Monday, September 5, 2016

James E. Harvey to Abraham Lincoln, June 5, 1860

Washington City,
June 5. 1860.
My dear Sir,

Your note of the 31st May, reached me a day or two since. I think your reserve in regard to private correspondence, eminently proper under present circumstances, and no personal or political friend ought to except to it.

My information from the interior of Pennsylvania is encouraging, and in Philadelphia we have silenced the Fillmore organ of '56, through the influence of which we were then betrayed. Consequently, the third ticket has now but one paper there, – the Evening Journal – of limited influence & character, & not of American antecedents, which is really the important point in our local politics. You are aware of Course, that the political organization of Pennsylvania supporting You, is not strictly Republican. To bring in the Americans, disaffected Democrats, & general elements of Opposition, we called it the People's Party, & in that name all our victories have been achieved & the State redeemed. The largest infusion is Republican in character, & that spring from our old Whig party. Of late, there has been an attempt in Philadelphia, to get a distinctive Republican organization, in anticipation of future results. Certain patriots suppose that prominence in this way now, may be serviceable hereafter. The only effect of that movement is to embarrass us with those, who hold the balance of power, & to a great extent the result in their hands. You will at once see the hazard of such an experiment, as introducing an element of discord among men, who have hitherto acted in concert & harmoniously. Our friends have however judiciously yielded, all that good policy might concede to these parties, and it now looks, as if we would work smoothly together.

There is a pause in Pennsylvania & New Jersey, which will continue until after the Baltimore nominations. Douglass has a strong hold on his party in both. But I am persuaded not only from observation, but from close contact with all the factions at Charleston, that nothing can now happen at Baltimore, which will seriously damage us. In the first place, I cannot see how Douglass is to obtain two thirds. That will depend upon the admission of bogus delegates from the South, which the New York vote will decide, & New York put the knife to his throat at Charleston. If nominated, the Cotton States will certainly run a separate ticket, which of itself would demoralize the party. If not nominated & an obnoxious platform be adopted, such as is now proposed & intended with the aid of New York, his friends assured me at Charleston – I mean the men authorized to speak – that they would quietly retire from the Convention. In either Contingency therefore, our prospect is not impaired.

Pennsylvania after all is to be the battle ground of this Contest. New Jersey breathes the same atmosphere & sympathizes with us. In order to reach the Commercial Classes, the North American has been obliged to address their reason & intelligence gradually, commending & illustrating Your Conservative Whig character & antecedents. This will serve to explain why we have not shouted as loudly as some others. Had we done so, our influence for good, would have been much neutralized. The state of the Tariff here is likely to aid us materially. Hunter & the controlling spirits of the Senate are disinclined to touch the House bill, & intend to adjourn if possible, after passing the appropriations – say about the 25. If they do, we will raise a storm about their ears, which will echo across your prairies. Our man Cameron, has not done all that we desired, but he will be constrained to do the rest. Let me say just here, there is a rivalry springing up between him & Curtin, our Candidate for Governor, which you would do well to ignore entirely. It will be bad enough by & by when we win. Let us know neither now. Seward is much cut down & has good sense enough to avoid Chase's bad taste & folly. The real & upright men who sustained him, are in grave earnest – I mean such as Spaulding who represents Buffalo. Greely writes me, that his quarrel is about ended, which ought never to have been begun, & that henceforth Webb & Co, will be allowed to splurge in peace. Laus Deo.

Very Truly
James E. Harvey

No comments: