, and I shall sink or swim with it. I find, however, that very little nerve is required to sustain this ground, for the people here are all of one accord. Even those who signed the letter to Mr. Webster, and were recalled by a certain speech to a “true sense of their constitutional duties,” do not find fault with me, with one or two exceptions, and they are the “born thralls of Cedric,” the Wambas and Gurths, for whom I care nothing, and who have little or no influence upon the popular mind because they are known, known even without the brass collar.
The Whig party in our State stand firm as a rock, and I have no doubt that we shall draw in a large part of the Freesoil party to the support of the administration. I don't know what we shall do in the Fourth District. The election takes place on the 29th of May. I think, however, that whoever the Whig Convention nominates will be elected. The Whig candidate, you know, has declined. He may be renominated again. His letter of declension was first-rate, and has added to his popularity, and may cause him to be put on the track again. It is possible that Hon. Samuel Hoar will receive the nomination; if so, he will certainly be elected, as the Freesoil men and Whigs can both elect him. I have known him for twenty years, and there is no better Whig living. He was opposed to General Taylor, but he has been satisfied with the old man, and he told me this forenoon that every thing which the administration had done since it came into power met with his hearty concurrence. He has had a seat alongside of me in the House for nearly four months, and I know of no better Whig anywhere. Still it is doubtful whether he will be nominated, or, if nominated, that he would accept to run against Palfrey. Nous verrons.
Your letters to the Courier are just the fodder, and I read them with great delight; they will do good.
I really hope that you will write me often. I like your letters hugely. Give my respects to the “honorable Truman,” and all other good and true Taylor men.
* Editor of the Boston Atlas.
SOURCE: James Shepherd Pike, First Blows of the Civil War: The Ten Years of Preliminary Conflict in the United States from 1850 to 1860, p. 42-3