Wednesday, January 29, 2020

John Forsyth Jr.* to Howell Cobb, November 10, 1848

Columbus, Geo., Nov. 10th, 1848.

Dear Sir: The disastrous defeat which the Democracy has just suffered makes it necessary for me to attempt to carry out a wish I have long cherished. It is to pursue my editorial profession in a field of wider influence and greater profit than can be attained in this nook of country. My preference is for Washington, the focus of political intelligence and influence, and my desire is to be connected with the organ of the Democracy in that city.

It has occurred to me that the egress of Mr. Hein from the Union office, or perhaps the declining years of the father of the press, Mr. Ritchie himself, might afford the opening I desire. Personally unacquainted with Mr. Ritchie and knowing that your relations with him are near if not intimate and confidential, I have taken the liberty of addressing you this letter to enquire, first if you can now give me the information I desire; or second if you cannot, to request you if you think proper, to make the necessary enquiries for me and pave the way for a correspondence with Washington on the subject.

Two years ago in Mexico my friend Col. H. R. Jackson and myself indulged ourselves in some dreamy plans and speculations of some joint and future arrangement of this sort. If your reply should lead me to hope that my hopes can be compassed I propose to invite him to embark with me in the undertaking.

A flood of terrible political news has been pouring in upon [us] with lightning speed since the great battle day. We are beaten at all points and have truly “lost all but our honor.” My presages for the future looking to the country (not to party) are gloomy enough. I foresee that the South has to submit to the degradation by exclusion from a joint domain, or push resistance to the verge if not over the verge of revolution of the Government.

The Whigs in our streets are even now preparing excuses for Gen. Taylor, in the event that he “holds his hand” when “the Proviso” is presented to him. The party will uphold him in it.

But enough of politics. We have both “supped full” of it, this week and you are ready to exclaim, Parce, puer, jam satis!

* A Democratic newspaper editor at Columbus, Ga.

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. 136

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