New York, May 1, 1850.
Dear Sir: There are serious objections to murder; some people are so fastidious as to object to burglary and arson, and my impression is that rape and highway robbery, however pleasant in the concrete, are not in the abstract strictly justifiable. I would not be positive, on these points, knowing how widely opinions differ on almost every phase of human conduct; but when you come to writing on both sides of a half sheet of paper, intended as copy in a daily newspaper office, there can be no mistake as to the atrocity of a crime whereat outraged human nature stands aghast with horror. I pray you think of this evermore, and write only on one side. Also, indorse your letters “Editor's Mail,” for fear they should somehow lie over at Washington or Baltimore till the morning mail, and so miss us by arriving here at midnight and remaining undistributed. These are small matters, but their consequence to us is not small.
Can't you guess out for us somebody who can fish out executive session and committee secrets like Harriman, Harvey, and Kingman? If you can, set him to telegraphing. Everybody, from Mother Eve's time down, has been especially anxious to know what ought not to be known, and we must get some of it into the Tribune or be voted dull, indolent, and behind the times. We have had it, but just now our channels of transmission are choked up.
J. S. Pike, Esq.
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. 49-50