Saturday, August 12, 2017

Senator Salmon P. Chase to Edward S. Hamlin, January 2, 1850

Philadelphia, Jany 2, 1850

My Dear Hamlin, I can hardly express to you the mingled feelings of gratitude and pleasure which I experience in being permitted to announce to you a marked improvement in the condition of my dear wife. I have been watching by her side during the entire holidays, never leaving her except when obliged to do so for her own sake, administering to her comfort in every way possible to me. For the first three days after our arrival at Parkeville, of which no doubt Hutchins has told you she mended daily. Then came a sudden change for the worse which filled me with dismay. Then she rallied again and I hung between hope and despair. But now, today, God be praised, she seems better than at any time since we left Washington. I left her a few hours ago, and am on my way to Washington, intending to be in my seat tomorrow: — and to decline, unless strongly advised by our friends to the contrary, the appointment in the Com. on Rev. Claims. Perhaps I may accompany the declination with some few remarks on the Constitution of the Committees — perhaps not. I have as yet made no speech defining my position. Perhaps I shall not make any speech with that special purpose. Certainly I shall not unless some occasion seems distinctly to call for it. I prefer to let my position define itself, except so far as it comes in for remark incidently.

I write in haste; but I wanted to tell you my good news; and I wanted also to thank you — as I do most gratefully — for your kindness in keeping me so well advised as to matters at Columbus; and I wanted finally to answer your query in relation to Mr. Giddings probable course — in the event of the nomination of Judge Myers by the Demc. Convention & the adoption by it of adequate antislavery resolutions. I wrote to Hutchins on this very subject in part a few days since. I cannot say with certainty what Mr. G 's course would be. But certain is it, that he is farther from the Whigs than ever, and that he looks to the Democracy to carry out, ultimately, antislavery measures. From what he has said to me I believe that in the contingency named he would support Judge Myers.

I agree with you in thinking that if the Old Line nominates a Hunker it will be best for us that they pass no antislavery resolutions at all. It will best, also, for the progressives who should, in that event, act little with us — as we would, in the event, of the nomination of a progressive and the adoption of these progressive ideas, act with them. I could myself, however support Medill cordially, if the Convention would make a right platform & Medill would take decided position upon it. But should Medill be nominated and the non-intervention doctrine sanctioned we must nominate ourselves & nominate a democrat — Swift or some such man — and make an insurrection in the democratic party, by putting the contest distinctly on the issue, Shall democratic ideas, or proslavery policy prevail? We shall then see how large a portion of the democratic party prefer democracy to hunkerism.

I have no time to write more at present. I will write tomorrow or next day from Washington.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 193-5

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