Saturday, July 15, 2017

Salmon P. Chase to Edward S. Hamlin, January 20, 1849

Cincinnati, Jan’y 20, 1849

My Dear Hamlin; I wrote you fully by this morning's mail, and had sent my letter to the Post Office before I received your note of yesterday. I am very glad to hear of the prospect of the passage of Morse's Colored Children's School Bill, including the repeal of the Black Laws. The Repeal of those laws is an object dearer to me than any political elevation whatever; and is worth more to us as a Party than the election of any man to any office in the gift of the Legislature. It removes out of our path the greatest obstacle to our complete triumph, while it is in itself a great victory of humanity and justice. I shall rejoice in the passage of the bill on another account. The credit of it will redound to our friend Morse.

What has become of the Bill to prevent Kidnapping which I drew, and which you promised to hand to Riddle? I hope it is not lost. With a little improvement it might be made a complete safeguard, not only against the action of our officers & the use of our jails for the recapture of fugitive slaves, but also against the kidnapping by force or fraud of free persons. I shall be glad to see it on its way through the two Houses.

As to the School bill I hope its friends will not consent to any amendment of any kind, unless merely verbal, but push it right through just as it is.

I do not know that I can say anything more than I have said in relation to the Standard. I have done and said all I could for it, and shall continue my efforts. I have no doubt all the money needed can be raised in the Spring. Vaughan told me he would write to Townshend tonight on the subject of the Printing. I hope Riddle will read the letter.

I received today a letter from Dr. Bailey in which he speaks of an interview with Giddings, in which the Senatorial Election in Ohio was the subject of Conversation. I will extract a few sentences which shew that Mr. Giddings entertains none but the kindest feelings towards me — no other indeed than those which I have so often expressed to you in relation to him.

“I have seen” says the Doctor “and talked freely with Giddings. He is moderately ambitious —would like to be United States Senator. If there is a good chance of his election, if the Free Soil men will unite upon him, he wishes to run. If they cannot or will not unite upon him, he says you & you alone, by all means are the man. I told him he ought to write to one of his Free Soil friends in the Legislature just as he talked to me, frankly, fully, and request the letter to be shown to you, so that his position and views might be clearly known”

The Doctor adds a good deal as to the advantage of having me in the Senate, Giddings being already in the House, which I will not offend against modesty by transcribing. I fear, however, that the Doctor agrees with me in opinion that if Giddings were out of Congress as well as myself, he & not I should be placed in the Senate. He desires my election on the theory that Giddings cannot be spared from the House, and that getting me in the Senate, Giddings being already in the House, would be clear gain. I have quoted the extract to show you that Giddings does not entertain the wish, which some have imputed to him, to defeat an election if he cannot be himself elected.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 153-4

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