Mcdonough [ga.], Feby. 12, '48.
Dear Sir: . . . I may be mistaken, but such is the fierceness of the opposition of the Whigs to the Mexican war that I apprehend an increase of taxes for the purpose suggested by you, by the last Legislature, would not have gone down well with the people.
They (the Whigs in this county) are even making a “great to do” over the appropriations for bringing home the remains of Cols. McIntosh and Echols. I believe however with Mr. Brown, in the war meeting at New York, that there is a “just God” and that retributive justice will yet overtake them, though just here they seem confounded hard to “run down.”
You ask me to explain the vote in the Senate on the preamble to the Taylor resolutions. I will do it to the best of my recollection, remarking at the outset that I was not one of the “six” who voted against it. If I recollect aright, the Preamble set forth nothing but the military qualifications of Taylor, concluding with the declaration that he had “mind or intellect” enough to make a president. When the vote was about to be taken on the “preamble and resolutions” Mr. Forman (a Democratic Senator) called for a division of the preamble from the resolutions. I begged him to withdraw his call, in order that we might vote upon the whole. Refusing to do so, I thought at the time that I was compelled to vote for the Preamble, though the next morning he and myself, I recollect, expressed our regret that we had done so, and I moved a reconsideration of the whole action of the Senate upon the subject, which was lost by one vote, “Waters voting against it though he had promised me to vote for it. I regret that the resolutions did not pass the House, for then the Whigs of Georgia would have another obstacle in their way of going into a convention. It seems from the “signs of the times” that the contest in the Democratic Convention will lie between Cass and Woodbury. Between them it would be with me a difficult matter to decide. I have always admired the sternness of Mr. Woodbury in advocating the rights of the South, and believe there is no firmer or purer man. Since Genl. Cass's letter to Nicholson made its appearance, I confess much if not all of the doubt and suspicion that before rested upon my mind relative to his soundness on the “Wilmot Proviso” has been removed, and perhaps he would be stronger in the South than Mr. W. or any other Northern man. I am with you, however, in the support of the “nominee” of the convention, provided he be sound on the slavery question. I was much pleased with the “skeleton” of your speech, in the Intelligencer. You brought to light one vote in the house, which I have long wanted to see, and that was the amendment of the New York Member to confine Genl. Taylor in his operations to the east bank of the Rio Grande, or rather to bring him back to the “undisputed territory of the U. States” . . . .
P. S.—I have a serious notion of moving to Atlanta in the course of the present year. What think you of the step, so far as professional prospects are concerned?
SOURCE: Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Editor, The Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1911, Volume 2: The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb, p. 95-6