Friday, August 11, 2017

Senator Salmon P. Chase to Edward S. Hamlin, December 21, 1849

Washington, Decr. 21, 1849

My Dear Hamlin, As to unfaithfulness, I deny the charge. This is my third letter to you, and it is in answer to your third just received.

It is quite true that I don't give you a quid pro quo, for your letters are very interesting, and give me an insight into things in Ohio, which I greatly desire to have, whereas mine to you are very barren; and this present one must be most barren of all.

Mrs Chase, since coming here, has become quite ill, and her symptoms, pulmonary, are quite alarming. I have concluded to take her to the Hydropathic Establishment near Phila. and shall start tomorrow. 1 write, therefore, tonight; and must write briefly. Next week I hope to be back and settled.

Mr. Giddings has written to Mr. Randall advising him to vote for Swift and to aid in repealing the Hamilton County division clauses as soon as possible. He seems to have a clear idea of the necessity of this action. You suggest that Randall may be elected if he will agree to recognize Randall [Johnson?]. Giddings says Randall will vote for admission of Johnson as prima facie entitled, but wants a pledge that he will not vote in his own case. To require such a pledge is absurd. Mr. Johnson has rights — Mr. Randall is bound to recognize them. He has no more right to ask pledges of Johnson, than Johnson has to ask pledges of him. I do hope to hear soon of the settlement of this affair. Randall is bound by every consideration to yield to Swift — not Swift to Randall, this year.

I regret to see what you say of the hesitation of the Old Line Democracy to take decided anti slavery ground. But if they wish to lag behind the people they must take the consequences. Defeat will follow the adoption of the stationary policy as surely as day follows night. If the Democracy wishes to succeed let them act boldly — declare openly for freedom — adopt the first of the two slavery resolutions of '47 & instead of the second adopt one declaring the want of power in Congress to legislate for emancipation in the states, but its possession of power to exclude slavery in the Territories and to repeal all Acts of Congress by which slavery is sustained in this District & elsewhere & its duty to exercise that power promptly & efficiently. If they will do this & nominate any man of fair character who will heartily espouse the platform, they can triumph.

I trust you will refer to the resolutions of '47, & put them into shape, and use all your influence to bring the democracy right.

The Old Line Caucus in the Senate had much discussion about me. All the northern democrats, I believe, except Dickinson & possibly one or two more were for placing me at the head of one of the prominent committees, and some of the southern men concurred. The majority, however, decided the other way, and my name was, therefore, as you see, omitted from the list of committees.

I have no time to write more. Goodnight & may God bless you — Write often.

Dimmock, Myers or Carter — either it seems to me wd make an excellent Candidate for Governor.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 192-3

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