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Kansas (Ettj 
f ubltr iihrarg 

This Volume is for 




THE YEAR 1916 








DECEMBER 30, 1914. 









Preface 7 

Calendar of letters, papers, and addresses of Eobert M. T. Hunter heretofore 

printed 13 

Calendar of letters to and from Eobert M. T. Hunter here printed. . , 15 

Correspondence of Robert M. T. Hunter 27 


The letters and papers here presented derive their value from the 
importance of the period (1826-1876) with which they deal. Ex- 
cept in so far as he represented and spoke for Calhoun's followers 
in Virginia, always more formidable than numerous, Robert Mercer 
Taliaferro Hunter (1809-1887) had little of claim to statesmanship 
or influence. Moreover, the period of his constructive effort was 
one of declining influence for his State and later one of civil strife 
between the great sections of the Nation. Although he served the 
public almost continuously during a period of thirty years, he held 
only a few positions of trust, most of his service being in the United 
States Senate. A chronology of his life would therefore tell little, 
and a brief biographical sketch instead may be helpful in this con- 

R. M. T. Hunter, familiarly known as " Bob " Hunter, was born 
at the homestead of his maternal ancestors, the Garnetts, in Essex 
County, Va., a county which, by the way, produced more leaders of 
influence for Virginia than did any other one county or small section 
of the State for the period from 1800 to 1860. To one at all familiar 
with her history the names of Spencer Roane, Thomas Ritchie, John 
Brockenbraugh, and the Garnetts (J. M., M. R. H., and R. S.) at 
once suggest themselves. Hunter's early education was received at 
the hands of his father and at the Rose Hill Academy, two and a half 
miles from his home. To this school he and his colored boy, Austin, 
walked every morning. Later he entered the University of Virginia, 
matriculating for its first session and becoming one of its first gradu- 
ates. After completing his university course he took up the study 
of law with that famous teacher and effective apostle of State rights, 
Judge Henry St. George Tucker, of Winchester, Va. It was in this 
period of his preparation that Hunter met and married Mary 
Evelina Dandridge, a niece of Judge Tucker's wife and the reputed 
heroine of Philip Pendleton Cooke's "Florence Vane," a famous 
love poem. 

After a short period (1835-1837) of service in the General As- 
sembly of Virginia,, and despite the fact that he had refused affilia- 
tion with either of the leading political parties of the time, Hunter 
was elected by the State rights Whigs to represent his district in 
Congress. To the great surprise of the Whigs he, with Calhoua 
and others, supported Van Buren's plan for an independent sub- 
treasury; but, to the disappointment of the Democrats, Hunter 



voted -with, the Whigs in the memorable contest of 1839 between the 
rival delegations claiming the right to represent New Jersey in 
Congress. Thus lie continued an unknown quantity in politics, but 
this fact made him available and the successful candidate for the 
speakership in 1839 in his second term of service. In the contests 
which followed between the rival factions of the Whig Party he 
showed a marked leaning toward the State rights element and was 
thus rendered persona non grata to the dominant faction. As he 
owed his election to the speakership largely to the northern Whigs, 
he thus failed of a reelection, being succeeded in that, office by John 
White, of Kentucky. Moreover, factional differences between tho 
Whigs of Virginia and a legislative arrangement of the congres- 
sional districts of that State, caused him to fail of a reelection to 
Congress in the election of 18-13. 

Notwithstanding these reverses, Hunter continued his political 
activities with renewed energy and purpose. The two succeeding 
years marked a period of great activity on the part of the State 
Rights Party in Virginia. It sought to place its idol, John C. Cal- 
houn in the presidency. Hunter was the recognized leader of the 
movement and, as such, carried on a large correspondence with 
numerous local politicians throughout the Union, particularly those 
of the Tammany Society of New York City. As the campaign pro- 
gressed and as Van Buren's hold upon the Democracy of the country 
became more and more evident, Hunter and others decided to aban- 
don Calhoun's candidacy and to groom him for the presidential 
race in 1848. But they were unwilling to take this course without 
first securing some concessions from the dominant faction of the 
Democracy in Virginia. Accordingly & compromise was agreed upon 
whereby Thomas Ritchie, of the Richmond Enquirer, and other 
State leaders agreed to accept Calhoun's political principles, as a 
party platform, in exchange for an undivided support, for Van 
Buren's candidacy for the presidency. Hunter and his friend, James 
A. Secldon, wrote the resolutions committing the Democracy of 
Virginia to the extreme State rights position. Thus a practically 
new political party was created, and Hunter and others had no 
hesitation in affiliating with it and being known henceforth as 

Under those changed political conditions Hunter wan reoleoto.d 
to the House of Representatives in 1845, but James A. Sedtlon, 
Lewis E. Harvie, and a few others of the State rights faction of the 
Virginia Democracy interested themselves in a movement by which 
he was soon elected to the United States Senate. His term of service 
there began March 4, 1847, and continued to March 28, 1861, when be 
withdrew. In the Senate Hunter was a tireless worker of; genuine ac- 
complishments. For more than ten years he was chairman of its 


Committee on Finance. Besides, he was personally responsible for 
some of the most important acts of Congress of his period of service, 
notably the Tariff Act of 1857. 

Though a compromiser by nature and environment, he shared the 
aggressive attitude of Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs regarding 
the property rights of slaveholders in the common territories. In 
this attitude he was continually spurred onward to action and asser- 
tion by Seddon and Harvie. Consequently he. Davis, and Toombs 
were frequently spoken of as the " Southern Triumvirate." By the 
country at large he was esteemed a man of " sturdy common sense, 
slow in his methods, but strong and honest in his processes of reason- 
ing." In both 1856 and in 1860 he was prominently and generally 
mentioned for the presidency. In the Charleston convention Vir- 
ginia cast her vote for him from the first to the last through forty-five 
successive ballots. When, later at Baltimore, compromise with the 
northern Democracy became impossible, it was Hunter who led the 
remaining Southern States in their decision to- accept Breckinridge 
and Lane, already the nominees of the cotton States for the presi- 
dency and vice presidency, respectively, as the standard bearers of 
a united southern Democracy. 

Though he made no public utterance urging or encouraging her 
action, Hunter willingly followed Virginia into the secession move- 
ment. He was one of the five delegates first appointed to represent 
her in the provisional government of the Confederacy, and he has- 
tened at once to Montgomery, Ala., the seat of the new government. 
Soon after his arrival he was made Secretary of State of the Confed- 
eracy. However well Hunter might have performed the duties 
of a cabinet portfolio, 1 he soon expressed a desire to serve the 
Confederacy in its Senate. To what extent, if any, Benjamin's 
superior influence in Davis's cabinet or his own feelings toward 
Davis himself influenced his action would be difficult to determine. 
Nevertheless, he secured the desired election, but not without oppo- 
sition, and continued a member of the Confederate Senate until the 
fall of Richmond. In "this new role his efforts were comparatively 
unproductive of achievements. 

Hunter never again figured prominently in the public eye but 
once, and that was in the famous Hampton Eoads Peace Conference 
of February 3, 1865, in which President Lincoln and W. H. Seward 
represented the Union and Alexander H. Stephens, John A. Camp- 
bell, and Hunter represented the Confederacy. Before the con- 
ference took place Hunter was known to be sick of war and favorable 
to the inauguration of such negotiations as would bring peace on the 
best possible terms for the South. Nevertheless, he yet cherished 

1 Hunter was Secretary of State of the Confederacy from July 25, 1861, to February 17, 


the hope of independence for the Confederacy. Therefore Lincoln's 
refusal to treat with it while in arms came as a sore disappointment 
to Hunter, notwithstanding the fact that the refusal was accom- 
panied by promises of executive clemency. After the failure of the 
conference Hunter continued to press for peace and would not have 
been averse to a restoration of the Union. He even went so far as 
to offer to take the responsibility for inaugurating a movement look- 
ing to negotiations for peace. Under the circumstances, the South 
having resolved upon a last desperate effort, to which Hunter had 
committed himself in a speech at the African Church in Richmond, 
his peace activities only brought him into disfavor, causing Davis 
to lose confidence in him and Richmond to revile and ridicule her 
" conquered Senator." But the Union Army was already fast closing 
in on Richmond, and Hunter was soon forced to serve the Confed- 
eracy in an alleged traitor's prison. 

After several months in Fort Pulaski Hunter returned to his 
home, Fronthill, Essex County, to eke out a living. Two years be- 
fore his property had been singled out for destruction, and under 
the direction of Gen. B. F. Butler the work of vengeance was con- 
summated. Thus, as the grip of needless poverty and the growing 
infirmities of age wrought their destruction in a life usually kind and 
cordial, Hunter came to express feelings of bitterness toward the 
North. Meanwhile he wrote articles upon the Confederacy, and in 
1877 he engaged in an unfortunate dispute with Jefferson Davis over 
the Hampton Roads Conference of 1865. Beginning in 1874 he was 
treasurer of Virginia for a period of six years, and at the time of 
his death he was collector of the port of Tappahannook. Some time 
before his death he attempted to write a final and authoritative biog- 
raphy of the idol of his youth and the guiding star of his riper years 
in two Senates John C. Calhoun. Though undertaken at the 
request of Calhoun's children, the biography was never completed, 
and those parts of the manuscript that have not been destroyed are 

Practically all the papers here presented are a part, and a small 
part, of a collection kept until recently in, the old Hunter home at 
Fronthill. Fortunately the entire collection will soon be placed 
at the disposal of the public in the State Library of Virginia at 
Richmond. The letters and papers here printed and not to be found 
in this collection are indicated by footnotes. As a whole, the main 
collection, as well as that portion hero presented, is markedly mis- 
cellaneous, embracing as it does letters upon a great variety of sub- 
jects and, for the most part, only those written to Hunter between 
the various sessions of the Congresses of which he was a Member. 
In fact, the subjects treated range all the way from local politics, in- 
ternal improvements, and industrial enterprises to the larger topics 


of Indian wars, western land enterprises, the occupation of Cali- 
fornia, the organization of the Army, and the fixing of customs duties 
to national and even to European politics. It is hoped that the 
paucity of source materials for that period of Virginia's history 
immediately preceding the Civil War will be sufficient justification 
for the comparatively large number of letters presented herewith 
of almost purely local interest They throw much light upon the 
political history of Virginia, especially upon the rival factions within 
the Democratic Party. 

That these letters contain no single group or groups covering the 
whole or any considerable part of the period of Hunter s activities is 
regrettable. Of the letters and papers by Hunter himself there are 
only seventeen in the whole collection, and some of them are of minor 
importance. His letter of October 28, 1857, discussing various ques- 
tions growing out of the proposed admission of Kansas, and that of 
December 10, 1860, upon the status of public affairs, are probably the 
most important of all those by Hunter himself. Of the others five 
were written in 1857. 

Viewed from the standpoint of groups and writers the letters of 
James A. Seddon are probably the most valuable of any of this col- 
lection. Even the five letters from Calhoun (1842-1845) , here printed 
lor the first time, are comparatively unimportant. The letters from 
Seddon, ten in all, cover more completely than do those of any other 
of Hunter's correspondence the period before the Civil War. That 
of December 26, 1859, upon the probable effects of John Brown's 
raid is both interesting and instructive. Of the other groups of most 
value first place belongs to that from Lewis E. Harvie, who, though 
scarcely known beyond the borders of Virginia, did more probably 
than any one leader to keep both Hunter and his colleague, James M. 
Mason, in the United States Senate and to shape the policy of Vir- 
ginia in many other matters. His letter of June 16, 1866, written 
shortly after his return from the Cincinnati convention of that year, 
gives an excellent expression of the radical pro-Southern position 
toward the North at that time. Other groups of letters probably 
most worth while are those by William 0. Groode, Thomas S. Bocock, 
John Letcher, Francis Mallory, and George Booker. A single letter 
from Littleton Waller Tazewell, dated August 18, 1850, shortly before 
the death of that venerable statesman, is of interest and importance 
because of its detail treatment of the great compromise of that year. 

For the most part the letters and papers here printed have been 
reproduced with all the peculiarities of the spelling, capitalization, 
punctuation, and paragraphing of the originals. Economy of space 
has made necessary a general exclusion of addresses, subscriptions, 
and signatures, and, in some instances, has excluded from the texts 
passages of a more or less personal nature. 


This collection was undertaken at the suggestion of Mr. Worth- 
ington C. Ford, made while he was chairman of the manuscripts com- 
mission of the American Historical Association. He and the editor 
of this collection then thought it possible to locate and secure the 
use of the letters and papers of two or three prominent Virginians 
of the period immediately preceding the Civil War. We had in view 
the publication of a volume of source material for Virginia similar 
to "The correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, 
and HowellCobb," published as a part of the Annual "Report of the 
American Historical Association for 1911. In Ihe process of collec- 
tion diligent effort was made to secure the letters of at least one 
prominent Virginia Whig, one prominent pro-Southern Democrat, 
and one administration Democrat of the Henry A. Wise type, but 
the effort revealed a great/ dearth of contemporary documents bear- 
ing upon the secession movement in Virginia. Many collections were 
destroyed in the Civil War period; Sodclon seems to have kept no 
letter files; the correspondence of William O. Goode has disappeared; 
the letters of Thomas S. Bocock were destroyed in a recent, lire; and 
other collections, such as the Wise and Alexander IT. II. Stuart 
papers, are too fragmentary to be of great value. Harvie's disposi- 
tion of his papers is regrettable. Believing that they contained 
incriminating information regarding the movers in secession, he 
ordered his vast collection destroyed immediately following the fall 
of Richmond. Thus we were forced, temporarily at least, to be satis- 
fied with the present collection. 

For his aid in securing the use of the Hunter papers, acknowledg- 
ment is due to Capt. Edward R. Baird, of Essex County, Va., and to 
K. M. T. Hunter's only surviving son, Mr. P. Stephen Hunter, also 
of Essex County. ITo resides in the old Hunter homestead and has 
kindly consented to donate his father's papers to the State of Vir- 
ginia. In the preparation of the biographical sketch here presented 
the biography of K M. T. Hunter, by Prof. D. It. Anderson, of 
Richmond College, was of most value. It was published in the " John 
P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College" (June, 
1906). "A Memoir" of R. M. T. Hunter by his daughter, Martha T. 
Hunter (1903), was also helpful. Two short sketches of the life of 
Hunter were used; one by Lucius Quinton Washington in the " South- 
ern Historical .Society Papers," XXV, and the other by Theodore 8. 
Garnett in the same publication, XXVII. 



Ashland) Va., July W, 


1839. July 4, Address delivered before the Society of the Alumni of the Uni- 
versity of Virginia. Oharlottesville, 1839. 

1841. . To M. R. H. Garnett. 

Instructions regarding college work. Hunter : A Memoir of R. M. 
T. Hunter, 2 p. 85. 

1843. June 16. To John G. Calhoun. 

Calhoun's followers in New England; Charles Levi Woodbury; 
a proposed Calhoun organ in Virginia. Annual Report, 
American Historical Association (1899), II, 865. 
September 19. To John C. Calhoun. 

Discusses editors for proposed Calhoun organs for both 
Virginia and New York; Calhoun's prospects for win- 
ning the presidency in 1844. Annual Report, American 
Historical Association (1899), II, 881. 
December 19. To John C. Calhoun. 

A treaty for the proposed annexation of Texas; Calhoun 
to be made vice president; the presidential nomination 
conceded to Van Buren. Annual Report, American His- 
torical Association (1899), II, 906. 

1844. January 19. To John C. Calhoun. 

Discusses Galhoun's refusal to permit his name to go before 
the Baltimore convention as a candidate for the presi- 
dency; a possible split in the Democratic Party of Vir- 
ginia. Annual Report, American Historical Association 
(1889), II, 914. 
February 6. To John C. Calhoun. 

A proposed union of Virginia Democrats to support Van 
Buren for the presidency upon a State-rights platform. 
Annual Report, American Historical Association (1899), 
II, 927. 

13507 . To their constituents. 

An address of southern delegates in Congress. As Hunter's 
name leads all the signers he was probably the author. Wash- 
ington, 1850. pp. 15. 
1854. December 14. A discourse: Observations on the History of Virginia. 

Richmond, 1855 pp. 48. Washington, 1855. 
1856. Address before the Democratic Demonstration at Poughkeepsie, N, Y. 

[n. p.] 1856. 

185T, July 3. Address delivered before the two literary societies of the Virginia 
Military Institute. Richmond, 185T. pp. 59. 

*For a list of Hunter's most important speeches in Congress see Bibliotheea Ameri- 
cana, VIII, 568. 

2 This volume by Hunter's daughter contains several letters and parts of letters from 
Hunter to members of his family. 



1858. February 22. Address on the Inauguration of the Equestrian Statue of 
Washington. Southern Literary Messenger, XXVI, 107- 
184 ; reprinted Richmond, 1858. 
1801. June 12. To Jeflerson Davis. 

OlTers advice in military matters. War of the Rebellion Records 

series I, volume II, 920. 
September 23. To Hon. James M. Mason. 

Letter of instructions showing why the Confederacy should 
be recognized by Kngiand. Southern Historical Society 
Papers, VII, 231-241. 
September 23. To Hon. John S Udell. 

Letter of instructions showing why France should recog- 
nize the independence of the Confederacy. Southern 
Historical Society Papers, XIII, 455-466. 
1863. December 28. To Joseph E. Johnston. 

The Mississippi campaign ; expresses confidence in Johnston. 
War of the Rebellion Records, series I, volume XXIV, 
1805. February 5. To Jefferson Davis. 

This letter is signed also by Alexander II. Stephens and John 
A. Campbell. It is an account of a conference between the 
signers and Abraham Lincoln. Messages and Papers of 
the Confederacy, I, 520. See, also, JefCcraon Davis, A 
Short History of the Confederate States of America, p. 458. 
May 11. To lion, Edwin M. Stanton, 

Asks about Ms rights under the Amnesty Proclamation. War 

of the Rebellion Records, Series II, Volume VIII, 551. 
1809. October 10. To James M. Mason. 

Discusses conditions in the South. Public Life and Diplo- 
matic Correspondence of James M. Mason by his daughter. 
p. 568. 

1874. . To His Excellency, James L. Kemper, Governor. 

Presents a plan for a constitutional currency. This was prepared 
shortly alter he entered upon the discharge of his duties as 
treasurer of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia, 1874. pp. 9. 

1875. June 30. Address to the Alumni of the "University oC Virginia at Char- 

lottesville. Richmond, 1870, pp. 17, 

1876. January . A paper on the Origin of the Late War. Southern Historical 

Society Papers, I, 1-13. 

1877. . To the Philadelphia Weekly Times. Discussing the Peace Com- 
mission of 1805. Reprinted in the Southern Historical Society 
Papers, III, 108-370. 

December, To J. W. Jones, P. P., Secretary of the Southern Historical 
Society. A reply to a letter from Jefferson Davis regarding 
the Peace Commission of 1865, Southern Historical Society 
Papers, IV, 303-310. 

1885. . A review of The Republic of Republics. Southern Historical 

Society Papers, XIII, 342-355. 


Pag ^ 

1826. May 20. From "Robert Baylor. Student conduct at the University of 
Virginia; characterization of John Randolph; the Fredericksburg horse 
races 27 

1838. January 4. From James M. Garnett. Condemning partisan politics 28 

1839. December 15. From George Fitzhugh. Harrison and Van Buren; the 

speakership of the House of Representatives 30 

December 17. From George Fitzhugh. Hunter's election to the speaker- 
ship; Calhoun and the presidency 30 

1840. January 2. From Thomas Henry. Regarding appointments to House 

committees 31 

January 12, From Francis Mallory. Hunter and the speakership; Barn- 
well H. Rhett described as a selfish channeling; Calhoun and the presi- 
dency 31 

March 11. From Thomas "W. Gilmer. Expresses a desire for a return to 
party principles 33 

May 25. From Henry A. Taylor. Discussing political conditions in Ala- 
bama r 34 

. From Charles C Barnett. Petition regarding the sale and dis- 
posal of lands forfeited to the Federal Government for the nonpayment 
of taxes 35 

1841. January 12. From James M. Garnett. Regarding a proposed national 

agricultural society; partisan politics 36 

February 25. From James B. Thornton, jr. Henry A Wise opposed 
Hunter's renomination to Congress 37 

March 1. From Alexander Fleet. Hunter's affiliation with the Demo- 
cratic Party 37 

1812 January 7. From George Botts. To Joseph A. Scoville regarding a pro- 
posed Calhoun press in Litchaeld, N Y 38 

June 9. From B. S. Hart. Plans for a Calhoun party in New York 39 

August 29. From Joseph A. Scoville. Proposed Calhoun organization in 
New York 39 

September 11. From Joseph A. Scoville. Proposing a committee to work 
in the Tammany Society for the election of Calhoun to the presidency, 
rules and regulations for the committee 41 

September 30. From John C. Calhoun. Discussing his political strength 
in the South : 48 

October 5. From E. G. B. Hart. Presents difficulties in the way of his 
active support of Calhoun in New York 49 

November 21. From Joseph A. Scoville. Urging the necessity of organ- 
izing a Calhoun party in New York 51 

December 11. From Joseph A. Scoville. Regarding the organization of a 

Calhoun party in the North 55 

1843. January 1. From Joseph A. Scoville, Introducing Edmund I. Porter.. 57 

January 25. From J. Francis Hutton. Calhoun' s followers at Albany and 

inDutchess County, New York 58 



1843. February 13. From E. G. B. Hart. Calhoun's growing favor in New 

York 58 

February 16. From Joseph A. Scoville. Plans for a proposed biography 

of John 0. CaJhoun 59 

February 18. From J. Francis Huttoru Governor Bouck and the presi- 
dency; the Oalhoun party in New York 59 

February 20. To -. The Oalhoun central committee for Virginia; 

regarding a b fo of Oalhoun CO 

March 4 From James 35 room. The central organ of the Oalhoun party. 62 
April 1, From James A. Seddon. Presenting plan for a proponed organi- 
zation of Calhoun's friends in Virginia 63 

September 26 From J, Francis llutton. Oalhoun 's growing popularity 
in New York 04 

1844. August 9. From James A. Secldon. Local politico, Oalhoim and the 

presidency (56 

August L9, From James A Sodden Political parties in South Carolina. 67 
August 22. From James A Seddon. Disunion sentiment in South 

Carolina allayed - - - - GO 

August 30, From Robert B RhoU. Defending the independent course 

of South Carolina 70 

September 27, From John 0, Oalhoun, Expressing pleasure with t.ho 
activity of his friends in Virginia; advised caution in dealing with 
Thomas Ritchie; plans for consolidating the Spectator and the Madi- 

sonian 72 

November 10. From James A. Sodden. Congratulates the Democracy 
on Folk's election; suggests the organisation of Oalhoun 'a friends in 
Virginia 72 

1845 February 1. From Pixon IT. Lewis. Kegardirig Willoughby Newton's 

vote on the Texas question an<l Hunter's proponed candidacy for the 

Senate - 74 

February 1 1 From John 0. Oalhotm "Benton and Texas 75 

March 20. From John 0. Ctillioun. Polk 'a Cabinet; suggesting a course 

for Ms friondH towards Folk's administration . 75 

May L6. From John 0. Oalhoun, Rof lining to travel on personal politi- 
cal miflnions; proposes a southern convention; slates conditions under 
which he would reenter public life 77 

1846 February 10, Krom Marctw Morton, Concerning the colldol-orHlup of 

the port of "Boston; diaa, vowing aboIHioninm and luitiviHtn 79 

1847. January 15. From John Tylor, jr. (Jongraluluton 1 1 uut(n- upon hi.s nomi- 

nation for lection, to the Somite 83 

January L8. From Willis F. Bocock. Explaining Huuter'n election to 

the Senate 84 

January 30. "From Robert S. Garnett. "Regarding hin promotion in the 

Army; conflicting iuleretits rtf CUm. Scott and ({on , Taylor 85 

May 12, From Henry A. Wine. DiHCUHHes the rolationn betweon the 

United Statofl and Brazil ; denounces imperialiKin 87 

1848. June 10. From James A. Seddon. Uecomrnending J, B. (-askie; urging 

Jfluntor to mipport Lewis (lass for the presidency 00 

June 23. From M. Schele De Vere. The political conditions and ruovo- 

mouts in Germany . . , - 91 

December 28, From Richard B Garnotfc. Asking promotions in the 

Army for two Mends 94 



[1849.?] April 30 From Thomas Ritchie. The public printing; John C. 

Rie ves 96 

December . From Thomas ap C. Jones. Arguing the superior advan- 
tages of Bernecia over San Francisco as a port of entry 96 

. Resolution proposing a committee to frame an address to the 

South urging opposition to the Wilmot Proviso 104 

1850. February 21. From John H. McHenry. The causes of the Mexican 

War; unpopularity of negro slavery in Kentucky 104 

March 12. From Richard Rush. Commending Calhoun 's speech on the 
compromise measures 106 

March 23. From Richard K. Gralle*. Advises that Calhoun be uncom- 
promising in his speech on the compromise measures 106 

March 29. From William 0. Goode. Commending Daniel Webster and 
John C . Calhoun 108 

April 9. From John R. Thompson. Inviting Hunter to prepare an 
eulogy upon the life of John 0. Calhoun for publication in the Southern 
Literary Messenger 110 

April 20. From William 0. Goode. Commends Webster's 7th of March 
speech; discusses the proposed Nashville convention and the com- 
promise measures ". * 110 

May 11. From William 0. Goode. Seward's speech in the Senate; the 
Nashville convention 112 

July 2. From William F. Gordon. The Nashville convention; urges a 
bold stand on the part of the South 113 

August 13. From William P. Duval Commends Hunter's course in the 
Senate; urges justice to the South in the proposed compromises 115 

August 18. From Littleton W. Tazewell. Discussing at length the com- 
promise measures of 1850 115 

September 27. From Robert S. Garnett. Regarding a desired promotion 
in the Army 118 

October 1. From Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer. Asks about a former conver- 
sation regarding the proposed colonization of free negroes in the British 
West Indies 119 

October 22. From Elwood Fisher. Reviews sentiment produced by the 
compromise measures of 1850 119 

October 29 . From Elwood Fisher. Sentiment in the South regarding the 
compromise of 1850 120 

November 8 From John B. Floyd. Offered to cooperate in a movement 
to remove the free negroes from Virginia 120 

December 19. From Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer. Asks plans and sugges- 
tions for the proposed removal of free negroes to the British West Indies . 121 

1851. February 3. From George F. Thomson. Urges the advantages of private 

over Government bonding houses at ports of entry 122 

February 13. From Henry A. Wise. Discussing political conditions in 

Virginia and the necessity of whipping Thomas Ritchie into line 124 

February 13. From Willis P. Bocock. The "Ebony line letters"; local 

politics in Virginia; Henry A. Wise thought to favor Buchanan for the 

presidency 124 

March 27 . To George N . Sanders. Political sentiment in Richmond 126 

April 5 From Charles Mason. Urges a proposed southern convention 

and asks information regarding the alleged objections thereto 126 

May 9 To George N. Sanders. Regarding a confidential letter 127 

2331818 VOL 2 2 


1851. Juno 20. To George N. Sanders. Estimate of {Senator Wentoott of Flor- 

ida; the Union support of Webster questioned ... .................... 128 

November 28. From Richard K. Gralle*. DiacuHsos his plans for publish- 

ing the works of John G. Oalhoun ................................... L28 

December 24. From John Kandolph Tucker, Conditions about Win- 

chester favored the reelection of Hunter to tho. Senate ................ 1 30 

1852. January 18. From James A. Seddon, Predicts and plans Hunter 'a 

reelection to the Senate ........................... - .............. . - . l!M 

January 18. From W. B. Nicholls. Political conditions in Maryland 132 
January 19. From Lewis E. liar vie. Requesting aid in securing an ap- 

pointment for his son at West Point .......... - ............... ..... 134 

January 28, From George F. Thomson. Private preferred to Govern- 

ment warehouses .................................................. 135 

February?. From James A. Soddon. Insist H that tho "State Rights 

party" and not a "southern party 77 should he tho '\Simou puros" of 

southern Democracy .............................................. 13G 

April 3. From Richard Rush. Commends bimolaUsm an a means of 

increasing the volume of metallic currency .......................... 139 

May 8. From Edmund W. Hubard. Praises Hunter's report on the 

proposed changes in the coinage; opposes Oass for the presidency ..... 140 
May 21. From G. II. Crewman. Regarding a proposed settlement of the 

accounts of disbursing oilicers in tho Army .......................... 142 

June 7. From. George Booker. Expresses confidence in Henry A. Wise's 

friendship for Hunter .............................................. 144 

June 14. From a Southerner. Proposes an, alliance between the South 

and Great Britain .................. ." .............................. 145 

August 2. From Richard Rowzee. Asks refutation of the charges of 

abolitionism made against Pierce ................................... 145 

August 9. To Richard Rowzee Denies tho charges made against Pierce. 
August 22. From Jefferson Davis. Introducing John W. Smith ......... 147 

October 23. From John W. Duncan. Commends Hunter's opposition to 

the homestead bill and the doctrine of intervention; Georgia politics. 147 
November 2. From Frank G. Rutlin. Suggests Gov. McDonald for a 

position in Pierce's cabinet ........................... . ............ 149 

November 5. From George Booker. Pieroe'H cabinet ........ ......... 149 

November 8. From llerschel V, Johnson. Pierce and iho presidency; 

Hunter proposed for the cabinet ........................ . .......... 150 

November 10. From Henry A. Wise. Asks an appointment for a friend. 151 
November 15. To John W. Fink. Declines to be considered for a place 

in Pierce's cabinet ____ , ......................................... . . 1 52 

November 17. From John W. Fink. Proposes Hunter for tho cabinet. . . 152 
December 2. To Horschcl V. Johnson. Declines to be eonniderod for a 

place in Pierce's cabinet ........................................... 153 

- . Statement regarding Virginia land bounties ............. .,... 154 

1853. April 16, From Henry A. Wise. Discusses Federal patronage. ...... ____ 150 

November 6. From Robert S. Garnett. Opposes Senator JUUIOB Shields 

for the chairmanship of the Committee on Military Affairs ........... 157 

1854. March 29. From McOullough & Co. Regarding duties on English galva- 

nized tin iron ..................................................... 158 

September 2. From Jesse D, Bright. Regarding land interests on Lake 

Superior; free States lost to the Democratic party ................... 158 

September 12. From. James Hunter. Land and coal interests on the 

Kanawha River ...................... , .................... ,.... 159 



1855. March 4. From David R. Atchtson. Describes the fight for Kansas 160 

March 5. From Lewis E Harvie. Local politics in Virginia 161 

March 17. From Lewis E. Harvie. Personnel of the Whig State ticket 

for Virginia 162 

March 20 From James Hunter. Requests the appointment of Dabney 

H. Maury to be the Richmond agent of the Barings 163 

June 2. From John L. Dawson. Land interests on Lake Superior, Kan- 
sas troubles 163 

June 8. From Isaac E. Holmes. Insists that the Democratic candidate 

for the presidency in 1856 should be a southern man 164 

June 23. From Thomas A. Glover. Invites Hunter to address the Young 

Men's Democratic Club of New York 165 

July 8. From Robert S. Garnett. Reasons why an Army officer should 

not marry 166 

July 29. From Jesse D. Bright. Glowing description of Superior, Wis.. 168 
August 10. From John L. Dawson. Predicts a great future for Superior, 

Wis 168 

August 25 From John L Dawson. The Wisconsin country; importance 

of the presidency to the South in 1856 169 

August 26. John L. Dawson. The Wisconsin lands 170 

September 5. From William L. Jackson. Letter to F. W. Coleman tell- 
ing of his part in the reelection of Hunter to the Senate 171 

November 23. From A D Banks Local politics in Virginia 171 

December 3. From James Hunter. Plans for organizing the Kanawha Coal 

Co 172 

December 3. From James A. Seddon. Presents the conflicting political 

ambitions of Hunter and Henry A. Wise 172 

December 12. Writer unknown. Complains that the discount banks of 

Virginia prefer northern paper 174 

December 25. From S M, Pettengill & Co. A letter to the Albany 

Argus proposing Hunter for the presidency 175 

December 27. From James Hunter. Coal lands and timber interests on 

the Great Kanawha 176 

1856. January 21. From Gessner Harrison. Announces his purpose to retire 

from the University of Virginia and to open a school for boys 177 

February 5 From Muscoe R. H. Garnett. The Chesapeake & Ohio bill; 
'coal interests in western Virginia; plans for indorsing Hunter for the 

presidency 178 

February 21 From William 0, Goode. Hunter a favorite for the presi- 
dency in Virginia 179 

March 15. From Edward Kennan Mentions several local politicians of 

northwestern Virginia and discusses political conditions there 180 

March 17. From Isaac E Holmes. A letter to A P. Butler discussing 
Barnwell H. Rhett; Robert J. Walker's expedition to the Central 

American States 182 

March 18 From Charles Mason. The strange conduct of Henry A. Wise. 183 
March 25. From David M. Stone Advocates a reduction of the tariff on 

raw materials 184 

April 1. From Charles Levi Woodbury. The tariff 185 

April 13. From Francis Mallory. Buchanan's popularity in Virginia 

simply a reflection of Wise's influence 186 

April 20. From Robert S. Garnett. Complains of the injustice of the war 
being waged against the Indians 188 



1856. May 11. From Francis Mallory. DisoiiHHea plans for winning (,ho tide- 

water section of Virginia to the support of Hunter for tho presidency. , 189 

May L5. From Francis Mallory. Describes a district con von lion of 
Democrats meeting at Elizabeth City L91 

May 24 From George W. Thompson. Political conditions in western 
Virginia; plan for swinging tho vote of Kentucky to ITuntor m the Cin- 
cinnati convention 1 1)5 

June 9. From Erastus T Montague Tho Cincinnati convention aban- 
doned the constitutional party for patronage 19(5 

Juno 11. From Roger A Pryor. Invites Hunter to a Buchanan ratifica- 
tion meeting to be held in Richmond 196 

June 16. From Lowis E. TTarvio. Advises 11 untor to abandon all thought 
of the presidency and to put himself at tho head of a "tf out horn party " 
in Congress 197 

October 17, From Jam OH A Pemvo. A survey of national poll Men. 198 

October 18, From W. Grandin. Predicts a l)omocuiUc victory in No- 
vember, 185C 199 

November 10. From John Pottit Democratic triumph in Indiana 200 

November 11. From Daniel M, "Harringor OongrutuliitoH Hunter on the 
result/a of the presidential elect ion of 18.% 200 

November 16 From George Booker. Conditions dotormining the 
South's loyalty to tho Union . , , 200 

November 22. From Ucorge W. MunfonL Suggests H untor for a place 
in Buchanan's Cabinet 201 

November 23. From Lewis E. llarvie. Urges Hunter to remain in the 
Senate * 202 

1857. February 23. From Joseph Lea. Asks a refund of duties on flax manu- 

facturing machinery collected since 1 850 203 

March 11. From Lewis E. IJarvie, ExpreHsufl misgiving about the 
Buchanan administration 205 

April 21. From Francis Mallory. Discusses at length tho rivalries be- 
tween Wise's and Hunter's followers in Virginia 205 

May 12. From Ilowell Oobb. Regarding the dismiasal of a clerk, Mor- 
rick 200 

July 21. From William () Goodo. irunter'n Lexington speech; Walker 
and Kansas 210 

July 23. From Thomas $. Bocook, Explains efforts to pit 1 1 unter against 
the administration so as to favor Wise's candidacy for tfu^ Souato. - .... 1310 

July 24. From A. J). Banks. Diaouflsos Wiso's plans for reaching tho 
Senate iil I 

July 24. From John Strode Harbour, jr. Tolls ol an organisation to 
oppose the reelection of U unter 212 

July 25. From 0. W. 0. Dunnington, Plans for putting both Wine and 
Charles J . Faulkner in Senate , . , 213 

August L. From John S. Harbour, jr. Entertains no fcur regarding 
Hunter's reelection 214 

August I . From John Letcher. Predicts the reelection of Iluntor...... 215 

August 4, From William 0. Goode. His congressional district for Hun- 
ter for reelection to the Senate 215 

August 7. From 0. W. 0. Dunningtou, No opposition to Huntcr'a re- 
election in Gov. Smith's district; Dodgo of Iowa to become a prominent 
candidate for the vice presidency 216 

August 15. From William Old, jr. Expresses foar lest Wise and John B. 
Moyd combine to defeat Hunter for the Senate * ... * 217 


1857. August 19. From William Lamb. Asks Hunter's position toward the 

Buchanan administration 219 

August 23. To William Lamb. Entertains no hostile feeling for 
Buchanan 219 

August 29. From James Hunter. Kanawha coal and farm lands, Vir- 
ginians finding homes in the Kanawha Valley 220 

September 4. From Lewis E. Harvie. Local politics in Virginia 220 

September 5. From Edward Everett. Asks Hunter's intervention to 
prevent attacks upon him while in the South on a proposed speech- 
making tour 222 

September 7. From C. W. 0. Dunnington. tLocal politics in Virginia; 
Buchanan's Cabinet 224 

September 14. From John W. Fink. Local politics in Virginia 225 

September 14. From Erastus T. Montague. The alleged Wise, Floyd, 
and Faulkner combination for political promotion; Cobb's desire to 
reach the presidency , 225 

September 15. From William W. Crump. Discusses Wise's limitations 
as a politician 227 

September 19. From A. D. Banks. Gives cheering reports pointing to 
Hunter's reelection to the Senate 229 

September 20. From C. W. C. Dunnington. Predicts opposition to 
Hunter from the Buchanan administration; the Wise, Faulkner, and 
Floyd coalition 230 

September 22. From Lewis E Harvie. Tells of Ms efforts to keep Hun- 
ter out of the controversy between the Bichmond South and the Rich- 
mond Enquirer 231 

October 3. From William L. McPhink. Sends literature from Scotland 
upon the regulation of the currency 232 

October 5. From William Old, jr. Advises Hunter to ignore the efforts 
of the Enquirer to force from him an expression on the Kansas question. 233 

October 6. From Henry E. Orr. Sends a copy of the Transcript 235 

October 6. From C. W. 0. Dunnington. Cobb's candidacy for the presi- 
dency, comments on the fact that the New York Herald was always 
to be found at the White House 235 

October 10. From Shelton F. Leake. Asks a public declaration on the 
Kansas question 236 

October 16 To Shelton F. Leake. Explains his position on the Kansas 
question 237 

October 21. From Lewis E. Harvie. Commends his course in making 
public his opinions on the Kansas question 241 

October 21. From Lewis E. Harvie. Makes corrections in a former 
letter 242 

October 24. From Richard K. Crall<. Southern rights and honor being 
sold for the patronage of the Federal Government 243 

October 28. To Samuel T. Walker, John T. Hams, and others Ex- 
plains his position on the Kansas question 245 

October 31. From A. D. Banks. Buchanan dissatisfied with Hunter's 
letter on Kansas 250 

November 4. From John Seddon. Tells of Wise's connection with the 
Richmond Enquirer 251 

November 9. To James Alexander. Regarding the publication of a 
letter from Shelton F. Leake 252 

November 9. To S. F. Leake. Concerning publication of Leake's letter. 252 

November 11. From D. H. Wood. Commends Hunter's letter on the 
Kansas question, the speakership of the House of Representatives 252 



1857. November 11. From Sidney Webster. SondH a clipping from the Boston 

Courier - 254 

November 18. From William Francis McLean, Sends Hunter pros- 
pectus of a newspaper 254 

November 18. From Charles Mason. Commends Hun tor' a poni turn on 

the subject of tlie power of Congress over the Territorien 255 

. To Shelion F. Loako. Regarding the power of Congress to ac- 
quire and govern territory , 250 

1858. July 26 From liowell Cobb. Estimate regarding tho pul)lic revenue. . . 2GI 
August 17. From John L. Dawson. A proposed road from Superior, Win., 

to Medary on tho Mississippi 2(12 

August 22. From William M. Burwell. Proponon tho acquisition of 

M exico by the United States. .' 2G2 

October 17. From Robert S. Garnett. Proposes a candidate for briga- 
dier general of the Army; other matters regarding (he organisation of 

the Army 20(1 

November 6. From John Randolph Tucker. Comments upon Sexvard'n 

election to the governorship of New York . U(9 

Novembers. From ISppa tlunton. Questioning the loyalty of John 

Letcher to U untor 270 

November 20. From Phillip A. Roach. The balance, of trade 270 

.? To Hunter discusses Randall's Life of 

Jefferson, also Jefferson's ideas on tho subject of negro slavery 270 

1859. May 18. From James GK Burot. Thinks Buchanan dtwon a wcond term; 

other presidential possibilities - 27 1 

October 18. From Lewis E. Tlarvio. DeaireB to know tho proper course 
to pursue in reference to John Brown's Raid 272 

Novembers. From Thomas 8. Bocock. A letter to M. R. II . (larnett. 
in which the speakorship of the lloiwe of Representatives in discussed . 27,1 

December 9. From John Letcher. Tells of tho death of his son; despairn 
of the Union 274 

December 10. From Francis W. Piokons, Erroneous impressions beim* 
created in England regarding the Routh; urges a constitutional con- 
vention as a moans of redressing tho grievances of (he South. 275 

December 10. From Wooster Sherman. Northern Democracy loyal to 
the South and her institutions 277 

December 16. From William Old, jr. Wiao's popularity enhanced 
because of the John Brown affair; urges Hunter to make an addreHH on 
the state of the Union 278 

December 17. From Dab noy TL Maury. Kanawha coal lands. Ii70 

December 21. From Federick W. Goleman. Expected the temporary 
popularity of Wise to decline * 280 

December 26. From James A. Sodden, Discusses at length the John 
Brown affair in its effects upon the South and Virginia hi particular. , 280 

December 30. From William Old, jr. Foara Buchanan in a candidate 

for reelection 284 

0. January 1. From William Old, jr. DisouHses Gov. Lfttehor'n proponed 

message to the general assembly. 285 

January 6. From "Richard IT, Ooleman. Expresses tho belief that Vir- 
ginia woxild support Hunter for the presidency in the Charleston con- 
vention 286 

January 17 From James S. "Ritchie. A letter to John 0. Breckfnridge 
urging the payment of taxes due on lands at Superior, Wls 287 


1860. January 24. From Lewis E. Harvie. Expresses alarm at Wise's popu- 
larity; urges Hunter to keep himself before the prople by an address 
in the Senate 288 

February 4. From George W. Loyd. Congratulates Hunter on a speech 
in the Senate 289 

February 4. From W. H. Winder. Asks for a copy of Hunter's speech 
in the Senate; commends his course 290 

February 14. From Gideon D. Camden. Commends Hunter's speech 
in the Senate demanding protection for the slave States; discusses the 
influence of the northern Methodists 291 

February 15. From John H. Nutting. Asks for Democratic literature 
to counteract abolitionist influences 292 

February 19. From John Blair Hoge. The comparative Wise and 
Hunter strength in Virginia; Hunter's speech in the Senate 292 

February 21. From William T. Yancey. Commends Hunter's speech 
in the Senate; Wise described as a disturber of the peace and harmony 
of the Democratic Party 294 

February 22. From Richard H. Coleman. Wise's followers defeated in 
the Democratic State convention ; Hunter's followers strong 295 

March 2. From Gideon D. Camden, jr. Preachers of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, described as strong slavery men and influential. . 297 

March 2 From N.B Hill. Wise in Richmond; Hunter asked to come. 297 

March 3. From W. H. Winder. Urged the distribution of several thou- 
sand copies of Hunter's speech in the Senate 297 

March 5. From Benjamin H Brewster. Tells how Henry D. Foster 
received the nomination of the Democratic party for governor of Penn- 
sylvania; personnel of the Pennsylvania delegation to the Charleston 
convention 299 

March 12 . From Joshua A. Lowell. An account of a Democratic conven- 
tion in Maine 300 

March 16. From William H. Oldham. The Democratic district conven- 
tion of northwestern Virginia 301 

March 17. From T. E. N orris. Hunter nominated by a Minnesota news- 
paper for the presidency with Caleb Gushing for the vice presidency. . 302 

March 18. From Phillip P. Dandridge. Hunter's strength in the Demo- 
cratic State convention of Virginia 303 

March 22. From R. Tansill. Predicts the dissolution of the Union; 
wishes to fight for Virginia 305 

March 26. From Charles Linsley. Political conditions in Vermont 306 

March 26. From Henry Fitzhugh. Persons in Ohio favor Hunter for the 
presidency 307 

March 27. From Asa Biggs. Praises a Spartan band of State rights men 
of the South ; supports a southern man for the presidency 308 

March 30 . From Thomas L. Kane. Gives possible conditions under which 
Douglas's followers might go for Hunter in the Charleston convention. . 309 

March 31. From 0. G. Baylor, New Orleans organization to support 
Hunter for the presidency 310 

March . From George Fisher. Suggests a national Democratic organ 
with power and influence to rival the New York Tribune , 311 

April 3. From A. G. Holmes. The question of protection for American 
labor of more interest to the North than the question of slavery 312 

April 3. From George Dennett. With New York the battle ground a 
southern man could win the presidency 313 


1860. April 4. From John M. Jolinson. Douglas's friends in the north west for 

Hunter as their second choice 313 

April 4. From J. Cook. Regarding the Illinois delegates to the Charleston 

convention * 314 

April 4. From Charles Levi Woodbury. Introducing George Dennett... 314 
April 5. From William Old, jr. Virginia delegates to the Charleston 
convention ; South should have the candidate for the presidency; the 
people of Virginia would not vote for "any person" as against a " Black 
Republican" 314 

April 6. From John Letcher, The friends of Wise preferred Douglas to 
Hunter for the presidency , 317 

April 9, From W. II. Winder. Gorruptioniats of all parties wore deter- 
mined to defeat Hunter for the presidency 318 

April 9. From G. Bailey. Indian reservations 319 

April 13. From Thomas L, Kane. Suggests that some Virginian accom- 
pany the Pennsylvania delegation to the ( convention to look 
after Hunter's interests 319 

April 25. From Thomas S. Bocock. Telegram Haying that the Sou thorn 

States could prevent the nomination of Douglas at Charleston 320 

April 25. Thomas S. Bocock to William P. Miles. Telogram concerning 
nominations at Charleston convention , 320 

April 25. From Lucius Quinton Washington. Telegram: Virginia and 
New York against the gag methods of the Charleston convention 320 

April 27. From William Watson Wick, Advises the Democrats to be 
practical in their claims regarding slavery iu the Territories 32 1 

April 30. From Charles Mason. Proceedings and uucortaintioH of the 
Charleston convention 322 

May 6. From William Watson Wick. Insists that the united Democracy 
could and should stand on the platform of 1 856 323 

May 11. From William Old, jr. Proposed nature of the opponilion to 
Do\iglas in Virginia 325 

May 13. From Charles W, Ruasell. Suggests that the South hind the 
Northwest to her with hooka of eteel; a Democratic president worth more 
to the South than a "slave code " 325 

May 14. From Thomas P, Sumtor. South should name the Democratic 
nominee , 327 

May 19. From Charles W, Russell. Questions the wisdom of the action 
of the seceding States iu the Charleston convention 328 

May 19. From 0. II, Berryman, Asks aid from Congrews; a (raptured 
slaver 329 

May 24. From Charles W. Russell. Protests againflt an "juldroHH" by 
Hunter and others regarding the Charleston convention 329 

May 29. From Charles W. Russell. Advises Hunter to retire an a candi- 
date for the presidency; the socedors in the Charleston convention... 330 

June 4. From II. E. Tiffoy . Asks for political documents , 33 1 

June 4. From John Letcher. Expresses perplexity over the condition 
of public affairs; Rhett and Yancy bent upon the overthrow of the 
Democratic party 33] 

June 5. From Franklin Minor. Recommends William J. Robertson to 
be an Associate Judge on the Federal Supreme Court 332 

June 8. From Henry S. Acker, Status ol the Democratic party in the 
North; Pennsylvania to decide the presidential election of I860; rec- 
ommends an increase in the tariff duties on imports. . /. 333 

June 11. From William M. Ambler. Recommends William J. Robertson 
for Associate Justice of the Federal Supreme Court 334 



1860 June 12. From John Randolph Tucker. Recommends William J. Rob- 
ertson for Associate Justice of the Federal Supreme Court 335 

June 13. From T. Apolion Cheney. Expresses a wish that Hunter be the 

nominee of the Baltimore convention 335 

June 14. From Joseph S. Wilson. Estimate of the amount of outstand- 

warrants from the Land Office 336 

June 16. From Jacob Thompson. Recommends an appropriation of 
$250,000 for the return to Africa of Negroes captured from slave traders . . 336 

June 22 . Recommends concerted action for Pennsylvania, 

Maryland, and Virginia, commercially and industrially, in an effort 

to guide the destinies of the Union 336 

December 10 To James Micou, Thomas Croxton, and others. The state 

of public affairs 337 

1861. April 14, From Charles Gr. Hay sine. A sketch of Hunter written for the 

New York Leader 351 

1867. December 13. To the Conservative convention of 1867 A speech 353 

1869. June 14. To Beverley B. Douglas. Opinions upon the pending guber- 
natorial contest and other political issues in Virginia 359 

1876. March 7. To Lewis E Harvie. Asks advice about a proposed life of Cal- 

houn * 365 



FREDERICKSRURG [VA.], May 80th, 1826. 

DEAR ROBERT: Your highly acceptable letter of April 19th did not 
reach me until a few days past, in consequence of my having left 
Essex before it arrived at Loretto, with the proceedings at which 
office you are too well acquainted, to need to be told, that it was there 
permitted to enjoy "otium cum dignitate" for nearly a fortnight. 
That I had heard of Wars and accounts of Wars, assertions and con- 
tradictions, etc., respecting the Students of the University is a fact 
about which you were not at all mistaken but the majority of the 
reports have proved as groundless as malicious. Mr. Lomax told me 
yesterday that another blow-up as he termed it had occurred, which 
eventuated in the expulsion of one of the students, and the suspen- 
sion of some three or four others. I hope however for the credit 
of our State and the prosperity of the Institution, that this may 
turn out as false as some others. Such reports though they be totally 
devoid of truth, tend materially to injure any Institution, and are 
doubly damning to those whose Reputations are not permanently 

Mr. John Randolph has given us the pleasure of his company twice 
lately, in going to and returning from Richmond to Washington, 
on both of which occasions he amused us highly with his eccentricities 
of manner conduct and conversation. Had such capers been played 
up by any one else except himself or some kindred genius, they would 
assuredly have been viewed as the whims of a moonstruck madcap. 
One of his freaks was to continue his journey to Richmond in a few 
minutes after arriving here from the Steamboat Landing between 
eleven and twelve o'clock at night, because the fat Landlord (as he 
called Eawlins) had retired to bed and was not ready cap in hand 
to receive his lordship : and that too after declaring that he had not 
slept five minutes for seventy two hours. His companions were his 
servant Johnny, of whom he took occasion to make such honourable 
mention in the Senate in one of his late long winded harangues and 
a pointer puppy which he carried in his lap. He and Mr. Loyd from 
Massachusetts had some very sharp shooting in a late debate, wherein 
Mr. L[oyd] is said to have expressed a perfect willingness as far as 
he was individually concerned, to accommodate him with a repetition 

of his late amusement. 



We have between ten and fifteen black legs as fellow inmates of 
our establishment, who have come on from different parts of the 
world to make ready for the Races which commence here on Wed- 
nesday next; who together with those that were here*, before their 
arrival, form as heterogeneous a collection of characters as T have 
ever met with. Our mess is composed of one Chancellor one Judge 
of the Superior Court several attorneys and doctors negro-buyers 
shoemakers gamblers of every description with many others. The 
Racing if any, will be very indifferent, in consequence of the value 
of the purse, which is too insignificant to induce the owners of fine 
horses to contend for it. 

I expect to follow Mr. Loin ax with whom Fin now reading, up 
to the University, the powerful inducements which you mentioned 
as tending to detain me in Essex to the contrary notwithstanding, 
and permit me to declare in sober seriousness that could my pre- 
sumption prompt me to so daring and worse than useless a project, 
as to compete with you for that "pearl of great price 1 ' to whom 1 
presume you alluded, my regard for you would at least, induce, me to 
act [Ms. torn] on the subject, and wait until my betters were served. 
Perhaps though the sidelong glances and bewitching smiles of some 
of the fair ones, who T understand resort in great numbers to enjoy 
the salubrious atmosphere of Chariot tosvillo rendered doubly olHoa- 
cious by the juxtaposition of the University, may have usurped her 
place, and induce you to speak of her with such apparent indin'crenee, 
Whether that be the case or not you will no doubt be pleased to hear 
that she is well and never more interesting. All of your Friends 
were also well except Miss Fcnton Garnctt who is very much afllieted 
with the Rheumatism. Bemember me if you please to Mr. Temple, 


fJi, 7<V-W. 

ROBWT: T am anxious to hear whether you found my letter, 
on your return. Not because there was anything in it, of which' 
either of us need be ashamed; but because no man likes Ins private 
lottery to become topics of public remark, without his consent, It 
was, (if I recollect), a free commentary upon the opinions and feel- 
ings expressed in your letter, and if Tom, Dick, and Harry were to 
get hold of it, might possibly cause those feelings and opinions to 
be misused by your political enemies. My anxiety, therefore, that 
my letter should not miscarry, is felt on your accfoun]t, for 7 (like 
the Eels skinned alive) have become callous to newspaper attacks- 
nay, I have been fool-hardy enough to provoke thorn, as you shall 
see. The proofs will be sent to you under another cover, and headed, 

Representative in Congress from Virginia, 1805-1800 ; died May, 3843. 


" Dialogue the second, between the two old political cronies." This, 
I am unreasonable enough to beg you to read, as it contains an at- 
tempt to answer your arguments in favor of public men becoming 
party-men. Not that I can believe it possible for you ever to become 
a party-man; but because I think you utterly wrong in the notion 
which you seem to .entertain, that to be useful in public life, a man 
must join some political party or other. This I most confidently 
believe to be one of the greatest, the most fatal errors that any 
honest public man ever committed; and therefore I am painfully 
excited to prevent (if I can) a most beloved sister's son, whom I 
highly value, for his own merits, from adopting a creed which would 
paralise his own usefulness, and so far strengthen the damnable doc- 
trine of political Partyism. Don't understand me as fearing that 
you will ever knowingly fall into party-ranks; but I much fear the 
effect of your apparent belief, that all men must be either drones, or 
non-entities in political life, unless they will fall into these ranks, 
and be led or driven, as party-politics require. My own belief is and 
always has leen, ever since I had a capacity and moral right to be- 
lieve anything, that the entire stock of knowledge and power which 
any man possessed to contribute to the welfare and happiness of his 
species, might always be beneficially exercised, under our Institu- 
tions, without his attaching and binding himself to any party what- 
ever, either in politics, morals, or religion. Such attachment and 
binding might appear, for a time, to increase his power, because it 
increased his popularity ; but it would always prove a " penny wise 
and pound foolish" business. This is the all important, the vital 
fact of which it is indispensably necessary that all honest public 
men should assure themselves. As party-men, they may gain and 
exercise great personal influence; but it is an "ignis fatuos" which 
can not possibly delude those who understand its real nature; and 
the mischief is, that all who have been once led astray by the false 
light) will always hesitate to follow that which is certainly true, 
certainly of heavenly origin. Young men are prone to be Enthusi- 
asts, old men to be Laxidos on all enthusiastic feelings. Hence the 
former generally overshoot the true center, as far as the latter under- 
shoot it. What should a wise man determine between the two ? He 
should take for his guide the maxim " in medio tutissimm ibi$; " and 
adhere to it, too, in defiance of all party denunciations against 
" trimmers, and fence men" We must either adopt and act upon 
this belief, or we must utterly eschew the notion, that the People are 
competent to self government; and in the latter case we must sell 
ourselves to the Devil, (politically speaking,) as fast as we can. As 
I cannot possibly believe that you have a fancy for making any such 
sale, I address to you these remarks, merely to cheer you in your 
course, and to prevent your taking, what I consider a false view of 


your own powers to pursue it, with a fair prospect of success. Weigh 
the matter fairly, bestow on it your most deliberate judgment, and 
should your final determination be, that a man can do no good in 
Congress, unless he becomes a party-man^ then " curse and quit," the 
moment your time is out. Nay, call down curses upon your own 
head, if you ever enter into public life again. But I must say, you 
have no just cause to make any such desperate resolve; and that you 
have rational ground for believing, that the People of the United 
States will yet learn to estimate the " no party-men " as their only 
true and best friends. I believe these men to be strong enough, if 
they would only understand each other, and act in concert, to make 
battle successfully against all the party-men of the Nation. The 
conflict would be arduous and long protracted; but to despair of its 
favorable issue, would be to believe that truth, justice, and virtue 
will never obtain the ascendancy in this World : and thus to think, 
is to discredit the word of God himself. 


PORT ROYAL, [VA.], December 15, 1839. 

DEAR HUNTER : I have not seen one single whig to whom the nomi- 
nation of Harrison is acceptable. Many already declare they will 
vote for Van Buren in preference, some say they will not vote at all, 
and the rest that they will vote for any body sooner than Van Buren 
and for that reason alone will sustain Harrison. 

Excuse me for suggesting to you that this is a favourable oppor- 
tunity for you to let it be known that you will under present cir- 
cumstances sustain the re-election of Van Buren. Dont let it be 
known however through me but if possible through some states 
right Whig in your District who is likely to pursue the same course. 
It seems to me this course will at once place you in an easy situation, 
in which you may enjoy the fruits of a pretty wide spread reputa- 
tion, acquired, perhaps, in part by the painful notoriety of your 
late neutral position. 

Of course, I only urge you to express opinions, which I believe you 
sincerely entertain. 

I have been tracking Bob Hunter lately. * * * He is so far 
every thing I could desire. I should be glacl to hear from you 
occasionally, I am too busy to visit Washington. Present my com- 
pliments to Mr. Pickens and tell him I have instructed you to sus- 
tain him for speaker. 


PORT ROYAL, [VA.], December 17, 1839. 

DEAR HUNTER: The mail rider brings us the news this morning 
that you are elected Speaker, and the first information which the 


papers contain, gives credence to the report. I am more elated and 
delighted than you can possibly be, for you may be somewhat de- 
pressed ia thinking of the responsibility you undertake. I suppose 
now it will be more than ever becoming in you to say nothing about 
your preferences for president. You undertake in assuming the seat 
to act impartially, and you have a better chance of doing so whilst 
untrammelled by pledges to either party. The people too will think 
a neutral position dignified and becoming in a Speaker, which they 
would not tolerate in an ordinary member. I sometimes fear that 
Calhouns friends may run him against Van Buren at [the] next 
election, if they do, Harrison will certainly be elected. As an origi- 
nal question I should prefer Calhoun, but the only way to make him 
President is to wait till Van's eight years expire. I enclose a letter I 
had written yesterday, I do not give to Mr. Speaker the advice I gave 
to Mr. Hunter. You will excuse, I am sure my familiar mode of 
addressing you, as you know it does not proceed from want of the 


WASHINGTON- CITY, January 8, . 

MJY DEAR SIR: My position on the Committees is to me a little 
mortifying. I do not profess to be worthy of much consideration; 
but you have undoubtedly placed me in a situation, the last but one 
on the last and least important Committee. Which will give occasion 
to political enemies to reproach me and to reproach my friends in the 
highly respectable district I have the honor to represent. 

I shall feel more sensibly the taunts of enemies, because I was 
among the first, who broke away from the Marshalled forces of the 
Whigs, and sustained you to the end, for the highly honorable station 
you occupy. What still adds to, and makes my position more 
peculiar, was the manner in which the whig papers of Penn[sylvani]a 
and of my own district, approbated my course. 

It may hereafter, be in your power to remedy, I will not say the 
wrong, but the injury you have unconsciously inflicted on me. 


NEAR HAMPTON, [VA.], January 1%, 1840. 

DEAR HUNTER: For some months past I had almost given over 
talking or reading of politics and my papers by the dozens were filed 
on my table unopened. So that your election might for a season have 
escaped my observation, so seldom is it that I leave home except to 
officiate occasionally in the humble capacity of an attendant on 

1 Representative In Congress from Pennsylvania, 1839-1843 ; died 1849. 
a A WMg Representative In Congress from Virginia, 1837-1843. 


human misery. Indeed I tun utterly secluded from the gay world 

and its noisy concerns. While in this state of existence an afternoons 
chat with a neighbor, both of us mounted on a rail, was broken in 
upon by a horseman in full gallop who had sought me out to com- 
municate your good fortune. It proved to be our friend Booker and 
most happily did we converse over your distinguished person. To 
congratulate you at this late season would perhaps be out of place. I 
have for several days intended dropping you a Lino but my old enemy, 
procrastination hovers around me closer than ever. Most y I 
rejoice at this unexpected the' not undeserved honor. Yon have 
nothing to fear, but act out your part and the "just of all parties 
will sustain you." To speak on this occasion as I feel and think 
woidd, to one of your modesty, savor somewhat/ of deceit or flattery; 
and I can only repeat that I rejoice in your elevation and trust, it is 
only the promise of still better fortune and more distinguished 
honors. Altho' I can understand by what means your election was 
effected I cannot at this distance from the centre of action account 
for some few votes, such for instance as that of Illicit and more 
especially Dixon Lewis on the last ballot. 1 The former you know is 
no favorite of mine. I have no faith in the soundness of his head 
or the honesty of his heart- Like most reforming gentlemen ho is a 
selfish changeling. As sure as you live he will deceive some of those 
who now confidently calculate on his services. B. H. Illicit aspires 
to be a leader and will some day or other set up for himself. So 
soon as the weather breaks, for we have had a most severe winter, I 
will send you up some good oysters. By the way who brews your 
punch now that I am no longer an honourable? Does Mr. Speaker 
heat his water in a shaving can as of yore to fabricate this divine dis- 
tillation and regale himself with an air bath in a sitting posture by 
the round table as was the case on a certain occasion which now shall 
be nameless. 

1 like not Calhoun's reconciliation (so far as I understand it) 
with V[an] B[urcn]. He has reversed his position. The Whigs 
on whom afc least he depended for support he has in a measure 
driven off. His recent quarrel with Clay, altho T think not at 
first the aggressor, was ill timed and will prove ruinous. "I f he leans 
alone on Locofoism he will find it a broken reed. The bulk of 
the Whigs begiti already to look up to him as their man against 
Benton, and Clay's friends are true to him to the last. Besides Clay 
is broken clown as a Presidential] candidate and by some little man- 
agement his party in the South might have been secured. But I 
pretend to no knowledge of these things and let them pass. As 

i Robert B. tthrtt voted for Franeift W. PIckons of South Carolina; I)lx<m ItlTLawIa 
for Oeorge M. KeJUn o Pennsylvania. Benton, Abridgement of Debates of Congress, 
.XI v 3* 


regards myself politically speaking I have no hopes or fears. Mr. 
Loyall, the Navy agent, is about resigning his office to become 
Pres[iden]t of a Bank in Norfolk. My friend Robertson would like 
to obtain it on acc[oun]t of a poor brother-in-Law who could fill the 
station of club and thus provide for a large family. He is every 
way fit for this or any other station. His politics too are right- 
that is he is with us on any subject. Holleman will strive to sustain 
a Betonian in the person of ' his friend Dr. Batten of Smithfield. 
Eobertson is the Leading Whig in the district and on the score of 
policy the adm[inistration] would gain. He is an honest fellow 
a ^ perfect gentleman and my best friend. Can you without* preju- 
dice to your position without violence to your personal feelings assist 
him? Trust me in the matter as a friend. Be candid for from the 
circumstances surrounding, you ought only to be governed. Be not 
guided by ordinary rules on such occasions, for I know, and I hope, 
I appreciate the delicacy of your position. I would not call you 
friend if I thought you could not act with the utmost freedom 
toward me. If you can properly act, consult with Pickens and my 
late associates and do what you can for me, but decide and act at 
once. Send T Gr Broughton and son and S. T. Hill of Portsmouth], 
Va., a document now and then. They will be pleased. If you see 
or write to Mason tender him my best salutations. If Mrs. Hunter 
is in the city and young Mr. Speaker be pleased. to present me to 
them with my best respects. Wishing you, Hunter, every honor to 
which your heart aspires and every happiness which a virtuous and 
independent mind can here enjoy I remain 

[P. S.] Sewart is in Washington. Poor fellow he has become 
a vagabond one of the last acts of his political life was a deliberate 
and I fear a mercenary conspiracy against my election. I pity him 
and still more his destitute family. My friends name is Geo. H. 


EICHMOND, [VA.], March ttth, 1840. 

DEAR HUNTER: I have frequently during the winter desired to 
write to you and to receive a letter from you, as one watchman 
likes occasionally to hail and to hear from another in a dark night. 
I hope that nothing has occurred or will ever occur to interrupt for 
a moment that perfect and confidential familiarity which has so 
long subsisted between us. From all that I learn of you through 
the medium (a bad one, I confess) of the newspapers, I take it 

i Governor of Virginia, 1840-1841; a Whig Representative in Congress, 1841-1843; 
a Democratic Representative in Congress, 1S43-1S44; appointed Secretary of the Navy] 
Feb. 15, 1844, and served until his death on the Prmoeton, Feb. 28, 1844. 

28318 18 VOL 2 3 


for granted that we are now as nearly together in politics as we were 
when I saw you last summer. Nothing that haw happened here or 
at Washington, I presume, can have shaken your steadfastness or 
mine in the great principles to winch wo have both given evidence of 
our attachment. But let this be as it may, though you are (without 
design on your part) the speaker of the H[ ousej of 11 [^present at i ves] 
and though I in like manner have been appointed with the executive 
of Virginia, you are still Bob Hunter and I am as I always was 
your humble servant. We can never forget the Friar Tuck scene 
of the Expunging winter here, nor should cither of us desire its ob- 
livion. I suppose the labors of your station have allowed you very 
little time for correspondence and though I shall not be more re- 
spectful than the governor of New Jersey was to you, I venture to 
drop you a line, to say that I hope we may occasionally interchange 
a thought and a word. Is there any hope that parties will over come 
back to the good old lines of honest differences of opinion as to 
principles. For until parlies do so, there is really little or no hope 
that the government (in any hands) will. Are we always to see the 
millions of freemen in our country, marshalled as the mere clans- 
men of ambitious aspirants for the presidency? Many, I know, in- 
dulge the hope that after November next, there will be some more 
definite and durable organization of political parties. I confess, 
however, that I See little prospect for it The radical fault is with 
the press and that I fear is past remedy. I am, however, on the 
outposts and can see but little of the chess board. You arc at the 
fountain head, and I have only to ask that when you have time and 
can communicate any intelligence which you think would do good, 
that you may drop me a line, not that I would have you write as a 
letter writer from Washington, but that you may speak as one friend 
should speak to another about matters of the highest public con- 
cern. We have been grasping our way onward; so far together. 
I shall sink the partisan of course in my new vocation here. In- 
deed I have been little of one for some years past. The grease has 
been scarcely worth the candle. If you don't (ind time sooner, writer 
to me in the dry days. 


WALNUT GUOVB, [ ALA.], May Sfitfi, WjO. 

DEAR SIR: Excuse the liberty I take in asking you to forward me 
the report of the Secretary of War and the bill for the improved 
organization of the militia of the United States. Our loco foco 
friends here will not believe that such a report emanated from the 
Executive. The fire of liberty is aroused here and will continue to 
burn with refulgent brilliancy I hope until the election of W. II. 


Harrison to the Presidency. The cause of liberty, reform and re- 
trenchment is daily gaining ground here and I would not be sur- 
prised if the State voted for Harrison, tho 5 a dark cloud at present 
hangs over our currency and political horizon. Heretofore our polit- 
ical opinions have coincided and I regret very much that we can't 
agree upon the question of the Subtreasury as it is generally under- 
stood that you are an advocate of that measure " a sound currency 
for the Government and a bad currency for the people." Holding 
the high political station you do I can't expect you to express your 
views as freely as heretofore, but the people ought to know the politi- 
cal views of their prominent men, therefore as friend, and admirer 
of your private and public worth it would give me pleasure to know 
your views respecting the next Presidential election, if not incon- 
sistent with your notions of policy. Next Monday the Whigs meet at 
Tuscaloosa to nominate electors. 



To the Honorable, Members of Congress of the United States, in 
Washington City assembled, showeth that, your petitioner (a Citi- 
zen of the State of Va. and County of Montgomery,) being desirous 
that a law may be pa'ssed by Congress, authorizing, the treasury, (or 
some proper officer) of the United States to sell the lands, that were 
forfeited to the Government, under the law, assessing the Direct 
tax for the support of the late war, and taken in by the Government. 
There is a considerable quantity of mountain lands in Western Vir- 
ginia that would not command the taxes, at the sale for the collection 
of the same, that was consequently bought in by the Government; 
and from the fact that there is no law, (as I have been informed by 
the treasury) directing any disposition of the same, it would conse- 
quently after years be sold again for taxes by the state. My indi- 
vidual object is to get a title to a small piece adjoining me of 150 
acres, that was returned in the name James Cunningham; this land 
in its present condition is rendered an annoyance to the neighbor- 
hood in consequence of its having water upon, and thereby, render- 
ing it accessible, for a dishonest man to settle, and live in part upon 
our stock in the range. I was appointed a kind of agent by the 
treasurer, with directions that I was not to make the Government 
liable for any expense, consequently without any title and not privi- 
ledged to expend money in any case, it would not avail anything. 
There is a good portion of mountain land in the same condition. 
I would therefore ask a law to be passed, directing the proper officer 
to convey this land to any person, wishing to pay the taxes, &c. 
You will be unable to obtain a list in Washington in as much as the 


papers were burnt in the Treasury building in 1883, but, it can be 
obtained from the Clerk of the Eastern District of Va. &c. 
And your petitioner will ever pray, etc. 


LOKETTO, VA. ? January 13tJi,, IS^L 

DEAR EGBERT: Altho' in one of your late letters, speaking oi" a 
National Society of Agriculture, you express the belief, that "it would 
T)e of inestimable benefit" (I quote your own words,) yet it is evi- 
dent, that your confidence in this opinion is like the dead faith of 
the Christian, unproductive of works. For you express not the 
slightest inclination to contribute towards the production of this 
"inestimable benefit"; altho 7 nothing seems to me more probable, 
than its achievement, if only a few of our public men would unite in 
the effort. But I will say nothing more on the subject, since every 
argument I could urge in favor of it must be quite as familiar to 
you as to myself. 

I thank you for the pamphlet which you sent me, signed the Ken- 
tucky Democrat. It is well written, and displays considerable 
ability. But, if he imagines, as he seems to do, that the diabolical 
party spirit which has so long been distracting our country, can be 
cured, or even much mitigated, merely by his new mode of choosing 
the President and Vice President of the United States, he greatly 
deceives himself. The disease is too deeply rooted, and fosters too 
many of our worst passions, to admit of any other radical cure, 
than the moral and religious education of our whole People, a cir- 
cumstance about as likely to occur, as that two Sundays should come 
together. The Author appears to me decidedly wrong in another 
important matter; I mean his defiance of Mr. Webster and Mr. Clay 
to point out any instance wherein, either Gen [ era] 1 Jackson or Mr. 
Van Buren has ever violated the Constitution of the United States. 
But enough of this for the present. I fear that neither the Ken- 
tucky Democrat, nor any oilier sincere friend to reform in our Consti- 
tution will ever live to see them. I perfectly remember, that we had 
quite as much talk about them, when Mr. Jefferson was first elected 
as we have now. But no sooner did he and his friendh get well 
fixed in their seats, than talk all died away; and in a few mouths,, 
ceased altogether. Heaven grant, that the same game may not be 
played again. 

P. S. What has become of the Petition of our Agricultural So- 
ciety ? 



KICHMOND, [VA.] 3 February 25th, 1841. 

DEAR HUNTER: On the receipt of your esteemed favour on yester- 
day, postmarked 22d, I wrote a long reply which upon more reflec- 
tion I have determined not to send, because there is nothing in it 
requiring immediate action for your success or vindication, and I 
hope to see you the 8th [of] next month at my house, when'we can 
more satsfactorily review the whole subject. 

I will remark here, that the threat to expose your correspondence, 
was not contained in the letter which was the subject of much con- 
versation between Mr. Wise [Henry A. Wise] and myself. When 
the gentleman to whom that letter was addressed mentioned it to me, 
I expressed surprise at the writer's taking ground against you hav- 
ing often heard him urge upon the Whigs to take you up. The 
reply was that a letter from you expressing your willingness to 
accept a nomination from the administration party in the District 
had put this individual openly against you, and that he had said 
at our last court, that " he had a correspondence from you which 
would prostrate you in the District." I mentioned this to Mr. Wise 
in a long conversation on the subject of the letter aforesaid and 
he no doubt confounded the two. I also mentioned another con- 
versation with another individual, in which allusion was made to 
another correspondence of yours in a similar strain. These things 
induced me to think as I said to Mr. W[iso] that you had not 
been dealt sincerely with. I must express my entire approval of 
the honourable determination exhibited in your letter to challenge 
the publication of your correspondence, satisfied as I am that it 
must result in your entire vindications But in the present envious 
state of parties in our district I must leave the policy of doing 
so to a further interview with you. I hope you will make your 
arrangements to spend the night of the 8th with me at my house as 
it is not possible for me to have a full conversation with you in any 
other event. 


MELVILLE, [VA.], March 1st, 1841. 

DEAR SIR : I have been much mortified at the course of the Whigs 
towards our friend Hunter and did hope he would have rec[eive]d 
the nomination of the Convention at Millers. I thought with you 
that Ritchie and his clique only intended to alienate the Whigs from 
Hunter to prevent their nominating him, without having any inten- 
tion of running him themselves, but I find now that they have volun- 
tarily given up the opportunity of electing one of their own party 
and taken up Hunter with the avowed purpose of thereby breaking 


down the Whig party in the district Can our friend ? Will he, per- 
mit himself to be used by that party for such a purpose? I under- 
stand it was stated at Ooxton's Springs at their late Convention 
that Hunter would accept a nomination by that party, thai he was 
no Whig, that he had never agreed to support a states right whig for 
Congress. I am confident he never made either of the latter state- 
ments, and cannot but hope he will decline the nomination of the 
party convention when he learns that the grand object they had in 
nominating him was to destroy that party with whom he had so 
long been fighting side by side, to bring back the government to the 
old republican tract. It would be to me a most, painful thing to be 
compelled to go against Hunter but if he accepts the nomination 
under these circumstances I shall consider myself absolved from all 
obligation to sustain him notwithstanding I have heretofore solicited 
him to be a candidate and intended to sustain him with all my 
energies. I cannot but hope and believe that the Locos will be caught 
in their own trap for there seems to be much more division amongst, 
them than the whigs. Braxton is a candidate and will bo warmly 
sustained by a portion of his party and I think if Hunter accepts 
and Braxton holds on Corbin must be elected, I do not believe he can 
get 5 Whig votes in this country under fnieh circumstances and Brax- 
ton will get 10 times that number of the Locos. 


D, [N. Y.?1, Jammry 7th, 18$. 
DEAR SCOVILLK: Yours of Jan[nar]y 1st 1 have rec[eive|d but 
have neglected answering it wishing to see West and learn from him 
w T hat would be necessary to establish a Press in this place. I have 
not seen him but have had conversation with Doming about it, there 
is a press here that was used for the Democratic paper, formerly 
printed here tha,t I think would answer, if it will it would lessen the 
expense. It belongs to Mr. L. P. Burlc It could bo purchased 
with the tips and fixtures at a reasonable price. Perhaps it could 
be rented. It would be necessary to purchase some uew tips, &c. 
I think that the whole expense for starting a paper here would not 
exceed $800 or 900 Dollars. It would help the party in this Country 
to have a paper here. Mr. Abernathy is Probate Judge of this 
district and would give it his patronage which would be $0.00 or 8.00 
per week which will help some. Doming is wide awake for the 
Spring Election. Seymour and his connection are as usual asleep. 
Mr. W. never moves for fear of of ending his political enemies. I 
think that the friends of Mr. Oalhouu are increasing every day. T 
have given Deming a list of all the Post Masters in this country and 
their Politics. I believe it is correct, have taken great care to find out 


every one. You may depend upon my help to carry our country for 
C[alhoun] men this spring. 

[P. S.] J. C. Smith has married a rich widow and remains idle, 
have not heard from him since last fall. You cannot expect much 
from him, he will make great professions but all that he wants is 
his own turn served. 


NEW YORK, [N. Y.] 5 June 9tti, 181$. 

MY DEAR SIR: Yours of the 7th inst addressed to my brother I 
rec[eivejd this day. I am in his confidence and at his request open 
all letters directed to him. He left New York yesterday (Wednes- 
day) afternoon for the South and ere this reaches you, you may 
perhaps impart to him verbally the contents of the letter in my 
possession. I have no secrets in the scheme now maturing. I am 
decidedly for Calhoun and as far as any influence I possess will go, 
it will be exerted in his behalf. He is a great man, an extraordinary 
man. Second to none in the Union. And as a statesman stands out 
in bold relief among the great minds of this or any other country, 
whether of the Present or Past. He has moved in his own orbit 
and his course has pointed as true as the needle to the magnet by the 
past we will judge him. You observed to my Brother that caution 
was necessary. The advice is good. But he is a practical man and 
has an old and fearless head though placed on young shoulders. 
You need have no fear for his course. If energy, indomitable 
preserverance, fearlessness, nerve, and determined resolution have 
any peculiar attributes, then have you f a fitting representative in 
one who I am proud to claim as a brother. Give my respects to 
Wood. Scovell I shall write to myself. Remember me to my 
brother and when you or either of your friends write to N"[ew] 
Y[ork] I would advise them to seal their letters with sealing war. 
The letter I rec[eive]d from you was as damp as tho 5 it had been 
a printed sheet fresh from the press. Villianry stalks abroad and 
will not stop at any means to obtain its ends even should it be by 
violating the secrecy of a private letter. 


NEW YORK [N. Y.], Monday, August 9, 1842. 

MY DEAR SIR : Your letter of 27th is in hand, all is explained, and 

no more need be said on that subject. I have been very busy all the 

morning in writing letters to various parts of the country on the 

great subject. In addition I have wrote a call for a meeting of 

1 B. S Hart, Joseph A. Scoville, B. G. B. Hart, and J. Francis Hutton were local poli- 
ticians in New York City, who tried to organize a Calhoun party there. 


merchants at the Exchange, and it Is now out for signatures. If we 
get enough, it will go on, if not, we will stop it, for it is useless to 
make a failure in any thing or any nwve, rather it hurts us. I have 
been unable to see Godwin. As soon as I do, I will nail him so fast 
that he shall not move out of the traces. The more 1 see of Slamm 
the more I like him. He is heart and soul with us, and if it were not 
that he is so hard up, and so dependant upon Van Bi irons friends in 
those pinching times, he would be with us. As it is, T feel his helping 
hand in 10,000 ways. 

I am on nettles, for fear I have "put tny foot into it. Two of our 
friends have just returned from Bryant. They report that my 
article will appear this afternoon. They compromised matters with 
Bryant by allowing him to strike out all the " (hw$ti>c" ami nam^x of 
leading Van Buren men here. If Wright should discover that I 
wrote that article he will kill m^, but he thinks 1 am fishing at Lilch- 
field. The Article if extensively copied here and in the North will 
play h I with Matty, for it changes the fight with Van Buren from 
Calhoun to Wright. I will make a raise and purchase a lot of the 
Evening Post and send to you for circulation. We had a caucus last 
night, and it was decided that I must keep in the back ground for 
Slamm says "we are not yet strong enough in the City, and if that 
an issue was made in the Committees now between Calhouns friends 
and the friends of Van Buren we should get licked like thunder" 
wrote Lewis the reason for my sudden return to New York. Every 
thing looks well for us where I have been. I must go up to Albany 
this winter. The more 1 think of it, the more 1 am satisfied we 
must have some one there who is willing to devote his time, talents 
and Situation regardless of consequences, to the movement. I feel 
that I can do it better than any here. Stuart will I think go with 
me and I can make him do any thing. He is more of a Scholar 
than Politician, and I flatter myself I would keep him very busy if 
he is in my net. Jas. B. Nicholson rich mom [ber| of (3 en [era]! 
Committee is out for Mr. C[alhoun] wants to have me see Den- 
man the Editor of the Truth Teller about his course. 1 shall do so 
the first loasuro evening. I shall try and get on a good footing with 
Bishop Hughes as soon as Ma okay or Stuart come in town. T want 
to feel him. Ask Mr. C[alhomi] to frank him his two Speeches, 
"to the Rt. Reverend 
Bishop Hughes." 
it will give me a wire to pull when we meet 

I see that we have got to go against Mayor Murphy his partner 
Lott wants to go to the State Senate and Murphy to Congress from 
the Counties of Kings and Richmond we are sure of GrooJce and 
shall support him. He is a true Calhoun man, and does not want 
any thing, for he got a rich wife, it is one of the courses of politics 


iliat you can not form a correct estimate of the sincerity of men in 
general, until you know what they want and I am afraid Murphy 
is disposed to make a tool of Mr. C[alhoun] to get influence with 
John Tyler, but your good judgement will point out to you the pro- 
priety of keeping on good terms with every man, high or low, rich 
or poor and yet at same time be on your guard, that they don't fog 
you. Don't leave Washington until you put me in train to go with 
^ Life Speeches and Orations of John C. Calhoun." Hart says he 
is hard at work will write you as soon as he gets your letter. I 
will see Mr. Edwards as soon as I get a moments leisure. Tell Mr. 
Lewis I am afraid of Mr. Wright. I don't dare write him until I 
see him and form some kind of an estimate of how I stand in that 
quarter. He will be on in a few days. I presume that by 1st 
Sept [ember] you will be away from Washington]. Until 1st 
December] is 3 months. Now let us have some understanding for a 
separation if anything should turn up in the interval. 

Mr. Calhoun's address I believe is Fort Hill, So [nth] -Carolina], 
He had better continue to adhere to his rule about correspondence 
and if I should write him anything that requires an answer, let some 
of the members of his household answer them. What is Mr. Lewis 
address ? Your own ? Pickens ? Saunders ? how does Genl. Keim 
stand now ? I can now open a correspondence with the list of names 
in the West, as some of our members, Me l for instance will be on 
hand for franks and it will not cost a fortune to them and me in the 
way of postage. 

Hart says it is very important that we shall have an understand- 
ing in relation to movements up to Dec[embe]r. 

P. S. I wont write Mr. Lewis for after all I have said he will feel 
bound to answer it cost what it may. 


[NEW YORK CITY], September] 11, 18$.* 
DEAR HUNTER: Y[ou]rs of [the] 5th in hand. Hart will write 
you all about the Convention business. To-day I send you a paper 
which is to be kept buried in your own bosom. I have had my 
hands and heart full for a week. I assure you I have not been in 
my bed before 3 A. M. in that time. Our success will depend on your 
entire secrecy in regard to any thing you learn of movements here. 
Do not, let me beg of you to write a soul here. Your letters are 
shown and there is the devil to pay. Slamm, Hart, Crook, Hutton 
and self must be your only correspondents here. There are 10,000 

1 Either Samuel McRoberts of Illinois or George McDuffie of South Carolina. 


reasons which 1 cannot explain why you must, follow our advice. 
Morrell [ ?] is crazy, and is hurting- us beyond anything you can 
fancy. Yache who will be our chairman for the Gen [era jl Commit- 
tee has been to me to-day, and told me of Morrell\s[ 't \ damned im- 
pudence. Keep on terms with him Cor Gods sake don't write him. 
Will you write him something like this, as a closer. 

"Private" And he will show it to every man he meets. Mr. 
Calhoxms prospects are very bright. The South will go for him. 
Every slave holding* State will do so. We are. all of MX //-/vywm/ 
to abide the decision of the National Convention. Do not mention 
this to a so'ul. It w in the 'most ma ml confidence. I know Mr. Cal- 
houns feelings. I am glad you are interested so deeply in his suc- 
cess. My position is a very painful one, and I must take euro that I 
do not break down under my large correspondence I am aware 
that you need no urging to do yo'ur duty. With our cause in such 
hands as it is, all will go well. I shall be forced to drop some of 
my correspondence. I cannot go through with it. New York city 
I think will go right and our friends there must now take care of 
themselves. I am well satisfied we shall embarrass' you by giving 
advice. You do not neo-d it. Watch Scoville and keep Ivim straight. 
Hart I am afraid is gone over to Vfan] B|uren|. Slamms paper 
will not come out for us, and we must do as well as \vo can 5 " this 
or something similar will put Morrell olf the scent until we got 
through our present embarrassment. Morrell has told every soul 
he knows, that Hart, Mud ay, Slaimn and self are Calhoun men. 
It kills us, and 1 am by no means sure that Hart is not defeated, 
and myself also, in consequence. Ma clay has had to deny it, and 
Secov[?] has openly done so, and Morell to night, spent the evening 
with Bob Tyler at GmhciHis house. Avoid him. If you do not, you 
lose the best friends for Mr. Calhoun ever man had. On Saturday 
I was with Slamm all day and raised money enough by begging to 
pay off his hands $290 and have pledged myself to raise, $5000 in 
14 days, and to morrow I commence by doing it in $5 Bills. I bad 
hoped you would have helped us some but I have given it up. I 
toll you again and again- we mmL haw, Mlanim. I will devote, my 
time clay and night until I beg borrow or steal enough to render 
him independent. The morning Post is a Speculation and Tylerism 
Customhouseism, and all are mixed up In it. 

I enclose a Tammany note, what think you the, call is for? Why 
to nominate Van Buren, and appointing a sub-committee to enquire 
into any secret organization for nomination. We are rallying our 
forces, and shall be licked mre, and this partly arises from Mor- 
rclls going around town and saying we. were organized. Stevenson 
is to offer the resolution. We shall prevent it, passing, if we can, 
if not, we will make issue and raise the hue and cry that it, is dicta- 


tion and is an attempt made to crush the friends of Wright, John- 
son and Benton \ \ 

Hart is tied up. He dare not speak. We dont speak or walk 
openly in the streets any more, and he is obliged to say he goes for 
Van Buren. He defeated that infernal treacherous lying son of a 
gun, John Kramer and succeeded in getting Judge Fine (an uncle 
of Frank, Buttons) a warm Calhoun man, elected President. Had 
it been known that Hart was a Calhoun man, his influence would 
have been killed and he could have done nothing. Don't, my Dear 
Sir, get angry at my frankness, but let me beg of you not to write 
any letters out of the Committee of 5, or if you do so, Dont for 
Gocls sake let your correspondents know any thing we may write 
you. We want to get control of the organization of the Party, and 
this man or (hat man who have no party standing do us more 
harm than good. I am afraid I shall not be able to get away. 

Jackson, Camp. Capt. George, Vache, Eel Curtiss, Morrell, the 
Herald, Chas. Delevan, -Graham, and any person holding office under 
Tyler are enough to defeat the best organized party under the 
canopy of Heaven. Dr. Vache told me that Morrell had been to 
convert him ! and says he " good God Scoville you had better tell Mr. 
Hunter to publish his letters at once." He showed Vache letters 
from you. He ought to have his neck broke for daring to give a 
letter to that mountebank Ch[arle]s H. Delevan. He is the laughing 
stock of the community and " I took Tea with Mr. Calhoun " is all 
over town. I frightened him the other night told him to go Tyler as 
much as he liked, but so sure as I heard of his mentioning Mr. 
Calhouns name into a public meeting, I would have him mobbed. 
Lewis told him about me and others, and he has repeated it to 
every body. He owes me $500 he borrowed 5 years ago, thinks he 
does me good by talking about me, curse him. 

Now my Dear Mr. Hunter don't get angry with me. I am writing 
like a slave have to do it. I never say Fail and you have Friends 
here that money or office could not luy. There is Hart and Slamm 
Vache and Secor, but imprudence on your part -may destroy us. Ton 
do not understand this, but it is so and if we leave Mr. Calhoun or his 
cause, it will be the fault of himself or immediate friends. But I 
am sure you will be cautious. I send you to-day our organization. 1 
It explains itself you see how cautious and guarded we act. I would 
not have sent it, had it not have become actually necessary. 

WQ dont care how much people talk or who they may be, when 
we get control of the party organization, but until then they actually 
do us injury, because our People think that there is something rotten 
in Denmark when such men throw the first stone for Mr. Calhoun 
and regard it as flung at them instead of for them. 

1 See document marked copy. 


[P. S.] Will you write Mr. Lewis, or send him my letter. I shall 
have to neglect him entirely and you also, but one of the 5 will write 
you. Wood and Moore are opponents in the 10[thJ Ward district, 
am sorry, but think Wood can lick him. 

Maclay is sure from the 6 Ward district. 

McRean is sure from the 8 do do. 

Crook is same from Kings 

You must do all you can to put the life in progress. 


We therefore the undersigned mutually agree to act in concert and 
do all, and every thing most likely to ensure a majority of the People 
of the state of New York to select him |Calhoun] as their candidate 
in the National Convention and under existing circumstances, it hav- 
itig been deemed advisable by our friends to select as a Committee of 
Five to cooperate with Mr. Calhoun's friends in Congress and else- 
where and to advise and suggest to our Democratic friends in this 
city a proper and prudent policy and such a course of action as will 
best accomplish our mutual wishes, and as it is necessary that such 
Committee of Five should be prudent and confidential in their opera- 
tions and plans, that the cause may be benefittetl and not injured. 
We the undersigned comprising said Committee do agree to adopt 
and strictly adhere to the following Rules and lie-solutions made for 
our guidance. 

Kule 1. We will mention to no person, save those most interested 

(Mr, Calhoun and friends hereafter named) that there 

is mch a Committee, as its main object would thereby bo 


" 2 No member of this Committee shall mention to others that 

any one of us is in favor of Hon. J. 0. Calhoun. 
" 3 Each member of said Committee shall correspond, super in- 
tend and direct in his own name and shall in no case 
make use of the name of others of this Body. 
a 4 A decision of Three of this Committee in regard to any 
matter brought before them shall be binding upon all and 
adopted by all as their unanimous decision. 

a 5 Oar meetings shall be informal and held at each others 
houses, and we agree to meet on receiving a request so to 
do, naming the hour and place from any of the Com- 

Rule 6 Any request to be made to Mr Calhoun to take any step 
which may be deemed important to present our party 
views shall be signed by every member of this Committee. 
In as much as great injury may accrue from a too general corre- 
spondence and our cause may be retarded thereby and as our friends 


in Washington have no knowledge of the character, influence, or 
standing in the party of many persons who have and who will ad- 
dress them letters from hence. 

Resolved, That said friends be requested to be very guarded in 
such correspondence. If ignorant in regard to men who address 
them letters that they may be requested previous to placing any 
confidence in such men, to write some member of this Committee 
to make the necessary enquiries, and inform themselves in regard to 
them and their motives and report thereon to said friends, and fur- 
ther that it is advisable that our said friends should endeavor thro 
us to bring such correspondents into harmonious action with the 
general or Ward Committee hereafter named, and in such corre- 
spondence as may be*necessary with others, to be on their guard, and 
communicate no information in regard to u$ or our movements and 
to take no important step or advise any such without communicating 
the fact of having given such advice, the nature of it, and name of 
the party or parties, to some friend and correspondent in this Com- 

Rule 7 Such letters from said friends shall be held individually 
sacred and strictly confidential by the individual member 
receiving them, and he shall not be required to show them 
to this Committee. 

" 8 No letter shall be addressed by any member of this Body to 
any person or persons save and except the Hon. 3, C. 
Calhoun, D. H. Lewis, R. M. T. Hunter, and F. W. Pickens 
which shall contain any information, of the nature, man- 
ner, policy or extent of our movements, proceedings and 
organization which may effect us individually, or collec- 
tively or our party. 

Resolved, That as we owe a duty to the gentlemen named in the 
above rule, to keep them fully advised of all our proceedings that 
they may be requested to keep such information Strictly Private^ 
and in no case to mention it to others, or even hint that the Calhoun 
party here are organized or in drill as we have to contend against 
members and old Hunkers of our own party men who have been 
drilled in the traces for years and our success will depend in a great 
measure upon our entire secrecy in changing their organization and 
Power quietly and surely into our own hands. 

Resolved^ That each individual of this Committee shall use and 
exert his influence and organize a General Committee for the City by 
selecting from each Ward three of the most influential and com- 
petent men who are known to be warm and trusty friends of Cal- 
houn and in whom the utmost reliance and confidence can be placed. 
Resolved, That such Calhoun men as are at present members of 
the " old mens General Committee at Tammany Hall " be made mem- 


bcrs of this Committee of 5, ami further it is resolved (hat for the 
remainder we will select as above three from each Ward and such 
men as we are sure can be elected and sent down by the people as 
their delegates on the first [of] Janfuarly, 1813 by those means 
quietly used. On that day the Party Government of the City at 
Tammany will be in the hands of the friends of " Calhoun." 

Resolved, That we will use our exertions to elect as Chairman 
of the above Committee the most able man and the, most prudent 
and influential politician \ve can find in the parly and residing in 
some ward under our control where we are certain of bo-ing able 
to elect him to Tammany in January and that ho bo mado io act at 
once and divide the said Committee into sub Committees and pre- 
pare for immediate and powerful action. 

Resolved, That as soon as said Committees are ready and organized 
we will with their assistance organize a Young mens (Jen [era |1 Com- 
mittee of five from ee,h ward upon the same basis selecting from the 
young mens Gen f era] 1 Committee of Tfammnny] Hull as members 
of this Yfoungl Mfen's] C[ommitteeJ all who are in favor of Cal~ 
houn and be prepared by January to have the whole H5 elected by 
the People to Tammany Hall in Janfuar)y next and by these means 
have possession of both General Committees. 

Resolved) that we will carry out the above four resolutions so 
quietly that each Committee may be ignorant of any combination, 
or suspect our motives, or be aware that the other Committees are 
composed of Calhoun Men, until after the election by the people, 
or the means used, or persons forming tlm committee of Five. 

Resolved, That this Committee shall use its influence individual 
and combined, swrelly but <Ur<wtly, and indirectly thro' the in- 
fluence of individual members of the two general Committees to place 
on each and every Ward Committee in the city a majority of Cal~ 
houn men, and further to use the same means to place on th(uwminat~ 
ing Committees elected to Tammany and also for Ward nominating 
Committees for each Ward, Calhoun men. And further in CandC 
clate^for Congress, Legislature, City offices and other nominations 
we will endeavor so far as is practicable and judicious, by fair moans 
to procure the nomination of such men as are favorable to Oalhoun, 
and fin-flier, that on our Htate Central Committees ami all other 
prominent places and situations of power and influence we will en- 
deavor to place such men as are favorable to Jno. (1 Calhoun. 

Rcsolved, That our Combinations shall be mado only with the 
young and untrained Democracy and we will avoid aiding assisting 
or trusting men who have belonged to another Age and Regime an 
with the former we can carry them and our measures through upon 
a solid, safe and sure foundation. Wo scout the idea of expediency. 


We will break down all the old party organization and trust our cause 
to new and fresh formation. 

Resolved, That in every democratic meeting held in the city and 
County of New York, Eichmond and Kings we will cause to be intro- 
duced Resolutions directly or indirectly favorable to Mr. Calhoim 
and keep him constantly before the Democracy. 

Resolved, That each member of the Body shall use his exertions 
nnd cause articles to be written and inserted in every neutral paper 
in these counties whether daily, weekly or monthly favorable to 
Mr. Calhouns nomination. 

Resolved, That our Secretary Mr. Scoville shall keep a copy for the 
the use of this Committee of every article published in this County 
affecting in any way Mr. Calhoun. 

Resolved, That the secretary Shall keep a list of every Democratic 
paper in this State, ascertain its preference, and it shall be our duty 
to make an influence Tpear upon said papers that will bring them into 
the support of Mr. Calhoun. 

Resolved, That the Secretary shall keep a list of prominent Calhoun 
men, not on acting committees, their names No. and residences so that 
at a moments warning, we can make a rally and bring out our entire 
strength, and that assisted by us he shall probe the various cliques 
in the Democracy, their leaders, objects &c so that we can make the 
G[eneral] Co[mittee] operate effectually upon them. 

Resolved, That the Secretary furnish us with a list of the number 
of members necessary to be made in the New York Dispensary to 
elect Trustees and control the appointments and political influence of 
the institution and that a sufficient number of Calhoun [men] be 
made members (one at a time to avoid suspicion) to control the 
election of Trustees, so that the City can be districted as we wish, 
and those appointments and their influence be given to Calhoun men. 

Resolved, That we aid and assist in circulating a Life of Mr. Cal- 
houn in any form it may be published by Books, Pamphlets, Alma- 
nacks, so as to make him and his claims a constant subject of talk 
among the masses both of the city and county. 

Resolved, That we will collect a sufficient Fund to carry out our 
views and the same shall be placed in the hands of E. B. Hart who 
shall be and hereby is appointed Treasurer, and this resolve shall be 
kept in full force until we are in the ascendant in the Gen[eral] Com- 
mittee who control the Funds of the party. 

Resolved, That the Secretary] shall request our Calhoun friends 
in other States to furnish him for the use of this committee any 
papers in their state that hoist the Calhoun Flag and come out openly 
for him. 

Resolved, That as soon as practicable suitable Delegates be ap- 
pointed to traverse the State and open correspondence for the 


general Committee, and attend to such matters as will assist to 
bring our Calhoun friends into combined action and develop Mr. 
C[alhoun]'s strength in other portions of the State. 

Eule 9, It shall be the duty of each of us to impress upon the minds 
of the members of the Committee and upon our own the absolute 
necessity of not " showing our hands " until we can do so safely and 
surely, that no one may suspect any organization until it is complete 
in all its details, and further to impress upon the minds of an active 
partizan the extreme caution necessary to be observed in all their 
movements and conversations, both in private with individuals and 
in public before members, never to attack Mr. Van Buren or speak ill 
of him, or show the slightest hostility towards him to profess Van 
Burenism. And weaken him by pretending to defend his weak 
points, at [the] same time strengthen Mr. Calhoun by a weak attack 
on him or his strong points, until we know our men and their feelings. 

Resolved^ That the two members from Kings and "Richmond shall 
organize the Calhoun party in their respective counties, as to make 
the party efficient in such a manner as they deem most advisable. 

Resolved, That this Committee have power to increase their num- 
ber to one from each Congressional district in this State, no one 
being allowed to become a member, except by the unanimous consent 
of all. 

Resolved^ That a copy of this paper shall be furnished, by the Sec- 
retary to each member for his guidance and also copies to be sent 
to Mr. Calhoun, and Messrs. Lewis, Hunter and Pickens and that the 
original with our signatures attached be enclosed and sealed and 
placed in the hands of our chairman Levi 0. Slamm, and that the 
same shall not be opened until Mr. Calhoun is nominated, and shall 
then be opened and destroyed in presence of two or more members of 
this Committee. 

Original signed by LEVI 0. SLAMM 


Y. Cong. 

JOS.A.SCOVILLEJ districl " 
P. S. CROOKE IKings and 

J. FRANCIS HUTTON fliiehtl Co. 


FORT HILL, [S. G.],80th September 18$. 

MY DEAR SIR, I have been absent on private business for the last 10 
or 12 days, and on my return, I found your two letters of the 5th 
and 12th instants on my table, which I hasten to acknowledge. 

I regret much to hear of the severe illness of Mrs. Hunter, and hope 
ere this she has entirely recovered. 

The affair at Shocco went off exceedingly well Considering the 
short notice, the company was large, say 500 or 600, embracing the 


entire population for a considerable distance round, and many who 
had com&jrpm a considerable distance. All was well conducted, and 
terminated, as far as I could judge, to the satisfaction of all. I can- 
not conjecture what has delayed the account of the proceedings. I 
fear they have been waiting for me to write out my speech, I was 
pressed to do so, but gave no encouragement that I would do so; on 
the contrary expressly declined, that I did not think I would have 
leisure, 1 I am sensible of the difficulty you must feel in carrying on 
the New York correspondence. The jealousy among the leaders there 
is extreme, and great caution is required. Scoville is by far the most 
active and full of resources. I have had several letters from him, in 
which he presses me, as he has you, on the subject of my life, I think 
it important, that both that and my speeches, reports and communica- 
tions, at least on the subjects that may bear on the coming contest, 
should be published ; but it appears to me to be much more important, 
that it should be well done, than speedily done. The former would 
take some time. My own collection of speeches, and reports is very 
imperfect prior to the time I was elected Vice President ; so much so. 
as not to be sufficient to make the necessary extracts for a satisfactory 
biography. Since then, it is full with one or two exceptions, which I 
hope to be able to supply in the neighborhood, I shall, however, 
with the materials I have get a friend next week to commence prepar- 
ing such a biographical sketch as Mr. Scoville desires. I shall, I fear, 
be much interrupted by a busy correspondence and frequent visitors ; 
but will have it executed as soon as I can. I will write to Mr, Scoville 
on the subject. More leisure may be taken to prepare a volume of 
my speeches &c &c for the press that I can take with me to Washing- 
ton, if I should not have it completed before. The indications in 
N[orth] Carolina, as I passed through were as highly favourable as 
my best friends could desire. There, I think, can be no doubt of the 
State. The same may be said of Georgia, and from what I see cind 
hear I should say of Alabama and Mississippi]. I have had since 
my return a letter from a friend, who has been much with Mr. Polk, 
from that, I infer there is no understanding between him and Mr. 
Van Buren. This State is as nearly unanimous as it can be. As far 
as the indication goes every paper, Whig and all, will be in my favor. 


(In strict confidence.) 

YORK, [N. Y.], October 5th, 

MY DEAR HUNTER : My time has been occupied to that degree as to 
entirely prohibit the continuing of my correspondence, in fact for the 

1 Following the adjournment of Congress Calhoun spoke on his return trip to South 
Carolina in both Richmond and Petersburg. 

23318 18 VOL 2 - 4 


last six weeks I have been up to my eyelids in politics. And even now 
there seems to be "no rest for the weary" leaving me to suppose 
there is no probability of my being unrelieved until our elections 
are over, which take place in the ensuing month. I have got much 
to say to you, more than my time will permit. Wood has had an 
almighty struggle, in his district were Eosevelt, Allen, Ely Moore 
and Col. Hepburn. I think we shall succeed in effecting his nomina- 
tion, but I have my fears of succeeding with any one in his district, 
there being so much excitement, between the friends of Moore and 
Wood. Maday is nominated from the 5th District] and in all prob- 
ability he will be elected. I am of opinion that he is strongly our 
friend. Moses G. Leonard of [the] 4th Dist[rict] will be nominated. 
His election is not looked for, as McKeon's friends are strongly dis- 
posed to oppose him. The friends of Leonard carried every delegate 
not leaving a look for John McKeon. In the 2nd [district] Henry C. 
Murphy is nominated. You will no doubt recollect him. I intro- 
duced him to you in Washington, as well as to Mr. Calhoun. He is 
a warm friend and I am happy to find the interest our boys have 
taken in his welfare has carried them through successfully. Bhett 
left here last week. I regret that my arrangements were of that 
nature as to limit my intercourse with him the ev[enin]g previous to 
his departure. Scoville, Secor and self had a long talk wilh him. 
Curtis is removing Whigs and rumor says placing the f riihids of Mr. 
Calhoun in their stead. I trust no understanding has been had with 
that political traitor. Should it be believed that such was the case 
the injury to us would be irreparable: I am continually falling in 
with friends to the cause, many make no hesitation in openly express- 
ing their sentiments. In Buttons county we are all powerful and it 
is so admitted. 

Now my clear Hunter, one word as to myself. I am about becom- 
ing an applicant for a lucrative office in the gift of this State, should 
we succeed in carrying it, and in order to ensure success, I have been 
obliged to keep myself free from suspicions of being connected with 
Mr. C[alhoun]'s friends in this city. Our friends hox^o fully under- 
stand my position and certain am I were it known that I was warmly 
interested in the advancement of Mr, C[alhoun] a most violent op- 
position would be created against me, so as to put my chance entirely 
"Hors de combat." That would bo done by the friends of Van 
[Buren], and in my own defence I have been obliged to follow their 
system of political tactics in order to undo the suspicion that has 
been attached to me. When at Syracuse I was pointed out by Dick 
Davis as being a Calhoun man, many of my friends interrogated me. 
And in order to effectually stop his tongue I took him a one side and 
told him some cock and bull story. I began by telling him that my 
being associated so frequently with the friends of Mr, C[alhoun] 


during my visit to Washington, created the belief that the object of 
my visit was for the purpose of forming a party in this State to 
favor Mr. C[alhoun] ; that I went to Washington on business for Mr. 
Gilbert the inventor of a Floating dock, and in order to enable me to 
carry out the objects of my business there and place Mr. G[ilbert]'s 
invention in the light desired, I found that Mr. C[alhoun]'s friends 
upon enquiry possessed an influence which it was important for me 
to have exerted, and through them I succeeded in accomplishing 
what was Accessary to place Mr. G[ilbert] ? s plans on an honorable 
footing with others, that it was supposed that extraneous influences 
might be brought to bear upon the Sec[retar]y of the Navy so as to 
induce him to come to a decision, without giving my friend a hearing. 
And it was through them that a fair Commission was appointed to 
examine the models of the various applicants Ac. 

This quieted the man but since which I have understood that the 
same gentlemen has cautioned some of our friends to beware of the 
traitor. I make this explanation so that you may be able to fully 
understand me. And it is for your ear, in order to enable you to make 
the proper explanation should any of our friends suspect me. I have 
not heard from Lewis since he left Washington. Scoville is working 
hard for a nomination to the Legislature. 

K B. The Commission is in this city composed of Mr. Johnson, 
Humphreys and Capt. Kennon. 


NEW YOKK, [N. Y.], November 81, 18$. 

DEAR MR. HUNTER: Your esteemed favor of 14th was duly re- 
c[eive]d. The time is near at hand when you will once more come 
forth from your country retirement to mingle in affairs at Washing- 
ton and I hope and trust ere the coming Session closes, that we shall 
be more settled than at present and on a sure footing for Mr. Calhomu 

In our late election we carried everything Gov[ernor], L[ieu~ 
tenant] Governor], 22 out of 34 Congressmen, all the State Senators 
save one ? and 2/3 of the Legislature much too large a majority, as 
it will make Mr. Van Burens friends sanguine and bring them out. 

Mr. Leonard you will find right. It is a very awkward matter to 
ask a man a direct question as to his preferences, but you can form 
a pretty correct opinion from his associations and conversation. I 
am now a constituent of Leonards, having moved into the 8th Ward 
for the purpose of being sent down to Tammany Hall from that 
Ward, and to be able to get 2 more men friends to Mr. Calhoun. 

Mr. C[alhoun']s son in law Mr. Clemson was here a few days since. 
I introduced him to about 500 Locos. We had supper at B[rook]lyn 
at which Murphy was present. He is true. I was alarmed at his 


"Van Buren associations previous to the elections and as deception is 
the order of the day here, I thought he might be one of them. I am 
at work from 8 A. M. to 12 P. M. ? negotiating and arranging our 
strength here, to bring it into combination. I get completely dis- 
heartened sometimes, get over it and go to work again. I am alone. 
Hart is hard at work to get appointed inspector of Pot and Pearl 
Ashes. He has 15 Competitors, from his own Ward 2, beside him- 
self. He is unable to help me any, in fact for the last 3 months he 
has devoted himself to this object and not a word has passed between 
us in regard to Mr. Calhoun. JSlamm has deserted us, I am afraid, 
in fact am sure of it. Some time ago (when he found no money was 
coming, and that we were too poor here to do anything) he had a 
meeting of Vanderpool and several of Van Burens friends and they 
made up a purse and I believe he is independent now, in fact I have 
not been in his office for some time. I met him yesterday, and he 
asked me if I had done cursing him yet. I answered that I had felt 
hurt at his conduct for many reasons. 

Chas. P.* Daly is elected, a warm friend of Mr. Calhoun, and will 
clo our cause more good than I could have done. Some time I will 
explain the causes of my defeat. I am glad I was defeated, for I am 
too poor to bear the expense. 

Hutton is hard at work in his County (Richmond). Crook 1 have 
not seen for some time. Neither of these friends reside in the City. 

This scramble for office breaks in upon our arrangements. Were 
it not for this, Hart and many others would be at work to carry the 
Gen[era]l Committee in Dec[embe]r instead of getting office. Gov. 
Bouck will probably make no appointments until after 20 [Ih] Jan- 
[uarjy, and our Committees are elected about IGfth ofj Dcc[embe]r. 
All our friends seem afraid to define their position. Hart wants to 
be remembered to you. I wish you would think well of some plan 
for a general organization throughout the Country. You are more of 
a politician than any other friend of Mr. Calhoun in Congress, and 
can readily understand the necessity of what I propose. I have writ- 
ten something of the kind to Mr Calhoun, and told him that I hoped 
you would head it, that there must be some one in Washington who 
could stand in the same relation to him, that Wright does to Van 
Buren, or rather did, and / am not so sure lut he does now. To tell 
you frankly, it struck me very forcibly that there was very little of 
such a system as I have been accustomed to see in <mr State politics, 
and which is so essential to succeed in any great political movement. 
Now suppose for the next Session and thereafter you adopt some 
plan like this. 

First, Yourself in Washington near Mr. C[alhoun] and when you 
can be assisted if necessary by Rhett, Lewis &c in what you will find 
a very arduous undertaking (at same time, it will bring you into 


intimate contact with many rising men throughout the Nation and 
will prove of great advantage to you hereafter in a political view.") 

Second, The four following States or either of the three can give a 
nomination in Convention to any Candidate now in the field. They 
hold the Balance of power. Ohio capital Columbus. Pennsylvania 
capital Harrisburg. New York capital Albany. Virginia capital 

Select in each capital a prominent and influential man, either a 
member of the Senate or House, who is devoted to Mr. Calhoun and 
will devote his time and who will go into active correspondence and 
organize in concert with other parts of the organization hereafter 
named, and this to be done while his Legislature is in Session. 
And it should be your policy to follow out this System in every 
Legislature of every State in the Union. 

Third. In each congressional District in the Union, there should 
be a Person of influence selected who has tact and experience enough 
to organize his district by Counties, Towns and villages. In ar- 
ranging this, you must follow the new district system and where 
States have not districted, follow the old plan. Great care, caution 
and prudence will be required in the selection of such men, especially 
in the Northern States, as they will have a heavy duty to perform, 
they will be obliged to canvass thoroughly, find where public opinion 
exists in favor of Mr. C[alhoun], either in individuals or masses, in 
this way. Documents, Pamphlets, Speeches &c can be sent to every 
town and our Co strength can be solid, and as strength makes 
strength, every day will add to Mr. C[alhoun']s friends. You waste 
no time or energy, let individuals go to the devil, unless they are 
willing to get into the Calhoun traces. If an individual writes 
you, all you have to do is to refer him to his county or town or- 
ganization, thank him and tell him to go to work. Everything will 
then go like clock work, all report to certain points, and to Head 
Quarters. If New York friends want to operate on Ohio friends 
we know how to go to work and do so effectually. New York, 
Philadelphia], Albany, Harrisburg, Columbus, Boston &c would 
be the most important points aside from Washington. Unless Friend 
Hunter some organization (General) is commenced, we cannot act 
with any Strength, and we may find when too late that we have been 
trusting to appearances, and honest public feeling, and have neg- 
lected the means to bring it out and render it available for Mr. 
Calhoun and such negligence has defeated him in his nomination by 
the National Convention. 

As an instance of the effect of organization I inclose you 3 or 4 
papers. In 1840 the party had their post masters, every post master 
(to save postage) was an agent, even for other men residing in their 
town to communicate with T[ammany] Hall. By these means 


50,000 Documents could be mailed here and sent into every town or 
village. There is an immense field to operate upon, and if Van 
Buren becomes a candidate we have got to meet tact with tact, cun- 
ning with cunning, interest with interest, or say what you will, think 
as you will, we are beaten horse foot and dragoon in that convention. 
If 'that infernal fool John Tyler would wake up and see the 
hopelessness of his cause, or at least see that his o>nly chance was in 
placing his partronage and influence for Calhcnm, to break down 
Van Buren and give his appointments in this Stale to Mr, Calhoun 
or to such men as will work against Van Buren. Let every Pfost] 
M[aster] be an agent. We should have such an organization afloat 
as would break down Van Buren sure in his own State, and Mr. Cal- 
houn need not appear in it, or Tyler either. Give me the means of 
being a Traveling Agent for the P[ost] O[IIice] with power and 
I only want 2 months and I would give him (or rather Mr. 0) such 
an organization as would astonish little Matty, lie. will make a 
move yet that will astonish us, if we are not on our guard, oryanha- 
tion is our only safety. Curtiss got back from Washfin^ton ] yester- 
day and it is reported and I believe it, he will not. be removed. I 
wish Tyler would or could be made to appoint about 8, or even 5 
men in that Custom House, I could do wonders with even those for 
I would make it a condition in 2 or 3 doubtful wards, that they 
should not be appointed, unless they carried some men I would name 
in their wards on the general Commitee for 43. 

If Tyler would remove Curtiss or any leading ofliee holder here, 
no one but a friend of Mr. C[alhoun']s must be confirmed by the 
Senate. Woodbury will understand this, his Brother in Law Barnes 
of Boston came to see me yesterday. I advised him to organise in 
every district in Massachusetts] and let W[ootlbury'|s friends do 
so in Maine and N[ew] Hampshire. Woodbury must go to work in 
earnest. I shall see him and have a talk this week. 1 want to see 
a display of his influence, not openly 1>ut quietly by following my 
plan. You need not trust any man. You will get your opinions 
from the people in the most primary way, and you will know after 
the plan is in operation by many sources I he feelings of the people 
in every State and how it can be increased. 

9 Wards or 27 men (Calhoun) have to be elected to carry the 
committee and I need not express to you how great is my anxiety 
to do it, at any cost, it must be done, and if we succeed it will be the 
worst blow Van Buren has yet received. I shall await your first 
letter on your arrival at Washington with great anxiety." For we 
shall know whether Tyler is to be considered an Enemy or friend. 
He is our worst enemy as long as he pursues his present course, for 
it is abroad that he is friendly to Calhoun and he connives at it 
(Tyler) if it is not so. Mr. T[yler] does not intend to throw his 


patronage to Mr. C[aHioun']s hands (for as to influence he has none) 
the sooner some means are devised to show that he is an Enemy to 
Mr. Calhoun, the better. It is utter ruin to allow things to remain 
as they are now, to have all the odium and no benefit. 

Hamilton informed me yesterday that he had wrote you sometime 
since enclosing a letter Mr. Calhoun wrote him in 1830. That it 
would do great service to Mr. Calhoun to publish it. Nonsense, if 
it is published it will injure Mr. Calhoun, for it is dated 1830 and 
would lead the public to believe that Alexander] H[ainilton] was 
an old friend, and it identifies Mr. Cfalhoun] with Col. H[amilton] 
and makes Mr. C[alhoun] to a certain extent liable for the political 
slips of the latter, don't publish it, it is too small game. 

[P. S.] To avoid any mistakes I will number my letters and in 
replying say " reed No 1 a h 


PHILADELPHIA, [Pa.], December 11, 181ft. 

MY DEAR SIR : My remarks yesterday in regard to information to 
be acquired were not sufficiently explicit to satisfy my own mind, 
and I therefore enclose some questions that have suggested them- 
selves to-day. You must, in dealing with northern politicians, direct 
them what to do, mark out a course for them to follow, and they will 
be sure to do so. In 223 Districts, averaging 3 counties or even 4 to 
a district say nearly 900 Counties in all, or 450 in the free States, 
and let this system once go into operation, and it is perfectly practi- 
cable and can be in full force by 1st [of] Feb[ruar]y, if you use the 
proper method to start it, and what is the immediate result, not 
merely securing information to govern the future moves in Wash- 
ington but if the person who receives these questions answers one 
half of them^ after practical observations, and the work necessary to 
be done before he can answer them, you have achieved much. It car- 
ries home to the people, to the ground work, in every free state town 
and village, an excitement in favor of Calhoun. When for instance 
one state like Pennsylvania has a person of influence at work in com- 
bining the masses in every county not three weeks could pass before 
each one would be assisting each other without knowing it. These 
questions are a guide, a map and followed out, make unity of action. 
They point the policy of Mr. Calhouns friends up to the last Gun. 
One question then finishes the chapter, it is this " Can you not be 
elected to the National Convention as a delegate from your Congres- 
sional District ? " And if the agents are clever politicians, they will 
be able to do it. And they will find, on Mr. C[alhoun']s strength, 
they are strong. The next question is in regard to the manner of 
communicating their Queries to our Friends. My idea is that it 


should be done by some of our friends, as private hints, and con- 
fidential, and not be given by you in your letters, or in no way, that 
can be traced to you, for you must not appear as the mover. It will 
not do for you to have to look ahead and Van Buren like never show 
your hand. I merely send you the Queries and you may use them 
as you see fit, there are men of course, particularly South, in whom 
you have unbounded confidence. I think it would be of service to 
have your Southern friends take part in the northern system of 
organization. It will be of service at the North to know that they 
are wide awake South, and have an interchange of sentiments and 
opinions between the various sections. This is the last letter I shall 
address you in regard to organization. Out of my last 10 letters you 
may find some hints, ideas, or suggestions that may prove of service, 
if so, I am repaid for my labor in writing them. I wish you to 
distinctly understand me. I have not wrote you so much and so 
often, from either vanity or the " Fun of it " nor do I feel that you 
are at all wanting in the necessary qualities to direct a great move- 
ment, or that you are not ably competent to carry it to a successful 
issue, far, far from this. But I feel interested. I dread being de- 
feated and most of Mr. Calhouns immediate friends are Southerners 
and some how they do not feel the vast importance of a combination 
of interests and strict discipline and system in their party, and the 
more you have in your councils of able and experienced northern 
politicians who are true to Mr. C. the better and surer is our cause. 
My idea is that no stone should be left unturned, no efforts relaxed, 
and no hopes be entertained, until we have defeated the old party 
organization and it is prostrate, to work in every quarter up to the 
last moment for his nomination by National Convention, and if we 
fail, let the minority of that Convention be ready, there are not three 
men who can beat him, he will get more votes at the election than any 
other one, and will of course be one of the three to be elected by the 
House, and will be elected. This will show you the necessity, in 
order to have the latter event sure, to have your eyes on the Congress- 
men elected and to be elected, attention to them now may save a 
state to Mr. Galhoun hereafter. 

Neither Martin Van Buren, R. M. Johnson, Cass, Buchanan or 
Benton are rivals to Mr. Calhoun. His Eival (and the- only one he 
has to fear) is that man on whom the old party organization of 
1828, 1832 and 1836 (or what remains of it) unite. To day they 
have strength enough to nominate a man in that convention, and 
their interest would lead them to unite on Van Buren. He has no 
strength, and is not to be feared save as identified with the old party 
and leaders that nominated him in 1836. If Mr. Calhouns friends 
can build up a stronger Organization in the North, assisted by his 
powerful friends in the South, the old organ [izatio]n is defeated 


and the whole Idt of Democratic Candidates. People talk abou 
Pennsyl[vani]a for Buchanan, the West for Johnson, Ohio for Cass 
New York for Van Buren, the South for Calhoun and the proba 
bility of a division, stuff Martin Van Buren laughs at it (and sc 
does Wright and will until his eyes are opened by finding his tac- 
tics are applied by Mr. C[alhoun']s friends north). The old leven 
is there, and altho they may vote scattering on the first ballot, yet on 
the 2d Ballot, Van Buren 138 ! I may be mistaken, but I hope I 
shall never see the experiment tried. No Mr. Hunter, the District 
System of Organization I have proposed in my last 10 letters, is 
safe for Mr. Calhoun, and it is sure, Mr. Calhoun cannot, must not, 
allow his friends in the Free States, [to] be obliged to compete with 
State Conventions to elect delegates to that Convention. Our de- 
feat is inevitable in the 4 great States. Let the organization of his 
friends be based upon the simple system of districts, every district 
being a State of itself and nothing to do with other districts and in 
every District of the Union, let our friends act singly for him, no 
compromise, let Calhounism be well planted now in each district, 
and my life on the assertion : " May ISM will see John C. Calhoun 
nominated almost unanimously by the National Convention." 

I hope you will have given these letters (or rather the subject) 
your attention. I shall be happy to learn that you approve of it 
and I am then ready to off coat and go to work to carry it out. 


NEW YORK, [N. Y.], January 1, 181$. 

MY DEAR HUNTER : I feel gratified at the opportunity afforded me 
of introducing to your correspondence Mr. Edmund I. Porter. This 
gentleman is one whose friendship I highly value and I am sure 
you will entertain the same feeling when he becomes known to you. 
He was a valuable representative in the Legislature from this city 
a few years, and his experience in political matters and his advice 
and suggestions, you will find valuable and interesting. 

Mr. Porter is a man of talent, a Lawyer by profession and capable 
of appreciating the greatness of character of such a man as John C. 
Calhoun, and it will not surprise you to learn that he has long been 
an admirer of the Southern Statesman. 

I should long ago have given Mr. P[orter] a letter to you, had 
circumstances justified it, or had there been any occasion to do so, 
but the time has now come when Mr. Porter can be of immense 
service. In the late contest, Mr. .Porter was elected a delegate to 
the Gen [era] 1 Committee from the 10th ward, 450 to 85! From 
his long services in the Democratic Ranks he will of course possess 
great weight with the members of that body, and you will learn from 


Mm every thing, from time to time that you may desire to know, 
and you may rely upon his tact and secrecy in such correspondence 
as may pass between you. 


RICHMOND COUNTY, [N. Y.], Thursday nigfit^ 

January &oth, 1843. 

MY DEAR SIR: Our friend E. B. Hart has just returned from 
Albany and brings the most favourable accounts of the prospects 
for Mr. Calhoun. The old Conservative party and the new radical 
party are violently opposed to each other, and the success of the 
former in the Councils of the State will unite radicals in opposition. 
Dutchess County in Davis district have organized near 1000 Cal- 
houn men and intend to nominate Mr. C[alhoun] about the 1st of 
next month. A delegation came to the City and were surprised to 
find our boys so well organized and they left here delighted and 
encouraged to persevere. 

Scoville is in high spirits to-day and extremely active and useful 
but a most confounded grumbler. The proof sheets of Mr. Calhouns 
life are in the hands of Scoville and the work will shortly be pub- 
lished. Among our Irish adopted Citizens it will produce a great 
sensation. How go appointments. 


YORK, [N. Y.], February 13, 1843. 
MY DEAR HUNTER: I have just returned from Albany and find- 
ing a letter awaiting me ? hasten to acknowledge its receipt. The 
pleasing intelligence it conveyed of Mr. Calhouns increasing pros- 
pects was indeed most welcome. You may now depend that your 
suggestion of "going to work" will be immediately attended to, 
and I trust you will ere long have ample proof that a second request 
similar to the one alluded to will not be needed. I have however 
not been inactive, and purpose in the course of this week to give you 
some evidence of it. Strong opposition to Bouck will soon be made. 
We have been deceived as to his firmness, he is disposed to favor the 
"Old Hunkers." Young is no doubt Van, such is my impression 
based upon the opinion of others. In my next you shall have my 
views at length. There is one thing in particular for you to attend 
to, (as funds are somewhat essentially necessary to aid a good cause) 
and that is the pushing through of Gilberts Dock. With my best 
respects to friend Lewis, 



NEW YORK, [N. Y.], February 16, 1843. 
12 o'clock P. M. 

My DEAR SIR: I leave for Hartford in the morning, you had 
better direct to me there. 

I believe I can do nothing more than I have done about the work, 
I have directed Harpers to send about 20 of the -first issues to vari- 
ous persons in Washington]. 

Manry has been with me all the afternoon and I have given him 
an account of how matters stand here. He is poor you know. I 
have told him to draw on me for whatever may be necessary to hire 
a Eoom, where the leading friends may meet daily to advise him. 

I will write you fully from Hartford. Budy and self may go 
soon to Maine. 

[P. S.] Currie will correct the misspelling in the next reams 
separation adherence &c. Please frank and forward the enclosures. 
The letter for Stuart is a private one, not to be published. Give 
Lewis my address. Why dont he never write to me ? 


NEW YORK, [N. Y.], February 18th, 1843. 

MY DEAR SIR : I like to keep you advised of everything that comes 
to my knowledge calculated to keep you on foot as to the movements 
of the adverse interests to our cause. You are aware I suppose that 
Mr. Coombs (the gentleman Mr. D. II. Lewis is acquainted with by 
his political writings in favor of Calhoun) is in the Custom House, 
and of course assists in editing the " Union." 

Now in confidence I say to you that the men most active apparently 
in the support of Tylers interest here, are well aware of the little 
chance there is for him in the coming contest for the presidency and 
all their efforts for Tyler will in future be subsid[i]ary to that interest 
of the Hon. John C. Calhoun. Mr. Coombs consults me daily on the 
policy for the " Union " to pursue and is desirous of now and then 
giving a dashing leader or two in favor of Calhoun in that paper but 
I have dissuaded him from that course while the name of Bouck 
stands at the head of that paper for the Vice Presidency. We are de- 
termined not to mix up the interests of Calhoun with that of our 
present Gov[erno]r, for the sins of the present administration are 
too weighty for us to carry and Bouck therefore must be a Van 
Buren man whatever his personal feelings may be for Mr. C[alhoun]. 
What is your opinion of this matter ? Hart is at work collecting our 


strength for a meeting of the leading Calhoun men which I think will 
take place in course of next week. It is our intention of feeling such 
men as we cannot be mistaken in and when the Committee is formed 
you will be furnished with their names and with our wishes in refer- 
ence to correspondence. There is a man in the Custom House by the 
name of Barbour an Englishman who states he has been written to 
from Washington to become an editor for a New Calhoun paper 
about to be established here, is this so ? He is I understand an inti- 
mate of Morrells. The life of Mr. C[alhoun] will be out in a few 
days, so will the new letter paper for political correspondence bear- 
ing the vignette of the head and bust of Calhoun, on the right the 
banner of Free Trade low duties &c and on the left the time and 
manner of construing the Convention. Every mail will convey 
hundreds of these letters to all parts of the Union and accustom the 
people to think of Mr. C[alhoun] whether they choose or not. 

Our friend Thompson is a host, he writes daily half a dozen letters 
to every man of any importance in the East, North and West urging 
them to move in favor of Mr. C[alhoun]. He showed me a letter 
from Eobt. Dale Owen of Indiana in which it is stated that Mr. Cal- 
houn has a powerful party in that State among the rank and file. 
Among rny constituents there prevails but one opinion and in the city 
New York our strength is increasing daily, truly I think we shall see 
the triumph of principle over all party intrigues and John C. Cal- 
houn the nominee of the Baltimore Convention. 

[P. S.] While Curtis is in Washington is it not possible to induce 
him to make two or three appointments for Richmond County in 
which I reside? 

E. M, T. HUNTEK TO .* 


[WASHINGTON, D. C.] February SO, 1843. 

MT DEAR SDR: I am afraid that my last letter miscarried as you 
speak of yours being unanswered. Certain I am that I wrote the 
last and I do not mention this my dear sir by way of opening an 
account (for I hold myself always your debtor) but only to show 
you that I have not neglected you. I have been so overwhelmed 
with correspondence that I have been forced to forego the indulgence 
of my inclination to write many letters which would have been useful 
to the cause as well as agreeable to me. But to the point. We are 
endeavoring to get up an efficient organization a central com- 
mittee here. A central committee in each state whose duty it should 
be to get up a corresponding committee t>f four or five in each 
county. All this to be done silently. Our central committee here 

l Use of this letter was permitted by Mr. W. G. Stanard, of the Virginia Historical 


is not yet organised. But in Richmond James A. Seddon is the 
ch[airma]n, Giles, Young and Greenhow are Ms coadutorS. We 
wish to get up corresponding Calhoun Committees in each county. 
We may then acquire the means to concert action, to circulate docu- 
ments, and to have 4 or 5 energetic advocates in each county. Some 
of these ought to attend each court and every public meeting. 
Amongst others I wrote Beverley Tucker to get himself appointed 
delegate from Jefferson to the State Convention and to organise 
Jefferson and Berkeley. I have not heard from him as yet Will 
you write to him on the subject? He has ability, energy and is 
disposed to Calhoun. He may win a political position now which 
may tell in his after life. I was about writing to you when yours 
reached me. I see you are appointed to the Convention and I hope 
you will^ attend. Time is vital to us. A convention in May 1344 
and 8 districts I believe will secure us, At any rate we cannot 
oppose a convention " per se " without being unchurched. 

Eight or wrong we cannot oppose a Gen[era]l Convention fairly 
organised and held in May 1844. The Richmond Convention will 
name an early day unless a strenuous effort is made by our friends. 
They must not name the place and time unless they are willing to 
give them. The Democratic papers (many of which I have sent to 
Seddon) are declaring for the principle of Ehett's pamphlet. The 
Democratic] party at Annapolis in Caucuahave declared for a con- 
vention in May 1844. If we decided on this matter the c prestige ' of 
victory will be with us and in my opinion Van Buren must give way 
before the canvass. Our prospects are bright and if the limits of this 
sheet permitted, I could give you many evidences of it. Michigan 
(we are informed) is with us. So of the Democrats in Arkansas, 
Mississippi], Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, So[uth] Ca[rolina] and 
No[rth] Carolina]. So in V[irgini]a we exert ourselves So in 
Maryland. The New England Democracy we have good reason 
to hope is with us. In N"[ew] York if the Convention be by districts 
we hope to carry 12 districts. In P[ennsylvani]a B[uclianan]'s 
friends prefer C[alhoun] as a second choice. Illinois we are assured 
by her senators is with us. Why then should we dispair? Let us 
work for Y[irgini]a, The organization is all important Can't you 
see Gordon on the subject. There are fine materials in Albemarle 
and Louisa. We are about to publish a life of Calhoun which we 
wish to circulate extensively and with which we desire to furnish 
all the corresponding committees. I will send you one of the sample 
numbers when I receive it. I ^will also send a prospectus to which 
Randolph might obtain subscriptions from the districts. The Har- 
pers publish it. We shall make efforts to establish a press here if 
we can do so without open war and procure a competent editor. 


We have also propositions from Kiehmond. But we should "ob- 
serve 9 Ritchie a little longer. The organization must proceed. 

Your essay I have not had time to read as yet I will study it to- 
night and hope we may make a good use of it. My kindest 
regards to Mr. B. T. and to Randolph. I write in the House and I 
fear incoherently but you will be able to gather the general drift of 
our plans. I shall submit your essay to Mr. C[alhotm] before I act. 
He often speaks of you and requested me to beg you to be in Bich- 
mond if practicable. 




* WASHINGTON, [D. C.], March 4, 1843. 

DEAR SIH : I enclose you a Prospectus of a Newspaper, which the 
friends of Mr. Calhoun have selected to be the Central Organ of the 
Calhoun portion of the Democratic Party. The Spectator will con- 
tinue to be published Weekly, as heretofore, until a month previous 
to the meeting of the 28th Congress, when a Daily Paper will also 
be issued from the same Newspaper establishment. 

The Spectator will publish every movement relating to Mr. Cal- 
horars growing prospects, and the proceedings of his friends in 
the various sections of the country. 

Its Editorial columns will be under the charge of an old personal 
$s well as political friend of Mr. Calhoun. It is desirable that the 
Spectator should be circulated as extensively as possible ; and means 
will be used to obtain Subscribers in every town in the Union. I 
am desired to send you a Prospectus for your own use, and also an 
additional number of 19, to be handed by you to well known friends. 
You will confer a favor by getting as many Subscribers as possible. 
Please give the same directions to those friends to whom you hand 
the other Prospectuses. They are numbered 250 to 255, 261 to 265, 
254 to 260, 241 to 245, and you will be expected to see that said num- 
bers are returned to Mr. Heart, eventually, whether any names are 
subscribed or not, 

I send you, also, 50 Eeceipts for subscriptions, which I have re- 
ceived from the Publisher of the Spectator, Mr. John Heart. You 
will please account to him for the same, at the prices named in the 
Prospectus, as I have informed him of the number of receipts that 
I send you. 

[P. S.] Please send a list of all the leading newspapers published 
in your State, Post offices and names, also mark the Calhoun papers. 



KicmiOND, [VA.], April 1, 1#43, 

DEAR SIR: I was much gratified by the receipt of your last letter 
and should certainly have sooner replyed had not my time been 
wholly engrossed by professional engagements and the obligation of 
writing to many of our friends throughout the State. We have been 
ever since the adjournment of the Democratic] Convention greatly 
engaged in carrying out our concerted scheme of organization by the 
formation of Corresponding Committees in different Counties, 
through them we have circulated all the lives of Mr. Cfalhoun] 
placed at our disposal and find the demand for them still increasing. 
To meet this we have written to the Central Calhoun Committee in 
Washington to ascertain on what terms a further supply may be ob- 
tained both of the "Vitae" and the Speeches. We already hear 
of the beneficial results which are following these steps. We are 
daily receiving accessions and are decidedly the Movement party. * 
From various sections we hear of influential States rights men com- 
ing out with the decisive declaration that they will cordially unite 
with us in electing Mr. Cfalhoun] but will not vote for Mr." V fan] 
B[uren]. Nothing of novelty or added force can be given to the 
arguments or views favourable to Mr. Van Buren, and his adherents 
have to encounter the distrust inspired by another disheartening Con- 
viction resulting from his past defeat, while on the other hand the 
arguments in favour of Mr. C[alhoun] are daily waxing stronger in 
their impression on the popular mind and his friends are actuated 
by a zealous active and hopeful spirit So far from being dismayed 
by the results of the late Convention they seem but to'have been 
rendered more animated and determined. Such is our progress that 
were the [Richmond] Enquirer removed from our way to morrow I 
should have the most sanguine Confidence of carrying the State by a 
decided majority to counteract the insidnons hostility of that paper I 
am each day more satified that the establishment of a Calhoun Organ 
here is indispensible. Conducted with prudence it might avoid all 
collision with the Enquirer, which unless I mistake Mr. E[itchie] 
would dread and shun a quarrel, and thus all the benefits of an able 
paper on our side might be obtained without drawing down upon us 
the hostility and influence of the Enquirer. Through the impru- 
dence of some of our hot neutral friends, a rumor has gotten out of 
the intent to establish a Calhoun paper and the Whig notices it this 
morning. This of course renders positive determination about the 
matter more necessary. Meantime however we labor tinder the nat- 
ural reluctance to embark in the enterprise without some guarantee 


ag[ains]t serious loss, and are most solicitous to know how far the aid 
of our friends may be relied on. To test this at once and at the same 
time to enlist private interest in obtaining subscriptions, we have 
determined respectively to propose to confidential friends to gu&r~ 
antee such number of subscriptions as they think they can certainly 
obtain, I have offered personally to guarantee $100, or twenty sub- 
scribers at $5 each. May I venture to request that you will say 
whether you will be willing thus to stand Sponsor for subscribers and 
if so, to what extent, and also to apprize us how far others among 
your friends, with whom you can readily communicate will pledge 
their credit. We have ascertained we can commence and publish a 
paper twice a week for a year with 600 good subscribers at $5 each. 
This number we ought surely to command with ease but yet we are 
not willing to incur the responsibility without some previous assur- 
ance. I wish much that 30 men could be obtained at once to pay up 
for the Cause one hundred dollars each. I would cheerfully join the 
number and pay my quota in the part. I think too I might give the 
assurance that other members of our Committee will raise another 
hundred, as all would doubtless contribute except Mr. Greenhow, 
who will have to sacrifice so much in time that more ought not to be 
required of him. What say you to this matter? 

I have invoked of late the action of our Committee here to promote 
the re-election of our Friend Mr. Goode and for that purpose have 
addressed to the Calhoun members" of the Petersb[ur]g Convention, 
which assembles Tuesday a long and earnest letter urging his nomina- 
tion if practicable. His chance is good, if the Calhoun men will not 
allow personal preference for Dromgoole to sway them unduly. I 
feel much interest in the matter on account of its effect both in and 
out of the State. From your own Canvass I hear animating and I 
doubt not just accounts. In Essex, you must strain every nerve for 
Wm. P. Taylor for I am satisfied the pinch, of the contest with him 
will be there. 

Please inform me of some Leading Calhoun men in the Northern 
Neck, our correspondence there is very limited. 


NEW YORK, [H Y.], September 00, 1843. 

DEAR SIR: The Van Buren meeting after all the parade of names 
turned out a most miserable failure both as to numbers and effect, 
certainly 1/3 were Calhoun men 1/3 Johnson men, the remainder 
Whigs and Van Buren. I attended and counted around me 100, 
well known friends of Mr. C[alhoun]. There were not more in at- 
tendance than at our meeting and as to enthusiasm it would bear no 
comparison. Several gentlemen from the West have arrived in 


Town to arrange with our Central Committee a plan of operations 
to carry out vigorously the Calhoun movement. We met last even- 
ing after the meeting in the park and it was truly gratifying to 
receive their congratulations at the result. The hand bill I sent yon 
per post containing the names and occupations of the signers to the 
call, worked wonders and I trust you will have some thousand struck 
off for distribution in your State, that is if you cannot get it pub- 
lished. Of course it is not known that Calhoun men had any hand 
in it and must not be known. Our paper will be published in about 
ten days, send on as fast as possible all the subscribers you can 

Send me the names of some of the first men in your State and 
N[orth] Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Our committee appointed 
last night a finance Committee, E. B. Hart, Treasurer, any funds 
in aid of the cause will be received and acknowledged by him, do 
what you can for us for remember we are without patronage. Eobt. 
Tyler has been in town and complains utterly that the Charleston 
Mercury is making War on the administration this should not be. 
We want the post offices and must have them and by the course of 
the Mercury, Tyler may be driven off. Conciliation for a time is 
all important. The West of our State will move very soon to pro- 
test against the proceedings of Syracuse and elect delegates to Balti- 
more. The delegates from the West mentioned above have come to 
the city for the express purpose of carrying out our plans to effect 
the object of selecting delegates to Baltimore, simultaneously with 
the City. Action, Action is the word. We now are to every one 
friendly, the ball is fairly open and we must all press onward and 
victory is sure. 

If any Southern gentleman comes ISTorth let us make Ms acquaint- 
ance. It will assist us in circulating pamphlets &c. We are conduct- 
ing our movements now with admirable skill and effect. We know 
this for it tells! Ah! if we had only our present organization 12 
ino[nth]s ago. Yet it is not too late, for the Van Buren men have 
by this delay of ours thrown everything in our hands and the men 
we most rely upon are fresh zealous, and stand high before the pub- 
lic, while the V[an] B[uren] men are led by old party hacks, and 
excite less enthusiasm than the Ex-President. 

The Seventh Ward Calhoun association have a public meeting to- 
night. The fifth Ward next week, the 15th the week after. Eich- 
mond Co[unty] will follow the city movements and so on through the 

The Corresponding Sec[retar]y 5 F. Byrdsall will write you as to 
our plan of operations, which if satisfactory we wish pursued through 
the Union. 

28818 IS VOL 2 5 



RICHMOND, [VA.], August 9tfi : 1844. 

MY DEAR SIR : On my return to the city about a week since I found 
your considerate Letter awaiting me but owing to numerous pressing 
engagements which have accumulated upon me, I have been unable 
to return until now my grateful acknowledgements for your kind 
and prompt compliance with the requests I had ventured to prefer 
to you. 

Altho' destitute of the letter from you which I had intended to 
rely on as rny chief credentials, I was emboldened by my anxiety for 
Greenhow's welfare and my remembrance of Mr. Calhoun's uniform 
kindness to call on him as I passed thro' Washington and prefer in 
person the application which I wished you to second. The Noble 
Old Man treated Mr. Caskie who accompanied me and myself with 
his usual frank courtesy and altho' I confess at first he rather startled 
me by the gravity with which he heard the application, he soon 
threw aside all reserve and while expressing high confidence in 
Greenhow and great reliance on our Eecommendation, yet explained 
his apprehension that from peculiar causes (all of which I ought not 
to entrust to the risk of letter) it might not be in his power to con- 
fer an appointment, which he was pleased to say, it would be no 
less gratifying to him to give than for the recipient to receive. He 
advised measures should be taken to secure the favourable considera- 
tion of the President (in which by the way I had anticipated his 
advice as far as practicable) and assured us his warm recommenda- 
tion should be given in the event of a Vacancy. I had also the 
pleasure (almost the highest I can enjoy) of a free unreserved con- 
versation with him at his rooms in the Evening, in which I was the 
attentive auditor to the most original yet profound views on the 
subject of Government I ever heard. He is a wonderful man, in 
power of analysis and Generalization, in originality and profundity 
of thought surpassing all that I had ever conceived of the power of 
human Intellect, and with the purity of his Life and the worthiness 
of his personal character as added to his splendid intellectual endow- 
ments, he stands forth preeminently the first of American Sages and 
statesmen. It is a burning shame in his day and generation that 
his powers and his virtues have not long since been placed in their 
highest sphere of development and usefulness. 

But on this subject I shall run beyond my sheet, unless I check 
my course however grateful to my own friends. I intended to write 
you on another subject. Do you take the Mercury? If so, you will 
have perceived that our gallant friends of So[uth] Carolina, espe- 
cially the younger and more ardent among them, burning under 
the course of the atrocious, heresys inflicted and threatened from 


Federal misrule and abolition fanaticism are seriously contemplating 
an immediate resort to State interposition and in doing this, many 
are seriously assailing our Presidential Candidates and injuring our 
party in this State by giving countenance to what old Ritchie styles 
u ttie wolf cry of Disunion," now so loudly clamoured by the fren- 
zied Whigs of this City. Mr. Calhoun I know and many others of 
the most experienced leaders in So[uth] Carolina I believe disap- 
prove of these movements at this time and Juncture, and I am satis- 
fied if our friends of the Palmetto Slate knew what serious embar- 
rassment they were causing to their best friends here and how se- 
verely they were endangering Democratic ascendancy in* this State 
(when moral influences were partially in their behalf is of the utmost 
importance and can only be hoped for in the event of our success in 
the Canvass) they would forbear for a while from rash resolves and 
harsh epithets. God knows I expect to be with them in sentiments 
and written avowals, perhaps even in open action, should the strug- 
gle which I seriously apprehend ever actually come, but I would 
pray that the cup might pass, and at least that it should not be 
pressed now to the distruction of friends who may prove most ef- 
ficient in the hour of need. In the compass of a letter I cannot ex- 
plain all the dangers and embarrassments which the course of our 
Southern friends now cause us here, but you will doubtless readily 
comprehend and appreciate them. My purpose therefore is to 
entreat you either to write alone (or join me in writing) earnest 
remonstrances to our So [nth] Car[olina] friends to pause awhile in 
their proposed action, and let us see the results of the Presidential 
Election and the course of the new incumbent. If I knew Elmore's 
name I w[oul]d write him for he seemeth to me both prudent and 
sagacious. If you would prefer a joint letter, pen it and forward it 
to me. I will readily sign whatever you write. Why are you not out 
in the Canvass? The question is often asked. I wish you would 
enter with all your soul when it hath for present good and for the 
sake of future. . . . 


RICHMOND, [VA.], August 19, 18j4. 

MY DEAR SIR : Your two last kind letters have been duly received 
and for them my earnest acknowledgments are due. You must not 
however suppose I have been thus long remiss in expressing my 
thanks for the first. I found it awaiting my arrival from the North, 
and in a day or two thereafter, as soon indeed as the pressure of 
peremptory engagements consequent on my return would allow, I 
wrote you a warm letter giving some account of my personal con- 
versation with Mr. C[alhoun] while in Washington and the impres- 


sion it had made upon me. How or why that letter has miscarried 
I cannot conceive for it was actually deposited by myself in the 
office here. I feel some solicitude on the subject, for although I was 
fortunately prudent enough not to enter into particulars, because 
as I explained I was unwilling to trust to the accidents of the mail, 
I yet intimated matters which it would be well that no other eyes 
less friendly than yours should see. I trust the letter will yet come 
safely to hand. From my personal observations while in the city I 
was prepared for the turn of your last letter, which I regret far less 
for the disappointment of a family schism much cherished, than on 
account of 6 the embarrassing circumstances with which it shows our 
distinguished friend to be encompassed. I can understand your self 
gratulation at not having been instrumental in placing him where he 
is, I always dreaded the measure and would have dissuaded too, but 
I little anticipated such a result. I doubt much if the position ought 
to be held longer. If it be, to all who know the truth the highest 
possible manifestations of self denying patriotism will be afforded. 
The Globe, in times back was not in such egregious error as I sup- 
posed and the little charity I was beginning to feel in a certain 
direction is waning fast into unmingled contempt. But enough of 
this. We will talk of it when we meet. 

Another subject of my last letter was the menacing movements in 
South Carolina, which at the time seemed to trend pretty strongly 
to immediate nulificatioij. to which I felt assured Mr. C[alhoun] 
was opposed. Of such premature agitation I dreaded the effect 
especially on the agitating contest now going on in - this State and I 
wrote to invoke your prudent counsels and friendly interposition 
with our South Carolina friends. Not however hearing from you 
at once I took the responsibility of writing pretty much on behalf 
of our wing in this State, alone an earnest appeal to Elmore (in 
whose discretion I felt high confidence) setting forth precisely our 
position views and principles here and the dangers which I thought 
a hasty course in South Carolina at this Juncture would entail on 
the whole Democratic party but especially the States rights portion 
of this and other Southern States. I have not yet heard in reply, 
but coining as it must have done when as I judge from appearances, 
more prudent counsels were beginning to prevail, I hope it will not 
be without beneficent fruits. The danger of premature action is I 
think for the present passed. Mr. Calhoun's influence, together 
with the advice of all the more distinguished leaders has for the 
present settled the storm. How long the calm is to continue I can- 
not say, but unless with the next presidential incumbent relief comes, 
for one I am prepared for action. The insult and injury of the 
recent iniquitious Tariff are unindurable, and to the [manuscript 


defective] with all republicans, as of old with the [manuscript de- 
fective] to your tents must be the cry. I do not however yet dispair. 
The Democracy if not undermined by treachery must prevail and 
then with Clay out of the way, the South will rite herself and the 
tariff must come down. What think you of the recent elections. 
To me they are encouraging. The contest will be close, but if the 
Whigs hold not the popular vote of 1812, when many of their voters 
did not come to the polls, is it not manifest the Democrats are even 
now advancing. I fear a little for this State chiefly because I be- 
lieve there has been the systematic manufacture of Whig votes. All 
our 'energies are wanting. Why rests Achilles in his tent? Can't 
you take the field actively and at once? 


RICHMOND, [VA.], August 5, 1844. 

MY DEAK SIR : I received this morning your letter together with the 
Manuscript of your nephew and immediately called on Minor the 
Editor of the Messenger to obtain if possible the insertion of the lat- 
ter in the next Messenger. Unfortunately the Ms. came too late for 
the Sept [ember] number which has been already fully made up, but 
Minor promised me to examine the article with a liberal eye and if he 
could possible reconcile it with Ms neutrality would insert it in the 
Oct[ober] number. Every effort shall be made on my part to pro- 
cure its insertion, and should Minor object, I will endeavor earnestly 
to remove his Scruples. I believe great results are to follow in 
V[irgini-]a from the publication of Mr. Calhouns life and speeches, 
provided only public attention can be called to them. This we must 
compass through the literary publications if possible, if not thro' the 
political and neutral press. Mr. C[alhoun]'s wishes will be an added 
spur to my own enthusiasm on the subject of this publication. 

I have just received a letter from Elmore on the subject of the 
Carolina Movements, He represents them as hasty and unadvised, 
attributable to the imprudent zeal of Rhett and the heated feelings of 
Stuart but that through the influence of calmer counselors they have 
for the present been quieted. He refers to resolutions unanimously 
adopted in the Charleston Mercury as expressive of the true deter- 
mination of the party in So[uth] Carolina. I have not yet seen 
them, but from Elmore's tone I have no doubt they are well consid- 
erate and judicious. Mr. Elmore desires to be warmly remembered 
to you. I have also heard today from Mr. Ritchie who was much 
pleased at your prompt interposition to stay the So[uth] Carolina 
excitement. We are all here on the alert. I start tomorrow for Ac- 
comae on an electioneering tour, and for the next four or five weeks 
I shall be pretty much given up to spouting. " Cui bono " it is hard 


to say but such is the duty exacted and for the future hopes of our 
cause I shall comply. Why are you not In the field. The Northern 
neck is especially in need of labourers and I wish you would take 
that vineyard for yourself. 


[ ? ], August SO, 1844. 

DEAR HTOTER: I have rec[eive]d a letter written by you to El- 
more, with your request that it be shown- to me. You will doubtless 
ere this, have learned that Elmore is not in the " movement" That 
Holmes got into it, but was soon scared out of it, and that I alone 
must bear all the "anathemas" of my Democratic friends in and 
out of this little State, for presuming to " embarrass " the party by 
wishing to prepare the State to redeem her pledges, to protect her- 
self from the treacherous and plundering policy of both parties 
"Whig and Democratic. Now it seems we have some hope of righting 
the Government thro 5 the Democratic Party and Presidential Elec- 
tions. You know how hard I have wrought in this line of policy. 
But I am done with it. The mean and treacherous move of the 
Democratic Party last session of Congress on the Tariff the 21 
Eule and Internal Improvements, has satisfied me that we of the 
South have no hope in their assertions; and those Polk born, equivo- 
cating lettcis to Kane of Pennsylvania have rendered him too dispic- 
able in my estimation, to regard Mm in the least in my course. Nor 
have I any hope in the South generally. Virginia will have to inter- 
vene to prevent the only alternative which will bring back the Govern- 
ment from its rapid tendency to a consolidated despotism disunion 

or reform. In this way the Union must be risked, to be preserved on 
the terms of its original formation. Virginia is too divided, and 
with her frontier position such bold councils will never prevail, 
and without it, in my opinion we will never drive back the Govern- 
ment to the limits of the Constitution. Look you Candidly do you 
expect the Democratic party of the North to give up a protective 
Tariff or re-take position with us on the 21 Eule or throw of 
the West to surrended internal improvements, which they revived 
at the last Congress? If you do, your organs of credulity must 
be astonishingly develioped; and out in defiance of all evidence 
and facts. 

Expect no such results from them. They have given way and 
have given way forever to the foul and insulting interference of the 
Fanatics on the floor of Congress, and will go on plundering us to 
the end, by taxing us unrightiously and by appropriating the taxes. 
Such are my views, and of course I take no other faith from those 


who still go on shouting at the tail of the Democratic Party, only to 
have the glory of being crushed under foot, when triumphant, or 
may be to have the august privilege of placing a tool in power like 
Polk, who they can appropriate and weedle for their ends. My dear 
Hunter, I am sick and disgusted with the meanness and falsehood of 
the Democratic Party, whilst I detest the open, impudent despotism 
of the other. I will associate with the Democratic Party, but will 
not consent to follow it, have wearied with fighting [for] a Party 
which you must immediately turn round to oppose. "We of the 
South will be ruined, unless we will act independently of both 
parties, against supporting what both parties of the North and South 
join to put upon us. As long as we regard either party, above our 
rights, they never will be redressed. If you would succeed tomorrow 
(in what I know is your earnest policy) make Mr. Calhoun Presi- 
dent (which you will never do, unless he will be [a] tool) and sur- 
render all the policy of his life) you would do nothing. So far as 
the rest goes it may be well But for laws in operation like the 
Tariff policy he would do nothing. Despairing of all their reason- 
ing, I turn to this little State, and am striving at least to save her 
honour. She has declared she will resist the Tariff policy, in the 
Convention of 1833, and in the Legislatures of 1841 and 1842. I say 
let her go on. I have no doubt of the result, if this cursed spirit of 
President-making does not prostrate her. But if it does, and she 
is made in shame and dishonour to submit, I wish the world to see, 
that I have not counciled it. 

As to all the outcry that I am seeking to distroy the Union, you 
know very well that there is no truth in it. I am seeking to put the 
Union on its true basis of the Constitution. I trust I appreciate the 
Union the Constitution has established as highly as any one. I hold 
the Constitution in politics as I do the Bible in religion. My object 
is not to destroy the Union, but to maintain the Constitution, and 
the Union too, as the Constitution has made it. But I do not believe 
that the Government can be reformed by its central action, and that 
we will have probably to risk the Union itself to save it, in its in- 
tegrity; and perpetuate it as a blessing. If it brings us to a con- 
solidated Government, it must be one of the worst forms of tyranny, 
Of course I expect to be called Disunionist, Mischief-maker Traitor 
etc. All men who have ever attempted to reform an evil, by strong 
measures, have had such epithets to bear. They do not much dis- 
turb my equnimity, being satisfied the liberty and safety of tlie 
South requires the strong policy I propose. That you and others 
differ from me I regret but I must nevertheless go on. 



WASHINGTON, [D. Q], September 27th, 1844. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have entire confidence in the judgment and dis- 
cretion of my friends in Virginia. Their position is one of great 
command. They have fought the present battle in Virginia. It 
has made them acquainted with the people and the people with them, 
and given them a stand and influence in the state, which, if they act 
together and be prudent and vigillant must give them its control. 

From all I hear, 1 should think, Mr. Ritchie is well disposed. He 
ought to be treated with great delicacy and respect so long as there 
is any prospect of his acting in concert, all collision with him 
ought to be avoided. If he will go right take his stand on the old 
platform of the Eepublican party and put Virginia at the head of 
the South, all will go right. 

I expect to leave tomorrow for my residence in South Carolina, 
where I shall probably spend the month of Oct[ober] r . I have 
been much engrossed by the duties of my office since the adjourn- 
ment of Congress. I have prepared in the time many and some of 
them very important dispatches. Our foreign relations, especially 
as it regards the South, have been much neglected by the Govern- 
ment for many years. 

The general impression here, with our friends is, that Clay will 
be defeated and Polk elected. Indeed, it is regarded by the great 
majority, that it is almost certain. Although I do not go as far, I 
think the prospect is highly favourable to our side. 

I have, I think, the pamphlet of Gov[ernor] Cass to which you 
refer, but it is among my papers at home. If I can put my hand on 
it after I arrive there I will send it to you. 

Mr. Harris of your State (member of the last Congress) has con- 
cluded to take charge of the Spectator and intends to get and write 
the Madison [ian] with it, and give a new name to the paper, if he 
can obtain it on fair terms, as he thinks he can. It is our important 
movement. I think well of his talents and highly of his character, 
and do not doubt he will make an able and sound editor. He starts 
under highly auspicious circumstances and has a fair prospect of 
rallying a strong support. I hope our friends will give him liberal 


RICHMOND, [VA.], November 16tti^ 1844. 

MY DEAR SIR: The glorious work has been consummated and no- 
where else more triumphantly than in the old Dominion. We have 
carried our candidate and defeated I trust forever Mr. Clay and 
Ms odious system of measures, but how far we have secured the 


permanent ascendency of our own particular Creed, the old republi- 
can faith of V [irgini] a remains yet to be seen. I would feign hope for 
i he best but confess I am not without serious apprehensions, to pre- 
vent the realization of which now becomes our peculiar duty. Tho 
hour has now come when the friends of Mr. Calhoun who wish to 
take in time counsel together and prepare for whatever consequences 
may await us should according to precedent meet here, and we are 
even now thinking of fulfilling the trust imposed on us at the Char- 
iottesville Convention and of appointing some time for our little 
quiet convention. Before doing so however we are most anxious that 
full communication should be had by you the most trusted among 
us with Mr. Calhoun and that you s[houl]d ascertain from him in the 
fullest manner his views and wishes in regard to the action of his 
friends in this State. I very much fear that the lights are not at 
present before him or us which will enable us to determine or act 
prudently, but he is much more likely to have information in regard 
to the real character, projected policy and proposed relations of Mr. 
Polk than any of us possibly could, and besides his interests are to 
be more affected and his judgment more to be relied on than those 
of any other. I think frank communication from him is indispensa- 
ble and I fear it will entail on you the necessity of a hurried trip to 
Washington. Personal conference is so infinitely better than corre- 
spondence (however free) that I would recommend by all means such 
a trip on your part before you meet us here. We have not fully de- 
termined the time of our meeting here but think it would probably be 
best to avoid observation, that we come together at the meeting of 
the Legislature, when many strangers will be around. If you think 
that by that time you can visit Washington and return please let 
us know, as it would most materially influence our appointment -with 
our other friends. I have thought a good deal on our moral course. 
<>nd tho' it may seem strange, I confess the inclination of my mind is 
that we s[houl]d now do nothing and practice that hardest policy 
quiescence. We will however have time hereafter to confer fully. 

The Whigs here are more completely prostrated and crestfallen 
than you can possibly conceive. It is really pitiable to see their 
sunken faces and to hear their gloomy predictions. We have not 
the heart to exult and rather turn to sympathize with and shun 
them. I am not without hopes that by the practice of moderation 
and wise conciliation we may win some of the erring among them 
again to our fold. Little signs of a coming rangle among them may 
I think be discovered and we may be the gainers of the result. Lyons 
I think almost sure and I do not absolutely despair of our friend 
Brooke, w[oul]d indeed be an acquisition. Botts must I think lose 
ground, for gentlemen cannot easily wear Ms collar much longer. 
Nothing has transpired about Jones' intentions except an indication 


of a desire on his part to get out of the way in a manner which I for 
one will never consent to. Cox (a friend of Mr. C[alhoun]) but the 
immediate representative of Jones intimated to Harvie the other day 
that Jones ought to be made Senator next winter. Now on you all 
our hopes are placed and, devil take it, if we are to be defeated by 
such a trimmer as Jones, I have been endeavoring and so has Harvie, 
to get one or two Whigs instructed in your favor, and if successful 
in that we think we can defy "Whigs and old Hunkers too. I have 
a good joke to tell you on Harvie. We had taken an oyster supper 
together and he returned to sleep with me. We sat up very late 
talking of Mr. C[alhoun] 3 s prospects and the difficulty to be appre- 
hended from Silas Wright, who is quite a bugbear to Harvie's 
mind. Having retired, about the middle of the night I was roused 
by a groan and a loud call " Seddon Seddon " in most imploring 
accents. Starting I called out " Harvie what on earth is the matter." 
" Good God, (replied he) , I am so obliged to you for waking me. 
I had such a nightmare, and I thought that D d fellow Silas 
Wright was on my breast pommeling me." I had no one to join me 
in the laugh, but I have not thought of the scene since without one 
of Hawk eyes internal chuckles. Write me soon and let me know 
when you can be with our little squad of good and true men, all of 
whom are in the very highest spirits. 


SENATE CHAMBEK, [WASHINGTON, D. C.], February 1st, 1845. 

MY DEAR HUNTEE : I write to drop yon a suggestion, to be followed 
just as far as your better judgement may deem it necessary. New- 
ton has gallantly, I think, voted for the Texas Annexation. I under- 
stand he has drawn upon him in so doing the fire of the " Whi^ " 
at Richmond, and that he feels greatly in doubt whether he has not 
sacrificed himself with his own Party, without propitiating the 
Democracy. Now as you do not intend to run for his District, but 
are looking to the Senate, would it not be politic in you, to evince a 
disposition to give quarters to Newton for what he has done, and 
to hold out the prospect of still further putting down opposition 
to him, if he still continues to do better. A shrewd friend of mine 
who has canvassed with Newton, thinks it would have a happy 
effect not only on him, but on some of his friends in the Legislature 
who may help you in the election of Senator " Verbum sat," 

I arrived here in good health on Monday night last after having 
been detained by repeated attacks of sickness. I am still weak but 
welL Are you coming to the Inauguration? I hope so by all means. 
I will try and get Elmore to come on, and we will have a general 
consultation about matters in future. On an occasion like that I 
want the Calhoun wing of the Party fully pledged. 



WASHINGTON, [D. C.], February Hth, 1845. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have just received yours of the llth inst., and 
when I inform you, that I am not yet so far recovered as to be able 
to leave my chamber, I am sure you will excuse me for not writing 
before and the brevity of the present letter. 

There is no foundation, as far as I know, for the rumor, that the 
Commissioner of Patents 1 is to be removed. I feel confident that 
he will not be removed before the present administration goes out, 
and I suppose that there is not certainty as to Mr. Polks views in 
reference to him. 

There is at present no dispatch to be sent to Texas. The rule I 
have adopted is to send all dispatches by mail, except in extraordi- 
nary cases. Should there be one of a character as to require special 
messages, I will with pleasure present the name of Mr. Parker to 
the President for the place, but I do not think it probable 5 that there 
will be. 

The fate of the Texian question is still doubtful in the Senate. 
Were it not for Benton's humbug move its success would be most 
certain. Nothing is yet known as to Mr. Polk's Cabinet arrange- 
ment. I think the probability is that he will form one of entirely 
new members. 


FOKT HILL, [S. C.], March 8S, 184$. 

MY DEAR SIR: I regret much, that I did not see you on my way 
home. I spent a day in Richmond and saw and conversed freely 
with all our friends, both in reference to my position in relation to 
Mr. Polk and his administration, and the course we ought to take 
in relation to the portion of the inaugural, in which he speaks of the 

Personally there is no hostile feelings towards him or his adminis- 
tration, on my part. It is no grievance to me, personally, that he 
did not invite me to remain, as one of its members. If he had, I 
would not have accepted, but on the condition of continuing until I 
had completed the Texian and Oregon subjects and that it should be 
announced, that I remained for that purpose, at his special request. 
Even then, I would have felt no little hesitation, with my impression 
in reference to the Composition of the Cabinet and the ground taken 
in the inaugural on the subject of the tariff. I hold the latter to be 
unsound, and the former unsafe, both in reference to the Tariff and 
the Oregon question. In the event of the failure^of the negotiation, 

1 Henry L. Ellsworth of Connecticut, Commissioner of Patents, 1836-1845. 


its influence will be thrown on the side of recinding the joint occu- 
pancy, the inevitable effects of which will be, the loss of the Territory 
and hostilities with England. She is desirous of settling the ques- 
tion, and does not want war with us ; but would encounter it boldly ; 
if we should, by rescinding the Convention, make it a question of 
force, who should occupy it. If on the contrary, we hold on to the 
joint occupancy, and England should not rescind it, the whole Terri- 
tory must become ours by the natural progress of our population; 
and that in a far shorter space of time, than the most sanguine cal- 
culate. It is indeed, the only way we can obtain the whole; and if 
the influence of the administration should be brought to bear effi- 
ciently and in the proper direction, the publick sentiment might be 
controlled in the West, and the whole Territory secured, even if the 
negotiations should fail. Composed as it is, I have no hope that it 
would. Thus thinking, I had no desire to remain, and felt rather 
relieved, than otherwise, that I was not invited to continue. In the 
interview, I had with M^ Polk at his request, he treated me with the 
greatest respect, which left nothing to disturb our personal relations. 
Thus much as to myself. 

As for the publick, it is for it to decide, whether Mr. Folk's course, 
in reference to me, was right or wrong, and what indications it gives, 
as to the line of conduct he intends to pursue. To it and my I riends, 
I leave the decision. It seems, indeed, strange that one who had been 
forced into the office in reference to two important negotiations by 
the United voice of both parties, and who had brought one to a suc- 
cessful close, as far as it depended on him, and made satisfactory 
progress in the other, should without the slightest objections be super- 
ceded and that without leaving time to bring to a close, the duty that 
he had thus far successfully performed, and to the performance of 
which he had been unanimously called, but a short time before. I 
must say, that I can see but one explanation, and that is, that I stood 
in the way of the restoration of the old Jackson Regime, both as to 
individuals and policy. The ground taken in the inaugural is noth- 
ing, but a repetition of Jackson's judicious Tariff in different lan- 
guage. There is not a man in the Cabinet, who did not continue 
throughout a thorough Jackson man. If Virginia stands fast on the 
issue, on which Mr. Polk was elected especially in reference to the 
Tariff the scheme will fail; otherwise it will terminate in the over- 
throw of the party and the triumph of the Whigs. I explained 
fully to our friends in Richmond the ground we ought to occupy in 
reference to the portion of the inaugural, that relates to that im- 
portant measure, in your pending Canvass. It will not do for us 
to endorse it, on the one hand, or to come, at this time, into conflict 
with the administration in reference to it. Either course would be 
fetid. In order to avoid both, I suggested to our friends to admit 


frankly in the Canvass, that ground, taken in the inaugural was not 
satisfactory ; that to say the least it was ambiguous; but to acid, that 
there was no ambiguity as to their principles; that they were in 
favour of a revised Tariff, with no discrimination, but on revenue 
principles, and with a maximum not exceeding 20 per cent; that is, 
in a word, in favour of the compromise. And to conclude by adding, 
if such was the meaning of the inaugural, they would give Mr. Polk 
a cordial support in carrying it out; but if not, they would be con- 
strained to oppose his views, however, reluctant; and that they would 
lf>ave him to explain his meaning by his acts at the next Session. 

I do hope our friends have acted accordingly. On no other ground 
can we safely stand on this vital question. If we give away in ref- 
erence to it, all will be lost. Texas, I regard as settled, unless there 
should be gross mismanagement, which will leave no other living 
question between the parties, but the Tariff and those connected with 
it. Our friends by taking the ground firmly can control Virginia, 
and that will the administration. Otherwise, everything will fall 
into confusion, and the Whigs rise permantly into power. Our 
course may be difficult, but it is a clear one. Let what will come, we 
must adhere to the issue on which we succeeded at the late election. 
Three fourths of the whole party are opposed to a protective Tariff 
either indirect or direct. The movement of England towards free 
trade will greatly strengthen us, especially in the North West. To 
restore the old Jackson Van Buren party will be impossible. I kept 
no journal, while in the Department of State ; but will, if I shall find 
leisure, put down in writing the principal occurances during the 

I hope there is no doubt of your election. 

JOHN C. CALHouisr TO . 

FORT HILL, [S. C.], May 16th, 1845. 

MY DEAR SIR : I entirely concur in the view taken by our friends, 
in their consultation in Charleston, as stated in your letter, with a 
single exception, that of travelling this summer. My impression 
after a review of the whole ground is unchanged, on that point; 
especially that of travelling this summer. Admitting it to be ex- 
pedient, I am of the impression, it ought to be deferred until next 
year. To be still and quiet for the present strikes me as the proper 

I will visit my plantation in Alabama to see my son and his fam- 
ily, sometime this fall. In that case I shall extend my visit to 
Mobile, K[ew] Orleans, and possibly Vicksburg and farther. An- 
other year, if my friends shall think it advisable I will yield to 
their opinion to visit the North and West. 


The first point at present is to develop in a proper way our deter- 
mination not to yield to the dictation of a Convention, and through 
the office holders and office seekers, the rights secured to the people 
of the U[nlted] States by the Constitutions to elect the chief Magis- 
trate. For that purpose after full consultation by correspondence 
with our Virginia friends, a pamphlet ought to be put out, stating 
our ground and the reasons for it in opposition to a Convention. It* 
should appear in Virginia and be prepared by Hunter, Seddon, or 
some talented friend there. 

A letter from you to Scott, would put the thing In motion. On 
Its appearance, the Southern papers should be out in motion to at- 
tract public attention to the subject and in due time, the Southern 
Review the Literary Messenger and Bronson's Review should con- 
tain articles, of which the pamphlet should be the subject. When 
the publick mind in the South Is sufficiently [prepared] for it, then 
my friends if they should choose to present my name as the peoples 
candidate in opposition to the Convention Candidate may do it with 
success, provided they determine to nail the Colours to the mast. 
II we are resolute and determined, the office holders and office seekers 
will succomb. They are a compromising race. With them a half 
loaf is better than none; and prospect of success is better than no 
prospect. In no other way, be assured my friend, can we succeed. 
The mercernary corps will never permit power to be put in my 
hands, if they can elect another. That is fixed, but had rather see 
me elected than an opponent from whom they can have nothing to 
hope. That is the philosophy of the whole affair. We can only 
succeed by showing them, that I am the only man of the party who 
can be elected, which we can easily do if our Virginia friends choose 
to take the stand, early and firmly. Without it, establishing news- 
papers travelling and every other thing is in vain. Indeed if I am 
to travel I would greatly prefer to do it openly as the candidate of 
the people and the Constitution ; and under invitation from them to 
meet them in that character. It would be far more respectable to 
do It In that than any other character. 

Such are my views. If you concur, you can do much to execute 
them. Write at once to Scott, Elmore, Hamilton and such other 
friends at other points, as you may think judicious. 

Elmore should call a small meeting of our friends in Charleston 
and place the subject before them in extenso, and organize a system- 
atic movement beginning at a few important points, and address 
our friends in Richmond as the Organ of the meeting on the sub- 
ject of preparing and issuing a pamphlet. What is wanted is action, 
action, action; quiet and still but wide spread and efficient action, 
among those you ought to unite. I would add Elmore of E. New 
Orleans and Redwood Fisher of Cincinnati. He was at Washing- 


ton last Winter and is efficient and faithful. He may be fully 
trusted. He writes well and if you would put him in possession 
of the line of action, I have no doubt [he would] prepare an able 
pamphlet suited to the Western Meridian. 

You are at liberty in your correspondence if you should think 
proper to use my name and give such extracts from what I have 
written to you on the subject as you may think proper. I par- 
ticularly concur in the opinion of the Charleston meeting, that re- 
tirement for me at present, is the proper position for me. I have 
no idea, that the mission will be offered to me on the terms you 
suggest, it might If it should it would be difficult to decline, 
although it would be very adverse to my inclination. There is but 
one possible reason which as far as I can see, should in any con- 
tingency force me into publick life at this time. The Oregon ques- 
tion might take a turn, that might make my presence in the Senate 
almost indispensable. War must not grow out of it. I know it need 
not, or rather I ought to say needed not. Polks inaugeral has 
greatly embarrassed the subject, as I apprehended at the time. I 
have no confidence in the administration in reference to the subject 

I did my best to put him in the right direction in relation to it 
before he delivered his inaugeral but as it turned out in vain. I 
fear if he is not overruled War will be [the] consequence, a "War 
which must end in the loss of the territory and countless disaster 
to the Country. The government itself will hardly survive it. I 
have for years kept my eyes on it and what I have said is the result 
of deep reflection. He can I fear be only overruled by the Senate 
and not by that unless the South is true to itself. If my efforts 
[are] necessary to prevent so great a calamity as such a war, I must 
meet the responsibility as great as it may be. 


BOSTON, [MASS.], February 16^ 1846. 

DEAR SIR: Without my consent and against my wishes I was ap- 
pointed Collector of this post. I at first determined that I would 
not accept the office. But the importunities of my friends Including 
almost all of the most respectable democrats In the State who seemed 
to think I owed it to the party, and that my refusal would be a 
great injury to the party did much to overcome my first determina- 
tion. Then the personal request of the President being added In- 
duced me to accept. 

I had twice before refused the same office and I assnxe you that I 
deeply regret that I did not now follow the dictates of my own 

*A Representative in Congress from Massachusetts, 1817-1821; governor of Massa- 
clrasetts, 1840-1841, 1843-1844 ; collector of the port of Boston, 1845-1849. 


judgement. The business is not at all to my taste and in any event 
I will not long remain in it. 

I may be allow to say that my appointment was most favourably 
received by the whole community. And were the question of con- 
firmations submitted to all the people of the State, or to the demo- 
cratic portion of them, or to the Whig portion of them, or to all the 
business men, or to the democratic portion of them, or to the Whig 
portion of them, I should have no fear of the result under the two 
Thirds^ or even a three quarter's rule. 

An opposition however to my appointment has been got up but I 
am confident I don't say too much when I say that it owes its origin 
entirely to disappointed office seekers, either men who have been re- 
moved from office or disappointed in their applications. It is not 
unexpected to me that this opposition is carried to Washington and 
that efforts are being made by artful and indefatigable men to in- 
duce the Senate to reject my nomination. Now however unpleasant 
the office may be to me, I assure you a rejection would be a source of 
deep mortification to me. I have taken no steps to induce the Sen- 
ate to make a favourable decision. I have no wish to do so. My 
cnly wish is that they should obtain the truth. I have no corre- 
spondent in Washington. I have written only two or three letters 
to any members of Congress during the Session. I hear objections 
are made against me, but what they are I know very little except 
what I get from that most uncertain source, letter writers for papers. 
I therefore presume I have very little correct information of what 
occurs in relation to myself. 

It is said that very strong efforts have been made to induce yourself 
and your Southern Friends to vote against me. I know not how 
much truth there may be in the report. But our excellent friend 
Col. Pierce of N"[ew] Hamshire, attached so much importance to 
It that he advised me to address you on the subject. In obedience to 
his advice I now r take the liberty to submit their remarks to your con- 
sideration. I may have been misled by the reports; but it is reported 
that I have been charged with Abolitionism, Nativeism and prejudice 
against yourself atid your friends. 


I should be glad to have my Southern friends understand my true 
position on this subject, and 1 would willingly abide their judgment. 
I admit. in the outset that I am opposed, (if you please) decidedly 
opposed to slavery. But I deny most emphatically that in any way I 
ever did anything to aid or encourage the abolition party or the doc- 
trine of abolition. I have never opposed any interference with the 
domestic regulations and laws of the slave-holding States. They 


alone are responsible for their principles and conduct as we are for 
ours. As a private citizen, as a professional man, and as a judicial 
and executive officer, I have exerted myself to secure to our Southern 
brethren a full and fair execution of the laws, in relation to their 
slave property. While I was at the Bar, a Virginian undertook to 
reclaim his slave under the U[nited] S[tates] laws. But he was re- 
sisted, indicted for assault and battery on the slave and thrown into 
prison. ls T o member of the Bar would appear for him. I went for- 
ward, at the hazard and loss of business and reputation, procured 
bail for him and with the aid of my young partner carried his case 
through the courts and sustained the law against passion and preju- 
dice. The decision may be seen in the 2 of Pickerings Eep[orts] 
Com[monweal]th vs. Griffith. 

I have for a long time been before the public in a situation which 
exposed me to many calls which I was under the necessity of answer- 
ing; and I have written numerous letters, perhaps a hundred on this 
subject, yet my oponents have found only two, and these private ones, 
which they thought would tend to support the charge. If they had 
produced the others, especially those written with more care for more 
public occasions, they would have shown that I always opposed the 
organization and movements of the abolition party and all inter- 
ference with the municipal affairs of the Southern and all other 
States. If they will refer to my official acts they will find in them 
evidence not to support but to refute the charge. When I was Gov- 
ernor in 1840 and 1843 the two parties seemed to run a race for the 
favour of the Abolitionists, who held the balance of power in the 
State, and passed several very high toned abolition and Anti-Texas 
resolves, some of them unanimously. ^ These, notwithstanding the 
strongest importunties of some of our leading democrats I refused 
to approve. And now, some of the men who blamed me for not 
signing them, try to involve me because at the request of the Legisla- 
ture, I forwarded them to their destination, or rather the secretary 
did under a usage and an implied authority from me. 

In relation to the two private letters refer [re] d to, only extracts 
are published. Whether these are correct copies, I have no means 
of Judging. I do not mean to be understood that I think there are 
any material alterations. But the parts omitted would show the 
occasions on which they were written and that they were private 
and confidential. The one to Whittier was written in answer to one 
received long before and to which an answer had been promised. 
I had made repeated efforts to convince the more honest Abolitionists 
that their measures defeated the very object they had in view. I de- 
sired to try that argument with WTrittier, who is a talented and I 
believe a very honest man. 
23318 18 -VOL 2 6 


The letter to Eddy was written in very great liaste and very late 
in the night. It was expressly asked in confidence and written in 
confidence. Had I deemed it possible that it could ever be pub- 
lished I should have taken care to use different language. You will 
at once perceive the difference between hasty unguarded expressions 
used to a confidential friend and language prepared to be seen by 
everybody. You are doubtless aware that the Eddy letter was pub- 
lished in violation of the strictest confidence, and on express promise. 

It may have been stated that I signed the resolve to appoint Com- 
missioners to Charlestown and N[ew] Orleans and a law to authorize 
marriages between whites and blacks. If so 5 I can only say it is 

I defy any man to produce any proof that I am an Abolitionist or 
ever favoured the Abolitionists. There is not a prominent man in 
Massachusetts against whom stronger evidence cannot be produced. 
I have been misunderstood as well as misrepresented; and a strong 
desire to set myself right has carried me quite too far in these re- 
marks. Yet had I time I might add many more circumstances in 
refutation of this charge. But I trust I have said enough. I close 
with the assumption that no patriotic Southern man will be influ- 
enced in his vote upon a man because he is opposed to slavery and 
no Northern man will be influenced against a man because he is in 
favour of slavery. 


No more unfounded charge can be brought against me than this. 
From the days of the Alien law to the present I have always been 
an advocate for Naturalization law and the rights of foreigners, and 
especially catholics. I have heard that some quotations from a letter 
of mine, have been circulated with a view to ruin an impression that 
I am unfavourable to the catholics. It is wholly untrue, I never 
was influenced against any man on account of his religion catholic 
or protestant. Few if any men ever went farther in favour of 
religious liberty and perfect equality of religious denominations. 
I might in proof refer to many of my printed opinions while on the 

I was called upon to recommend a man for a Post Master in 
North Bridgewater. There were two candidates. One I suppose 
a protestant supported by nearly all the democratic citizens of the 
town and by the county Committee. The other of whom I knew 
nothing was represented to me by respectable men to be an unfit 
person. They said he was extremely unpopular and as causes of this 
said that he was a catholic and a political trimmer. I knew the 
Inhabitants of the town were very calvinistic and could but infer 
that they would be very averse to have a catholic Postmaster, as 


the Gentlemen stated to me. I suppose tlie aversion of the people 
to the man whether founded on prejudice or reason, formed some 
objection to his appointment. I therefore repeated to the Post 
Master what had been told me not as facts known to me, but as what 
had been said to me. A reference to my practice will test my 
opinion in this matter. There are in the Boston Custom House five 
or six catholics, which they will admit is their full proportion. In 
my removals I have not displaced a single catholic. Strong objec- 
tions were made to one but in my investigation of the subject, I 
assure you he fared none the worse for being a catholic. It was 
my intention not [to] let the mans religious faith have any influ- 
ence ; but if it had any it was not unfavourable to the Catholic. 

It has been the policy of certain office seekers, who were removed 
by me or who imagine that their chance of getting office will be in- 
creased by my rejection, to represent that I have been influenced by 
our late presidential predilections. Those who circulate this story 
don't believe it and I know it to be untrue. A reference to facts 
will show its falsity. I have removed eight or ten officers who 
called themselves democrats. Every one was for what I deemed good 
cause. It was either because he was unfaithful or incompetent or of 
objectionable moral character. In removals or appointments I 
never inquired into any mans Presidential preferences; and did not 
know them except in a very few cases. In my removals I hap- 
pened to discharge every Van Buren man in the office. And in my 
appointments I happened to include a portion of the friends of all 
the different candidates. Untill this charge I did not know the 
preferences of one third of the men in office. But I have since re- 
quested one or two Gentlemen to make enquiries; and they inform 
me that of the men holding office under me, a large majority were 
and are OalJwun men. 

In my official course I have been on the most friendly terms with 
my predecessor and have to a great extent followed his advice, espe- 
cially in reference to removals. And those who have made the 
greatest complaint and are now the most active against me were 
removed by his advice and from information communicated by him. 

I suppose many things have been or may be fabricated of which I 
never shall have knowledge. I know how indif atigable and unscrup- 
ulous my opponents are. But I cannot excuse myself in going any 


Friday evening. 

RICHMOND, VA., {January 15, 1847.1 

MY DEAR SIR: The vote in the House of Delegates, for Senator of 
the United States, has just drawn to a close, and I congratulate you. 


most cordially, upon the result. You have received 83 votes. There 
were three absentees. This ensures your final election upon joint 

I need not say more. The cause of Patriotism has triuniph'd. 


KICHMOND, [VA.], 18 January ', 1847. 

DEAR SIR: Having waited long enough for the promised letter 
from your farm in the summer, the failure of which I excuse because 
you did not reach there till the interest of the cropping season had 
passed, I venture to say a word in the hope it will be duly appre- 
ciated. In the recent election of Senator you are not to infer that all 
the democrats in the legislature who did not at any time vote for you 
are bitterly opposed to you. Smith was the strongest man of all 
as a first choice. How it was between Jones and yourself I do not 
know. His friends thot him the stronger, but I am very sure some 
and I think not a few of them would have preferred you next to 
him and would have so voted in Caucus had you there proved stronger 
than Jones. Such has been my information since from one or more 
of their number. But the Jones men having gone into Caucus, (your 
friends and some others holding off) and being there largely out- 
numbered by the Smith men, were displeased with your friends be- 
cause they did not go in, in order to suffer you to be decapitated and 
then to go to their aid and make a nomination of Jones. In the elec- 
tion under these circumstances the Caucus men went against you 
because they were bound by the Caucus, the Smith men because their 
friend was the nominee and the opposition made by your friends was 
manifestly to prove his ruin, the Jones men because your friends had 
saved you and they had lost their man, the McDowell men at first 
because though generally not bound by the Caucus they hoped to 
build up a strong position for their man out of the ruins of the party 
organization which they saw at every discharge tumbling more and 
more heavily around them, and afterwards because the little fabric 
they attempted was demolished before it could be raised, the party 
men because you were not the party candidate, the I dont like to 
say, hunkers because your friends were Calhoun men, and all because 
whigs were voting for you. After the election there was no indecent 
exultation on the part of your friends, or outward signs of bitterness 
on the part of those who were beaten. And since while some are 
talk [ing] to us very violently, some seem quite subdued and others 
profess to be rather pleased than otherwise because they say they 
preferred you to Smith and are glad that Smith is killed off. Wool- 
folk, whom I am far from disliking, swears the whigs are a better 
party than the Calhoun party and doubtless would say, I think I 
heard him say so, that he would go for both in preference to any of 


the clique, because, as he stated, Smith has done more good to the 
democratic party than any man in the State, and Botts nest. 

The result of what I have to say is that while there may be ex- 
ceptions you are not to look upon the democratic party in the legis- 
lature as hostile to you, or as doubting your democracy. And the 
why I say it is that possibly in moments when you are alone it may 
be a subject of regret that so many of your political friends are found 
holding out against you as if particularly hostile to your elevation. 
I do not think the opposition was aimed at you personally. It was 
a compound of the ingredients I have mentioned with perhaps some 
others. I hope and believe the effects and consequences will be bene- 
ficial, but come what may your friends will not regret the course they 
have taken or shrink from its responsibilities. 

After two or three weeks, if you can come without inconvenience, I 
think a visit to this city would not he disadvantageous nor dis- 


CAMP NEAR MONTEREY, MEX[ICO], January 30tfi, 1847. 

MY DEAR COUSIN: I have just seen by the papers which reached 
us to-day, that a bill has been introduced in the lower house by Mr. 
Haralson * to raise an additional regiment of Dragoons and nine of 
Infantry to serve five years or during the War. I take it that this 
is to be a regular force; and I need hardly add that I should be 
much gratified, and much obliged to you, if you could succeed in 
securing me promotions in any one of them, should the Bill pass both 
houses. What are your opinions as to the permanency of this addi- 
tional force? Will it be retained after the War, or in case of a re- 
duction, will it stand an equal chance with the regular force now in 
service, of being retained. This latter was the case with the officers 
in the reduction of the Army after the termination of the last War 
with Great Britain, and it would seem fair to expect such a course in 
this case. 

As the increase is so great, I should like, if possible, to get the rank 
of a major particularly if it should be in the Infantry. My prefer- 
ence is, of course, for the Dragoons or mounted service, but should 
the numbep of applicants for that corps, greatly decrease my chances 
for high ranks, I would fall back upon the Infantry. The recom- 
mendatory letters which were in the hands of General Jones during 
my application for a Commission in the mounted Eiflemen, are now 
in my possession, but as they produced so little effect on that occa- 
sion, I have not deemed it worth the while to forward them again. 
Should they be necessary, they can be forwarded at once. If neces- 
sary, please advise me on this point. 

1 A Representative in Congress from Georgia, 1843-1851, 


The army is earnestly hoping that Congress will adopt the sug- 
gestions of the Secretary of War in regard to the additional major 
for each regiment and the retired list. The army is almost paralysed 
by the imbecility of its old officers men who have already worn out 
in the service the ordinary energies allotted to mankind and Congress 
could not possibly pass at this time an act which would moye essen- 
tially benefit the army than that establishing a retired list, and in 
saying this, I feel safe in adding that it is the uniform opinions of 
the whole army. 

What has become of that bronze medal that we were to receive 
from Congress? I think it died a natural death in the Senate. 
Will it be revived this session? If it should, for God's sake, give it 
a lift, for I assure you I had rather wear one of those stars on my coat, 
than to receive a half dozen of those empty brevets. And in this 
feeling I believe, the army generally agrees with me. 

We also see by the papers that the President is meditating the 
appointment (if authorized by law) of a "Lieut. General" to Con- 
duct the War and a " high Commission " to treat for peace. Gods ! 
what " a fire in n Genl. Scott's " War." This is more, I expect, than 
he bargained for when he left Washington, and may probably cause 
him after taking a " hasty plate of soup " at Vera Cruz to return. 
The Genl. (Scott) has played the devil with Genl. Taylor both in 
front and "rear." He has withdrawn from the Command of the 
latter upwards of 9,000 men, and has left upon this line (from Mon- 
dova to Tampico) but 5,000 volunteers, and a few regular artillery 
and cavalry, while we have a force of 25,000 Mexicans in our imme- 
diate front. If Santa Anna possesses the smallest degree of energy 
we are certainly now at his mercy anjd if he omits this opportunity 
of striking a blow, he deserves to fail. With all respect to the " bone 
and sinew " of the country, I should dislike very much to go into a 
general battle with volunteers alone. They have not, and justly I 
think, sufficient confidence in their officers and as soon as one man 
runs, the rest follow to see what the matter is. We have already 
lost, in front of Saltillo, a party of some 90 mounted men under the 
new order of things, and God knows what may be in store for us a 
few weeks hence. A remarkable fact about this whole matter is 
that although General Scott left Washington on the 18th of Novem- 
ber for this country. General Taylor has not yet received from the 
War Department any notifications that General Scott has been 
authorized to call upon him for troops, a period of more than two 
months. General Taylor is, of course, much annoyed at this treat- 
ment and quite at a loss how to understand it. He leaves this place 
to-morrow for SaltiUo, near which point his H[ea]d Q[uarte]rs will 
be established. 


HBNfir A. WiSE 1 TO E. M. T. HUNTER. 

Kio, [BRAZIL], May MtJi, 1847. 

MY DEAR HUNTER: Y[ou]rs of Feb[ruar]y 8th was rec[eive]d in 
the last few days. Whatever I may have said In my letter to Mr. 
Galhoim or any one else, I wish you to understand that I did not 
mean to "count you out 55 of the list of my friends; and, though 
I would have been glad to have heard from yon more frequently 
and fully, yet I was too well Informed of your good offices in my 
behalf to doubt for a moment that you have been warmly one of my 
best friends in my absence, and I justly acquitted you of all blame 
for not reporting regularly what you had done for me, when it was 
enough that you had done all that I could expect or require. I 
thank you sincerely, and as the Lord liveth and will allow, I will 
repay. The affair with this Gov[ernmen]fc has now become serious, 
and as you are to my heart content one of my own Senators In 
Congress, and as another friend too Is your colleague from Virginia, 
I desire to inform you both fully of the exact posture of our & rela- 
tions with Brazil. Three causes have existed, each sufficient In 
Itself, for my rupture with the Imperial Gov[emmen]t. 

1st. I have earnestly endeavored to snatch our Hag away from the 
uses of the Brazilian African Slave-trade. 

Sndly. I have urged with pertinacity claims of our citizens to the 
am[oun]t of a million nearly, the most of which had been grossly 
neglected for 20 years, and some of which were never presented at 
all until the time of Mr Calhoun in the Dep[artmen]t of state 
and niy time in the Mission. 

Srdly. I have firmly protected our citizens resident here against the 
barbarous assaults and false imprisonments of a corrupt police whose 
constant practice is to extort bribes from foreigners under the cloak 
of keeping the peace. 

Under the latter head was the case of L[Ieutenan]t Davis of the 
Corvette Saratoga. I wont bore you with, its details. It was a 
gross outrage and insult. I acted decisively and promptly. Suffice 
it to say that the Pres[iden]t and Sec[retar]y of State sustained 
me, as they have ever done throughout my mission with effect. This 
case occurred on the 31st of October. On the 15th KTov[emfae]r and 
2nd Dec[embe]r, 1846, the days of the festas for the baptism of 
the Imp[eria]l Princess and for the birth of the Emperor Dom 
Pedro II, Comdre Eoupeau declined to interchange salutes. This 
excited the most inflamed ire of Imperialism. Appropos enough^ 
just as my dispatchers were going home informing our Gk>v[ern- 
men]t of the Davis affair, the President's letter to the Emperor 
was coining out congratulating him on the birth of the Imperial 

*Wise was minister of tlie United States to Brazil, 


Princess. It found me prostrate on a bed of sickness. On the 18th 
of Feb[ruar]y I was well enough to address the Min[ister] for 
F[oreign] Aff[ai]rs, Barad de Cayru, a note saying I was instructed 
to present in person to H[is] Majesty this letter of the Pres[iden]t 
of the U[nited] S[tates] and asked when I could be allowed the 
opportunity of doing so. The reply on the 25th was that H[is] 
M[ajesty] 3 the Emperor would not receive the letter at all from my 
hands until he heard the result of the Davis affairs at Washington ; 
but the Minister of F[oreign] Aff[ai]rs w[oul]d receive the letter 
at my hands. To this I returned what I deemed a most proper 
reply: abided by the decision of my own Gov[ernmen]t and declined 
to present the Presid[en]t's letter to any one but the Emperor him- 
self. On the 10th of April the decision of the Pres[iden]t and 
cabinet at Washington was rec[eive]d here. The Emperor was 
absent on a northern tour. I waited and reflected maturely on my 
course and on the 21st of April addressed to the Minister for 
F[oreign] Aff[ai]rs the following note: after informing him that 
I had rec[eive]d the decision of my gov[ernmen]t, I said: " Whilst 
the undersigned cannot but be gratified that his own course has been 
not only approved but complimented by the Pres[iden]t of the 
U[nited] S[tates], he, at the same time, feels more deep cause of 
congratulation, on account of the public good of both countries, 
in the happy result that "the controversy" (quoting from Mr. 
Buchanan) " has been settled after explanations from the Brazilian 
Gov[ernmen]t through their Minister at Washington, which were 
entirely satisfactory to the Gov[ernmen]t of the U[nited] S[tates]." 
The Pres[iden]t, through the Sec[retar]y of State, has informed 
Mr. Lisboa that "the whole occurrence, so far as the U[nited] 
S[tates] are concerned, shall henceforward be buried in oblivion;" 
and, he has said to the Undersigned " that he relies with confidence, 
the "amende honorable" having been made by Brazil, that "his" 
conduct towards the Brazilian authorities will be guided by a desire 
to restore harmony and promote friendship between the two coun- 
tries whose mutual interests are so deeply identified with each other." 
The Undersigned will, assuredly do. all in his power, not to dis- 
appoint this just and flattering confidence of the Pres[iden]t, and he, 
at once, tenders to the Imp[eria]l Gov[ernmen]t every disposition 
to conform cordially to this friendly instruction, and to enter upon 
a new interchange of kindness and civility. He regrets that there 
was any occasion for misunderstanding; and, with a view to remove 
all causes of ill feeling for the future, he reminds Y[ou]r Ex[cel- 
lenc]y that there are many matters of business and of etiquette now 
pending between the Court of Brazil and this Legation. He had, 
months before October last, requested to be recalled: that request 
is likely soon to be complied with, and in the meantime, he is in- 


structed especially to procure the payment of the indemnities due 
to the Citizens of the U[nited] States, which have been so long pend- 
ing. And he, therefore, again brings these claims to Y[ou]r 
Excellences serious consideration &c &c &c." On the 3rd inst 
H[is] M[ajesty] the Emperor opened the Session of the Gen[era]l 
Legislative Assembly and announced in his speech that the Davis 
affair was iwt adjusted, and that the Senators and Deputies might 
rest assured that it should be concluded in a manner comporting 
with the National dignity. On the 26th of Ap[ri]l he had dismissed 
Mr. Lisboa from the diplomatic corps for making an " amende hon- 
orable" to our Gov[ernmen]t. On the 4th inst the Minister] for 
F[oreign] Aff[ai]rs sent me a note by order of H[is] M[ajesty] 
saying that he having disapproved of the act of his Minister at 
Washington, he considered the settlement of the affair still pending 
between the two Gov[ernmen]ts, and in the mean time the interrup- 
tion of H[is] M[ajesty']s relations with me would continue. I made 
no reply and shall make none to this note until the arrival of my 
successor, Mr. Tod, and have so informed Mr. Buchanan. And I 
have ventured to suggest to the Cabinet that now, more than ever, 
a bold and decisive course is required on their part. 

The very insolence of Imperialism has prevailed in the Councils of 
Brazil respecting this affair. They have recalled Mr. Lisboa, for 
reason of a proper apology for both outrage and insult to the 
U[nited] States. It behooves the Pres[iden]t, then, to decline re- 
ceiving any other Minister as long as the act of Mr. Lisboa is dis- 
approved; and he is bound to recall the Min[ister] of the Ufaited] 
S[tates] at this Court, for the reason that the Emperor refused to 
accord customary privileges to their Minister] now here on account 
of acts approved and applauded by his own Gov[ernmen]t. 

To-day, the 13th, the Barad de Cayru Minfister] for F[oreign] 
Aff [ai]rs has come out with a long relatonio (report) to the Legisla- 
tive Chambers of the whole affair. His Synopsis is a most garbling 
lie, to say the least of it. I shall wait patiently for Tod and demand 
my pass ports and tell him plainly what he ought to do. Thus, this 
affair, small in its beginning, not bigger than a man's hand in the 
horizon, has assumed serious importance in its present phase. It is 
no longer the bare imprisonment of a L[ieutenan]t and three Sea- 
men. I beg you to call for the whole correspondence up to the meet- 
ing of the next Congress. 

We expect Tod in July. I desire very much to return home and 
find no fault with the Pres[iden]t's course towards me as I under- 
stand it out here. On the Contrary I am his debtor, and " I will 
repay." You know, I don't know that you do, how far I would go 
now to make Mr. Calhoun, Presid[en]t, but I regretted nothing so 
much as his note about Mr. Eitchie, That was unlike him. On Ms 


own ace[oim.]t I was exceedingly sorry. If we cant get Calhoun, 
what shall we do? You need not answer this, I shall be off hence as 
soon as possible. I shall look well around me when I get home. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], June 16th, 1848. 

MY DEAR SIR : For my long silence, I fear I have no better excuse 
to proffer than that I am confoundedly lazy and have not been able 
to summon energy enough to grapple with the great difficulties and 
embarrassments of politics in which you are naturally absorbed. 
That I shake off habitual indolence now is rather due to the claims 
of friendship than to any interest on my own part in the vexed ques- 
tions of the times. Our common and very gallant young friend, 
Caskie, 1 finds himself since the Baltimore nominations in an em- 
barrassing position. Having been actively instrumental in the in- 
troduction and adoption of the resolutions known as the Virginia 
platform, he feels himself specially pledged not to swerve from their 
committals but to carry them resolutely out. At the same time he 
is, I believe, thoroughly convinced that true policy and the best in- 
terest of the South will be eventually subserved by active support 
being granted by the State Eights men in this State, in the coming 
canvass to the Baltimore nominees. Their is no doubt whatever in 
my own opinion that such is truly the case in respect to the party 
here but I am even more clear that it is especially important to 
Caskie's own prospects, now and remote that in the coming contest 
he should not observe an unprofitable neutrality but cast himself 
vigorously into the meter. He has not however been able positively 
to satisfy himself that he can honestly and conscientiously after the 
declarations of the V[irgini]a resolutions take this active part. 
Under these circumstances, it has occurred to me that possibly by a 
visit to Washington, he might obtain either such information in rela- 
tion to Cass, real opinions or such insight into the state of parties 
and their relation to the subject of our Southern Institutions as to 
remove his scruples and start him with a clear conscience on the right 
track, and considering as I really do, his prospect very seriously de- 
pendant on his course now t I have advised him by all means to go on 
and have full and frank conversation with you and other friends. 
Do try, if it be practicable, to satisfy his honest scruples and en- 
deavor to make it the interest of some of Cass 3 confidential friends, 
if they honestly can, to reveal his position satisfactorily. I am 
earnest about this, because apart from a general and cordial wish for 
John's advancement, I in common with many others look to me [him] 
specially just now as the best and most available opponent of Botts 

1 John Samnels Cackle, a "Democrat of the strict construction school ; represented Vir- 
ginia in Congress, 1851-1859. 


next spring. I have eschewed utterly, having no taste for a reputa- 
tion of popular gratitude, and can and will not if I can help it be a 
candidate. I honestly believe that John is the most popular and 
available candidate but be that as it may with my resolution, he is 
the only one who can run with a chance of success. Neutrality in 
the present canvass would of course preclude his selection and on this 
account, you see the importance of his being satisfied. Eely up@n it, 
if he can be placed in Congress he will do good service to the South 
and the State Eights party and he must not be lightly sacrificed. 

For my own part I have no difficulty in supporting Gen [era] 1 Cass 
on the score of the slavery question. I am inclined to think him 
very trusty if not exactly right on the territorial question and his 
position, affiliation with and to Wilmot proviso men and passed 
course give me abundant security that the South will be safe under 
his presidency. Indeed, as Caskie will more fully explain to you, I 
think the events of the times are combining wonderfully to aid and 
strengthen our Southern Institutions. I feel more secure about them 
than I have for years past and that security will I believe be much 
more certain by the election of Cass than Taylor. In all other re- 
spects except one Cass is decidedly to be preferred. That one is his 
western Radicalism about our foreign relation, which amid the 
whirl of revolutions abroad may be very complex and delicate. I 
distrust him on this I confess, but suppose I must gulp it down and 
hope for the best. The responsibilities of the presidency will do 
much to sober and steady the excesses of a man especially cautious 
and perhaps bound at least I trust so. 

You must and I suppose will support the nominee. Indeed in your 
position no alternative exists unless you wish to resign. You would 
have no Constituancy and no recognized position. Some pain I 
know must be experienced by the position thus forced on you, but I 
rejoice to think it the last dilemma of the kind to which you will be 
exposed. Neither you nor I can affiliate with the Whigs or give 
them the aid of our forbearance. I wish our friends in S[outh] 
Carolina would think and act with us, but if they cannot, for God 
sake invoke them not at this critical time to form even the moit 
transcient alliance with the Whigs. If they do, permanent annexa- 
tion will be the inevitable consequence. 


FRANKETJRTH:, [GERMANY], June &3d, 1848. 

DEAR SIR: The great kindness which you have of late as always 
shown me, encourages me to make the following 

1 Maxmillian Schele De Vere was born in Sweden, 1820, educated In Germany, and 
came to America in 1843. In 1844 he was made professor of modern languages in tlie 
University of Virginia, wnere lie served continuously for 50 years, tie died May 10, 1898. 


whicli I beg you to consider simply as a proof of my desire to show 
you my sense of such obligations. 

At Paris I found Mr. Rush most completely indifferent to the 
movements of Germany and heard there at the Prussian Embassy 
that Mr. Donelson as well as Mr. Stiles were not inclined to leave 
their post and to go to Frankfurth. Here however I find things in 
a far more interesting and advanced state than I expected. By 
means of former connections and the kindness of the American 
consul I obtained access to their provisional Parliament as well as 
to the person of their distinguished president, Mr. von Gagern. 1 
At an interview which I had this morning with him, he declared 
with his usual frankness that he felt confident, an overwhelming 
majority in the Parliament would at the taking of the question, 
which will be some day next week, decide in favor of a constitutional 
monarchy. He himself does not believe that this resolution will be 
accepted by Germany without a civil war; he considers however even 
this as a better state of things than the anarchy which would inevi- 
tably follow the declaration of a Eepublic. The Central Power, also 
only a provisional power until the first regular Parliament shall have 
fully digested a written Constitution is to be vested in either one 
or three persons. Mr. v[on] Gagern and both, the rights and the 
Centres are in favor of one and this the Archduke John of Austria, 
a man of openly proclaimed liberal views, extremely popular where 
known but not known beyond his little Tyrol and one who has as 
yet given no guarantees for Ms capacity to rule a German Empire 
in such times with wisdom and energy. Others wish a Triumvirate, 
adding to this prince an old but much esteemed Prince, William of 
Prussia, uncle of the King and a Prince of Bavaria. 

Only the extreme Left desire a Eepublic. The present body, most 
commonly called German Parliament is thus elected. The provi- 
sional fifty men in Frankfurth established and proclaimed the neces- 
sity of such a body to give Germany a constitution. The different 
governments, compelled by the force of public opinion and domestic 
revolutions agreed to it, published laws of election and sent their 
delegates. These now hold that they have to treat not with the Ger- 
man nation as such but with their respective governments. Hence 
the Central Power also is not to be elected by the people but ap- 
pointed by the sovereigns of Germany. It is to last only until a final 
settlement of all constitutional questions ; they consider however this 
latter business so important, requiring so much reflection and time, 
how German ! that a second provisional Power is required. 

Among their Committees is one for Volks-wirth-schafts; this is 
subdivided into several branches one of which has for its special task 
the agreement on leading principles for a united system of commerce 

* Heinrich Wllhelm August Gagern, 1799-1880. 


for all Germany. At the head of this Sub Committee Is Baron 
Roenne, whose departure for Washington seems to me, in spite of 
his own wishes, very certain. They have a decided majority in favor 
of a general system; measures have already been agreed upon to 
reconcile the interests of the sea-shore towns like Hamburg &c who 
wish for free trade with those of the manufacturing districts like 
Westphalia &c who seek protection in a tariff. The Zollverein is 
here at least considered as having, historically, fulfilled its duties and 
to be superseded by a German Verein. This I understand to be a 
most momentous question for the United States; Kas. Kocnne has 
been selected for the Union as most conversant with the interests of 
both countries and will naturally drive a very hard bargain. It is 
ill this view principally though not alone that the absence of an 
American agent is most deeply regretted by all who have an interest 
in our country. Col. Mann does not understand or speak German and 
is in so bad health as to be prevented from attending any meeting. 
The American Consul is very old and by gout chained to his arm 
chair ; thus as anxious as unable to do his duty. Mr von Gagern has 
repeatedly expressed his hopes that at least, when the Central Power 
is established, which may be in two weeks, a representative o the 
U[nited] S[tates] will be here to give countenance to poor Germany 
and to take care of the interests of his own country. 

The American name, I am glad to find, has never stood higher, 
everywhere are works and pamphlets in bookstores and on centre 
tables on our Institutions, and almost every orator points to them 
as a glorious example. 

If I found in France most unequivocal mobocracy and the Republic 
considered, even by men like Lamartine and Thiers, only as a " pis 
aller " and the only means to preserve momentarily peace and order, 
I am truly grieved to find Germany so generally unprepared for a 
Eepublic. Republican and Demagogue are identic and both contain 
a strong mixture of Communism and Fourierism. They are lost in 
Theorems and debate for days on the true meaning of a republican 
head at the head of a constitutional Monarchy! The members of 
the Right proclaim from the rostrum that they are proud to be called 
by their sovereigns " their faithful loyal subjects," the Left proclaim 
the necessity of decapitating all sovereigns and of the slaughter of 
some thousand human lives before order can be restored. 

War with Russia is everywhere considered inevitable. The dam- 
age in Bohemia has been fearful ; more fearful is, that the Emperor 
of Russia is expected to avail himself of this opportunity to protect 
the Slaves in Germany and thus to interfere. Russian troops are 
along the Eastern frontier within an hour's march, Some hope that 
such a war, a common calamity, would best unite all Germany; others 
fear the Radicals might avail themselves of the necessity to demand 


more tlian would be desirable. It is in every respect a f earful crisis 
for the whole Continent and poor Germany seems now also to be 
destined to be the heart of Europe which feels most and suffers most, 
whilst on its vast plains, where all momentous questions for Europe, 
from the Huns to the Eeformation War and from Frederick 2 to 
Leipsic hare been decided, a new and fearful struggle is decided. 

You will, I hope, pardon this uncalled for letter. Should you or 
any of your friends hare a wish to hear of what is doing and what is 
contemplated in Germany, I would be most happy to furnish such 
information as may be in my hands. A letter addressed to the care 
of the U[nited] S [tales] Legation in Berlin, will always reach me. 


NEW ORLEANS, [LA.], December &?, 1848. 

DEAR SIR : It is with great reluctance that I trouble you on a sub- 
ject which does not come within the sphere of your duties, but with- 
out further apology I will lay the matter before you, and leave you to 
judge of its propriety, 

It is doubtless known to you that quite a number of officers of the 
army have used political and other influences to get brevets for 
services during the Florida and Mexican Wars, and I know in some 
instances, where they were not very deserving of this honor. Now 
as this has become, (I am sorry to say), rather a general practice and 
those who have too much delicacy to ask for compliments, see them- 
selves out stripped and ranked by their less scrupulous companions, 
I think it but right to put in a word for my friends who belong to the 
former class. 

Neither of those for whom I would make interest are from our 
state, (You see I do not intend to bring in a very formidable list, 
there being but two), and therefore have no particular claims upon 
you, yet when you have heard their cases stated, I hope you will be 
Irind enough to exert yourself in their behalf. If you find that it 
will not be in your power to act in this matter, will you at least be 
kind enough to bring it to the notice of their Senators or representa- 
tives, who may be induced to take the necessary steps to secure the 
object in question. 

The first officer I would mention is 2d Lieu[tenan]t, A. D. Nelson, 
son of Dr. Nelson, of Maysville, K[entuck]y. "We were classmates at 
West Point, graduated the same time and entered the same Eegiment 
the 6th Infantry. He has now been seven years and upwards in the 
army and by bad luck has reached no higher grade than that named 
above. This, however mortifying and discouraging, does not entitle 

1 A brigadier-general in h& Confederate army ; killed in action at Gettysburg, July 3, 


Mm to a brevet, but It does to some commiseration, and when I add 
that lie served under Gen[era]l Scott during the whole of the cam- 
paign of the Valley of Mexico, led a company at the battles of 
Clmrubusco and Molino del Rey and behaved gallantly on both 
occasions, as I have heard officers of his own and other regiments 
say, then I confidently believe and hope he may obtain some ad- 
\ancement for his services. Such has been the slowness of his pro- 
motion that he is now ranked by officers who have graduated several 
years after him, and indeed by some who were never at the military 
academy and that entered the army during the last War. He was 
also grievously disappointed last fall when a vacancy had occurred 
among the captaincies, and he confidently expected to succeed to his 
1st Lieutenancy, when Major Woods, who had left our Regimtot to 
accept a majority in one of the New tenEegiments, was put back at the 
reduction, when peace was declared. The other is Robert P. Maclay 
of P[ennsylvani]a, who belongs to the 8th Infantry, with the rank 
of 1st Lieutenant. He was wounded at the battle of Rescaca de la 
Palma and his name placed on Gen[era]l Taylor's list of brevets, but 
by some oversight was left out. 

I have observed it to be a universal custom during the Fl[orid]a 
and Mexican War to confer brevets on officers who were wounded in 
battle and indeed other officers of Maclay's Regiment, who were 
struck by his side were brevetted and he overlooked. It is due to 
both of these gentlemen to say that they have no knowledge what- 
ever of my intention to endeavor to enlist influence in their favor. 
I will conclude by stating that an Intimate acquaintance with both 
of them, warrents me in assuring you, that no honor which 'may be 
conferred on either of them will ever be tarnished by any conduct 
of theirs, and also, that I will always feel extremely obliged to you 
for whatever trouble you may take in this affair. Dr. and Mrs. 
Hitchcock passed through N[ew] Ofrleans] a few days since, with 
their little daughter. All were well. Lilly is a very sw T eet and 
interesting child. The " Asiatic Asphyxia " (as tlie doctors call it) 
is prevailing to considerable extent in the city but is confined chiefly 
to the lower orders. Many citizens, and nearly all the visitors have 
left town which makes it look very gloomy for the season. I manage 
1o keep cool in spite of the panic. Gen [era] 1 Brooke is at Pensa- 
cola, whither he went on a tour of inspection. He will remain I 
expect until the cholera abates. 

I am sorry to learn from home that your health had been feeble, 
but I hope it is restored by this time. Remember me kindly to your 
wife and the rest of your family if you please. 


(In confidence.) 

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 30, [1849?']. 

DEAR SIR : I am certain beyond the possibility of a doubt, that the 
Clique of John C. Eieves & Co. are artfully and mischievously em- 
ployed in cancelling the present contract for the Public Printing, 
in order to participate in the profits of the work at the old profitable 
price. I have no doubt that Benton's Resolution is the opening of 
the attack, and Wentworth of the House, a man of no principles, is 
engaged in the same combination. It is Benton, Van Buren, John C. 
Rieves, and the Free Soil Interests vs. the Washington Union. 

John C. Eieves is the man, in conjunction with Mr. Blair of whom 
Heiss and myself purchased bona fide the whole establishment of the 
Globe out, in 1845, for $85,000, all paid. Yet such is his faithless- 
ness, such his voracity for money (though he has realized that rea- 
sonable profit of his own, for 120 "to 150,000, Dollars, and though 
he has now two profitable jobs annually with Congress) that he is 
artfully to chase us out of this work in the most insidious manner. 

I state these facts frankly to you, presuming so much upon your 
friendship, as to defeat this unhallowed and dishonorable trick of 
John C. Eieves. 

If I have mistaken our relations, destroy this note, and I will 
never trouble you again. 

[P. S.] You may show this note to Butler, or to any other Senator 
in your sound and personal discretion. 


The wants of California immigrants considered and means for 
supplying them suggested by Commodore Thomas ap C. Jones, Com- 
mander in Chief Pacific Squadron. 

SAN FRANCISCO, [CAL.], December, 1849. 

At the close of the second season of the Golden harvest of Cali- 
fornia, and after a thorough examination of the great question of 
demand and supply needful to sustain the present, and rapidly in- 
creasing population of California, I venture on some suggestions 
based on personal observation, having during the past summer visited 
several of the Gold-Digging, and traversed the Tallies of the Sacre- 
mento and San Joaquin, from Benecia, via Feather to Juba river, and 
from the latter, via Bear Creek, American, Consemna, Makolennes, 
and Calevera, to Stockton, and thence Livermores Eanches, through 
the valley of the Monte Diablo to Martinez, on the straits of Par- 
quines opposite to Benecia^ 


The present population of Upper California is estimated at 150,000. 
I do not think it is so great, for although the inpouring has been 
incessant by every avenue of approach during the year 1819, many 
who arrived from Oregon, the Pacific Isles, and the South American 
States, have returned again, and not a few from our own Atlantic 
States have gone back ; many 'tis true will return in the Spring with 
largely increased numbers, so that it is more than probable that the 
population of California at the close of 1850, will quadruple its 
present number, which I set down at this time in round numbers to 
100,000, exclusive of Indians ; consequently provision has to be made 
for the subsistence of 400,000 inhabitants in the State of California 
for the year 1851, and for three fourths of that number for the ap- 
proaching year 1850. 

With the exception of fresh beef, and a very scanty supply of 
potatoes and other vegetables, the inhabitants of California, be their 
number large or small, must at least for two or three years to come. 
and I may say, for all time to come, that is long as (the placers) 
continue to remunerate the Diggers, as shown by the exports of 
1849, or until Negro slavery to till the soil is admitted in the State, 
Calif ornians must depend upon foreign supplies, not only for bread, 
but almost every necessary, as well as all luxuries of life. Supposing 
all the ships employed in the California trade to average 3,500 bar- 
rels burthen, and that each white inhabitant of California consume 
annually one barrel, or 200 Ibs. of flour, which is too low an estimate 
when we consider that 7/10 of the population is composed of able 
bodied robust young working men, then we have employment for 
114 ships to supply bread alone ; and an equal number will at least be 
required to supply salted pork, which must also be imported. Then 
for groceries, dry goods, furniture, and all other necessaries of life, 
for lumber and houses, tools and implements, machinery, &e. 5 &c, 5 
there will be required some 400 more, making an average of near 
800 ships of 350 tons burthen for the year 1850 and of at least 1000 
or 1500, for 1851. 1 

As regards the Ocean carriers nothing is to be feared, the ships 
and produce of all the world will pour in their contributions; but 
how, and by what means three millions of tons of goods, and articles 
of first necessity are to find their way from the One Port of Entry 
San Francisco to the consumers on the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
rivers, and their numerous tributaries, and from thence to Miners 

1 Since these estimates were made reference to the custom-house records show, that 
between April 12th, 1849, and January 29th, 1850, 805 Tessels, exclusive of Steamers and 
Men of War, measuring 284,238 tons, entered at San Francisco, and from which 39,888 
passengers were landed. During the same period about 4,000 by steamers and a like num- 
ber from Mexico, Lower California, Oregon, and overland from the Eastern States added, 
and we have the aggregate 88,000 immigrants between the 12th of April, 1849, and 
29th of January, 1850, may safely be set down at 120,000. [Note in original.] 

23818 IS VOL 2 7 


along the base of the Siera Neveda is a question of the gravest im- 
portance, and one upon which, in my opinion the Executive and 
Legislative branches of the General Government cannot bestow too 
much consideration, as action^ prompt, and efficient action at an 
early period of the present Session of Congress can alone provide 
the ways and means, by which the Miners of California may be 
supplied with the necessaries of life, for the next, and succeeding 

Eeference to the annexed Memoir marked A "The Bay of San 
Francisco and its Harbors " will show that the only Port of Entry 
authorised by law on the coast of California, San Francisco, is not 
the test nor even a convenient nor safe Port for discharging cargoes, 
and the accompanying notes " New York of the Pacific re- visited " 
marked B. will further show conclusively that above the Straits of 
Pasquines there is no practicable, convenient navigation for sea-going 
sMps; consequently San Francisco the present port of Entry, and 
Benecia on the North side of the above Straits, must divide the Ocean 
trade of California. 

The former Port with all its natural defects by reason of adventi- 
tious circumstances will always suppljf the Eastern Arm of the Bay 
of San Francisco, and the Vallies of San Jose and San Juan, while 
all goods to be consumed in the great Basin of the Sacremento and 
San Joaquin, and the Placer which stretches along the Eastern limits 
of that Basin from the head waters of the Sacremento to the rivers 
Stanislaw, Goualame. and Mercedes, will be transhipped from Ben- 
ecia by river Steamers to Sacremento City 90 miles up the Sacre- 
mento river, and to Stockton equally distant on the San Joaquin, 
and from there principal rivers, Depots at no very distant day, by 
Bail roads into every hill and " Renagon? from which gold may be 
dug, or, was here. 

A correct map of California will show that from San Francisco to 
Sacremento City via Sutters-fort through the Bays of San Francisco 
and San Pablo, through the Straits of Parquines, Suisun Bay and 
the river Sacremento is about 130 miles, and nearly the same distance 
to Stockton. 

By reason of rough water and strong currents in the Bays of San 
Francisco and San Pablo, none but stanch steamboats of good power, 
can with certainty or safety carry cargoes through those stormy 
Bays, consequently boats best adapted for the Bay, could not ascend 
the rivers higher than Sacremento City and Stockton; nor can any 
boats so employed compete successfully with like boats plying be- 
tween the river depots and Benecia^ seeing that Benecia is 35 miles 
nearer to Stockton, and Sacremento City, than is San Francisco, and 
situated on the Straits of Parquines, avoids all the dangers, delays 
and inconveniences of navigation as well as the delay and expense at- 


tending the trans-shipment or landing of cargoes at the inconvenient 
Port .of San Francisco. 

The saving of 30 miles of distance in each passage is 60 <mMe$ each 
trip, is not the only, nor the most important advantage Benecia has 
over San Francisco as a Port of Entry to supply the inhabitants of 
the Mineing districts. 

The accompanying Memoirs already cited show the natural ad- 
vantages, and disadvantages of both places. Since those observa- 
tions were made, the 1 st Class Steamer Senator and several of smaller 
size, brought out in pieces, and put up at Benecia, and other places 
have been put on the Bay and rivers. All but the Senator have dis- 
appointed their owners, and so far as navigating the Bays, and for 
want of power to stem the circuit of the rivers, have proved failures. 
The Senator a boat of great power, but too long (240 ft.) and draw- 
ing too much water (9 ft.) can only make two trips per week, carry- 
ing full cargoe between San Francisco and Sacremento City, stopping 
only 15 min[utes] to land passengers at Benecia; the same boat 
plying between Benecia and Sacremento City would with equal ease 
make three trips per week, allowing an entire day for receiving and 
discharging cargoe at each place. This difference of time is not so 
much owing to the difference of distance (35 miles) as from the diffi- 
culty of navigation presented by Suisun Bay which renders day 
light necessary to pass through in safety with the smallest sized 

Benecia situated on the confines of Suisun Bay, vessels from thence 
bound up, would need only an hours day light to take them clear of 
the Shoals, then the navigation is free, and the rivers may be run 
with safety during the night. 

Descending Steamers will leave Sacremento City in the night, 
with time enough only to reach Suisun Bay by day-break, and will 
land passengers at Benecia always in time for early Breakfast, so 
that between those two points, men of business will travel by night, 
and without the loss of a single business hour, but to continue on to 
San Francisco must ever make a large encroachment upon the day, 
and after arriving at San Francisco, there will be no time to transact 
business in season for a return boat the same day. Consequently 
the business man must remain over night at San Francisco^ and ex- 
pend the next day in returning or waiting for conveyance back to 
Sacremento City, thus showing that what may be done between 
Benecia and Sacremento City without the loss of a single business 
hour, will generally require two days, and three nights, between San 
Francisco and Sacremento City. This must always be the case with 
the transportation of goods, and is strictly true as regards travelling. 

From these facts let us look to the effect upon trade, but particu- 
larly upon the cost of supplying the consumers out of whose pockets, 


after all must come, all costs charges &c. Here then It is shown 
beyond all contradiction and beyond cavil, that if one freight 
steamer can make two trips per week between San Francisco and 
Sacremento City, a like Steamer can with equal certainty make 
three trips per week between Benecia and Sacremento City. It fol- 
lows then as a natural consequence, that the tri-weekly steamer can 
afford to carry freight and passengers at milch lower rates than a 
Semi-weekly vessel of like capacity and expense, the difference I set 
down at about one third ; and in reference to the points compared it 
will be all of that. The average rate of freight between the Port 
of San Francisco and Sacremento City for the year 1849, will show 
a cost of three dollars per one hundred pounds or $6 per barrel of 
flour, or an equivalent in bulk or weight. 

Assume then that the demand for the supplies of the Sacremento 
Basin for the year 1850, of every description should not exceed 
1,000,000 barrels in bulk at the present rate of freight from San 
Francisco to Sacremento City, the freight alone between these two 
points would be $6,000,000 whilst between Benecia and Sacremento 
City the same amount of goods, with equal, or greater profits to the 
carriers might be trans-shipped for $4,000,000 showing a dean saving 
of $2,000,000 to the consumers. Doubtless the competition will ere 
many months greatly reduce freight on inland transportation, but 
many years must pass away before a barrel of flour, or salt provision, 
can or will be taken from San Francisco to Sacremento City for 
much less than three dollars, but it matters not how low freight may 
fall, since it is manifest that however low transportation may be 
between San Francisco and the Upper Depots of the San Joaquin 
and Sacremento rivers. Benecia can always afford transportation 3S$ 
per ct lower than San Francisco. 

Tis true that San Francisco is two hours nearer the ocean, than 
is Benecia, if that be deemed any advantage, it is entirely balanced 
by the Superior harbor of the latter. Ships once moored at Benecia 
are perfectly secure against any, and every wind; and even now as 
little as is generally known of the comparative merits of Benecia 
and San Francisco, ship-owners in Boston and Few York will deliver 
freight at Benecia at lower rates, than at San Francisco, because 
they have no difficulty in effecting insurance at the usual rates, to 
discharge at Benecia, whilst no insurance office in England or the 
U[nited] States will sign a Policy for any vessel to lay at San 

The question again occurs, how, and by what means is the immense 
amount of imports into California to find their way to the consumers 
in the interior of the country? this is a question which Congress 
alone can solve. At its last Session little was known of the actual 


condition of California, nor of her wants, or means of supplying 
those wants. Another year has cleared up many doubts, and brought ' 
much light to bear upon the subject, the most important of which is, 
the inexhaustible Mineral wealth of California. Not only is that 
true as regards the inexhaustible store of gold, but silver and quick 
silver are of the richest quality, is known to abound in many parts 
of the territory, convenient to navigation, and the entire dependence 
of the Miners upon distant countries, for all the necessaries of life. 

The true and natural solution to the above question, will be found 
in the principles of free competition in trade and commerce. 

Why compell immigrants from the States, who peril their lives, 
and exhaust their means in crossing the icy barriers which seperates 
the Eastern States from California's Gold-field, to pay tribute to the 
amount of Millions of dollars per annum, for the poor priveledge of 
using an unsafe, and inconvenient Port of Entry, when there are in 
every respect, better, and more convenient Ports, nearer the con- 
sumers, only requiring an Act of Congress to make them Ports of 
Entry. Abolish the Monopoly now enjoyed exclusively bv the Mer- 
chants and Land-holders in San Francisco not, however, by closing 
the Custom House in San Francisco that by all means should be 
continued, but not as at present the Only Port of Entry on the entire 
coast of California. Why should the inhabitants of Monterey, Los 
Angeles, San Diego, &c &c be compelled to perform a voyage from 
the Lower Districts of California to San Francisco (requiring more 
time than a voyage from Europe to America) to buy goods, when 
the Ports named above, are far safer, and more convenient for com- 
merce than San Francisco. 

Again for several months in the year the rivers Sacremento and 
San Joaquin are navigable up to Suiters or Sacremento City and 
Stockton for vessels not drawing more than 9 or 10 feet water, that 
is the Draft of our fine Stanch- fast-sailing Fore and Aft Schooners 
which ply at all seasons between the Northern, Eastern and Southern 
states. Several of these vessels have already found their way out 
here, and are now employed as regular traders between San Fran- 
cisco in the transportation of vegetables, building materials &c. &c. 

During the past winter and summer the Miners in the diggins 
suffered much from the Scurvy caused by scanty supplies and the 
almost total absence of the ordinary culinary vegetables, such as 
potatoes, onions &c &c. That disease is still prevalent in the country. 
Ought not all such necessaries of life for a limited period at least, 
be admitted into California free of duty? The Average price of 
Irish-potatoes, at San Francisco for the last 6 months has exceeded 
$12 per bushel, sweet-potatoes, onions &c 50 per O higher. Why 
not permit such vessels to carry on a direct trade between Sacremento 
City, Stockton, Benecia and all the world, without paying tribute, 


and heavy tribute too, as I have before shown to the adventitious 
town of San Francisco. 

The remedy for the evils which I have faithfully portraied, and 
for no other purpose than to invoke relief at the hands of those, wJw, 
Alone can provide for the general welf are ? will be found in establish- 
ing Benecia, Stockton, Sacremento City including the new town of 
Boston, seperated from Sacremento City by the American river as 
Ports of Entry, the former on a footing of equality in every respect 
"with San Francisco or any other Port in the Union; that done the 
grand and main difficulty of supplying the Miners will nearly vanish, 
but for the accommodation of the sea-coast, and Southern districts 
the Ports of Monterey and San Diego now Ports of delivery only, 
ought also to be made Ports of Entry open to foreign trade. 

The zeal and apparant urgency with which I recommend the ex- 
tension, but immediate extension of commercial facilities on the coast 
of California, may appear uncalled for by those not familiar with 
the country through which every necessary of life for the subsistence 
of the Miners (numbering this day not less than 50 or 60,000) has to 
be transported from the river Depots over extensive plains for 30, 
40 and even 60 miles, which plains or Tulies are under water from 
Nov[embe]r till March, and passable only by Pack animals from 
March till June, and when wheeling becomes practicable in Mid- 
summer, the pastures by reason of drought are so parched, or ex- 
hausted, that Draft animals are unable to draw heavy loads, and are 
maintained, when fed on grain, at, a cost too high to name. 

Barley the chief food for Draft cattle and Horses employed in 
transporting provisions, and goods from the river landings to the 
Mineing districts of California is derived from Chile^ the ruling 
price of which at Stockton and Sacremento City is $8 per bushel; 
suffice it to say that I saw teamsters turn their cattle out to grass in 
Sacremento City last July, rather than haul provisions, at 25 cents, 
per pound SO miles over good roads to Mormon Island Diggins 50 
cents per Ib. being the usual rate of transportation in good weather. 
$2 per Ib i. e. $400 per barrel has been paid this present winter 1849 
and 50 for transportation from the Sacremento to Colema 60 miles. 

Thus it will be seen that from June to E"ov[embe]r, five months 
comprises the season for transporting all supplies from rivers across 
the Tulies to the various Gold-diggins; and hence the imperious 
necessity for prompt action in the premises, for unless Benecia^ and 
the river Ports above named are opened as Ports of Entry by the 
1st of June 1850 it will be too late for foreign vessels to clear for these 
Ports in time to send forth their cargoes in season for the winter of 
1850 and 51. 

The rains set in this year 1849, on the 10th day of October. The 
fall of water was copious, and in a few days communication for trans- 


porting heavy articles between the rivers and Mines, was entirely 
suspended on most of the routes, and over such as were at all passable 
SI per lb, was paid for transporting flour 30 or 40 miles, for which 
flour the Consumers in the Mines paid $2 per lb; pork sugar, &c &c, 
as well as the few other necessaries of life that could be obtained, in 
like proportion. 

By an accurate calculation I find to victual 150,000 persons one 
year, with the full Navy-ration, the contract price of which is 20 cts 
per man per clay, cost $11,714,400 to which add freight at $20 per ton, 
to transport the same, say from New York to California (in 469 
ships of 300 tons) $2,816,000, added to cost of ration, make up the 
sum total of $14,530,400, for subsistence alone for one year, for 150,- 
000 persons on the Navy-ration. To this heavy amount for coarse 
provision must be added for articles of luxury, and necessity, even to 
Houses, fuel &c &c in bulk, and cost certainly three or four times as 
much more, consequently to subsist clothe, and shelter 150,000 inhabi- 
tants in California for the year 1850, it will employ at least 1400 
ships of 350 tons each, and the cost and charges of the needful sup- 
plies delivered at the Port of San Francisco will not be short of 
$52,500,000, to which add at least $8,000,000 more for transportation 
from the Ports of Entry to the Mineing districts; this estimate of 
$8,000,000, for inland transportation is based upon the supposition 
that San Francisco will not ~be the only Port of Entry to foreign 
trade within the Bay of that name and its tributaries. 

If the inconvenient adventitious and unsafe sea-port of San Fran- 
cisco should be continued by law, as the only Port of Entry, through 
which the Miners can receive their supplies Oceanwise, then one 
third, or one half more may be added to the foregoing $8,000,000, for 
inland transportation. 

Neither the Anchorage, nor the land about San Francisco is suffi- 
ciently capacious for half the commerce now entered there. 

The average distance from ships to landing places exceeds half a 
mile, and level space on shore for Ware-houses is so contracted, and 
the cost of landing, and storeing goods so enormous, and the danger 
from fire so imminent, that two thirds of the goods now in the coun- 
try, are still afloat in the Harbor. 

To this already overcrowded state of the Port, add all the ships to 
arrive in 1850 and the inconveniences and expenses already so justly 
complained of attending the delivery, and trans-shipment of goods 
at San Francisco will be still further agrivated. 

Moreover it is well known to all persons acquainted with the state 
of commercial operations in the Port of San Francisco, that owing 
to the crowded state of the Port the system of transshipping cargoes 
without landing them, the Revenue of the U[nited] States is de- 
frauded probably at least one half, at any rate to an amount greatly 


beyond the necessary expenses of all the Custom-houses, the creation 
of which I have suggested. 

Not one of the objections above stated against San Francisco, 
apply to the Sea-port town of Benecia, where the shores are bold 
and the largest Merchant-ships lay alongside the natural bank at 
all seasons of the year, in perfect security. 


Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to ascertain who 
amongst the Southern members are willing to unite in an address 
to the Southern people advising firm, prompt, and manly opposition 
to the Wilmot proviso in the event of its being applied by law to 
the territory acquired from Mexico south of 36 30' and that the said 
committee be empowered to call a meeting of the Southern members 
when in their opinion it is proper to do so. 

The committee will consist of Messrs. Hunter, Johnson of Louisi- 
ana, Eusk 5 Berrien, and Foote 



HARTFORD, KY., lst February , 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: Perhaps you may almost have forgotten the indi- 
vidual who now addresses you, and who retains a vivid recollection 
of the many meetings and pleasant greetings he had with you when 
he had the honor of being an humble member of the committee of 
which you were chairman in the 29th Con[gress]. 

At the risk however of being entirely forgotten I have concluded 
to drop you a line if it be only to ascertain the fact. 

Since we separated you have been busily engaged in the Senate 
of the U[nited] S[tates] aiding in the councils of our Nation, while 

*A Representative In Congress from Kentucky, 1845-1847. 


I have been mostly engaged in the practice of the law riding over 
hills and vallies, swamps and waters as duty or necessity might re- 
quire. Last year I was elected a delegate and took a part, an humble 
part ; in forming a new constitution for my own native state. Ex- 
cept this I have been wholly disengaged from politics. I have been 
looking with deep solicitude at the course of events since I left Con- 
gress and have seen nothing to change the opinion which I expressed 
to you in a conversation during the pending of the three million bill 
or just before I do not now recollect which, "that the Mexican War 
was gotten up by the abolition raving of the then Cabinet to get a 
large scope of territory to make free States out of and to surround 
the slave States entirely to get back what they were pleased to term 
the balance of power which they said they had lost by giving up half 
of Oregon" and advised you if possible to put a stop to the war 
before the rank and file got into the secret for if you did not the 
devil himself could not do it, that even Giddings and Culver would 
come in if they found out what it was for. You told me that you 
and your immediate friends were doing your best but were powerless, 

but if I would only keep Garrett Davis from throwing in his d d 

resolutions of warning, which were calculated though not intended 
to bind the party together, that you thought you could possibly do 
something. I have often thought of this conversation and wondered 
if you had any recollection of it. Things that have occurred since 
have indelibly impressed it upon my memory. 

In looking about for the causes of the Mexican war, I believed those 
assigned by the particular friends of the president were some of them 
insufficient and some of them unfounded and therefore I looked round 
for some reason to satisfy my own mind, and could find none but that. 
I named it to several of my friends and colleagues but could find none 
to agree with me. I formed the opinion first from reading Morey's 
instructions for raising Stephensons regiment. I thought the inten- 
tion was to settle that regiment on the southern border of whatever 
land we might acquire and thus form the nucleus for a settlement 
from the free states immediately on our southern border and thus pre- 
vent a settlement from the slave states, by slave holders at least, 
within the bounds of the newly acquired territory. Upon due con- 
sideration of all that has happened since that time do you not now 
think that I at least guessed well if I did not form a correct opinion? 

In my canvass for delegate last summer I had to encounter emanci- 
pation in all its forms and triumphed over it. The leading men in this 
country are with the south but they are also for the Union and do not 
look to disunion as a remedy for any evil. They will "fight for 
slavery but die by the Union." As to the boys up the hollows and in 
the brush who form a considerable portion of our country they are 
not to [be] relied on in any contest against the Union. In. a contest 


about the Union they would be willing to have the motto of the first 
soldiers of the revolution " Liberty or death " but in a contest about 
slavery they would be a good deal like one Barney Decker who was 
about to have a soldiers badge and motto made and wheiT the lady 
who made the badge asked him if he would have the same motto hesi- 
tated and then replied " You may put " liberty or be crippled." I 
am afra-id the boys will say "slavery or be crippled." For God's 
sake try and settle all these questions of slavery if possible and let 
us not dissolve the Union, 

But if we have to write like Francis the 1st to his mother, " Madam 
all's lost but honor " let us do it with this and we will have the ap- 
proval of our own conscience without which a man is nothing. 


SYDENHAM, [PA.], March 12, 1850. 

Accept my thanks, my dear Sir, for the copy of Mr. Calhoun's speech 
you were so good as to send me. I have read it with deep interest. 
Pages 7, 8 and 9, deserve to be considered by the whole country 
jtnore, I fear, than they will be. To the three first paragraphs on page 
10, the allusions to Washington are beautiful, logical too, as it strikes 
me. But I will stop specifying, my marks being on almost every page. 
It is a very powerful speech, and I think very patriotic. 

I beg you to offer my friendly respects to him. I rejoice at the 
improvement of his health. I regretted my inability to see him when 
in Washington lately, except once. I should have been truly glad to 
hear him converse on European affairs ; the more, as I found myself 
agreeing with him on the little there was at one time for him to say 
when I visited him. 


[?], Marches, 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: Since we parted I have run the subject of our 
conversation through my mind, with some anxiety to reach* a just 
conclusion. I said, perhaps the word should be, prophesied when 
you first took your seat in the Legislature, and before I knew you 
personally, that you were destined to become the most influential 
man in the State. This, I have repeated a thousand times since in 
public; and no man likes tb be proved a false Prophet. So thai, 
as the matter concerns me particularly, you will excuse my freedom 
of speech. 

As to the general line of your proposed argument I feel no diffi- 
culty. The constitution, the just rights, and the honor of Virginia 
mark this deeply and broadly. We cannot surrender an inch 
South of 36^ degrees. It would amount to absolute submission. 


The rank and file of neither of the two great Parties In the State 
are prepared for this; and if they were, no high-minded man can 
concur with them. Next to this, we must hold the States responsible 
for the delivery of our fugitive slaves. The compact was made 
with them, Congress is only their joint agent. For this we must 
hold them bound in the first place^ and for two reasons. Suck is 
the compact, and substitute of Congress must be unavailing, with- 
out their concurrence. No act, whatever be its provisions, can be 
carried into execution against the popular consent; and the ^effort 
will but " film the ulcerous sore." This contest must be between the 
States themselves ; and it ought to be waged with zeal and determi- 
nation, I care not to rule in the aid of Congress, it must be inef- 
fectual, and can only serve to postpone the issues which must finally 
come to be tried between the States themselves. What power lias 
Congress to enforce the execution of its acts in this respect? None 

Next, we have a right to demand that this agitation shall cease 
in the Common Halls of Legislation. This is the cancer that is eat- 
ing into our vitals. We are daily paying for abolition appeals out 
of the common treasury. Take strong grounds against this. The 
right of petition, has nothing to do with the subject; and they who 
urge it know it well. 

These are the main points. I have urged them years ago, and 
time only confirms me in the belief that we cannot safely yield an 
inch on them. I have spoken to no man on the subject. They are 
the oft printed conclusions of my own judgment. 

As to the general tone of your argument, it cannot well be too high, 
so that it be announced in moderate but firm language. The present 
is a peculiar juncture; and its certain results will be to make or mar 
many fortunes. A truly great mind cannot fail to make itself to be 
felt. The issue is clearly submission or a stern maintenance of right, 
and in this instance right involves security. All temporary expedi- 
ents must fail, and their failure will involve the ruin of many. My 
well considered opinion is, that, on the points mentioned we cannot 
yield any ground, no, not an inch* As to Mr. C[alhoun]'s view in 
respect to an amendment of the Constitution, that might be passed 
over. It goes rather to the philosophy of our system, than to its 
present practical operation which has thrown up the present issues. 
These last are the urgent issues; and we must deal with them as they 
are, and by themselves. 

As to the matters, which may be regarded as extraneous, yet bear- 
ing strongly on the issues themselves, it is, in my view of the highest 
importance to sustain the Southern Convention, as a means of pre- 
serving the Union. In this view it has not been sufficiently pressed. 
Such only can be its legitimate purpose, and in that view no Southern 


man ought to object to it. As a deliberative, a consultation body, its 
expediency is called for by the highest consideration. 

In respect to the matter we discussed in the Committee room on 
yesterday, would it not be advisable for you or Mr. D. casually to 
speak to the gentleman we referred to? Something useful might 
come out of it, while no evil can so far as I see. Keep the name of 
the gentleman South entirely to yourself. 

It is after midnight, and I will tire your patience no further. I 
write in great haste, and conclude with this admonition, " Stand up 
for old Virginia at all hazards^ whose cause is just^ and leave the 
consequences to God" 


BOYDTON, [VA.] 5 March 89, 1850. 

DEAR HUNTER: I write to impose a little labour upon you, or rather 
I should say, trouble, but not more, than under a change of circum- 
stances, I would cheerfully encounter for you. You know, I file and 
preserve in the form of a Book, Speeches, which well discuss, great 
political topics before Congress. I have procured a pamphlet copy 
of your very fine speech on the Austrian question. I thank you for 
delivering that speech. I wish you would send me, pamphlet copies 
of the speeches of Mr. Berrien and Mr. Webster, on the Slavery 
Question. And I should like to have a cogy of Sewards Speech, if 
you think you can send it, without violating the Law against the 
circulation of incendiary publications; and even if you dread to en- 
counter such a penalty, I promise not to inform against you, as I 
really want the speech, to enable me to contemplate the whole extent 
of this fearful subject. 

If I were In Washington at this time, I would do what I never 
have done. I would call on Daniel Webster to pay him my respects. 
I know very well, he would regard it as a matter of the utmost insig- 
nificance even if he thought of it at all, but I would do so for my own 
gratification* I feel for him now, a higher respect than I ever did 
before, and more than I thought I could cherish for the greatest, the 
ablest, the most dangerous advocate, of the Broadest construction 
of our Federative Compact the Constitution] of U[nited] S[tates] 
a Compact, which he calls Government, Government, invested with 
the highest attributes of Sovereignty, and for which, he challenges 
my highest allegiance. But it appears to me that this Slavery 
Speech, has established a claim to my gratitude. It could only have 
originated in a patriotic heart. It could only have been expressed 
by a generous mind. If we except, every thing which refers to Cali- 

1 A, State rights Democrat and a Representative from Virginia in Congress, 1841-1843, 


fornia, and the allusion to the appropriation of Federal Money, to the 
deportation e Free Blacks (which he designed as a liberal conces- 
sion) I should be happy to have carried out, the eloquent suggestions, 
of his eloquent discourse. 

I sincerely hope, there may be speedily evinced at the North, a 
determined purpose of adopting and acting out these suggestions. 
Such a manifestation would be hailed with general joy at the South. 
So far as I hare been able to observe and to form a conjecture of 
public sentiment, there is an obvious reluctance to take the initia- 
tive, but yet a firm, determined fixed purpose, to defend and maintain 
our social rights, and our political equality. It would be a fatal 
error on the part of the North, to mistake prudence and caution, for 
doubt and timidity. They may rely upon it, the subject has been 
painfully considered, and the decision unalterably made. If the 
North shall fail to exhibit a spirit of Moderation and pacification, 
before the Nashville Convention shall be holden, no human sagacity 
can foresee the consequences. That body will consist of men, for the 
most part anxious to preserve the Union, but firmly resolved to save 
the South. The safety of the South is the leading, the prevailing 
object, and the predominant idea. In the examination of their perils, 
and the consideration of their wrongs, the most temperate debate will 
glow with animation, and moderation itself, will kindle into rage. 
Who shall control their conclusions, or give law to their acts ? What- 
ever their action may be, unless marked by tameness, it will be sus- 
tained by the Southern mind. In the beginning, there may be some 
diversity, but it will soon come to pass, that, contending Parties will 
vie with each other, and contest the supremacy of acrimony against 
the North. We will turn from the contemplation of this melancholy 
condition of things. With a heart all Southern, and a mind, pain- 
fully impressed, by the cruel wrong already suffered, and the flagilous 
outrage held in reserve; with a resolution immutably fixed, I yet 
pray the Genius of Webster may prevail, to save the Union, and 
give peace and harmony to the Land. 

I must rely on your generosity to protect me against the charge 
of presumption, in venturing to allude to such a topic. 

Present me affectionately to Mason. I thank him for the many 
public documents which he has sent me. Tell him, I claim as a 
matter of right, a copy of every speech, made by you or himself, 
in the Senate, and which shall reach the pamphlet edition. 

I pray you to offer to Mr. Calhoun, assurances of my highest 
respect and kindest regard. I devoured his late Speech and thank 
him for the copy he sent me. I called a few days since on an old 
friend, a cankered Hunker, who, in dispite of the kindest relations 
between us, has perversely persecuted me through life, as a Nullifier 
Disunionist and Worshiper of John C. Calhoun. He met me with 


the exclamation "I acknowledge Mr, Caihoun is the greatest man 
now living. He has made it all as plain as day, why did we not see 
it before? " 

. This cankered Hunker is prepared to rush to any extreme. What 
is the madness of the North. I beg your pardon, -Hunter. I know 
you rarely read more than one paragraph in a letter. You note that 
a bore if it contain three lines. You will read the last of this as it 
mentions our illustrious friend. 

[P. S.] Can you spare time to write me, what you all wish us all 
to do. Snow 5 Inches on 28 March. 


EICHMOND [VA.], 9 April, 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: Feeling deeply impressed with an unaffected and 
painful sense of the great public loss occasioned to America and to 
mankind by the death of Mr. Caihoun, I am anxious that some fitting 
eulogy on his character and public services should appear in the 
Southern Literary Messenger. While the grief of his personal 
friends is yet fresh, and the general sorrow pervading the country 
unabated, such a tribute might be most worthily performed without 
discussing his political opinions or offending persons of opposite 
views with any reflections on his party attachments. I need scarcely 
say 5 sir, that I know no one so well qualified, by long and intimate 
acquaintance wdth the illustrious dead, by congeniality of sentiment 
and study, and by facility of elegant and finished composition, to 
undertake this labour of love as yourself. I am sure that you would 
willingly do me a service and I am equally certain that you would 
yet^more gladly render to the memory of your noble and lamented 
friend that tribute of affectionate remembrance and admiration 
which is so proper over his closing grave. May I not ask then that 
you will furnish for the Messenger an eulogy on Mr. Caihoun? If 
you accede, be good enough to inform me at what time I may expect 
to receive the Ms, if, you decline, pray make my best regards to your 
friend, the Hon. Mr. Seddon or to your nephew, Mr. Garnett, and 
ask, in my behalf, such an article from one of them. 


, VA.], April W, 1850. 
MY DEAR HUNTER: I live five miles from our Post Office. The 
other day I despatched a letter to Mason and the servant returning 
brought me your letter. I reply promptly, because I have an interest 
or an object in doing so. Before I heard from you, in my letter to 
Mason, I expressed my apprehensions as to the effect of Webster's 


Speech, and I also gave it as my opinion, that if Eastern Virginia be 
not fully represented in the Nashville Convention, Foote will have 
contributed efficiently to such a result. At the opening of the Session 
I was greatly pleased with his bearing. There was something in his 
notice of Mr. Calhoun's speech, for which I found myself at a loss 
to account. I hope it susceptible of explanation consistent with his 
own honor and the highest interest of the South. 

From Webster's speech we gain at least the weight of Ms authority 
against the Abolitionists, Free soilers and Agitators at the North. 
And we have his acknowledgment that the South has suffered great 
wrong at the hands of the North. We have his authority and in- 
fluence also on [the] Fugitive Slave question, and on the future 
admission of Texas States. These appear to me, to be objects, not 
unworthy of consideration. But they are no equivalent for present, 
positive legislation. They afford not present nor permanent relief 
for which we must rely on our own virtue and which can only be 
secured by unanimity and concert in the South. The Nashville Con- 
vention is the present available agency through which to secure 
concert and unanimity, and my chief object in writing now; as it 
was in writing to Mason, is to induce you to urge the Virginia Dele- 
gation at Washington to stimulate their friends in their several Dis- 
tricts. The time is short, and I fear it is almost too late, but much 
can be done. So far as I am informed Amelia, Nottoway and Din- 
widdie in Mr. Meade's district have taken no action. He might 
procure it in time, or the District Convention might be postponed 
long enough to afford time. The same remark may be made in nearly 
all the Districts. I myself should have taken an active part long ago, 
but for considerations which I would not hesitate to explain to you 
in a personal interview. The chief injury to the South, resulting 
from Webster's speech, is the hesitation it has occasioned. This has 
given courage to all who wavered in their resolution or who were 
secretly opposed to the measure. And it is possible that an oppo- 
sition may rally in the South on the California issue supported by 
the plausible popular arguments connected with that subject. 

I have another motive for this letter. I expect to attend a District 
Convention 8 May, suppose a thin meeting, and suppose Virginia 
meagerly represented at Nashville. What will be best? Consult 
with our most reliable and judicious friends and write me fully and 

I say nothing of the death of our lamented friend. I know not 
what to say. It were impossible to express what I feel. 

(P. S.) I offered a suggestion to Mason which I will repeat to you 
though I presume it had occurred to both of you. I said to him that 
in my own opinion, even the compromise 3 30' was almost disgrace- 


ful to us, but public opinion must be consulted and something given 
up, for peace and tranquility. Suppose 36 30' can not be had. 
Would it do to take or offer Sierra Nevada from 42 as Eastern bound- 
ary of California down to near the Southern termination of the 
range as indicated on Fremont's Map, thence right line to St. Barbara 
about 34 on Pacific ? This would give us a line to the Pacific and 
may be useful in the future. "The State" of Deseret has asserted 
this boundary for herself according to a writer for the Enquirer. 
And that fact may possibly aid to support an argument for such a 
proposition. The suggested line would give to California, perhaps 
the most beautiful geographical conformation in the Union. It's 
present delineation is a hideous deformity. But all is a mere sug- 
gestion without opinion. 


[BOYDTON, VA.], May 11, 1850. 

DEAR HUNTER : I have to thank you for the copies of the speeches 
which you have sent me. Seward's " Execrable " is at hand ! Your 
own speech had been eagerly read before I received the Pamphlet, 
and read I assure you with pride and satisfaction. In this part of 
the State, it is esteemed, the best effort which you have made. My 
individual opinion might accord equal merit to previous labours but 
I was proud of the last speech. The position which it assumes and 
to which you particularly directed my attention, I regard as indis- 
putable, and resting at the foundation of the Social Compact. The 
Property of the Citizen is subject to taxation, and as an equivalent 
for this right surrendered to Society and by the Citizen. Society 
guarantees protection to property. They are just as much recog- 
nized equivalents, as Military service and protection of persons. 
We feel that the Federal Government exercises the power of Taxa- 
tion, and we know of no political arrangement or process of just 
reasoning by which it can claim exemption from the obligation to 
protect. Property subjects itself to taxation and claims protection 
as an equivalent The right to tax and obligation to protect are re- 
ciprocal terms and will only be controverted by those who would dis- 
pute the first principles of the social system. When I had written 
thus far I was interrupted and did not resume until my return from 
the District Convention. I wrote you a short and hasty note from 
Lawrenceville. I was called out in Convention before the Election 
of ^ Delegates. I expressed the opinion that the Compromise pro- 
jected by the Senate Com[mittee] as shadowed forth in the News- 
papers, would be distructive of the South, that the South surrendered 
all and secured nothing. I supported this opinion by examination 
of the Subjects of Compromise, but expressed my readiness to take a 


compromise approved and recommended by -Southern Members of 
Congress, because I trusted them as honorable men who would not 
sacrifice the honor of the South and property of the South, 

I said in substance, California would be admitted with her present 
boundaries, not designed to be permanent, but contemplating a divi- 
sion and future erection of two free States, whose character was to 
be determined by the Casual Agency and usurped sovereignty of 
the present Adventurers, designedly fixing boundaries to include all 
the Land suited to Slaves &c. And I deprecated subjecting any part 
of Texas to future jurisdiction and action of freesoilers, I spoke 
perhaps more than an hour and awakened opposition to me. My 
election was opposed on the ground of my Ultraism and alledged 
desire for dissolution, which allegation is gratuitous. I do not desire 
dissolution. I expressed the apprehension, that California and tlie 
Territories in one Bill might command [a] small majority of the 
Senate without the Wilmot [Proviso]. In the House, they would 
be separated. Cal[iforni]a sent back to Senate, would pass without 
the Territories. After which Territories would be subjected to Wil- 
mot [Proviso] or neglected. I lost nearly all the Anti Ultra Vote. 
I received nearly all the Democrats present with some Whigs. I 
lost [the] greater part of Whigs with a few Democrats. Petersburg 
was not represented (Meade's residence). All the Counties were 

I want you and Mason and Seddon, Meade and others to inform 
me fully of the prospect before us and furnish me all necessary docu- 
ments. I shall prepare to leave home by 20 Jnst if necessary. I 
shall be delighted if the necessity can be superceded. I am obliged 
to be a little troublesome. You must talk with our friends especially 
those mentioned above and write me fully and immediately and tell 
them especially Seddon and Mason, to do so too. I write in great 
haste, shall be exceedingly occupied for ten days. Do let me hear 
from you forthwith. 

[P. S-] I expect to be in Kich[mon]d 20th Ins[tan]t : to go South- 
ern Route. 


ALBEMARLE, [VA.], July %d, 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: I rec[eive]d your letter accompanied by the Pros- 
pectus of the "Southern Press" and a number of the Papers. I 
enclose you $10 as a subscription of the triweekly paper. I have no 
doubt it will greatly subserve the Interests of the South. I thank 
you for your complimentary notice of my share in the Nashville 

iAn early advocate oi secession; represented Virginia In Congress, 1830-1835. 
23318 18 VOL 2 8 


Convention, and am happy to think that it will, in your opinion, 
make a profound impression. Confusion must be worst confounded 
by the usurpation of New Mexico, and the evident interference of 
our Slaveholding President, and yet I can perceive no real Differ- 
ence between the Case of California and New Mexico. These events 
must hasten the Catastrophe to the South, the admission of these 
territories as states and the rejection of 36 30 Degrees as a Divid- 
ing line fills our Cup of humiliation to the brim. In the " argument 
uot yet exhausted ? when shall we stand to our Army ? " Will neither 
legislative or Executive Depotism arouse us? Will not both com- 
bined? I cannot look on these events, in any aspect, but a designed 
insult and indignity to the whole Slave holding States. For one I 
am not willing to bear it. I am ready for resistance whenever the 
insult is consumated by Congress. So I hope will the whole South. 
The Nashville Convention is to reassemble in six weeks after the 
adjournment of Congress. 

If anything is done by Congress, inconsistent with the rights and 
honor of the south, would it not be well for the Southern Senators 
and representatives to address their states and constituents on the 
occasion? It would have a powerful effect on the states and on the 
Convention. Unanimity is not to be expected, the pure and bold 
public men must lead, and I doubt not any course recommended by 
them, or a majority of them would be our guide. The more decided 
the better for me, for I think this protracted insult of Congress and 
the Executive, on refusing our clear constitutional rights, provoca- 
tion enough to justify the strongest measures; and unless they are 
acknowledged during the Session I hope decisive resistance may be 
made. I have been contemplating in my solitude, how to work out 
the problem. I should follow our revolutionary example, that of 
Virginia. I would take our present Federal Constitution for the 
Southern States and put it into operation, as soon as a sufficient num- 
ber of States would secede, this would simplyfy matters, would per- 
vent confusion, as the officers of our Southern Republic, would at 
once understand their duties, our Sub Treasures, are all ready, we 
should only shake off the northern states, as we did the King of 
England, (for they have oppressed us far more than our Old 
Mother England ever did) and have our government in full and im- 
mediate Vigor without the Delay of Forming a New Constitution, 
which, however we might do at our leisure. This mode recommends 
itself, by the example of the illustrious ancestor of your Colleague, 
who formed our Virginia Constitution. Present to him my best 
respects. 1 

1 TMs reference Is doubtless to Senator J. M. Mason of Virginia and to George Mason, 
author of Virginia's Bill of Bights, 



AUSTIN, [TEXAS] , August IStJi^ 1850. 

DEAR HUNTER: I transmit you the Gover[nor']s message to our 
Legislature. The people of this state are camly determined to take 
possession of the Santa Fe country. There is no noise or violent 
excitement about this subject. When a people know they are Right- 
fully protecting their own dignity and honor and hare determined 
to do it at every hazzard it is pretty certain they will effect their 
object. The first hostile gun that is fired in this contest disolves the 
union. Every southern State will stand by Texas. Hers is the com- 
mon cause of the South. 

Your course in the Senate does honor to your State and yourself. 
As a Virginian I am proud of you. We have heard here the com- 
promise bill has failed. I rejoice at the fact I had hoped it 
would have been so amended as to place the South on an equality 
with the North, but it could not be so formed, and less than equality, 
would disgrace the South. Our Governor's message speaks the voice 
of this state that you may rely upon, and his views will be carried 
out by the Legislature. Virginia will have to head the Southern 
confederacy. She has arms for herself and two [other] Southern 
States, and if the union is broken, we will save the North all further 
trouble with California and New Mexico, for we will take them to 
our exclusive use. 

(P. S.) If Taylor had lived our Union would have vanished as it 
certainly will if Mr. Filmore pursues the same policy. Such a 
President as poor Taylor was and such a cabinet as he had would in 
four years ruin any nation that has, or ever exist [ed]. He had not 
one statesman in his cabinet, they all were mere time serving poli- 
ticians from remote circumstances, in all great nation affairs. 


NORFOLK, [VA,], August 18th, 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: Upon receipt of your kind letter of the 10th 
Inst[ant], I immediately commenced such a reply to it as I thought 
you wished to have and I myself best approved. I soon discovered, 
however, that my inclination had imposed upon me a task surpassing 
my physical ability to perform; and I was so constrained to desist. 
The attempt has been renewed several times since, with no better suc- 
cess, Age has so dimed niy sight and stiffened my fingers, that I 
now write with much difficulty and generally with some pain. 

1 A Representative in Congress from Kentucky, 1813-1815 ; later moved to Texas. 
* One of tlie early followers of John C. Calhoun ; representative in Congress from Vir- 
ginia, 1800-1801 ; Senator in Congress from Virginia, 1824^-1832 ; governor of Virginia, 



Hence, nothing but absolute necessity induces me ever to touch a pen. 
But in the pleasing hope, that by complying with your request I 
might give you some proof of my continued respect, esteem and con- 
fidence, and feebly disburthen my own mind of the sad forebodings 
that sometimes oppress it, I forgot the infirmities of age and com- 
menced such a letter as I have described. I wrote con amore, but I 
had not proceeded far, when I was obliged to acknowledge to my- 
self, that altho' the spirit was still willing the flesh was no longer 
able to aid it ; and with some mortification, I reluctantly abandoned 
a subject, which, in my mode of treating it, threatened to expand 
into a volume. 

I was a little consoled under this compulsory abandonment of my 
first design, by reading in our newspapers, that while I had been 
writing most of the subjects I was discussing were no longer open 
questions (as the lawyers say) but had passed into res judicatae, so 
far at least as the body of which you are a member is concerned. 
Mr. Clay's Compromise Bill had been rejected as a whole, altho 5 
many of the parts of which this whole was compounded had been 
approved by the Senate. The votes by which these results had been 
brought about, show so clearly the motive power that had produced 
them, as to leave no doubt upon the mind of any, I suppose, that what 
remains will meet with like approbation. Therefore, to continue the 
discussion of questions already decided, and so decided too, would 
be a labour painful to myself and quite profitless to you. I will not 
deny myself the pleasure of saying to you, however, that I concur 
with you entirely in every opinion you have expressed and in every 
vote J T OU have given in regard to any and all of the several subjects 
involved in the so called Compromise Bill, so far as these votes and 
opinions are known to me. In saying this, I believe I express the 
sentiments of a very great majority of the Citizens of Virginia. But, 
my friend, while you and your Colleague may both rest assured that, 
the course you have pursued meets the cordial approbation of a very 
large proportion of the people of Virginia at present, neither of you 
should flatter yourselves with the hope that these opinions will be 
permanent here. 

Throughout the U[nited] S[tates] patent causes have been silently 
operating for some time past to produce a radical change in their 
Government ; and the future action of these causes must be greatly 
aided and facilitated by the measures recently adopted by the Senate. 
It was my purpose, at first, to enumerate these causes, to trace them 
to their sources and to show to what results they must inevitably lead, 
even if not designed to produce such effects. But, as I have said, I 
am no longer able to perform such a task. I can give you only a 
birds-eye view of the principles the Senate has asserted, in some of 
their votes, of the practices they have established to serve as prece- 


dents for themselves and their successors hereafter, of the influence 
these precedents must have upon the destiny of the U[nited] S [tales] 
both abroad and at home, and of the cause that has effected all this 
mischief. I am not able to complete the picture, but must leave It to 
you to fill up the outline. 

By the admission of California into the Union, under the circum- 
stances existing when she presented herself, the Senate have decided 
that the unknown dwellers and sojourners in a territory recently 
conquered, while they are still subject to the strict discipline of a 
military rule, may, without even asking the permission of their Con- 
querors, put off this rule, erect themselves into a sovereign state, ap- 
propriate to their own use such part of the conquered territory as 
they please, and govern it thereafter as they think proper. That for 
such acts of mutinous insurrection and open rebellion against the 
legitimate authority of their conquerors, instead of meeting the cen- 
sure and punishment which existing laws denounce, they shall be 
rewarded. Provided they will take care to insert as a condition in 
their Organic law, that none of the slaves belonging to the citizens 
of one half of the states of the Union shall ever be introduced 
within the limits they have chosen. 

By the purchase of a large portion of the territory admitted to 
belong to Texas, which purchase the Senate have authorized to be 
made, they have asserted the doctrine that it is competent to the 
Federal Government to buy up the whole or any part it may wish 
to acquire of one of the Confederated States of the Union. 

By the proposed annexation of the territory to be bought from 
Texas to a portion of the conquered country of New Mexico, the 
narrow limits of the latter will be expanded into a territory of a 
respectable size, many of the free citizens of Texas will be degraded 
into territorial subjects of the Government of the U[nited] Spates] ; 
and when to escape from this state of vassalage, they shall hereafter 
ask to be admitted into the union like California, you may rely 
upon it, that this boon will be refused, unless like California they 
will exclude all Southern Slaves from their limits, by their Organic 

The Statesman must be deficient in political sagacity, I think, 
who does not foresee that all the nations holding territories adja- 
cent to the U[nited] S[tates] must feel anxiety for the safety of 
their dominions, when such principles if not openly avowed are acted 
upon systematically by the Government of the U[nited] S[tatesj; 
and that the portion of the great family of civilized nations cln 
regard with indifference the effects of these new doctrines interpolated 
into the public law. 

Of their effects upon the slave holding states of the Union, I have 
neither space enough left to express more than a brief remark. These 


states have long accustomed themselves to regard the Senate of the 
U[aited] S[tates] as the only body upon which any reliance could 
be placed for the conservation of their political rights and interests. 
They will now see, 1 suppose, that this was mere delusion ; that these 
rights and interests have been wantonly sacrificed by members of 
that body in whom they had good reason to repose confidence; and 
like the dying Caesar, struck down at the foot of Pompey's statute 
by the daggers of pretended friends, they may well cry out et tu 
quogue Brute, It is neither necessary or proper for me to say any 
thing now as to the course which, I think, they ought and will adopt 
under present circumstances. The measures which the Senate have 
recommended and sanctioned by their votes have not yet received 
the assent of the other Departments of the Government ; and altho 5 
to indulge the anticipation of any different result in these quarters 
may be hoping against hope, yet while a single chance remains, how- 
ever remote it may be, prudence would seem to indicate that the 
slave holding States should abstain from any hypothetical declara- 
tion of their purpose. Whatever that purpose may be, I am sure it 
will not be influenced by any craven fears, and so far as Virginia is 
concerned, I hope it will be worthy of her character. For my own 
part, whatever that purpose may be I will abide by it. I have often 
invoked my God to witness the solemn pledge I willingly gave to be 
" faithful and true" to her; and when I forget the sacred obligation 
of this vow of allegiance, may that God forget me. 

Accept this long letter, (which I have written with difficulty) as a 
testimonial of the high consideration in which I hold you, I commit 
it to your discretion, to be used as you please, provided always that 
it shall not reach the newspapers. Altho' I have no care to conceal 
any thing that I have ever thought said or done in my whole life, 
yet I have ever felt a morbid horror at becoming a subject of 


ST. Louis, Mo., September %7tJi, 1850. 

Mr DEAR COUSIN- : On my arrival at this place yesterday I heard 
a rumor to the effect that there was a strong probability that Con- 
gress before its adjournment would raise one or two additional 
regiments of Dragoons for Western service. 

I now write to request your kind offices for procuring for me the 
appointment of Major in one of these Corps. You are fully aware oi 
the importance of this promotion to me, and I need not therefore say 
anything to you on that head. I make this application upon my 

l As a brigadier general lie took command of the Confederate Army in western Vir- 
ginia in June, 1861 ; killed at Carrlck f s Ford, July 13, 1861, while leading his troops. 


own character and services as any other officer would do, yet It may 
be a matter of some weight with the administration to 8 understand 
the relations that existed betwen the late President and myself; 
and although I consider that my standing and services in th6 army, 
fully warrant me in seeking this advancement, I feel safe in saying 
that in view of my position on Gen [era] 1 Taylor's personal staff, 
Gen [era] 1 Fillmore would be fully sustained by his party at least in 
giving me the position now asked. I presume you are well acquainted 
with Mr. Crittenden and Mr. Steanst, and I beg that you will make 
these facts known to them. To the former gentleman, I shall write 
directly, but with Mr. Steanst I have no acquaintance whatever. 

I shall address Col[onel] Davis and Gen [era] 1 Jones on this sub- 
ject, as well as Mr. Conrad, but your assistance will be highly impor- 
tant to my interests, and if convenient, I beg to invoke it. Had 
Gen [era] 1 Taylor lived I feel satisfied that this promotion would 
have been given me unsought, and it was in consequence of expecting 
some such occasion as the present that I had refrained while lie was 
alive, from annoying him on this or kindred subjects. 

To Col. Davis I am personally and fully known and I beg that 
you will confer with him, should you be able to give this letter any 
attention. I am perfectly willing to undergo any amount of hard 
service for any length of time, if I get this promotion. 

I beg to hear from you as early as convenient. Please direct to me 
at Fort Leavenworth, Missouri. 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.], October J?, 1850. 

DEAR SIR: Will you allow me to remind you of the conversation 
which we lately had in regard to the emigration of negroes from 
this country to the British West Indies. I shall be very happy to 
receive from you any advice or suggestions with regard to carrying 
out such a plan, provided you consider it feasible. 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.], October 8$, 1850. 

DEAR SIR: Yours is received and I herewith send the letter of 
Mr. Tazewell. You will see how it was mutilated while in the hands 
of the printer and against my orders, but I have saved every article 
of the precious paper. 

As to Georgia the indications are unfavourable. The tone of the 
resistance press is not so good as it has been. Elsewhere there is no 
change, unless in Charlestown, V[irgini]a and in, Rockingham 
[County, Virginia] where by the way you were expected. I got a 

1 Minister from Great Britain to the United States. 


letter from Bedinger last night who says that Mason made a capital 
speech at Charlestown, and that it was well received, and that all 
the Democrats are with us, and the Whigs opposed. The proceed- 
ings however have not yet reached here. 

By the way that truest test of the state of affairs, the subscriptions 
to the Press are not coming in so rapidly as immediately after the 
session closed. The members have either done nothing or done it 
in vain. My opinion is they have done about nothing, that is so 
very customary with them. 

You see Filmore has surrendered to Seward, submission is the 
order of the day. 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.] 5 October Wt\ 1850. 

DEAR HUNTER: Your second favour was received enquiring after 
the first which had already been answered, and I presume you re- 
ceived the Tazewell letter, as safely as it came from the hands of the 
Visigoth printer. 

The news for the last few days looks better from the South. The 
Georgia papers have better tone, and our friends claim to be strong. 
I learn to-day that Toombs has written here that Georgia can be 
saved for the Compromise if the North will only behave itself, a 
thing that the North wont do more and more every day. 

Wagner of the New Orleans Courier has retired, and the paper 
goes more with the South. In a card he publishes he ascribes his 
retirement to his devotion to the Union which was too great for the 
proprietors of the paper. I suppose we have to thank Soule and 

Doherty (Judge) of Georgia, Whig and the man on whom all the 
Whigs but seven united for Senator at the last election instead of 
Dawson, has come out for resistance. 

The Mississippi papers look pretty well. 

I have written over to New York about your nephew, and if pos- 
sible will get him a place. Soon as I hear will write. 

(P. S.) Cabell is elected by decreased majority. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], November 8th, 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: I was absent when your letter of the 9th ult 
reached the City, and I have delayed an answer to it until now for 
the purpose of consulting with some of our friends upon the subject. 

I am pleased with the idea of sending our free people to the Brit- 

1 Governor of Virginia (1849-1852) ; a member of Buchanan's Cabinet (1857-1861)*. 


ish West India Islands, nor is it by any means a new one to me. I 
had a conversation twelve months ago with some gentlemen upon 
the subject; but we made nothing of it for the want of information; 
and being equally ignorant of the sources to procure it, let it drop. 
I would take it as a favor confered upon the state if you would as- 
certain of even the British Minister distinctly the terms upon which 
his Government would take them, and the condition in which they 
would be placed upon their removal to the Islands. 

We to be sure would part with them very willingly upon any 
terms, but this information is necessary to render their co-operation 
hearty. If advantageous terms were offered I do not much doubt, 
but that they would all emigrate in the course of -a few years. I 
should be very much pleased to render every facility in my power 
to the conservation of the project. 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.], December 19, 1850. 

MY DEAR SIR: I am very much obliged to you for your kind letter 
and attention to the subject which I brought under your consideration 
when we last met. 

The communications which I had received from my Government at 
that time inclosed some correspondence from a resident at Jamaica, 
stating his belief that the House of Assembly of that Island would 
be disposed to offer small grants of land to immigrants of color, and 
to defray a portion of the expense of their transit from the United 

This person moreover stated that he believed that many slave pro- 
prietors in this country would be willing to manumit their slaves if 
they were sure of being able thus to dispose of them. 

Her Majesty's Government however, expressed no distinct opinion 
on these subjects; but requested me to obtain information as to the 
feeling of the slave proprietors of the Southern States, with respect 
to giving liberty to their slaves, and with respect to sending negroes 
who had received their freedom, to any foreign country where they 
would be sure of good treatment, observing that if the substance of 
the correspondence forwarded to me were correct, arrangements 
might probably be made for receiving such persons as those alluded 
to, in the British West Indies: and by another communication re- 
ceived, I was instructed to ask for any farther information I might 
require from H[er] M[ajesty]'s Gov[ernmen]t in order to deal prac- 
tically with this question. In reply to the above mentioned communi- 
cations, I stated that I did not think that emancipation of negroes for 
the purpose of their emigration to the West Indies would be carried 
to any great extent, but that I did believe that there was a disposition 


on the part of the Slaveholding states to get rid of their present free 
negro population and I observed that I should endeavour to ascertain 
from persons well qualified to give me an opinion on the subject, the 
regulations under which such an arrangement could be made, whilst 
in the meantime I suggested that if the Colonies in question passed 
any law securing a tolerable existence to free negroes emigrating 
thereto, such a law would obtain attention here; and that it was prob- 
able that the Legislature of the Southern States would adopt meas- 
ures for facilitating the egress of the free portion of their colored 

In this position the question now remains, Her Majesty's Gov[ern- 
men]t probably waiting for farther information from me; and such 
information I should very much desire to obtain from you. 

Indeed I would observe that before I could make any suggestions 
to you on this subject, I should have to refer again to Her Majesty's 
Gov[ernmen]t, which would have to refer to the authorities at 
Jamaica, and on receiving their opinion, would have again to com- 
municate with me, when the proposals would have to be discussed 
here and if any alterations were then necessary, further proceedings 
of the same dilatory character, would be required : Whereas If you 
could furnish me with a plan for some arrangement that would suit 
you, this would immediately receive the attention of Her Majesty's 
Gov[ernmen]t and that of the Legislature of Jamaica; and either be 
settled at once there or if any modification were necessary, transmit- 
ted thence hither, and arranged between us in a very short space of 

Will you therefore consider of this matter and come and dine with 
me here on the 29th inst (since I may be absence during the holidays) 
at 6 o'clock in a quiet way, and we will then talk over and come to 
some determination with respect to it ? 


NEW YORK [CiTY], February 3, 1851. 

DEAR SIR : There is much Interest felt here among the merchants, 
as well as those engaged the business of storing goods in Bond in 
reference to the action Congress will take (if any) on the Ware 
Housing Bill. The two existing systems, the one a Government 
affair, the other Private have been so long and thoroughly tested 
that not a shadow of doubt exists that the private Ware Houses are 
in every respect superior and are by the Merchants preferred. 

The Government system entails an annual expense upon the Treas- 
ury in this City alone, of nearly or quite $100,000. While the Pri- 
vate ones. Bonding mere goods, are not one cent expense to the 
Treasury. I have been some time engaged in this business but the 


constant annoyances we are all subjected too must if continued ruin 
us. The two systems cannot exist together unless we are allowed 
a fair competition with the Government. This is all we ask. Give 
the Merchant the privilege, and surely it is [a] right one, of Bond- 
ing his goods in any duly authorised Bonded Ware House and we 
are perfectly willing to take one chance of success even with the 
Government for a competitor. 

But as affairs are now conducted there is no fairness, no justice. 
We are under very heavy expenses, give heavy Bonds for the faithful 
performance of the trust pay over $3. per diem or $1095.00 per 
an[num] to the collector for the officer in charge, and yet much of 
the time he, the collector, refuses to allow the merchant to place Ills 
goods in our charge. These private stores are prefered by mer- 
chants for many reasons. They are at different points of the City, 
therefore more accessable to business men. There is more accommo- 
dation and better care taken of his merchandise. It is for the in- 
terest (the strongest of incentives) of the Storekeeper to do so. The 
charges are less, and Insurance is only about one half of that 
charged in the Government stores. All these amount to a very 
heavy percentage on an invoice of goods, the merchant therefore 
naturally makes his arrangement with the private stores. He ar- 
ranges as to prices, takes out his Insurance, or possibly he already 
has a policy, and then goes to the Custom House to enter his goods 
for said store but is quietly informed that he cannot place them 
there. They must go into the Government stores. Such is the oper- 
ation and you can readily understand the effect. It is ruining those 
who alone should have the business (I mean private individuals) 
entailing an expense of $100,000 on the Government. The truth is it 
is a very small business for the Government to be engaged in, that 
of storage ! Why not carting ? The stores should Joe leased and the 
Secretary is censurable for not having complied with the law of the 
last Congress authorising him to have them on or before the 1st 
of Jan[uar]y last. No real effort has been made. They would 
to day if put up at auction bring nearly as much as are paid for 
them by the Gov[ernmen]t stores along side of the large IJfnited] 
S[tates] Bonded store on Broadway, and also in front of them 
rent for more money. But the truth is there are some 50 or 100 
more, good positions probably, connected with these stores and so 
long as the Government pay their expenses why have the stores! 
If they are to be continued as Gov[ernmen]t stores, then we wish 
that our formidable opponent be compelled to play fair. Let them 
be no forcing goods in these stores against the wishes and interest 
of the merchants. Give us fair and open competition, guard us 
against having forced upon us, to protect the interest of the Gov- 
ernment ! too many cousins, nephews and the like, as Custom House 


officers and thus eating us up, and we will Bond all the goods that 
may offer to better satisfaction to the merchant, with more safety to 
the Government and save to the Treasury a large am[oun]t an- 
nually. The system should be extended to three years at least, why 
not indefinitely? Duty Bonds cancelled when goods are destroyed 
by fire or otherwise, but why give Bonds for duties at all while the 
Government possesses the goods, are they not sufficient receipt for 

It is certainly to be hoped that a Bill with such a similar feature 
may soon become a law and no one is more capable of effecting this 
result than yourself. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], February 13th, 1851. 

MY DEAR HUNTER: There was a meeting of the Democracy here 
last night. To describe its tone and temper no one could undertake, 
except to a person who was present but uninitiated. There is to be 
another meeting held next Monday night and a Com[mit]tee of 12 is 
appointed to prepare subjects for consideration. I am at the head of 
that Com[mit]tee. Nothing can or will be done. Why? the hares 
are squatting under the nose of the Ritchie hounds. Ritchie has to 
get his printing contract through Congress before he will allow any- 
thing to be attempted for the conciliation of State Rights Democrats 
and for the uniting of North and South Democrats. That printing 
Contract pervades, in under-current, every pulse of action here. By 
it we were sold out to the Compromise, by it Bayly was carried to 
downright treason, by it Ritchie is bound and by him the Democracy 
of Virginia is held in durance vile. Are we to let him put us in his 
pocket ? You must trust to me to save " hooks and lines " here and 
I appeal to you a a Senator and patriot never to allow that contract 
to be consummated unless Ritchie will sell us to ourselves back again. 
We must hold him by the printing bill. Don't let it pass either house 
until you have beat him to terms. You can do it. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], 13th February 1851. 

MY DEAR SIR: Permit me to introduce to your acquaintance my 
esteemed friend Col[onel] Fuqua, a member of the Convention of 
Virginia from my old county of Buckingham, and a good and true 
democrat and southerner. He is one of the signers of the " Ebony 
line " letter and to him I refer you for his views with this only re- 
mark that whatever he may say you cannot better satisfy him than 
by Strict adherence to the principles that should guide a V[irgini]a 
Senator. Tell him what I have said, 


I have no doubt that the signatures procured to that paper are in 
the main attributable to the influence and popularity of Beverly 
Tucker and Kennedy. They were over here and gave a supper to 
that end. Besides that a friend of theirs Hon. Mr. Chilton of 
Fauquier presented and when necessary pressed it on the members 
of the Convention. His good nature, their facility and a general 
and growing desire In V[irgini]a for some plan to remove the free 
negroes accounts for the number of signatures. While it was in 
Chilton's hands and after it had been presented to me I spoke of it in 
[the] presence of one or two members of [the] Convention. One of 
them I remember said he had signed it thoughtlessly and would go 
and have his name taken off. I have not had an opportunity to con- 
verse extensively on the subject, but I am decidedly of opinion and 
will add such is Goode's opinion, that you and your colleague should 
act upon the lights before you without reference to these signatures 
unless the more deliberate wishes of the legislature should be com- 

I hope after 4th March and when you have paid a short visit home 
and seen the State of progress on your farm, unexampled in your 
experience as a farmer, you will come over to see your friends here 
and make yourself very agreeable to members of the Convention, but 
especially to the members of the Legislature. 

^A message for T. S. Bocock if you see him. The Whigs of his 
district in Convention assembled have, without any other name 
being before them, nominated the Rev. John Early D. D. as the 
Whig Candidate for the district. Harvey Irving is furious on it, 
and opinions are various as to the strength of the nominee. It is 
rather a formidable move, but in my opinion not invincible. 

Mr. Wise is attempting to make a platform for the democracy in 
Virginia. A meeting was called last night perhaps you saw or 
heard of the call in the Enquirer. It was well attended: Mr. Wise 
moved for a committee, and I understand read resolutions. The 
Committee was appointed to report to an adjourned meeting Monday 
night next. I learn I am one of the Committee, I did not remain 
till they were named. The resolutions which Wise read take the 
ground of attachment to the Union and the rights of the States &c ? 
submission to what has been done and opposition to dissolution for 
that cause, compliment to Pennsylvania and a promise, the other 
democratic states concurring, to sustain such candidate for the presi- 
dency as she may name, with an invitation to her to designate a 
candidate. He is of opinion there is a design to put Cass on us 
again whom he wont vote for. [He] is I believe for Buchannan, 
believes a national Convention Nomination impracticable, and thinks 
the Whigs will beat us unless we take the platform of Union from 
them. What think you all? I wish I could hear from our friends 


in Washington on the subject in time. This movement makes little 
favor here as far as I can gather, and is not agreeable to my own 


March 27, 1851. 

DEAR SATJNDERS: I was in Eichmond when your letter reached 
Garnett. By the way it went first to the army hands. M. E. EL 
Garnett is the name of my nephew. The other is M. Garnett and a 
whiff. So note the distinction when next you write. By the way I 
see you still talk of that dinner. If gotten up it would be owing 
to nothing but your personal address, not to any hold which I have 
there. And if gotten up it would do harm. Trust my judgment 
for this matter at least. In all that you say in relation to the new 
Editors of the Union I concur. That is to say I concur as far as 
I know Donalson, but my knowledge of him is very slight. He is 
not for " the ticket " as you call it. At least I do not believe that 
he is. I heard Douglass well spoken of in Eichmond. Gen[era]l 
Chapman is ardent. I did not hear what were the leanings of the 
Speaker Hopkins. 


ALTO, KING GEOEGE [COUNTY, YA.] ? April 5 5 1851. 
MY DEAR SIR: The subject of a Southern Convention, has become a 
topic of very great excitement in our County ; and owing to the un- 
fair report of the proceedings of our second, joint meeting (which 
has been charged on the chairman) a good deal of angry and desul- 
tory discussion has ensued. The question has, unfortunately, as- 
stimed a party character here, and an effort is being made to stifle 
the independent action of the friends of a convention, on the ground, 
that we ought to submit to an accidental majority against us. We 
do not feel the force of any such obligation, either morally or po- 
liticallyj and do not intend to yield. Although we shall be too late 
to unite with the district convention to assemble at Tappahannock on 
the 10th, yet we can confirm the action of that meeting. "We shall 
call a meeting for our general muster, and I will be greatly obliged 
to you, if in your power and not subjecting you to too much trouble, 
to fortify me with documents to sustain our position. I want evi- 
dence to -show how many Southern States have recommended the 
Convention; and to controvert the assertion if I can, that six of 
them have, in their legislative capacities, gone against it, that Ten- 
nessee, herself, has refused to allow it to meet within her borders. If 
these States have done so, of which I have seen no evidence, I would 

1 TMs letter can be found in the Library of Congress. 


be glad to be informed what is the ground of their opposition, and 
whether they are not Whig States? I want moreover to show what 
portion of the people of Tennessee are opposed to its assembling 
in Nashville. I have to contend singly and alone against my brother, 
who is a practiced speaker, and Col[onel] Taylor who is a loud 
talker, but our party [will] go for it, with great unanimity. Fitz- 
hugh spoke at our last court, but not in good taste, and with little 
effect. Newton is warm for it, and I learn is open in his denuncia- 
tions of the administration; so are Washington and Garnett of the 
same county, and I am looking forward to no distant day, when 
Westmoreland will become a member of the Democratic family of 
Counties. I sincerely wish the meeting of the Convention were not 
so near ; the people are just beginning to wake up to the importance 
of the question. I would give a great deal to have you among us 
for a short time; we want some potent voice and lofty spirits to 
rouse the sleeping energies of the South to a sense of their danger. 
If we can not see you personally, I should be glad to have a letter 
from you, of such a character as you may deem prudent and politic 
to read at our meeting. I am sure it would do a great deal of good; 
but if you think otherwise, of course no use will be made of any 
communications, you may honor me with. 


LLOYDS, ESSEX [Co. VA.], May 5, 185 L 

MY DEAR SIR : You will be surprised to hear that your letter has 
just reached me. The mail comes here from the North but twice a 
week and it is irregular at that. No man can appreciate such a com- 
pliment more highly than I do and I wish to act according to the 
advice of my friends but they differ as to this matter. The same mail 
which brought your letter brought also one from Douglass. Confi- 
dential it was but there are no secrets from you. He advises me 
to decline, but to visit New York without parade during the sum- 
mer. In the same letter he speaks in the highest terms of the skill 
and judgment with which you manage affairs. He himself I think 
is one of the coolest observers even when he himself is concerned, 
that I ever saw. For myself I do not mean or wish to be obstinate. 
You know what my opinion has been all along. But I suppose and 
hope I shall soon hear from you again. Your report of progress 
is encouraging beyond any expectations I have ever had. I think 
that Douglass will take well in this state. 

P. S. If Bev[erly] Tucker is in New York when this reaches you 
please tell him I had intended writing him by this mail but upon 
considering [?] the day of his sailing I found the letter would 

'This and the foUowing letter are In tbe Library of Congress. 


probably not reach him. I regret this very much as it was an over- 
sight on my part. 


LLOYDS, ESSEX Co. [VA.], June W, 1851. 

MY DEAR SIR: I found your second favors here upon my return 
and I avail myself of the first mail to reply to them. I am under 
many obligations to you for your kindness and for the skill and 
address with which you have managed matters. The affair of the 
Herald I think will do neither good nor harm. The moment you 
mentioned Westcotts name I understood the whole matter. You ask 
me what is the cause of his dislike to me? I know of no cause and 
was not aware that he had any dislike to me. In truth I do not be- 
lieve that he either likes or dislikes me or cares one cent about me. 
He has a natural propensity for mischief and delights in making a 
sensation. He could indulge these propensities better by the course 
which he pursued than by following your suggestions. This I suspect 
is the key to his conduct unless there is somebody in New York whom 
he wished to. annoy. Mr. Jefferson said of Burr that he was like " a 
crooked gun " and no one could ever tell where he would shoot. The 
same may be said of Wfestcott]. The best way is to let him alone. 
He will be satisfied with what he has done unless somebody pursued 
it further. 

I am glad that you are satisfied with my letter. I was afraid you 
might think I did not attach sufficient importance to your wishes 
which was far from being the case. But after weighing the matter 
well it seemed to me most prudent to decline. But enough of this 
subject. What does Donelson mean by his constant praises of Web- 
ster? Is he bolstering him up to give him strength enough to divide 
the whig party or is there an alternative in which he contemplates 
the possibility of supporting him. Scarcely the latter I should think. 
But there must be some object. Pray let me hear from you when you 
have leisure. Have the ISTorth Western papers said any thing of my 
letter ? Where is Douglass and what is he about ? 

P. S. I will write you a letter in relation to Gushing. He would 
make a capital selection. 


RALEIGH, K C., November 28tfi^ 1851. 

MY DEAR SIR: Detained here, for a few hours, waiting for the 
Stage to take me to Fayetteville on my route to Columbia and 
Charleston, I fulfill a purpose which I designed to have done before 
I left home. 


The first volume of Mr. Calhoun's Works is now published, con- 
taining his views on Government, and the Constitution. It is so 
inconvenient for me to attend to the publication of the remaining 
volumes, in South Carolina, that I propose, if it can be done on 
fair terms, to change the place to Kichmond. Nash and Wood- 
house are anxious to establish an extensive Publishing House in 
this City, and I [am] desirous to get their works to commence with. 

Now putting aside the question of real or individual interest, I 
am quite sure they would undertake the publication of the remain- 
ing volumes, as well as a large edition of the present, if they could 
have some assurance that they would not sustain an actual loss, 
To provide against this they propose to go on to Washington to 
consult with some of Mr. Calhoun's old friends in regard to the 
probabilities of a subscription on the part of Congress. 

Now on this point, I wish to speak to you in all frankness. I am 
confident that the work now published must, if not generally, 
exercise a powerful [influence] on public opinion throughout the 
Union. It cannot be otherwise. A few, and these prominent 
Whigs, to whom I have loaned the single volume I have, have 
openly and publicly declared that its views and arguments are Tin- 
measurable. A similar declaration was made to me by a leading 
Whig in New York, who had the Proofs last Spring, 

The work on the Constitution will do more, I verily believe, to 
build up the Republican Party, and preserve the Union, than any, 
and all other causes combined. All that is necessary to effect a 
great and radical change in public sentiment in regard to State 
Eights is, to give this Work a wide circulation. Congress, or even 
the Senate (of which he was so long a member) might do this. 
But you know the inflexible opposition which Mr. Calhoun ever 
entertained to this miserable traffic on the part of the Government, 
in the papers of dead politicians one of Ms last injunctions to me 
was, never to have his Papers put up at auction in the Capitol ; and 
his family have since strictly enjoined on me not to violate his 
wishes. I mean not to do this, but there is a difference, a wide 
difference between offering the manuscript to Congress on sale, and 
a subscription on the part of that body to a work or works pub- 
lished by myself or by any one else. In the latter case Congress 
does not become the owner or publisher, but simply the purchaser 
of so many copies, to be used as it may deem proper. So impor- 
tant do I regard the circulation of this Book, that I would willingly 
tread thus far on the injunctions of the Author, should such an 
arrangement amount to this. It does not strike me, however, in 
this light. The Library Committee will, of course order one or 
more copies. The use will be for the public. The principle in- 
23318' -18 -VOL 2 9 


volved In the two cases is the same. At least, it so appears to me. 
True, the family of Mr. Calhoun will be benefitted in proportion to 
the number of copies sold. This is incidental and applies to the 
author or proprietor of every book. I can not, and ought not to 
be indifferent to this, tho' they seem to be; for they were perfectly 
willing to present the manuscripts gratuitously to the State of 
South Carolina, if it would see them faithfully and properly printed 
and published. This I would not consent that they should do. 
They are not more than scantily independent; and I was unwilling 
to see the literary labours as well as the public services of their 
Father pass to the Country, without some compensation. In what 
I now write I have consulted with none of them, but act upon my 
own responsibility. It seems to me that Congress ought to sub- 
scribe for a large number of Copies, and through the members to 
distribute them amongst the people. Will you give me your opin- 
ions on the subject at your earliest leisure. You can consult with 
other friends; and let me hear from you, if possible, on my return 
to Eichmond, say Tuesday the 9th of next month. It will be impor- 
tant for me to have them at that time, as it might facilitate my 
arrangements with E"ash and Woodhouse, I write in haste as thb 
stage is at the door. 



WINCHESTER, [VA.] 3 December 24i 1851. 

Mr DEAR SIR : I thank you for putting Mr. Guyer in the trail of 
the facts I enquired for. 

Have you spoken to Foote's Eesolution ? And what position have 
you taken ? I presume the same with Mason. 

I hope your election is safe. Is there any danger of Bayly, or of 
Wise? Which have you any reason to look to as an opponent? 

One of my delegates said to me to-clay he would like to have my 
advice before going to Eichmond. I of course told him I would like 
to confer with, not to dictate to, him. I think in this section we will 
have things all right for you. I heard favorable news from our 
Senator who has been somewhat doubtful to-clay through his brother, 
who said, if he did not go for you, he ought to be turned out. He 
said he did not think he would fail you, that he was certain you were 
his choice unless Bayly were preferred by him. I shall write to him 
and set matters right as to him. In Jefferson I learn all is well. In 
Hampshire I know it is. Here in Clark, Warren and Page I am quite 

I wish you a Merry Christmas. We hear flying rumours of the 
Capitol Conflagration. Do you go home at Xmas? If not why not 
come here for a day? 


I was glad to see your movement about the message. Your posi- 
tion Is favorable and a good move on the Free trade pound would 
strengthen you immensely in a party point of view. 


EICHMOND, [VA.], January 18th, 1853. 

MY DEAR SIR : On my return last night from a visit of some days 
to the country, I was gratified by the receipt of your cordial letter. 
It has given a spur to the resolution I had entertained for some two 
weeks, ever since from my return from the South, to write yon, and 
which I have been prevented from executing partly by ray shameful 
habit of procrastination, and partly by the wish to give more satis- 
factory intelligence than I then possessed of the prospect of your 
reelection. I am personally pretty completely removed from politics, 
and have moreover, but one object of keen lively interest, and that 
is your reelection. That I have told all my friends in the Legisla- 
ture from my return could and must be effected. At first there were 
much doubt and distrust on the part of your friends. They did not 
know whether to press a speedy election, whether to go into Caucus 
or not. My opinions and advice were decided, have the election at 
the earliest day and go into Caucus too, even if you risk something. 
I did not however believe they would. On my return last night, I 
was much gratified to learn, the day of election had been fixed with- 
out any appearance of overpressing on the part of your friends for 
Thursday next. I have been all the morning circulating with your 
friends among the members. I find them I rejoice to say all hope- 
ful, most confident and some absolutely certain of the result. You 
know I am not sanguine in disposition and would not on any account 
form hopes to give a keener edge to coming disappointment. Yet I 
think I can do more, than bid you be of good cheer. I believe you 
may feel almost safe. Our friends have concluded they are strong 
enough to risk a Caucus without danger. I advise it by all means 
and the sooner the better. It will probably be held to-morrow night 

The only competitor seriously talked of is Wise and really he is not 
proposed by most of those who urge him. They want to reward him 
for his course in the Convention and get him out of the way for 
Western Competitors for other Honor. They have no thot save 
for the man. Wise makes a great mistake in not being more generous 
and true to his ancient friendships. He ought not to oppose you 
and I can't help hoping, if he knew how affairs really stand, he 
would not. At least, I hope such is the fact and advise all our friends 
to take that for granted and urge it on his Western supporters. In 
that way, I hope bitterness toward Mm will be avoided and yet good 
done in inducing his friends to come to your support. Fwant you 


elected, by a Caucus to purge all past objections, by a rote so nearly 
unanimous as to give to your past course the fullest indorsement, to 
your future prospects the most auspicious impulse. All this I believe 
and trust will be effected. 

It may be well for some friend in the Legislature to have the au- 
thority to express your opinion ab[ou]t the Compromise as a fact 
accomplished, but let him be perfectly trusty and be even then cau- 
tious. Concurrence in Mason's late speech, or in Johnson's late mes- 
sage on this point might be ventured. Beyond I should be careful to 
go. The Compromise, curse on it, both in inception and accomplish- 
ment is perilous ground to every true Southern man. I eschew the 
thing in thought heart and deed as much as an honest man may. 

Your friends in Congress from V[irgini]a may do some good by 
writing doubtful persons in their delegations, but I do not think 
much remains to be efiected that way. I am rejoiced to hear they 
so generally approve and sustain you. It is a just reward and honors 
both you and them. Remember me cordially to my old friends 
among them and altho' I don't enq[uire] after them I warmly sympa- 
thize with them. 


MOUNT HOPE, BALTIMORE, [Mo.], January IStTi, 183%. 
My DEAR SIR: I avail myself of this occasion, to address you, a 
few words, from this agreeable, and romantic portion of the good 
democratic portion of Baltimore County, and I am glad to refer 
you yith. so much pleasure, and with a high sense of pride to the 
message, of the present Chief Magistrate, Gov[ernor] Lowe, and to 
state, that much [more] of the present, prosperity of this State, at 
this period arises, from facts, and arguments, and by the wise, and 
liberal policy pursued by those who are found to be sound on matters 
of State Rights, than those who are in no way governed "by the 
true prosperity of the people. Hon. John C. Le Grand will succeed 
J. A. Pearce and I presume we will be able to send a good and sound 
man, in the place of T. G. Pratt, the people of Maryland endorse 
the sentiments of the people, of Virginia, and I hope to see you re- 
turned to the Senate, and I am glad to see the high, and liberal tone, 
of the message of Governor] Johnson of V[irgini]a, on the topics 
of education, and internal improvements, finance, though I did not 
calculate upon his election of Governor. However the old Dominion 
must and will take the lead in many matters. We will be able in 
this State to send in company with Judge Le Grand, Henry May, 
Esq. both to the Senate, at the present time it is not very important, 
but I will state the fact, and I think the documents, will prove it, 
that Gov[ernor] Pratt in ISM went into office under the popular 


name of one of the defeated Candidates, for the Presidency and that 
his financial statements, have proven not correct, and consequently, 
on the subject of slavery his views are, and must be obnoxious, to 
many of the people of this state, while at the same time his colleague 
was flattering Gen[eral] Jackson by his report as chairman of the 
Committee,, that voted to refund the fine imposed on him at N[ew] 
O[rleans] in 1814. This State has of late years, been more or less, 
influenced by renegrades from the Jackson party ^ such men as these, 
and their noble companions, Eeverdy Johnson, and John P. Kennedy. 
I understand their political characters, and intend to show that 
they are, unworthy, and the means they Tiave used, to advance them- 
selves to the pinnacle of political distinction has not been strictly 
in accordance with the. doctrines, or the tests, of true republican 
principles, though they have imagined themselves, secure. Ydu will 
find before long that they will receive a rebuke from the people, 
Johnson is popular with some, but there is a strong, and lasting im- 
pression, on the minds of many of prejudice and I do not believe he 
can be elected, while Judge Le Grand is a candidate. He Is a gentle- 
man of very high qualifications, and for learning and integrity of 
character is regarded with much affection by the people. 

I have much pleasure in being able, to speak of the many improve- 
ments of the day, and the great and rapid strides this section of the 
state has given and encouraged both in the higher branches of com- 
merce, navigation, manufactures and agriculture, and the improve- 
ment in her historical pages. She has given new, and an increased 
attraction. They have a very large, and interesting library both in 
Baltimore] and Annapolis and there is a gentleman of some celebrity 
as a writer, who is about to give us a sketch of the earlier history of 
Chestertown, when things under the reign of Carroll I believe If not 
Lord Calvert, have some what changed their nature, to the present 
day. Carroll was born in 1737, at Annapolis, at eight years of age 
sent to France to be educated, and at the age of twenty he commenced 
the study of law in London, and returned here in 1764. This is the 
land of a Wirt, and the home of that eminent man Pinkney, and the 
plain cabin, of that pure, and gifted genius and one of the men that, 
in mind and oratory, was the theme of wonder, and admiration, whose 
eloquence in the Senate house was such only as In the days of a Pat- 
rick Henry, have witnessed, for Wirt was a self made man, and was 
by nature destined to be a great and mighty orator, his style was 
melodious, sweet, argumentative and at times irresistible, fascinating 
beyond conception or the powers of a description. I hope you will 
pay me a visit, and in company with your friends, Judge Butler of 
S[outh] C[arolina], or Holmes, if you come to the City of Baltimore. 
I will give you a real Maryland and Virginia welcome, bring Mr, 
Rhett also. When you see my friends in Georgetown Ould and Caper- 


ton bring tliem along. You cannot help finding M[ount] Hope if 
you start from the Eutaw House in Baltimore that street will bring 
you out here. I shall trouble you to send me a copy of the reports 
of Committees of Commerce, Navy, Finance, Manufactures, and a 
copy of the report of Patents, for 1851, and a copy of the Constitu- 
tions and a copy of such documents as you may think instructive and 
of interest to me, which I shall preserve and keep for future refer- 
ence, shall take very little or no part, at present in the active strife of 
a political campaign, but to an old acquaintance and a friend of the 
Carolina patriot and statesman, I have been induced to make these 

What are the prospects for appointments in the Navy? I shall 
be glad if you would take sides with Mr. Geyers and advocate the 
retrocession of G[eorge]tow T n to M[arylan]d soon after the discus- 
sion on the Navy reform, and fix on a day and make it the special 
order. Ould and Caperton can impart to you all the details, give to 
Geo[rge]town, a district and seperate county of itself not as an ap- 
pendage to Montgomery. Col[onel] Joseph N. Fearson, the great 
and disinterested champion of democracy, and whose ancestors in 
Baltimore in 1812, at Baltimore] proved themselves, worthy sons 
of a good and glorious cause, is to be the Candidate for the office of 
Mayor of Georgetown in February, when I hope the salary will be 
raised to $2,500 per annum, and that you will introduce a bill in the 
Senate for lighting our town, with gas, and improving the streets. 
We have had a fine and deep snow. And we are likely to have a long 
winter, the sleighing is very fine, we have a great deal of beauty here, 
the theatre bills announce a new star in the person of Lola Martz c. 
Should you want any good and accurate scribes for Committee clerks, 
we can furnish you with two. You will be welcomed, and I shall be 
much pleased to see you in this good and hospitable state when you 
can find leisure to pay us a visit. Excuse all mistakes, and all or 
what may be errors. 



January Wth^ 1852. 

DEAR HUNTER : I am very solicitous to procure an appointment as 
Cadet, for my second son Jno. Harvie, in the military Academy at 
West Point. My only chance of getting him in is as one of the ap- 
pointments by the President. I have written to Mr. Mason on the 
subject and desired him to show you my letter. I would not write 
to you because I thought about this time you would be annoyed by 
your election. Since I wrote I have been to Eichmond and learnt 
(with sincere gratification as you will believe) that your success 


was well nigh certain. I have concluded to write to you and let you 
understand that I am much interested in procuring this appoint- 
ment, hoping that you will interest yourself in it and aid me as far 
as you can. I do not know what step to take and hope you will let 
me know. This boy has as I am informed by his teachers a consid- 
erable talent for Mathematics which I wish cultivated and this is 
one among various reasons why I wish him sent to West Point. It 
has been suggested to me to state to you (what I should certainly 
not have thought of but for the suggestion) that he is a grand nephew 
of Maj[o]r Ja[rne]s Eggleston who served- as Lieu[tenan]t in Lee's 
Legion during the Eevolutionary war, and was afterwards elected 
to Congress, from this District. As you know he was a gallant 
officer and highly respected as a citizen and Public man. His Great 
Grand father Col. Harvie, was also an active Patriot during the 
same struggle and a member of the V[irgini]a Convention in 1775 
and 76. He was afterwards in Congress and signed the Articles of 
Confederation in 1778, and was then made Eegister of the Land 
Office in Y[irgini]a 5 showing that his services were appreciated. I 
mention these matters with reluctance and only because I have been 
urged to do so. I hope you will forget I have done so unless they 
can be made available in favouring this appointment. I am sure 
that Holliday, Edmundson, Caskie, Bocock, Strother, Meade and 
GenL Millson will aid me if I know how to use their assistance. I 
am under the impression also that I may be able to procure the in- 
tervention of GenL Scott and Mr. Crittenden on account of others 
and not myself. My main reliance tho' is on you and Strother and I 
shall expect you to work for me as I would under similar circum- 
stances for you and him. If I can't get him in this year I would 
be content to get him in the next. Let me hear from you as soon 
as may be. 


YORK [Cmr], January &?, 1852. 
DEAR SIR : It is exceedingly satisfactory to the commercial inter- 
ests of this city that you have called in the above resolution 1 for 
information in reference] to the expenses of the Gov[ernmen]t 
Ware Houses. If the great inconveniences and unnecessary ex- 
penses to our merchants could, also be reached by resolution, it would 
throw much further light upon the subject. But what I desire to 
suggest is that you will also call for the number and expense of the 
private Bonded Ware Houses (exclusive of cellars for liquors) . This 

1 The resolution referred to as haying been offered by Hunter requested the Secretary 
of the Treasury to inform the Senate of the number of public warehouses then used by 
the Government, their location, period ol lease, the terms of the leases, and the amount 
expended upon them for labor and other purposes. 


would seem to be necessary in order to arrive at a correct under- 
standing of the whole system and it is information our collector 
can readily firnish. It will be found that while their private Bonded 
stores are Bonding quite as much property as the Government stores, 
equally safe and more convenient to the merchant, they are [at] no 
expense whatever to the Treasury, in fact the Government derive 
unjustly, a small revenue from them for the collector hires his offi- 
cers to attend them for $800 p[e]r an[num] and collects from the 
owner of each store $1095.00 p[e]r an[num] leaving a profit on each 
store to the Government which is paid monthly by each owner of a 
store $295. p[e]r an[num]. There are in this city 12 or 15 of these 
private Bonded stores (exclusive of cellars which I do not include)* 
There are other private stores owned by merchants used for Bond- 
ing their own goods exclusively in what I think it will be found are 
not placed upon the same footing as those stores in ref [erence] to 
which the owners make the Bonding of goods a regular and legiti- 
mate business. I mean in ref [erence] to the amount paid for the use 
of the officer. It is difficult to understand why a merchant who 
uses a store for this purpose exclusively for himself should pay any 
less for the Gov[ernmen]t officer than he who uses his store for 
accommodation of many merchants. The Bonding system is one 
of immense benefit to our merchants and commerce generally but 
it requires a thorough overhauling and placed on a more liberal 
footing excluding as much as possible all Government interference 
and making it as far as possible a private interest, subject alone to 
such simple regulations as will insure safety and security. The 
convenience and safety of the private stores are universally acknowl- 
edged and preferred by our merchants. Suits are constantly brought 
against the Government for goods lost from the Government stores, 
but none so far have ever been lost from the private stores to my 


EICHMOND, [VA.], February 7, 1858. 

MY DEAR SIK: For some days pastel have been suffering serious 
inconvenience and confinement from my vexatious complaints (of 
which I have a score) and consequently have been prevented from 
either acknowledging your friendly letter to myself or communicat- 
ing my views upon the interesting points suggested in your con- 
fidential letter to our friend Goode who in pursuance of the leave 
allowed him submitted it to me. My opinions are worth very little 
indeed, especially now that my thoughts and feelings are so little 
given to political subjects but such as they are, will ever be most 
sincerely and frankly at the services of a friend so highly valued as 
yourself. I agree with you readily as to the position and duty of 


the Southern Rights (or as I prefer the States Eights) party of the 
South in the coming presidential struggle. Personally I should have 
preferred a separate organization and action on their part and 18 
months ago, when I still hoped their spirit and their strength might 
prove equal to their zeal and the justice of their cause, I should hare 
advised that course. Now however it is apparent, their cause as a 
political one is lost and thus separate action would be more than 
preposterous would be suicidal. The cursed Bonds of party para- 
lized our strength and energy when they might have been success- 
fully exerted, and now as some partial compensation must sustain 
and uphold us from dispersion and prostration. In reviewing the" 
past I am inclined to think the great error we committed in the 
South was the uniting at all in council or action with the Whigs. 
Their timidity betrayed more than treason. We should have acted 
in and through the Democratic party alone. Certainly that is all 
that remains to us now to do. We have and can maintain (within 
certain limits of considerable latitude) ascendency in the Demo- 
cratic party of the South and probably controlling influence on the 
general policy and action of the whole party in the Union. The 
Union party, par excellence, we can proscribe and crush. What 
miserable gulls the Union Democrats of the South find them, and I 
am inclined to think the Union Whigs will not fair much better. 
" Woodcocks caught in their own springs." Of both for the most 
part, it may be safely said, they were venal or timid-knaves or fools 
and most richly will they deserve disappointment and popular con- 
tempt. The Southern Eights men by remaining in full communion 
with the Democratic party will be at least prepared for two im- 
portant objects to inflict just retribution on deserters and traitors 
to sustain, it may be, reward friends and true men. I go for the 
States Rights men making themselves the Simon pures of Southern 
Democracy the standard bearers and champions in the coming 
presidential fight. 

IsTow as for the candidate. We must exclude Cass and every other 
such cats paw of Clay and the Union Whigs. We must have a can- 
didate too who will carry the Middle States or rather on whom, the 
Democracy of the Middle States will rally. Too many factions 
prevail in those states to allow any prominent man among them to 
unite all the Democracy. Besides they are peculiarly wanting In fit 
available men. It is rather farcical to be sure to those who know 
to insist on Douglas as most fit. The best man for the Presidency 
and yet I have for more than than a year thought it was coming to 
that absurdity. On many accounts I concur with you in believing 
he is our best chance and that we had better go in for him at once 
and decidedly, making our adhesion if we can [be] conclusive of 
the nomination. You know I have long thought better of Ms 


capacity than most of our friends, especially the Judge and he is at 
least as honest and more firm than any of his competitors. I should 
be disposed therefore to urge him. 

As to the vice presidency, I am strongly inclined to urge the con- 
tinued use of your name, unless your personal repugnance is in- 
superable. I can readily understand your present position to be more 
acceptable to your personal feelings. I think it the most agreeable 
position under the Government, but ought not other considerations 
to weigh seriously. There is the chance of the Presidency by vacancy, 
not much perhaps but still to be weighed. There is a certain niche 
in History to all time which to a man not destitute of ambition is 
an object. There is to your family the highest dignity and respect 
attached to the Vice Presidency in popular estimation. In this last 
point of view, is not something due too to your State. Southern 
States can hardly longer aspire to give Presidents. Whatever be- 
lated honors are to be cast on them must be through sub or direct 
stations and of these the Vice Presidency is the first. 

These considerations I think should prevail and I suspect would, if 
some personal feelings reflected from the general estimate of your 
friends in regard to Douglas and a just estimate as I know and feel 
it of your own subornity did not make you revolt at a secondary po- 
sition on his ticket. You may too fear that the influence and estima- 
tion of your character among the true men of the South might be 
impaired by this sort of a doubtful alliance with Northern politicians 
and schemers even of the most unobjectionable stamp. All these con- 
siderations are not without weight with me. I feel them to the full 
as much on your account as you can well do yourself, and yet I think 
they ought not to control. We must be practical as politicians and 
statesmen to be useful a high position good a position of acknowl- 
edged influence and confessed participation in the administration 
ought not to be lost to the States Eights men from over refined 
scruples and feelings. As Vice President, I believe you could and 
would have great influence in the administration and that influence 
might prove of immense value to our cause in the South. 

If however your objections personally are insuperable, I am too 
truly your friend to insist on their reHquishment. We must then 
look out for and obtain the next best of our school, who is available. 
I should not advise as you suggest J[ohn] Y. M[ason]. He is not 
strictly of us is too flexible too needy and too diplomatic to be 
fully relied upon. I fear we should have to go out of our State, un- 
less Douglas could be content with Meade or with Goode himself. 
Bayly might" have done but for his desertion, which has lost all old 
friends and gained none new. Jefferson Davis would be the best if 
he would accept. If not, what would be said to Gov[ernor] Chapman 

Of EOBSKT M. 1?. BOTTIEE. 139 

of Al[abam]a. He is I think a true man. Excuse an abrupt close. 
I have exhausted my onty paper. 

[P. S.] My best regards to the Judge and Mr. Mason. Write 
whenever you have a spare hour to bestow on a friend. 



MY DEAR SIR : My thanks for your Report on a change in the coin- 
age, which I have not failed to read. The subject, as it has always 
appeared to me, is not an easy one to manage. In reading upon it, I 
have sometimes been ready to give up ; and the most skilled in it are, 
after all, prone to end in guess-work, which they prefer to call " ap- 
proximation." You are aware of this I see, though handling the 
whole matter very well. 

I fully go with you in your most material point, the proportion 
of cun*ency to production. What harm can arise you ask (page 9) 
from any probable increase of the precious metals, if both are al- 
lowed to swell the volume of currency? Your just answer follows. 
To my view, your closing sentences of the paragraph on page 7 are 
equally sound. An enlightened manufacturer in England once said 
to me that England could supply the whole world with manufactures. 
China included I asked ? Yes he replied, " and another planet to- 
boot, as large as our globe, if we could only open a market in another. 
Markets are all we want." He assumed that modern machinery gave 
England a productive working power equal to a population of three 
hundred millions. This is about the calculation of the Prince Join- 
ville in his novel pamphlet, when he said that steam would now give 
to one French sailor the power of twenty. If this be anything like 
good guess-work, production must be greatly ahead of currency In 
the world. I confess I should rather be disposed to say, (to go on a 
little with guess-work,) that if the yield, annually of the precious 
metals were five times greater than it is at present, or than it is all 
likely to be for years and years to come, it would still lag much behind 
production, and therefore be insufficient to produce the best results 
upon the wealth comforts and prosperity of communities. I observe 
that our minister in London, Mr. Lawrence, no bad guesser I should 
think on such matters, appears under no apprehension of a surfeit of 
gold from California. Your bill may lead us to expect silver change 
enough for our present wants ; and I hope that the principles of your 
well-matured and ca'refully drawn Report may lay the foundation of 
more extensive good, by helping to keep down, under the authority 
of such a senatorial document, all fears among us of the metalitic 
currency ever becoming too over-abundant, though the California 


mines, with those of Australia in addition, should yield far more 
than they have ever yet done. 

I received your cordial acknowledgment of the 9th of February 
of one of my antiquated Treasury Eeports. I always visit Washing- 
ton with pleasure, being sure to meet with so many there to make it 
agreeable; but_it seems to me that, just now, only two classes of per- 
sons have any business there; our Legislators and our President- 
makers 1 


SARATOGA, [VA.], May 8th, 1852, 

DEAR HUNTER: I received your very able and valuable report on 
<c a change in the coinage," and was highly delighted with this, and 
other evidences contained in the proceedings of the Senate of the 
manner, as well as distinguished talents with which you discharge 
the various duties of your high station. I have often said, that intel- 
lectually as well as in points of character, I thought you more resem- 
bled Mr. Madison than any other person. In some respects I think 
you will prove his superior. Madison in the abstract was sound, 
but he lacked either the elevation of character or the firmness of 
purpose to carry out his convictions. He gave to expediency what 
was due to principle. Without going beyond my candid convictions 
1 may add, that I deem you will prove him superior in this respect. 
If the health of my Family will permit I wish to attend the Balti- 
more Convention. 

For various reasons I decidedly prefer Buchanan. In our section 
as far as I can learn he is the choice of more than 40 to 1. In our 
District Convention we thought it improper to express our prefer- 
ence or instruct our Delegates. But we adopted a resolution approv- 
ing of the two thirds rule in making our presidential nomination. As 
an evidence of fairness, delegates were selected without reference to 
their personal preferences. All that was desired was that the popular 
will would be reflected, let that be as it might. Thos. S. Bocock 
was appointed and Wm. C. Flournoy and others not agreeing with 
a decided majority. I might add not with one in 20 in the District 
Convention. We are dead against Genl. Cass. He cannot be elected. 
We will take any other Democrat rather than him. He cannot carry 
V[irgini]a. Many leading Democrats declare they will not vote for 
him if nominated. He stands in the same relation to our party that 
Genl. Scott does to the Whig. He has talents, but with all is deemed 
more of a demagogue than statesman. His strong proclivity to ride 
both sides of a sapling argues tmsoundness or over ambition either 
way he is not trust worthy. Besides he has had his day. The Demo- 

* Representative in Congress from Virginia, 1841-1847 ; resided at Curdsville, Bucking- 
ham County. 


crats will settle down in favor both of one Canvass and the one term 
principle for the Presidency. Besides I am opposed to taking Sena- 
torial Candidates and wish the Baltimore Convention to adopt a 
resolution excluding all holding office, from the field of selection. We 
must go to private life positions for our candidates for President 
and vice too. If we go to Congress for our candidates as well as for 
instructions as to whom to cast our votes, why Congress will soon 
absorb all the powers as well as all the honors of our republic. This 
policy unless averted will corrupt and revolutionize our government. 
The Executive must in inception, election, and action be distinct from 
Congress. Let the Congress indicate Candidates, which is tantamount 
to an election, the next step will be for the President to humble him- 
self to his real master. Thus the judiciary will also fall under the 
influence of Congress. Then a congressional majority will decide 
and continue the fate of the country. I am opposed to all this. I 
want the President in all respects independent of both branches of 
Congress. The country people are daily becoming more disgusted 
with Congressional President making. That man will stand highest 
in the public estimation who keeps above all such extra official dicta- 
tion. While the South held all the high honors, in truth got all 
the benefits of our government, they have fattened and grown strong 
upon the substantiate, while we are starving and growing weak upon 
honors. Now I am for a change. Give me sound and reliable 
Northern or free State men, and so far as I am concerned they may 
enjoy all the honors. We want the real solid benefits of government 
and if they have the honors, it will be the most powerful motive with 
their aspirants on both sides to keep down the slavery agitation and 
also to so make the machinery of government as to rebuild the south. 
I look upon high honors as incompatible with sectional aggrandize- 
ment. We cannot get both at once. When the south held the Posts 
of honor, she had to throw all the crumbs of government to conciliate 
distant support. Now give the free States the honors and then they 
will do justice to gain our confidence and support, for without the 
slave state vote in Congress no Executive can honorably or properly 
administer the government. 

I had rather see Buchanan, Marcy, or Douglas, or Dallas, or 
E[ichard] Bush by a great deal than Cass, under the latter [I] 
look upon our defeat as certain. "With either of the others we may 
succeed. Cass is too much mixed up with all this Kossuth move- 
ment, and too strongly inclined to elevate himself not only above 
all our Diplomats, but above the wise policy upon foreign affairs of 
Washington and Jefferson to be trusted at this juncture. I look 
upon our Foreign relations at this time, as the most important point 
to guard in making our selection of candidates. Democratic meas- 
ures are in the general to obtain either under a Whig or Democratic 


rule. But justice to the slave states, and a wise and peaceful Foreign 
policy is what we need. On neither of these points am I willing 
to confide in Cass. As for the Union and the upstart constitutional 
expounders from Tennessee, they had better put things in the as- 
cendant at home, before they assume the leadership for the Union. 
That Is either a Whig State, or else the least sound of any of the 
Democratic slave states. The Union Is a high toned Federal organ 
but unlike other Federal papers, it does not seem to be aware that 
It is so. Now the Democratic editor from' Tennessee is but little 
short of our former Globe editors from Kentucky. What one did 
for knavery, the other is doing for folly. I am opposed to being 
doctrlnated by such chaps from the New States. The Union was 
clearly for Cass from the start, and all the time. Genl. Cass on a 
recent occasion went out of his way to laud Genl. Jackson and espe- 
cially his proclamation. He is the advocate of compulsory democ- 
racy, and dead against the voluntary system. He would establish the 
Inquisition, if the Union would suggest it, or the alien and sedition 
laws. Should he be elected the country might look out for the most 
high handed measures, all proved by the editor of the Union to be 
in accordance with the doctrines of Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson. 
May the Lord deliver our party from the hands of the quacks of 
Tennessee and Michigan. 

To change the subject, I stick closely to my planting and farming, 
take no part except to vote in politics. We have a son and daughter 
which I shall train up for a match for some of your children. You 
and lady are as great favorites with my wife as your humble servant, 
and she often says she is in favor of Mr. Hunter over all others for 
the presidency. Of all things we would be most happy to see you 
and Mrs. H. and all the under fry here. The South Side Railroad 
passes by me as near as Farmville twelve miles distant. In about 
twelve months it will be open to Farmville and a few more months 
to Lynchburg. Then, my dear sir, there will be no valid excuse 
for your not visiting this part of the state. If you will come, I 
will take, or go with you any where here abouts. Pray give my 
best respects to Judge Butler, Atchison, Douglas and Mason and 
believe me as ever with highest regard and consideration. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.],, gist May, 
DEAR SIR : Although I have not the pleasure of your personal ac- 
quaintance, I cannot refrain from expressing the gratification I feel 
at the prospect of a reform in the settlement of Disbursing Officers' 
Accounts; which I infer from the recent Debates in the Senate upon 
this subject and from your remarks. 


I have been a Disbursing officer of the army for about 25 years ; 
most of which in the Q[uarte]r Master's Dep[artmen]t; and"l call 
upon you, therefore, my dear Sir, from an intimate and practical 
experience, that the evils yon are desirous of correcting, do not wholly 
or even chiefly lie in the direction you have been led to believe. 
The whole system requires re-modeling and reforming; and until 
that is thoroughly done, by proper legislation, neither Congress, the 
President, or the Disbursing Officers, can ever know correctly the 
Expenditures of the Government under any head of appropriation or 
balance their a[ccount]s. 

Officers of the Army generally render their accounts with much 
promptness to the Treasury ; but it is impossible, under the present 
system, for the Auditors and Comptrollers to be equally prompt 
in their settlement of them ; and while the law is sufficiently strin- 
gent upon the neglects or omissions of the Disbursing officers, it 
takes no notice of the delays and omissions at the Treasury. I have, 
myself, had ac [count] s there, waiting settlement, for nearly three 
years; and frequently for one and two years at a time ; much to my 
annoyance and regret. The death of the Disbursing officer, under 
such circumstances, is always attended with serious consequences to 
his family, and Bondsmen; for after sucli long delays, it is often 
impossible, and always difficult for his Executors and friends to get 
a settlement, by removing the objections of the Auditors by proper 
explanations, which the officer alone could do. 

In France they have the proper system for settling military ac- 
counts. An Auditor, called "Commissary of ac[count]s" always 
accompanies the Head Quarters of an Army, in the field; and the 
accounts and vouchers of all the Disbursing officers are promptly 
audited on the spot, under the eye of the Gom[man~\d[in\g Gen- 
[era]L The Disbursing officer can, then, meet the enemy next day, 
with no pecuniary cases upon his mind. Not so with us; why lie, 
I have been all day engaged in chasing Indians, in Florida (and we 
caught some of them too) with $90,000 worth of "Mr. Haguer's 
Poetry," suspended vouchers of mine, in my saddle Bags ; and then. 
Vouchers, (all of which were suspended for mere informality, re- 
quiring, perhaps, evidence on some of them that Mr. A. B. 3 or Book 
keeper and Clerk in the House of Messrs. C. D. 5 was legally author- 
ised to sign a receipt and receive money for the firm) had actually 
accrued two or three years previous, upon the frontiers of Missouri 
Arkansas and Louisiana more than a 1,000 miles distant. Judge, 
then, my dear Sir, with what feelings I entered the swamps in pursuit 
of the enemy the following day ! Here was $90,000 we suspended, 
in the settlement of my ac [count] s at the Treasury; and without long 
explanations, which I alone could give, would neyer be passed to my 
credit. In a moment that power might be taken forever from mej 


and with a beggared family, and ruined Bondsmen, and perhaps, 
even a tarnished reputation, my military career would thus have 
ended most ingloriously. In the name of Humanity and Justice 
then let this State of things cease and determine. Enquire into this 
matter, and you will find many such cases as I have here suffered. 

I have, myself, disburned Williams of the public money ; but, from 
the causes I have stated, always with fear and trembling for the set- 
tlement, which I knew would be so long postponed. Unless your- 
self and other gentlemen examine one of our long complex Quarter 
Master's ac[count]s, you can have little knowledge of the difficulties 
in the way of their prompt settlement under the present system. 

I hope, most earnestly, that a Committee of Congress will be ap- 
pointed to examine thoroughly, and report upon the present mode 
of settling ac [count] s at the Treasury. Let the facts appear, that 
the public may know where the fault lies. If a Disbursing Officer has 
neglected or violated his duty, in any respect, let his name appear, 
and he be brought to trial. But I fancy the fault, mainly, will be 
traced to a vicious system, and incompetent Clerks in the Treasury 
Department. Young gentlemen of political influence have too often 
usurped the places of men [of] clerical ability practical working 
Clerks, who understood their business, and did it faithfully and 

I beg you to excuse the liberty I have taken, in writing to you this 
long letter, and attribute it to the real and sincere interest I feel in 
the subject; and the anxiety I share, in common with my brother 
Officers, for some "radical reforms in this respect. As the Chair- 
man of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, and the attention 
you have evidently given to this matter, it is confidently hoped and 
believed you will be able to bring forward some adequate remedies 
for the present evils, and the vicious system of settling ac [count] s at 
the Treasury of Army officers at least. 


BALTIMORE, [Mo.], June 7t7i, 1852. 

MY DEAR SIR : I am very sorry I had it not in my power to have 
seen you before I returned home, but it was impossible for me to 
leave this place sooner, and now my engagements compel me to go 
home immediately. 

Last evening I had an inter view "with Wise and said among other 
things "Wise have you been speaking unkindly of Hunter? What 
is the matter? No. did you say you would not vote for Hunter for 
President? Geo. Booker I would crawl on my hands and knees to 
make Hunter President." I shall say no more for the present Ton 
know the man and his manner. 


I have thought it proper to say this much because circumstances 
and the zeal of some of your friends might have given to this matter 
a very different coloring. You and Wise shall not quarrel if my 
feeble voice can prevent it. Listen to no idle rumor. Wise is your 
friend. I know the fact 


RICHMOND, [VA.], June 14th \186B\ . 

DEAR SIR: I beg to call your attention, to that portion of Judge 
Conrad's speech in the Anti-Fillmore Convention of New York, 
which is enclosed. (You will find the whole speech in K Y. Herald 
of 13th.) 

I write to you as a true friend of the South, to know what is 
the South to do. Are her statesmen looking ahead and preparing 
for contingencies ? As this letter is anonymous, you are not bound, I 
admit, to treat- it with any consideration. I ask only to free my 
own mind of thoughts which press painfully upon it, and to leave 
them with those who can best judge whether they are of any value 
or practicable. The question is this Cannot the South form an 
alliance, either with England, or some foreign country, which will 
protect her from the threatened aggression of the North? Look 
ahead, and do you not see a storm coming from the North which 
must dissolve the Union? Ought we not then to look ahead, ought 
not the Southern leaders to meet together and confer, and sound 
the governments of England, or other foreign powers, to see what 
can be clone in such a contingency? You are one of the few men, I 
believe, not eaten up with selfish ambition. Strike a blow, then, I 
entreat you for the safety of the South. Would to Heaven that 
the South would stop talking and go to acting. Imitate the forecast, 
the practical character, and (as it has become necessary to fight 
the devil with fire) the subtlety of our sectional enemies. It strikes 
me, that it would be a good stroke of policy^ and a most holy and 
righteous retribution, if we could form a treaty with England, 
giving her certain privileges in the cotton trade and vast navigation, 
in return for which, she could stand by the South, and crush the 
Free Boilers between Canada and the South States. 


TAPPAHANNOCK, ESSEX Co., VA., August 2nd, 1852. 
Mr DEAR SIR : The Federal press and party are circulating a charge 
against Genl. Pierce, the nominee of the democratic party for the 
presidency, to the effect, that he, in a speech delivered at New Boston 
23318 ISVOL 2 10 


in December last, expressed himself in such terms as to leave no 
doubt of his abolition principles. Whilst the charge has been denied 
in the democratic papers, several democrats are doubting as to the 
course they shall take in the presidential election, and some I fear, 
will withhold their support to the democratic candidate, if they do 
not give in their adhesion to the federal one, all of whom may be 
saved to the party, if they can be convinced of the falsity of the 
charge. I know of no other way better to convince them than a state- 
ment of your opinion in relation to it. I therefore write to ask you 
to inform me whether you believe or disbelieve the charge. I with 
those who are doubting the course they shall pursue, have fears, that 
I should not have had, but for the circulation of this charge, which if 
true, would be destructive to our interests, and which can not be 
quieted by News paper publications, in which I have but little con- 
fidence. I am now an old and private man, having surrendered all 
my public trusts and duties under the old Constitution; anything 
therefore that will give me some of the passing events of the clay, 
will be an amusement and gratification to me. You will therefore, if , 
you please, send me the patent office reports for 1850-51, and any that 
may be of a later date, with any document that you may think will 
interest and amuse an old man in retirement. I trust you are in the 
enjoyment of health, and that that inestimable blessing may bo con- 
tinued to you through a long life to be devoted to your family and 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.], August 9tJi, 1852. 

Mr DEAR SIR: I regret to learn from your letter that there are 
democrats in our county who hestitate in relation to voting for 
Pierce and King upon the suspicion that the former entertains 
" abolition principles." You ask my opinion in relation to this 
charge. I have no hestitation in saying that I have never given this 
charge the least credence. Gen [era] 1 Pierce's course upon this sub- 
ject whilst he was in Congress was such as to have made it highly 
improbable that he could have uttered any such statement. The 
charge too has been denied by persons who heard the speech at New 
Boston, first by Messrs. B. F. Ager and James M. Campbell. The 
certain respectibility and credibility of these gentlemen have been 
vouched by Mr. Norris, a Senator from New Hampshire, and Messrs. 
Hibbard and Peaslee members of the Ho [use] of Rep[resentative]s 
from the same state. These are gentlemen of the very highest stand- 
ing, men whose word no one can doubt who knows them. The state- 
ment of Messrs. Ager and Campbell has been sustained by more than 
one hundred persons who were present when the speech was delivered 


and who have published a document to that effect. But in addition 
to all this an editorial of the Union for which I presume Genl Arm- 
strong is responsible states that he has seen a letter from Genl. 
Pierce himself denouncing the charge as being " grossly false." 

It seems to me that this evidence ought to satisfy any unprejudiced 
mind. I may add that I was a member of the Ho [use] of Repfresen- 
tative]s whilst Gen [era] 1 Pierce was in the Senate and had some 
opportunities to observe his course. The result of these observations 
was a conviction that he was one of the most reliable politicians upon 
this subject of slavery of all whom I knew in the non-slaveholding 


PALMYRA, Miss., August 82nd, 1852. 

MY ^ DEAR Sm: This is to introduce to you Jno. W. Smith of 
Washington City and to request your good offices in obtaining for 
him some appointment about the Capitol or public grounds. I spoke 
of him to you when I had the honor to be associated with you on 
the Com[mittee] of public buildings, and we joined in recommend- 
ing him for the place of watchman on the Capitol grounds, to which 
he was appointed by the then Commissioners but removed by his 

Among the many claims to your consideration of matters of public 
importance he has very probably been forgotten. I will therefore 
say something of him to induce you to make further inquiry. He is 
a Virginian, and his wants led to my acquaintance with him in the 
winter of 1845. I found him in bad health destitute of means and 
with a large and helpless family. E. J. Walker gave him temporary 
employment as a messenger in the Treasury Department. His good 
conduct secured him continuous employment and would have led to 
his promotion if the Democracy had remained in power. la antici- 
pation of his dismissal by the Whigs I sought for him the post 
before mentioned. My acquaintance with him enables me to say he 
is honest, attentive, and a man of good heart and sincerity of 

I am sure you will never have cause to regret any service you may 
render him, at least it is my good fortune to remember the assistance 
I afforded to him and his family with as much satisfaction as I 
derive from any similar event in my life. It will always give me 
pleasure to hear from you and to be remembered by you as your 
sincere friend. 


MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA, Octo'ber %3rd, 185%. 
MY DEAR SIR: I have just had the pleasure of reading, your speech, 
delivered some time ago in Richmond, and I assure you, I have 


rarely seen a clearer and more conclusive exemplification of true 
democratic principles and policy, than is contained in it. If it is 
published in pamphlet form, I wish you would be good enough to 
send me one or two copies. I am very glad, that you took the oppor- 
tunity of giving your opinion upon two subjects, that seem now to 
form a prominent portion of the democratic creed, but which, you 
boldly and ably repudiate as most dangerous to our best interests. I 
mean Johnsons measure for giving away the public lands known as 
the Homestead Bill and the new doctrine of " Intervention." Either 
of these principles would destroy the best party on earth, and art* 
certainly antagonistic to the recognized views of the "Virginia 
School." By the way was John Randolph a pupil of that school or 
an excrescence upon it. In what light is he held by its true disciples? 

I suppose you begin to think by this time, that the politics of 
Georgia are perfectly inexplicable. The truth of the matter is we 
have a few leaders here, who are determined to sacrifice everything, 
even Pierce's election, to their own personal feelings. I told you 
when I saw you in July last in Washington, that I did not doubt, 
we should roll up a handsome majority for Pierce in Georgia. I 
then believed, that the elements of the democratic party, which had 
for a time been separated would harmoniously unite, but I am 
grievously disappointed. After the Baltimore Convention Gov 
[ernor] *Cobb's friends held a separate meeting, and nominated a 
new Electoral Ticket, and thus put the democracy at defiance. The 
Whigs refused to sustain Cobb and went off into two wings, that 
of Scott and Webster and he soon began to see the anomalous posi- 
tion which he occupied, and he withdrew the ticket of Electors, com- 
posed one half of Whigs and the other of democrats. But he had 
carried his friends so far he found it would be more difficult to bring 
them back. So he began to beg and entreat but alas ! the door was 
shut in his face and there he now stands at this eleventh hour a 
miserable suppliant at the threshold of the Party with none even 
to pity or reverence him. 

His friends in the highlands of the State have again put out an- 
other ticket for Pierce and King, the effect of which will be to dis- 
tract the Party and prevent the popular vote from being cast for 
our Candidates. We therefore expect that the Legislature must be 
specially called to unite the knot which the politicians have made. 
So much for York and Lancaster. 

I see that Botts, the notorious nocturnal companion of Tyler, has 
been pledging your State to Scott, Don't you think he ought to be 
indicted ? I look upon this as a slander upon the good old dominion 
that never once was known to " flush " in her devotion to democracy. 

I look upon Pierce's election as an absolute certainty, and then I 


have no doubt we shall have the government conducted on sound 
democratic and economical principles. What do you think about it? 


SHADWELL, ALBEMARLE Co., [VA.], November 2nd, 1858. 

MY DEAR SIR : I know not if a man retired as I am from politics 
and never very active or influential in that field has a title to ask a 
favour even at the hands of one of his own strait sect; but as I speak 
not in my own behalf but for another I have ventured to approach 
you on the subject. 

I learn, but not from himself, or by his agency, that in case Mr. 
Pierce shall have been elected, my friend, Gov[erno]r McDonald 
of Georgia has been mentioned in his own and some other contiguous 
states as a suitable member of the Cabinet: and it has been sug- 
gested that your influence would avail in getting him into that posi- 
tion. I need not mention to you how true he has been to the rights 
of the South and that he is not more of a disunionist than you and I, 
that is to say, as the lady remarked of Wilkes, " he does not squint 
more than every gentleman ought to." But I may say, what his re- 
tiring disposition and rare modesty may have prevented your know- 
ing, that he is a man of marked ability, of wise moderation, of 
Roman firmness, of devoted patriotism, and of the loftiest public 
and private character. Every drop of his blood pulseth in accord- 
ance with Southern rights; and had every Southern man been as 
wise, as prudent, and as firm as he we should not now have to mourn 
the surrender of those rights? 

I presume from Cobb's activity, that he is after some such post. 
You know him. Ought such a man, dead in his own state, except 
perhaps for purposes of mischief, to supplant him whom I propose, 
and thus rise one step higher towards that office which he has sought 
by betraying not only his own section, but the very principles which 
he proposes to maintain? Would it not be a step gained that the 
President of the Nashville Convention should aid the deliberations 
of Mr. Pierce ? 




November 5th, 1852. 

MY DEAR HUNTER : I wrote you in June a short note from Balti- 
more immediately after the adjournment of the Convention, to 
which I rec[eive] d an answer in a few days. I write now to acknowl- 


edge its receipt and to say that I have had several very free conver- 
sations with Wise since. He speaks of you in the kindest manner 
and does you ample justice, meet him with the cordiality of former 
days and all will be well. I know that he loves you and desires your 
friendship, nay thinks himself entitled to it. I pray God that noth- 
ing may ever occur to separate you. 

Franklin Pierce from present indications will receive at least 270 
of the electoral vote the vote of every Southern State. We believe, 
an awful beating, this indeed. He is indebted to Virginia for his 
Crown. Well who from our State must go into the Cabinet? You 
say " I have nothing to ask and shall ask nothing from the incoming 
administration for myself." Do you intend to say that you would 
decline any offer ? I ask the question because I frequently heard you 
spoken of and the wish expressed that you would accept the Treasury 
if offered you, indeed I have been asked if I thought you would ac- 
cept. I had not thought much upon the subject, and had no wish 
about it. The only desire I have upon the subject is that you should 
exercise your own judgment and be where you can be most useful. 

The Treasury will be the great leaver to work for reform 'tis very 
certain, and I hope to see some Southern man of the right stamp at it. 
Your present position is a commanding one and one from which you 
can better be heard by the nation, perhaps too it is nearer to the suc- 
cession. Well if you shall come next after Pierce I shall not despair 
of the republic. 

The last time I saw Bayly he told me that you would be the next 
President, that he intended to make you President. " You be cl d 
you can't get back to Congress yourself, and you talk to me about 
making Hunter President." " When and how come you so fond of 
Hunter. You always loved Hunter better than you love me." " If 
it be true can't you account for it very, very easy. Hunter votes 
right always You only occasionally." Booker it is impossible you 
can doubt my fidelity to the South you must have confidence in me. 
" Confidence sir is a plant of slow groth as Mr. Pitt said." I like 
Bayly very much. We hare been friends a long time, and I have 
tried very hard to forgive him. I withheld from him my vote the 
last time he was a candidate. It was painful to me to be obliged to 
do so. He does not understand his position, does not know how 
much ground he has lost. I doubt if he can ever recover. In saying 
this much do not understand me as doubting his fidelity to you. I 
do not, no, I believe him sincere. In the event of your taking a seat 
in the Cabinet Bayly and Wise will both struggle hard for your place 
in the Senate, the former I am certain cannot succeed the latter may, 
perhaps will. I know of no really formidable competitor in the East. 

I am interrupted and must conclude before I had finished all I had 
to say. 



MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA, November 5, 1868. 

MY DEAR SIR : I cannot forego the occasion to congratulate you on 
the signal triumph of the Eepublican Cause. I had hardly expected 
ever to see the day that a man North would be found in whom the 
South could safely confide. I confess the future looks brighter to 
me ; and if Pierce will redeem to the letter the pledges that are en- 
volved in his past history, may we not confidently hope that a check 
will be given to the progress of fanaticism and the rapid strides of 
federalism ? Will he not execute the Fugitive Slave law ? "Will lie 
not maintain inviolate the Tariff of 1846? Will he not stay the 
hand of prodigality which has been wasting our public domain for 
corrupt purposes? Will he stand by the S[tate] E[ights] men of 
the South or will he countenance, give aid and comfort to the craven 
submissionists, who under the false clamor of Union, Union, have 
assisted the abolitionists in robbing us, of our rights in the Mexican 
Territory ? Will he fold his hands and permit Cuba to pass into tlie 
power of England? These questions now, force themselves upon 
S[tate] Eights men with the Cogency of practical importance, and 
I believe Pierce may be trusted upon them all, else he never could 
have had my support. What think you, now the battle is fought 
and victory won? 

We in Georgia feel a deep interest in the fate of the S[tate] 
Rights men of the South. If Pierce shall throw himself into the 
arms of the Cobb and Foote class of Politicians, by selecting from 
them his Constitutional advisers, his administration will be do- 
nounced in advance. I do not know how you feel in Virginia, but 
it will not be quietly submitted to in Georgia. We are expecting 
here that he will invite you to the State Department and you must 
not decline. You have many warm friends, in Georgia who are 
expecting to use you in 1856. 

My Dear Sir, if Pierce should advise with you, let me beg you 
to deal most candidly with him in relation to the expectations and 
position of the true 'State Eights men of the South. He must not 
strike us down, we have had a hard fight, and* without our aid he 
could neither have been nominated or elected. 

If your time will allow drop me a line. I want your observations 
on the present and prognostications of the future. 


ONLY, NEAR ONANCOCK, [VA.], November 10, 185. 
MY DEAR HUNTER : Inclosed is a letter from one of the most worthy 
of men 1 know in the world, Dr. Jesse I. Simkins of Northampton. 

1 A Senator In Congress from Georgia, 1848-1849 ; governor of Georgia, 1853-1857 ; 
candidate for the vice presidency on the Douglas ticket, 1860. 


He needs what he asks and yet is no beggar though he is earnest in 
his appeal to me and through me to you. He is one of the purest 
and most intelligent of men and has any number of backers and any 
amount of family influence in and about Norfolk. There, he will 
not be considered an intruder and he is just such a politician as you 
should delight to promote and put in places of usefulness and in- 
fluence ; and his appointment would probably be more acceptable to 
aspirants in Norfolk than would be that of a more immediate rival 
in the Town. I bespeak for him your influence because he asks me 
to do so. He seems in a previous letter to make the mistake of sup- 
posing mine will be something, and in this the greater mistake of 
imagining that " to me you owe a heavy debt of gratitude," I claim 
none such and don't mean to be so understood in sending you his let- 
ter so saying. The majority for Pierce is so unwieldy that the effects 
of factions are to be apprehended. 



LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., [VA.], November 15, 1852. 

DEAR SIR : I received this evening your letter and a number of your 
paper containing a notice of myself. For the feeling which 
prompted both I am really and greatly obliged to you. I shall re- 
ply frankly but confidentially to you in relation to your enquiries. 
I have said to some of my friends that I desired no place in the 
cabinet and greatly preferred my post in the Senate such are still 
nay sentiments. But I do not desire to make any such public declara- 
tion, because it might savor of presumption to decline a place before 
it was offered and when perchance it might never be tendered. With 
these impressions I do not wish my friends to urge me for any place 
in the cabinet, nor do I wish to make any public declarations either 
directly or indirectly upon the subject. 

Of course this is only for your own, eye. 


WARRENTON, [VA.], November 17h, 1852. 

DEAR SIR : We wish to urge your claims in the Star as Secretary of 
State, but learn that you have said, you would not accept any cabinet 
appointment, which I suppose is mere rumor. I should [like] to 
have your views on the subject, which shall be confidential. We will 
in this weeks paper bring your name forward, and if you would 
accept an appointment press your claims. 


We intend to urge your claims as our next candidate for the Presi- 
dency, and think a place in the cabinet would make you more promi- 
nent before the next Convention. If I did not think so I would pre- 
fer you to remain in the Senate, as I do riot believe your place can 
be filled. 


LLOYDS, ESSEX Co. [VA.] 5 December nd, 1852. 

MY DEAR SIR: I received your letter after it had performed its 
circumnavigation through various post offices of Virginia and write 
to thank you for it. I only wish that I could give you more than 
my speculations upon the interesting subjects to which your letter 
alludes. I know nothing with certainty as to the future course of 
the President elect. I guess that his feelings are all on the side of 
State rights, perhaps not so much so as that of state remedies. I 
also believe that his natural inclinations are towards economy and 
simplicity, but whether his grasp will be comprehensive enough for 
the party and the people whom he is called to lead I know not. I 
most earnestly wish that he may prove equal to the place. Much 
will depend upon his cabinet. In regard to which I will say at once 
that I do not look to a place in it. I have no reason to suppose that 
one would be offered me and if it were I would much prefer my 
place in the Senate. I say this in confidence because it is a subject 
on which I could not speak except to a friend. I should think that 
he would hardly commit such an impudence (to say the least of it) 
as -to take up Cobb, in preference to such a man as yourself for ex- 
ample or those State rights men who really fought this battle for 
Mm. I have no right to suppose that he will consult me but should 
he do so I would give him my opinion pretty frankly as to the claims 
of the States rights men of the South. They constitute I presume 
a large majority of the Democratic party South and should Pierce 
begin by throwing them off it would be a sorry commencement of 
his administration. I should not be surprised if he threw his pat- 
ronage to some extent amongst those Union men for the purpose 
of harmonizing his supporters but he would hardly venture to take 
up Cobb to the disparagement of the real and efficient leaders of the 
Democratic party South. 

What he will do I know not. But surely he will consult the wishes 
of the Democratic party in the South of which the major element 
is undoubtedly composed of State Eights men. When I get to 
Washington I shall be able to form a better estimate of the probable 
course of events and will endeavor to keep you advised should you 
desire it. I must say however that I think there are breakers ahead 


upon the subject of our Foreign relations. The Cuba question is 
one of great danger to the South. It must be managed with patience 
and address. We want peace for the sake of opportunities (if for 
nothing else) which it will afford us to make an effort to decentralize 
the government, or rather to avert the tendencies of centralization 
now so manifest in the course of affairs. War has already given a 
dangerous impulse to this tendency and a speedy recurrence of such 
an event might be overwhelming to us. Cuba annexed peacefully 
and as it now stands would be of great service to the South and the 
Union. But Cuba with War and a general emancipation of slaves 
would probably get up a contest for us both at home and abroad 
which would be more dangerous to the South than any through 
which we have yet passed. Do my dear Sir consider this matter 
well. More than once the Democratic party has unadvisedly com- 
mitted itself so far upon those questions of War or peace as to find 
it difficult to extricate itself from embarrassment. In this extrica- 
tion the disagreeable portion of the service generally falls upon the 
South. We may go into these committals as a unit but the party 
generally comes out of them with a chism. Let us beware how we 
tread. The States Eights party of the South constituting as it 
does so large a portion of the Southern Democracy may wield an 
immense influence for good if it will be guided by prudence. It 
cannot afford to risk much upon experiments until it has consoli- 
dated itself upon sound principles at home and taken a position 
from which it may exclude unwholesome influences abroad. 

I shall always be gratified to hear from you and have your sug- 
gestions, there is no quarter from which I should value them more. 


The matter involved in the construction of the Act of Congress of 
August 1852 may be stated in a few words : 

Mr Hunter on the 12th of April 1852, under instructions from 
the Virginia Legislature, introduced a Bill in the Senate, appro- 
priating 850,000 acres in scrip, to satisfy Virginia military Land 
Warrants. This estimate, was based upon the statement of the 
Register of Virginia which declared that it would probably be 
sufficient to satisfy all the Bounty Laild claims, which had been 
formally adjudicated and allowed by the authorities of Virginia, 
before the 1st of March 1852, the date from whence her act of 
limitations barring all further military Land Bounty claims went 
into effect. 

Mr. Hunter's Bill was referred to the Committee of Public Lands, 

and on the day of June 1852, another Bill in place of it, was 

reported by the Committee, accompanied by [a] Report p. 2-10 which 


struck out the appropriation uniting the issue of Scrip to the amount 
of 850,000 acres, and left the amount indefinite to the end, that all 
the Bounty Land claims which the authorities of Virginia had ad- 
judicated and allowed a s above set forth should be fully paid and 
discharged (see W. C. Underwood's Eeport) 

In as much, as the Virginia Act of limitations, proscribing every 
Land Bounty claim which had not been adjudicated before 'the 1st 
March 1852 by the constitued authorities of Virginia had thence 
gone into effect, a Proviso was incorporated in the Bill, that it should 
be taken as a full and final settlement of all Bounty Land claims of 
every description due by Virginia to her officers and soldiers in the 
Revolutionary War. 

The Bill was in due course called up in the Senate and was passed. 
When the Bill came to the House, and was referred to the Com- 
mittee of Public Lands, it was discovered that the provisions of the 
first Section contained either a clerical error, or a technical omission 
as follows: The Bill, which was based upon the Eeport of the Com- 
mittee No. referred to, and was intended as a full and final settle- 
ment of all Land Bounty claims adjudicated and finally allowed 
before the 1st March 1852, and to relieve Virginia from all her liabili- 
ties therein, had made provision only for those Warrants in the pay- 
ment of Scrip which were actually issued by Virginia before the 1st 
March 1852, and left those Warrants dllo'wed as aforesaid and before 
that date wholly unprovided f jr though Virginia was as much bound 
to pay the one class of Warrants as the other. 

To remedy the error or omission, the Bill was amended in the 
House, so as to embrace both classes of Warrants, that is to authorise 
the issue of Scrip, upon Warrants issued before the 1st of March 
1 852 and those allowed in'the manner stated before that date, and in 
that form it passed. 

With that Amendment, it came back to the Senate and was passed 
31st August 1852. The Amendment consisted in the additional 
words " or allowed " after the word " issued ", so as to read all War- 
rants "issued or allowed" before 1st March 1852 by the proper 
authorities of Virginia, this embracing as intended both classes of 

The construction now put upon the act by the Secretary of the 
Interior is that the words " issued or allowed " are synonymous and 
authorise the issue of Scrip only upon those Warrants which "were 
issued before the -1st March 1852, leaving the Warrants allowed 
before that date wholly unprovided for. 

The Secretary of the Interior in his annual Report, asks for the 
passage of a law to relieve his doubts in the premises, and so as to 
conform to the history connected with the passage of the Act, winch 
upon every rule of equity he thinks should be granted. 



ONLY, NEAR ONANCOCK, VA., April 16^ 1853. 
MY DEAR HUNTER: I thank you for yours of the llth. I did not 
expect you would be able to tell me any thing definite. I have 
nothing in the world to complain of in these people. I stood aloof, 
they called me to them and were very kind in wishing to know my 
wishes, fortunately I had none and they were indefinite except in 
strong expressions that they would wish me to serve the .administra- 
tion. I cautiously avoided telling them what I did want or rather 
that I did want nothing. The Pres[iden]t was specifick in saying 
he would obey any request in respect to my son. Now that is what 
I have most at heart. On that subject I have written to Gushing 
and Buchanan expressing the wish for him to be Secretary of Lega- 
tion at St. James ! As to myself, let them alone, give 'em their own 
way for the future. Move not another inch further than you have 
gone in my behalf, for which I thank you. The President told me 
expressly that, if I said so, Robt. G. Scott should have the Consulate 
to Eio. I declined the appointment on my say so, but requested 
leave for Scott to communicate with him himself which he gave. 
I wrote to Scott and gave him instructions, Bedinger I tried to assist. 
There is a mistery in the Buchanan affair. He has kept in the dark 
until the last minute. But for me f doubt if it would have been 
tendered him. He seems miffed and close. I care not a fig who goes 
to France. Don't you distrust Gushing too much or at all. 1 You 
don't know all and I am not at liberty to tell you the key to his 
apparent bewilderment. P[ierce] told me expressly he appointed 
him at my instance and Gushing knows it. He is grateful and 
true but timid as a hare and has a nice game to play. Give him 
space and dont disturb his work, it will come out right, he is a 
worker and must be strengthened by you all you can. He has more 
heart than he shows, but you must get at it quietly or it will flutter 
out at the window. He is my friend or I am a fool. He was de- 
ceived or mistaken only about Dr. Garnetts little place. Matters 
have not taken direction yet. The Cass party have certainly most 
of the loaves thus far., I tell you there are unseen influences at 
work. I am watching them and the first mole I see above ground 
I'll catch for you. Moles cant live in our soil. That is the reason 
patronage weakens every administration, as it has done in my time 
every one except one. Jackson openly patronized his known friends 
and that made "him troops of them. 

1 Caleb dishing was appointed Attorney General in Pierce's Cabinet. This is probably 
the appointment to which Wise refers. 


Bayly wants his brother-in-law made our Surveyor of the post 
I am to the incumbent, Dr. Bagwell, situated as you are to CoL 
Garnett in Norfolk. I hope he may be retained but he is a radical 
Whig and I can say nothing. A rascal, Saml. C. White, Tully tells 
me, tried to impose on you for this place. The Democrats here had 
rather Bagwell was retained than White or Melvin either appointed. 
If Bagwell is turned out I wish that poor shoe-maker, Beyell, to 
get the place. 


WEST POINT, NEW YORK, November 5fh^ 1853. 

Mr DEAR COUSIN : Before Congress meets and you become pressed 
with business incident thereto, I wish to mention a matter to you in 
which it may fall within your power to be of some service to the 
Army. I allude to the organization of the Committee on Military 
Affairs in the Senate. The point is to have any man in the Senate 
placed at its head in preference to General Shields. 1 As long as 
he continues at its head the Army can expect nothing at the hands of 
Congress. We are abundantly satisfied of Gen [era] 1 Shield's friendly 
intentions towards us. But he appears to have no weight or consid- 
eration in the Senate, and is disposed to be led about by the stafl and 
other idle officers about Washington City. The wild and conflicting 
schemes which he proposed in rapid succession during the last two 
sessions of Congress fully show this. A little knowledge is said to be 
a dangerous thing, and Gen [era] 1 Shield's military knowledge and 
experience is precisely of this sort. It can be well spared. Under his 
auspices two of the most unequal and unjust laws that Congress has 
ever enacted with regard to the Army, were. passed, and we have 
no desire to have any more of the General's Military experience. We 
have nobody to urge as his Substitute, the best men being already at 
the head of more important Committees. All we ask is to get rid of 
Gen[era]l Shields and ditto of Weller. 2 

I trust that you have not relinquished all hope of establishing a 
Board of Accounts. I have had some experience in a small way in 
this matter, and I am fully satisfied of the inadequacy of the present 
system of adjusting Accounts with the Gov[ernmen]t, or rather of 
not adjusting them for half of them never will be settled. 

My best regards to all at Fort Hill. 

1 James Shields, a Senator In Congress from Illinois, 1849-1855; from Minnesota, 
1858-1859 ; from Missouri, Jan. 24, 1879, to Mar. 3, 1879. 

2 John B Weller, a Senator in Congress from California, 1852-1857 ; governor of Cali- 
fornia, 1858-1860 ; minister to Mexico, 1860-1861. 



WILMINGTON [DEL.], March $9, 1SS4- 

DEAR SIR : We have taken the liberty of enclosing you herewith a 
memorial, which we shall esteem a great favor, indeed, to have re- 
ferred to the proper committee, and we have sent a similar one to 
Mr. Kiddle. 1 

Our reasons for presenting this petition are that under the Tarrff 
of 1846, English Galvanized Tinned Iron is permitted to come in at a 
duty of 15 per cent. Whilst Common Sheet iron not galvanized is 
chargeable at 30 per cent duty. The English manufacturers, of this 
article, by a very simple and cheap process, tin their iron before gal- 
vanizing it in order to bring it in, under the duty chargeable on Tin 
Plates, (which is 15 pr. centum) thus saving this difference in duty, 
and after its Importation into our own country, disposing of it as 
Galvanized Iron. By reference to the Act of 1846, you will readily 
observe, how the law is thus evaded, and by the present recommenda- 
tion of the Secretary of the Treasury Galvanized Tin or Galvanized 
Tinned iron, is placed on the Free list. 

This, if effected, you will perceive, would paralize the efforts of our 
own Manufacturers in tjiis country as the chief and intrinsic cost is 
embraced in the value of the Iron itself, prior to Galvanizing it, and 
this, proposing to be admitted free, will then give the foreign manu- 
facturers, the entire trade of this article in the United States. 

We have, within the past eighteen months, commenced the manu- 
facture of this article, in this city, and with the advantage of the 
same protection and duty that is now chargeable upon common sheet 
iron, not galvanized, we fully believe, that we would then be enabled 
to compete, successfully with the Foreign (English) makers. As we 
think, the article is destined to be brought into very general use, in 
our own country, relying with the above advantage, in connection, 
with its own intrinsic usefulness. 

We inclose you herewith a sample of the article manufactured by 


MADISON, IND., September 2d, ISSIj. 

DEAR HUNTER : Yours of the 15th ultimo with letter in behalf of 
Mr. Lyle is received and for which accept my thanks. 

Several of our Papers have come out in favor of your Bill, but not 
as plainly and pointedly identifying you with it, as they might and 

1 George Read Riddle, a Representative (1S51-1855) and a Senator (1804-1867) in 
Congress from Delaware. 

3 Democratic Senator in Congress from Indiana, 1845-1862, when lie was expelled fm 
having, in a letter to Jefferson Davis, recognized him as " President of the Confederated 


ought to have done. I have this day written two articles on the sub- 
ject, one for the " Madisonean " and the other for the "Democratic 
Platform " published at the Capitol. I will see that they go into the 
Cincinnati and Louisville papers, and that they are generally copied 
into our County papers. Tucker shall be furnished with copies. 
Nothing was done in reference to the Military reservation up to the 
time I left Washington. I wrote Wilson last week on the subject but 
have not as yet received a reply. I also wrote Mr. Cameron to-day 
about it. 

Letters from Eobertson and Rice speak in the most flattering man- 
ner of the property of Superior. Eobertson says he is selling Lots 
rapidly and at fair prices. For fear that I could not get off this 
Fall, (on account of our elections which are forcing me into the 
Hustings) I sent my nephew Michael S. Bright Esqr. up to Superior 
last week, and if there is to be a Partition, he will be present and see 
fair play. I gave him all the particulars, he is smart and I will 
guarantee, look after your interests, Dawson's, Corcoran's, Douglass' 
and mine closely. I may go up myself about the 20th of this month, 
I certainly shall, if I find my friends will not complain, at my leaving 
the mongrel mixed up political Canvass going on here now. I am 
afraid my friend from the signs, that the Free States (Indiana in- 
cluded) are lost for the time being to our Party. Iowa has set a 
significant example. Dodge stands not the least chance of a re- 

The title Bonds I forwarded for the signature of Eobertson, has 
not yet been returned, when they are you shall have yours. It will 
be all right. 

Speaking in the open air, this warm weather is more than work- 
ing on the "Appropriation Bills " with Gwinn x thrown in, to oppose. 

By the way I have information which satisfies me lie cannot T>e 
re-elected, and for which God and the Californians be praised. 

Glad to hear from you whenever yau can find time to write. 


CAROLINE COUNTY, [VA.], September 12, ISolf. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have not written to you before, because I have 
been intending to come down to Essex every week for a month past; 
and now, that I find I cannot come, I wish to write to you about our 
business in Western Virginia. 

Mr. J. W. Manry did not go to Kanawha his daughter was sick 
at the Springs and prevented his making the trip. His brother E. H, 
Manry tells me he was very anxious to go out there and is still dis- 
posed to take an interest in the coal enterprize. While Mr. Manry 

i William McK, Gwin, United States Senator from California, 1850-1855, 1857-1861. 


was at .the Springs, a gentleman named Carrington of Charlotte 
County went out to examine the property with the intention of tak- 
ing a share if he was pleased with it and he said, that if he became 
interested, Mr. Charles Bruce and one or two others would like also 
to take shares. You are aware that we have not yet secured the prop- 
erty and that we have to make a payment to Edwards on the 1st of 
October to secure his portion of it. When I saw Phil Dandridge, he 
said he throught he could induce Edwards to extend the time of this 
first payment to the 1st of November. I shall write to-day to Phil 
to endeavor to obtain this extension of time. 

Phil writes me that we can get Hill's land upon the terms we 
proposed, 50 cts per acre, by paying $2000 instead of $1500 cash. I 
will write to him upon this subject also. Barton Morris will ad- 
vance this payment to secure an equal interest in the tract, and I 
believe it is understood, that all the other parties consent to his 
being admitted to an interest in that particular tract upon that con- 

I saw a letter yesterday from Phil to E. H. Manry, written from 
Kanawha and in reference to our operations at the Old Dominion 
Company. He writes in great spirits, and mentions that those coal 
lands are attracting a great deal* of attention. 

I wish very much to know whether you intend to visit Nicholas 
this Fall, if you do so intend, I would like to know at what time you 
will go, as I am anxious to accompany you. And if you do not 
intend going out, I must see, that we may have some understanding 
concerning these lands. I refer particularly to the Hansford and 
Edwards tracts of Coal land and the Hill tract. 

During October M T e must come to some decision about them. 

It is possible that Brooke will sell his interest in the agency in 
all these lands for an advance of $8000. The purchasers will be 
John W. Manry, B. W. Morris and Charles W. Coleman. If the 
sale is made, it will be made this week. They are willing to give 
that sum for it, but it is not certain that he will take it. Do not 
mention this, as in the event of his declining to sell, it would be as 
well that it should not be known, that any such thing was intended. 


PLATTE CITY, [Mo.], March h 1865. 

DEAR HUNTER: The Elections in Kansas came off on the 30th 
ult, the pro slavery ticket prevailed every where as far as heard 
from, by overwhelming majorities; we stormed Lawrence or New 
Boston as it is called; The Abolitionists did "hang their guilty 
heads," now let the Southern men come on with their slaves 10,000 

1 A Senator in Congress from Missouri, 1843-1855. 


families can take possession, of and hold every acre of timber in 
the territory of Kansas, and this secures the prairie, Missouri will 
furnish 5000 of the 10,000; and the whole State will guarantee pro- 
tection. We had at least T,000 men in the territory on the day of 
the election and one third of them will remain there. We are play- 
ing for a mightly stake, if we win we carry slavery to the Pacific 
Ocean if we fail we lose Missouri Arkansas and Texas and all the 
territories, the game must be played boldly. I know that the Union 
as it Exists is in the other scale, but I am willing to take the hoiyland. 
You never saw a people better up to the mark than ours. It was 
hard to get up but now the only difficulty is to keep within bounds. 
When the returns are all in I will send them to you. You will no 
doubt see your humble servant held up by the Abolition press as a 
Bandit, a ruffian, an Aaron Burr, dont believe a word of it I have 
saved hundreds of their necks, and kept their cabins from being burnt 
to the ground; there was not the least disturbance where I was pres- 
ent, and that was on the Nemaha, elsewhere in a few instances the 
hickory was used upon the most impudent of them. 


March 5tJi^ 1855. 

DEAR HUNTER : I shall direct this letter to you at home, supposing 
you to be there. I did not write about the proposed organization, 
for after reflection I came to the conclusion that it was at this time 
impracticable. The difficulty grew mainly out of the fact that 
there were two Democratic papers in Richmond, each struggling for 
the lead and one of them not to be trusted. It would have been 
impossible, I think to have entered into the arrangement without 
the knowledge of that paper and still more difficult to get its sanc- 
tion. Moreover the Enquirer is a Wise paper par excellence, and 
would have wanted some one that would not have answered. I was 
afraid to move lest I might do mischief. The time will come when 
it can be done and then it must be done. If we succeed in this 
election (and we shall) we will have the control of the party, un- 
less we are thwarted by which I fear, but which must be risked. If 
however you think after reading this that it is better to go on, say 
so and I think it can be done. You had better take your part in 
this, canvass, at least in a National point of view, suppose you make 
a Demonstration here on the Southside. If you are willing I can 
have you invited spontaneously. Wise is so busy he won't be able 
to come home and I think it would be well to give the canvass in 
Virginia a somewhat less personal cast than it has been made to 
appear. Don't understand me as urging this, I am only suggesting 
28818 18 VOL 2 11 


it; If you don't like it, tell me what you do like so that I may help. 
I thought I was done with Politics and personally I am, but I will 
help you at all times as you know. Moreover I believe that we are 
to have a row with the North, and when that game is to be played, 
you may always set me down as one. To get the South straight 
Know Nothingism must be overcome and you ought to say so and 
help to do it at once. I wish I could see you. Cant I meet you 
sometime in Richmond or Fredericksburg ? If so name your time 
and place. 

To come to other matters. Did you dp anything for my boys ? I 
feel very mean to be plaguing you about them, but as I told you once 
before, you are the only person that I do plague about my personal 

I got a letter from Lieut. B. W. Robertson of the Army asking 
me in case of an increase of the Army to solicit your aid in getting 
him promoted to a Captaincy. He says he has been on duty with 
only the intermission of a few months since he left West Point, and 
that he has seen much service, which is evident from papers on file 
in the Department &c &c. He is a very worthy young man from 
this County and I expect a good officer and if you can help him I 
would be well pleased. At all events he wrote to me to ask you 
and therefore and because I would be glad to further his wishes, I 
have done so. Write to me as soon as you can. 


March 17th, 1855. 

MY DEAR HUNTER : Your letter and enclosures have been received 
and immediately thereupon I wrote to Capt. Meigs accepting the 
offer, which is all that I wish, saving the fact, that I think, and so I 
am sure does John, that he is qualified to discharge the duties of a 
higher grade than the one he will hold. If this should be the case 
however Meigs will find it out soon enough and if not it is best as 
it is. I shall also write to Professor Bache to remove any feeling 
that he may have about his withdrawal, and to express my obliga- 
tions to him. It is said that the way to make a man an enemy, is to 
do him a favor. If so, and sometimes, it is, I ought to become a 
very bitter enemy of yours. All I can say, or at least all I will say, 
is that I don't just now, think that the proverb will &ver apply to me. 

What is to result from the Know Nothing nominations? And 
why should I have thought of Patton in connection with that ticket, 
just after writing the preceding paragraph ? Sometimes, the thank 
God not often I doubt my kind. Change of Party for good reason, 
is the evidence of high moral principle, but for greed or mere self 
it is degrading and vile, and unfortunately, when done by men 


high in the confidence of their community, it is demoralizing and 
utterly destroys confidence. This it is, and not the belief that so 
cold blooded an act of prostitution and treason, for a consideration 
either of money or place, can strengthen this Hivmaphrodite party, 
that makes me deplore this act. The ticket is strong and was the 
work of master workmen. It carries on its face tho' too plainly 
the object for which it was made. Flournoy, for the old Whigs, 
Neals for the Northwest and the old liners and Patton for the 
Chivalry and to give weight, for its ability. Men and not measures 
on their part. The 'Union of men of all parties. The hope of office 
extended to all from the Constable to the President. Let our cry 
be Principles not mere Trust in the People, open discussion Pledges 
given before trusts are confided. We will beat them I have faith, 
if I had not I should well nigh despair, not only now but for the 
future. If we can stand up and maintain this fight and beat this 
movement in Virginia I feel that our institutions will be sound if 
not may God have mercy on us, for on him alone must be our re- 
liance. I have as yet seen no flinching here, our men are true and 
hopeful. The Whigs are however either of the Organization or aid- 
ing it. I still think you should throw yourself into the fight, heartily 
zealously and proclaim the consequences of defeat to your State, 
whose Representation will be listened to and whose statements must 
carry weight. 


March 0th, 1855. 

MY DEAR SIR: The Messrs Barings of London have taken the 
agency to sell the Virginia State Stock. Mr. E. H. Manry of Eicli- 
mond is of all the Citizens of that City, best qualified to attend to 
such business as the Barings may have in that City in connection 
with that business. 

It has occurred to me, that you might in some way aid in securing 
him this sub-agency from the Barings, and if you can do, you will 
do both him and myself an especial favour. 

The Presidents of all the Banks, all the State officers and all the 
principal merchants of Eichmond will imite in recommending Mr, 
Manry as a fit person to attend to such business as the Messrs. Bar- 
ings may have in Eichmond in transfers and collection of interest 
&c &c in the City of Eichmond. 


BROWNSVELOJ, [PA.], June 2, 1855. 

DEAR SIR: I have just received your favour of the 26th ult. To- 
morrow morning I leave for Detroit to meet Gov[erno]r Bright by 

* Democratic Representative in Congress from Pe&nsylyania, 1851-1855, 


arrangement, and from thence we go to "Superior." I will with 
pleasure attend to the suggestions contained in your letter, and will 
write to you from " Superior." I have heard nothing special from 
there since the adjournment of Congress. 

The troubles in Kansas have attracted much attention here and 
I fear will give trouble in the end The Whigs, or rather the oppo- 
sition to the democracy, fatten on these difficulties and are determined 
to make the most out of them. I am glad that you succeeded so well 
in Virginia, she is a better battle-field than Pennsylvania. 

With my best wishes for your success. 


CHARLESTON, [S. C.], 8th June, 1855. 

MY DEAR HUNTER: Some weeks since I rec[eive]d y[ou]r letter and 
thank you for y[ou]r efforts in behalf of my brother. I seldom ask 
anything and rather opine, that my last request is made. I sincerely 
congratulate you on the success of the Virginia Election. I feared 
the result, and believe the victory truly auspicious. If the Know 
Nothiiigs had succeeded, if the Frontier State of the Southern Con- 
federacy had " given-way " our institutions would have been placed 
in great hazard; as it is, " They are by no means safe." Fanaticism 
never goes-back and for the first time in our history, abolitionism 
has the ascendant in Congress. 

I see that Senator Wilson has declared, That henceforth no Slave 
owner, or pro-slavery man shall be President. As the Democratic 
party are a minority in the North, and as the entire South will most 
probably act as one man in the next Election, it is essential that we 
have a Southern man for our Candidate. The sooner we make up 
the Issue, the better. If we are to be in a hopeless minority, and the 
Slave States to remain " in statu quo" We must share the fate of the 
British West Indies. Not only will slavery be abolish [e]d in the 
District, but* in the Territories. Not only additional Slave States be 
excluded, but free ones made Ad Libitum until the constitution is 
altered and the entire labour of the South be destroyed. This cant 
be termed speculation. The effect is as sure as the result of any 
cause can be. It is my sincere desire that the Union may be saved, 
but its salvation depends upon the next Presidential Canvass. Vir- 
ginia must lead off. There should commence an active correspond- 
ence between the politicians of the Old Dominion and the Leaders 
of the Northern Democracy. Before we go into a Caucus we should 
have a distinct understanding upon all the leading points. Other- 
wise we should have only a Southern Caucus, irrespective of parties, 
and proceed to an ulterior organization. I hope Wise may pursue 

1 A Representative in Congress from South Carolina, 1839-1851. 


the true course, and " entrenous" I hope that his ambition may not 
be so stimulated by his late Triumph as to aspire to the purple. 
Virginia ought to give the President. Her position at this time is 
potential, and amongst her own people there should be entire unan- 
imity before going into Caucus. Eemember that the nominating 
Caucus will meet during the next Session of Congress, not a Twelve 
month hence. I am not a politician, but I deem the times so preg- 
nant, that, if alive next Winter, my efforts shall be given to prepare 
the Southern mind for the Presidential Election. South Carolina, 
whilst she keeps in the rear of Virginia, must nevertheless be repre- 
sented in the Caucus. She must no longer be isolated. Thank Q-od, 
the Cuba question seems settled for awhile. It promised much dis- 
traction, and I employed my pen, for the first time these many years, 
in the endeavor to show the Southern States that the acquisition 
of Cuba was not to their benefit. One of my pieces or letters was 
transferred to the National Intelligence. I am writing you from 
the sick Chamber of Mrs. Holmes who has for a long period been 
confin[e]d to her room. Alas with little prospect of a recovery. 
I hope that y[ou]r own family are well. 


NEW YORK, [N. Y.] 5 June %3, 1855. 

MY DEAR SIR: Desirous of urging, most strongly, upon you the 
necessity of your coming to New York to participate in the celebra- 
tion of the Anniversary of the Young Men's Democratic Club I 
cannot but write you again upon this subject, having addressed you 
some days since from Baltimore. 

This celebration is one of much importance at this time, and if 
successful will have much weight upon the results of the coming 
campaign in our state. A campaign that must decide the position 
of New York in 56, whether she will stand among her Sister States, 
supporting the time-honored principles of the National Democracy 
or whether she will be found aiding and abetting, giving vigor and 
sustaining the treasonable combinations of Whiggery and Know- 
Nothingism, Abolitionism Maine lawism, proscription and Priest 

To aid and direct the Democracy of our State, in reestablishing 
her power, and asserting her supremacy we must look to Statesmen 
from beyond our geographical boundaries. Men who dare assert the 
majesty of the laws and whose courage and devotion has sustained 
the Eepublic in obedience to Constitutional enactments. 

Within ourselves we have few, if any such men. Their alliances 
their preferences and their prejudices have lost them the confidence of 
the people and if the Democratic Masses of our State are to be united 


ber about 5 are bachelors. The rest are married men; many with 
large families and some even grand-fathers. In most of these cases, 
these officers married while in the subordinate grades of the Army, 
with small pay and when they and their families were consequently 
subjected to many inconveniences from which my rank will now en- 
tirely exempt me. Yet many of these people have lived very hap- 
pily, have educated and established their children well as they could, 
and express themselves content with their present and past life. 
Many of these officers too indeed the most distinguished in our serv- 
iceacquired their professional reputations as married men, and that 
too when they married as subalterns such for instance as Taylor, 
Worth, Lee, Smith, Mansfield, Huger &c &c. Marriage does not ap- 
pear to have affected in the slightest degree their activity or efficiency. 
This was a point upon which I reflected much before taking this 
step and upon which I have but few apprehensions. 

My rank in the army has freed me from many of the onerous and 
confining details of company, and subaltern duties. My movements 
are not now so much controlled by the movements of a particular 
line of men. I am much less subjected to that constant change of 
station so inimical to the comforts of married life in the army. I 
shall as a general thing henceforth, be in command when I go to my 
post, and will thus have the power and means of securing to myself 
many comforts &c. of which, as a Capt[ain] or Subaltern, I would 
have been necessarily deprived. I cannot believe that my profes- 
sional prospects or standing will be injuriously effected by this step. 
Indeed I think that they may be materially improved, for what I 
most desire now is to have two or three years of quietness at some 
remote post where I may devote myself without interruption to pro- 
fessional reading and study, and I truly believe that I could do so 
much more successfully as a married man than as a single one. My 
own doubts and anxieties, however, lie in quite another direction. 
Life in the army is more precarious than in any other walk or pur- 
suit of life ; and an officer ought not perhaps to calculate upon living 
the usual term of years and then dying of old age. The obligation 
then to provide for his family for the future in case of his death is 
more urgent and imperative upon a married officer than upon other 
men; and as Miss Nelson is poor, I feel the full weight of this obli- 
gation in my case. Had I only to guard against disease I might 
perhaps safely calculate upon living long enough, to do, as hun- 
dreds of other officers have done with fewer advantages than I have 
viz, to lay up a respectable competency for my family in case of my 
death. This I confess is a point upon which I feel the greatest 
anxiety. During my life unless I should be ejected from the army, 
and this is improbable, I shall have no fears as to my ability to 
secure to her all the comforts she can reasonably desire; but it is a 


very painful reflection to me to think that I may be killed off and 
leave her in straightened circumstances with nothing but my name. 
For this reason only, it has always, been my desire, if married at 
all, to marry a lady with some means of her own. If I felt certain 
that I should live 10 or 15 years longer, I should feel no anxiety on 
this subject, for with the increased pay and rank which I cannot 
help from acquiring in the meantime I feel confident that I could 
secure her against such a misfortune. A great many of our officers 
who have married with small pay and in the lower grades have 
managed to put away money and to live comfortable some have be- 
come independent and even rich ; and it seems to me that there must 
be something radically wrong about me, if I cannot, with my rank 
and advantages, now do the same. 


SUPERIOR, Wis., July W, 1855. 

DEAR HUNTER: I have been here for the last eight days, and am 
now about starting home, before doing so, I take time to redeem 
my promise to you, and say a word about this place and your inter- 
ests in it, which I have examined closely during my stay. This place 
has advantages infinitely beyond any other on the Western and 
Northern Lakes. It must outstrip Chicago within the next 20 years, 
you can sell your interests here for Twenty five Thousand Dollars. 
Several sales of quarter and half shares have taken place here since 
I came at this rate cash paid down. There is about 500 people here 
now, and improvements of all kind going rapidly forward. There is 
about 50 Houses up, and they are building at the rate of one per day. 
I have much more to tell you when we meet, than I have time to 
write now. 


BROWNSVILLE, [PA.], August 10, 1855. 

DEAR HUNTER : I reached home on last evening having left " Su- 
perior" on the 6th instant. I was delighted with my trip the 
beauty of the Town site its advantages and the absolute certainty 
that it will be a great town. 

It is the prettiest situation for a City that I have ever seen. The 
rivers and the lay are unsurpassed for their natural beauty, the 
bay or harbor however requiring some dredging and the entrance 
to the bay requiring the construction of a pwr to protect the channel. 
The country in the vicinity of the place is rich and will make a fine 
agricultural district. The whole thing is a decided hit. The minerals 
in the vicinity are also abundant and rich. 

I have a map for you, with your lots coloured. I got a young 
lawyer to do the work but had the numbers carefully compared by 


Mr. Clarke, Newton's chief clerk. I will send you the map by Adams 
Express if you will designate the place and route. 

I cannot advise you to sell any of these lots, time will add greatly 
to their value. So impressed was Gov. Bright and myself with the 
prospects of "Superior" that we acceded to a proposition of Mr. 
Newton to pay off the notes given to Mr. Corcoran, say about $20,000 
and take lots for the same, about 456 lots. 

I send you a no. of the Superior Chronicle containing a letter 
written by Mr. Mitchell, one of the Editors of the St. Louis Intelli- 
gence descriptive of the place and its advantages. 

I have declined as you have doubtless seen by the papers, the ap- 
pointment of Governor of the Territory of Kansas. I hope to have 
the pleasure of seeing you some time this winter at Washington and 
can then tell you all about " Superior." 

I await your answer concerning the shipment of the map. 


BROWNSVILLE, [PA..], August %5th, 1855. 

DEAR HUNTER : I received your letter of the 20th instant this morn- 
ing and have just shipped the box containing the map of cc Superior " 
to the care of Gallaher Young Co., Fredericksburg Va. I sent it 
from here to Pitts [burg] h to G. W. Cass who will forward it to you 
by Adams Express. The numbering of the Lots begins on Robert- 
son Avenue: Odd numbers on the right, even numbers on the left. 
This reference will enable you to ascertain without difficulty the Nos. 
of your lots. 

There was no map prepared, showing the general division. I had 
one coloured for you and one for myself by which I could distin- 
guish your lots and my own. Governor] Bright had one also pre- 
pared, showing his lots. I consider your lots as of equal value with 
our division. The most valuable lots at the present time are these on 
Second Street, for the reason that nearly all of the improvements 
are on that street. The value of the lots will depend upon many future 
contingencies which no man can foresee, but at present I am of 
opinion that the most valuable improvements will be upon Left 
Hand river and between said river and Hollinshead Avenue. The 
Piers have not yet been divided. Quebec Pier is the only one Im- 
proved and is in a good position. The next two piers below Quebec, 
and between it and Left Hand, will be still more valuable. The most 
of the lots and blocks will be ready for a final division this fall. 
The Superior City to which you refer as mentioned in Newtons ad- 
vertisement is the Town site for which we are contending. It em- 
braces 320 a[cres] and is very valuable. It is important that we es- 
tablish our right to the same. Newton has taken a good many re- 


leases from the pre-emptors and will persevere, until he gets all. 
Bright seemed to think this of no consequence, but I urged him to 
procure all if possible. I sent you a " Superior Chronicle " contain- 
ing a letter written by a Mr. Mitchell from St. Louis descriptive of 
the Town and its advantages, which I presume you have received. 
Mitchell bought a considerable interest and secured a pre-emption 
to 160 a[cres] in the vicinity of the town. His statements are to be 
relied upon. I repeat that is the prettiest site for a large City that 
I have ever seen. Its position geographical, commercial and political 
is great, and it is destined to be a great place, and no mistake. The 
pier will not cost more than 20 or 25 thousand dollars, and but little 
dredging will be necessary to make the harbor a good one. 

What say you to the Canadian or British project of a ship canal 
directly to connect Lakes Huron and Ontario via Lake Semcoe and 
the Georgian Bay avoiding the circuit of Erie, Detroit River and 
St Clair and Flats and a great portion of Lake Huron, curtailing 
about 900 miles of Distance. 

In politics I fear there is trouble ahead. The Southern Statesmen 
must act with great discretion and aid the democracy of the North 
in heading the Common enemy, headed by Chase Sewarcl and Co. 
The free soilers and abolitionists will not unite with the K[now] 
N[othings] and I therefore believe that we can elect our President. 
It is of the greatest important to you as well as to the party and the 
country that you take good care to have your friends from Virginia 
and elsewhere in the Cincinnati Convention. If the nomination 
should go South, the vote of Virginia will go far in giving it the 
proper direction. In a word it is an important movement and re- 
quiring our whole attention. 


BROWNSVILLE [PA.], August 86, 1855. 

MY DEAR SIR : In my letter of yesterday I omitted to answer your 
inquiry whether the proprietor of " Superior " would be reimbursed 
by Newton with the original investment. The debts of the company 
are now paid off and I believe that Newton has bonds and claims 
for lots already sold to the Am[oun]t of about $60,000. The re- 
served lots yet undisposed of number about 1200 to 1400 together 
with the Hotel and all the piers. He has determined to put under 
contract another large Hotel and to cut and clear out the streets. 
I am satisfied that the Lot holders will profit by such improvements. 
Newton will be in Washington this winter and will report in full. 
I am not fully advised in the matter to answer your inquiry. I have 
shown you the ability of the Company to reimburse if such should 
be deemed the best policy. I believe however, that a judicious expendi- 


ture of the money in the improvement of the wharfs, streets &c would 
pay better than a division. I refer you however to Newton when 
you see Mm. 

I have not seen the article in Blackwood to which you refer. I 
have written to Pittsburg to Mr. G. W. Cass to hunt it up and send 
it to me. 


EICHMOND, VA., September 5th, 1855. 

DEAR COLEMAN: I received a letter from Lyons to day. He sug- 
gests that a letter from Hunter will be beneficial. You can procure 
said letter. Hunter knows me personally and by reputation. He is 
aware that, owing to my efforts there was no division in the delega- 
tion of the Northwest at his re-election to the Senate. I was selected 
to make the nominating speech in the House of Delegates. 

I am on my way to St. Mary's Pleasants County, Virginia and leave 
this letter. Any efforts of yours in my behalf will be gratefully 
appreciated. If it becomes necessary during my absence you can 
consult Col. Drinkard. 


PETERSBURG, [VA.], November 83rd, 1855. 

MY DEAR SIR: For the past ten days, I have been in Richmond 
and while there have had frequent conversations with influential 
democrats from all Quarters of the State. It affords me pleasure 
to communicate the agreeable fact that Mason's re-election is already 
un fait accompli. There will ~be no opposition. The movement 
against him has signally failed and about the first business of the 
session will be his triumphant re-election. This you may confidently 
rely on. The attempt of which we spoke at Richmond on the part 
of certain gentlemen to head a feud between your friends and Wise's 
will also fail. Many ardent admirers and advocates of Wise have 
assured me that you were their second choice and that none would 
be more ready than themselves to frown down and discountenance 
any efforts at fomenting rivalry and dissatisfaction. Some of them 
express a determination early in the session of the democratic State 
Convention to introduce a resolution to the effect that the Virginia 
democracy have no choice between their two Prominent chiefs who 
have been named for the succession but will support either with 
cheerfulness and alacrity, leaving the fortunate one of them to be 
selected by the National democracy of the Union. This argues a 
better feeling on the part of Wise's friends than we had good reason 
to expect, and it is in fact all that we could ask of them. 

* A political leader of local influence In western Virginia, now West Virginia. 


I shall see you in Washington next week and should like to have a 
full and free conference with you on the future. We can then better 
understand the current and its course. Douglas' Position cannot be 
known too soon. 

By the way my friends intend urging my name for the House 
clerkship I can lose nothing certainly while if a fortunate train 
of circumstances should conspire to place me in the Position it would 
be a most desirable place. Being the only person at present named 
from the South I ought to get quite a respectable vote. The Ex- 
aminer and Enquirer here both voluntarily offered to support me 
warmly. Present me kindly to Garnett. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], December 8, 1855. 

My DEAR SIR: I have merely time to write to you to ask you to 
see Mr. Bright and represent to him that it is indepensible and abso- 
lutely necessary in perfecting the Papers to organize the Kanawha 
Coal Company that his name for the present should remain as one 
of the Stock holders. After the Company is organized he can make 
such disposition as he pleases of his stock. Please attend to this at 
once and write to Mr. E. T. Morris and mention, that you have made 
this arrangement with Mr. Bright. I forgot to mention that it is 
necessary that Mr. Morris should know the name of Mr. Bright's 
wife in drawing the papers. 


ST. JAMES, LOUISIANA, December 3rd, 1855. 

MY DEAR SIR : Your letter only reached me in this outside world a 
few days since. Its confidence and kind consideration for my un- 
informed councils have afforded me sincere gratification. You may 
have many wiser but no truer friends, and so entirely conscious am I 
of the warmth and disinterestedness of my own regard and so con- 
fident of your just appreciation, that I feel privileged to use the 
utmost candor and frankness with you. It is plain to me there is 
imminent danger of jealously and discension arising, if not between 
Wise and yourself, at least between your respective friends and ad- 
herents, and in consequence the loss of the favorable contingency of 
elevating a true Southern States Eights man to the Presidency and 
adding another Chief Magistrate to the illustrious roll our State can 
now boast. Wise is clearly in a false position. While unconscious of 
the full eclat of his State triumph and the commendation it would 
afford to a certain class of lookers out for new stars in the political 
f ermament to put him up for the Presidency, he, animated both by 
gratitude for the recent exertion of yourself and your friends in his 


behalf and by old relations of kindness, committed himself decidedly 
in your favor. Since, circumstances and the flattery of friends have 
deluded him and kindled ambitious aspirations that to one of his 
nature are but too seductive. 

Wishing however to be an honest man, he can not forget or dis- 
regard wholly his promises in your favor, yet being so ambitious, he 
can not entirely reconcile himself to the preferment of another from 
his own section and state over him. He therefore compromises with 
himself by the persuasion that neither can be elected and casts around 
for chances to strengthen himself in the position. 

This I take to be the true state of the case, although perhaps not 
fully realized to his own mind. Now this will never do as it will 
inevitably defeat you both now, which is all either can be secure of, 
and which is indeed a rare contingency not likely to recur speedily. 
Open rivalry is hardly more fatal than the open position taken by 
either of you, that no Southern man or Virginian must now be 
nominated. It is dangerous to have, even more fatally in our state, 
the peculiar feelings and jealousies which really render it impossible 
to run with success a Northern man, and the absence of which in the 
South gives her the preference of a nomination. All this is clear to 
me 5 but how to anticipate and avoid the evil is the rub. I confess I 
am very much at a loss, but I can imagine two minds and natures, as 
magnanimous and generous as I know yours and hope Wise's to be, 
might pin to the level of a noble understanding even in relation to 
such, a post of honor and usefulness as the Presidency, and in a per- 
sonal interview put matters on some bases satisfactory to the friends 
of both. I think indeed Wise ought to and with a just appreciation 
of the circumstances of his position and of the times I hope would at 
once withdraw all pretensions on his own part, and engage with char- 
acteristic zeal and energy in urging you. This is perhaps rather to 
be hoped than expected, although I confess I am not without some 
anticipation that recent elections at the North may have forced on. 
his mind his original impression that a Northern man can not be 
nominated. Besides Buchanan, who is the only Northern man to 
whom past committals can justify him in adhering in preference to 
you, is wary and prudent and may not wish to run the gauntlet of an 
ineffective struggle for nomination. With the Session of Congress 
too Wise will drop more from public notice and you become more 
prominent. National politicians, who must and doubtless do prefer 
you, will then be more influential than during the recess in molding 
and guiding public opinion and Wise may be awakened from his tem- 
porary delusion. Should however this not prove the case, would it 
not be possible for you and himself to leave the question who shall be 
supported by V[irgini]a in the nominating Convention to the arbit- 
rament of two or more mutual friends, who might quietly enquire 


and determine the relative strength of each and select the stronger. 
Or should this be impracticable, might you and he not have an un- 
derstanding that neither should take the least measure to influence 
the action of the State or the selection of delegates to the Convention 
and that when assembled, their choice should determine, the one not 
preferred at once to withdraw and cast all his influence in behalf of 
the other. 

By one of these or some kindred mode, growing discentions so 
distructive to the chances of both and so discredible and weakening 
to the Democracy of our State will be oviated, and what will please 
me scarcely less, the petty malice of Floyd and Smith with all their 
yelping pack will be frustrated. I can not answer your enquiry as 
to the motives of Floyd's peculiar animosity to you, but presume it 
had origin in some imagined slight to his overweaning vanity, while 
he was Governor and not infrequently in Washington, or perhaps 
in a desire thro' you to strike at Mason whose seat he has the folly 
to aspire to. The Examiner alone gives any venom to his sting but 
while hurtful to both him and yourself if disunited is impotent 
against your united strength. I wish much I could see you or be in 
V[irgini]a this winter and think it probable I may return in Feb- 
ruary. I shall be a deeply interested spectator of- events and watch 
with delight your culminating star. 

This climate agrees with me better than the more vigorous North 
and I enjoy it even the monotony of a French neighborhood and 
plantation life. I am busy making sugar and hope with it to sweeten 
the sour portions which the ill fortune of delicate health commends to 
my lips. Do give my cordial remembrances to Mr. Mason and Judge 
Butler and any other of our old political associates who may dain to 
bear in remembrance one who at heart has the merit of valuing his 
section and his friends. 

TO R. M. T. HUNTER. 1 


December Iftth, 1855. 

MY DEAR SIR: May I trouble you to obtain for me information 
which I see no other mode to arrive at ; or, if that be troublesome to 
you, to put me in correspondence with some one who can furnish it ? 

I am told that, by recent legislation, the Banks of South Carolina 
are prohibited from discounting notes and bills, on time, payable out 
of that State, until all good paper offered, has been discounted, 

I wish to know if the fact is so ; and what the result is practically ; 
if time enough has elapsed to show it. Some complaint is made of 
the Banks of Virginia that they give, in their discounts, the prefer- 

1 This letter seems to hare been from a member of the State Senate of Virginia. 


ence to bills and notes, payable to the North, over the domestic bills 
and notes. They make something in exchange, on such paper ; the 
funds being iound in K York or elsewhere Northwards, where 
paid. If such preference is given it results, not only in an improper 
discrimination between the merchants of the different classes, but dis- 
advantageously to the trade of our cities; thus, flour, or manufac- 
tured tobacco, is brought by a N. York merchant, who pay, for it, 
in an accepted bill drawn on him. This bill is discounted by our 
Banks, for our manufacturer of flour or tobacco. By the time, the 
accepted bill matures the New York merchant has sold the flour or 
tobacco, and gotten the proceeds to pay for the purchase. The result 
is that, with the aid of the Virginia Banks and Virginia capital, New 
York gets the benefit of the trade, in our main staples. 

"We lose not merely the use of the money, while the bill is maturing, 
and which is wrong; for, New York ought to pay, not in credit, but, 
in money for our staples. But it transfers the shipping from our 
merchants to those of New York; if the bill, accepted by the Northern 
merchant, is discounted by our Banks, when the same bill, accepted 
by one of our own merchants would not be discounted. It seems to 
me therefore that the subject of prohibiting the loan by our Banks 
on paper, that has some time to run, payable out of Virginia is a fit 
subject of inquiry at the present session. And as it is always dan- 
gerous to experiment in banking, it is desirable that we should have 
all the lights, before us, which the experience of our Sister State fur- 

I have lately troubled Mr. Goode with a commission, concerning the 
same subject of inquiry; and as the minds of our representatives must 
be much harassed with the amount of legislation dispatched by them 
daily, I dislike to trouble him more. 

I am sure you will pardon the intrusion. 




NEW YORK, [N. Y.], December <B5, 1855. 

DEAR SIR : We have been applied to by gentlemen of high standing 
and respectability who desire to promote the nomination of Hon 
E M T Hunter of your state and Augustus Schell Esq of this city 
to the offices of President and Vice President at the Cincinnati Con- 
vention requesting us to enquire of you if you could admit into your 
columns as editorial, articles advocating their claims. Please inform 
us by return mail if you would do so, and if so your rate of charge per 
line or column for a series of them. Please consider this confidential. 



CAROLINE COUNTY, [VA.], December #7, 1855. 
MY DEAR SIR : I have received your letter, with. Mr. Mason's letter 
enclosed concerning the manufacture of oil from coal. I have 
written to Mr. Robt. Brooke to send you parcels of splint and Cannel 
Coals, which I suppose you can submit to the chemist at the Patent 
Office for a trial of their properties. 

I have delayed writing to you, because I was in daily expectation 
of seeing John Morris, who is now somewhere on his way from 
Nicholas [Now a county in West Virginia], and 1 wished to give 
you the latest news from that interesting region. But he is not yet 
come and I will delay no longer. John has been in Nicholas for 
three months past and writes in very good spirits about the land and 
the prospects ahead. 

So far as I can judge, from what I have seen of the members of 
the Legislature I am confident that a Bill can be passed at this ses- 
sion which will secure the improvement of the Kanawha. But, 
Muscoe will give you the back information on this subject. I hope 
you will agree with me, that Muscoe should not lose the opportunity 
which is now offered him of obtaining the credit of the passage of 
the Covington and Ohio Kail Road Bill. He can pass it or defeat 
it, as he may choose. If he decides to give the Bill all the weight of 
his influence, he will have done the best he can do for the State and 
he will make himself the strongest man in Virginia. 

Arthur Lewis, who has charge of the Hill lands, was with me 
yesterday. He is very much pleased with the Hill lands and also 
so much pleased with the Kanawha Coal Company that one of the 
first things he did when he returned, was to buy a quarter interest, 
and he now wishes to buy another quarter (Mr. Bright will have no 
difficulty in disposing of his share) . 

Lewis says with regard to the Hill lands and the lumber business 
1st That he has on the margin of the Gauley Eiver as good Cannel 
Coal as there is in Kanawha County that by the expenditure of $200 
he may make the Gauley River navigable for boats carrying 150 
tons or 4000 bushels to the Cov[ington] and Ohio Rail Road oppo- 
site Gauley Bridge. That the Cannel Coal on the Hill land is the 
most Eastern Bed of Cannel Coal; and when the Cov[ington] and 
Ohio R[ail] Roacf is finished it will be sent East. He also says that 
he can sell several thousand acres of the land during the next year, 
if we desire it, at from $1.50 to $2.00 pr. acre, but he is opposed to 
making the sale so far as his vote will go as one of the parties 

With regard to the lumber, he says, that he will hire ten (10) good 
hands and that with that force he will saw and deliver between the 


first of the year and the 15th July 312,000 feet of lumber that during 
the latter part of June and July he will fix the Dam and the f orebay 
and then will have power to run a gang of three or four saws and 
will saw during the balance of the year at least 800,000. That the 
1,112,000 feet of lumber (2 in, stuff) is worth at the mill $20 pr. 
thousand which is equal to $22,240 and that all his expenses will 
not exceed $6,000, which would give a profit of $16,240. He says that 
by the 1st of 1857, he will be fully prepared for the business and that 
he expects to work his mill the whole of that year and that he will saw 
frt least 2J millions of lumber. He went through all the calculations 
very carefully with me, and my opinion is that it is very probable that 
he will accomplish what he promises for the first year (1856) and 
as certain as anything can be that he will do all he says after the first 
year as long as the timber holds out. He says that the cost of carry- 
ing lumber from the mill to Charleston does not exceed $2| pr thou- 
sand, thfs from his own experimental knowledge. 

You will see Phil [Dandridge] in Washington and he will explain 
to you about the Kanawha Coal Company. He and others from 
Kanawha, state that so soon as the Improvement of the Kanawta 
River is secured the Front Coal Lands along the Eiver will advance 
at once to $100 pr. acre. 



MT DEAR SIR: I received to-day the " Report of the Patent Office 
on Agriculture, for 1854," which you have had the kindness to send 
me, and beg you to accept my thanks for this favor. 

It is right, at least my feelings tell me so, that I should apprize 
you that I have finally decided to leave the University, to seek some 
better means of support. Whether I shall be able to complete my 
arrangements to leave at the end of the present session, I cannot say, 
positively, but I hope to effect this, which is my object. 

I have a large family, and at the present and past years enormous 
prices of living, I cannot make ends meet, am spending the little 
I had laid up, and would presently be involved in debt. I have 
bought a farm four or five miles from Charlottesville, on the E[ast] 
side of Monticello and a little South of it, and intend to open a 
school for boys. My friends think I can get pupils enough to en- 
able me to make a living and help me to pay for the farm. The step 
is a very hazardous one, perhaps ; but I cannot see that I ought to 
hesitate to make the effort, while I still have some remaining energy 
and strength, to make some decent provision for my family, at 
least to supply them a home in case of my death* 
23318 18 VOL 2 12 


The place I have chosen for my school is retired, in an excellent 
neighborhood, remarkably healthy, and with abundance of good land 
both for other purposes and for grazing. And I hope, from my large 
circle of acquaintances in the South, to be able to get pupils. Should 
it come in your way to procure me pupils, I hope you will feel 
justified in recommending my intended school. I shall commit my- 
self wholly to the^work of teaching, having entirely competent aid 
in the mathematics and other subjects which I do not profess to be 
master of, taking charge myself of the Classics and some subordinate 


KICHMOND, [VA.], February 5t\ 1856. 

MY DEAR UNCLE: The Kanawha River bill passed this morning, 
waiving the State's lien on the tolls, so as to authorise the Ja[me]s 
Eiv[er] and Kan[awha] Co[mpany] to issue 7 per cent bonds 
($320,000) to improve it according to Fisk's plans. I congratulate 
you on the result. There is a prospect of selling ( through Latham 
to N[ew] Y[ork] parties) one half of the Old Dominion Co[mpany] 
at the rate of $150 per acre. This would net me about $2,000 for 
one-half of my interest therein; don't you think this would be a 
bad bargain for me ? 

My report is at last made; it kept me so closely at work I had 
no time to write you but the brief note of last week. Yet I have 
been attentive to your interests. Directly after closing that note, I 
had a long interview with Charles Irving; he is thoroughly and 
warmly with us, and we have (at Harvie's advice) taken him into 
our confidence. This exchange is very important, for it gives us a 
voice in the Examiner wing of the party. He has been making 
strenuous efforts on Hughes and Floyd. I learn that the former 
seems amenable to reason, and might, perhaps, be changed or 
rationalized, but for Floyd; but the ex-Governor is blind with re- 
sentment. He resents the late Senatorial election and thinks you 
interfered with Pierce against him. Irving says he said Douglas 
told him so, but this is confidential. Can it be true ? Kenna is trying 
his hand on him, and though with little hope, does not despair. With 
Floyd, our affairs would be easy. Kenna is for you, as you know, 
but he is too much for a combination with Pierce; if I understand 
him aright, he wants us to indicate our willingness to vote for Pierce 
first, with a view of securing P[ierce]'s friends to you. Do you 
think Kenna reliable? Irving has sent an excellent leader to his 
paper coming out for you. He has gone up to Danville to secure 
that paper, and Clemens thinks he can get the Wheeling Argus to 
come out. The Democratic] Eecorder has already closed. Mallory 

*A Representative in Congress from Virginia, 1856-1861, 


will get Irving's editorial favorably endorsed in Norfolk, and the 
Valley Democrat and Lexington Star must be made to follow suit. 
Banks promises to republish and endorse in his paper ; but at first 
he hesitated on the plea that it was impolite to alarm the friends of 
Pierce by pushing you just now. I cannot but think that, as Meade 
says. Banks has an axe of his own to grind, and the hope of getting 
into the Union effects him. I don't think he will be worth anything 
to you, if he gets there, though I believe he really prefers you. 

Harvift, Mallory and a few others have a consultation with me 
tomorrow night for purposes of organization. Harvie has written 
for Booker to come up and we are to have a frank talk with Wise. 
What do you think of asking the Convention on the 28th to endorse 
you? I fear the attempt may be very dangerous, but Mallory and 
Harvie are disposed, if we conclude we have the strength to carry. 
And there are some fair arguments in favor of it, other states are 
disposed to go for you, but are held back by the reports of division 
and weakness in Virginia. It is supposed here that our friends in 
Washington expect an expression of opinion by that Convention. 
Shall we attempt it, or shall we trust to quiet organization in the 
Districts, and such demonstrations t>f public opinion through the 
press, as we are arranging? This is a difficult question ahead of us. 

The members of the Legislature are much divided and very many 
undertermined. We have nobody who can efficiently work on the 
South well ; we think Henry Edmundson could do much, if he would 
come down and spend a week here and be active. Cant he be per- 
suaded to do so? 

I deeply regret the Tucker business, both for its personal effects 
and for political reasons. Your friends here sustain you, but the 
Examiner has already opened its batteries and begins with a lie by 
saying that Forney is elected. Beverly [Tucker] himself has given 
colour to this charge by the assertion that Forney is still in the 
Union and that Stidell has pledges from the President that Forney 
shall be kept in. The affair cannot permanently injure except in that 
aspect, but if the President has cheated you, it may be very injurious. 
You owe it to yourself to see that Forney is excluded, and check- 
mate the fraud, if attempted. 


BOYDTON, VA., February 1, 185&. 

DEAR HUNTER: I have just reached home safe and sound having 
accomplished the journey with no other discomfort than such as is 
inseparable from a wearisome travel. At this moment the temper- 
ature is mild but little of snow or ice visible and every thing de- 
cidedly vernal Of course we are backward in farming operations. 


and the remaining supply of cow food somewhat scant, but we hope 
to get through without loss. 

In Petersburg I saw Meade and Banks, who explained to me the 
action of the Public meeting there, and assured me that two thirds 
of the Committee expressed a preference for you, and yet they re- 
ported resolutions complimentary of Pierce and Douglas without in- 
cluding you ; and which Meade says he has explained in a letter to 
me now in Washington. I would have preferred they had felt no 
occasion to explain. But both Meade and Banks thought there was no 
doubt about the sentiment of Petersburg. I shall endeavor to get 
back to Rich[mon]d on 28 [th], but fear it is doubtful. Much judg- 
ment and discretion are required as to the propriety of bringing 
forward Eesolutions of approval or preference. Meade, I think, is 
inclined to attempt it even if there be risk of failure. I attach 
greater importance to the selection of Delegates by the District 
Conventions, and hope to secure Harvie and Meade or B-anks. 
If necessary I would go from Washington to attend our District 
Convention to secure that delegation, and if we can accomplish that 
and do as well in the other districts all will be well so far as Vir- 
ginia is concerned. I found all well at home. For myself I feel 
better than I have since the first of December. I find this note has 
spread over two pages and I should be alarmed if I did not know it 
to be quite scattering. With affectionate regards to Mason and the 
Judge, and kind remembrances to the servants. 


WHEELING, [VA.], 15th March, 1856. 

MY DEAR SIR : I arrived here on Thursday morning on my way 
home, but resolved to spend a few days in ascertaining how events 
were progressing. I have seen nearly all the leading men (except 
Judge Thompson, who is out of town, and Clemens who has not 
yet reached home.) there seems now no decided preferences. The 
impression has prevailed that Buchanan was the strongest man, that 
is could carry more northern states, than any other, and hence a 
leaning to him, I have had repeated conversations with Chas and 
Jno Kupely. The latter the Argus Editor, the former whilst he 
expresses a personal preference for you he thinks that should the 
North desire Buchanan they should have him, as a means of secur- 
ing northern support in the coming contest after that, then you 
would be his choice. I am satisfied there is no moving him from this 
view at present, evidences of B[uchana]n weakness at the North or 
discensions in, Pennsylvania would do it effectually. The importance 


of securing C[harles] R[upely's] cooperation is increased by the 
probability of his being one of the delegates to the Cincinnatti Con- 
vention. The contest will be between him and Koonts a decided 
Buchanan man with whom I had a long conversation on the subject 
this afternoon. I have in a quiet way done all I could to aid in 
Rupely's election. I talked matters over with Jno. Eupely the 
Editor. I sent you an Argus to day, The Editorial of which gives 
you the result. I also wrote the President, for Eupely remonstrating 
against the withdrawal, of some public printing from the Argus to 
give it to the Winchester Y[irgini]a [n] as it is rumoured here it 
was designed to do. Should it be done, then Buchanan's interest will 
be greatly strengthened here. Clements whilst popular has no trans- 
ferrable strength. Thompson is on the bench- and takes no part 
The Mountain Counties send a delegate it is supposed, Mr, Neeson 
of Fairmont, an intimate friend of Kidwells but who has been re- 
cently appointed by Mr. Wise, a visitor to the University ! I I 
It is almost quite certain he will go, so Kidwell, rather uncer- 
tain, he is all right. It is said Kidwell can control the appointment 
of the delegates of the mountain counties. I think on the whole, 
things look favourable here but decided changes can be effected by 
industry, attend to sending documents, here some good ones to Chas. 
Kidwell and Jno. Rupely, Editor of the Argus also Koonts, Loving, 
Clark of Circuit Court. Get a list from Kidwell, You have no idea I 
am satisfied of the good that can be effected in this way. You neglect 
it. The Editorial in the Argus I sent you, was intended to recall 
the public mind to the old issues, aftd at the same time, to prevent 
the withdrawal of the printing from that paper. I send you a copy 
of a letter received by Eupely some time since, it explains itsell 
Should Bright get wind of such a movement I need not tell you what 
the consequences would be; It was given me for your ear, but to be 
used confidentially. Take care, the same proposition may not be 
now in progress of arrangement, between Mr Wise's friends and 
Schell's to be brought forward at the Eleventh hour. Beware of the 
New Yorkers' they are dangerous, I shall perhaps stop a day at 
Columbus, and will communicate anything I may learn of interest. 
They say here that John Martin, has no considerable influence, al- 
though exerting what he has for "Wise & Co. Taylor County in my 
Electoral District is in Kidwells Congressional District, you had 
better see K[idwell] and ask him to interest himself in inducing a 
delegation to our Distirct Convention, favourable to me or have me 
appointed alternate. I think it is Taylor County. He can see by 
looking at the Counties. Has Edmondstone attended to Nicholas 
County \ Depend upon it if you lose Virginia, it will be the cause of 
the supineness of your friends. 



CHARLESTON, [S. C.] 5 17th March, 1856. 

MY DEAR BUTLER: I have rec[eive]d y[ou]r letter and speech. 
The best speech you have made and y[ou]r notice of Atchinson was 
admirable. I shall write a notice of the speech and y[ou]r remarks 
upon Atchinson, whose devotion to the Southern cause is above all 
praise. The South are not awake, and my own opinion is very de- 
cidedly, that the North will carry their point. I have looked for 
the success of the Emancipation Party ever since I was in Congress, 
and believe that henceforth the Battle will always be in their favour. 
The hostility of Ehett to you, flashes out in the Mercury on every 
occasion, and even y[ou]r remarks in a letter upon the Convention 
draws down his ire. A man is a Prophet save in his own Country, 
and whilst you are acquiring a fame and influence wide as the Union, 
efforts are making to dwarf you in the State of y[ou]r Nativity. 
You may look down with scorn upon their efforts, few, men have 
firmer friends in So[uth] Carolina than yourself. The next Presi- 
dential contest will be severe. My opinion is that the election will 
fall upon The House. Events will transpire before this Session 
closes to bring forth more decided manifestations of the manage- 
ment of Seward and it will require all the Tact, and Knowledge of 
under-currents, on the part of our friend Hunter to counteract his 
inclinations. I know little of what is passing in the City, my time 
is devoted to Mrs. Holmes and my books and the study of philosophy 
of which I stand in great need^ I have read more in one year than I 
have done in ten previous ones, but I have to submit to fate. I often 
think of the Mrs. and the happy days spent with you all. You know 
that I am a great admirer of Hunter who I believe has more wisdom 
than falls to the Lot of even distinguished Persons, and I regard 
Mason as a man of sound sense, and an accomplished Gentleman. 
Atchinson must be missed by you, but he is well employed at home. 
We are in a revolution of which he is the Master Spirit and in the 
event of conflict, I doubt not will distinguish himself as the Cham- 
pion of the South. 

Walker at Nicaragua will shortly settle the question of the Musqui- 
toe Kingdom, and it may well be left to him to battle with England 
who will assuredly crush him, and his great Army, whilst they will 
embrace the opportunity of settling the vexed question of the Pro- 
tectorate, with Nicaragua and leave us free to disentangle ourselves 
of the Monroe Doctrine. Depend upon it, France and Britain will 
unite in any efforts necessary to keep the United States from pos- 
sessing the South American States and thus bringing them, as por- 
tions of Mexico, already are brought under the influence of our Do- 

1 Andrew Pickens Butler, a Senator in Congress from South Carolina, 1846-1&57. 


mestic Commerce. Suppose the PMlobusteurs were to take Mexico- 
Central America, and the other American States South of the Isth- 
mus. They would annex them as Texas was to this Confederacy, 
and thus the entire commerce of America with New Tork would be 
in our hands to the exclusion of Foreign shipping. The first cause 
which led to the Revolution of the Spanish American provinces, was 
the jealousy of Gr[reat] Britain at this very exclusive trade between 
Spain and her possessions. Miranda's, agent [of] Mexico, expedi- 
tion was sustain[e]d by England, and it was her apprehension of 
this evil of exclusive Commerce which incited Mr. Canning to give 
us notice of the designs of the Holy Alliance to restore the Colonies 
to Spain, and which led to the Monroe Doctrine. I confess, I dreaded 
at one time the result of the difficulties about Nicaragua. A War with 
G[reat] Britain w[oul]d ruin the Southern States, but enough, re- 
gard to the Mrs. 


ALTO, [VA.], March 18, 1856. 

MY DEAR SIR : You would be amused to learn some of the manou- 
vres which have been resorted to in our state to secure the nomina- 
tion for the presidency. You stand no chance in such an intriguing 
age ; and the truth is I have lost confidence in every body. A man 
who. some months since, told me he could and would make you presi- 
dent, if I am correctly informed, is now throwing every obstacle in 
the way of such a result. His own ambition may be an apology, but if 
it be true that he has countenanced strange combinations there is no 
excuse for him. 1 I can scarcely believe what I hear from Eichmond 
and I say nothing of my own knowledge, for I have been confined 
to my room for nearly three weeks, with a violent cough which pre- 
vented me from attending the convention. The resolutions of our 
little meeting here, every body understood was a preference for you 
and your name was not mentioned because we thought it would do 
more harm than good. 

The plan pursued by our convention was a proper one, to express 
no preference, for any body of men who go into the National Con- 
vention tied down to a name, must have an up hill road to travel. 
I saw the disadvantage Mr. Buchanan labored under by such a course 
in the last convention. There was an omission, however, in our 
friends not instructing our delegates to* cast the whole vote of the 
state as a unit. They sh[oul]d have gone further and instructed 
them to vote always for that son of V[irgini]a who was presented 
to the convention, by other states and receiving the largest vote. 

1 Probably Henry A. Wise, wtxo was then governor of Virginia. 


We were very near having our vote scattered in Baltimore by the 
Floyd party, which would, at once have broken the moral force of 
Virginia's strength and defeated a nomination. 


NEW YORK, [N. Y.], March mh, 1856. 

DEAR SIR : I believe I had the pleasure of meeting you once, but 
waiving any claim to old acquaintance, I avail myself of the kind 
introduction of Mr Cisco, to say a few words in regard to the pro- 
posed modification of the Tariff. 

The Manufacturers at the North and East believed for many years 
that the old Whig party was the only organization which cared a 
button for their interests, and that a high protective tariff was essen- 
tial to their salvation. The more sagacious among them have at 
last opened their eyes, and finding that the hot-house system is not 
conducive to a healthy growth, are anxious to try the free-trade 
method of struggling for life in the open field. The only real 
difficulty in the way of this, is the tax upon raw materials, which the 
manufacturers of all other countries are allowed to import free, or 
at a merely nominal charge. The free-trade party tried in Walker's 
time to secure this, but the opposition was so wedded to the principle 
of protection, that it was found impossible to obtain a majority for 
it. Our woolen manufacturers, especially, need such legislation as 
shall take off the restrictions which a blind policy has formerly im- 
posed upon their raw material ; and thinking men in all sections of 
the country, without distinction of party, have advocated the meas- 
ure of relief proposed. I have written, within the last eighteen 
months two pamphlets upon this subject, whi6h have been widely 
circulated, and the response from solid men in all parts of the 
country, has been in favor of the scheme. I think that I have shown 
conclusively that it will benefit the wool growers quite as much as 
the manufacturers, and my views have been approved by a very large 
number of leading agriculturists and farmers. I rec[eive]d a long 
letter from Gov[ernor] Wright of Ind[ian]a some time since, assent- 
ing to my views, and confirming my opinion that those who control 
public sentiment at the West are with us on this question. Mr. 
Houston of Al[abam]a consented to this, last session, and at my 
suggestion, placed wool and many other raw materials in a schedule 
at a nominal duty; this bill-passed the House, but failed in the Senate 
for want of time. 

The measure is likely to be opposed, however, by those politicians 
who have heretofore been the most clamorous friends of the manu- 


f acturer. Greely hesitates not to declare, privately, that it shall not 
pass this session, but must be kept back for use in the next Pres- 
[identia]! Campaign. Seward has sullenly agreed not to combat it 
openly, but as I learn from some of his own friends who have been 
on to Washington, on purpose to see him, he will prevent its success 
if he can without personal exposure. James of R[hode] I[sland] 
has drawn up his bill based on free trade in raw materials, but In 
order to effect his reelection, has levied the duties on other impor- 
tations far too high. I send, herewith, a leading article from the 
Journal of Commerce of Saturday, commenting upon his scheme. 
Our merchants here are becoming impatient that a plan against 
which so little can be said, should meet so many delays. The manu- 
facturing interests have been closeted at Boston, and feeling more 
than ever absolved from party ties, are fastening their eyes upon 
those Conservative Statesmen who are known to be honest, to see 
if now that there is an opportunity to do something for the pros- 
perity of the country, without building up one at the expense of an- 
other, they may not find help in some whom they have not been 
accustomed to regard Is friends. 

Mr. Ghithrie has been highly applauded for his services in repeat- 
ing and enforcing the recommendations of Mr, Walker "upon this 
subject, and there needs but a voice to be heard above the din of fac- 
tion upon the floor of Congress, to draw the hearts of all the Com- 
mercial classes into one channel. Where shall we look but to you 1 
Standing midway between the North and South, ever on the side 
of right in the past, and (if the signs of the times be true) to be still 
more largely trusted in the future, who so fit a spokesman for the 
public of all sections in this crisis as yourself? 

Mr. W. W. Stone of this city (with whom I can claim no connection 
notwithstanding the name) a member of the firm of Lawrence, Stone 
and Co. one of the most respectable domestic houses in the country, 
and intimately connected with Eastern Merchants and Manufac- 
turers, visits Washington to-day. He has been an earnest advocate 
of this revision of the Tariff for several years, and would like to con- 
verse with you in regard to it. He has formerly acted with the 
Whig party, but in the present unsettled state of political affairs, 
feels no party responsibilities, and has, I am sure, the welfare of the 
country at heart. He will speak to you more at large of the state 
of feeling at the East from which you will see that I have not written 


BOSTON, [MASS.], April Ist^ 1856. 

DEAR-SIR : I send you a copy of the French Tariff whose promulga- 
tion has reached here in the last mail. In the pendency of the pro- 
posed revision of our own, the new position of France, possesses much 


[of] importance. Our constitutional and treaty limitations neces- 
sarily make the task of revising a tariff, full of perplexity and re- 
quiring mature analysis. 

With all the aid the Treasury Department have furnished to the 
experience of GenL James, 1 there are some features in his otherwise 
able bill, which are based on principles that cannot be justified in 
the free trade school of Statesmanship. There is a living faith in 
popular opinion eventually rendering to a patriot and a statesman the 
acknowledgment of his merit and forecast. You are beginning to 
experience this in the North. It has happened to me several times 
within a few weeks, conversing with leading merchants and manu- 
facturers of this section, to hear from their lips those acknowledg- 
ments with regard to yourself that none of our party could ever have 

The policy you have advocated is now successful and the manu- 
facturers here, express their unqualified confidence that you can 
arrange a revision of the tariff which would be absolutely satisfactory 
to the South and agreeable to the North. From the known accord- 
ance of my views with your policy, it could not have been intended I 
should withhold these expressions from your knowledge. 

In my judgment the time has come when the tariff may be set on 
a permanent footing of low duties and equitable adjustments. To 
reaffirm at this juncture the cardinal principles of the advalorem 
and foreign valuations, to establish the free trade policy on the 
admitted basis of its general welfare and to reduce the unnecessary 
and enormous revenue now derived from customs, would carry im- 
portant consequences in the political world which none can better 
estimate than yourself. I should not write thus frankly, did I not 
presume you were occupied with the proposed revision. The con- 
fidence all these great interests repose in you make this a happy mo- 
ment for your effecting permanent good, and with your permission, 
it would give me great satisfaction to aid in bringing the interests 
here to that communication, which would possess you of their views, 
and show that they approved this question in a spirit of concession 
heretofore unknown to them. Allow me to renew the expressions 
of my sincere esteem. 


NORFOLK, [VA.], April 13, 1856. 

DEAR HUNTER: Since my return home I have been so unwell 
that I have had no opportunity of mixing extensively among the 
people though so far as I can learn you have gained much in this 

*A Democratic Senator in Congress from Rhode Island, 1851-1857. He was elected 
as a protective tariff Democrat. 


district Buchanan's popularity is based on that of Wise whose 
friends have sought to make the impression that he (B) is the 
strongest man now before the people. This causes' the timid and 
time serving to represent themselves as preferring Buch[ana]n. 
Wise has lost all power in the East save among his Eastern Shore 
men and such as they can influence. The Eboshin and Fendum have 
done their work effectually and two or three appointments made in 
this place within a few weeks past have given great dissatisfaction 
because they were taken from among the Eastern Shore men in 
preference to residents. Buck's [Buchanan's] is only a reflection 
of Wise's popularity and to dissipate it is no difficult matter. The 
idea that to insure success for the Cincinnatti nominee he must be from 
the North has been industriously circulated over the South, and this 
has been the chief weapon of the W. and B. 1 men. Let something 
be done in the right quarter to cause doubt of its truth and we can 
carry every Eastern district. Give me a program for operations 
and I will carry it out. If you wish an open demonstration made 
I will have it started here or in some county. How are you and 
Pierce now ? Would it be safe to make one for him as the choice 
of the Northern candidates, if so would [it] whip the office holders 
into measures? But as to this I will not move till I hear from you. 
Banks sends me word all is right above that is in the upper part 
of the district. Simkins, Wise's friend, is proud of the Demo- 
[cratic] Associations but the selections was not plain because of 
the jealousy over here about Eastern men. He talks of resigning, 
if so a Hunter man will fill it. The election was no test but was 
owing to the personal popularity of Simkins. Tell me what I can 
do and I am ready to act. 

I may be in Washington in 10 or 12 days. Pierce promised my 
son a commission in the army, the first vacancy last spring or sum- 
mer but I have not troubled him since. He was disposed to confer 
it then but Davis defeated me. Pierce felt and expressed some com- 
punction for his move against me as Navy agent and wished to 
make amends in this way. I care nothing for it myself but the boy 
(now 22 years old) is anxious for it. He was educated at Lexington 
and would make, so says Col[onel] Smith a fine officer. He seems 
to have no turn for anything else but he is well behaved, handsome 
and brave. He had much better marry a rich girl but he seems to 
prefer fighting Indians at $4 per month, and being a wilfull boy 
he must have his way. Is there any chance? Some forty vacancies 
have occurred within a few months. But I started to write you 
about other matters and did not design to trouble you with my 
small wants. 

1 Wise and Buchanan men. 


[P. S.] How would it do for me as an old Fillmore man to come out 
in a letter assigning reasons why I could not vote for him and giving 
reasons also for my preference for others. If this would be politic 
give me an outline of my platform who I should war upon who 
pray and how far to go in either case. Is not Millson 1 against 
Pierce? I should think so from questions he put to me the other 



NEAR STEHACOONE, W. T., April W, 1856. 

MY DEAR COUSIN: By the time this reaches you the excitement 
growing out of the Cincinnati Convention will, I presume, have some- 
what subsided. I need not tell how much I hope it may find you 
the successful man in the struggle that may occur there. Should 
however this be not the case, I hope you will console yourself with 
the reflection that there is yet sufficient time ahead for your turn. 

It was my intention at an early day after my arrival in this 
country to post you up thoroughly on the origin and merits of this 
war going on here with the Indians. But I no sooner landed than I 
was packed off to this outpost where I have been unable to see any 
intelligent or disinterested man who could give me the information 
I wanted. Nor have I been able to meet any hostile Indians in action 
or otherwise and learn from them their own accounts of their diffi- 
culties. Indeed it is in this respect that I conceive one of the greatest 
blunders of the whole business has been committed, for I have been 
unable yet to see any one who can give me an intelligent and con- 
sistent account of what the Indians regard as the cause of the war. 
and as its object, and upon what terms &c they desire. We in the 
Army are campaigning and fighting here in the dark. Without 
understanding the cause or the object of the war, and consequently 
without the means of knowing what are the best means to bring about 
a peace. Most of the whites say it is dissatisfaction with the treaties 
made by Gov. Stevens. If so instead of going to War on the sub- 
ject, and, attempting to teach them a lesson on adhering to treaties 
which will cost us some millions of money, why not send for them 
and learn what features of the treaty are distasteful to them, and 
if reasonable why not let them have what they want as long as it 
does not interfere with the just wants and safety of the settlers. I 
am told the Indians complain that by these treaties they are required 
to live upon small reserves incapable of subsisting them and their 
animals in their mode of life. That the Indians [?] have been 
located upon lands badly situated, indeed so much so that the whites 
can't use it, with no prairie or pasture lands for their animals and 

'John S. Millson, a Representative in Congress from Virginia, 1849-1861. 


no clear lands for their potatoes &c ; and that if they are all crowded 
upon such small ill-selected spots they must starve to death. 

If there is truth in this, and no one has tried that I know of, to 
see the hostile Indians to ascertain whether this be so or not, it is in 
my opinion a just cause not only of dissatisfaction and complaint but 
of war. We cant expect men to change their habits of life, the 
habits of their race, or to starve to death quietly merely to satisfy 
the wild schemes of white men. If this be true I can see no reason 
why they should not have -larger and more suitable reserves given 
them, particularly too since they have relinquished by these treaties 
more lands than will be sufficient for the settlers of this country, at 
present rates, and for the next hundred years. In making this con- 
cession to them we should be giving them nothing more than human- 
ity demands us to give them, and which common justice should never 
have permitted us to take away from them. But you will gather 
from the enclosed newspaper slips something of the merits of the 
question at issue between the authorities here. From all that I can 
learn I am well satisfied that this War has been very unnecessarily 
brought on by Govr. Stevens' treaties. Not only by the ill judged 
provisions of the treaties themselves, but especially by entering into 
treaties with them where the wants of the country (in my judgment) 
did not require anything of the sort. As bad fortune would have it 
I am told that this treaty, out of the large number which he made 
on his Quixotic pilgrimage in the interior of the continent where no 
white men will settle in the next 300 years perhaps, was the only one 
which reached Washington City in time to be confirmed by the 
Senate during the last Congress, and is now the law of the land. I 
am satisfied that if this were not the case and I had the power from 
Mr. Pierce to annul and destroy Stevens' treaty I could establish a 
permanent peace here in six weeks and not fire a rifle, a peace by 
which the settlers should be safe from danger, and not checked in 
their settlement of the country. And I would make no concession 
to the Indians which any practical and reasonable man could find 
fault with. 


NORFOLK, [YA.], May 11, 1856. 

DEAR HUNTER: I have just returned from a visit to my old (Hamp- 
ton) county and hope things will end there as we desire. Booker is 
warm in your favor and out against Buch[ana]n talking publickly 
of his Tariff vote in '42 and Missouri Compromise opinions. I shall 
attend the convention there on next Thursday and so told Booker 
who seemed much pleased at my promise. I shall be an outsider but 
will try my best. Drop B[ooker] a Line the moment you get this, 
It will encourage him much. Your letter to him had a fine effect, 


He is fond of you but has been much courted by Wise. High minded 
honorable and brave as he is these little attentions are always agree- 
able especially to a country gentleman living a secluded life. He still 
praises W[ise] but thinks him out of the question this time. I want 
you to ask him to go . and say you will leave him to act according to 
his own judgment content with any action he may take &c. Wednes- 
day the convention for the Norfolk district comes off. But for the 
Wise men who still look to W[ise] as residuary Legatee of B[uch- 
anan] we should have no difficulty. No one is opposed to you but the 
idea is afloat that B[uchanan] is the strong candidate and as office 
here controls every thing they profess preference for him because he 
is as they think the strong man. Simkins has softened down very 
much and so has Blow. If either of them go from the lower end I 
have a strong hope of getting him right. If they get in their men I 
will work day and night to operate on them and if I can wield a 
little influence in Washington I may succeed. I have just had a con- 
versation with Simkins the Leader of the Wise party here as to the 
proceedings in Portsmouth and he asked me to draw up the resolu- 
tions (this of course confidential) and state his positions : 1st Compli- 
ment Pierce and endorse his admin [istratio]n, 2d support nominee 
of Cin[cinnat]i Convention, 3d Express no preference, 4th Leave 
delegates free to act according to circumstances. We shall carry a 
true man I think from the upper counties and will at least divide the 

I told Banks to get old Frank Eives (who he says is all right) to 
work on Boykin of Isle of Wight and Atkinson and he writes me 
that it has been done. Boykin wants office and is slippery. He is weak 
in intellect and his attachments by no means stable. He wants to go 
as a Delegate. I cant advocate him but I know, I think, how and who 
can manage him. He is more tractable than Blow or Smith. The 
son I can do nothing with. He wanted the Collectorship here and is 
sound against Pierce. He will make a hard fight for Delegate but 
we have quietly operated against him on the ground, that the Elector 
comes from Portsmouth, Smith's place of residence and that she is 
not entitled to [a] Delegate and none of the Norfolk City Delega- 
tion will support him. Pierce's office holders give us no aid what- 
ever. They are afraid to take position. When I was Navy Ag[en]t 
I ruled my party in the District and so could Loyall have done, but 
he is effete, selfish and timid. Sawyer has no power, even with his 
subordinates. Will the above positions (I mean the resolutions) suit 
you or would it answer to make an issue for Pierce direct. The result 
would be doubtful in as much as the floating vote in Conventions 
generally sides with the moderate party whether they be so in fact 
or in fraud. Drop me a line the moment you get this and draft me a 
resolution or two, You need not be afraid of my indiscretion. You 


fellows in Congress did not know me half as well as I did you. If 
I talk at random sometimes, so also can I be silent and prudent when 
there is necessity. If I had position in the Line or on the staff I could 
win the victory here. If I can do any good I will speak at both Con- 
ventions. I care not who gets the nomination for Delegates I mean 
to commence operations on him and if it be any but Smith (who hates 
me) I hope to succeed. I am far from giving up the fight for these 
ten districts for none will be pledged or committed. 

Send me the names of your friends in Gloucester that will be in 
Hampton that I may know who to approach. My Brother Chas. K. 
Mallory, a lawyer, residing in Hampton is a warm and active friend. 
It will be hard if him and Booker acting together can not carry things 
to suit us. 

Tell Muscoe our inspection law has so far put a stop to slave 
stealing in lower Virginia. It works beautifully tho' the Senate 
did it much damage by its amendments. I have got things quite 
snug for him in the lower end of his district in view of Bayly's de- 

My son has just returned. Many thanks for your kindness, and 
please than!?: Pierce for me. 

If you wish me to hear from you before the Conventions meet, 
write the moment you get this, which is nearly as hard to decipher 
as your own. The Baltimore Boats leave in the afternoon and arrive 
here next morning. This you will get Tuesday morning. If the 
positions in the resolutions suit you, telegraph me in the words "All 
right," if not "make an issue direct for P[ierce] or H[unter] " as 
the case may be and sign it. T. M. provided you cant mail your 
letter by the 1 P. M. [boat] for Baltimore or 1| P. M. or that which 
carries the mail through to Norfolk which can be known by en- 
quiring at the City p[ost] office. If the vote of V[irgini]a depends 
on these two districts I dont think you have much to fear let things 
take what shape they may just now. It is easier to vanquish men 
in detail than attacking numbers. I shall act as we Doctors say 
" pro re natu." 


HAMPTON, VA., May 15th, 1856. 

MY DEAR SIR: According to promises I proceed to give you an 
acc[oun]t of the proceedings of the District Convention which met 
here to-day and have just adjourned. Every County in the district 
was represented and the Convention was respectable both in num- 
bers and talent. At 12 O'clock the convention was called to order in 
the spacious ball saloon of Dr. Banks' delightfully located Hotel 
which he had kindly tendered to its use. 


As the proceedings will soon be published in the leading public 
journal of the State, I must content myself with giving a mere synop- 
sis of what passed without going into particulars. 

Jno, W. Catlett Esq. of Gloucester with Eleven Vice presidents, 
and Mr. Hope and Mallory of Hampton, as Secretaries, was chosen 
as the permanent officers of the Convention. During the absence of 
the Committee on Organization, our Elector Wm. B. Taliaferro 
Esq. entertained the Convention in a very pretty speech of half an 
hours duration. It is the intention of Major Taliaferro to canvass 
the district after the nominations at Cincinnati, and as you will 
of course have an opportunity of hearing him and judging of his 
oratorical abilities for yourself, I will only say that he is a good 
looking man and of pleasant address. Conl B. C. Claybrook the 
talented delegate from Northumberland in the last legislature also 
spoke, and made a very happy effort indeed. He is a fine popular 
orator, and as he is quite a young man I should not be at all sur- 
prised if before a great while, he is called on to play a prominent part 
in the politics of this district. 

Mr. Catlett on taking the Chair returned his thanks for the honor 
conferred on him in a neat and appropriate address which I hope 
will be given to the public by the accomplished Secretary exactly 
as it fell from his lips, for it was full of sound Southern sentiment 
patriotically expressed. 

The rules of the house -of Delegates were adopted for the Gov- 
[ernmen]t of the Convention and also a resolution "that whenever 
a sealed vote should be called for, each delegate should give his pro- 
portion of the aggregate Democratic] vote cast by his County in 
the last Election for Governor." It was generally understood that 
the Convention would not attempt to express a preference for any 
one of the distinguished gentleman whose names have been so 
prominently spoken of for 9 the Cincinnati nominations; then, judge 
of our surprise when a gentleman from Williamsburg, Mr. Causnan 
offered the following resolution, which caused no little stir and a 
perfect war of words : " that while this convention do not intend to 
instruct their delegates to the Cincinnati Convention, yet the nomi- 
nation by that body of their distinguished fellow citizen H. A. Wise 
Esq. for the first office' in the gift of the American people, will be 
highly gratifying and meet with the cordial approbation of the 
people of this district." I believe I give you the very words of the 
resolution ; I am certain you have its pith and marrow. Mr. Caus- 
nan accompanied his resolution with a short speech, citing the action 
of the late convention in the Essex District which expressed a prefer- 
ence for Senator Hunter, as a reason very cogent to his mind, why 
this district should pronounce for Gov. Wise. A gentleman from 


Gloucester I think, moved to lay the resolution on the table, while 
another moved its indefinite postponement A long debate ensued 
in whic} a good many silly and common place things were said. 
Mr. Seuwell of Gloucester however, made a very sensible speech; 
he said" that Mr. Wise might le, probably he ^vas, the choice of 
a majority of the District, yet he had no hesitation in saying that he 
would receive fewer votes and a less cordial support than any other 
man the Cin[cinna]ti Convention might nominate; that such a reso- 
lution ought not to pass unless as the unanimous sense of this Con- 
vention, which could not be; that the strong opposition to it would 
rob it of even the semblance of a compliment and destroy that 
moral effect which it was intended to convey." 

It is a great pity that the overzealous friends of the Governour did 
not heed these words of wisdom. A Sealed Vote was called for. 
The friends of the resolution were taken all aback, and no little feel- 
ing manifested in certain quarters, by the vote of Accomack, two 
of her delegates voting for postponement and two against. The fate 
of the resolution was doubtful, but when the Secretary announced 
that 1002 had voted against and 1227 for indefinite postponement, 
the sensation throughout the convention was most profound. Cha- 
grin and mortification were depicted on many countenances. Noses, 
to use a vulgar phrase, had been counted in the morning outside of 
the Convention and it was thought the resolution could be carried and 
certain Wise workers intended to do it against all opposition. A 
member immediately arose and offered the same resolution, substi- 
tuting the name of Senator Hunter for that of Gov. Wise. Amid 
the noise and confusion around me I could not hear the remarks he 
made, as he spoke in a low voice. At this point there was a struggle 
for the floor. Mr. Custis of Accomack however gained it, and moved 
the indefinite postponement and took occasion in strong and. nervous 
language to define his position, " he had voted to postpone the first 
resolution because he regarded it as an apple of discord calculated 
to mar the harmony of the Contention and the Convention had 
acted wisely in disposing of it as they did he was unwilling to 
express a preference for any man although he had a decided choice. 
The delegates to Cin[cinna]ti should be left free and untrammelled. 
He was willing to trust to their discretion and good judgments. 
Virginia could not decide between her distinguished sons and pre- 
sent that unity of sentiment and action in which consisted her great 
moral power. To attempt such a thing would produce discord at 
once, and realise the fable of the Kilkenny Cats; if either Mr. Wise 
or Mr. Hunter should receive the nomination at Cin[cinna]ti the first 
move in favor of either must come from some other State, and when 
that was made, their good old mother would be prepared to follow." 

23318 18 VOL 2 18 


These sentiments met with general favour. The resolution was 
then unanimously postponed. 

At this stage of the proceedings a general anxiety to go into the 
election of Delegates to Cin[cinna]ti was manifested, but Mr. Gary 
of Hampton insisted on explaining the reasons that influenced the 
Convention in their late votes, and offered a resolution to this effect, 
" that the Convention was opposed to the expression of a preference 
for any one, feeling perfectly satisfied that the Cin[cinna]ti Con- 
tention would give us no other than a good and true man, whom we 
could all most cheerfully and enthusiastically support." This is the 
substance though not the language of the resolution. Now after a 
session of nearly four hours, the real business for which the Conven- 
tion met, commenced, viz the Selection and appointment of Dele- 
gates to the National Convention. Geo. Booker Esq of Elizabeth 
City, who has served on former occasions in 1848 and 1852 at Balti- 
more, and who seems to be a general favorite, was elected on the first 
ballot by a nearly unanimous vote. On the 3rd or 4th ballot M. W. 
Fisher Esq. of Northampton, was chosen as the other delegate. And 
Conl. R. C. Claybrook of Northumberland and Jno. Seawell Esq. of 
Gloucester were appointed alternates. 

Here the scene became very interesting; each one of the Eleven 
Vice Presidents were in turn, called out and delivered themselves of 
short, pithy speeches, abounding in humour and happy hits. The 
Convention adjourned after returning thanks to the Democracy of 
E[lizabeth] City for their kindness and hospitality. A most sump- 
tuous repast was spread in the basement of the Hotel for the Con- 
vention, abounding in all the good things of this life. Champagne 
poped toasts were drunk, and speeches made, it was literally a 
%< feast of reason and a flow of soul." 

At night the good people of Hampton and vicinity met at their 
Court House, and were highly delighted by speeches from T. Cropper 
Esq. of Norfolk, Mr. Weaver of Accomack, and Jno. Seawell Esq. 
of Gloucester. Mr. S[eawell] is generally regarded as one of the 
ablest lawyers in the district, and is a fine speaker. He is very much 

like our friend L . The best feeling and spirit pervades the 

Democracy. They are confident every where of a splendid victory, 
eclipsing all past victories in November next. Hoping to meet you 
soon, when we will talk all these things over and many more. 



[WHEELING, VA.?], May 34th, 1866. 

DEAR SIR : T have had a somewhat desultory correspondence with 
my old friend Linn Boyd. 2 He thinks it likely, he will be put in 
nomination for the Presidency by Kentucky. I do not think he has 
much hope beyond this. You are his first choice when his claims are 
disposed of. I wrote him last week a letter intended to satisfy him, 
that the danger was in the nomination of Douglass whom he very 
cordially dislikes for various reasons, and that his true policy was 
to get the nomination from K[entuck]y and to hold on to it until 
Buchanan and Pierce were out of the way, which I think will soon 
be the case and then to give the fruits of the game to you. He has 
no respect for Mr. Buchanan and a decided hostility to Pierce and 
Douglass. His choice after you would be Busk* But I hope he can 
control the K[entuck]y delegation and if he can I think it most 
likely that at an early stage of the game he will go for you. I deem 
this important as our own state from the division which exists will 
be measurably impotent in the Convention and as their is a growing 
jealously of our influence in the nominating Convention by Ohio and 
other states. I cannot but think that most of the south must take 
you in preference. The state-rights party all over the south must 
prefer you, if there is any reason in mens preferences, before any 
other man named either north or south and I have been inclined to 
think that the Pierce movement was for your benefit only. But I 
intended only in this note to write you in relation to Boyd and to 
suggest a cautious movement on the part of your confidential friends 
towards Boyd's K[entuck]y friends in Con[gres]s. The manner of 
this approach I cannot suggest for 1 cannot anticipate the actual con- 
dition of things which may make it proper or improper. If I hear 
that Boyd himself is at Cincinnatti I will go down myself if it is pos- 
sible for me to leave. Bussell is for Buchanan first from choice. He 
is for you on the second. Neeson I understand personally prefers 
Pierce, but must go for " Buck," but " Buck " and Pierce being pitted 
and killed by the same operation he will then I think go for you. But 
we will soon know the result. 

1 A Democratic Representative in Congress from Virginia, 1851-1852, 
2 A Representative in Congress from Kentucky, 1835-1837 and 1839-1855 ; twice elected 
Speaker of the House, 1851-1855. 
8 Thomas Jeffeison Rusk, a Senator in Congress from Texas, 1845-1857. 



WASHINGTON, [D. C.] 3 June Mi, 1856. 

DEAR HUNTER: I presume you have heard ere this of the action of 
the Cincinnati Convention and its utter abandonment of most of the 
great cardinal principles of the Democratic party. 

I have never before despaired of the Republic but I confess that 
since ascertaining the nominee and reading the platform and adden- 
dum, I have but little hope for the future. The constitutional party 
have been basely sold for the contemptible consideration of office, and 
what is most humiliating our hitherto honored state seems to have 
taken the lead in the treacherous proceeding. It is true some of our 
friends resisted. But in my judgment they should never have yielded 
but rather have withdrawn with a protest. From all I can learn, 
there was a perfect understanding between the friends of Mr. 
Buchanan and the Internal Improvement men and Filibusters that 
if elected he should favor all their wild and unconstitutional meas- 
ures. That Virginia should have contributed to such ,a result is too 
bad to think about. 

I returned on Saturday but deferred writing till today that I might 
inform you whether the Senate w T ould do any business of importance 
this week and I learn that nothing will be done for a fortnight ex- 
cept making speeches for home consumption. 

Judge Butler has the floor for Thursday next, in reply to Sumners 
abusive tirade. The Judge is still alone Messrs. Mason and Goode 
being still absent. 

But few of the members of the convention have returned. I have 
seen but one, Houston of Alabama, He is quite as much dissatisfied 
with their proceedings as I am. 


RICHMOND. [VA.], June llth, 1856. 

Mr DEAR SIR: We are to have a ratification meeting in this City 
next Friday night; and I write to entreat a speech from you on the 
occasion. Your presence is absolutely indispensable, not to the in- 
terests of the candidates, but to the fortunes of our wing of the party 
in the State. You will understand me without further explanation. 
Come, with the warmest speech your conscience will allow. Bring 
Mr. Mason and others of our friends. Bob, by all means come your- 
self. Write me an affirmative reply. Don't disappoint me and 
neglect your own interests. 

*A Representative in Congress from Virginia, 1859-1861; editor of the Richmond 
South, 1S57-1S59. 



RICHMOND, [VA.] 3 June 16th, 1856. 

Mr DEAR HUNTER : On my way back from Cincinnati I called to 
see you in Washington. I had much to say to you not only of the 
past but the future. I have thought much since we met last and 
now that I can look back calmly at all that has occurred I write the 
result of my reflections not without the hope that you may be some- 
what influenced by them. You have heard and know how utterly 
Bright and Douglas disappointed our expectations and how false 
and hollow were their professions. That they were fair as long as 
it was their interest and false as soon as that bond was broken. And 
you must have come to the conclusion that the Presidency is not to 
be won simply by combinations and arrangements with men and that 
least of all are men seeking high place influenced by gratitude. It is 
only necessary to look to Wise to come to that conclusion. Even with 
the help of friends, such as few men have had, the battle has been lost. 
I am now coming to the object of my letter which is to urge upon 
you to adopt a different line of policy altogether from what you 
have heretofore pursued and which to some extent I know to be 
somewhat foreign to your tastes and nature. I want you my dear 
friend, to discard altogether, if possible, all thought of the Presi- 
dency from your mind, at all events so far as to be uninfluenced by 
it in your future course in the Senate. I, want you to put yourself 
at the head of the South and where you ought to stand and strike 
hard and heavy and frequent blows and that at once. 

The South has no leader and sadly wants one. It is a post that 
has been waiting your acceptance since Mr Calhoun's death. It is 
your duty to fill it and your interest too. Men say you are too timid, 
overcautious, that you wish nothing and thus it is that you have lost 
friends, power and influence. You must launch out into the sea of 
strife, your safety requiring it, your hope of renown depends on it, 
your own interest and that of the country demands it, and your 
ability to pay the just debts that you owe to Messrs. Wise, Bright, 
and Douglas and Co. is dependent on it. Leave the dull routine of 
your former Senatorial life, wean yourself from your Committee and 
throw yourself into the patriotick current and be as you ought to be 
the champion of the South in the Senate of the U[nited] States and 
you will have the power to control and make presidents. You can 
earn more true g]ory in the Senate, you can be more useful to the 
country, and wield a more powerful influence over the destinies of 
your race than in the Presidential chair. In addition to this I am 
confident that the course I recommend is the only one to lead to the 
Presidency. That must be won by you if at all, unsought. I have 
written to you more freely than any one else will, my dear friend, 


because perhaps I have been more enlisted in what has concerned you 
and your promotion. I know I write however, what all your true 
friends feel and while these are my decided convictions and there- 
fore communicated, at the same time they are the opinions of all 
your friends with whom I have conversed and have been for years. 
Of such men as Seddon and Mr Old, whom you know I think the 
wisest, as he is the fairest, man that I have ever known. In order to 
take the position you are entitled to and ought to occupy you ought 
to launch out and strike so as to make your position, your own 
peculiar property and give us a Hunter platform to stand on, in 
order to keep down the huckstering traders who have so foully be- 
trayed you at home and abroad. Write to me upon the receipt of 
this and let us hereafter keep up a more uninterrupted correspond- 
ence. I will only add that your friends in Cincinnati did all that 
could be done and like me look to the Senate for a justification of 
their confidence. 


CHESTERTOWN, [Mo.], October 17, 1S56. 

MY DEAR SIR : I fear that I shall not be successful in the money 
affair. There is a shyness about all investments not promising imme- 
diate returns and profits. Indeed money is scarce in proof of which 
I may mention that one of the wealthy men in Baltimore] is taking 
deposits on call at 5 percentium. One great difficulty is that the 
mortgage for the proposed loan' is not preferred but conies in for 
paper with so much more. I will make one more trial and if that 
do not succeed will abandon any further effort. 

I cannot give much hope of our political matters. There will 
be gains for B[uchana]n in some of our counties hut the old Whigs 
generally swallow with a blind faith the resolves of the convention, 
Donaldson and all. They are besides confident that Filmore will be 
elected if not by the people at least by the H[ouse of] E[epresenta- 
tives] in which they say democrats and republicans will prefer 
him each to the other. The success of the former ticket in Penn[syl- 
vani]a encourages them, they say that the Fremont men there will 
fall into Filmore's support being satisfied of their inability to elect 
a ticket of their own and consequently will nominate none. They say 
the proposed plan of "Thad" [Thaddeus] Stevens will not prevail 
but will be scented by the Filmore men and that the Black republi- 
cans will surrender at discretion to them, as they have to the K[now] 
Nothings. I have made several speeches and shall make two more 
but I do not think that I can accomplish much except to alienate old 

*A Representative in Congress from Maryland, 1835-1839 and 1840-1843- in the 
United States Senate from 1843 to 1802. ' 


friends and make my social as well as political relations anything 
but pleasant. The Whigs here are talking strongly of Virg[ini]a as 
likely to go for Filmore. 

The Florida election gives them encourage [men] t in the South 
and the Mayors election in Baltimore] gives them exulting confi- 
dence of success in this State. Shortsighted they seem to me and 
blind to their own interests. What think you of all these calcula- 
tions which I have mentioned? We do not know the condition of 
things at the West. Ohio is of course fanatical in the extreme 
and Indiana seems doubtful. Can you give us any hopes in that 
quarter. The most we can hope for with confidence is that the elec- 
tion will go to the H[ouse] Representatives] and what then? 
There's the rub. It is a fortunate thing that the democrats have 
carried so many members of Congress in P[ennsylvani]a and the 
legislature and that some gains have also been made in Ohio. This 
will enable us to hold the moody heads in check in Congress until 
perhaps the delusion may abate. 

I read with pleasure y[ou]r speech at Poughkeepsie. They called 
on me to report one of mine made in Worcester C[ount]y, [Md.], 
but I cannot remember a two hours speech made without notes and 
tho' I might write a speech it w[oul]d not be the speech. This state 
would I believe submit quietly to the repeal of the Kansas act and 
only growl a little at the essential modification of the fugitive slave 
law. If I were a young man I should sell my property here and 
look for a new home among a more southern people. The labouring 
men of our City sustain the Know Nothings because they wish to 
banish the competition of foreign labourers, So I am told. 

Pray let me hear from you if you are not overwhelmed with cor- 
respondence as I suppose you are. 


NEW YORK, [N. Y.], October 18, 1856. 

MY DEAR SIR: The glorious results of the elections of the 14th 
Last in Pennsylvania, Indiana and even Ohio have made the calling 
and election of #[uchanan] and #[reckinridge] by the people next 
month " a fixed fact ! " 

Permit me to offer my hearty congratulations to one who will 
have contributed in such large measure to such " consummation de- 
voutly to be wished " ; not only by a long and brilliant career as a 
Statesman, but particularly by his masterly and profound exposition 
of national, democratic truths in this State. I sent you a copy of 
the Daily News (with which I am now connected) commenting upon 
this effort at Poughkeepsie. 


Such lias been the inspiriting eftect upon the people of New York 
that truly I should not be surprised to find them following the exam- 
ple of P[ennsylvani]a and Indiana. The Herald in its leader gives 
up the contest! 


LAFAYETTE, INDIANA, November 10, 1856. 

MY DEAR SIR: The smoke of the battle has cleared away and we 
are victorious. I congratulate you and the country on this glorious 
result and I sincerely hope that Mr. Buchanan may call you to the 
head of his Cabinet for I know of no man more worthy or better 
qualified. I expressed to you similar views before the formation 
of Mr. Pierce's Cabinet and do not wish to flatter you, but this is 
my honest desire. If I can serve you, intimate in what way. 

We have carried our Legislature and shall elect two senators, Mr. 
Bright will be one, and I want and ought to be the other and can be if 
Mr. Bright will co-operate with me. Am I asking too much in asking 
you to write Mr. B [right] at onee } urging him to unite his friends 
with mine for our mutual election ? If so, you will pardon me for this 
intrusion, but believe me your sincere friend. 



November llth, 1856. 

MY DEAR SIR: I congratulate you and all true national men on 
the glorious result of the Presidential Election and especially on the 
decisive vote of the great mother of States and Statesmen. The 
"Old North" has also performed her duty nobly in this crisis, 
greatly increasing the majority of August last. Old Mecklenburg 
where I live has again vindicated principles as important to us ; as 
those of the Revolution. 

I read with the greatest pleasure your brilliant speech during the 
Campaign, at Poughkeepsie and had parts of it circulated in our 
papers, with good effect. 

But, my dear Sir, the great struggle for us in the South is not 
yet finally ended. We must stand to our arms, Favoritism and 
bigotry, are even now again raising their heads. We must be always 


NEAB HAMPTON, [VA.], 16th Nowm7>er, 1856. 
MY DEAR HUNTER-: I have been thinking about this Southern 
Convention which is to meet at Savannah on the 8th [of] next month 

1 A Representative in Congress from Indiana, 1843-1849 ; a Senator, 1853-1855. He 
was not successful In his efforts for a reelection in 185(1 

2 A Representative in Congress from North Carolina, 1843-1849 ; minister to Spain 
1849-1853. * 


and it occurs to me and I suggest to you the importance of your going 
(here, which may influence the action of the next administration of 
great importance to the south. 

If we can succeed in Kansas, keep down the Tariff, shake off our 
Commercial dependence upon the North and add a little more slave 
territory, we may yet live free men under the Stars and Strips. 
Mr. Buchanan, if not committed to the " balance idea " is to the 
acquisition of more southern territory. 

The next few years must be eventful ones in our history, may, 
probably will, decide the fate of the Union, at all events the destines 
of our section. Mr. Buchanan and the Northern Democracy are de- 
pendent upon the South, an extraordinary course of things here 
placed them and us in this attitude towards each other. Shall we 
use our power? or suffer things of such magnitudes to be controlled 
by our enemies, by accident, or any other causes? I repeat I want 
you to go to Savannah. Please tell me what you know of Dudley 
Mann and his line of steamers from the Chesapeake bay to Millford, 
is he a practical man and is his enterprise likely to be successful? 

Who is to be in the Cabinet from V[irgini]a? Kindest regards to 
Garnett. Tell him I want him to examine and consider our Natu- 
ralization laws, as soon as he can. It does seem to me time to check 
this flood of emigration, the chief element of Northern power and 
ascendency. Tell him I would not onJy have him use Kfnow] 
N[othing] thunder but the thunder bolts of Heaven to crush the 
enemies of the South. 

Ask him to tell me hereafter at Ms leisure why it was he ran 
ahead of Mr. Buchanan in every county at every precinct. Was 
it his eloquence? Was it Mr. Saunder's position? Was it Buchan- 
an's position? Fillmore's position? What cause? What combina- 
tion produced that striking result? 

Tell him his district is proud of him and wishes him to grow in 
influence, in importance, in power fast as possible, but when he 
begins to grow "National " we shall begin to grow cold. 


EICHMOND, [VA.] 5 November 2d, 1856. 

DEAR SIR: Feeling anxious that Virginia should be properly rep- 
resented in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet and believing that her interests 
and those of the South would be guarded with filial affection by 
you, it would afford me great pleasure to see you in a position where 
your advice would command the attention and respect to which it 
would be entitled and your talents be appropriated usefully to the 
Country. I know they are so already, but of course I mean in a 


different position from the one you now occupy. I think I am in 
a situation from which I may be of service to you and therefore do 
not hesitate to ask you in confidence and to be used in the same way, 
whether you would accept a seat in the Cabinet and would be satis- 
fied with the post of Secretary of the Treasury. 

Amid the general rejoicing for the great Victory achieved by the 
Democratic party and which we had hoped would have given us 
repose for at least four years longer, I cannot but regret that Mr. 
Buchanan should have done any thing to render less buoyant the 
feelings of his true friends. His letter on the Pacific Kailroad in 
my opinion runs counter to all the cherished opinions and principles 
of Virginia on internal improvements and opens a wide door to a 
system of wild expenditure and extravagance that knows no bounds. 

Please let me hear from you as speedily as convenient. 



[AMELIA Co., VA.], November 83, 1856. 

DEAR HUNTER : I was in Richmond yesterday and saw Pryor who 
has heard from Washington that there is some effort being made 
there to get him selected as one of the two coeditors of the organ of 
the new administration at Washington. His circumstances and 
possibly his ambition would prompt him to desire this place earnestly 
tho' he says he is making no effort to get it. Dr. Garnett has written 
to him that he should urge Wise to apply to Buchanan for it on 
behalf of Pryor. On the other hand Beverly Tucker is struggling 
for it and says that Wise is committed to him. Thus much for that. 
I also found that Pryor thought that Wise would urge the offer of 
Secretary of State to be made to you and thought if so you ought to 
accept it. Reed [?] had heard Beverly Tucker say that Wise would 
turn you out of the Senate when the election came on. Now Pryor 
is a true man and true to you and moreover is under some obligations 
to some of your friends that he feels and wont disregard, but if he 
were to be the Editor of such a paper, you being of the Cabinet, 
would be what of all things he would desire and I am writing to you 
to warn and guard you in case such an offer be again and any advice 
he may offer by letter or otherwise. If it be made it will of course 
be for one of two reasons either because they know you will not 
accept it and thus get for Wise and his President the credit of having 
made the offer, or to create a vacancy in the Senate for Wise. 

Now it is so clear to me that you ought not to go into the Cabinet 
and that you ought to remain in the Senate that I can scarcely think 
there is any occasion for writing. This Administration can't stand, 
at the end of four years; at all events there must be another and a 


fiercer struggle than has just taken place and you ought to be in 
the Senate preparing yourself and the country for it, sustaining the 
administration in all measures calculated to secure our rights, lead- 
ing the Southern men and forming and wielding them in a solid and 
compact mass. You can and will have more power in the Senate 
than if President. It is expected, it is conceded that you must take 
the lead and it is not in the power of any party or partisans to arrest 
your career. So confident do I feel of this, so clear does it seem to me 
that I should think you mad if not criminal if you were to doubt or 
hesitate. I write strongly because I feel so. There is no necessity 
for the sacrifice there is no propriety in it. Your acceptance of this 
offer if made would be laid to the account of timidity or mere love 
of place and in either case your power and usefulness would be lost. 
Don't then entertain any such idea for a moment. If the offer that 
I just spoke of be made to Pryor, his poverty will make him accept it 
and the power that he is exerting thro' the Enquirer will be lost to 
him ancl that will be a great loss to us, but nevertheless you are in- 
vincible in the State and those who assail you will find it to be so. 
I think he will write to you and it is as well that you have some 
knowledge of his views beforehand. Of course all of this letter in 
regard to him is strictly confidential. 

Present my warmest congratulations to Garnett and say to him 
that I am not only rejoiced at his success but proud of it. I don't 
doubt but that his Excellency [Wise] will write to him to the same 
effect and possibly that he secured his nomination and election. I 
wish you would sometimes write to me without my forcing you to 
do so in answer to my letters and tell me what is in the wind. I 
should like to see you before you go to Washington but if not I will 
see you then. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], February $3d, 1857. 

ESTEEMED FRIEND: Permit me to remind you, that four years 
since, at your request, the Senate amended one of the Bills, by 
which the small amount of duties collected on Flax Machinery, 
within a specified time, was to be refunded, and such machinery 
subsequently admitted free for three years. Kentucky, Virginia, 
Penns[ylvani]a, and Ohio, raise more flax than all the other States 
together, and we cordially concur in the Free admission of ma- 
chinery, wh[ic]h will thus assist those States in the more rapid de- 
velopment of their agricultural resources, and add immensely to the 
national wealth. We have associated with some of the most intel- 
ligent merchants of other cities in the first attempts at manufactur- 
ing Linens. At great expense have sent Agents and Circulars, thro' 


the South and West; employed the public journals and spared no 
pains to direct attention to the best methods now adopted in Europe 
for the culture of flax. These efforts have not been fruitless, and 
we believe that Kentucky and Virginia will in a few years largely 
export flax, of wh[ic]h they are already the chief producers. 

The manufacture of Linen goods has encountered at the outset 
great obstacles; our planters being unable to furnish the staple of 
proper quality, must gradually acquire the knowledge of preparing 
it, while the blockade of the Baltic during the late European Avar, 
greatly enhanc[e]cl the price of foreign supplies, and entailed upon 
this infant interest, struggling for existence, serious and disheart- 
ening trials. 

The Tariff "which has just passed the House, and ere this may 
have been placed in y[ou]r hands, admits flax machinery free, here- 
after, but we hope it will strike your honorable mind, that simple 
justice should at least be extend [e]d to those who have pioneered this 
branch of industry, by a refund of the trifling duties collected on 
flax machinery since Jan[uar]y 1st, 1850, to those now using the 
same; thus placing us on equal terms with our subsequent com- 

I beg leave to assure you, that the refund of those duties, would 
in the present exigencies of the trade, do more to sustain and en- 
courage the demand for American flax, than the remission of all 
future duties on flux machinery, while the suspension of this enter- 
prise, and change of those mills to Cotton, must put back the devel- 
opement of flax cultivation for several years, and long preclude our 
planters from realizing very profitable returns from their hitherto 
worthless fibre. The propriety of placing the first spinners of flax 
on as good terms as the last, we trust will obtain for them and this 
growing interest, your renewed favor, and if it be improper to give 
a Retrospective feature to the present Tariff Bill, may we ask you 
to make such amendment to one of the Appropriation Bills, as will 
authorize the Sec[retar]y of Treasury to refund to parties now in 
use thereof, the duties collected on Flax Machinery since Jan[uar]y 
1st, 1850, the amount of which might be limited to the sum of 
$100,000 dollars? 

We beg y[ou]r further consideration of the very great importance 
of having the new act, go into effect on April 1st next, so as to ob- 
viate an immense warehousing of goods imported for the fall trade. 
The postponement of the Act until July 1st, will make the market 
bare of many articles, now proposed for the Free List, and enhance 
prices to the detriment of the consumer, whilst its early enforcement 
will secure more regularity in the business, of the Customs, and 
occasion the least disturbance to commerce. 


The policy of Sec[retar]y Guthrie, of approaching Free Trade by 
removing the imposts on all raw materials, meets the approval of 
all intelligent minds, and if now adopted must give the new admin- 
istration a positive assurance of prosperity and success. To you, 
in the distinguished and most important position in which we now 
address you, more than to any other member of the Senate, is the 
public attention directed, relying on y[ou]r wisdom and experience 
to dissipate those clouds wh[ic]h now darken the financial affairs of 
our country. 


DYKELAND, AMELIA Co., [VA.] ? March 11, 1857. 
DEAR HUNTER: Supposing .that you will be at Washington during 
this week I address to you there. Pryor is very busy getting his 
paper under way and I confidently believe will get a large circulation 
very speedily. It is important that he start right and honestly. 
1 ou should write to him or to me as to his course and particularly 
as to the Land question, about which his mind is considerably " ex- 
ercised." It is Banguo's ghost to him and especially since the vote 
of some of our friends on distributing or depositing the surplus in 
the treasury. He desires conference with you on that subject and it 
seems to me important that his views and committals should be well 
digested before he breaks ground. I write to bring this about. Tell 
me what we are to expect from this administration. If coming 
events cast their shadows before I augur the worst. I am however 
for waiting for overt acts and against any such judgments founded 
upon conjecture or distrust, because of injudicious or distasteful ap- 
pointments. I was almost led into opposition, to Pierce by that and 
I am getting to be wary and cautious as my head is growing gray. 
Buchanan had no especial reason to confide in us that I know of 
and therefore we have no ground to complain that he didn't. At all 
events we can't make other people think so and there is no use in 
opposing him in anticipation, when in all human probability we 
shall be fully justified in it by his future conduct. He has been 
leading a loose life too long to become chaste all of a sudden. Tell 
me about the Cabinet and other appointments. I don't hear of or 
dread any opposition to you hereabouts. I got my Delegate to com- 
mit himself publicly and take some credit to my tact for it. You 
ought to write to Mallory. I did and found him true but not advised 
and I think sore over it. 


NORFOLK, [VA.], April 21, 1857. 

DEAR HUNTER: I have just received your letter of the 15 [th] and 
expecting to leave town in the morning I thought I would drop you 


a line before doing so to keep you advised of the state of things down 
here. And perhaps advices from this quarter may not be altogether 
without value being, as it is, one of the strongest outposts of your 
enemies. Their strength induces less of caution than may be ob- 
served elsewhere, and I know as well the condition of things at head 
quarters as if I were in communication by electro magnetism. Not 
that names are mentioned but from the tone of remarks indulged 
in by the initiated. You may prepare for War next winter. It will 
I fear be fastened on you and a few silly speeches of honest, but im- 
prudent friends, will be the pretext, not the excuse but the justifica- 
tion. I cannot repeat all that I hear because of my peculiar relation 
to the two parties nor would I make mischief or widen the breach be- 
tween those who stand towards me in the attitude of personal friend- 
ship. I am a well wisher of both and would hate myself could I be 
guilty of injustice to either. No selfish purpose have I to promote 
for declining health and energy forbid all aspirations. I aided some- 
what in putting you in the way of going to the Senate and I am un- 
willing to see you "crushed out " without cause and guiltless of of- 
fence. Booker, who is really your friend, paid a visit to Eichmond 
and when he returned I was on a visit to my farm. He rode over 
to see me and as I learned after he went away, for the purpose of 
consulting with me in order to try (if possible) if we could not bring 
about a reconciliation and better understanding between you and 
W[ise]. But several gentlemen were present and he left without the 
opportunity. This occurrence caused me to fear that hostilities 
which I had hoped were at an end, were about to be placed on a seri- 
ous and enduring footing. Since then the weather together with my 
railroad engagements have prevented me from visiting the County. 

Booker I suspect heard in person remarks which have been used 
in my presence here by W[ise]'s particular friends. Some of them 
speak freely before me and some half confidentially which embar- 
rasses me much because while I am at liberty to speak or write of the 
first the last I would not communicate ; and yet I may blend and mix 
them up together so as to be suspected of treachery where I am act- 
ing or mean to act in good faith. I have sought no mans confidence 
but sometimes it is thrust upon me, as if it were meant to commit me 
in a direction the very opposite of that I desire. To W[ise]'s more 
confidential friends my preferences are known, and his most inti- 
mate one in this town remarked to me the other night that I was 
the only man in Norfolk who could go to the Legislature by his con- 
sent who would not be required to pledge himself to go for W[ise] 
for the Senate if his name was brought forward. "His obligations 
to me personally would induce him to let me of all men in the city 
be a candidate of the Democracy without committing myself." 
They talk, freely in this way: "If H[unter]'s friends keep up their 


war on W[ise] we must carry it into Africa." " W[ise] is not to be 
driven off by threat" W[ise] says lie dont want the place but, u by 
God, he will not yield an inch now. 55 They (Hunters friends) will 
not let him (W[ise]) alone but force the issue on W[ise] and he and 
his party are ready to meet it. In other words they are determined 
not to be satisfied and will act over if they can the fable of the Lamb 
and the muddy water below the drinking place of the monarch of the 
forest. I write you about the imprudent speeches of your friends in 
Richmond I might have added Washington too. There is a con- 
stant fire kept up on Wise by certain parties in both places who 
chase him to madness and I do not blame him as much as I do them. 
I do not allude to Floyd for of his movements I know nothing. But 
maybe those whose peculiar relations to both parties should make 
them ministers of peace and not stirers up of stife and jealousy. A 
remark of Bocock in [the] presence of an M. D. in Washington 
reached Wise's ears and was repeated here in my hearing. This is a 
delicate subject to write about for I know not your feelings or rela- 
tionship to the party and what I say is strictly confidential for I do 
not desire to be connected with that affair. I do not want to make 
mischief but to put you on your guard and thus checkmate those 
who would. How to remedy this state of things I cannot see. Peace 
could be restored if there was a desire for peace really entertained. 
When one is bent on insulting another it may be postponed but will 
corne sooner or later. 

How far an organized effort has been made to secure the Legisla- 
ture I am totally in the dark but when men of a certain stamp could 
be secured without noise it has been done. Your opponents however 
feel secure and speak as if your destiny was in their keeping. Their 
forbearance alone, they think, can save you from annihilation, and 
if you go into the contest, you rush on certain defeat. They a cant 
sacrifice W[ise] for you." I know not what advice to give for T 
am not master of the ground but if I can in any manner be instru- 
mental in bringing about a good understanding between you I should 
be most happy to do so. I hope the bitter cup of choosing between 
j^ou and him will never be presented to my lips. I held no familiar 
or intimate correspondence with him. He understands me well and 
I do not know that he takes it unkindly. He has never sought to 
advance me, holding my abilities in low esteem but he is not I think 
unfriendly. I am not in his way and would not if I could harm. 
him. If your positions were reversed I would vote against you to 
keep Mm in the Senate. I will see Booker and will write to you on 
my return. If not too late we may, if any party can, reconcile the 
difficulty. For the present you can only remain perfectly silent but 
if hostilities continue you and your friends have to enter on an 
active campaign. Mix about among the people in different portions 


of the state, accept all invitations to make public addresses. You 
have hitherto kept too much aloof from the masses relying on the 
leaders. The people dont know you. Your love for retirement has 
caused you to neglect those small attentions which tell among them. 
Travel to the springs, come down to Old Point and make yourself 
busy for you have work before you if these complaints of the other 
party break out into a open war. There is something going on here 
about office. Loyall and Sawyer are in imminent clanger. You have 
done enough for them. Let things take their course. They would 
not pisk any thing for you, one because it is his nature, the other 
because he is afraid. Their removal will do you no harm and you 
could not prevent it. The:*e are influences working against them at 
Washington which you cannot counteract. I should not be surprised 
if the next mail brought Simkins app[ointmen]t as Navy Agent. 
Wpse] is in Washington and the first roll of Floyd's thunder has 
been heard. I mean to take no action on the subject and you as I 
said have acted your part. Strange to say the K[now] N[othings], 
if opportunity comes, will sustain W[ise] against you on the prin- 
ciple that the Dog licks the hand that flays him. Dr. Robinson an 
old tool of Floyds and a dirty one at that will be supported here 
for the Senate by Wise men, tho 5 master and men have scorned him 
as the vilest scoundrel in the land. He will vote for W[ise] against 
H[unter]. Robinson after being refused admittance time after time 
into the K[now] N[othing] Camp as too mean for their association 
crept in thro 5 a North Carolina lodge, was ruled off in all his attempts 
to obtain position, voted for Flournoy &c, apostalized and is now to 
be a candidate of the Democracy of Norfolk and gentlemen have pub- 
lickly vowed to vote for him in the issue between Wise and Hunter. 
But let him alone. I dont think he can be elected and if he could his 
vote will go with his interest and no where else. His opponent Mc- 
Kenny is at least doubtful tho' I think I could control him. Segar 
will go from Elizabeth City County. But on him no sort of reliance 
can be placed. He speaks against you. I hear nothing from Muscoe 
or of him. I think his election very safe. He will get the vote of 
the W[ise] party but not their hearty support. They never speak 
of him and seem indifferent about his success. I have written you 
Hunter a long rigma role letter which when read burn. It is for no 
eye but for your own. I have written freely and perhaps my letter 
may prove an unwelcome messenger. It is kindly meant however and 
I thought it due to our former relations. My own career has been 
unfortunate as a politician. I never had the education or industry 
to entitle me to a high position and I never aspired to one. As Wise 
remarked of me "I have had quite as much as I could expect." But 
if in quitting the field for ever I can be the means of contributing 


but a mite towards rescuing an old friend from a conspiracy I shall 
at least have accomplished one good act. 

[P. S.] Pardon this long letter. I will not soon repeat the dose. 
.Of McClean I know nothing. Sawyer wont give him a place. He 
dare not. His paper could not succeed unless he bought one of the 
Democratic] papers now established. Then it might. Both are for 



WASHINGTON, [D. C.], ISth May, 1S37. 

MY DEAR SIR : I reached here on yesterday and to clay found your 
letter, which had been in the office for several clays. I should have 
regretted very much to have seen any evidence of your approval of 
the conduct of Mr Merrick, conduct which in my judgment renders 
him unworthy both of private and public confidence. Neither Mr 
Clayton or myself believe that he acted under your sanction or 
Mr. C [lay ton] would never have addressed to you his first letter. 
It was under the full conviction that his conduct would secure your 
unqualified condemnation, that Mr Clayton called your attention 
to the subject. 

I need not say for myself that I never for a moment entertained 
the idea that you either knew or would approve of the conduct of 
Merrick. It was not only inconsistent with our past personal rela- 
tions but also with your own deservedly high character. I did not 
intend to make any suggestion to yourself on the committee in ref- 
erence to the matter, as I felt assured that he would be properly 
dealt with, when the facts were brought to the knowledge of those 
who had the power to act, and I only regret that he has been 
permitted to resign and thereby saved himself from a dismissal, 
which would have properly characterized his conduct. I say to yon 
frankly that I do not think that you had the power to remove him 
without the consent of the committee and do not therefore complain 
of your declining to, exercise that power. 

Your allusion to the merits of Mr. Thompson's claim, requires that 
I should say a word on that subject. I have never passed upon the 
merits of that claim. That duty was not devolved upon me. I have 
only decided in .accordance with the opinion of Attorney General 
Black, that the law required me to pay it. If the authority was 
vested in me of reviewing the merits of claims allowed by Congress 
and by them diverted to le paid, I would save many a dollar to the 
Treasury, that I am not required to pay out. I do not however wish 
to justify my conduct by the opinion of the Att[orne]y Gen[era]l, 
23318 18 VOL 2 14 


for I say to yon frankly, that I fully concurred in that opinion, and 
acted therefore not only upon his but my own judgement. I am quite 
sure that in my position you would have done the same thing, and 
I request as an act of justice to me, that you will read the opinion of 
Mr Black, which to any intelligent mind is conclusive and unanswer- 
able not upon the merits of the claim but upon the duty of the 
Secretary of the Treasury, to pay it in conformity to the requirements 
of the law. 

With yourself I regret the matter, not however on account of the 
public discussion which it has elicited, but that it should have em- 
barrassed personal relationships. I do not however think that you 
will have cause hereafter to regret, that a timely exposure has shown 
the unworthiness of a man, who had enjoyed your regard and con- 


BOTDTON, VA., July 21, 1S57. 

DEAR HUNTER: I send herewith a letter to our friend Montague, 
which I must ask you to direct properly and commit to the mail. 
I do not know his p[ost] office. I very sincerely congratulate "you 
on your speech at Lexington. I have read it with pleasure and 
admiration. I had occasion to pay a very hasty visit to the Rock- 
bridge Alum (to take a daughter there and leave her) a few days 
after fou left, and from all quarters your effort was greatly ex- 
tolled. I hope I shall have it in pamphlet form. 

What is to be the end of the Walker movement in Kansas? Will 
it not be made the issue next winter in the General Assembly of Vir- 
ginia ? or rather is it not designed to make it affect the election of 
Senators? I should like to know your position and views on the 
subject. In the present aspect of affairs, what should we do? 



MARTINSBURG, VA., July B8, 1857. 

Mr DEAR SIR: Though I have ceased to take interest in politics, 
and hang on loosely to them for a while longer, somewhat as a matter 
of habit, *md somewhat as a matter of necessity, I have promised a 
friend that I would communicate a few facts to you, and now pro- 
ceed to redeem my promise. 

While spending a few hours in Washington, a day or two ago, and 
since I have been here, I have ascertained that a good deal of ma- 
neuvering is going on in relation to the Senatorial election in Vir- 
ginia, From what I have heard, I am satisfied that Gov[ernor] Wise 


is very anxious to be elected to the Senate. His hopes in that direc- 
tion were a good deal chilled by the result of the Virginia elections 
last Spring, hut within a few weeks past, they have been very much 
revived. ^ He thinks that if he could place you, in a position of known 
antagonism to the administration, and stand forward himself as the 
administration candidate he would easily beat you. Therefore his 
friends are representing you as fully endorsing all that our good 
friends of " The South " have said about Walker and Kansas, and are 
endeavouring to produce the belief that hostility to Walker and his 
Kansas policy springs out of and indicates a spirit of settled hostility 
to the administration. 

As I came through Washington the city was rife with rumours of 
your open and avowed hostility to Buchanan and his Cabinet. 

Our friend Co [lone] 1 Orr of So [nth] Carolina who is a warm ad- 
ministration man told me that he heard with great concern that you 
had made a speech in which you attacked them fiercely. Since I came 
here, a friend of ours (Mr. John B. Hoge) has told me that the 
scheme has been "worked with effect in this region, and is fraught 
with danger in the West at least. 

I am clearly and openly hostile to Walker and his Kansas policy, 
but I do not think that either principle or policy requires it to be 
carried to the extent of opposition to the administration. They are 
acting badly towards us it is true, but they ought not to be permitted 
to drive ub into opposition, except upon some ground which would be 
patent to the public. This is my view of the matter but it is prob- 
ably badly taken. You can judge best of the course proper for you 
to take. I intended merely to give you facts. 

The result of the elections in our region of the State was in this 
point of view, very favorable. So Edmundson writes me it was in 
his. I am nearly at the end of my race politically. I want however 
to see the true men in our State, prospered and advanced, and the 
intriguers thwarted and I will sing the "mine dimittes" with full 
glad heart. 

(P. S.) That "mendacious vagabond" who writes to the Herald 
from Richmond persists in declaring that the Parsons [1] Bill was 
gotten up by your friends to injure Buchanan's prospects in Vir- 
ginia for the Presidential nomination. 


PETERSBURG, [VA.,] July 24t7i, 1857. 

Mr DEAR SIR : I had a letter from Letcher this morning. He, as 
other of your friends, sees the insidious attempts of the Enquirer 
and Examiner to strike at you over the shoulders of the South. 


Nothing would gratify Wise more than to make up an issue with 
you on the Kansas imbroglio. Already some of his friends are 
striving to produce the idea that Pryor has been writing at your 
dictation and speaks your sentiments. This is roundly asserted in 
administration circles at Washington our friends can not be too 
careful. Pryor has gone too far and has already done mischief. 
The sooner he is checked the better. The policy of your friends is 
the strict line of defence, this renders your position impregnable. 
We are weakening the moment we set on the other task. The ob- 
vious course is to avoid all issues tendered by the opposition. Noth- 
ing will serve to foil them half as effectually. Wise is half dead 
for a hobby. I might say he would give his kingdom (not on this 
earth but in heaven (?) "for a horse." The^e is no special obliga- 
tion that I am aware of on our part to furnish him one. 

I saw Iverson of G[eorgi]a last evening. He gives a bad account 
of matters there. Several of the democratic candidates for Congress 
are in great danger. I met Kklwell 1 a day of two since. He gives 
cheering accounts from the North West. He says all the delegates 
are for you. 


ALEXANDRIA, [VA.], July 24th^ 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR: From all that I can learn the opposition in this 
State to your reelection next Winter are actively though secretly at 
work in getting up an organization against you in various parts of 
Virginia. I am told that Hughes of the Eichmond Examiner is 
exceedingly busy writing letters in all directions to members elect 
of the Legislature. Floyd from his point of attack at Washington 
leaves nothing undone when an opportunity is presented, and Wise 
is using the power of his position to accomplish the same object. 
My brother James, who is well posted in these matters, has within 
a few days past expressed to me the opinion that he was satisfied 
there was a formidable opposition getting up against you in this 

I have concluded from my own responsibility to drop you a hur- 
ried line upon the subject, to warn you of the clanger in the dis- 
tance, and to suggest that you give your friends throughout the 
State timely notice of these operations, and urge them to establish 
and perfect their own organization without delay. 

So far as the Legislature stood in the beginning our Party cer- 
tainly was largely in the ascendancy, but there is no telling what 
action an unscrupulous and unresistecl organization may effect. If 

1 Prominent m local politics in northwestern Virginia. 


we should be beaten next winter, the Southern Eights Party in 
Virg[ini]a will be hopelessly prostrate, never to rise again in our 
time. I shall continue to endeavor to keep a sharp look out upon 
the movements before referred to, and hope in my humble way to 
plant a thorn occasionally in their path, but would advise you, who 
have so much at stake, to telegraph your friends in different sections 
of the State and put them on their guard against the operations of 
the other side. 


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 25, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: Having a few moments leisure, I have concluded to 
address you on the subject of the Senatorial election next winter. 
Not having the least doubt of your re-election, it has created sur- 
prise in my mind to hear some of the friends of Gov. Wise express 
themselves in the most sanguine terms as to the probability of his 
succeeding you. Gov. Wise and Mr. Faulkner seem to be on very 
friendly terms just now. It is said Mr. F[aullmer] is to help Wise 
to the Senate, while Gov. W[ise] is to use all his influence to secure 
Mr. F[aulkner]'s nomination for governor, and at the expiration of 
Mr. F[aulkner]'s gubernatorial term he expects to succeed your col- 
league in the Senate. It is well to be on your guard against the 
movements of these aspiring gentlemen. 

Walker's course in Kansas has caused the administration much 
trouble. The cabinet, I have reason to believe are divided on the 
subject, and that the position of Georgia has rather weakened Mr. 
Cobb's influence. 

Forney is causing much uneasiness. It is whispered that Cobb is 
concerned in the movement, and that the new paper will support him 
for the nomination next time. I know that the conductors of the 
" Union," are very jealous of the movement, and are of the above 

The feud in Indiana between the friends of Gov. Bright and GOT. 
Wright has not been quieted by the appointment of Gov. W [right] * 
and will brake out again at no early day. 

There is no friendly feeling existing between Messrs. Bright and 
Douglas. Mr, D[ouglas] blames Gov. B [right] for the way in 
which the Indiana delegation voted at Cincinnati. 

There is some talk of De Witt purchasing the interest of E. M. 
Smith in the Virginia Sentinel. I expect Gov. Smith will not favor 
the plan. Some of Gov. S[mith]'s constituents are blaming him for 
recommending a fellow named Wileman Thomas, from his district, 

1 Joseph Albert Wright, governor of Indiana, 1849-1857 ; a Representative In Con- 
gress, 1843-1845 ; Senator, 1862-1863 ; Minister to Prussia, 1857-1801, also 1865-1867. 


for a high position here. Thomas is a notorious scoundrel, bank- 
rupt in politics, morals, and purse. He was a know nothing, attended 
the Winchester convention, but was denied admittance, because he 
was self appointed. He procured the recommendation of several re- 
spectable gentlemen, and then obtained the endorsement of Gov. Wise 
to the genuineness of their democracy. I mention this matter for 
fear he may annoy you with his importunities. I should not be sur- 
prised if he received an appointment, as he voted for Mr. Buchanan, 
which absolves a man from all sins against the democratic party. 

The Intelligencer of this morning contains a very handsome notice 
of your Lexington address, part of which it published. I would send 
you the paper, but suppose you take it. 


ALEXANDRIA, VA., August 1st, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : When I wrote you some ten days ago I entertained 
much uneasiness from the efforts which I learned were making 
against you in Virginia, and which I feared, from the vaunting tone 
of certain parties, might be more formidable than I had conceived, or 
that you might be aware of. I was acting upon the wisdom of the 
maxim, * *f orewarned, forearmed." With the exercise of ordinary 
prudence on the part of your peculiar friends I do not now think 
that you have anything really to fear. My brother Alfred has within 
a few days paid us a visit, and he assures me that his region is 
entirely sound. Haymond, Mortimer, Johnson, and the body of the 
North West (of the legislature elect) decidedly favour your reelec- 
tion, and perhaps would not support Mr. Wise, if you were out of 
the way. I saw Dr. Graham (of Eockbriclge Co.) a few days since 
and was informed by him that no opposition would be offered against 
your reelection, this of course depends upon the strength of the 
enemies. My brother James announced publicly his intention to 
support you, but neither he or Alfred deem it good policy to be too 
forward at present in this behalf. While you may rest assured that 
they will support you in good faith at the proper time, they conceive 
that more influence may be exerted by remaining quiet (unless called 
out) in the earlier stages of the matter. These views are communi- 
cated to me of course without any special expectation that I was 
in correspondence with you upon the subject. 

I write in some haste, but if you will permit the liberty taken, I 
would suggest that you hold yourself i ree at present from any com- 
mittals about this Kansas controversy. Every one knows where you 
will be found at the proper time, and you have nothing to gain by 
agitation now in advance of the action of Congress. Your enemies 
may endeavour to make capital of a different course on your part, 


and you have nothing to gain by the proceeding. Your policy I 
should think would be to remain quiet and let Pryor fight the battle 
through the South until next Winter. 

In reply to your inquiry about De Witt I learn that he has aban- 
doned all intention of taking the paper at this place. He is with- 
out means, and is very much under controul of the other side in 


LEXINGTON, VA., August 1st, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR: I received your letter of the 27th ult this morning, 
I have been spending the past week at the Alum Springs, where 
there is a large Company, and where of course, I have met with a 
large number of persons from different counties of the State. I have 
conversed with many on the subject of the Senatorial Election, and 
I have met with but one man, who expressed opposition to your elec- 
tion, and declared himself for Wise, and that was Chapman of 
Orange Co[unty], Kindred of Southampton told me that you 
would lose no votes in his section of the State, and from all he had 
seen and "heard, he was entirely satisfied that you would be elected. 
I have no doubt of it myself, and do not believe, they can organize 
an opposition, that can defeat you. The vast majority of the people 
are just, and they will sustain you, against all combinations, that can 
be gotten up, I do not feel the slightest apprehension of the result. 

The controversy between the South and Enquirer, at this particular 
time, and the temper with which it is conducted, is unfortunate. 
The tactics of the last named paper, are palpable. The object being 
to make the impression that all who were not for Buchanan as a first 
choice, are now inclined to embarrass his administration. I do not 
think however, that they can succeed in this, so transparent a trick 

I shall be on the alert, to see what is going on and to thwart the 


BOYDTON, VA., August 4th^ 1857. 

DEAR HUNTER: In reply to your favor of 30 July I have to say, 
that, at the time of the election, all the members elect from this 
Congressional District to the General Assembly were reported to be 
favourable to your reelection. I heard the members for Mecklenburg 
and Prince Edward severally pledge themselves in public speeches 
to vote for you against any other candidate. I made inquiries every 
where as to all the counties and was assured as to all. 

In Charlotte, Wyatt Cardwell is returned, and he is an old line 
Whig Enow Nothing and Distributuonist. I do now know Ms 


preference between you and any candidate who may be run against 
you, I suppose he would be controlled by party associations, Which 
I suppose cannot be expected to carry any one against you in favor of 
^our probable competitor. As for me, I had not a doubt about my 
election. I told Meade before the Convention that I should receive 
more votes in the District than both of my competitors together if 
all three should run. 


WASHINGTON, D. C., August 7, 1857. 

DEAR SIR : I received your favor and have made inquiry as to the 
position of members of the Legislature elected from Gov. Smith's 
district on the Senatorial question. I am assured they will vote 
for you. I had a short conversation with E. M. Smith, of the Senti- 
nel yesterday. He is of the opinion that your reelection is certain. 

Seymour Lynn, the newly elected delegate from Prince William, 
is very unfavorably disposed towards Gov. Wise. I do not know 
how DeWitt stands upon the question. From what I can learn, his 
negotiations for the purchase of the Sentinel have failed for want 
of funds. 

Forney's new paper is out, and professes to be strongly in favor 
of Mr. Buchanan. Some say it is in the confidence of Cobb. The 
Editor of the Union is very " suspicious " both of Cobb and of the 
Pr es The Treasury Department seems to be very much engaged 
upon the business of removing light-house keepers with salaries 
ranging from $250 to $500 per year. 

The work on the Capital extension is progressing with great 
rapidity; but although the new chambers may be completed, it will 
not be prudent to occupy them next winter, on account of the damp- 
ness of the walls. 

Hon. A. C. Dodge will return very soon to the United States, and 
will be the next democratic candidate for governor of Iowa. If he 
succeeds it will make him a prominent candidate for the Vice-Presi- 
dency, which, with the growing ill feeling between the friends of 
Messrs. Bright and Douglas may result in the selection of a Vir- 
ginian. There is no possible chance for governor Wise before a 
National Convention. His denunciations of democratic principles 
and men in former days will not be forgotten, by the people, if they 
should be by politicians. They would not have been overlooked in 
Virginia, but for the extraordinary reasons then existing. 

Gen. Rusk, had he lived, might have been a formidable candidate 
for the nomination ; as he was deservedly popular. There is now no 
man in the East, North, West or South who can command the vote 
in the next convention that you will be able to obtain; and I think 
our Western friends will defeat themselves. 



[PETERSBURG, VA,?], August 15th, 1857. 

DEAR SIR : Doctor Harvie sent me two letters from you to Mr. L. 
E. Harvie, who is absent on a trip to the north, as he will be away 
from home for some weeks, and I do not know certainly at what 
point a letter would reach him, I will keep them until his return. As 
he is in the habit of giving me your letters to read, I have read these 
supposing that they referred to your reelection, a matter in which 
you are aware I feel a deep and friendly interest. I believe now, 
you will encounter a violent but not a formidable opposition as far 
as a success is concerned. The alliance between Wise and Floyd is at 
present a close one, but as neither wishes to advance the other, and 
can assail you only, through your friends, I do not think they can 
seriously effect your election. They certainly cannot, if Wise is 
your opponent, he can get a certain but small vote. The danger is, 
in my opinion, that they may unite on Judge Daniel of Lynchburg, 
he is strong in the section qf the state where you would get with his 
aid an almost unanimous vote, and he can array against us all of the 
old democrats, who have not abandoned their hate of the States 
rights portion of the party. The Enquirer has used its influence; 
and it is still strong, to impress the democracy, with the idea that 
your peculiar friends are resolved to assail Buchanan, I do not 
believe it has as yet, excited any feeling against you. I wrote Pryor, 
as soon as this Kansas controversy, assumed a decided character, 
urging him, to confine his attacks to Walker and his action, and as 
far as he could to separate Buchanan from the controversy. But 
Wise, who is editing the Enquirer (perhaps indirectly) has con- 
tinued to t produce an impression with many, that the "South" was 
established for the purpose of making opposition to Buchanan. Wise 
has as yet, suffered personally, in the contest, but I think he has 
managed to hurt you, and advance Floyd. In this last is our danger. 
I am on good terms with James Booker, but I know he is a warm, 
friend to Floyd, and he will be very influential in the House of Dele- 
gates. I hear from various sources that he is in favor of your elec- 
tion. If he is so, not only as against Wise but as against any other, 
you will be in little danger. Your opponents, will have no really 
good leader in the House, and the Senate will be safe, unless the 
House overrules it. 

The Northwest I hear from authority I consider good, is for you 
against Wise, it will be thoroughly for you against Wise and Floyd. 
If Mr Letcher can make Daniel stand firm, and work and Layne the 
Senator from Eoanoke, is true, we have little to fear from the Vally 
or the Southwest. Neither of these men can be relied on, but they 
have influence, and can be controlled by men in their congressional 


districts. I am so ignorant of the character of the delegation from 
Garnett's district, that I cannot form any opinion of the amount of 
Wise's strength in it. I look on Claybrook as most dangerous to 
you. Disaffection in this district and in the Lynchburg district, form 
our chief source of dread in Piedmont and Tide [water]. I will 
write to Barbbur, and ask him frankly, what his position will be, he 
will tell me, I am sure; and if he is really for you against all com- 
petitors, he will fight the contest out and more adroitly and effi- 
ciently, than any man I know. There are men still in the Legislature 
over whom he used to exercise much almost entire control, and they 
are the class of men you have to dread. In reading your letter I see 
you suggest a plan of contest with these men which I hope may be 
used most advantageously. With it, we can certainly destroy Wise. 
Pryor can rally the old democrats, easily enough, for his services 
against the Know Nothings, and his difficulties as Editor of the En- 
quirer have given him a hold on the rank and file of the party, which 
he will not have, except by open opposition to the democratic ad- 
ministration. I think it would be well ior the present, for him to 
show that his assailants are resolved to unite Virginia to the North- 
ern States and sever her connection with the South. It can easily be 
done by extracts from the Examiner and Enquirer. Their assaults 
upon "secessionists," "Ultras," "Extremists," "opponents of the 
Manouvres of 1850 " &c and their effort to show that we must be 
dependent upon the Northern democracy, can be so used as to show 
their intention to prefer allying the democracy to the party North, 
to granting anything to the Cotton States. If he would use this 
well, with the conviction now prevailing that Wise edits the En- 
quirer, and will keep back until just before the legislature meets, the 
proof he can bring to show that this is the scheme of Wise, we can 
utterly destroy him. Those who remember his conduct previous to 
the nomination of Pierce, know how easy it is to fasten this charge 
upon him. 

But it is not desirable I think to kill off Wise early. When he 
is found too weak, and from what his weakness proceeds, they will 
take up another candidate, who is not so obnoxious. He is at pres- 
ent I hear sanguine, confident of your defeat, while he is so, they 
can not prevent his being your competitor. He has been all along 
disclaiming any intention to be a candidate, his friends say, lately he 
may be forced to be one. This and the course of the Enquirer and 
what I hear of Hughes lead me to believe he is more confident than 
heretofore. We can always defeat him, and send you to the Senate 
without disturbing the democratic party, but he and Floyd might 
put up another, whose defeat would be less certain, and an election 
over whom might add to the number of your opponents. There is 
another matter, which causes me some alarm, it is the action of the 


Southern States, in the organization of the House of Representa- 
tives. Should the democracy of Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and 
Mississippi, unite and carry off enough Southern members, to defeat 
the election of the Administration Candidates for Speaker and Clerk, 
it ^ may seriously effect us here. The threat of such action may 
frighten Buchanan, and its execution will prostrate him, but it will 
exasperate the democracy here, and throw off many from your sup- 
port. This matter, of course, you and others better acquainted with 
its possible effects upon the democracy and the South, can judge of 
better than myself. I am for making no move, in the South, in which 
Virginia cannot be carried for her natural allies, unless it be forced 
upon us. And a contest which results in the election of a Black Re- 
publican however severe a blow to Buchanan, will react upon us not 
only in V[irgini]a but in States further South. These suggestions 
are offered with a full sense of my own want of information, as to 
the necessity, that may operate on representatives from States fur- 
ther South, and as to ultimate effect on the people there, of a con- 
flict with the administration, which I believe by the democracy of 
V[irgini]a will be deemed preventable and perhaps utterly con- 
demned by the mass of the people here. I have written to you hastily 
and frankly, and you will I am sure believe that I write impelled 
solely by desire to advance our common cause, and aid your reelection. 


NORFOLK, VA., August 19th) 1857 

DEAR SIR : The report that you sympathize with the attacks upon 
the Administration, made by certain journals in the South, having 
been industriously disseminated throughout Virginia, thereby em- 
barrassing the mutual friends of Mr Buchanan and yourself, you will 
oblige me, if convenient and agreeable, by stating your position to- 
wards the Administration, which you contributed in a great degree 
to place in power. 


LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., [VA.], August 23, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: I recognize in your letter a friendly spirit and I 
answer you with the same feeling. But my answer is for yourself 
alone, not for publication, or to become the subject of public allusion. 
I have never said or done anything against the administration nor 
have I any hostile feeling towards it. On the contrary I wish it 
success. What possible interest could I have in breaking it down or 
dividing the party? Nor am I responsible for the course of any 
newspaper. I do not see their editorials until after they are pub- 
lished nor am I consulted in regard to them. No one speaks for me. 


I am responsible for my own sayings and doings and for nothing 
farther. Nor do I feel called upon to criticise the course of newspapers. 
If I have to commence with this there would be no end to it during 
the residue of my public life. In conclusion I must repeat the request 
that this letter is to be considered strictly private. 


ELLENGOWAN, [VA.], August W, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : Suppose you accompany me to Kanawha, your go- 
ing there may be of service to you. It will renew your impressions 
of the value of our property there. A Mr. Snead accompanied by 
five others went to Nicholas [County] early this month to see the 
lands with a view to a purchase and settlement. I have seen one of 
the party since their return, he is a very respectable gentleman, a 
magistrate of Hanover County. He reports that they are delighted 
with the lands and that they will purchase largely, probably 20,000 
acres and form a large party and move out immediately and com- 
mence their settlements. These men will be bona fide settlers holding 
from 500 to 1500 acres each. I have not yet seen Snead, who is the 
principal man. He has not yet returned. As soon as I see him and 
have heard what he has to say, I will write to you. 

Mr. Craig tells me that they do not go there with any hope of 
making more than a living for the first four years, but they are cer- 
tain that by energy and industry they can make good estates for 
themselves and without leaving Virginia. This is the proper view. 

I urn expecting your letter in reference to the Elk River Coal lands 
and also the papers. There is now a great deal of inquiry about those 
Cannel Coal lands, and my last letter from Kanawha speaks of four 
new Oil establishments to be built immediately. 

I heard from Phil [Dandridge] yesterday. He is at the W[hite] 
Sulphur and will leave for Kanawha about the 10th or 15th [of] 
September. He writes in pretty good spirits. 


[AMELIA, VA.], September 4th, 1857. 

MY DEAR HUNTER : I find your letters at home after an absence of 
six weeks from the State. Just having returned of course I am not 
well posted in regard to current events. I am sufficiently so however 
to feel very confident that your reelection is safe. I came thro' the 
North West over the Baltimore and Ohio R[ail] R[oa]d and saw 
Judge Camden and Oldham who told me that you would get the 
whole vote of that section of the State. I heard from Alfred Bar- 
bour at the same time, the same thing. From Jack Willis and Jack 


Barbour at the same time I heard that from Alexandria thro 5 the red 
land country under the mountain all was right. Lee alone pre- 
ferring Wise and he not daring to misrepresent what he knows to 
be the will of his constituents. The Southside is all our own, I 
am sure. Powell's and Richardson's districts [are] all right. Your 
own county I suppose is sound. Still our friends should be alert 
and active, for we have fierce, unscrupulous and wiley foes. Write 
again and tell me all you know, what and where are the weak points 
and I will help to strengthen them. Your views and policy are all 
right and I and Win. Old, Jr and Lewis [?] have been impressing 
them on Pryor warmly and earnestly before I went away. Pryor 
has been away from his post for a month leaving his paper in the 
bands of his assistant and his paper has lost ground and is losing it 
I fear daily. He had the Enquirer down and has now lost the ad- 
vantage. I had urged Mayo to write to him to return at once and I 
think he will when he gets my message. In the mean time Win. Old 
has sent a communication down to-day, which I presume will appear 
as an Editorial placing the paper on the true ground which is tie 
same as that suggested in your letter. This he will follow up with 
others. I have written to Mayo to place the paper on it and not to 
drug it. To keep V[irgini]a in the Democratic party at the head 
of the South and not at the tail of the north and to appeal to State 
pride and urge upon him not to abandon her principles and natural 
allies for the purpose of getting broken victuals to feed her hungry 
politicians. I am and have been all along out and out against 
making war on Buchanan. It will be time enough when he does 
something not covertly but openly that will justify it. Any attack 
on him now only weakens his assailants and strengthens him. If 
we are to strike let us be clearly right and put him clearly in the 
wrong and then we can strike hard. Granting that we are able to 
pull down the pillars of the temple now cui bono. It crushes us as 
well as him. No I am for giving him full and fair play, supporting 
him until he drives us off, and to the end of the chapter. At the 
same time I have little hope that he will permit us to do it. I for 
one however will assail each in its turn every violation of principle 
and pledge, until forbearance ceases to be a virtue and then I will 
war on their authority, but not our Democracy, I am clone with that. 
I wish to live and die in the Democratic fold and faith and shall 
fight enemies from without or false friends within under the broad 
shield and panoply of Democracy. Let us all take this position and 
be brave ourselves and we will keep these hungry curs in their proper 
places. I do not see any thing that you can do until the meeting 
of Congress. Then you should and I suppose will take the first 
opportunity to define your own position and not allow these gentry 
to make one for you. They can't put you against the administration 


if you don't choose to be against it, nor can they prescribe the mode 
and manner of your support or the extent of your opposition. In the 
meantime his excellency in his zeal for old Buck [Buchanan] or 
himself is as likely to run af owl of something or other in or out of his 
way as one that I know and his ex-excellency may be expected to 
protect the interest of Uncle Sam in other transactions as effectually 
as he is said to have done in the sale of Fort Snellings and be as 
implicity trusted by the people of Virginia as he is now. We have 
beaten these men before and can and will do it .again. Keep me 
advised and trust [William M.] Ambler and Win. Old implicitly. 
I name these because they are in the Legislature and should under- 
stand every move at once. 

I sat up late last night on two strong cups of coffee to keep my 
eyes open in order to reply to your letters, as soon as I got them. 
That admirable narcotic having the effect of exciting my brain, may 
have prevented me from giving such a reply to your letter as it re- 
quired and would have gotten when it ought to have reached me. 
Since then no doubt great changes have taken place in the tactics 
and perhaps in the views of the coalition. That they will crush us 
if they can is certain. If they can't they will say that they wouldn't 
if they could and perhaps one of them that he would " crawl to Wash- 
ington to make you President." " Nous verrons " We will be more 
than a match for them. There is no doubt, that Wise is or has been 
at work. Write and tell me all you know. 

(Privatf and confidential.) 

MEDFORD, MASS., September 5, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : I was lately invited by the municipal authorities of 
Knoxville, to come there and repeat my Discourse on the character 
of Washington, during the recent session of the Southern Conven- 
tion. A previous engagement in the State of Maine made it impos- 
sible for me to accept the invitation. 

About the same time, I was invited and warmly urged by the 
ladies of the Virginia Association for the purchase of Mount Ver- 
non to go to Richmond early in November, with a view to repeat 
my "Washington" during your State Agricultural fair. I have 
received similar invitations to go to Petersburg from the Executive 
Committee of the United Virginia and North Carolina Agricultural 
Society and from several other places in the Southern States. 

The state of my family is such, as to make it very difficult for me 
to leave home, long enough for a Southern tour. I have accordingly 
not been able definitely to accept any of these invitations, and it is 
altogether possible that I may not. 


Should I be able to overcome the domestic obstacle to the journey, 
there would still remain a ground of hesitation. The invitation to 
Knoxvflle above alluded to was made the subject, (so I am informed, 
for I never saw the article) of a severe attack upon me in the columns 
of " the South," in reference to the assault on Mr. Sumner. A visit 
to Richmond and an extensive Southern tour would probably pro- 
duce new manifestations of Mr. Pryor's unfriendly feelings towards 
me. ^ Coming as I should by the invitation of an Association of 
Ladies and upon an errand whose success depends entirely on the 
kind feelings of the community, such a course, on the part of an in- 
fluential press, followed, up as it would probably be by other presses 
which sympathize with " the South," would go far to defeat the 
object of my journey. 

Nor need I scruple to .add, that it must necessarily be a source of 
annoyance to me, to my personal friends and the ladies from whom 
my invitation to Richmond proceeds. I own I do not perceive any 
valuable political object which Mr. Pryor expects to accomplish, 
by these attacks upon me, for this is not the first. If I were in public 
life or intended to return to it, I might imagine a motive; at any 
rate I should have too much self-respect to deprecate any man's 
hostility, however formidable. But as things are, their only possible 
effect will be to deprive the Mount Vernon fund of a few thousand 
dollars, which I should otherwise earn for it at the South and so play 
into the hands of Horace Greeley and Wendell Phillips, who lose no 
opportunity of flying at my throat and barking at my heels ; and 
who enjoy their greatest triumph when a Northern Conservative is 
abused at the South. 

Supposing you to be in possession of Mr. Pryor's confidence I have 
concluded, after some hesitation, to request you to consider the ex- 
pediency of advising him, to allow me to visit the South for the pur- 
pose of repeating my address for the benefit of the Mount Yemen 
fund, unmolested. 

I need not say that, if any duty called me to the South, no 
man's hostility would prevent my going. But this is a voluntary 
and private errand, proposed by ladies, appealing to the kind feel- 
ings of the Community, of a patriotic but not a political character. 
I do not therefore feel obliged to subject my friends or myself to the 
annoyance of personal attack, perhaps of a bitter controversy, from 
a press conducted with so much vigor as " the South." 

I make these representations to you confidentially, relying upon 
our friendly personal relations, my great personal respect for you 
and an opinion perhaps the prompting of vanity that a statesman 
of your comprehensive views would, even on general grounds, be 
inclined to discountenace such a warfare as Mr. Pryor seems dis- 
posed to wage on a person now in retirement, whose public life has 


perhaps been marked by nothing so much, as the unrelenting hos- 
tility of the enemies of the Constitution and the Union, in the North- 
ern States. I may add that Mr. Pryor's recent attack upon me was 
made in entire ignorance of the material facts of the case. 


WASHINGTON, D. C., September 7, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: An article appeared in the Virginia Sentinel on last 
Friday, which astonished me very much. I went to Alexandria 
next day and called on E. M. Smith, but he had gone to Fauquier. 
The article looked very much as if the editor desired to put Gov. 
Smith forward at your expense. Since then I have seen Col. Win. 
F, Phillips, who w r as told by Mr. Finks that Smith intended to 
take ground for you against Wise. As soon as I can see him I will 
find out what he is after. 

Dr. Tait says he never thought of applying for an office, until 
Rush Floyd wrote to him that he could get the appointment of 6th 
auditor if he would apply for it. It is a movement of Gov. Floyd 
to get his brother into the State Senate, that he may aid the Secre- 
tary of War in his schemes. Gov. Floyd told Harris of the Union, 
that you would be defeated. On the other hand, Gov. Smith told 
Col. Phillips last week that you would t>e reelected. Gov. Smith 
was here about ten days ago and says that in a conversation with 
the President, Mr. B[uchanan] said he supposed you would be in 
opposition to his administration. 

Eobt E. Scott, of Fauquier, who defended the rioters here last 
July, told a friend, that he had been stopping with Wise, and that 
Wise was very anxious to succeed you as Senator. 

I have no doubt demagogues and intrigues are endeavoring to 
poison the mind of the President against all who stand in their way. 
I repeat these items of gossip, picked up from authentic sources, in 
the hope they may be useful. Of course, I do not want to be known 
as giving them, as I do not know at what moment, or upon what pre- 
text I may have the rotation doctrine applied to me, which, with a 
family of fourteen, would be rather inconvenient. 

I met Mr. Montague yesterday. He is to come up to-day to talk 
over the position of parties in Virginia with me. He is a true friend 
of yours. It is said the Cabinet are all afraid of Mr. B[uchanan] 
and that he overhauled the Secretary of War the other day relative 
to the selling of certain lands owned by the United States. I do 
not believe the Cabinet will hold together until the adjournment 
of Congress. 



WARKENTON, [VA.], September 14, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: I have just returned from a trip through nearly all of 
the Western Countries and made it my business, as I passed through, 
in a quiet way, to ascertain who the Delegates would vote for, pro- 
vided Wise was a candidate for a seat in the U[nited] S[tates] 
S[enate]. They may do their best between this and the election 
and you will get three Democratic] votes to his one, and all the 
Whig vote. To some extent I found opposition to your reelection 
among some of the people in most every county, but it will not 
amount^ to much. He is rather stronger in the State, than some of 
your friends put it at twenty. 

In the North West you will get nearly all the vote. In the Valley 
you will lose but one, unless Gatewood of the Tenth Legion goes 
over. He says he is for you, but at the same time, thinks you will 
have to come out and show your hand on Kansas. He is risky. 
South West is for Wise. In this section, from here to Lynchburg, 
I do not know but one vote you will lose (Kemper of Madison). 

Col. Phillips, I understand, will be removed the last of this month 
to make room for Dr. Tait from the South West, which will make 
a vacancy in the Senate, to be filled by . I had a conversa- 
tion with Smith, my partner, a few days since, and find I will 
have no difficulty in getting him to agree to come out, at the proper 
time, for you against Wise. 

I have to be very prudent and must ask the favor of you not to 
mention to a human ~being, that you received a letter from me on 
this subject. If you do I am a goner. 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.]? September 1, 1857. 

DEAR HUNTER : I have been here for the last week with but little 
to do except to pick up what political news I could find and I pro- 
ceed to give you the result of my observations. 

A few days since I learn that the President in a conversation 
with Gov. Smith remarked that he supposed he should have to re- 
gard you as identified with the opposition to his adm[inistratio]n. 
Smith replied that you were cautious prudent and sagacious and not 
likely to take any step without due consideration. 

The efforts of the Enquirer to force from you an exposition of 
your views on Walker's Kansas policy occasion much talk here. Mr. 
Forney is the only high official with whom I have had any conver- 
sation on the subject. He says you should not notice the matter at 
23318 18 VOL 2 15 


all. That should a proper occasion arise during the approaching 
session " he doubts not you will define your position and that it will 
be found right as it has always been." Forney and Thompson are 
your only reliable friends in this concern. 

Your friend Col. Phillips is to be removed from the 6th Aud- 
[ito]r['s] office and Dr. Tate of our state senate to be appointed in 
his place. The object is to remove Tate (who is your friend) from 
the Senate, and put Floyd's brother in his place. From all I can 
learn there is a regularly organized combination between Wise, 
Floyd, and Faulkner the object of which is to put Wise in your place 
make Faulkner Governor and bring in Floyd to succeed Mason. 
What a beautiful scheme ! ! ! and to cap the. climax old Buck 
[Buchanan] is made to play second fiddle to this immaculate trio. 
Hence the efforts of Wise through the Enquirer to identify you with 
the opposition to the Adm[inistratio]n. At every corner I am ac- 
costed with the enquiry what is to be the result of the conflict between 
Wise and Hunter in Virginia? My reply is there can be no con- 
flict. The people of Virginia never change their public servants 
without cause. Mr. Hunter has served them faithfully, they are 
satisfied* with his course, and desire no change. Wise's particular 
friends approach me with hypocritical cant professing to deplore 
the schism between Wise and Hunter. I ask them for the evidence 
of such schism they point to the opposition of some of Hunters 
friends to Wises oyster funclum and other crude and ridiculous 
absurdities. I reply that Mr. Hunter's friends are free and inde- 
pendent citizens who think for themselves, and that neither he nor 
any one else can properly be held responsible for their opinions and 
actions. That he should be judged alone by his own sayings and 

I give you these sketches that you may see how the Wise w r orkers 
here and in Virginia would manage things if they could. But they 
are powerless. From reliable information from all sections of the 
state I am happy to learn that you were never so strong in the con- 
fidence of the people as now. I have seen Powell who tells me they 
can't get up a demonstration against you. That all these efforts of 
your enemies but kill their authors while they add to your strength. 
Bocock was here a few days since and declared publicly that they 
could not muster an omnibus load of Democrats in the Legislature 
who would go against your selection. Both of these gentlemen spoke 
from personal knowledge of the views and intentions of the members 
elect. I met with Daniel on Friday last and had a long conversa- 
tion with him, he confirms the statements of Bocock and Powell and 
from all I can learn you have but to speak the word and Buchanan 
and all his friends are as dead as Chelsea in Virginia. I have been 


unusually cautious and prudent, said nothing but endeavored to 
learn all I could. 

Cobb is laying his plans for the succession. Forney has com- 
menced the movement by a complimentary republication of one of 
Cobbs speeches during the late canvass. This is to be followed up 
from time to time by similar compliments from others of the North- 
ern Press, and thus clothe him with the habiliments of National 
democracy par excellence. Thus placed before the country as a South- 
ern man with the greatest Northern popularity he hopes to secure 
the nomination. The removal from and appointments to office in his 
department it is thought will be made with exclusive reference to 
this object. Will the South be duped and gulp the bait? How will 
Wise relish this scheme which so effectively dash all his bright visions 
to the ground. Douglas too will be apt to rebel, rely upon it we 
shall have rare times here next winter and I sincerely trust that the 
old adage " When rogues fall out honest men get their dues " will 
be verified. But I will not bore you with speculations. I have 
hastily sketched what I have learned and leave you to make your 
own reflections. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], September 15 ", 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : It is not my nature to witness unmoved, an unscru- 
pulous and ingeneous effort, to crush or to injure a faithful, valuable 
and eminent public servant. Let this be my apology for addressing 
you upon a subject, which while it concerns you especially yet inter- 
ests me as well, as one who feeling a sincere gratitude for past service, 
earnestly desires to retain you in the post you have so nobly filled. 
I am urged too by the recollection that an expression of mine last 
fall, was construed by the mischief making into a covert attack upon 
yourself, and I have had no opportunity to explain- the matter to you 
in person, as I had hoped, if indeed it had attracted your notice at all. 
I have seen alike with pain and indignation the sedulous effort upon 
the part of Mr. Wise to bring about a controversy with you. I say 
Mr. Wise because Mr. Wise has no friends who are not guided, gov- 
erned and absolutely swayed by him. Under the preposterous pre- 
text that your friends are making war on Mm, he sets the Enquirer 
upon you, and assuming that your position towards the Executive is 
equivocal, it (or rather he) demands that you should speak obviously 
with the double purpose of either obtaining from you an answer 
which would place you in a position of hostility to the administration 
and so authorizing upon his part an open and undisguised war, or 
of displaying his power, in constraining an answer " though it might 
and no doubt would disappoint his hopes." That you will pursue the 


even and dignified tenor of your way I cannot doubt. That the same 
calm and manly firmness which has endeared you to the people of 
Virginia, will mark your course in this emergency I feel assured. 
And yet I could not forbear telling you, that one who is connected 
with you by no other bonds than those of esteem, watches with the 
deepest solicitude, in the present emergency, the course you may pur- 
sue and burns with indignation at the envious attempt to supplant 
you. I do not know that you feel as I do. our temperments differ 
so much that perhaps you may smile at my favour. It may be too 
that my own impulses are tinged by a cerbity which conies from the 
remembrance, that the only difference I ever had with your friends 
all of whom were mine was occasioned by my refusal to unite with 
them in elevating Mr. Wise to a position which would enlarge his 
(capacity I was about to write, but that is impossible) sphere for 
mischief. I was greatly displeased with them and except that they 
agree with me now in my estimate of him I should still express my 
displeasure towards them for their unhappy mistake. 

I feel assured from what I have seen and heard that if the reins 
of the party are given to him, we shall have another Phaeton drive 
to lament. He must either rule or ruin. He cannot, no man thank 
God, can rule in Virginia and I greatly fear that he will, sow the 
seeds of discord which will bring disaster sooner or later upon our 
party. I write thus of him because he is now supposed to be the 
highest power in the State because he is said to be omnipotent in his 
influence with Mr. Buchanan and only because he is so do I thus 
speak of him. Power alone has no charms for me. And if he was 
in an eclipse I would not thus speak of him. I do not know or want 
to know, that you agree with me. I write in the fullest and most 
unstricting confidence to you and for your eye alone. It delights me 
to say, as I intended long since to have said that, all machinations 
against you will fail. I have learned that the Northwest, will be 
for you to a man that the tenth legion is sure, that little Tennessee, 
will stand by you and indeed I do not know any man of prominence 
in the Legislature who will lift his voice against you. Wise has not 
strengthened himself with the Legislature. I could see that he lost 
ground greatly with the last. No man can approach him and believe 
him fit to fill a statesman's place. He will lose ground yet more, 
before the next Legislature adjourns. 

I cannot close without expressing the belief that the truce between 
Floyd and himself will be but short lived. In saying this, let me 
say at the same time, lest my intimate acquaintance with Gov. Floyd 
might lead to the supposition that I speak from information derived 
from him, that I have seen him but once, since he was Sec[retar]y of 
War and have never spoken of Wise to him or he to me. I reason 
in the abstract entirely. And from my knowledge of the men I feel 


assured that there can be no continued cordial co-operation between 
them. I have always deplored the estrangement between Floyd and 
your friends. Be assured he is your natural ally not in its modern 
sense, but he is a thorough States-rights man, he is a gentleman by 
education and by instinct and whatever deflections he has exhibited 
from the path of strict virtue he is still a gentleman, manly, gener- 
ous, and brave. I know he did entertain a most exalted estimate of 
you and though he has never spoken to me unkindly of you, yet I 
believe there is some estrangement, which I should rejoice to see 
removed. Let me repeat that I am writing to you of "my own 
heart." I do not request a reply or want to open a correspondence 
and that no one knows or shall know that I have written. 


PETERSBURG, [VA.] 5 September 19, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR: I reached home yesterday having been absent at 
the Springs and at Washington several weeks. From what I can 
gather I have now no doubt we are to have a contest for the Senate. 
Nothing will satisfy Wise but a good trouncing and he will get it 
for rely on it he means to run. The course of the Enquirer excites 
general disgust among the democrats every where and will greatly 
strengthen you. Some of your friends now desire you to "come 

By the way cannot Ritchie be beaten for Printer. Say with the 
editor of the Wheeling Argus or of the Rockingham Eegister or 
Faulkners man Eobinson? It would be a withering rebuke and I 
think we will have the strength to administer it. I merely throw out 
the idea for you to think upon it. Pryor could not beat Mm. He 
has been too ultra the other way. Better take a Western man and 
make a merit of it. Talk this over with Garnett and if lie thinks 
proper let him correspond with Letcher on the subject. Cobb and 
Thompson assure me the administration will take no part in the 
contest. But I hear otherwise albeit they say Floyd is getting 
jealous of Wise. 1 met Powell in Washington. He says all is right 
in his country, also Albert Pendleton. Pendleton is enthusiastic 
says everything [is] right in the Central West, thinks it doubtful 
whether Rush Floyd can get to the Senate in place of Tait 
app[ointe]d 6th Auditor. Dunn of Washington has been gotten 
out by Hopkins' friends and they say will beat him. All right still 
on the South Side. You may lose Honerton Thompson and a man 
from Franklin but that will be all. All the information I get is 
cheering. What they base their hopes on I can not tell. 

I met Judge Perkins in Washington. I was surprised to find him 
so warmly your friend. He promises to cut off the correspondence 


of Wise's man Keon and proposes to be one of two to bring out an 
edition of your speeches. By the way has it ever occurred to you 
that this ought to be done. It would do more to strengthen you 
over the country than anything I know of. 

Albert Pendleton requests me to ask you by all means to come 
down to the Eichmond fair in October. If possible you ought to 
try and do so. I wish very much you would try and come to ours 

My prospects for next- winter are as good as I could wish them. 
They will have hard work I think to beat me. 

By the way speaking of Judge Perkins reminds me that Mrs. 
Bayly and himself are certainly engaged to be married. It will 
come off I believe in December. 

P. S. I met Schell in Washington. He sends regards and the 
warmest wishes for your success next winter. He is your friend. 
Even Geo. Sanders is for you. 



WASHINGTON, D. C., September W, 1857. 

DEAR SIR : I received yours of the 12th inst. since which I have seen 
Smith of the Sentinel. I told him I was surprised at the tone of 
the article which referred to you. He said your friends secured the 
nomination of Wise, and were to blaine for his present prominent 
position in the party; that he (Smith) had had his say, and at the 
proper time should take ground for you, in preference to Wise. 
His feelings towards you arise from you beating Gov. Smith for the 
Senate, not to anything else. To Wise he is opposed on both per- 
sonal and political grounds. Smith is sound with the administra- 
tion, and particularly with Gov. Floyd with whom he was par- 
ticularly gracious lust spring. I am told Gov. Smith has not much 
influence with the administration which accounts for it. 

E. M. Smith is of the opinion that the weight of the national ad- 
ministration will be thrown against you, and that your friends are 
marked. Time, however, will show. Col. Phillips, 6th auditor, Brod- 
head 3d do., Streeter, Solicitor, and Anderson, Commissioner] of 
Customs go out this month. Cobb sent for Phillips yesterday to 
notify him. 

I understand a nephew, or cousin of Gov. Wise, is an applicant for 
the place made vacant by the resignation of Mr. Merrick. Mr. Mon- 
tague's name has also been mentioned. The latter gentleman is 
reliable and a warm friend of yours. There is great dissatisfaction 
felt by the party at the course of the administration relative to 


appointments. The rule seems to be to proscribe the friends of the 
late administration; and reward knownothings if they preferred 
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Pierce. The Postmaster General and Secretary 
of the Treasury are both known aspirants to the presidency, "and 
1 believe the present incumbent has hope of a reelection. With such 
a state of things existing, there will be trouble among them before 
the adjournment of the next Congress. 

The coalition between Wise, Floyd and Faulkner for the purpose 
of placing Wise in your place, Faulkner in the gubernatorial chair, 
and .Floyd in Senator Mason's place at the close of this adminis- 
tration, would be capable of much mischief. If they had confidence 
in each other; but I am told there is a jealous feeling growing up 
among them, each one being afraid of the other's cheating him. 

I am told that Messrs. Bocock and Powell when here expressed 
the utmost confidence in your triumphant reelection. Mr. Montague 
says the people are all for you in his section; and R. M. Smith says 
the neighboring district will be represented by men a large majority 
of whom are for you. How is it in the West ? It is said Eush Floyd 
cannot be elected without Whig votes, so that you may get an op- 
ponent of the triumviate in place of Tate. As Hopkins can have no 
reason to like the Floyds, I hope he will aid you. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], September 0#, 135*7. 

DEAR HUNTER : The skies are bright and brightening. I think I 
am informed of the sentiment of the whole state. You will be re- 
elected triumphantly and there will be no opposition to your election. 
Wise is [a] dead beat and the tone of his friends (he has very few) 
and of his paper shows that he knows it. Pryor says there is not a 
shadow of doubt about it. He has triumphed over the Enquirer, 
which is doomed and the South hereafter is to be the Democratic or- 
gan in Virginia. Intra nos, Hughes has told Pryor that there can be 
no difficulty between them and that your election is certain. Watch 
Floyd and meet any advances or indications. He has a good deal of 
sense and no great love for his excellency. Pryor will publish on 
tomorrow, all the Editorials favorable to your election throughout 
the State. He fears that you may think that he has been lukewarm 
in defending you from assaults &c and wishes you to know that it 
has been from a conviction that it was the best policy for you. This 
was my opinion and Seddon's and all of your friends hereabouts 
and he acted as we thought best. We did not wish you involved in 
the quarrel of the South with the Enquirer and told him to keep 
you out of it. I know that he is as true to you as steel and that he 
has the materials if it was prudent to put you in the contest to sustain 


you triumphantly. You stand now in the ascendent and if no mis- 
take is made you are invincible. Those that have not heretofore been 
for you are now claiming to be for you against all comers. No man 
ever yet made war upon the State Rights party in V[irgini]a with- 
out being cast down, and several people who did not know it are now 
discovering it, I am writing in a great hurry and write of course 
without detail You may rely however upon what I say. By the 
way I heard today that Beale is involved in some personal difficulty 
with one of the Brockenbroughs and that possibly a challenge may 
grow out of it. See Newton and stop it, if it be so. First because I 
think Beale a very valuable and worthy gentleman and secondly be- 
cause he is your friend and ought to be in the next Legislature. 


GLASGOW, [SCOTLAND], 3rd October, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: His Excellency George M. Dallas, American Ambas- 
sador in this country, having kindly undertaken to forward them to 
you, I beg leave to send, herewith, and to request your acceptance of, 
a volume entitled " Currency self regulating," and a pamphlet en- 
titled cc The true principles of currency." 

The main design of these publications was to describe an arrange- 
ment by which (I believe it will, by and by, be acknowledged,) the 
thing as long dreamed of, a perfect currency without a standard, 
would be fully realised; but as I know there is a strong and gen- 
eral prejudice against abstract currency, originating, I daresay, in 
the utterly preposterous character of every other scheme of incon- 
vertible paper money that has been proposed in modern times, the 
plan which I am desirous to bring under your notice is that of a 
paper currency convertible into the precious metals, according to the 
present law of the United States, with this difference, that the is- 
suing of money should be so regulated that interest on inferior se- 
curities, such as commercial bills, should never fall below the return 
yielded, for the time, by securities of the highest class, such as the 
national funds. 

On glancing over what I have just written, and observing how it 
jars with many of the principles laid down by masters on the cur- 
rency whom we have been most accustomed to look upon as authori- 
ties, I am afraid that your final impression, as regards my plan, will 
be unfavourable. But I hope you will suspend your judgement till 
you have perused the details, which, as applicable to Great Britain, 
you will find on pages 333 and 338 of the volume, and at pages 67 
and 76 of the pamphlet and I hope that when you have gone over 
these, you will be sensible that the plan is really sound, that under it 
interest could never become depressed as we have seen it in times 


past, and that the commercial prosperity of the American people 
would be very favorably affected by their being defended from such 
depression, and from the speculation excitement which it very rarely 
fails to engender. 

From the small amount of your national debt, it is obvious that it 
would not afford a sufficient basis for the currency of such a large 
population as that of the United States: but it will, I doubt not, be 
equally apparent to you that title deeds of houses and lands might 
form an equally good security for repayment of advances made to 
bankers of the notes required for carrying on their business, the 
really important feature in the proposed plan leing that ly which 
it provides that interest should le allowed on notes deposited at same 
rate as was charged on notes issued. 

I ^earnestly trust that you will consider it your duty to bring the 
subject of this communication under the notice of the committee 
on finance, over which you preside and should it appear to you that 
I can, either by correspondence or by personal attendance, afford as- 
sistance to you in arriving at a conclusion regarding it, you will 
be pleased to consider my services as being entirely at your com- 


[PETERSBURG, VA.?], Octoler 5th, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: I received your letter a few days since and was much 
pleased at the information contained in it. Your explanation of the 
history of the Land bill prepared by you, would have been an abso- 
lute defence, had it been before the country at the time, so far as 
the democracy of this and the other Atlantic States were concerned. 
You are no doubt aware that, the proposition, not only gave an op- 
portunity of assault to your opponents in the Democratic] party 
in the State but most unfortunately, made some of the warmest 
friends of State Eights, cold towards you under the belief that too 
much was yielded to the Northwest. Instead of comparing it with 
the Homestead bill, they took the bill as an original proposition 
and found large objections to its minimum. You allude in yours 
to the settlement feature of the bill. I have no recollection of the 
details of the bill and have nothing by me to afford me any infor- 
mation on it. You have just now clearly a majority so large in the 
legislature, that I do not apprehend, any serious opposition; still 
events may transpire which will strengthen the aspirants, and it 
may be the policy of your opponents to make an attack although 
an inefficient one so far as your defeat for the place of Senator is 
concerned. They have never been very confident of success in an 
effort to defeat you for the Senate, but to furnish evidence of strong 


democratic opposition to you in this state, will aid Wise as much, 
(almost as your defeat) in his objects. Hughes will be forced to 
assail you on this bill, if opposition is made to you and he is forced 
to concur in it, although now I think it will be no labor of love to 
Mm, he must cease his opposition to you on this bill. Wise is I 
think estopped from using it, if anything can prevent him from 
indulging his spleen and answering the appeals of his vanity. In 
case you are assailed, it would be well for some friend in the Senate 
and House of Delegates to be prepared with a defence ; I am in a 
situation to assail Wise, and shall not fail to take advantage of it, 
if it is prudent to do so. But it may not be so, yet some of us should 
be in possession of the means of defence on this bill ; no explanation 
of the bill has ever been made which we can make use of, that I re- 
member. Can you furnish me with a copy of the bill, and any addi- 
tional facts or reasons which I can use to sustain it, other than those 
contained in your letter to me. 

Your situation now is such that I have refrained from sending 
Pryor some articles I had prepared. They were attacks upon 
the Enquirer, and I think the country press has rendered them un- 
necessary. The friends of Wise will now devote themselves entirely 
to preventing you receiving the support of V[irgini]a in the next 
Democratic] Convention. If they cannot succeed in raising oppo- 
sition in the Legislature, we can treat their hostility displayed else- 
where, as the effect of disappointment and malice. I am writing 
as you will perceive in a manner the most disconnected, for I am at 
our County court and interrupted every moment or two. My only 
object in writing now is to ask you to furnish me with a copy of 
your bill, and with such suggestions in regard to it, as will enable 
me to meet an attack if one shall be made on it, and any assault 
made on you of any importance will be on that bill. Your position 
with regard to the Administration nobody really doubts, the only 
question being whether you will gratify the Gubernatorial editor of 
the Enquirer by yielding to his enquiry. I am with all of your 
friends with whom I have conversed utterly opposed to your noticing 
that paper. But I am disposed to think, that it would be well if 
some portion of the people or members of the legislature could 
elicit an expression from you. Such an exposition would certainly 
silence the Enquirer, and coming on the back of the united expres- 
sion of the democratic press, would do much to complete its discom- 
fiture in its efforts to represent the democracy. It is from the in- 
fluence of this paper alone that the States Rights party in this state 
have anything to fear any blow it may receive now will go far 
to destroy it. I am writing under such continued interruptions, it is 
impossible to continue. 



PORTSMOUTH, VA., October 6t7i> 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have not written yon since you were in Washing- 
ton, because my presumption was that you would probably fail of 
receiving my letter at Washington. However, I now venture to ad- 
dress you at your home. 

^ In the ^mail which conveys this note, I forward a copy of the 
" Transcript " and its views of the Senatorial question you may rely 
on^as those of nine-tenths of the Democracy here about The En- 
qmrer's course, despite its denials, men will persist in believing to be 
stimulated by an interested party. How true my warning to Mon- 
tague, some months since, as to the jealousy of Wise's friends towards 
you ; and though censured by some of the presses of our party for 
intimating through my editorials such a fact, the Justice of such a 
course is now fuly vindicated. 

If the balance of the State does its duty as faithfully as will this 
section, your vindication against your foes will have a very desirable 
eftect on future events. It is certainly very desirable that the South, 
through her public men, should indicate her true position as to the 
terms upon which the present administration may anticipate its 



WASHINGTON, D. C., October 6 1857. 

DEAR SIR : When I last wrote to you I thought before this I should 
have been rotated out. Dr. Blake opposed it with all his power, 
and some of my newspaper friends remonstrated in strong terms 
against it. The matter remains in statu quo. 

Col. Phillips has been removed. Dr. Brodhead will go in a few 
days. It is said every member of the cabinet opposes Cutts' appoint- 
ment; but the President is determined. Gov. Floyd told Dr. Blake, 
in speaking of Cutts, that Mr. Buchanan was different from Gen. 
Jackson; that Gen. Jackson could be coaled from his purpose, but 
that Mr. B[uchanan] could neither be coaxed nor driven. Many 
little circumstances lead me to believe, that the President is getting 
suspicious of the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Cobb is evidently 
bent upon securing the next nomination, if possible ; and one of Mr. 
Buchanan's Pennsylvania friends informs me that, Mr. B[uchanan] 
is aware of Cobb's movements, and is watching him closely. I be- 
lieve the whole cabinet stand in fear of the President, who relies 


but little upon their advice. I rejoice sincerely that you are not in 
it ; not only because of the policy of the administration, but because 
I do not think it will hold together long. 

The agents of the New York Herald have great influence at the 
White House, One fact will show how the Herald stands. There 
are but three newspapers regularly preserved on the files, viz ; The 
Union, the Intelligence, and the New Tork Herald. 

I received a letter last week from Gen. Eppa Hunton of Prince 
William. He says our delegate Seymour Lynn, is for you, and Gen. 
H[unton] says "most everybody else." I do not believe Gov. Wise 
will be a candidate, for the reason that he has no chance of election. 
He is too wiley a politician to place himself in a position where he 
is certain to be defeated, and where defeat would be utter ruin. 

I do not expect you to take the trouble to answer my gossiping 
letters about matters that are talked of privately here. When they 
become annoying, toss them into the fire. I hope to have the pleasure 
of congratulating you at an early day upon your reelection. 

Gov. Bright has been very kind to me, and protested strongly 
against my removal. He is not very favorable to Douglas; and this 
appointment of Mr. D's father-in-law will damage him with Western 
men more than anything he could do. His opponents are already- 
using Cutts* contemplated appointment against him. 


CHARLOTTESVILLE, [VA.], October 10, 1857. 

DEAR SIR : I see that the " Enquirer ' 7 and its correspondents, con- 
tinue to call upon you to " come out," on the Kansas embroglio ; and, 
particularly, to say whether you are now friendly to Mr. Buchanan's 
Administration, and will support it, if you shall be re-elected to the 
IX S. Senate. 

Now, while I have no doubt as to your position, yet as I hear, not 
unfrequently, your friends, (who constitute a large majority of the 
Democratic party of Virginia) express a wish that you would 
publish your views on these questions, not so much to satisfy them 
as to silence the cavilling of those who wish to defeat you in any 
event, I take the liberty, as an old friend, to ask your views, on the 
points suggested. It is needless to say that, unless forbidden by 
yourself, your answer will be published. 

(P. S.) It is for you to determine whether you ought to publish 
in reply to a letter from me. You need not ans[we]r, as far as I 
am concerned. My name, perh&ps, had better be suppressed. That, 
however, you may determine for yourself. For myself, I say that I 
have no concealments and wish none. I am fully convinced, now, 
that you had better write a letter to some friend for Diibli cation. 



LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., VA., October 16tJi, 1857. 

DEAR SIR: I received on yesterday yo-ur letter propounding to 
me certain interrogatories, to which, without further delay, I pro- 
ceed to reply. They are in substance nearly the same, with the ques- 
tions upon which the Enquirer for some time past, has been demand- 
ing my answers. But to these last I have not replied, because they 
were either accompanied with threats, or what were so considered, 
which made answers on my part, inconsistent with self-respect, or 
else they were founded upon my presumed responsibility for the 
editorials of certain newspapers within, and without the State of 
Virginia, which were not only not authorized to speak for me, but 
which claimed no such authority. I was to be held responsible for 
the course of newspapers, unless I came before the public with a 
criticism of their course and a disclaimer of all sympathy with them; 
a responsibility, which I shall never acknowledge expressly, or im- 
plieclly, by any act of mine. To admit such a responsibility, would 
place it in the power of any third person who chose to impute to me 
a sympathy with the course of any newspaper within, or without 
the State, to call me out in a public criticism of its course upon any 
question of morals or politics which might be in discussion, or else 
fix upon me the charge of concurring in the views of that paper. 
No power could force upon me the office of censor of the public 
press. I certainly shall not assume it voluntarily. When any paper 
claims authority to speak for me, then it may be the time to question 
me in regard to it, but not before. 

But to proceed with the answers to your interrogatories, I hare to 
say, first, that the imputation of hostility, on my part, towards the 
administration of Buchanan, is founded upon nothing that I have 
either said or done. I voted for him as President, and not only enter- 
tain no feeling of hostility towards him, bat I wish him success. He 
has only to carry out the principles of the Democratic party, as we 
understand them in Yirginia, to command my cordial support. 
These, so far as applicable, will afford the test by which I shall 
judge his administration and support or oppose its acts, as they con- 
form to, or depart from these principles. Nor shall I be disposed 
to apply that test in any captious, or unkind spirit, but as justly and 
fairly as I can. More I could not say for any administration or 
man. I never would commit myself to support unconditionally, the 
future acts of any man, but I will judge them as they arise, to sus- 
tain them when I believe they are right, and to oppose tkem when 
I think they are wrong. My opinions upon all the great political 
issues, may be known through my votes and speeches, to those who 

>- _ > __^_______-.._ - L__ 

letter can be found in the Eichmond Examiner of Oct 23, 1857. 


feel enough of interest in them, to look into my past course, and 
these will afford the best evidence of the tests which I shall be likely 
to apply, in judging of the conduct of public affairs. Whilst I 
remain in the Senate of the United States, I shall stand there as the 
representative of the principles and interests of my State, so far as 
I can understand them, and in the pursuit of these objects, I should 
not scruple to differ, if necessary, with any administration. In say- 
ing this, it may be perhaps fair to add, that I hope and expect to 
be able to support Mr. Buchanan's administration in the main. 
Entire concurrence in the views of any man it would be too much 
to hope, or expect. 

In answer to the other interrogatory which you propose as to the 
conduct of Governor Walker in Kansas, I have little hesitation in 
saying, that I disapprove. The Kansas-Nebraska act was passed 
under the hope that this, the last of the territorial questions, involv- 
ing the subject of slavery, might be settled upon some common ground 
where a party could be rallied from the North and the South, the 
East and the West, strong enough to defend the Constitution against 
the assaults of its enemies and to administer the government justly 
upon other than purely sectional ideas. To rally a party which 
might be able to maintain the Union upon constitutional principles, 
was an object of high political importance, and justified some sacri- 
fices of feeling, and even of interest. Accordingly, the bill was not 
such as would have been framed by the delegates of either section, 
if it had been submitted to them alone. Many, perhaps most of the 
Southern men, (of whom I was one) believed that property in 
slaves was as much entitled to the protection of law in the Territories 
of the United States, as property in any thing else; but whilst the 
Northern friends of the Kansas act would not concede this, they 
agreed to unite in repealing the Missouri restriction so as to remove 
the ban under which the domestic institutions of the south had been 
placed by Federal legislation. Accordingly, a bill was passed upon 
the principle of non-intervention, in regard to slavery, so far as the 
General Government was concerned, and which left the whole sub- 
ject within the control of the people of these territories, when they 
should apply for admission as States. This, although not all that 
we thought the South entitled to, was a great advance upon the old 
order of things, so far as she was concerned, because it removed 
an unjust and odious discrimination against her domestic institutions, 
from the statute book. A moral triumph which was of vast impor- 
tance to the South and to the institution of slavery itself. Nor could 
the North object to a bill which merely carried out a principle by 
which it had recently gained so largely in the series of acts, denomi- 
nated as the Compromise Measures. 


To all it ought to have been a subject of congratulation that a 
common ground had been found where a party might be rallied from 
all sections of the country to administer the government justly, and 
without sacrificing the constitutional rights of any portion of the 
Union. The sole hope of accomplishing so happy a result depended 
upon submitting this question of slavery to the people of these ter- 
ritories, when they came to form their constitutions as States, with- 
out interference of any sort on the part of the General Government. 
With the decision of the people themselves, so far as the character 
of the new States was concerned, the democratic party of all sec- 
tions declared they would be satisfied. To fulfil, then, the conditions 
of this agreement, it was all important that there should be no inter- 
ference on the part of the General Government, either through its 
Legislative or Executive influence. Any such interference was cal- 
culated to dissatisfy the one section or the other. "Under such cir- 
cumstances it was my opinion improper for the highest Executive 
officer in the Territory, the Governor of Kansas, to attempt to in- 
fluence the decision of the people of that Territory, upon this question 
of slavery. Such an interference on the part of any branch of the 
Federal Government, was inconsistent with the principle of the 
Kansas-Nebraska act. Neither do I recognise his authority to de- 
clare that " if they (the convention) do not appoint a fair and im- 
partial mode, by which a majority of the actual, bona fide settlers of 
Kansas, shall vote through the instrumentality of impartial judges, 
I will join you in all lawful opposition to their doing, and the Presi- 
dent and Congress will reject their Constitution." If the conven- 
tion itself was legally constituted and elected, the question of sub- 
mitting their work to the people for ratification, was one of which 
that body had jurisdiction alone, unless indeed the act which called 
them into being, had required a final ratification by the people. 

The practice of States applying for admission, as I understand, has 
been in both ways. Nor has the power of the convention to determine 
this question for itself ever been controverted, heretofore, so f&r as 
I am informed. The convention of Kansas, if legally constituted, 
has all the powers of any other convention to form a State constitu- 
tion, and if Congress can limit this power in one respect, it may in 
all. If Congress can reject a State constitution for the manner in 
which the convention has exercised its undoubted powers, why not 
for the matter also of the constitution, even though it may be re- 
publican in its form of government 1 or, if the Governor of & Terri- 
tory may attempt to overawe a convention of its people in the exer- 
cise of its powers in one respect, why not in another? With re- 
gard to the abstract propriety of the particular recommendations of 
Governor Walker, I do not feel called upon to speak. That is a, mat- 
ter for the decision of the convention itself , with, which I ought not 


to interfere* The abstract propriety of these recommendations de- 
pends upon circumstances, of which the people of Kansas, acting 
through their convention, are the best judges. To them I leave it as 
their own affair. As to which course would conduct most to their 
peace and a fair settlement of the question, I should require a greater 
knowledge of the actual state of affairs in that Territory to enable 
me to decide. 

With these answers to your interrogatories, I might here close 
this letter, except that I infer you desire to know how far my 
opinion in regard to Governor Walker's conduct may effect my course 
towards the Administration. What are the precise views of the 
President upon these questions, I know not; I await their develop- 
ment in the regular course. But should he differ how can any prac- 
tical issue arise between him and those of his friends who enter- 
tain other opinions in regard to Governor Walker's course? I say, 
I do not see how any practical issue could arise out of this matter 
between the President and those who might differ with him in regard 
to these things, because I do not believe for a moment that he would 
aid in an attempt to reject the State, if Kansas should apply for ad- 
mission, merely because its convention did not choose to submit the 
constitution to the people for ratification. 

Upon such a question as this, in regard to the right of Congress 
to limit the power of a people to form their State Constitution ac- 
cording to their own pleasure, provided it be republican in its char- 
acter, I should think there could be no division of opinion amongst 
the members of the Democratic party in any section of the Union. 
There could not be, if they remain true to what I understand as their 
profession of faith. To establish the great principles of the equal 
rights of the States to the enjoyment of the territories of the United 
States, which no act of federal legislation can constitutionally 
abridge or destroy, and of the right of the people of each State 
to determine the character of their own domestic institutions with- 
out prejudice to their claim of admission into the Union, the Demo- 
cratic party has submitted to losses and sacrifices, which could only 
have been justified by the successful accomplishment of a great ob- 
ject. To obtain a common ground upon which all might rally for 
the defence of the constitution and the peace of the country against 
the enemies of both, did constitute such an object. And now that 
the position has been conquered, after so arduous a struggle, who 
supposes that the Democratic party would volunteer a retrograde 
movement, and renounce the fruits of a hard-won victory ? To aban- 
don either of these positions now by a retrograde movement, would 
be an act of felo de se in the party, and not merely a folly, but a 
crime for which posterity would never forgive it. For these reasons, 
I do not believe that the Democratic party, or the President whom 


it has chosen, will aid in any attempt to restrict the power of the 
people of Kansas, acting through their convention, to form a consti- 
tution according to their own pleasure, both in manner and sub- 
stance,^ provided it be republican in its character. 

Having now answered fully your interrogatories, I need proceed 
no farther; but as you are kind enough to say that you question me 
not because you doubted me yourself, but to save me from miscon- 
struction by others, I feel that I ought not to conclude without 
thanking you for your generous motives. To those who are disposed 
to misconstrue me, I have only to say, that if the past course of one 
who has served the State in a public capacity so long as I have, 
affords no sufficient guaranty as to his future conduct, it is idleuto 
seek for further security in professions of faith. My past course 
affords the best evidences of my principles of public action, and 
these are the tests by which, as an honest man, I am bound to judge 
every administration. If, therefore, I should be blamed, if blame- 
able at all, not for the act of differing with a President, but because 
of the false principles by which I am to judge him; so that it is 
by these that I am to be tried, after all. It is true, that when new 
questions arise, one may be fairly and properly questioned as to his 
opinions. But what is there new here? The principles of the Kan- 
sas Nebraska act, by which I have been just testing Governor 
Walker's conduct, and the right of the people, acting through their 
convention, to form a constitution of republican character, accord- 
ing to their own pleasure, without prejudice to their claim of ad- 
mission as a State in the Union, have all been discussed heretofore, 
by myself and others, far more fully than would be consistent with 
the limits of this letter. N"or have I expressed any opinion in regard 
to those questions, to which I have not been committed long since. 
If , then, I repeat sentiments which I have before declared, yon will 
excuse me, as I do it in deference to your request. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], October &?, 1857. 

MY DEAR HUNTER: Y[ou]rs of last week was duly received and 
I dare say that you have adopted the best course under the circum- 
stances. I take for granted that you will demur to the right of the 
Enquirer to demand any reply to its arrogant assumption of author- 
ity. I would rather however rely upon any conclusion to which your 
own judgment would lead you, than upon the soundness of the opin- 
ions of either Leake or Chapman. Tho' both of them are at present 
(no doubt) your very good friends neither of them is particularly 
sound or trustworthy in my opinion. Your election is certain and 
23318 18 VOL 2 16 


has been clearly so for some time and your reply even to, a friend 
will to some extent break the fall of Wise and be attributed by him 
and some others to your fear of his power. As I said tho 5 it is prob- 
ably the best course and could not well be avoided. The union of 
the Enquirer and Examiner under Hughes is abandoned, and Hughes 
1 understand will wage no further war on you, but in due time will 
advocate your reelection. This I learn from Irving. I was also 
prepared to learn from him that you and Floyd had been brought 
together by Crump, for when I was in Washington I saw Floyd and 
his reception of me and his conversation and manner altogether was 
exceptionally cordial, and I was satisfied that my opinion as to his 
future course and policy was correct. He requires your support and 
is willing to pay for it. He is not and never can be in your way and 
will be useful as long as you can hold him, which will be as long as 
you can be of use to him and no longer. With this always before you^ 
you can safely trust him. He does not forgive nor forget. And is 
ever true to himself. Hughes demanded the control of the En- 
quirer and would take it on no other terms. This was refused, all 
of which was a corollary from Floyd's change of tactics. Don't 
make any entangling alliances but receive all well wishes with open 
arms. You see I write like your mentor and if you doubt the wisdom 
of my counsel you will not distrust its sincerity. To be forewarned 
is sometimes to be forearmed. I saw Finch, the mail Ag[en]t, who 
has just returned from the North West and says that you will not 
lose more than 2 or 3 votes in all the Northwest and from the Potomac 
to Charlottesville. Pendleton told me yesterday that you would get 
all in his district. A man named McDonough, said to him that you 
might lose the Tazewell man and Finch said a man named Dunn from 
Barbour would vote against you if you did not answer. From Nor- 
folk to the mountains, on the South Side, you will lose no vote. 
Will you come to the Fair? The whole state will be represented 
here and there is no good reason why you should not come, if you 
choose. You are a poor hand in 'cultivating personal intercourse 
with the sovereigns and lose by your neglect of them. But I have 
told you this so often without any amendment on your part, that I 
fear you are incorrigible. You ought to desire to be loved as well 
as admired by others besides your intimate friends and it would 
strengthen them and you too. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], October 21st, 1857. 

DEAR HUNTER : Since I mailed my letter of to-day to you, I fear that 
the information that I derived from Irving is not to be relied on. I 
have seen Loyd of the Examiner, who is utterly averse to its amalga- 


mation with the Enquirer and is litigating with Hughes in order to 
prevent it. And he thinks that Hughes is determined on it, if he does 
not prevent him, which he thinks he can do. He will if he can. He 
called to see me and let me into many of the secrets of the Prison house. 
Intra nos. Irving can't be relied on after he takes twenty or thirty 
drinks and liquor has a wonderful effect on his imagination. I am 
disposed to think that nothing that he told me last night can be de- 
pended on. I write therefore to prevent you acting on anything that 
I got from him. 


" MEADOW BLUFF," GREENBRIER Co., VA., October %4t7i, 1857. 
MY DEAR SIR: I met with Gen [era] 1 Chapman, Mr. Echols, and 
others of your friends on yesterday and had with the former a pretty 
Ml conversation; especially in reference to the course you ought 
to pursue in regard to the factitious issue raised by your opponents 
on the Kansas matter. Their design is very obvious, and needs no 
remark. The question is whether, on the score of duty or policy 
you ought to stand, or permit others to force you on your voir dire. 
I am constitutionally opposed to compliances with a vicious public 
sentiment at all times, and more especially when demanded by still 
more vicious Leaders, as they would be called. Tinder existing cir- 
cumstances,, however, I do not well see how you can avoid the ex- 
pression of your opinions. The matter is one of public interest; and 
one which, as a Senator, you are, I think bound, when called upon, 
to answer, be the motives of the interrogation what they may. As 
to the merits of the controversy I am ignorant, or at least, so slightly 
informed that I shall not venture an opinion. After the base cal- 
culating treason of 1850, 1 gave up all hopes that the Southern States 
could ever secure an acre of the public domain over which to extend 
their institution. Whenever such a question shall arise, there will 
always be found traitors enough to dispose of their rights and honor, 
for a consideration, as in the case of California. I never doubted no, 
not for a moment that such would be the case in respect to Kansas. 
I infer that such is the fact, from what curiosity meets my eye in 
glancing over the newspapers ; though I have read no article in con- 
nection with the subject. I know we have been hitherto sold out by 
our own Kepresentatives, and feel the fullest assurance that we will 
continue to be sold out to the end of the Chapter. Even if Texas 
should consent to carve out of her area, two or more States, they will 
only be admitted into the Union under Yankee Constitutions. I 
therefore, do not trouble myself with the miserable platitudes of the 
political jobbers who traffic in treason. In the Union, our Institution 
must stop where it is. We shall, however, get some secretaries of the 


Treasury, of War &c &c in exchange for our rights and our honor, 
and these, perhaps, at the market value, or a pretty fair equivalent. 
Damaged goods cannot be expected to command a full price when 
exposed at auction. 

But viewing the question in reference to yourself particularly, my 
opinion is that you ought not to give your enemies the advantages 
which your silence is expected to afford them. At the same time I 
would never compromit my dignity and self-respect so far as to re- 
spond directly to their malignant and impertinent inquiries. Chap- 
man will write to you for your opinions on the subject. As a per- 
sonal and political friend, you can give him a frank and dignified 
response, allowing him to use his discretion, as to publication. Be 
these views in accordance with those of the Administration or not, 
I do not think they can hurt you, as much as your silence might. 
The chief aim is to cut you and your friends off from the adminis- 
tration ; and thus to bring the weight of its patronage to bear against 
you. The movement, I think, will fail. The question is one of the 
deepest interest to the country, the people have examined it with no 
little feeling, and Mr. Buchanan is not Gen [era] 1 Jackson. I have 
neither seen nor heard of any unfavorable demonstrations ; tho' your 
opponents are active and indefatigable. I fear not the result, if the 
election be brought on at an early day in the Session, and such is the 
purpose of your friends. Delay might be attended with some danger, 
as Wise is a most adroit manipulator. I have no time to talk of gen- 
eral matters, and write this in compliance with* a promise made yes- 
terday to Chapman, and simply to express the opinion that you ought 
t6 place your views before the country, in the manner suggested, be 
they what they may. 

I did not receive your favor of December last, until the 16th of May 
ensuing and therefore did not reply to it, as the matters were by-gone. 
The Administration is undoubtedly losing ground in the State and 

P. S. I suppose the rumored transfer of Yancey to the Supreme 
Court Bench, is to deprive you of all Cabinet connections. 

I have a few moments at command, Floyd is your determined 
enemy. I am told he says publicly, that you " must ~be defeated" 
Can you not get some Whig friend in the lower House, to move an 
inquiry into the sale of fort Snelling? There are some dirty facts in 
the chapter, and I can (in profoundest confidence) refer you to 
persons and papers. He deserves to be exposed naked to the world. 
I may be mistaken, but, entre nous, I believe there might be facts 
elicited which might subject him to impeachment. This, however, 
is strictly confidential. He is a bad man, and tho' once on terms of 
the greatest intimacy, I have found sufficient reasons to break off all 
intercourse with him. My situation is, however, a delicate one ; and 


to be of service, I must be utterly unknown in the matter. He is 
shrewd, wary, and adroit. Wise, who would use him for the nonce, 
has still his eye upon him. He will prove treacherous In the end. 
Mark the prediction: His object, for the present is the Vice Presi- 
dency, and he has no further interest in the fortunes of Wise, than 
to make him your opponent; and thus divide the state on the Presi- 
dential nomination, which will open a fair chance for himself as a 
candidate for the Vice Presidency. Is not Douglas playing a similar 
game? I fear so. But, as you know, I am cut off from all active 
participation in public affairs; and speak as from some hollow tree 
in the forest. I wish I had a better field, but the time is past for me. 
There is but one situation in the Country that I covet, the Secretary- 
ship of the Senate, and this not for itself, but for exterior useful- 
ness. I wish to be near a good Library, in order to complete satis- 
factorily to myself, the Memoirs of Mr. Calhoun and to contribute 
my mite to the cause of the State Eights Party. This, however, I 
cannot get, and I am reconciled to my lot. Mr. Buchanan, who once 
offered me all the favor I desired, and much more, is now become 
something more than a stranger. "Honors? says the old French 
proverb, " make men forget names." I am content. I shall, however, 
have a letter from him shortly. 



LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., VA., October $8, 1857. 

GENTLEMEN : I have received your letter, enclosing me the resolu- 
tions adopted by a Democratic meeting in Eockingham, on the 19th 
October, with a request that I would respond to them. The subject 
matter of these resolutions is so fully covered by my letter of the 
16th of this month, to the Hon. S. F. Leake, which was not pub- 
lished at the time of your meeting, that any other answer, on my part, 
is, perhaps, unnecessary. But as there seems to be a difference of 
opinion between us with regard to your fifth resolution, a farther 
explanation may be proper. If I understand your resolutions, we 
agree in the principle that the people of Kansas alone have the right 
to form their State institutions according to their own pleasure, pro- 
vided they be republican in their character. I extend too, the limi- 
tation upon the power of Congress, in regard to a State applying for 
admission even farther than you do; for I maintain that upon this 
issue it can raise no question in regard to the Constitution, should 
it be republican in its character, if the people of the new State, acting 
through their Convention, have made and adopted it in the man- 
ner prescribed by these, their authorized representatives. But from 

1 Copied from the Richmond Examiner of Nov. 10, 1857. 


your fifth resolution I dissent entirely. That the people of Kansas 
have the same rights with the people of any other State in this 
Union with regard to the formation of their State Constitution, we 
must all admit; that they can delegate to a Convention, called for 
this purpose, the same powers which may be delegated by the people 
of any other State, is also clear. That they might limit the power 
conferred on such a Convention by allowing them only to form a 
Constitution to be submitted to the people afterwards, for ratifica- 
tion or rejection, or that they might elect a Convention with a 
general authority over the subject, can hardly be denied. It is for 
the people of the territory, about to become a State, to say in which 
of these ways they will constitute the Convention. Such, I under- 
stand to be the intent and purport of your third resolution, in which, 
with that understanding, I cordially concur. If, then, the people of 
Kansas have these rights, the question arises as to what they intended 
by electing a Convention with general powers, and without any 
limitation imposed by themselves. 

The practice of the States and the reason of the case both prove 
that it is to be treated as a general delegation of their sovereignty, 
under which the Convention may submit the Constitution or 'not, 
for a popular vote, according to its own views of propriety. If the 
people of Kansas, acting as an inchoate State, imposed no limitation 
on the trust, it is not for any third party, outside the Territory, to 
undertake to affix it. If they can in one case they might in all, and 
Congress, as it seems to me, might exercise the very power which 
you so properly deny to it, in your fourth resolution. As has been well 
said by a distinguished statesman of Pennsylvania, "Either this 
Convention is clothed with sovereign power, or it is a nullity." If 
it be a legitimate Convention, it is the people who speak through it ; 
and it is for them to say what action is to be final in regard to the 
Constitution which it forms. To say otherwise, in my opinion, is 
to unite the power of the people of Kansas, whose plenary jurisdic- 
tion over this subject w all admit. But this fifth resolution does not 
stop with requiring the application of Kansas for admission as a 
State to be rejected, because the Convention did not submit the 
Constitution to the people, it goes much farther, and claims for 
Congress the power of prescribing who are to exercise the right of 
suffrage, when the people pass upon the question of ratifying their 
own State Constitution. Here it is in totidem verbis : 

"Eesolved, That Kansas, in forming her Constitution, ought to 
submit the same to the bona fide inhabitants thereof, for adoption 
or rejection, and the failure to do so is in violation of the spirit and 
letter of the act creating her Territorial Government, and ought to 
be returned by Congress to the residents of Kansas for endorse- 


Congress thus undertakes to say, not only that the Constitution 
shall be ^ submitted for a further vote, but to whom. If then, the 
Convention of Kansas should submit its Constitution to a popular 
vote, but establish a qualification for the right of suffrage different 
from that which you say Congress must require, the State must be 
rejected, and the Constitution, although thus ratified, is to be re- 
turned to the " residents of Kansas for endorsement" 

The most significant act of sovereign power is, perhaps, the regu- 
lation of the right of suffrage, and the power over this subject must 
be exclusive, wherever it resides. If Congress possesses it, then the 
people of the inchoate State cannot have it ; and if the people of the 
new State cannot say who are to pass upon its own Constitution, then 
its equality with the other States is disparaged and destroyed. But 
this is not all ; if its right to equal powers and privileges with the 
other States be denied, and if Congress can regulate the highest of 
its political rights, I mean that of suffrage, what is to prevent it 
from regulating all the other political rights and relations of its 
people, slavery included? If Congress may exercise this right of 
sovereignty over a people in the very act of forming its State Con- 
stitution, what is to be the limit to its power? When we have ad- 
mitted so much, by what arguments, so far as constitutional power 
is concerned, can we resist an attempt to reimpose the Missouri re- 
striction over these Territories? A restriction which, it must be 
remembered, goes much farther than the Wilinot Proviso; for the 
latter only applies to the people in a Territorial condition, whilst 
the other is extended over them when they are acting as the people 
of a State. And what sort of suffrage is Congress here required 
to prescribe for the good people of Kansas? It is to be returned 
" to the residents of Kansas for endorsement." Who are the " resi- 
dents of Kansas? " May not aliens, Indians and negroes be in- 
cluded in that denomination? How, too, can this resolution be 
consistent with the third, which preceded it in the series ? If Con- 
gress may prescribe the right of suffrage for a people acting in 
their highest capacity of sovereignty, that of forming a State Con- 
stitution, and say who shall pass upon it, how can "we recognize 
the right of the people of a Territory, in forming a Constitution for 
admission into the f Union, to establish such local policy as to them 
may seem right and proper ? " Surely, we do not confound the 
power of Congress to prescribe the right of suffrage for a free people 
acting in a territorial capacity, with the power of Congress to 
prescribe that right for those who are acting as the people of a 
State in the formation of a Constitution. 

Congress can make the organic act for the people of a Territory, 
but it has no such power in. regard to the people of a new, or inchoate 
State. It may prescribe the qualifications of the electors of tlie 


Territorial Legislature, which calls the convention to form a State 
Constitution; but when that convention is assembled, having been 
legally elected and constituted, it must be treated either as the repre- 
sentative of the sovereignty of the people, so far as the formation 
and adoption of a Constitution is concerned, unless the people them- 
selves have prescribed otherwise in the act creating it, or it must be 
treated as a nullity. We must take the one horn or the other of this 
dilemma, as it seems to me. 

It may be said that no such conclusions are intended as those 
which I have drawn from the fifth resolution. I have no idea that 
there was any such design, but in my opinion these inferences are to 
be deduced from it, not only fairly, but necessarily. That it was the 
opinion of your meeting that the people of Kansas ought themselves 
to do the, things recommended in that resolution, I do not doubt; 
but there is a wide difference between what the people of a State, new 
or old, should do, and what Congress can constrain them to do. The 
people of Virginia, doubtless, ought to do many things which Con- 
gress cannot force them to do. But even if the fifth resolution had 
been confined to a recommendation to Congress to reject the applica- 
tion of the State for admission on the ground that the Convention 
had not submitted the Constitution for ratification to the people, 
the matter would not have been much helped ; for, after all, the two 
resolutions would have been nearly identical in principle. 

Suppose that the people of Kansas had elected a Convention with 
the authority expressly delegated to them to form and adopt a Con- 
stitution ; suppose, farther, that Congress, in the spirit of these reso- 
lutions, had rejected the application for admission, and sent back 
the Constitution, because it had not been ratified by a final vote of 
the people. Might not the people of Kansas well say, "You have 
rejected our Constitution because it was not ratified, as you affirm, 
by the people ; now, as you claim to be the judges in this matter, you 
must designate whom you mean by the people, whose ratification 
by a farther vote, is to be the condition of our admission?" But 
if Congress undertook to prescribe who should vote it would claim 
this very power of regulating the right of suffrage for the people of 
a new State, of which I have been speaking, as it seems to me, all the 
consequences would flow from that assumption of power which I 
have already depicted. If we permit Congress to control the Con- 
vention in the exercise of its delegated powers in one respect, it will 
be hard to resist its inference in another. It is far safer to leave the 
whole matter, as your third resolution seems to design, to the people 
of the new or inchoate State themselves, for otherwise we shall be 
embarrassed by difficulties at every step that we take. If we begin to 
make such retrograde movements as these, must we not prepare our 


minds to lose all that has been gained for the Constitution and the 
South by the Kansas-Nebraska act? 

I have given you my opinions in this letter and that addressed to 
the Hon. Shelton F. Leake, upon the subject of your resolutions, 
because they were asked, and I express myself freely but with great 
respect for those who may differ from me. But it seems to be the 
sentiment of the Democratic party of the State, if I may judge by 
the general tone of its press, that they ought not to divide upon 
these recent Kansas issues, as they probably will be temporary, and 
it is uncertain whether they will ever become practical in their char- 
acter. In this, as it appears to me, they were wise. When the Demo- 
cratic party established the principle of the Kansas-Nebraska act, 
and obtained common ground upon which all its members might 
stand in regard to a disturbing question, it overcame the greatest 
difficulty. Its success in this respect encourages the hope that when 
the time for action arises, and its representatives get together, they 
will be able to reconcile satisfactorily any differences which may 
have arisen in regard to the application of their principles. I say 
this for the good of the party and the country, but not for myself. 
So far as I am personally concerned, I shun none of the responsibility 
which attaches to me individually for the opinions which I have 

In this connection, too, I must return to you and those whom you 
represent, my thanks for so much of good will and confidence as you 
express in the resolutions which relate to myself personally. To 
win fairly and justly the trust and confidence of the people of 
Virginia, has been the highest object of my political aspirations. 
There is none other which I place in competition with it. But it is 
their trust and confidence, and not the office, that I value. If I 
have not the first, I do not desire the latter. Office, unless it is be- 
stowed in that spirit, can have no attractions for me. Entertaining 
these sentiments, I have been reluctant to appear before the public in 
any communication which might wear the air of solicitation, or 
place me in the apparent position of advocating my own claims and 
interests. I hold no such position I prefer no claims I make no 
solicitations. If my past course has failed to sow the seeds of confi- 
dence in the public mind of Virginia, it is my misfortune, perhaps 
my fault. Nor are the people to be blamed for the fact, or for 
exercising their undoubted right and duty in bestowing their offices 
where they place their trust. Assuredly, they will not be disturbed 
by me, either with solicitations before their decision is made, or by 
complaints to be uttered afterwards, because of the manner in which 
they may have exercised their powers, according to their own sense 
of duty. Neither do I purpose to trouble them farther by any public 


communication in regard to my sentiments and opinions, as I have 
answered as fully as I am capable of doing, upon the various sub- 
jects of inquiry. I will not conclude, however, without venturing the 
prediction that, if any serious attempt should be made in Congress to 
reject the application of Kansas for admission as a State into the 
Union, because the Convention did not submit the Constitution for 
a further ratification by the people, it will only occur in the event 
of the adoption of a pro-slavery organic law. 

Is Virgina, then, prepared to reject the application of a sister 
slavs State to be received into the Union, merely because its Con- 
vention has exercised its undoubted powers in the same manner 
with many other States, which have acted similarly, without preju- 
dice to their claims for admission into the Confederacy? I do not 
believe it for a moment, and I am sure that in such a contingency, 
the gallant Democracy of the time honored Tenth Legion, which 
has never yet hung fire, nor asked even for time to " peck the flint 
and try it again," will be amongst the first to cry out, " Never ! no, 
never ! " 


RICHMOND, [A.], October 31st, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIE : Within the past ten days, I have gathered some in- 
formation which it is important for you to know. While in Wash- 
ington I had occasion to meet with the President and several of his 
cabinet. Buchanan is evidently dissatisfied with your letter, and is 
imprudent enough to express himself. Brown and Cobb I think 
really want your election. The former is cordially your friend and 
desires me to say so to you. Floyd I did not see, but hear that he is 
non committal. At the Fair I had conversations with leading men 
from all parts of the State. Never have I seen such an exhibition of 
universal support and approbation. You ought to have been here. 
It would have done every heart good to have seen the results of the 
machinations of your enemies. I saw at least twenty members of the 
Legislature all for you, men even from whom I did not expect a com- 
mittal, such as Lee of Orange and others. If there ever was any 
doubt of your early election (and there never has been) it is all dis- 
pelled now. TSte opposition is dead. You are stronger by two 
hundred per cent in the State than you ever were. The course of the 
Enquirer has done more to build you up in the confidence and affec- 
tions of the people than all your friends together. The opposition 
will attempt to postpone the election, but it will not avail them. 
You will be elected the first week of the session. I saw Caperton ? 
Eenold, Paxton, Jones and others, they say everything is right and 
that you were never stronger with their people, never 1/3 as strong. 
My matters continue changing. When will you be in Washington. 



FREDERICKSBTIRG, {V.]^November 4> 1857. 

DEAK MUSCOE : Your kind letter of 2d Inst is just received. After 
reading and taking a copy of the " Veiled Prophet," envelope and 
all was consigned 'to the fire. Your wishes had in part been antici- 
pated. When in Richmond it was decided by Mr. Hunter's friends 
that the "mark" must be taken from the incognito editor of the 
Enquirer and Charles Irrin wrote an article which appeared in the 
Whig of Oct[ober] 31 [st]. Pry or could not publish it because he 
had incautiously, but from generous feelings, promised secrecy when 
engaged in his first difficulty with young Wise. All of our friends 
thought that he could not publish without signing his name to it. 
As yet the Enquirer has not noticed this article. To-clay I headed 
Irvin's article with a few borrowed sentences and it will appear in 
the Recorder of next Saturday. This I think will bring him out. I 
know positively that 0. J. Wise is the incognito, he acts as amanu- 
ensis to his father, and their joint labor is sometimes relieved by the 
man Friday Geo. W. Munford. 

Many of Mr. Hunter's friends met at the Fair. They are exultant 
in his Assured prospect of reelection. There is not a doubt of it and 
it will be done quickly as in J. M. Mason's case two winters- ago. 
Many of Wise's fast friends condemned the course of the Enquirer 
as heartily as do we. Geo. Booker, Dr. Simpkins, William Talia- 
ferro and his brother Warner &c were among the denunciators. I 
did not see or hear of anyone who expressed an opinion to the con- 
trary. All were delighted with Mr. Hunter's letter, the occasion of 
it and its contents alike gave pleasure. We have resolved to carry 
the war into Africa to defeat the Enquirer for public printing. If 
strong enough we want to unite a Western man with Pryor and 
elect him. If not we will split the enemy by electing the Examiner. 
On this subject we will be perfectly mum until after [the] Sena- 
torial election and then be governed by our strength to avenge. 

Old Crutch 1 told me to day that Wise was working to defeat his 
election to the Speakership. His weapons, as usual, are concealed. 
The special inuendo is that Old Crutch is partial in the appointment 
of committees especially the committee on Internal Improvement. 
This discloses Wise's intention to War upon all who are opposed to 

Write soon and excuse the haste of this letter. 

1 Oscar M Crutchfield, Speaker of the House of Delegates of the General Assembly of 
Virginia, 1852-1859. 





LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., [ VA.] , November P, 1857. 
MY DEAR SIR: I send you by the first mail since I received your 
letter the copy of Mr. Leake's letter as you request. I suppose he 
wishes to publish the letter and not the postscript. That however 
is for himself to decide and for that reason you had better show him 
the copy before you publish it. All that I wish is that it should 
appear to be published at Mr. Leake's instance and not at mine. It 
is his letter which he has a right to publish or not as he chooses. 
Personally it is a matter of indifference to me whether it be published 
or not. I only desire that it should not even seem to be published 
at my request. I must not conclude without returning you my 
thanks for the efficient support you have given me in your paper. 


LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., [VA.], November 5, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : Our friend Alexander has written me for a copy of 
your letter which I have sent as he said it was your wish that I 
should do so. I have written him not to publish it until he has 
shown you the copy, as I presume it is the letter and not the post- 
script which you wish. published. That however must be as you 
wish. I have no wish on the subject except that it should appear in 
the paper to be published by you and not by me. This is necessary 
to save me from the imputation of being forced into publishing your 
letter by the Enquirer. I certainly should never have asked you to 
publish it. Not that I have any care about the matter. It can do no 
harm to any one to publish it unless it should be thought that I had 
requested you to do it. 

I received a letter from Clarksburg this evening informing me that 
mine to you was entirely satisfactory in N"[orth] Western V[irgini]a, 
" the Enquirer " to the contrary notwithstanding. 


WASHINGTON, D. C., November I/, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have thought it would be agreeable to hear the 
opinions of your friends respecting your letters, and your prospects 
of re-election to the Senate. 


On the first head, many of your most discreet friends, think as you 
had preserved so long a dignified silence under the lashings of the 

Enquirer," that it would have been best to have persevered in this 
respect; and have said to your true friends in reply to their queries 
the substance of your last paragraphs to the Bockingham constituents. 

But, the matter is done, and I may say without dissimulation, 
" Well done," to quote King George's reply to Dr. Johnson, espe- 
cially the last letter. The first letter did not measure up to your 
accustomed felicity of style; but the last, has even evoked the praise 
of thz ^National "Intelligencer." Your positions are impregnable, 
and will be sustained by the mass of the democracy of our State. 
You will pardon my suggestion, I hope, when I venture to say, that 
your omission in both letters to refer to the very manly and patriotic 
reply of President Buchanan to the Connecticut Clergymen, has been 
construed into a cold admiration on your part of its contents, or of 
your want of personal or political allegiance to his administration. 
I say the mere absence of approval has implied a dissent. 

Gov. Toucey * says that Tie has no doubt of your faithfulness to 
prinicples, party, or the Administration; and that he supposed you 
would not be induced by mere newspaper squibs to define your posi- 
tion, but wait until a proper opportunity offered on the floor of the 
Senate. As one of the humblest of your friends 7 had hoped this 
would have been your course. But of course you knew best 

There is a rumor that because of the " Enquirer's " faux paux In 
respect to the Senatorship, that Gov. Wise has avowed his intention, 
recently, not under any circumstances to allow his name to come into 
competition with yours; also, that the friends of that newspaper, 
seeing there is no probability of defeating you, and that a further 
opposition may jeopard the interests of the paper, will soon cease its 
childish hectorings, and be reconciled to your success under the plea 
of endangering democratic supremacy in the State if further war 
shall be waged 1 'What a pity!! 

Dr. Kiclwell, and others assure me that there is now not a shadow 
of doubt as to your re-election. All my correspondence looks to this 

So mote it he! 

Rumor assigns Mr. Or is most prominent for the Speakership. 
Forney's paper thinks he will have no serious opposition. But I 
learn that his own colleagues will 'not support him. He is looked 
upon as the Administration candidate, which may defeat him. If 
the Southern. Eights men will go into Caucus they can control its 
"nominee, and give it to Bocock, or any other as popular a member. 

1 Isaac Toucey, Representative in Congress from Connecticut, 1835-1839 ; governor of 
Connecticut, 184G-1847 ; Attorney General of the United States, 1848-1849 ; Senator 
in Congress, 1852-1857 ; Secretary of the Navy, 1857-1861, 


But the fear is that the S[tate] E[ights] members will not be here 
promptly, nor go in a body to the Caucus. 

If the Virginia delegation presents one of her members for Speak- 
ership, the strong presumption is in favor of success. Bocock, 
Letcher, and Hopkins are spoken of in this connection. The first 
can command the united S[tate] Rfights] strength and is besides 
very popular personally. Have you heard any expression of opinion 
from Mr. Garnett, or any of the Members ? 


BOSTON, MASS., November 11, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : I venture to write to you of the enclosed article in 
relation to yourself. It is cut from the Boston Courier, a paper 
formerly Whig in its politics, then a Webster paper, so called, subse- 
quently betrayed into "wrong paths by public sentiment in this state 
upon the Nebraska-Kansas Bill, but now under new editors conserva- 
tive in tone and supporting the democratic party in the issues be- 
tween it and the republican organization. 

Its present editors, Mr. Hillard and Mr. Lamb, formerly Whigs, 
are accomplished men, able writers, and excellent lawyers. Mr. 
George S. Hillard, is one of the worthiest men in the state, and 
the person to whom Gen [era] 1 Gushing alludes in his Faniuel Hall 
speech. Mr. H[illard] informs me that he sent to you a copy of the 
paper although he had not the pleasure of your personal acquaint- 

I am sure that you will appreciate the purpose of this hasty note 
and pardon the intrusion. 

General Pierce is with me in this city on his way to Madison with 
Mrs. Pierce. 


ALEXANDRIA, VA., November IS, 1857. 

DEAR SIR : According to promise, I send you my prospectus. Tlie 
erasure made in the printed form, was done at the suggestion of the 
President, James Buchanan, for which I am much obliged, for I 
believe it will have the effect of giving the journal a more national 
character and strength amongst all parties, at the same time, it shall 
not make me forget the duty that I owe Virginia the south and your- 
self; for if there is any one object above another, that I have a 
preference for, it is your advancement to the highest political fame 
known to our Republic. 

This may have the sound of sophistry, not so, for you have given 
me evidences of your friendship in an unmistakable form ; and for 


which I only hope that I may have an opportunity of "convincing 
you, that it has been properly appreciated by me. 

I have never asked any other person to intercede for me, in obtain- 
ing what I asked of you, (an office) and I do not intend to ask 
others, but let it remain until I see you in person. Were I to at- 
tempt to detail all the questions that has been asked about the proba- 
ble prospect of your election and the sources from whence they 
came, it would make this note too tedious. But I will tell you what 
I said to Gov. Brown, when he asked me, what was your prospects 
for selection ; my answer was this ; that the combined, opposition in 
Virginia backed up by the administration could not possibly de- 
feat his (your) election. The next interview I had with Mm lie 
stated to me, that he regretted to see the course the Eichmond En- 
quirer was taking for it was only calculated to cause a division in the 
ranks of the party. I said nothing but thought a most material 
change had come over him. I stated in a previous note that T dis- 
continued the publication of the Southern Statesman. It was, be- 
cause Mr. Baker P. Lee, the late acting editor of the Eichmond En- 
quirer sold me the old News office in Norfolk, and from all the in- 
formation obtained from him the office was not in debt, or what was 
due, they were of a personal character and he w r ould settle them. He 
no sooner found that I was and intended to be your friend in the 
Senatorial Election, than he caused a levy to be made upon all the 
material, not only what I had bought of him, but all the new mate- 
rial that I had carried there, for the payment of nearly one years 
house rent due by the said Baker P. Lee, while I was absent in the 
upper part of Virginia on a visit to my sick wife. The distraint 
was made and the things sold the very day I arrived home, at least 
a sufficient quantity to satisfy the demand about $1000 worth sold 
to pay $300. So finding myself placed in such a dilemma, the paper 
not paying, and your election reduced almost to a certainty in my 
opinion, I concluded to. incur no more expenses and cease oppera- 
tions in that quarter. I publically denounced Mr. Baker P Lee and 
his attorney in a note sent them for the advantage taken in my 
absence but without effect, they stating I could get redress through 
the court. 

I say to you now what I have said about the columns of the States- 
man, you can command them. The gentleman whose name is ap- 
pended to the prospectus will have no controll over the columns un- 
less with my consent and approval. 


ALTO, [VA.], November 18, 1857. 

MY DEAR SIR : I know the opinions of an humble individual, like 
myself 5 are of no moment in matters of public concernment ; but in 


view of our former relations, I am constrained by a feeling of grati- 
fication, experienced in perusing your two letters, to congratulate 
you on their happy conception, and the influence their manly and 
independent tone must exert on all honorable men, and it is to be hoped 
the world is not made up altogether with ingrates. At first I thought 
you could not, well, break the dignified silence you had properly 
assumed without detrement, but under the circumstances, I do not 
see how you could have avoided a reply, and how you could have said 
more or less, or said it better. The only doubt in your position is, 
at what point or period of adolescence (if I may use the term) does 
sovereignty attach to the new state ? 

What a "trump" Leake is! You will remember, in the early 
part of this controversy how much importance, I attached to his 
friendship. I saw him on my visit to Albemarle in Sept [ember] 
and was pleased to find how warmly he had espoused your cause. He 
is mistaken in the paternity of the Rockingham resolutions. They 
are unquestionably the emanations of Smith's brain, and develop 
completely all the combinations of the hellish plot against you. 
Deneale is Smiths first cousin, and I know this is not the first time 
he has attempted to use him for his purposes. He is made of such 
suple stuff that I would not now, even, dispair by proper manage- 
ment, of converting him to our side. 

You should counsel some of your friends to prudence, whose own 
zeal has, heretofore worked no good; but I do not think you ought 
any longer to restrain them from letting loose, the " dogs of war " 
upon the chief of sinners. 


[WASHINGTON, D. C., 1857?]. 

MY DEAR SIR: I received your letter yesterday evening just as I 
was going out to dinner so that I could not attend to it then. To day 
is Sunday and the libraries are closed which prevents me from 
searching out the speech which you desire to see. On tomorrow 
however I will find it and do myself the pleasure to send it to you. 

As you have complimented me so far as to express a respect for 
my thoughts upon this subject I will venture so far as to submit them 
in a somewhat different form for consideration. The power to acquire 
Territory and to govern it has been derived from three different 
sources, the War, and the treaty making powers and the right to 
admit New States into the Union have each been referred to for the 
origin of the jurisdiction of Congress over the Territories. I have 
always been inclined to refer to it to the last which I think was 
the view generally taken in the debate on the K[ansas] -Nebraska 
bill. The implication from this last is more immediate and less re- 



mote than it would be from the other sources. It is too a more 
necessary implication from the first than the last, you may make 
treaties and carry on war without making premanent additions of 
Territory when you have implied the right to acquire territory from 
this source you have to resort to another implication for the power to 
govern which involves an implication upon an implication. Not oo 
with the power to admit new states into the Union. There you have 
the direct grant of the power to acquire Territory and the implica- 
tion is necessary that Congress may and must govern it whilst its 
society is maturing and progressing to the condition which fits it 
for a state. That this power to admit new states into the Union 
looked directly to Territory then without the pale of the Confederacy 
is proved by the history of the Convention which sought to keep 
open a way for the admission of Canada. 

It is not to be supposed that any government was ever formed 
without some view towards the acquisition of Territory, and if 
such view was entertained it is no where so directly expressed as in 
this entire section. If this power of altering the boundaries of old 
.states and of fusing or dividing them with their assent, was given 
for the purpose of forming or erecting new states all the objection 
to it might arise which could bo urged against the right to admit 
a new state formed out of Territory at that time foreign. If state 
necessities justified the one they might also the other and if in the 
last case it should be objected that the equilibrium of power might 
be disturbed by such means then the same powers ought to have for- 
bidden the exercise of such a right in the first case. But be this as it 
may from whatever source the power is derived it is clear that it 
must be exercised under the limitations and restrictions* imposed 
by the constitution upon the action of Congress. Congress is a 
trustee created and called into being by the constitution of the 
United States for certain purposes and trusts declared in that in- 
strument. It is the creation of that deed. There are certain things 
which it cannot do because it is directly prohibited from doing 
them and there are certain just ends and purposes which constitute 
the very design of its being. By its foreign action it must preserve 
the peace and existence of the states by its internal operation it must 
secure their equal enjoyment of all the benefits of Federal legislation. 
Its legislation was designed to operate equally upon the states and 
individuals. Everywhere in the constitution we find Congress fixed 
around by prohibitions to do certain things which might operate 
unequally upon the states or commanded to act upon considerations 
which more fully look to equal justice to all. I will not enlarge 
upon this here as I have elaborated this in the speech upon the Kan- 
sas question which I sent to you. But that the general purposes and 
23318 18 VOL 2 17 


end of the makers of this Federal Government were such as I have 
described I think there can be no doubt. 

This right then to govern the Territories must be so exercised that 
on the one hand Congress shall do none of these things which it is 
prohibited from doing, as enforcing a title of nobility for instance, 
whilst on the other its action must conform to the general efforts of 
the Trusts for which it was created. That its powers in the Terri- 
tories are limited by the constitution has in effect been decided by 
Judge Marshall in regard to the District of Columbia. This is a 
case with which you are doubtless familiar. I do not now remember 
its style but can find it if necessary. If however it had never been 
so decided, it is so clear that I am surprised at the necessity for 
arguing it. That Congress may exercise some powers in the Terri- 
tories that it cannot in the states I admit but not for the reason that 
the constitution does not limit it in both cases. The reason is to be 
found in the different nature of the cases. When there is a dispute 
between the General and the State government in regard to a power 
which might be exercised by either then if it be an implied power 
the implication must be short by which the former can claim it. 
Because in such cases the constitution raises the presumption in favor 
of the states by declaring that all powers not delegated to the 
U[nited] S[tates] by the constitution nor prohibited by It to the 
states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. 

But when the power is one which must be exercised by the 
Gen [era] 1 Gov[ernmen]t, if exercised at all, it may be implied on a 
more liberal measure or rather it may become necessary because the 
citizen could not otherwise have the protection of his government. 
Thus the power to regulate Commerce with Foreign nations and 
amongst the several states is given in the same terms and yet under 
this power by a necessary implication the Gen [era] 1 Gov[ernmen]t 
exercises a jurisdiction over the persons and property of its citizens 
above which it could not assume within the states. If the Gen [era] 1 
Gov[ernmen]t did not exercise this power alone the states could not 
do it and thus a power necessary for the protection of the citizen 
in the pursuits of freer commerce would be in abeyance if it were 
not used by the Gov[ernmen]t which alone has jurisdiction over his 
affairs abroad. Within the states however no such necessity exists 
as there is another jurisdiction there adequate to his relief. So in 
the government of the Territories Congress takes jurisdiction over 
subjects which it would not touch within the states. Not because 
it governs in the Territories without the constitution but because 
powers necessary & proper to be implied in the one case are not so in 
the other. But it could not act in the Territories or anywhere in 
opposition to the great ends of the constitution or in defiance of 


Its express prohibitions. It could not establish, a religion in the 
Territories because it is expressly prohibited to do so. 

Nor could it establish a lower rate of duties upon imports in the 
Territories than it exacted within the states because such a law would 
disturb the equality of citizens and of states whicli is the funda- 
mental condition of the Union. " Vessels bound to or from one state 
shall not be obliged to enter clear or pay duties in another." This 
applies to the states alone, and yet every one feels that Congress 
could not require it to be done in the Territories either, because it 
would operate unequally upon the states and thus be contrary to the 
just objects of the constitution. So too Congress would allow 
greater privilege within the Territories to the citizens of Massachu- 
setts than to those of Tennessee, or deny to the citizens of the several 
states the privileges granted to the inhabitants of the Territories. 

It could not do these things because they are contrary to the gen- 
eral spirit and purpose of the constitution which so completely seeks 
equality amongst the states and the citizens of these states. And yet 
if Congress governs in the Territories without the Constitution it 
might do all or any of these things. I might multiply instances in 
which it would shock common sense to suppose the exercise of power 
within the Territories which were against the spirit of the constitu- 
tion, but to do so would be unnecessary. The supreme court has de- 
clared that the " United States " is a term which embraces territories 
as well as states and that the constitution of the United States covers 
all. If this course of reasoning be right then the United States can- 
not use and govern these Territories for the good of a part and not 
of the whole of the citizens and the states. It cannot say that the 
free states may settle and colonize vacant territory the common prop- 
erty of all whilst the slave holding states are to be debarred from 
the same privilege. The great value of vacant Territory to states 
consists in the outlet which it affords to their surplus population 
and the means which it gives for promoting their growth and in- 
creasing their power. 

These considerations far transcend in importance those which may 
be implied [?] with property in the land and yet none would pretend 
that the money arising from the sale of these lands might be given 
to the Free States alone without regard to the others. And why? 
Because this would be to deal unequally with the States of the Union. 
And yet in the distribution of advantages and benefits of a far 
higher nature it is gravely asserted that such a discrimination may 
be made. It will not do to say that the prohibition of slavery within 
its boundary does not prevent the white citizen, who holds slaves, 
from emigrating to a Territory. We all know that it does because 
it involves the breaking of what, in some sense, may be called family 
ties. Lot parted with Abraham to follow his herdsmen. But be this 


as it may as to the citizen, the State itself has the deepest interest 
in keeping open an outlet for all its population, black and white, and, 
further, it is a matter of deep concern to it to preserve all the means 
for promoting the growth of its political powers which are enjoyed 
by the other States of the Union. To deny to the slave-holding 
States equal rights in these respects is to disturb the equality of the 
States in a most vital point. This is to say that the most valuable 
of the advantages which flow from Territorial acquisition are to be 
confined exclusively to ourselves and to be denied to another. Let 
us see now how such an exclusion would operate on the equality of 
the citizen. On the high seas, where the jurisdiction of the United 
States is exclusive, an undeniable obligation rests upon the United 
States to protect the citizens of all the States in their property and 
rights. Nor can Congress discriminate between citizens and States 
in this regard. Whatever is property in any one of the States must 
be so considered under this jurisdiction which is common to all. 
The right of the United States to the enjoyment of the high seas is 
a right which belongs equally to all of the States and the right to 
transport his property upon those seas is the equal right of the 
citizens of all the States. 

To discriminate between the citizens and the property of the 
several States in regard to these rights would be a plain violation of 
that equality which the Constitution ordains. Congress could not, 
therefore, destroy the property of the master in the slave upon the 
high seas because its jurisdiction was exclusive there unless it acted 
upon the assumption that there could be no property in slaves even 
in the States themselves. To do the one it must affirm the other. 
To argue such a question is unnecessary here. This right is acknowl- 
edged in too many ways by the Constitution and the laws to be 
questioned here. If, then, it would be a violation of the equal rights 
of the citizen which have .been secured by the Constitution of the 
United States to destroy his property in the high %eas because the 
jurisdiction of the Gen[era]l Gov[ernmen]t was exclusive, then may 
not the same be affirmed of any attempts to destroy his property in 
the common territories of the United States because the jurisdiction 
of Congress is exclusive there? These high seas are the common 
property of man, the General Gov[ernmen]t is the trustee to secure 
the enjoyment of that right to its States and its citizens and the 
Constitution requires it to deal equally by all. The territory of the 
United States are the common property of its States and its citizens 
and the Gen [era] 1 Gov[ernmen]t is the trustee for all. Does not 
the Constitution assume in this case also that it should deal alike 
with all? It is admitted by all that Congress could not give to some 
of the States a greater proportionate share of the pecuniary or com- 
mercial advantages to be derived from the Territories which are the 


common property of all. Must not the same principle be applied to 
the political advantages to be derived by the several States from such 
common possessions? The last are of a far more transcendent im- 
portance than the first. 



WASHINGTON, [D. C.],Jufy 86, 1858. 

MY DEAR SIR : I had already spoken to Governor Toucey in behalf 
of your friend. He did not say what he would do, but I let him 
know your great desire on the subject. I will repeat to Mm what 
you now say. We have not yet received full returns from the cus- 
toms for the last fiscal year, but I have made an estimate for the 
few posts not heard from. I give you the general result. 

From Customs $41, 800, 725 ' 

" Public Lands: 3,461,734 

" Miscellaneous ,__ 1, 243, 445 

46, 505, 904 

The gross amount is a little over $46,000,000. The falling off is from 
public lands. The receipts from customs for the present fiscal year 
have been very encouraging. From N"ew York the accounts are quite 
favorable. Last week averaged $140,000 per day. A. letter from 
Mr. Schell this morning says as the opinion of well informed mer- 
chants " the business will be good though not large and that the im- 
provement already shown will continue." With these indications " I 
feel confident that we shall fully realize if not exceed the calcu- 
lations in your speech on the loan bill." I hope to be able to get 
through the first six months of the year with the ten millions of the 
loan already advertised for. If I can do this, I feel certain that 
there will be no further call for loans. To do this, we must make 
up in customs for the great falling off from public linds. From the 
1st of this month to the 24th inclusive as far as heard from, our re- 
ceipts from customs amount to $3,203,524. The receipts of the whole 
month from all the posts will probably reach $4,500,000. I give you 
these items as a basis for any calculation you may have the time and 
inclination to make. If we can keep clear of cleficiences I feel con- 
fident that we will not be disappointed in our expectations. I am 
struggling hard for such a result, but have my fears of the P [ost] 
0[ffice] and War Departments. The estimates will be brought be- 
low $64,000,000, unless this last mentioned cause should prevent it. 

The political news from the north is favorable. The greatest 
trouble will be in Illinois produced by Douglass' course, and in 
Pennsylvania on account of the tariff. The slavery excitement ap- 


pears to be over. The result of the vote in Kansas cannot seriously 
effect the counts. I regard that vote as very doubtful. Denver 
when here so considered it. He tells me, that there is no excitement 
in the territory on the slavery question, but that the decision will 
turn upon other points, such as their inability to support the State 
Government &c &c. As evidence of this fact Denver says, the 
strongest slavery and anti slavery men are for the admission and vice 

Pardon this hasty note, but I thought it might be interesting to you 
to know all that we know here about this matter. 

P. S. Leake's brother will go into office on the first of next month. 
I have so notified him. 


BROWNSVILLE, [PA.], August 17t~ti, 1858. 

DEAR HUNTER: Gov[erno]r Bright and myself made a contract 
with Moore and Bobbins of Superior for the making of a road to 
Medary on the Mississippi and to Mille Lace. The aggregate dis- 
tance is about 71 miles and the price agreed to be paid is $300 per 
mile. The contract is conditioned that a majority of the original 
share-holders approve the same and sign the enclosed paper. 
Govfernor] Bright has obtained the signatures of Corcoran, Wall- 
ridge, Forney and Cass and has gone to St. Paul to see Rice and 
others in that direction. If you approve the arrangement please 
sign the enclosed paper and return the same to me without delay. 
Bobbins one of the contractors came down with us and is now await- 
ing our action. I think the arrangement a good one. Superior 
wants relief, and these roads will do much. The town is dull and 
lots no sale at present. The point is a great one but has been preju- 
diced by the legislation of Congress. 

I will send you the contract or a copy of it as soon as Brecken- 
ridge returns it to me. I enclosed it to him together with the paper 
for his signature. 


LIBERTY, VIRGINIA, August #0, 1858. 

MY DEAR SIR: You will I hope excuse an invasion of your quiet 
so far as to offer some suggestions upon the present state of party 
and sectional politics, especially when I promise that my letter will 
need no reply. 

I think your conference bill has settled the Kansas question for 
two reasons; 

1. The land holders in Kansas are unwilling to furnish any longer 
the lists upon which the sectional battles are to be decided. 

0$ ROBERT M. T. HUNTER. 263 

2. The Coalitionists cannot revive the slavery dispute without 
destroying all chance of Union with the Americans of the North, 
^ It may be added, that if the right of Kansas to adopt a constitu- 
tion without an enabling act should come in question, it will not 
involve the subject of slavery except incidentally. 

^But if the Freebooters can effect a coalition upon the sole basis of 
dividing the prey, the prospects of the Democratic party for con- 
tinued rule are eloomv. 

O *t 

In this state of things I think some new issue indispensable, but 
before stating what I think that issue should be, I will say that 
[there] are two preliminaries to the next Presidential campaiga 
which I think important. 

The first is that the Democratic candidate should be a southern 
man. If it has come to this : that no democrat can be elected unless 
he be a northern man, and if the power of the opposition lies in the 
north, it must follow, that we are to have none but northern Presi- 
dents. This sectionalises the Confederacy. 

The second suggestion upon this point is that the Democratic party 
should make its own reforms. This government is extravagant and 
corrupt. Its expenditures will render necessary an established pro- 
iective tariff, or a national debt, perhaps both. Neither are Demo- 
cratic. Let then the Democratic members of Congress at the next 
session acknowledge the wasteful tendencies of the government and 
endeavor to restrain them. The people then will have no motive to 
take the Government out of the hands of one set of reformers to 
place it in the hands of another. 

But a new issue is needed to counteract the clamor now raised 
against the Administration. 

What think you of the acquisition of all Mexico? As I do not 
belong to the school of ethics which believes any political advantage 
will atone for a moral wrong I will endeavor to show that this 
measure is eminently right and judicious. And this not only in a 
national but in a sectional view. 

I know your apprehension of expansion. You look upon it as 
a necessary evil. But " out of this nettle danger, we (must) pluck 
the flower safety." 

You apprehend danger from the embodiment of States having a, 
mongrel population into this Confederacy. The people of Mexico are 
divided by the Statisticians into %th natives, industrious and peace- 
ful, 1/5 Mongrel, and 1/7 White. If the States of the Mexican 
Republic shall be admitted into our union it would become the 
duty of the Federal government to suppress insurrections, repel in- 
vation, and guarantee a Republican government to each of the States 
admitted. This would protect the native race, and control the gov- 
erning class. The equal right of our citizens to settle in the Mexican 


States, and the great inducement to them to do so, would in a short 
time carry a sufficient population across the gulf to control the 
present governing class of Mexico, and we might expect to impress 
upon their interests and institutions the doctrines established amongst 
ourselves, as we have already done in Texas, Louisiana and Califor- 
nia. In each of these cases the argument of an incompatible popula- 
tion has been urged as a reason against union. 

It is unnecessary that I should expatiate upon the extraordinary 
inducements offered to our people to emigrate to Mexico. I will 
only mention therefore the facilities for doing so. We have now 
completed that great system of physical development by Bail Roads 
which was so indispensable to the political power of the South. We 
have now Eailroads which connect the gulf states with the Atlantic. 
We can now bring the great grain states of the South into full pro- 
duction and we can employ the ports of the South to export its 

We have now a Mail route from Washington to New Orleans which 
supersedes the Ohio river and the Coast lines; in October next, there 
will be a mail and travel route opened across Tehuantepec which will 
save 3,000 miles of ocean risk and ten days time between New York 
and San Francisco ; this will transfer the gold and passenger business 
from Panama to New Orleans. But this will also bring the South- 
ern States within four or five days of the Mexican States. It will 
bring the city of Mexico within ten days of the City of Washington 
and within instantaneous communication by a cable across the Gulf. 

When we acquired Louisiana, New Orleans was twenty six days 
mail time from Washington, and this is the mail time of St. Fran- 
cisco now. With even present facilities the States of Mexico are 
nearer Washington than Tennessee and Alabama were twenty years 

I cannot then see how the character of the Mexican people can 
infect our own for they will not come amongst us, but we shall go 
amongst and reform them. Nor can there be any impediment in 
the distance, and want of commercial facilities between the two 

There is one obvious risk which the South has to run in such a 
union. We must agree of course upon the number of Mexican States 
to be admitted, and the territories to be held in pupillage. We must 
agree also upon the rule of political enumeration to be applied to the 
Mexican people. Of course we should wish to apply the 3/5ths 
principle as far as possible, and diminish at first the senatorial and 
popular representatives of Mexico in Congress. * 

But these people are in theory free, they might side with the 
Abolitionists and thus control the American government and the 
South also. This is an obvious consequence of a wholesale corifed- 


eration with Mexico. Whether this consequence can be guarded 
against or counteracted if it occur, or whether it will precipitate a 
sectional collision, I will not consider. As a Southern Statesman you 
have no alternative except to encounter them. 

You have been turned out of Kansas, upon the application of your 
own principles. You have neither the inducement nor the slave 
population to go further north. But you have two invaluable ad- 
vantages. You have secured the equal admissibility of the slave 
with the free states. You have given to the North a region in great 
part uninhabitable and incapable therefore of being divided into 
numerous and populous states. 

Upon your part you have within your grasp a country accessible, 
abounding in all the metals and staples which civilised man most 
values, and a territory so extensive as that you can by only promot- 
ing the existing communities of Mexico to an equality with the pres- 
ent members of the Union preserve the balance in the Council of 
States, and so guarantee the peculiar rights of those States of which 
you are one of the guardians and representatives. 

Here then is an opportunity to place the rights of the South upon 
the impregnable basis of equal or superior political power in the 

I repeat the admission that the success of this plan will depend 
upon the established ascendancy of Southern principles within this 
new acquisition. But suppose you refuse to admit Mexico into the 
Union lest she be the wooden horse of the Greeks. Will she not be 
as well indoctrinated with free soil ideas out of the union? Will not 
our enemies seek to environ us with an abolition cordon and will we 
not be safer if we have the right to send into Mexico the army of 
Southern youth that would go there under the Confederation ? 

And if the worst should befall us could we not cut loose from the 
Union throw an emigrant army into Mexico and make it as safe as 

You have I repeat no alternative. The North has more states and 
more territory than the South. It has the immigration of Europe to 
aid it. Your subjugation is as certain as the unrelenting operation 
of these great causes can render it. 

Your only chance to secure the good will and forbearance of the 
world is to seize upon all the territory which produces those great 
staples of social necessity which the world cannot go without. Do 
so and you are safe. Fail to do so ; you will be slowly and certainly 
enveloped in the coils of an avoricious and ambitious power, and 
your subjugation will be perpetual. 

I can not in common civility extend this letter, so as to embrace 
all the reasons why, in my opinion, the South should advocate the 
immediate acquisitions of the Mexican States. It would task your 


eyes and good nature too much to read them. But I will add a few 
words upon the practicability of such a measure. 

The success would depend upon negotiation. England wishes to 
secure her debt and develop a market for her manufacturers. She 
would have to manage Mexico and make the treaty for us. I infer 
she could do so from the recent change in her policy toward us. 

The Southern States would advocate the measure. The manu- 
facturing interests of the north would favor this Extension of our 
Home market and these interests detached from the coalitions would 
continue the government in the hands of the Democracy. 

You see I have dispatched the practicability in very few words. 
It is unnecessary to do more with you than suggest the reasons upon 
which I rely, you can judge better than I can what weight they 
should bear. 

Again I apologize. Should any point in this letter appear of 
sufficient interest to you to render it proper for me to elucidate, or 
defend it, I could of course do so otherwise my end will be attained 
by submitting it to your consideration as a suggestion intended for 
the success of principles important to us both as natives of Virginia 
and citizens of the Union. 


FORT MONROE, VA., October 17th, \1858f\. 

MY DEAR COUSIN: It was my expectation to have visited Essex 
this fall and to have seen you before the meeting of Congress. I 
am disappointed in this expectation. On Monday last I got an order 
to go to Fort Wasliita, Arkansas, as Judge Advocate of a Gen [era] 1 
Court-Martial to meet there on the 20' prox. I shall endeavor to 
get off from here on Saturday. 

There are many matters of general interest to the Army and the 
public about which I wished to speak to you before Congress met ; 
but as I shall not be able to see you before Jan[uar]y, I will state 
them by letter. 

And, first, about the vacant Brigadier Generalship. Should a 
nomination for this office be presented to the next Senate, I hope 
you will cause it to be understood that whosoever he may be, he 
is destined at no distant day to be the Govnmanding General of the 
U[nited] S[tates] Army. Gen [era] Is Scott, Twiggs, and Wool can 
not last much longer, and this officer will thus soon find himself the 
Senior General of the Army, and, therefore, best entitled to the 
chief command. Who he is to be I have not the remotest idea, but 
whoever he may be his qualifications for the command of the Army 
ought to be closely examined by the Senate. The appointment will 


not be merely that of a Brig[adier] Gen[era]l of the Army, but that 
of the future Com[man]d[e]r Gen [era] 1. 

Some say that Col. Davis wants it himself. I don't believe this un- 
less he stands no chance for election to the Senate. Of all the aspir- 
ants for this office from civil life he is, perhaps, the best, or at 
least as good as any. In the Army, Gen [era] Is Smith, Harney, Gar- 
land, Col[onel]s Lee, Mansfield, Smith, C. F., and Bragg are spoken 
of by their various admirers. In my opinion Col. Lee is infinitely 
superior to all of them together. Since the Mexican War Gen[era]l 
Smith has shown himself to be utterly deficient in administrative 
capacity and, in my judgment, entirely unqualified for the position 
of Com [man] d [in] g General of the U[nited] S[tates] Army. Gar- 
land and Harney are entirely out of the question, both in private as 
well as professional character, and their appointment would be ex- 
ceedingly distasteful to the Army. I will not say that Col. Lee 
would make a better Com [man] d [in] g Gen[era]l than Gen[era]l 
Scott, but he would make unquestionably fully as good a one. I 
believe he is Gen [era] 1 S[cott]'s equal in professional knowledge and 
ability, while he is infinitely more equable in temper and uniform 
in conduct. He is a man of the highest tone of character, of the 
most scrupulous integrity, and the highest sense of honor and justice. 
Of all the officers of our Army below the rank of Col[onel] he is, 
beyond any doubt in my mind, the best suited for the place, will 
give the most satisfaction to the Army, and reflect the highest credit 
on the country. Upon inquiry among officers of the Army you will 
not find that I am alone in these opinions. 

2d. The merging all mounted troops into one corps. This was 
recommended to the last Congress, and the two New Mounted Reg[i- 
men]ts received the designation of "Cavalry" in accordance with 
that recommendation; but Congress failed to direct that the 2 old 
Reg[imen]ts of dragoons and the Beg[imen]t of M[owi\t[e\d Rifle- 
men should be known by the same designation and constitute one 
general corps of cavalry. You recollect I expressed myself in favor 
of this last spring when I was in the cavalry and when it was of the 
highest importance to me that these corps should be kept distinct. 
In an Army there ought to be but three general corps infantry, 
cavalry and artillery: and the promotion in each of these corps 
should run throughout the corps whatever may be the equipment of 
the various regiments of which it is composed. Thus under the gen- 
eral designation of Infantry we may have heavy and light Inf [an- 
try] , Foot riflemen, and under that of Cavalry we may have Heavy 
and Light Dragoons, Lancers, Hussars, Chassons &c &c, but the 
promotion should run from one reg[imen]t and Inf [antry] to the 
other whatever may be its particular equipment and designation; 
and so of all the Eeg[imen]ts of Cavalry. Let us have but three 


arms of service Infantry, Cavalry and Art[iller]y, and give the 
Pres[iden]t the power to arm and equip them as the wants of the 
service or the improvement in the profession of arms may require. 
This arrangement would compel officers to keep themselves informed 
of all their doubts which can be required of any officer of his arm 
of the service. The off[icer] of foot riflemen would thus have to 
keep himself informed of the drill and duties of heavy Inf [antrjy, 
as it might be his fortune to be promoted into a reg[imen]t of heavy 

3d. An increase of the corps of Cadets, by having a cadet for each 

Previous to the addition of the four New Keg[imen]ts the Mil[i- 
tar]y Acad[em]y barely graduated enough cadets yearly to fill the 
vacancies in the army. This year when the first class graduated there 
were 40 vacancies in the Army. They were all filled ly Mr. Pierce 
from civil life> and those cadets who had been four years preparing 
themselves to fill these places were attached to the reg[imen]ts be- 
low the Civilians as brevets. Hitherto a theoratical fourth of the 
corps of cadets have graduated every year. But this year the five 
years' course of study has gone into operation and we shall soon have 
only a theoratical fifth graduation, or about 25 men. These will not 
begin to supply the vacancies of the increased army. They would 
not have done it, before the New reg[imen]ts were added. The conse- 
quence will be that each year before a class graduates there will be 
15 or 20 vacancies in the Army, and they will always be filled from 
Civil life. The Civilians will be made full Lieut [enantjs & the Ca- 
dets, brevets, for the law does not allow the President to appoint a 
citizen a brevet. These cadets after five years toil, hope & expecta- 
tion, will find themselves, as they did last June, ranked on the very 
day on which they graduated by men who couldn't tell a gobien[?] 
from an apple-basket. The result of all this will be that the grad- 
uates will resign and the army will soon lose the distinctive charac- 
ter which it has derived from the Mil[itar]y Acad[em]y, and which 
has reflected so much credit on it and the country. I wish I was able 
to explain to you fully the importance of this thing. The present 
Barracks at West Point could accommodate this increase. 

4. Increase of pay and a retired list. These subjects you already 
understand. There is no one measure which could now benefit the 
army more than a retired list. But the Eetired list of the Navy has 
raised such a dust that I despair of anything for the Army in that 
way for the present. With regard to pay I have but one remark 
to make. It ought to be enough to make an officer feel that he can 
devote his time and talent exclusively to his profession, and to ex- 
empt him" from all anxiety as to his means of living both for the 
present and in his old age. If this is not the case men will turn their 


attention to other pursuits neglect their professional duties. A 
principle of self preservation prompts it. If Congress thinks the 
present pay sufficient to protect the off [icer]s of the army from want 
& anxiety, then nothing more can be said. For my part I do not 
think so. 

o. The superintendency of the Mil[itar~\y Acad[em\y. Since 
Col[onel] Lee's promotion, the engineer corps, to which the super- 
intendency is confined by law, is unable to find an officer in it of 
sufficient rank to make a Superintendent, Capt[ain], and Br. 
Maj[or] Barnard (wholly unfitted for the place) is now acting 
Sup[erinenden]t, while Maj[or] and B[rigadie]r L[ieutenan]t 
Col[onel] Walker, his superior, is commandant of cadets. They 
have been obliged to put Barnard temporarily in his brevet rank. 
When Ma] [or] Delafield returns from the Crimea, it is said he will 
be sent back there as Sup[erintenden]t. He is the best man in his 
corps at present of any rank for this position, though there are many 
better men elsewhere in the army. The great objection hitherto 
urged against throwing the superintendency open to the whole army, 
is that the appointment would soon become a matter of political 
favoritism. This is probable. The position of Corn [man] d[e]r has 
already become so. But could not the law throwing it open provide 
that the Sup[erinten]d[en]t of the Mil[itar]y Aca[dem]y should 
hereafter be appointed by the President from, any corps of the army, 
upon the recommendation of the Inspector of the Acad[em]y and 
the Com [man] d[er] Gen [era] 1 of the Army? Or let the app[oint- 
men]t be so made from a number of persons so recommended. I 
have hitherto been opposed to throwing it open to the army for the 
reasons above stated but I am not so now if it can be done with the 
conditions I have mentioned. The engineer corps can no longer in 
my opinion supply a suitable man. I have reason to believe that 
Gen [era] 1 Scott's opinion has undergone a change on this subject 
similar to my own. He wants to see Lee sent back. To use his own 
expression he wants to see him "throttled and dragged back." I 
should be glad to see this also if they do not make him the New 
Brig[adier] General. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], November 6, 1858, 

MY DEAR SIR: What are we to look for in the North? If Seward 
has carried N[ew] York upon the basis of his pronunciamentos, 
what in 1860? 


BRENTSYILLE, [VA.], November Sth, [1868F]. 
DEAR SIR: Some months ago I was informed that John Letcher 
who has always been understood to be a warm friend of yours had 


urged H. A. Wise to become a candidate for the Senate against you. 
That he was the first person who wrote to Gov. Wise [on] that sub- 
ject and that he wrote as far as three letters all urging upon him to 
oppose you. I was referred to Mr. Garnett your nephew for the 
truth of this charge. Will you be kind enough to inform me whether 
this is so or not. 

I am not pleased with the Euffner business but that would be more 
tolerable than conduct such as I have mentioned above, because he 
could not be relied on if the above charge is true. Please give your 
views fully on this subject at as early a day as practicable. 


SAN FRANCISCO, [CAL.], November W, 18-68. 

DEAR SIR: I have taken the liberty of forwarding you via Panama, 
a communication on questions affecting the revenue and showing to 
what an extent they affect articles of Southern growth. It might be 
supposed that the balance of trade for certain regions would be 
against us for articles we do not raise and for which our productions 
would be the natural exchange. Such however is not the case. Our 
indebtedness to those regions is not for coffee and tea which we do 
not raise, as for them we ought to consider our exports of certain 
kinds as the fair exchange; but for sugar, rice, molasses, hemp, to- 
bacco c. I had the honor of presenting you an introductory letter 
from Gov. Weller and have to express my warm thanks for your 
kind influence in my behalf. I have just rec[eive]d letters from the 
Governor. He is in the enjoyment of good health. If I can be 
of service to you here, in any way, be pleased to command me. 

P. S. When in Washington, I mentioned to Mr. Clayton the effect 
of allowing Spanish dollars to be our standard of value, also the 
necessity of coining Silver Dollars, U. S. He informed me that the 
matters were before Committees, hence I have addressed you. 

E. M. T. HUNTER TO . l 


MY DEAR SIR : I have received the letter from Mr, Eandall to Mr. 
Randolph and can well appreciate the anxieties of the Biographer. 
You ask my opinions as to his true course in dealing with Mr, Jeffer- 
son's opinions upon slavery. He sums them up fairly that is as I 
understand them, and I think he proposes to treat them properly, 
that is to say " independently, justly, and manfully " to use his own 
words. Truth ought to be the first object of a historian and without 
it history is worse than truthless. Truth told in the spirit of truth 

1 Henry S. Randall's Life of Jefferson occasioned this correspondence. The book ap- 
peared In 1857. 


injures no man or at least he suffers less in that way than any other. 
But there is yet another view of this subject. Mr. Jefferson pub- 
lished his opinions because he desired them to be known and every 
man has the right to present his own view of his own character 
so far as that character is to be affected by his sentiments and opin- 
ions. It is by these last that a man often desires not to be known to 
posterity. He would be a rash man indeed who would undertake 
to judge for Mr. Jefferson and pronounce against his wishes in such 
a matter as that, one in regard to which he was especially anxious to 
stand truly and as he thought rightly before posterity. I am no 
relative of Mr. Jefferson but I feel a deep interest in the reputation 
of that good Virginian and if I were the historian I would not take 
the responsibility of concealing any opinion of his which he had 
thought it fit to publish. I do not say the same however of opinions 
which a man breathes to a friend in the spirit of confidence and 
which he obviously did not wish to be published. A biographer has 
no right to publish them or to use such materials, he can have no more 
right to do this than to receive stolen goods. 

This is a matter in regard to which biographers have sometimes 
made sad mistakes or more perhaps have committed unpardonable 
errors. You see I wish Mr. Randall to speak the truth but much 
depends upon the liberty and spirit in which it is told. Macauley can 
take the skeleton outline of a truth and so color it as to produce the 
falsest impressions. This is very apt to be the fault of these picture 
writers when they deal with history. Whether Mr. Eandall be one 
of that class I know not but the taste for such writing is becoming 
too prevalent now a days. Mr. Jefferson is one of those great men 
who must appear before the bar of posterity to receive its judgment 
on actions as good or ill in his services or character. I say let him 
speak then for himself and present his own view of his case for I 
know not who else can perform that office so well for him. 


WASHINGTON, [D. C.] 5 May 18^ 1859. 

MY DEAR SIR: The article which I sent you on Neutral rights was 
written by a Brother-in-law of Gov. Marcy. As he is a democrat, 
this is, of course entre nos. 

I think you are entirely right, in declining at this time, the trip 
proposed by Mr. Pruyn[?], who is a clever gentleman and friendly 
to you. His wife was the niece of Hon. Erastus Co-rning, and not 
related by ties of kindred to Gov. Marcy. 

I cannot resist the conclusion that Mr. Buchanan is looking to a 
second term, yet it is only a few evenings since he disclaimed in my 
presence any such purpose, and spoke of the approaching termina- 


tion of his official life (which he counted by months) with apparent 

It is thought that Appleton will soon retire from the Department 
of State, and has left for Maine to look after Delegates for the 
Charleston Convention who are to be chosen next month. He will 
encounter Peter G. Washington who preceded him to New England 
having an eye to Mr. Guthrie's interest in that quarter. 

Douglas has visited New York twice since the adjournment of 
Congress, and left here yesterday for New Orleans on private busi- 
ness, and at the same time is likely to take care of his political inter- 
ests. It is so much the habit of New York City politicians to flatter 
every Democratic aspirant for Presidential honors who may chance 
to visit them that he in all probability was greatly encouraged by 
their professions, and if induced to expect Southern support his 
friends will push earnestly for a nomination at Charleston. 
I am hopeful that he will see his true position, and urge the North 
West to go for a Southern candidate, which I cannot but believe he 
will do before the meeting of the Charleston Convention. 

I do not see that Breckenridge has any positive strength, yet he is 
well spoken of by leading party men, and on his recent visit to New 
York City and Philadelphia, doubtless received strong assurances of 
support from the business politicians of those cities. 

The name of Gen [era] 1 Lane is frequently mentioned as a com- 
promise candidate, while Slidell and Bright are understood to be 
figuring" for themselves. 

The administration, through the office holders will make an effect 
to secure the New England Delegates, and thereby hope to control 
the nomination, but they are not likely to succeed to any very great 

If Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama should at any time 
present an unbroken front at Charleston, which your newly estab- 
lished paper at Richmond can greatly aid in bringing about, by 
keeping your own State firmly united, I do not fear the result, as 
New York will surely unite her fortunes with the " Old Dominion " 
in good season after the Convention assembles. It will give me pleas- 
ure to confer with Mr. Harvie of Amelia County personally, or by 
letter and I hope you will write him to that effect, 


RICHMOND, [VA.], October 18th, 1S59. 

DEAR HUNTER : I have been expecting a letter from you for some 
time past. And I write now to know whether the correspondence by 
your friends hereabouts has been politic and prudent and such as you 
approve. The fact is that without hearing from you frequently, we 


feel at a loss how to act. As to Douglas, for instance, it was neces- 
sary to take action and we did so, upon reflection unaided by our 
friends elsewhere. Was our course good or bad? Now in regard 
to this Harper's Ferry imbroglio, in its political bearing or that which 
it will^be made to assume by designing men, we should like to hear 
your views. Of course we will stand up to and by our section " at all 
hazards and to the last extremity," but we do not desire nor design 
that this outbreak should be used to subserve the selfish purposes or 
schemes of profligate and unprincipled politicians. 

We have been very still and quiet of late, thinking that it was best ; 
on me rely to write freely and fully, you know that you can do so 
unreservedly. Wm Old's eyes are still too bad to be used. He is 
now staying with Frank Ruffin and can give more active supervision 
to the paper than he has been able heretofore to do. Jack Barbour 
thinks that things are moving well and that quiescence now is the best 
policy. He is very hopeful. He has been North and East as far as 
Boston. He thinks Douglas is done and you rising. 


APPOMATTOX, VA. November 8th, 1859. 

Mr DEAR GTARNETT : I received your letter last evening and return 
many thanks for your kindness. I shall leave here for Martinsburg, 
about the 20th and soon afterwards expect to be in Washington. 

I shall be very much gratified if you would, as you propose, go on 
some days before the meeting of Congress. Though I have not al- 
lowed myself to become much interested about the speakership I 
will affect no indifference on the subject. I consider my chances for 
election it is true very poor. The elections of this year have resulted 
very adversely to Democratic prospects. Parties are so balanced as 
to invite combinations and they^ are always controlled by manage- 
ment. In this sense I am not and do not desire to be a manager, 
because I am unwilling to create false expectations and will nojb make 
improper committals. Under all the circumstances however, I would 
be gla4 to receive the endorsement of my political friends, whatever 
might be the result of the election. The Richmond papers circulate 
mainly in my District as well as in the State, and they seem always 
to fall into the hands of men who ignore my existence. 

The Examiner, (I suppose through the influence of Aylett) ignores 
me as completely as "The Enquirer." On this account I would like 
this endorsement as well as on others which I need not give but which 
you will appreciate. 

23318 -18 VOL 2 18 


As to the chances for the nomination I know but little positively, 
but I think they are good. A large number of the members of the 
last House voluntarily tendered me their support, a tolerable propor- 
tion of whom are reelected. 

The views of the South Carolina gentlemen are known to you. 
I regret however that only one or two of them attend our nomi- 
nating Caucuses. I hear through reliable sources that all the Demo- 
cratic members from Ohio are for me. I have reason to think that 
the Illinois Democratic delegation, will be found to be so likewise 
with the exception of Mr. Morris. Craige, Branch, and Euffin of 
North Carolina, Crawford of Georgia, Curry, Stallworth, Cobb, and 
Moore of Alabama, Lamar and McEae of Mississippi, Stevenson and 
Burnett of Kentucky, Kunkel of Maryland all I think more or less 
decidedly declared the same preference. Bust of Arkansas is an old 
friend and a very true man. I have no doubt of him. John Cochrane 
of New r York intimated friendship but was non-committal. I know 
nothing of the views of that delegation, nor of the Pennsylvania, nor 
of the Indiana. In relation to my colleagues I feel sure of Edmund- 
son, Millson, Clemens and Jenkins, besides yourself. I think I may 
safely count on Pryor also. Our good friend W. 0. Goode was 
warmly enlisted in the matter. He wrote me a note not long before 
his death saying that he hoped to be in Washington at the opening of 
the session with the view, to aid in this object. Smith, Leake, Do Jar- 
nette, Harris and Martin I have no reason to count on. Gen [era] 1 
Clark of Missouri expressed favorable intentions, but I suppose that 
all Missouri will be for Phelps. 

Gen[era]l Eeuben Davis said he was for Barksdale first and for 
myself second and I duly appreciate the compliment. I have gone 
thus into detail, to put you in possession of the field. You might 
consult freely with South Carolina, Craige of N[orth] Carolina], 
Vallandigham and Pendleton of Ohio. Carey, Stallworth, Lamar, 
Bust, Kuntel, Stevenson and Burnett and of course with my Vir- 
ginia friends. Give my best regards to Hunter. Two friends of his 
will be sent to Charleston from the Lynchburg District. 



LEXINGTON, VA., December 9th, 1859. 

MY DEAR SIR: I received your letter of the 6th (postmarked 8th) 
this morning. 

"We are in the deepest distress, in consequence of the death of our 
second son, under the most afflictive circumstances. A week before 
his death he got a splinter in his hand, only a part of which as it 
turned out had been extracted. He attended school the entire week 
and never complained of it. On Saturday last he was playing 


throughout the clay. At supper he ate heartily, and remarked when 
we were leaving the table that it pained him to open his mouth. 
After supper he read until bed time, without further complaint. 
Twice during the night he complained that his neck was stiff, but 
after getting up and placing the clothing over him, he slept until 
morning, and we supposed he had taken a slight cold. At ten 
on Sunday morning, the first symptoms of Locked jaw appeared, 
and in spite of all that could be done, he died in fifteen hours. He 
was ten years old, sprightly, intelligent, noble hearted, and a uni- 
versal favorite with old and young about the Town. His death makes 
a sad breach in our family circle, 

My general health has greatly improved, but I still suffer from 
Erysipilis. T fear I shall never get clear of it. I have intended to 
visit Washington to consult Doct[or] Garnett before going to Rich- 
mond, as I have more confidence in him, than the physicians here, 
who are divided in opinion about it. 

It really looks to me, as if the days of the Eepublic were num- 
bered. All the indications seem to me to point to a dissolution of 
the "Union, and that at an early day. There must be a speedy and 
a radical change in Northern sentiment, or we cannot remain a united 
people. They can save the Union, and it rests with them to do it. 
If I am to have a stormy administration, so be it, I am prepared 
for it, and will meet any issue that may be tendered promptly and 
with that "decision which a Virginia Executive should exhibit. I 
know what my friends expect of me, and they shall not be dis- 

I think I will b$ in Washington next week, perhaps on Wednesday. 


ST. PETERSBURG, [RUSSIA], December 10, 1859. 
MY DEAR SIR : I wrote Mason a week or so ago and enclosed him 
his letter which I had published in the leading paper of this city, and 
you will now pardon me for enclosing you a letter in the same paper, 
the leading court paper, written from N[ew] York, and I would most 
respectfully call your attention to it, as it embraces exactly the cur- 
rent ideas that now prevail throughout Europe as to the weakness of 
the South and the general belief that the North are about to " Conquer 
and subjugate the South." We are looked upon and studiously rep- 
resent as being in the condition of Mexico and the South American 
States. And I would cautiously suggest, that one leading object of 
McLain [?] in travelling in England and the Continent this last 

1 A Representatiye in Congress from South Carolina, 1834-1843. 


summer, was to spread these ideas, and most particularly to ascertain 
the feelings of the public men in England in reference to a rupture 
which he anticipated as certain. I will not say this certain, but it is 
my firm impression from various sources of information. We are 
certainly on the eve of very great events and I do not wish to be so 
presumptions as to advise any one in your distinguished position, 
but it does seem to me that it would be more impressive for Virginia 
to say less through newspapers and through them, to use more calm 
language and a firmer higher tone. She is a great slate and has a 
grettt name. She made the Constitution and the Union, and she has 
a right to be heard. Under the circumstances in which she is placed, 
if the Legislature were, by a unanimous vote, to demand a Conven- 
tion of the States, under the forms of the Constitution, and propose 
new Guarantees and a new League, giving security and peace to her, 
from the worst form of war, upon her, through the sanction 
of her border states, it would produce a profound impression. And 
if the South were to join in this demand, unless the Northern people 
immediately took decided steps themselves to put down forever the 
vile demagogues who have brought the country to the verge of ruin, 
a convention could not be resisted. And if after a full and truthful 
hearing, new securities and guarantees were refused, then the 
Southern States stand right before the world and posterity, in taking 
their own course to save their power and independence, be the conse- 
quences what they may. 

Under the old articles of Confederation the Union had practically 
fallen to pieces and the wisest men thought it could not be saved, and 
yet in Convention of able and wise men, face to face and eye to eye, 
disclosing truthfully the dangers with which they were surrounded, 
the present Constitution was formed for a more perfect union and 
adopted by the States. So too now, when new dangers are developed, 
a full and manly discription in a Constitutional Convention of all the 
States, may develop new remedies, and even a new league or covenant 
suited to the demands of the country. I merely suggest these things 
most respectfully, for I dread to see any hasty or ill-advised, ill con- 
ceived measures resorted to, which will end in bluster and confusion. 
Every thing ought to be done by the state as a state, with a full com- 
prehension of the gravity of the matter and the momentous conse- 
quences involved. I think we ought to endeavor faithfully to save 
the Constitution and the Federal Union, if possible, and if not, then 
it is our duty to save ourselves. Even if the two sections* were com- 
pelled to have separate internal organizations and separate Execu- 
tives, still they might be united under a League or Covenant for all 
external and foreign intercourse, holding the free interchange of un- 
restricted internal and domestic trade as the basis of compeling 
peace and union by interest. I merely throw out this idea, as I know 


your philosophical mincl will readily comprehend it in all its details 
and bearings. It is a subject that I have thought of before, and it is 
forced up by the present unfortunate condition of affairs in our 
country. At this distance from home, I am filled with pain and 
apprehension for the future. I know and feel that we have arrived 
at a point where we will require stern and inflexible conduct united 
with thorough knowledge to carry us through safely. There is no 
time for ultraism of factious moves. There must be firmness and wis- 
dom, and it must come from the States, and especially from Virginia 
moving as a state determined to protect her people and their rights, 
without the slightest reference to partizan contests of any kind what- 
ever. Excuse me for writing thus freely, but our former relations 
justify it, and I sincerely desire to know the councils of wise and 
true men of the South. True I am here, but at the first tap of tlie 
drum I am ready for my own home and my own country. 


JEFFERSON Co., [N. Y.], December 10t\ 1859. 

DEAR SIR: In your debate in the Senate you speak of the appar- 
ent indifference of the great masses of the north at the sympathies 
with Brown. I think you cannot be aware of the true feeling of the 
Democracy on this subject or of the action which has already been 
taken In this matter. 

In order to show you what was clone here I mention that imme- 
diately after the news of the attack at Harpers Ferry, as chairman 
of our Democratic] Cent[ra]l Comfmittee], I called a public meet- 
ing of the County which was promptly and heartily responded to by 
our people. I addressed letters of invitation to Gov. Seymour, Hon. 
John A. Dix, Hon. Danl. S. Dickinson and others from whom let- 
ters were received denouncing in the strongest terms the outrage in 
Virginia. Mr. Dickinson appeared in person before the meeting 
(which was very large and enthusiastic) and in a splendid speech 
of two hours exposed the act and its abettors in a manner which 
would have satisfied the most ultra Southern man. Genl. Dix's let- 
ter, which was also very strong and decided, was read before our 
meeting by Judge Hubbard and also, at another meeting at Adams, 
with decided effect and afterwards published in our Democratic 
paper here. I notice it was republished in the Journal of Com- 
merce of New York City on the 8th inst from which paper I clip it 
and enclose to you herein. 

I assure you the Democracy are not sleeping in regard to the in- 
terests and the rights of our brethren at the South, they are active 
and decided and feel certain? of a powerful reaction in their favor : 
look at the movements in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. In 


the language of that sound and conservative paper " the Journal of 
Commerce " let us understand each other ". You will not then doubt 
the good faith and integrity of the tare northern Democracy towards 
the institutions of the South. 

I have great hopes for the future, the republicans have overdone 
John Brown, and their acts will recoil upon their own heads if 
Southern men will treat the present excitement with moderation. I 
fear for the sentiments expressed by Iverson in the Senate and a 
member of the house who threatens to hang Seward as well as Brown 
if they get hold of him. Such sentiments do us more harm than 
good. Seward will hang himself, politically at least, if let alone. 
I notice Messrs. Trumbull and Corwin have already repudiated him 
simultaneously, one in the Senate and the other in the house. This 
looks well. I congratulate the country upon this good beginning. 
I wish they would now do the same in regard to Sherman their can- 
didate for Speaker and that the good sense of the house would unite 
upon Mr. Bocock or some other good conservative Pemocrat. Can 
I entertain such a hope with any prospect of realization ? 

I wrote Hon. Lansing Stout yesterday, member from Oregon (and 
a native of our county) in regard to the remarks of Senator Wilson 
on your Colleague's resolution (Mr. Mason) in which he said he 
travelled in New York and ISTew Jersey just previous to the election 
and heard no one sympathising with Brown or words of that import. 
It is well known that this statement is false, as Wilson himself made 
a sympathising speech on that Subject at Syracuse and his very lan- 
guage was copied into the papers at the time (last of October I 
think) and I wished the Virginia Senators to know of the false as- 
surance of this great abolition gun. The republicans and their lead- 
ing papers have all gone too far in this matter and will be retaliated 
upon, but the democracies are all right as you will see. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], December 16th. 1859. 

Mr DEAR SIR : I have received some papers forwarded by you, and 
had extracts incerted in the Examiner. 

The feeling in Virginia is so strong on the sectional question, and 
Wise so prominent in connection with it, that, I am unable to form 
a guess just now, at the complexion even of the legislature. Before 
this he was excessively [unpopular]. I do not hear of any of our 
active men who have been influenced by recent events, but there is 
certainly a strong reaction among the people. You can aid us very 
much, by a strong speech in the Senate. To have any effect it should 
come at once, and certainly before the Christmas holidays. An 
elaborate speech on the state of the Union would give great confi- 


dence and endear you to our friends, and in candor I must say they 
are very lukewarm throughout the state so far as I can see. They 
are anxiously waiting to hear from you. And the feeling of dis- 
trust of all Northern men is so strong that I do not believe Douglas 
could get one electoral district in the South out of L[ouisian]a, and 
Dickinson could not carry one in Virginia by a popular vote. In 
such a condition would it not be best to take a most prominent South- 
ern position, for a candidate nominated by Northern votes, however 
true unless very prominent at this time, will have opposition from 
the Northern democracy. The nominee must have a thorough 
Southern endorsation in the Convention, not a nominal or formal 
one, to get the popular vote. This at least is the view which has 
been impressed on my mind, by what I hear from the different quar- 
ters of the State. I have been compelled by every view that I have 
taken of this affair to make the course of the Examiner accord with 
and lead if possible the feeling which has been awakened, in the 
State. My own judgement and feelings work together it is true. 
The vote of this state unless there is a reaction will be cast for the 
man, who is more distinctly with the popular sentiment on the 
slavery question. I do not think Wise will maintain his present 
position, he will certainly be looking Northward and eulogising the 
Union in a month or two. If he does, this event is lost to him. 
You can make our position very strong. Such at least is the opinion 
of your wannest friends. I hope to be in Washington in a day or 


RICHMOND, [VA.], December 17, 1859. 

DEAR SIR: I only rec[eive]d yours 1st Dec[embe]r enclosing your 
bond, as stated for which thank you. 

It gives me pleasure to inform you that a vein of Cannel Coal, 
the best yet found for oil, has been found on our Kanawha property 
and from the information I have, do not doubt that we have the 
most valuable Coal property in all that Country, and that to make it 
very desirable as well as valuable only need the completion of the 
Covington and Ohio Rail Road and the improvement of the Ka- 
nawha River. The Edwards Suit is progressing with the usual 
speed of such matters. Our Counsel have succeeded in having a 
Surveyor appointed to nm the lines and he will commence work 
sometime in January. So we may look for a decision of the suit at 
the June term of Kanawha C[our]t. 

I have the best reason for believing that the Hill Lands also 
abound in Cannel Coal, but of this you will be informed in due time. 
A survey of this Land has been ordered. The Caveat Suits [are] 


not yet tried. We ought to sell these Lands this winter or the next 
Spring. Think you there will be a chance of doing it? Or will 
this Sectional agitation keep persons from embarking in enter- 
prizes of this sort in our State. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], December .7, 1859. 

DEAR SIR: I suppose you have heard, before this, that the State 
Convention will come on the 13th of February. It was important for 
your interests that it should take place at as late a day as possible, as 
the Gov[ernor] had made no small capital out of the Harpers ferry 
affair, and time was needed to let its effect die away. Your friends, 
accordingly, went for the latest time in Caucus. 

As to the temper of the two houses, and the state of the districts, 
I cannot with certainty inform you, though I see no indications that 
your popularity in Virginia is not as great now as it ever was. It 
grew up so gradually, and is so well cemented, that it is not easily 
overthrown. The Gov[ernor']s, on the contrary, is of hasty growth 
and speedy decay. It has even now been much impaired by his propo- 
sition to commute the punishment of Copper. I think it probable 
that, if your friends will be prudent, and not oppose the Gov[ernor] 
with too much bitterness and too little discrimination, long before 
the Charleston Convention, you will be as decidedly the choice 'of 
Virginia as you were before merely accidental circumstances gave him 
a prominence, in my opinion, transient. The maner in which you 
pitched into Hale, did you great service in Virginia. He richly 
deserved it, and caught it most effectually. As to your remark that I 
am one of the friends on whom you think you may safely rely, you do 
me but justice. There is no man whom I should be so happy to see 
President of the states as yourself. But this is not from any personal 
feeling. I most conscientiously believe that, at the present time, your 
election would do more to save this country than any other event that 
could transpire. I shall, therefore, do everything in my po\yer to 
bring about a result so desirable. 


ST. JAMES PARISH, LOUISIANA, December 26t7i, 1859. 
My DEAR SIR : I have only now on my return from a distant planta- 
tion received your very interesting letter of the Inst. Despite my 
great disinclination to obtrude upon your valuable time, I had just 
determined to write you for counsel and information on the emer- 
gencies of the time and am both relieved and flattered by your overture 
to confidence. I am spending the winter here partly from considera- 


tions of health but mainly from the claims of imperative private 
business. I left Virginia with great reluctance just as the Harper's 
Ferry Eaid had occurred for I knew it to be a crisis of great moment 
to our State and Country and of deep interest to your political for- 
tunes in which as a sincere friend I always cherished a lively concern. 
It was too early however to judge the effects of the events occurring or 
of the feelings they would excite, and since, I have been so engaged in 
affairs and so removed from sources of correct information, rarely 
ever seeing a paper from V[irginija or the North, that I feel real diffi- 
dence in forming or expressing opinions on the aspect of public 
affairs. I must venture however to say that in my humble opinion 
the train of events and the course of public conduct and opinion upon 
them, especially in V[irgini]a have been injudiciously and alarm- 
ingly mismanaged and misdirected, and I hold the unsound judg- 
ment, insatiate vanity and selfish policy of our fussy Governor 
mainly responsible for them. The Harper's Ferry affair ought to 
have been treated and represented either in its best light as the 
mad folly of a few deluded cranks branded fanatics, or, more truly, 
as the vulgar crime and outrage of a squad of reckless desperate 
Ruffians, ripe for any scheme of repaine and murder, and they should 
have been accordingly tried and executed as execrable criminals in 
the simplest and most summary manner. There should not have been 
the chance offered of elevating them to political offenders or mak- 
ing them representatives and champions of Northern Sentiment. In- 
deed, our Honorable Governor, seduced by the passion of oratorical 
display, commenced by a picturesque description of them as heroes 
and martyrs, and, by insisting on holding them as the chiefs of an 
organized conspiracy at the North, has provoked and in a measure 
invoked the sympathy and approbation of large masses and of estab- 
lished organs of public opinion at the North (who might otherwise 
have been frowned and rebuked through a correct estimate of public 
opinion as to the base criminality of the fanatics and their deeds into 
shame and silence) to them as veritable heroes and martyrs, expo- 
nents and champions of the North immolated for their love of liberty 
and aid to the oppressed to the Molach for Southern Slavery. 

In Y[irgini]a and throughout the South with corresponding 
policy, all possible representations have been made and agencies 
adopted to make these infamous felons grand political criminals 
to hold the whole North or at least the whole Eepublican party iden- 
tified with them and to spread the greatest excitement and indigna- 
tion against that whole section and its people. In short, for I 
can't dwell, witfi his favorite policy of swaggering and bullying, 
Wise has exploited this whole affair to his own selfish aggrandize- 
ment, to aid his vain hopes for the Presidency and to strengthen 
the fragment of a Southern party he heads. And as the result, has 


conjured a Devil neither he nor perhaps any other can lay, and, 
arraying the roused pride and animosities of both sections against 
each other, has brought on a real crisis of imminent peril to both. 
Of course, I do not mean that the Harpers Ferry outrage was not a 
fact and indication of deep significance, and that it ought to have 
awakened earnest reflection and timely preparation for even the 
worst at the South, but it ought to have been viewed and met calmly 
and firmly, and made a means of added strength to us both North 
and South, not a cause of irritation and prejudice in the one and of 
excitement and depression in the other. The point I fear is too 
that the feelings of the South is too much more excitement, a sudden 
storm of indignation soon to pass and I predict that in any real 
shock of sections, any practical disunion of which he is not the 
stulting hero, Governor Wise will be among the first to recoil and 
betray. However the mischief has been wrought. The peril is, 
judging t from your letter and your known sobriety of judgment, 
even greater and more imminent than I had imagined. The ques- 
tion then of practical statesmanship is in the crisis, what ends are 
to be aimed at, what courses to be adopted? If the permanent con- 
tinuation of the Union, consistently with the safety and institutions 
of the South be, as I hope, still practicable, then all my convictions 
and my feelings twrn earnestly to that. But if the Union is only to 
be temporary, amid growing strifes and deeper discontents, then I 
think its speedy disruption certainly not to be avoided, if indeed 
it should not be schemed for and courted. I had rather the re- 
sponsibility of innitiative action should not be on us and our section, 
that results so doubtful and beyond all human ken should come from 
resistance to wrong, from those courses of self defence, but the spirit 
not the forms of things must be regarded and we must not be wanting 
to an emergency, or a necessary coup d'etat from timid dread and an 
overt act. In this connection and in. answer to one of your enquiries, 
I am bound to say that in my deliberate judgment, based on the 
maturist reflection I am capable of the election by the North of 
Seward, or any confessed representative of his opinions, that slavery 
must be overthrown by the powers of the general government, under 
the constitution, and that its legislation, its influences and agencies 
must be directed openly and insidiously against the pean and insti- 
tution of the slave holding states ought to be the signal of imme- 
diate Disunion. We would be fools and cravens to submit to such 
insults and meditated wrong. Fools if we waited till all the sanc- 
tions of legality and all powers and resources of the Government 
were arrayed against us. Cravens if we cowered to favors and 
waited till the [ ?] were duly set to entrap us. In essence and spirit, 
the North and the day of uch election has rent and trampled the 


common constitution under foot, and we must haste to defy them 
as foes and be ready to battle for our homes and families, at least 
that will be counsel of my vote, my voice and all the little influence 
I can exert. If this were the real purpose of an united South and 
known as such to the North there would be now and probably for 
some time no danger, but the leaders and demagogues of the North 
do not or affect not to credit such feeling, and indeed make its 
alleged existence only an added means of rousing the pride and 
passion of their section. Thus blinded and hurried on, there is 
very great danger, even probability of such election. And is the 
South united and prepared for action in such emergency? I doubt 
and fear. Your suggestion of the proposed action of the Southern 
Legislatures is very well as a means of rousing and acting on the 
Northern Mind in time to avert, but w[oul]d be a mistake and dis- 
appointment as a means [of] concerted action in the event of such 
election. It is too cumbrous and slow. It would distract and di- 
vide each state and give a chance to the timid, Union lovers to rally 
and canvass. The President would be inaugurated before decision 
and action. No ! In such event to aid at all, the first impression 
of indignation and dismay at the South must be seized. A few and 
the boldest either of private men or of the States must at once 
strike and then there will be no chance but for the others to rally and 
unite. A single state, if prepared, would suffice and be clearly best, 
but if even a state collectively can not be commanded in sufficient 
time, a few daring spirits if willing to peril life and honor, might 
leap the trench and fire the magazines. 

I hestitate to counsel, yet I believe this to be [the] only feasable 
plan of action. Perhaps a few public men of highest reputation and 
position from the South concurring on such an election in a public 
recommendation of disunion and immediate action might suffice to 
put the ball in motion, but I doubt. But to divert such evil, at least 
for the present, can't the Kepublicans be divided, the Democrats be 
united on a great public diversion given by some foreign shock to the 
slavery agitation. It may be rather Macheavillian policy, but it 
seems to me some mode might be divised of casting an apple of dis- 
cord in the Black Eepublican Camp. They have many aspirants, no 
real principles or measures, nothing but a prejudice and fanaticism, 
unless it be lust of power to unite them. Could not some [person] of 
influence be lured or frighted or led by patriotism to make diversion 
and schism. The South should always aim to divide the North and 
win Northern patriots and while wise, so far in resting on and court- 
ing the Northern Democracy, it might have been better in the past to 
have been somewhat considerate of acceptable Eepublicans too. This 
you will remember was a favored idea of our great leader, Calhonn. 


Of the "Union of the Democrats and of their success I still have strong 
hope. Wise is a marplot by nature and of purpose, but unless un- 
accountably strengthened since 1 left V[irgini]a powerless for 
much ill. 

On Douglass mainly rests the prospect. What a noble chance, that 
man has to achieve and deserve a Fame which is infinitely above, tho' 
in the future it would bring the Presidency. If he would only soar 
above self and party, cast aside the rankling petty animosities of the 
past, leap forth from the morass of a false position and the meshes 
of a delusive Sophistry on the territorial question, and renouncing a 
candidacy, at present vain and mischievous, rush into the arena of 
the North to confront and crush this Hydra of abolitionism with all 
its kindred isms without suspicion of interest, sustaining some sound 
Southern man, he might wield the club of a Hercules and win the 
honor of indeed saving the Union and his Country. I have thought 
sometimes of making the direct appeal to him, but he would most 
probably smile at and discard the thought. He will be forced though 
to retire before the convention if not sooner (for how could either he 
or Wise be nominated without plain ruin to the party) and I mis- 
take much his judgment and feelings, if among Southern men, he 
does not decidedly prefer you. Backed warmly by your own State 
(and when I left there was no doubt of that) you I candidly thought 
had the best chance of nomination. The North I believe would pre- 
fer you to any Southern man, and on the part of the South there 
would be satisfaction and a disposition besides just now to take a 
Virginian. You must however have your own state first, then a de- 
cided manifestation of .willingness to take, if not prefer you from the 
North. With these cards, the game may I think be won and with it, 
for four years at least the turning away of all dangers and calamities 
which wisdom and patriotism may avert. I regret greatly it is so 
little in my power to aid and forward a cause which from both friend- 
ship and patriotism I have so much at heart. I shall make it a point 
to be at Richmond should my services be required in Charleston but 
I cannot return to V[irgini]a before spring. Here I am thrown little 
in association with politicians but I loose no chance to present your 
claims and I should be happy to be brought into acquaintance and co- 
operation with your friends. I need not say, I shall be most happy 
to hear from you and to put at any time my poor thoughts or pen at 
your service. 


[RICHMOND, VA.], December 80th, 1859. 

MY DEAR SIR: As I hear that you made some remarks in reply 
to Wilson some days since, and have not seen them I write to ask 
you to send them to me if they are either reported or written out. 


The legislature having adjourned and no one renominated here, 
we are in the dark. Buchanan's message seems to me a bad one. I 
have been constrained to comment on it with dissent. I consider 
this effort to draw off attention from our domestic affairs, by a war 
with Mexico and Central America, as the most dangerous movement 
against the South, and a high and I fear a strong bid for the nomi- 
nation. I have had no one to counsel with, and have had to take my 
own position. I am striving to give the Examiner the position of 
the leading Southern journal in V[irgini]a and I cannot do it with- 
out risking something in our old party organization. I had no idea 
that this old man had hopes until I went to Washington but I arn 
confident he has now. I should think it best to discontinue any 
comments on him after opening the fire unless forced into it. Mr. 
Harvie will be in Washington. Our friends think you have the 
strength in the legislature. The county meetings are doing harm, 
but they will not be made longer, for Wise's speech here to the medi- 
cal students, has injured him, and as his friends have found out no 
Southern strength before, they will not be in spirits now. I have 
been waiting to see his friends who left here with the news as I heard 
of a compromise. When they return I will know more. Send me 
anything 1 can use. 


[RICHMOND, VA.], January 1st, 1860. 

DEAR SIR: I wrote you a note on yesterday, since writing it I have 
seen Letcher. He has a message, the important points in which are 
two. He suggests that our sectional difficulties, have reached such. 
a point, as to require a final settlement, that if not settled now on 
some permanent basis, they must produce eventually a dissolution 
of the Union. That these difficulties, have their origin, in the con- 
struction given to the Constitution and in ideas of the objects to be 
attained by a Union, which control the legislative and general po- 
litical action of the Northern People and States. This difficulty 
he contends can only be removed, by an authoritative adjudication, 
of all questions depending upon such a construction, arid upon such 
an estimate of the objects, for which the Confederacy was formed. 
He contends that the majority does not acknowledge the Supreme 
Court as an arbiter, and suggests the proposal of amendments to 
the Constitution settling these questions of construction and de- 
fining distinctly the powers and duties of the government on all 
the issues involved in the sectional controversy, to be submitted to 
a convention of the States. This is the first suggestion. He also 
advises the appointment of either one or three commissioners by 


the legislature to visit the Executive or legislatures of all states, 
which have passed laws, hindering the execution of the fugitive 
slave law, to ask the repeal of such laws, and to request a distinct 
enunciation of the purpose of such states, either to allow and aid its 
execution, or to retain their present legislation on the subject. On 
the rejection of the proposed amendments or a refusal to go into 
Convention, he thinks the Southern States should call a Southern 
Convention authorized to act as they may deem necessary, to protect 
rights which the Union will not, arming the militia, and sustaining 
our own commerce, and preparing the state for independent action 
are generally recommended. 

I am anxious to have some distinct course of action, advised by the 
Governor, and some indication of a favorable reception from the 
Legislature. Any course which recommends distinct measures of 
independent state action, will aid us in Virginia, and I believe is 
essential to our success at Charleston. If we place our Southern 
Candidates, on ground which looks, to protecting the South, by the 
agency of the federal government or by the operation of the Union 
alone, Wise will be a great gainer. If we have a candidate who is 
known to approve State action, and to ask for and require additional 
guarantees, he, Wise, loses Virginia. We can beat him before the 
legislature, the democratic convention or the people. Whenever we 
have these issues distinctly made up, he must fight them and we 
have him. At present he cannot be assailed, directly, without injury 
to his "immediate assailants, for while we may injure him, those who 
have gone to him under this Harper's Ferry excitement have no dis- 
tinct policy on which to make issue with him and no candidate identi- 
fied with a distinct Southern policy on whom to rally. His sup- 
porters are mostly men who are ready for action and although they 
do not like his position they will not quit him, unless they have a 
man to attract them or a policy on which to contend. The news- 
papers cannot force this issue, although they can direct and carry it 
when once started. And with it we can certainly carry Virginia and 
the South I think. If you make a speech on any such issues as are 
likely to affect these matters, I should like to be in Washington at 
the time and I hope it will be before the middle of this month. 


BOWLING GREEK, [VA.] 5 January 6th^ 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have just returned from a visit of four days to 
Richmond. During the visit I had conferences with many of your 
staunch and influential friends, among them, James A. Secldon, Lewis 
E. Harvie, Frank Ruffin, Paxton of Rockbridge, John Seddon, Win. 
B. Newton, and my brother Frederick. The result of these confer- 


ences was highly gratifying to me. With the exception of Mr. 
Harvie all of your friends seemed to be sanguine of V[irgini]a. 
Mr. Harvie too thinks that you will have a majority of the delega- 
tion to Charleston, but he has some fears, and says that our friends, 
to ensure this, must be very energetic. My brother has no doubts; 
he says that all of the Democratic members of the Senate with but 
one or two exceptions, are for you. 

I am pleased to say that all of your friends in Richmond are very 
active. James A. Seddon had just returned from Louisiana, and was 
compelled to hasten to his home from which he had been absent for 
some time. He promised however to return to Richmond in a few 
days, and devote all his energies to your cause. He is deeply inter- 
ested, and can and will exert a greater influence in Richmond than 
any other man in the state. This much is certain, you are gaining 
every day and Wise is losing. Wm. B. Newton told me that the 
Wise men in the legislature were evidently under the hack. 

I formed the acquaintance of many of the members, and endea- 
voured (with some success I think) to impress on them the fact that 
Wise was utterly without strength beyond the limits of this State. 

I shall return to Richmond in about ten days to hold a special 
court for Judge Meredith. Fortunately the character of the business 
will be such as to leave me disengaged during the evenings, and I 
shall avail myself of every opportunity to advance your interests. 


SUPERIOR, LAKE SUPERIOR, [Wis.] 3 January 17th, I860. 

DEAR SIR: After reading this letter and accompanying address 
please hand them to the other Washington Proprietors of Superior. 

The population of Douglas Co[unty] is now less than ?50 5 many 
houses and stores unoccupied and some of our people financially 
ruined. The "Proprietors" are directly responsible for this state 
of affairs. They made certain representations to settlers. Are these 
promises fulfilled? Let the uncompleted Military and Crow Wing 
and other roads answer. Six years have elapsed and a stage cannot 
come through St. Paul in summer, and if the taxes are not paid up, 
Six more will elapse and no road to St. Paul. 25 miles of uncom- 
pleted road between the lake and Mississippi. The City of St. Paul 
on one side and the great Superior Company on the other, and the 
$5,000 required cannot be raised unless Douglas Co[unty] does it! 
Can we expect settlers if there are no roads, and can roads be built 
if we do not pay our Taxes ? I acknowledge that an assessment of 
3 pr ct. would be more suitable to my limited means instead of the 
7 pr ct. But I am not so blind to the future. What are my 2d 
Street lots worth without roads? / advocated this Taso^ it is hard to 


pay up just now, but I am going to. The Laws of Wisconsin are 
very strict, 25 cts a lot charged for delinquent advertising &c &c. 
This counts when one owns a whole share. The U[nited] S[tates] 
Court decided recently in the matter of the Alleghany Pfennsyl- 
vani]a Bond's case, that taxpayers must pay up. So did the Su- 
preme Court of Penn[sylvani]a and also that of Wisconsin. In 
either case, We, the Tax payers suffer. Can any one at present sell 
a town lot or even rent one? Navigation opens in a few weeks, 
shall cattle, flour etc. T)e brought from Minnesota to Superior for 
shipment by the first steamboat, or will we have a Lawsuit, depreci- 
ate property, confidence, * County orders, stop road building and 
other improvements, and have to pay lawyers fees, and also the 
County Indebtedness? Shall the attention of the Legislature be 
called to this attempted violation of the late law for the collection of 
Taxes &c? 

In a few weeks an important 'case will be brought to trial 
viz: Wilcox vs the Proprietors. The property at stake is some of 
the best in Superior. Suppose Wilcox gains the suit, would not 
each Proprietor or share holder be held individually responsible to 
the bona fide settler, and on a very serious charge? This law suit 
should be well attended to, it is important ! 

In conclusion, permit me to add, that if the Vice President, and 
the Washington Proprietors can afford to wait for their property to 
improve, and not pay Eoad and other Taxes, it is more than myself 
and others in Superior can ! I left Philadelphia in April last for 
Superior, determined while I staid here to push the Town along, and 
if these roads are not completed and that pretty soon I am deter- 
mined to proceed to extreme measures. The question for the new 
Board of Supervisors, shall be Roads or No Roads. And if my 
opinion of the Vice President is correct, he agrees with me in this 
matter. And the reason of my addressing this letter is that report 
said that Hon. Mr. Breckenridge had at last agreed to contest this 
tax with the others. 


EICHMOND, [-VA.], January %4th : 1860. 

DEAR HUNTER: I thipk it probable (after consulting with several 
of our^ true and staunch friends) that Mr Benett had better defer 
his visit here until some of our friends go to Washington. I do not 
believe that he could come on now without his purpose being known. 
And I doubt whether the manifestations of any active, or aggressive 
policy would not be injurious. Wise as a part of Harper's Ferry is 
now in Virginia, unassailable. The current is too strong to be con- 
trolled. We must be content for the present to wait for the subsi- 


deuce of the waters. Our policy now Is to prevent any expression of 
preference by the State Convention and after it to struggle in the 
Districts for our men if we can get them and cool sound ones when 
we can not. This we can do, I believe. To attempt to do more would 
be ruinous. Even this is difficult, if not more than doubtful without 
help from you. Men, some of our own truest, are complaining that 
now, when all men in the State are excited and aroused, by the out- 
rage upon the State and the manifestations out of it that you remain 
quietly, calm and apparently indifferent. I have heard remarks of 
this kind quite frequently more than once to-day. I know the diffi- 
culty of your position but present the unquestionable fact before you. 
I do not know that a different line of policy heretofore or now 
would avail to change the condition of things, but it is and has been a 
stumbling block in our way and is used with great effect against us. 
I do not wish you to understand that I despair of the State, or of 
your success even if the vote of V[irgini]a should be given to Wise 
in the first instance. But I am confident just now that the popular 
sentiment is here about with him. Edmundson's District from what 
I learn from French is for Wise. Paxton thinks that the tenth 
Legion is for you. With Leake's aid you can carry his district. 
Powell is all right and will keep the counties around him straight. 
If Leake can so arrange with Goode in Bedford as to prevent that 
Delegation from going in Convention for Wise Delegates to Charles- 
town, the district will be for you. Goode is stated to be for Wise as 
I see from the papers, but I am under the impression from what 
I have heard that he would not like to make issue with Leake in view 
of ulterior results. 

Either Wm. Old or some of our friends will be in Washington 
soon. Every day is presenting new aspects and in a few days we 
will know what to do. 

Gordon says the Louisa meeting was composed of some twelve or 
fifteen persons who were nearly equally divided. This district is safe 
I think, so is Bocock's in the Lynchburg part of it So I think is 
the Halifax and incline to think Pryors, Petersburg is also. Camp- 
bell and myself won't clash. If you do speak, do so at once and 
decidedly. It is necessary I think. It is right I know. 


NEW EOCHELLE, [N. T.] , February I^th, 1860, 
DEAR SIR: Allow me sir to congratulate you for that masterly 
speech of yours in the Senate lately. Account for it as we may, the 
Southern man is the great defender of the rights of the white man, 
for which Service I will as a working man of the North, work for 
23318 18 VOL 2 19 


the man for President of the United States who will give the best 
proof of being true to the interest of the Glorious South. Again 
Sir, let me say, that if ever it should take place, that a Southern man 
of your*opinions should even come North to free us from the " Irre- 
pressible Conflict " of capital he would find more friends than Brown 
did in trying to put the Negro on an equality with the White man. 
Again sir, let me say, that I think it is misfortunate to our Dear 
Country, that the true National Democrats did not allow Shurman 
to become the Speaker of the House. Pennington will give them a 
longer lease of Political life, but then, if the National Democracy 
can triumph at the next Contest, I will content myself for awhile. 
It seems to me, that you of the South cannot possibly yield one inch 
more, and Sir let me assure you, that you have friends in the North, 
friends Sir, that will contest every inch of ground with the enemy of 
our country in the North ! ! I hope all True men will live to see the 
enemy of our country fall one by one on the field of battle, and that 
the gallant Democratic few the Square unbroken! ! 

Be so good Sir to send me all the Documents that will help the 
cause. I will use them for the cause, to the best of my ability. 

P. S. Give my very "best respect to Hon. J. H. Hammond. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], February 4th, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : The sketch, by telegraph, of the speech made by you, in 
the Senate, on Tuesday last, was such as to cause me to desire to read 
it extenso. If you have it in power to gratify me I will be very 
much obliged to you. If you could agree with me in regard to the 
propriety of the administration causing, so far as lies in its power, 
the immediate publication in extenso in all the Democratic and Inde- 
pendent papers such speeches as the one delivered by you on Tues- 
day, the result could not fail to be very perceptibly beneficial, in 
correcting much of the gross misapprehension which prevails in 
regard to the issues between the parties. 

I took the liberty on Monday last of sending you the Pennsylvanian 
of that day containing an article prepared by me on " Sherman and 
the Impending Crisis " and the one of to day having another article 
on " Dough faces " which contains some home truths. 

It seems to me there is a lamentable want of discipline in the Dem- 
ocrtic Ranks, which contrasts most unfavorably with that manifested 
by the Republicans under the wand of that master spirit, Thurlow 
Weed. I do not like the action in the Legislature of the State of 
Maryland upon the South Carolina communication. It seems to me 
a proper reception would have been, to admit the undeniable truth, 
that many of the Northern states had broken some of tile vital links 
of the Union, and that a wide spread feeling or disposition to break 


more, was manifested to a dangerous, to an alarming extent at the 
North, but that Maryland relying upon the native patriotism and 
conservatism of the South, would look to it, to correct the present 
wrongs and provide against future ones, and that until this hope 
should be extinguished, she did not desire to take a step towards 
imitating the conduct of the north, by herself breaking the remain- 
ing ligements. The discussion in the Legislature of Maryland], as 
reported by the telegraph, gives aid and comfort to and strengthens 
the hands of the Northern aggressionists. 


CLARKSBURG, VA., February l&Ti, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : I have read with care and much interest your speech in 
the U[mted States] Senate, on the subject of protecting the States 
from invasion and which jrou was pleased to send me. You clearly 
show, that whilst the South has kept in good faith the compromises 
of the Constitution, that the North has failed to do so, but has 
constantly encroached upon the rights of the South, and that the 
timp has arrived when the South should take a firm and decided 
stand against any farther encroachments. Situated as we are on the 
borders of two free States, we have some trouble to keep a proper 
sentiment on the slavery question. We have a mixed population, 
many coming from free states bringing with them in many cases 
strong anti-slavery feelings. My situation prevents me from taking 
an active part in public matters. I was forced to make a few 
speeches at public meetings soon after the outrage at Harpers Ferry. 
In general our people are all right, but the elements of danger to 
which I have refered should be looked to, and another which I 
should have mentioned, the news papers from the free states and also 
some published in our state. We have the Northern methoclist 
church to encounter, although the members and ministers in general 
are sound on the slavery question. Yet their associating with the 
Northern Conferences and getting their religious papers from the 
free states tend to create among them an anti-slavery feeling. We 
have the Southern branch of that church also. Its ministers and 
members take strong pro-slavery grounds, justifying and sustaining 
it by the precepts of the Bible and common humanity to the slaves. 
It was a great error in many of our best revolutionary men to de- 
nounce it and it seems to me that our Eastern friends in Congress 
especially the Senators, should aid us as much as they can by fur- 
nishing documents, to keep the border region right. East of the 
Alleghames all are sound and need but little attention. Our South- 
ern methodist preachers who find their way into every neighborhood 
should be furnished with documents to enable them to maintain their 


position before the people. Not that they should become noisy poli- 
ticians but should be well informed as to the controversy between 
the North and the South and in a quiet way infuse it into the minds 
of the people. I would suggest that the Senators and Eastern mem- 
bers of Congress be furnished with suitable names to whom docu- 
ments might be sent. If you desire it I will get my son on his return 
from the Democratic Convention at Richmond to furnish you with a 
list for this section. Our member of Congress, Mr. Jenkins, will no 
doubt be active in supplying his district with suitable documents, 
but the district is so large that we can not do so to the extent that is 
required, besides there is a freshness in new names in matters of this 
sort that ensures a reading of the documents &c. 



February 15th, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : Menston, Edwards, and others are sending abolition or 
Black Republican documents into this State with great profusion. 
I wish you would please send to my address, some documents of the 
pure Democratic Stamp that I can distribute in this town, as I 
believe that it will be the means of doing much good to such men as 
are a little undecided on some of [the] main questions of the day. 


MARTINSBURG, [VA.], February 19th^ 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR : I have, until within a day or two past, expected to 
go to Washington and proposed to answer in person, the inquiries in 
your letter of the 14th. This will explain the delay in its acknowl- 

I had concluded not to go to the Richmond Convention for many 
reasons, but had your letter reached me in time to do so, 1 would have 
changed my arrangements and gone. I am as yet, unadvised of its 
action beyond the telegraphic reports, but if they have made that 
body the vehicle of any Presidential preferences, I am satisfied the 
District Conventions will rebel and resist its right to express an 
opinion upon questions belonging exclusively to them. It is very dif- 
ficult to say, at this time what are the Pres[identia]l preferences of 
this electoral district. In one sense, the answer is easy enough the 
great mass of the party neither feel nor have expressed any prefer- 
ence, being perfectly content to abide the action of the Charleston 
Convention. Thus at the largest meeting ever held here, at the last 
November Court, it was resolved that no expression of opinion should 
be made, the Democracy of Berkeley merely asking that a sound, loyal 
and true man should be nominated by the Con[ventio]n. 


Prior to the Harper's Ferry affair, there would in my judgement, 
have^been no difficulty in obtaining an expression of opinion in this 
district, favourable to your nomination or, at least, the delegates to 
Charlestown would have been left entirely unembarrassed. The effect 
of that affair has been to give Grov. Wise what he had not before, a 
party in the District, advocating his nomination. How strong it may 
be, I have no means of knowing, but thus far no county meeting 
except in Page, has avowed a preference for him. 

It is proposed, I learn, very generally to send me to Charleston. 
I have been very prudent about expressing my own opinions and 
feelings, beyond the declaration that I would not go trammelled by 
instructions and I have reason to believe the Convention will not 
instruct its delegates, though I apprehend that if I were to declare 
myself openly for you, I might arouse an opposition which would 
defeat my appointment. 

The usual defect in the organization of political Conventions, is to 
be observed in those of our region. The best and most thoughtful 
men will not take the trouble to attend them, and the action of a 
whole district is left to a few, many of whom are nothing more than 
noisy and irresponsible politicians, actuated solely by motives of 
selfish interest and guided by some vague hope of personal benefit to 
result from their action. Our district is peculiarly cursed with these 
small politicians and they often succeed in forestalling public opinion 
and thereby preventing its full and true expression. 

My own belief as to Gov. Wise is, that he has not the ghost of a 
chance for the Charleston nomination even with a united delegation 
from Virginia. There are serious personal objections, in the minds 
of the masses, to the election of one whom, they regard as erratic and 
impulsive, in a period like this. The popular demand is for calm, 
grave, and conservative statesmanship, and while all just tributes are 
freely accorded to him, the judgement of the people is conclusive, that 
he does not possess those sound practical qualities which are required 
in an Executive in a crisis as delicate as the present. I believe this 
to be a fair representation of the sentiments of a majority of our 

I think too that your position, as shown by your speech of 
Jan[uar]y 30th, meets precisely the true Virginia sentiment and 
1 wish from my heart, it could be more widely disseminated. 

I would be very glad to distribute some copies of it in quarters, 
when I am sure, it will do good. 

I hope to be in Washington in a short time and will gladly avail 
myself of the opportunity to present more in detail, such informa- 
tion as I may possess touching public sentiment here' and else- 
where in the state. 


In the meantime, if there be any way in which I can serve you, 
I trust you will not hesitate to point it out ; for I can give you the 
assurance, that nothing would afford me greater pleasure than to 
exhibit in some useful mode, my high personal and political regard 
for you. 


LYNCHBTJKG, [VA.] February 1, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : I avail myself of this mode of tendering to you my 
thanks for the Copies of your speech which you were so kind as to 
send me, having previously read it with feelings of pride and 
pleasure I have distributed those copies among your friends of 
whom you have many in this part of the State. I consider it 
the ablest, grandest, most masterly view of the whole subject which 
now convulses the union and menaces its destruction I have seen any 
where, and would be glad if you would send me some additional 
copies for distribution. While I was unable to attend the demo- 
cratic Convention in Eichmond I done what little I could to have 
Campbell properly represented in that body. While I regret to see 
the confusion and disorder which seemed to " reign supreme " in 
that body I rejoice that the Wise party were defeated, and are of 
opinion, that the course pursued by his friends will tend to con- 
sign him forever to seclusion from public office. I neither want 
to see or hear any more of him. There can never be any peace 
or harmony in any party which he undertakes to lead. All the 
injury to our party resulting from the disorder, and disgraceful 
scenes enacted both in the Petersburg and Eichmond Convention, 
is imputable to his dictation, and to a selfish and vaulting ambi- 
tion which must rule or ruin. Eestless, unstable, indiscreet, selfish 
'without judgment, I regard him with all his brilliant genius as a 
mill stone around the neck of our party which will sink it forever 
unless it can be Providentially relieved from the intolerable incubus. 

Prior to the Harper's Ferry Eaid he had been well nigh if not 
thoroughly used up by his ridiculous letters and speeches, and his 
ceaseless and contemptible electioneering and demagoging for the 
Presidency. But the prompt and decided course he pursued in that 
affair, while it produced a great reaction throughout the South in his 
favor has only retarded I trust his political destruction. Availing 
himself of the temporary popularity produced by this affair he has 
not hesitated to insist through the columns of the Enquirer and the 
editorials of his own son, that the democratic convention should, con- 
trary to the usages of the party in V[irgini]a declare himself as the 
favorite candidate of V [irgini] a for the Presidency. That a man who 
has tossed the political compass and whose whole life is a tissue of 
political inconsistency and folly should thus most indelicately and 


arrogantly attempt to foist himself upon us as our first choice for 
the presidency and the exponant of our principles to the exclusion 
of others more modest and meritorious than himself, and that too 
against the usages of the party was well calculated to arouse a spirit 
of their resistance, and to invite a war to the knife on the part of 
those who are opposed to his pretensions. Did not he and his friends 
know that this would be the result of such a course. But what cares 
he for the success of the party or its principles, or for all those noisy 
and disorderly scenes which disgraced the convention, and which he 
knew would be the inevitable result of his course provided he could 
be in the ascendant ? Not one fig. I shall go down to the Farmville 
Convention and do what I can in the way of sending delegates to 
Charleston who will only vote for him in one improbable contingency 
and that is in case he is the nominee of the party. But I have written 
more than I intended, which was what is embraced in the first nine 
lines of this note. 


BOWLING GEEEIST, [VA.] , February JSSnd, I860. 

MY DEAR SIR: Your letter was not rec[eive]d by me until several 
days after it was written. I went to Richmond the day before the 
Convention met so that I could see* the Delegates as they arrived. 
The Wise men were at first in high spirits, and your friends somewhat 
discouraged. We resolved however to bear up, and fight to the last, 
and the result has been a victory. All that we desired was to prevent 
an expression of a preference for Wise and in that we succeeded. But 
for the unfortunate absence from the convention, at the time the vote 
was taken, of a number of your friends (representing three or four 
thousand votes) the resolutions offered by B. B. Douglass of King 
W[illia]m would have been carried. Montague, (the Lieutenant 
Governor) who is a close and accurate observer told me that not 
more [than] 500 or 1,000 of the Wise votes were for the resolutions of 
Douglass, and had these votes been cast differently and all of your 
friends here present, the majority would have been with us. Your 
friends are much pleased with the result, and have returned to their 
homes resolved to make every effort. They fought nobly in the con- 
vention; they had a great preponderance of talent and tact. It is 
difficult to say to whom you are most indebted, but when you are 
President, B. B. Douglass and Lewis Harvie should have a carte 

In the Accomack district we have I fear but little choice. Your 
friends should endeavour to send Booker of Elizabeth City. He pre- 
fers Wise, but will go for you at any time at which your name may 
be presented. 


From the Eichmond district James A. Seddon will be sent, and 
probably Alexander Jones of Chesterfield. Jones does not desire to 
go ; I urged him to consent ; he promised me that with Seddon should 
be sent some person opposed to Wise and not unfriendly to you. 

From this District we shall send Wm. A. Buckner of Caroline, and 
some one from the Northern neck. I prefer Col. Henry T. Garnett. 
He is a much more efficient man than Beale. 

From the Fauquier District we shall send two. I do not know 
whether our friends have agreed on the men. This will be regu- 
lated by John S. Barbour, Gen [era] 1 Eppa Hunton and John Seddon. 
In Gen [era] 1 Hunton you have an invaluable friend, with one or 
two such men in each District, I would guarantee you the state. 
There will be a close contest in the Albemarle District. Our friends 
had not decided on their man. I think that it would be well to send 
Paulus Powell, and to leave the choice of the other to Shelton F. 
Leake. Powell, I learn from Wm. T. Early (Senator from Madison) 
does not wish to go ; he should be written to on the subject at once ; 
if he will consent to go, by combining his strength in the upper part 
of the District with that of Leake in Albemarle and Green, we can 
carry both. Early promised me that he would go home in a few 
days, and see that a delegation favourable to you should be sent from 
Madison to the District Convention. Leake's views should be enter- 
tained, and he should be urged to go to Albemarle and have suitable 
delegates appointed. 

The Norfolk District is against you. From the other two dis- 
tricts on the South Side you have, no doubt, been informed by Mr. 

In the Rockingham district there will be a close contest. Massie 
of Eockbridge (a member of the last legislature) assured me that 
you should have the two delegates. He said that you had nothing 
to fear from Harris, the member of Congress. I called twice on 
yesterday to see Gov. Letcher and urge him to exert all his influence 
in that District, but he was too unwell to see me. 

All will be well, if your friends will work hard and work right. 
Tact is worth as much as zeal. The few Wise men in this county had 
formed a plan to pack the Delegations to Richmond and Tappahan- 
nock but while they were consulting, we called the meeting, put 
Edmund T. Morris in the chair, and appointed proper men to both 

I regret that my official position trammels me, but for that I would 
visit some of the counties in the adjoining districts, and urge your 
friends to greater efforts. 

Work, work, work is all that we want. We triumphed in the Con- 
vention; can't we triumph in the Districts! We can and we must. 

I shall visit Richmond again in a few days and will write to you. 


P. S. All of Wise's appointees were at the Convention Colonels 
(without regiments), bank directors, visitors to the different insti- 
tution &c &c; and of course many of them represented entire coun- 
ties. Their influence at the district conventions will not be great. 


CLARKSBURG, VA., March 0, I860. 

DEAR SIR: At the suggestion of my father (GL D. Caniden), I send 
you a list of suitable persons, in several counties in this region, to 
whom documents in favor of Southern rights should be sent. I also 
enclose a list of the preachers of the Methodist Church South in this 
region, to whom documents might be sent. 

They have taken a strong stand in favor of Slavery and they 
traverse the whole country and it is important they should be well 
informed as to Northern aggression upon Southern Rights. 

I will send you a list of persons in other Counties if desired. 


RICHMOND, [VA.], March 2nd, I860. 

DEAR HUNTER: Old Wise is here and has been here for several 
days, God only knows what he is after. 

There is a time in the affairs of men which taken at its flood leads 
on to fortune. " 

You must come here and make us a big speech, come as a guest or 
friend to see me or some one else and we will bring you out Let me 
hear from you and that you will come. 

Your friends are in fine spirits. 

Tell Leake to go to Charlottesville and get his friends to vote for 
Powell to go to Charleston. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], March 3rd, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : I have already mentioned to you, that I had some 2000 
pf your speech printed, for my own distribution ; of these I distrib- 
uted 1000 in N[ew] Jersey, 500 in the interior of this state and 500 
in this City. I have had occasion to hear the opinion of a number 
of persons who had received copies without knowing who had sent 
them and who therefore in speaking of it to others in my presence 
undoubtedly expressed their sentiments. I was much gratified at 
learning my anticipation of its effects confirmed. While in company 
with Mr. Meredith (late Sec[retar]y of Treas[ur]y) at his house, 
Benj. Gerhard, Esq., son in law of John Sergeant, called in on a 
visit aixd in the course of conversation referred to your speech asking 


Mr. M[eredith] if he had seen it, saying it was well considered, well 
timed and well calculated to make a favorable impression on the 
northern mind (such were about the substance of his remarks) ; he 
made particular reference to your significant observations on labor 
and capital saying there was much in it for reflection. Mr. M[ere- 
dith] had not received the copy I had sent to him, but he went on to 
say that he had no doubt the speech deserved commendation; 
that the Senator was an honest and honorable as well as able rep- 
resentative of the views he advocated, and as such entitled to the 
confidence of all entertaining their views. He is himself, unhappily 
most decided in opposition to the Democracy, I might enumerate 
the incidents connected with the announcement of opinion by other 
readers of the speech, but I feel I have no right thus to trespass on 
your time. I regret now that I had not ordered a larger number and 
had distributed them entirely in the large cities, for the speech is 
most pertinent to such circles. If a million of copies of this speech 
had been promptly Circulated, as in the case of Sewards speech, in 
N[ew] H[ampshire] Connecticut] and other Northern States, I 
firmly believe that at the spring election we should sweep these 
two States. As it is (and this is my apology for this intrusion on 
your attention) too many copies cannot 'be too soon circulated. 

Mr. Ashe (of K C.) left for Washington yesterday morning prom- 
ising me that he would not forget to urge the matter at Washington 
on the Committee for Distribution. If the Committee would order 
it, here I could get 10,000 and over printed for $8.00 per 1000 and 
the speech again in the Pennsylvanian, More than 75,000 copies of 
Gov. Sewards speech were instantly printed and distributed and it 
has been copied into hundreds of papers. Why do not the Democrats 
take equal pains to throw their great speeches broad cast, while 
public attention is alert and eager for the information? They are 
delayed until public attention has become not only cold to impres- 
sions, but indifferent, unwilling even to read a stale speech unless a 
different course be pursued, we shall have a perilous fight. I wish 
to get down to Washington when I would, at the hazard of being 
deemed importunate, urge incessantly and upon every one, the impor- 
tance of instant and widespread circulation of proper documents. 
Your speech is received with less reserve, because of the great con- 
fidence of considerate men in your personal and political integrity, 
sincerity and ability : and if your views only allowed a discriminiting 
tariff, or specific duties, or even home valuation, your influence even 
at the North would be second to scarcely any other : these last being 
my principles of political economy is the divergence where my judg- 
ment fails concurrence with your views, while the boundless elements 
of wealth and prosperity embosomed in the soil of Virginia, if they 
had a voice would say that such principles acted on by Virginia, 


would have added to Virginia some of the hundreds of millions of 
dollars expended in other states, some of the millions of population 
drawn to other states and many of the improvements which, facilitate 
travel and commerce in other states. 

Pardon me for having insensibly (and beyond original intention 
when I began this letter) entered upon a subject upon which I differ, 
perhaps presumptuously, from you. But I am sure your candor 
will not take offence and I therefore send this rather than rewrite 
or leave out what I have thus said. 

If there can be any of your speech which can be spared for distri- 
bution, I will personally take care that all which may be sent to me, 
shall be advantageously circulated. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], March 5, 1860. 

DEAK SIR: The State Convention has selected as a candidate for 
Gov[erno]r a most worthy faithful and capable man. 1 No one in 
Penn[sylvani]a would have answered better. The means by which 
it was clone was most irregular, and if adopted as a precedent will 
lead to most violent results in future Conventions. It was done by a 
preconcerted trick. Genl. Foster had nothing to do with that. In- 
deed I doubt if he did not rather decline to have his name used. 
From all I can learn, the two factions, the rebels and the regulars 
i e. the Forney Packer and Press party outwitted the Custom House. 
The plan of the regulars was on the real ballot to spring the name of 
Judge Strickland on the ConventioLi and call for its adoption by 
unanimity: of that plan the other party got wind and the others 
who were outside of both connections, and they started out at once 
with Genl. Foster and adopted the policy of the regulars and so now 
the game! 

It was a gross departure from duty and principle : but in this case 
it has been a lucky act. Genl. Foster is staunch and conservative 
and manly. The people will be with him and he can carry the State, 

The Delegates to Charleston are made up of a medley. The Ad- 
ministration men had the most to do with making them, but when 
they get to Charleston they can not be controlled wholly by the 
Custom Houge power. Bigler was the result of arrangement, so 
Baker, the Collector, Dawson and Montgomery of necessity and com- 
promise. Dawson to reconcile Irwin for his defeat for Gov[erno]r. 
The Congressional Delegation here, are all of them the choice of the 
Custom House but the first and that is represented by Mr. Eiely a 
worthy plain man and a Mr. Cassidy a Quarter Sessions lawyer and 

1 Henry Donnel Foster, a Representative in Congress from Pennsylvania, 18431847, 
and again from 18701873. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor. 


rather a low person who was ousted from the District attorney ship 
because of fraudulent returns. He owes his influence wholly to 
his connection directly with the five boys and gamblers of Fir 
Points of Philad.[elphi]a. His original tendencies were Anti-Le- 
oompton and a little Anti-Slavery but as to that I think he has 
changed. He will be open to various influences, he has no fixed 
principles and is eager to get a place to make money, but is easily led 
away by his vulgar excitements or resentments. 

Mr. Phillips is a retired Quarter Sessions lawyer and rich by such 
practice. He is a Jew and feels a restless desire to be noticed and 
conspicuous. He is noisy for Mr. Lane of Oregon. He fancies he is a 
great regulator and so he is in a little way meddling. His alternate 
is N". B. Browne, the Post Master, wholly under the command of Mr. 
Baker, Mr. Eobert Tyler and Mr. Phillips who are the triumvirate 
that rule us here by the permission of the Power they hold from the 
President. In fine no one can say that the Delegation will do this, 
or do that, and no one man can command them. There is not a man 
on the list who is the equal in knowledge of public affairs or in mind 
to Mr. Bigler and he can not dispose of them as an unit. They will 
follow faithfully any nomination that shall be made only anxious 
to be seen shouting the loudest for the successful person. They want 
nothing but a man who will carry and then they all want places. The 
politicians and not the people have acted. 

P. S. I have the honor to ackn[owle]dge the recept of y[ou]r 
letter. The public minor is that Mr. Bigler's hope is that he shall be 
the nominee for V[ice] President. He is "too weak in the knees." 
Had it not been for his feeble camp when in our State Senate and 
when candidate for Gove[rno]r in yielding to the outcry for the 
Wilmot Proviso, Penn[sylvani]a would have been free of doubt and 
cleared of all reproach in giving aid and comfort to the heresidials 
who have bewildered the people with their false doctrines. 


EAST MACHIAS, ME., March 12, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : Having had the honor of some acquaintance with you 
during the sessions of che 26th and 27th Congresses, of which I was 
a member, and as the Democracy of Maine have now no Representative 
in either branch of Cong[ress], I take the liberty to request you, to 
send me a Pamphlet copy of your excellent speech delivered in the 
Senate Jan[uary] 31/60, on the Eesolution of Mr. Douglas. 

Our Convention in this (the 6th) Cong[ressiona]l Dist[rict] for 
the election of Delegates to the National Convention, was held on the 
22d ult. It was the largest Convention ever held in the District. 


Col. P. S. J. Talbot of East Machias and Col. John W. Jones of 
Ellsworth were elected as Delegates; and the Convention] unani- 
mously adopted the resolutions reported by me as Chairman of the 
Committee, a copy of which I send you herein. The Delegates elected 
are friends of the present Admin [istration] and friends of the Union 
and of the Constitution, willing and desirous, that all the states may 
be sustained and protected in their Rights under the Constitution; and 
having been elected without any pledges as to Candidates for the 
Presidential nomination, will consult the interests of the whole Party 
and of the whole country. 


MOUNDSVILLE, VA., March 16th, I860. 

DEAR SIR : I have just returned from Fairmont where on yesterday 
we held our District Convention to select Delegates to the National] 
Convention. You are already advised that we selected Mr. Eussell, 
your warm personal and political friend, and the Hon. Win. G. 
Brown of Kingwood, Preston Co., who is also a political friend of 
yours and with whom you are no doubt acquainted. 

On Mr. Eussell no contest was made. We were a unit for him 
from, the Eiver Counties; what is called the Mountain Counties were 
somewhat divided and Mr. Jas. Neeson, our State Senator was nomi- 
nated, and was only defeated by Brown, because he was known to be 
an uncompromising Wise man. Mr. Neeson is personally far more 
acceptable to the District than Mr. Brown and but for his Wise 
proclivities would have been selected with great unanimity. Some 
of your political friends, to wit : Drinkard of the Virginian, avowed 
openly, whilst he was voting for Neeson, that such vote was not an 
endorsement of his position in favor of Wise, but remarked that 
" Wise had no more chance than he (Drinkard) had, and Mr. Neeson 
could, see that, and properly reflect the will of the District." Many 
others no doubt voted for Neeson upon the same conditions of mere 
personal preference over Brown and yet Brown beat him nearly 
3000 votes. I have no doubt but that in the Parkersburg District, 
they will instruct for Wise. Wm. L. Jackson is working that thing 
and unless Johnson of Clarksburg and others watch he will succeed. 
The feeling I believe here generally is the South ought to have the 
nominee and you are the choice, perhaps Brenckenridge next. If 
we go north, for myself I prefer Douglass. I was on the Com[mit- 
tee] on Resolutions in our Convention and succeeded in preventing 
anything more than a re-affirmation of the Cincinnati platform, 
lest we might be passing resolves that would be } one day, trouble- 



ST. PAUL, [Mnrer.], March 17th, I860. 

DEAR SIR : I am unknown to you but send you some copies of my 
writings over the signature of "Kasota" in the Henderson Demo- 
crat, the editor of which is from the same town as myself, Balti- 
more. In [one] of those numbers the editor takes occasion to pay a 
handsome tribute to me. I had previously written some articles for 
the Winona Democrat and that editor [has] done the same. I am not 
a professional writer. I am a private gentleman and never sacrifice 
my private position for any purpose as I wish to preserve a pure rec- 
ord politically, morally and religiously. My father's family are from 
Harford Co[unty] State of Maryland, about 18 miles from Baltimore 
and date their residence in that locality anterior to 1650. My brother 
wrote a digest of the Laws of Maryland and the elate 1650 I give you 
is from an accidental reference in that digest, a deed drawn by Jno. 
Norris of Harford Co[unty], the deed in question being cited to prove 
what constituted a valid deed. My mother's family are equally an- 
cient in their locality in the same State, "Worcester Co[unty], though 
I have no particular dates to refer to. 

Some short time since a gentleman in this city, Dr. Thos J. Vaiden, 
mentioned to me in conversation he had been a class-mate of yours 
in Virginia, he himself being a Virginian. As I intended to forward 
you to-day a newspaper in which you are nominated for the Presi- 
dency it occurred to me that Dr. Vaiden might in some measure 
give me a line or two stating generally my character. I know he has 
no particular information on that subject. I have only been here 
about 10 or 11 months, though the Eeverend Mr. Neill, the author of 
the History [of the] State of Minnesota and a gentleman the most 
prominent of all others here in the literary circular, is a relative of 
mine. Dr. Vaiden thought my being spoken of by the Editor of the 
Henderson Democrat was sufficient to satisfy you that the gentleman 
now addressing you was a gentleman of character. On the llth of 
June 1840 I rec[eive]d a commission in the U[nited] S[tates] Navy 
as Purser which I resigned in about five years afterwards, I was 
unanimously approved by the Senate, all the Whigs coming to my 
rescue as there was [an] effort among the Democratic Senators to 
induce the President to withdraw my name in order to have some of 
their particular friends provided for, but the attempt signally failed. 

I also recollect some circumstances which lead me to conjecture 
that you were in some measure aware of these movements, at that 
time generally, as I heard it stated a gentleman of y[ou]r name, a 
brother or a cousin, was an applicant at the time for a commission as 
Purser and the gentleman in question no doubt knows and perhaps 


yourself, the rush made by Senators for their respective applications 
for the position referred to. 

This is to advise you that I send you per to-day's mail a copy of 
the Henderson Democrat 10th inst, nominating you for the Presi- 
dency and Caleb Gushing for the V[ice] Presidency] and if I can 
obtain another copy which I expect to I will forward it to Mr. Gush- 
ing if I can find out his address. 

I know it is contrary to etiquette to write hurried letters but when 
time presses on us we have to do the best we can. 

[P. S-] It gives me pleasure to say that Dr. Vaiden expresses 
gratification at the commanding position you now occupy in public 


WINCHESTER, [VA.], March 18th, 1860. 

DEAR HUNTER: I was so broken down by the long session of the 
Convention on Friday (not reaching home until Two o'clock in the 
morning) that I could not w T rite by yesterday's mail, I presume 
however, you rec[eive]d my despatches on Friday or Sat[urda]y and 
Sherrard promised me to write to Col. Mason, to let you know how 
we were progressing. We succeeded better than I expected. The 
friends of Gov Wise, made a desperate fight with what seemed to be 
a thorough organization, but it soon became apparent, that your 
strength was decidedly in the majority, about 4000 of 6500 votes, 
not two thirds, but showing "the same to be in our hands" if we 
could command patience enough to worry out the determined resist- 
ance of the opposition. Hoge was elected with many doubts by our 
friends, and only upon my assurance that you, and Mr. Mason had 
written to recommend it. I could give no personal pledge of his re- 
liability, because I could get none from him, and did not want to go 
beyond the assurances rec[eive]d from you and Mr. Mason in answer 
to the many questions about his position, otherwise he would have 
been placed in a most awkward position towards the Wise men, who 
voted for him under the most positive assurances (from his friends) 
that he would certainly support Wise in the Cha[rle]ston Conven- 
tion. As it is : he has been elected by the votes of both parties, each 
satisfied with their assurances. (Our friends voting almost under 
protest). I don't like such proceeding and would doubt the fealty 
of any man who under the circumstances would receive his election 
from the hands of those whom he must have determined beforehand 
to disappoint. I trust to your assurances, and with many doubts 
upon my own mind, because his sponsor. Many of your friends have 
decided and positive objections to him, but were true enough to you. 
to waive them and do whatever you thought best, YOU and Mr* 


Mason are responsible for his loyalty. I only represented you. 
Ran ; [Randolph Tucker?] could have been elected I think beyond 
doubt, but Alf [Alfred Powell] withdrew his name so absolutely, " by 
authority," that I could not venture to interfere. In Funsten, Par- 
sons, and Duckwall, I have every possible assurance, that you may 
rely to the last extremity. They are for you, not to furnish any other 
candidate for nomination, but " first, and last, and all the time " for 
you. And ready to work hard and constantly for your nomination. 
This I get from Funsten's and Parson's friends and from Duckwall 
personally, and think it may be relied on. 

I have no doubt, that Hoge will redeem his obligation (whatever 
it may be) and will support you, at first. The only question to my 
mind, is whether he will remain constant, if your chances at Charles- 
ton seem at any time to waver, and whether he may not leave you 
then, for a more promising candidate, as Meade did at Cincinnati. 
One account says that Funsten will be at home next week, another, 
that he will take Charleston in his way, and not return until the 
1st of May. If he comes sooner, I will try to see him immediately 
upon his arrival and urge upon him the importance of his presence 
at Cha[rle]ston, and I think Mr. Mason and Ran' had better write 
to him at once (at home) to insist upon it. I understand Parsons 
will go, and I think he will recognize no alternative to your nomi- 
nation. Duckwall is very poor but seems so much in earnest that 
I suppose he will certainly go too. With all three at Charleston, 
all four must continue faithful through every trial. 

I found myself placed in a much more conspicuous position than 
I had desired, or supposed necessary. But our friends met, with- 
out a shadow of organization, and with nobody to act as referee 
for you. With a general knowledge of my connection with you, 
naturally I was obliged to assume the position, and everything that 
was done, was done at my suggestions and concurred in, as being 
acceptable to you (except Ran's withdrawal). I hoped we might 
have carried out the letter of your recommendation, and have no 
doubt we could have done it, but for the interference of an almost 
ridiculous timidity. I don't think we have made a mistake, and 
trust the result may be satisfactory to you. 

Write to Hoge. He will be flattered by any indication of [his] 
personal importance ! And to me, if you have time. 

[P. S.] In the Convention, you were stronger than the Delegates. 
The Wise men begged hard for " even an alternate " which I did 
not feel at liberty to concede. They are disappointed and mad at 
me. They managed adroitly and obliged many of us, to ignore the 
claims of personal friendship, in our votes for Delegates or Alter- 
nates. If I can, I will be in Washington the last of this week. I 


am pretty well again. Be particular in long civility to Jos H. Sher- 
rani. He deserves it. I mean, send him Doc' &c &c. 

I was surprised, when early in the day, Palmer of the " Winchester 
Virginian" and Beale of the "Spirit of Jefferson" came to me (at 
different times) saying, "Mr. Dandridge whichever way you vote, 
(knowing your relation to Hunter) I will vote too." As they did, 
clout neglect them in your distribution of Documents &c. 


MONTEVIDEO [S. A.], March 2, I860. 

DEAR SIR: We continue to receive news here of the miserable 
state to which the abolitionists have brought our country. 

Their recent treasonable and murderous expedition into our State 
proves, if proof is needed, their cruel character and barbarous inten- 
tions towards the South. They are the most detestable creatures 
that ever existed, and are truly a curse to the Eepublic. They will 
yet force. the Southern people to seek that safety out of the Union, 
that is denied them in it. 

I blush, Sir, for the unfortunate condition of the country, and 
sigh at the remembrance of the happy time when we believed that na- 
tional liberty had firmly established herself upon our favored land, 
and our glorious Union would last forever. 

But alas, how vain are the hopes and expectations of man. We 
only hope to be disappointed. Indeed, I have lost all hope of the 
preservation of the Union. It is already virtually dissolved. When 
the great laws of necessity and self-preservation shall implore the 
solemn duty of a formal separation upon the South, we must act 
like freemen who know their rights and are determined to maintain 
them, let the consequences be what they may. We must not hesi- 
tate or cavil about legal forms, but " cut the Gordian know " of 
abolitionism at once, and "provide new guards for our future se- 
curity," and bid defiance to our enemies, against whom we are invin- 
cible, if we act wisely. Should the National Democracy sxicceed in 
electing the next President and I believe they will, and fondly hope 
that you, Sir, will be their choice, the Union will exist a few years 
longer. Yet, the catastrophe is certain to come sooner or later, and 
the South ought to prepare for it. To fail in this, would be highly 

I have written to His Excellency Governor Letcher, that whenever 
Virginia shall withdraw from the Union, I will at once resign my 
commission and return to my native State, and then he may con- 
sider me as subject to her orders, in whatever capacity her Gov- 
ernor may think proper to command, to assist in defending her 
23318 18 VOL 2 20 


honor and rights. At first I intended to write you, Sir, a long let- 
ter upon this unfortunate subject, but the thought of the wrongs 
the South has already endured, and the calamities with which 
the whole nation is threatened, "maketh the heart sick," and dis- 
qualifies me for the task. Besides, it would be useless for me to 
recapitulate the injuries we have sustained, and dangers which now 
threaten us, as you are doubtless already too well acquainted with 

There can be no real reconciliation with the abolitionists, et al at 
all. They are alike incapable of reason or justice. They are ever 
ready to cast away the garb of humility, and grasp the staff of 
power, and show their barbarous appetite for blood and murder. 
Trust them not, they always " nurse the dreadful appetite of death," 
If the South should ever be so unwise as to submit to the election 
of an abolition President, her degradation will be complete ; her end 
that of St. Domingo. Mark the prediction. 


RUTLAND, VERMONT, March 6, 1860. 

DEAR SIR: I take the liberty of addressing a line to you, a line 
upon politics though a stranger. As to my sincerity and respect- 
ability any of our members of Congress or Senators will inform you. 
My only object is to do you a service if I can, though I am not very 
certain I can do so. 

I am a democrat who supported Jackson in 1828 and every demo- 
cratic candidate since and you know enough of Vermont to know 
that being a democrat in such is not much to a man's advantage if 
a professional man, unless an office holder. 

Now I assume that the Presidential candidate must be nominated 
from the South if demanded "by them. This is too plain for debate, 
as you command nearly all the certain votes. You will then vir- 
tually make the nomination. I dont for a moment believe that 
Judge Douglass can be nominated. Thus far in the history of the 
country the democrats have not been guilty of the folly and weak- 
ness of running a man for President who was not thoroughly with 
them. Now our danger and weakness at this moment grows out of 
the course of Judge Douglass in relation to slavery. He not only 
abandoned our standards on the floor of the Senate (the battle field) 
but he has traversed the whole country to divide the democracy and 
that, against the United South; always, a Gibraltar for Conserva- 
tive democracy, but he attacks the President and his cabinet and 
stands in opposition to the Supreme Court. 

Now there are a good many true men in Vermont, that Judge 
D[ouglas]'s sophistry does not deceive. They would have carried the 


State if the President had been disposed to remove a few of the lead- 
ing official hypocrites from important offices. I mean they would 
have sent delegates, who would have been ready to cooperate with 
the Senate. But at the start they adopted the absurd idea of voting 
by towns, instead of by numbers so that a town with fifty inhabitants 
has the same power as one with 10,000. By this miserable trick they 
carried the Convention through the P[ost] Masters. The post mas- 
ters in Vermont are nearly all Douglass men, because they have been 
mostly appointed on the recommendation of Judge Smally and Mr. 
Bawdish [?] Collector. At Washington I am told they profess to 
support the administration. But here they are undisguised friends 
of Douglass and using every effort in his favor by which the Presi- 
dent and the P[ost] master Gen[eral] are deceived. 

Now we have two delegates from the third District who were car- 
ried against the Douglass men and against Smally and his friends. 
The leader will be H. E, Stroughton, now U. S. District attorney who 
resides at B. Falls. The other delegate will be apt to go where 
Stroughton does. Stroughton has a brother in N[ew] York, a lawyer 
of some eminence, who might perhaps influence him. He is a demo- 
crat. Unless he is for Douglass I can think of no influence that will 
carry H. E. Stroughton out of the way in which he ought to go. 

Charles G. Eastman of Montepelier is one of the delegates, who 
may go right. He was elected against Smally and Bawdish's in- 
fluence and is now in a bitter quarrel with them. This leads me 
to think -that he will go against them as he knows if Douglass were 
to succeed that Judge Smally would control every appointment in 

Now I think no Southern man has been named who I think would 
be so acceptable to us as yourself, though there are many others WB 
should cheerfully support if nominated. I do not want this made 
public, but you can use it with any friends you choose and if you 
are a candidate you have friends who might act in this matter in 
your behalf. 


KANAWHA C[OURT] H[OUSE], VA., MarcTi 86, 1860. 
MY DEAR SIR : By way of experiment, I have been circulating many 
copies of your late speech among some very intelligent acquaintances 
I have in Ohio, some of whom are Republicans. From one of these 
gentlemen, prominent in his state and the country by his efforts for 
Mr. Fremont, I received the following acknowledgment for your 
speech : " While on this subject let me say that I read with the great- 
est pleasure Mr. Hunter's great speech upon the slavery question; 
and I return you my thanks for sending me a copy. It has given me 


some new ideas : and I frankly confess that upon the platform laid 
down by him, I would not greatly object to his election. Indeed 
under some circumstances likely to occur, I could cheerfully vote for 
him. Another matter may interest you. I have for the last ten 
days been in various parts of this State (Ohio), part of the time 
attending the Legislature at Columbus, and I find many influential 
democrats and others, are looking to your friend as the best man for 
the Charleston nomination." 

I hope very much that the Charleston Convention may nominate 
you; and present to the gentleman from whose letter I quote, and 
others in like predicament, a choice of which they may avail them- 
selves. I shall be at Charleston, acting cordially with your friends, 
not to cast a vote for you and feel discharged from the duty, but 
with a sincere desire to secure your nomination. 

ASA BiGos 1 TO E. M. T. HUNTER. 

WILLIAMSTON, IS". C. March 87th, 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR: Although I have escaped from the corrupt and cor- 
rupting atmosphere at Washington, and the strife of politics, and 
feel relieved by the escape, I feel a deep and abiding interest in the 
success of our government and a -heartfelt sympathy for you and 
others : a small Spartan band it is true, who I believe are endeavor- 
ing to guide the state safely in her driftings to ruin. It has been evi- 
dent to my mind for a long time that a large number of our Statesmen 
of all parties are being corrupted, the evident tendency of which is 
to lead to centralization and disaster ; and my great hope has been on 
the masses, who although frequently misled yet I believe had an honest 
purpose to do right. Recent measures however in the name of protec- 
tion, grand plans of internal improvements, homestead laws and pen- 
sion laws &<5 have been inaugurated, well calculated to diffuse and in- 
fuse among the people the same corrupting influence that we see so 
lamentably operating upon the politicians ; and if these measures are 
successful, which I greatly fear, this great hope of mine is taken 
away. The dangerous rock upon which we are threatened with ship- 
wreck (slavery) in my opinion has been seized upon by the sugges- 
tions of political ambition to obtain power and place induced by the 
extravagance of the government and our departure from the economy 
and simplicity of our fathers who organized the government. All 
things however seem to be tending to centralization, corruption and 
ruin, and I admire the more those statesmen, few in number though 
they be, who have the moral courage to resist the evil spirit of the 
times and who if calamity befall us can truthfully say " I advised 
and warned against these influences and did not yield to the seduc- 

1 A Representative in Congress from North Carolina, 1845-1847 ; a Senator, 1855-1858. 


tions to falter from pursuing the path of duty and safety," But it 
is not my purpose to write you a letter on the corrupting tendency 
of the times for I know with your experience I am far behind you in a 
knowledge of the dangers that beset us; but it is to enquire whether 
there is hope for our escape. I am decidedly of opinion that we need 
and ought to have a Southern man for the next President and I am, 
as decidedly in favor of your nomination. We must have some one 
who has the courage and ability to stand in the breach and who will 
fearlessly exercise his power to discountenance and denounce the cor- 
rupting measures of the day or we cannot escape the ruin which 
threatens us. Although I know I differ from the generally expressed 
opinion, yet I believe a Southern man of the right kind, will be more 
generally and cordially sustained by the Northern Democracy than 
one of the many Northern aspirants and expectants who are rivals to 
each other. I am aware of the difficulties and improbabilities of 
your nomination but recently I have entertained some strong hope. 

I know that it will be impossible for you to reply in full, if at all, 
to the numerous letters you receive on the subject, but if you can find 
time to drop me a line, entirely confidential if you please, give me 
your opinion as to the prospect of your nomination or if that is not 
practicable ot probable who at present bids fair to obtain the nomina- 
tion I shall be greatly obliged to you. 

Lest I bore you with too long a letter I conclude. I have many 
pleasant recollections of Washington and particularly of those with 
whom I cooperated in the public service in endeavoring to keep the 
administration of the government within the Constitution. 



[PHILADELPHIA, PA.], March 30. 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR : I did not think when we parted that I sh[oul]d wish 
to write to you so soon, but a paragraph in the Herald correspond- 
ence of this morning giving additional currency to reports which 
have been some days upon the street here, I am led to remark upon 
the rumor that friends of Mr. Hunter have been arraying a coalition 
with Mr. S. A. Douglas. 

In the course of an imperfect canvass wh[ich] I have been mak- 
ing of our Delegation, I have had occasion to communicate with 
several of the Douglas men, who are more numerous than I sup- 
posed, if we include under the designation all who are unsound upon 
the slavery question. As far as I am able to ascertain, Mr. 
D[ougla]s ? adherents incline to consider it their chief's interest to 
support you, and, what is more, I suspect one individual of having 
taken his cue to this effect directly from the Illinois Senator himself. 
They have no difficulty in understanding that, if their candidate 


must look to another Convention, it is Ms interest to have the Presi- 
dential chair filled till '64 by a Southerner, to have a platform 
adopted which it will not humble him or his men to stand upon, to 
have an opportunity of conciliating the South by contributing to 
nominate its accepted favorite. I defer of course to the superior 
discernment of your supporters who are in Washington, and nearer 
Mr. Douglas than myself; but an item of intelligence from the 
provinces is not always without significance; and, as things look 
with us, there w[oul]d certainly seem to be no occasion for going 
half way to meet the gentleman. 

I am pleased to believe that I have written thus far quite unneces- 
sarily. I hardly doubt that your friends unite in looking upon any 
arrangements with Mr. Douglas as to say the least, premature. 
Will you permit me through you to direct their attention to a quarter 
in which they have it in their power to render us in Pennsylvania 
essential service? 

Baker (the Collector, a gentleman with whom I have no personal 
influence) McKibber (late of Pittsburg), Hugh Clark, and a number 
of other delegates under their influence have been determined Cobb 
men. Their eyes, as you will understand, are directed to signals 
expected from the White House, yet they are all at present up in 
the wind, so to speak, since Mr. Cobb's withdrawal, and are all in 
the best possible mood to be influenced in your favor. If Governor 
Cobb will really exert himself, I do not hesitate to say that he can 
effect a change of from 15 to 20 votes in the Delegation. Should not 
this be attended to at once? I am at a loss to see what better dis- 
posal the Governor can make of his followers. 

I am tempted to write to you at great length, but it is my intention 
to visit Washington next week. I hope to have the pleasure of 
calling upon you on Wednesday evening or on Thursday morning 
after breakfast. I cannot help being very sanguine. The phe- 
nomenon particularly to which I adverted in conversation with you 
has become more strikingly apparent. Our waiters upon Provi- 
dence, you may depend upon it, continue of opinion that the tide is 



ORLEANS, [LA.], March 31st, 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR : We have started an organization here to bring your 
name before the public as the proper man for the Charleston nomi- 

I have to day sent a communication to the " Constitution " on the 
subject. It ought to be published by the Editor and I presume it 


TV ill be. I shall start at once for Washington and hope to arrive in 
a few days. , 

You must not consider this a liberty Mr. Hunter, because it is the 
duty of every man who has a stable in the country to do something 
to save it. Your nomination is in my humble opinion the only one 
with which the party can succeed. Believing so, I have taken the 
liberty of giving an impulse to the idea in the Southwest and shall 
follow it up. 



DEAR SIR: I have received a packet of your speeches, for which 
please accept my thanks. 

The New York Tribune, edited by Greeley, has done more for the 
success of the Black Republican cause, than is generally admitted; 
the Tribune is scattered profusely over the Northern States. The 
dispersion of the Black Republican ideas among the people, through 
Greeley's paper is the principal cause of their success. We should 
fight them with the same weapons. I beg leave to suggest that a 
news paper be published, in the city of New York, with a first class 
editor, having correspondence all over the world, giving all the in- 
teresting matter at home and abroad, commerce, agriculture &c. 
The political page to be National Democracy. To put such a paper 
into full operation is no small work; it can be done and made profit- 
able, in this way. The Senators and Representatives, at "Washing- 
ton, resolve to establish such a paper, select the Editor or Editors, 
give them the creed political; then send agents over the Union to 
procure subscribers, (send no circulars, because they are not attended 
to). These agents to call on all the Post Masters of the larger Post 
offices, and urge them to procure subscribers for the National paper. 
We have over 29 thousand Post offices; they can be made average 
four subscribers to the post office, this will make over one hundred 
thousand. Our chance is better, take the Union over than Greeley's, 
because he is confined to the North, our field would be the whole 
confederacy. It would take a large sum of money to start, but if 
persevered in would succeed and be profitable to the owners. We 
have been losing ground in the North, for the past few years, this 
ground must be retaken, but it will require a powerful effort to 
accomplish it. I can conceive of no better plan than in scattering 
our opinions broad cast over the land, by a well conducted paper. 
We have too many superficial notions to be successful, our opinions 
should be one. We should advocate nothing but what is right and 
constitutional. Make the paper so cheap and interesting that every 
person would wish for a copy. 


I am a stranger to you, but you are [a] Democrat of the true stripe 
and this is my excuse for communicating my opinions to you ; I con- 
sider all true democrats of one family. I should be pleased to have 
your views on the propriety of establishing a National paper. To be 
certain that you are not writing to an enemy, I refer you to President 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], April 3rd, 1860. 

DEAR SIR: The conservative portion of the people of the north 
want the agitating question of slavery put at rest, but which can only 
be effected by throwing the agitators of this question into a hopeless 
minority. The doctrine, that the constitution carries slavery into 
the territories, and that it can .only cease there by the power incident 
to a sovereign State, when [the] territory shall have assumed that 
legal form, is just as acceptable to them as any other theory or inter- 
pretation of that instrument, and hence, their moral and political 
views are not offended by it. But there is another question of vastly 
more importance to them, and that is, adequate protection to Ameri- 
can labor ; and that is the question, with the practical direction given 
to it by Southern influence in our legislation or policy, which has in- 
duced the antagonistic feeling toward the South, that has existed 
and now prevails. 

It was this issue, the affirmative of which was taken by Mr, Clay, 
that arranged so strong a party for forty years, under his leader- 
ship. It was what during that time they contended for, and it is the 
only issue or question that interests them now. They will go for pro- 
tection to American labor by whomever presented, though the deck 
ration of the Northern democracy, so faithless heretofore on that 
question, are merely viewed as the tub thrown to the whale. And if, 
therefore, it is upon the banner of a Seward, looking not beyond it 
for the time being, they, will vote for Seward, even though they de- 
spise the doctrine that contemplated any restoration upon the South 
in relation to slavery, trusting as they will, for an antidote to such 
a bane to some subsequent election, when a party that is constitu- 
tional, shall cease to occupy an antagonistic position to their life 
blood interests, believed to be as essential to their protection as is 
slavery to the South. 

The black Republicans are anxious to keep the issue on this ques^ 
tion open notwithstanding their present manifestations, and hence, if 
it is settled by enacting into a law Mr. Merrill's Tariff Bill, it will 
withdraw from the opposition hundreds of thousands of votes, their 
interest in that organization having ceased, and then, the next Presi- 
dential contest will give you some idea of the strength of those 
devoted to the Constitution and Union. 


Expediency, when not inconsistent with the general interests of the 
country, may be adopted. To weaken abolitionism or fanaticism, by 
yielding to the demand for protection to home labor is a case in point. 

In taking the liberty of addressing you, I seek neither notice nor 
answer; as I have no aspirations, political or social to gratify, ex- 
cept that of a constitution loving citizen of the American Union; 
and, therefore, I trust you will give this communication considera- 


BOSTON, [MASS.], April 3rd, 1860. 

DEAR SIR: I feel a great interest in the national election that is 
soon to take place. I also feel that our success in that election de- 
pends very much on the standard-bearer selected at the Charleston 
Convention. We ought [to] nominate a Southern statesman for our 
candidate, to be successful. I am about fifty years old, and have 
always voted and exerted my humble influence in favor of the Demo- 
cratic party. As long as Mr. Calhoun lived, of all men, he was my 
choice for the Presidency. Since his death, my preference has been 
very strongly in your favor. With you as our candidate we can 
succeed. Make New York the battle ground, and I think you can 
whip Seward without any doubt. New York City alone would grse 
you 40 to 50,000 maj[ority], I did not think of going to Charleston, 
as I am not a delegate, and I am unable to incur the expense still, 
some of my friends insist on my going, saying that I can do much 
good. If you think I can be of any service to yourself I will go. 
We have had three northern Presidents since we had one from the 
South, I say three, because Gen. Taylor was ruled by Webster and 
Co. If our Presidents during that period had been Southerners, 
our party at the north, would now be as sound, and in the majority 
as it was during the administration of Mr. Polk, and prior. 

As I am not personally known to you, I will get some mutual 
friend to give me a line to enclose with this. 


QUINCY, ILLINOIS, April 4th, I860. 

DEAR SIR: I send the enclosed paragraph which I cut from the 
Missouri Republican of the 2d Inst, that you may give it a prompt 
contradiction, as it is calculated to do you great harm with the 
friends of Judge Douglass in the North West, of whom you are 
almost invariably the Second choice. 

I have seen a good many of the Delegates from this State and 
Iowa to the Charleston Convention, since I left home, and I am 
sure they will aid in your nomination, should Judge Douglass not 
be the nominee. 



CHICAGO, [!LL.], April 4th, I860. 

DEAR SIR : I have just paused to notice the rumor, started by the 
St. Louis Republican, a paper devoted to the interest of Judge 
Douglas, and, I may say with truth : almost the only one favorable 
to him in the State of Missouri, " that you have written to a promi- 
nent National Democrat of this State, that you wish the National 
Delegates from Illinois to be sure and go to the Convention, and 
that, if it is necessary, you will supply them with funds to enable 
them to go." I also notice, by the Telegraphic reports, in the papers 
of this morning, from Washington, that you deny having written 
such [a] letter as above indicated. Of course the whole thing has 
been gotten up by the Douglas-men for a fling at both yourself and 
the National Democrats. No one will believe for a moment that 
you have particularly interested yourself to induce the Delegates 
from this State to go to Charleston, and any one, who knows the 
National Delegates from Illinois, will also understand that they can 
pay as they go, and are now as they have always been, self sustaining, 
and relying upon nothing but their principles to carry them through. 
Permit me to add, that they could not be better pleased than they 
would be in supporting your claims to the Presidency. 


BOSTON, [MASS.], April 4th> 1860. 

DEAR SIR: Allow me to introduce to your acquaintance George 
Dennett Esqr., a gentleman who has always been a consistent demo- 
crat and was last year a candidate of our party for State Treasurer. 
Mr Dennett was a great friend of the lamented Calhoun in his life 
time and enjoyed much of his confidence, as I well know. You will 
find him a reliable and particularly sound democrat on constitutional 
points and well affected to the administration although he had the 
misfortune to be removed by Mr. Collector Austin at the beginning 
of this term. 


[RICHMOND, VA.], April 5th, 1860. 

My DEAR SIR : You will have seen the result of the proceedings of 
the Convention in this district. The vote was stronger against us 
than it should have been, but they really had a majority in the Con- 
vention. The unfortunate action of our friends in Chesterfield de- 
feated Mr. Seddon. He could have been elected but it would have 
been because of his great strength in the district. You now have the 


State, but we will need our strongest men to be in Charleston with 
the delegation to make them really work for you. The Wise men 
will be there and every effort will be made, to get the delegates to 
drop you after a complimentary vote, they desire your defeat, to be 
followed by the nomination of Douglas, as an excuse and an incentive 
to independent action in Virginia. Seddon's presence would aid us 
very much there. You ought to have as many true friends from every 
district in the State as you can possibly get to go there. I have not 
the least faith in Hoge, I never did have any. He cannot fail to 
.vote for you, but he can be persuaded to attempt to drop you early 
I believe. And I am not sure that he will not let it be known, that 
he intends to do so early and before any action is had. He wrote to 
Duckwall to see me and induce me as I understood him, not to class 
him so decidedly with your friends. I will not cease to claim him 
publicly, until he denies his conversation with Duckwall and denies 
his letter to Tucker, and satisfies me too that he never had the one 
or wrote the other. I hope Duckwall has told him my determination. 
I do not wish to assail him but I will expose the whole facts if he is 
encouraged by Barbour's conduct to make any publication he got 
his position from your friends by assurance made to the warmest and 
most intimate of them, and he ought not to be allowed to shuffle out 
of it. 

I write with some feeling, because he and Barbour are making our 
hard won victory of as little value as possible. For Barbour; his 
position I have always considered to be publicly what he defines it in 
his cond.[?], but the assurances of his brother made to others both 
in writing and orally convinced them and me that his election would 
be more beneficial to you, than that of a more decided and avowed 
friend. I know he will give you an earnest and active support unless 
some influence is brought to bear on him stronger than any I can 
anticipate, his cond. will hurt us beyond the State. The defeat of 
Seddon is a severe blow too in the same direction. I see Washington 
makes an effort to count something on the gain of the democracy in 
Connecticut. We should count it as a decisive defeat if we wish 
to unite the South on a Southern candidate at Charleston. Nothing 
but the conviction that a Northern candidate can get strength enough 
in the free States to lose some Southern States can gain Douglas the 
nomination. We ought to make the nomination rest on making such, 
a one as will unite the entire South. This will prevent you from los- 
ing a Southern State in Convention, and the North must yield to the 
pertinacious vote of the United South. Every calculation favorable 
to democrat success in the Northern States weakens you in Conven- 
tion. We should in my judgement, make the impression that we 


intend to meet the Black Bepublicans, in theip sectional character 
and in their most Northern aspect, that we mean to make the presi- 
dential election one of the issues with the antislavery party, and to 
make them all distinctly, and that we do not want a victory won by 
any means that cast doubt on the character of the contest, and that if 
we leave them the platform unchanged, we will insist on the candi- 
date, as the only means of making the election of any use to us. 

We should make this issue with the Northern democracy at once, 
I think in time for the Charleston Convention to see and understand 
it, and thus the Virginia delegation could be made to do more with 
such men as Sedclon then to look after Hoge and Crockett. I cannot 
prevent this effectively through the paper for I cannot now afford to 
make a distinct issue with the friends of Douglas in or out of the 
state. I have not full proof of their intrigue in this state, although 
1 am convinced they are carrying on one, and that its object is to make 
use of you to get a delegation, nominally for you but prepared to 
drop you early and take up every body else, not Douglas in particular, 
but any one to get you out of the way. A few good articles written, 
presenting the Southern claim to this nomination, and stating dis- 
tinctly the necessity of giving us the candidate if we leave the plat- 
form as it is, would decide the fate of Douglas in this state. His 
strength is over-rated here. Lyons attacked him last night in the 
Convention and if he had made the same assertion in full convention 
which he did when it was but a skeleton, he would have defeated the 
resolution pledging the district to the Charleston nominees. It was 
a bad resolution, and though I voted for it, as I intend to vote for 
such nominee against any Union candidate or Black Eepublican, the 
people are not going to do it, Lyons asserts that Douglas still oc- 
cupies the postion that the Dred Scott decision does not effect the 
right of the territorial population to exclude or destroy slave prop- 
erty. I do not believe he does, but it is not my game to relieve him 
from the imputation now, and his friends did not. If I believed he 
and his friends were playing a fair game, I would let them have the 
use of the columns of the Examiner, to defend him but as I do not, 
I will not aid him untill, the interests of the party and country re- 
quire it. I believe he is working harder and more exclusively against 
you than Wise or any man in the South or North, whether through 
himself or his agents I do not know, but certainly his friends in 
Y[irgini]a understand that this is their task. These views I submit 
to you, and wish to know whether they are yours. And if they are 
how can I get them presented to the public without making a direct 
attack upon Douglas which I will not do as I may have to support 
him, and do not wish to make his friends implacable. 




EICHMOND, VA., April 6tli, 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR: I received your letter of yesterday, this morning, 
and reply to it, at the earliest moment. 

I have regarded the result in this district as doubtful not from 
any knowledge I possessed, but from such information as I could 
pick up, from casual conversations, with individuals. The Wise party 
were exceedingly active, and spared no effort to rally their friends, 
in the several counties, and secure their attendance at the Convention. 
Besides, Sedclon has been much absent from the State, and has had 
very limited intercourse with the people of the district. To retain 
influence, a man must mingle with the people, and keep himself 
prominently in the public eye. This is the great disadvantage to 
which Seddon has been subjected in this contest, and it is rather sur- 
prising to me therefore that he ran so well. 

The result in the Petersburg district disappointed me, and I am 
wholly at a loss to understand how it was, that Harvie was elected 
by so large a majority, and that Thompson holding directly opposite 
opinions was chosen as his colleague. I have heard no satisfactory 
explanation of it. 

From all my information from my old district, I think there is no 
doubt we shall carry it. Mr. G. Harman was here last week, and 
told me, that he was satisfied that you had the state, and he would 
resist all factious movements, to injure you. He said also, he would 
vote for Paxton, and he had no doubt of his election, and he believed 
you would get the district. This is in conformity with all my infor- 
mation from other well "informed sources. And besides, I know that 
some of the most ultra of the Wise men in the district, have said that 
they now believed it was best to take Douglas which I regard as an 
admission of their impotency, under their old leader. 

I am satisfied that you have the State, and the only danger I ap- 
prehend is, that Wise's tools will seek to defeat you, by linking their 
fortunes, with some one candidate, who will provide for his late Ex- 
cellency. The man cannot live out of politics, and as he has nothing 
now to hope for, from the State, he must direct his attention to the 
Federal Government. What the move will be no man can tell, but we 
may look out for something, that promises to embarrass you and 
your friends. 

At the Convention here, a proposition was introduced, pledging 
the members to the support of the Charleston nominees, which was 
opposed in speeches by Lyons, and others of the Wise party, and 
although it was carried, nearly all the Wise men voted against its 


adoption. Lyons I hear stated that he "would not vote for Douglas, 
if he were nominated. This looks significant, as these men doubtless 
know the views of their leader, and speak and act by the Card. 

As to Col Hubard's letter, I had heard very much the same things 
from himself, when he made his application for the appointment. 
The scuffle between Clay and himself embarrasses me, as they are 
both valued friends, personal and political, and about equal in their 
qualifications for the position. I have the matter under considera- 
tion, and when the time to act shall arrive, I will do what I think 
right. They ought to relieve me from this position, but if they will 
not do so, I must meet it, and take the consequences. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], April 9tfi, 1860. 

DEAR SIR: In conversation, this morning, with a distinguished 
politician, and speaking of the prominent names for the nomination, 
he expressed the belief that a potential influence would probably 
defeat the nomination or election of Senator Hunter. He referred to 
the corruptionists of all parties, who make common cause to exclude 
those who they expect to find inexerable towards them. He said 
while it was a cause of shame and regret, yet it was a fact which 
could not be overlooked. That such a state of affairs can be supposed 
to exist as to render unbending integrity a disqualification for the 
presidency, is a burning shame. And while I do not admit it, to 
the extent claimed, yet it has become a power, this corruption, and 
is yearly increasing to an extent to justly alarm every patriot mind. 
I object to it, because it is tantamount to saying of all candidates, 
nominated by any party, that they will not see the corruption ex- 
isting under them. Such depreciation of a man, is his highest honor, 
and I believe also, that if your views should be deemed consistent 
with the interests of Pennsylvania, that your election, if nominated, 
would be certain. 

In regard to the proper action at Charleston, I am in a fog, and 
wish to get to Washington to learn something definite. My own 
personal predilections, are in the first instance, for parties from 
whom I differ on the important subject of the Tariff, while the 
safety and harmony of our Union being at stake are our primary 

I have thought it might not be altogether amiss to acquaint you, 
with one of the elements used to remove your name from before the 
Convention. I do not do it as a partizan of yours, but as simple jus- 
tice to a most distinguished and most honorable Senator. 




DEAR SIR: I enclose the draft of a bill to reorganise the Indian 
service in California], it has been submitted to Mr. Thompson and 
received his approval. I have condensed it as much as possible sup- 
posing it was to be offered as an amendment to the appropriation 
bill. Should it be determined to introduce it as an independent meas- 
ure, some changes would be advisable. 

You remarked to the Secretary, in my hearing, the other morning, 
that something ought to be clone towards reviving the Intercourse 
law &c. Allow me then to call your attention to a bill, prepared by 
me in 1858, in reference to reservations," printed with Senate amend- 
ments to House bill No 557 1st Session 35th Congress. Nine tenths 
of the troubles with the Indians, on the Western frontier, grow out 
of the attempts of speculators to get possession of their lands. The 
law in relation to Indian titles has to be collected from a mass of 
contradictory statutes and precedents which it is impossible to re- 
duce to anything like a system. And the evil has been aggravated 
by the indirect aid, afforded to the speculators by Congress, so that 
each case instead of being settled upon a fi&ed principle, has been de- 
cided according to interests or caprice. I am satisfied that the pas- 
sage of that law would put an end. to speculation in Indian reserves, 
and remove one of the principal objections on the part of the Indians, 
to attempting to support themselves by agriculture. This was the 
opinion of Genl. Denver, 1 the then Comm[issione]r, and Mr. Sebas- 
tian, 2 at whose instance the bill was prepared. As you seem to mani- 
fest some interest in the matter I trust you will excuse the liberty I 
take in alluding to the bill. 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], April 13, I860. 

DEAR SIR: I asked for you twice at your lodgings on my recent 
visit to Washington, and hoped your public duties would have per- 
mitted you to call upon me before my return home. Perhaps I 
exaggerated the importance of some of the points which I desired to 
bring to your notice ; they have also in a measure been attended to 


I ought not however, I think, omit to communicate a suggestion 
which is not my own, and which it is not in my power to carry out 
Mr. N. B. Browne (Postmaster) , one of our own delegates suggested 

i James Wilson Denver, a Representative in Congress from California, 1855-1857. 
* William King Sebastian, a Senator in Congress from Arkansas, 1848-1865. 


to me in conversation yesterday the importance of procuring a 
member of the Virginia delegation to take his passage with the 
Pennsylvanians. They leave here on the 18th in the Keystone State 
which has been chartered to convey them to Charleston. Mr. Browne, 
who is [on] the Committee of Arrangements, will keep a berth in 
the steamer vacant as long as possible. 

I need not offer my own services. Mr. Gamett or any other of your 
friends can communicate directly with Mr. Browne who will be 
glad to hear from them. 

I regret to say that Mr. John Robbing Jr. who will probably be 
prevailed upon to remain in Philadelphia to see to the interests of 
the party in respect to the Mayoralty for which he has our nomina- 
tion. You will in this case Be without your best friend in the Penn- 
sylvania delegation. Next to Mr. Bobbins, Mr. Browne is perhaps 
your most sincere well wisher. He is also a perfectly safe man, and 
may be corresponded with as such, 



CHARLESTON, S. C., April $6th, I860. 

If Southern States remain in convention Douglas nomination im- 
possible. If they go out he is certain. Virginia goes for reasonable 
change in platform. 1 



CHARLESTON, S. C., April f!Sth, 1860. 

If platform not satisfactory, Mississippi, Florida, and Texas will 
go out with the anti-Douglas men of Alabama and Arkansas. No 
nominations sooner than Saturday or Monday next. 



CHARLESTON, S. C., April 25th, 1860. 

Improvement since yesterday. Virginia and New York voted 
against the gag. 

1 The above telegram was endorsed on the envelope " Honorable Howell Cobb present" 



INDIANAPOLIS, [!ND.], April #7, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : I have just read the dispatches of last night, What a 
painful picture they present. The Southern people have not slaves 
enough to meet their demands, not enough to perform the labor of 
their country, as is admitted by candid men among them, and as is 
proved by the greatly enhanced prices of slaves. The right of hav- 
ing their property in slaves, in the Territories protected by Con- 
gressional legislation is a mere abstraction; because they, on emi- 
grating to any Territories now existing, will not take any consider- 
able number of slaves with them. Yet, as appears from the pro- 
ceedings at Charleston, they are ready to risk everything rather 
than fail in obtaining a direct affirmation of the power and duty of 
Congress to protect their right within the Territories. On the other 
hand, while the north would, without doubt, concede an extension 
of the fugitive slave law for the benefit of slaveholders in Territories 
to enable them to welcome slaves escaping from Territories, deny the 
power of Congress to provide for the protection of slave holding 
within the Territories. Considering the very limited number of 
slaves which will be taken into Territories, this also is an ab- 
straction. There is, in fact, nothing at issue except abstractions. 
Yet on these abstractions, deduced from the Kfansas] and 
N[ebraska~| bill and the Drecl Scott decision by two different con- 
structions thereof, it would seem that the Democratic party is likely 
to fail of action, either united, or tolerant, and undecisive. 

Were it not that the masses are wiser, cooler, and better politicians 
then variant opinions about an abstraction, wholly impracticable in 
its character, I could not see how the unity of the States and the 
people are to be maintained. I see Gov. Wise thinks Virginia would 
go for Judge McLean over Douglas. While I apprehend that Indiana 
may go for the same man over any one but D[ouglas], and am very 
sure it would do so over any one who is committed to Congressional 
SlaA T e Codes, to operate within the Territories. 

The conclusion of my mind is that we (the Democratic] party) 
are to go under. Hoosiers will say every thing good of you, save 
only one thing. Hoosiers do not know what Mr. Guthrie and others 
think; and without a platform offensive to them would give them 
their votes. And although clouds gather around us here, I would 
hope to carry you, on the Cincinnati] platform and the Dred Scott 
decision, unconstrued. In my ward we have an immense pole ready 
to go up the moment we have a standard bearer and I am set down 

i A Democratic Representative in Congress fiom Indiana, 1839-1841, 1845-1849. 
23318 18 VOL 2 21 


for a speech when the flag unfurls at the top. God grant it may be 
raised. But I fear. 

Note. I hope you will appreciate my voluntary notes. I 
love Democracy. I love the Democratic party, albeit I am 
bound to admit that corruptions are rife within it. And I love 
my country. Mental ebullition must find scope. So I write to you. 
Excuse me, if my notes trouble you. Your ambition is chastened 
and moderate, as I well know. Mr D[ouglas] is not, as I well know 
ambitious of the Presidency, just now; but is convinced that his ideas 
are right, and that unless they be adopted formally or acted upon 
informally we can no longer carry the North West. I wrote to him 
sometimes formally, but not lately, as there is no reason for writing. 
If either you or he were haunted by such ambition as characterises 
many men, I w r ould never think of writing to either of you. 


[FLORENCE, S. C., April 30th, I860]. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have not ventured to add any thing to what I 
last wrote you, because I have been unable until this morning to dis- 
cover any material change in our prospects. Early in the day, I 
thought them brightening. There is a decided T)ack down on the part 
of Douglas 5 friends and a stern determination to allow no third party 
to slip in. But yesterday a sort of Southern conference was held, 
at which the chairman of each delegation was present (including 
Virginia). Russell took a conservative, or rather neutral position 
and the idea now is, that the seceeding states, Al[abama] G[eorgi]a 
S[outh] C[arolina], Texas &c having induced us to unite with them 
in demanding a protection resolution (which the sequel will prove 
was a great mistake) threaten to desert us, unless we will agree to 
retire from the Convention with them, on the adoption of the minor- 
ity report or any thing like it. God only knows whether they are in 
earnest. If they would but stand firm, your nomination w[oul]d be 
certain, if any at all is made. There is a threat of adjourning the 
Convention over, which the Douglas men have the power to do, as it 
is understood, they command 153 faithful followers. The idea is 
that Jeff [Jefferson] Davis proving unavailing they will take up 
Guthrie or Jo Lane [Joseph Lane of Oregon] ; but as you suspected, 
there is an outside preference for Breckenridge. I still hope for 
the best, but the game is too well played, for unsophisticated men, 
like the Virginia delegation, to stand a fair chance of preventing 
the cards from being packed on them. You are too calm to be 
effected by the result, one way or the other. If you should not suc- 
ceed, you will come out of the fight damaged neither in honor nor 
popularity, and are young enough to make a good fight four years 


This may be no news to you, or perhaps better things may reach 
you before this. My earnest, heartfelt prayer is, that it may be so. 
If any thing good turns up, I will telegraph. 



INDIANAPOLIS, [!ND.], May 6th, I860. 

DEAR SIB: We in the north did understand the K[ansas] and 
N[ebraska] Bill and the- Cincinnati] platform as guaranteeing to 
all future Territories perfect sovereignty and independence in refer- 
ence to all municipal questions and matters. We understood South- 
ern Statesmen, even Mr. Yancey in Cincinnati in 1856, to concede the 
same, and to glory in non intervention. We find nothing in the Dred 
Scott decision, not even in the obiter dicta of that decision, to jus- 
tify an abandonment of our past position, on this point, nor to jus- 
tify Southern States and Statemen in presenting any other idea. 
We know that our people are thoroughly indoctrinated into the 
dogma, or Truth above stated, and that to change our ground is to 
break up and destroy the Democratic] party with us. We think 
we know that the Democratic] party can serve us in the South 
without the direct assertion of the right of Slaveholding protection 
from Congress in the Territories in reference to the infinitessiinal 
interest which exists (if at all) at this hour and which interest 
owing to the scarcity and high price of slaves, and to the character 
of the last of all the Territory which is now ours, cannot be increased 
till we make further acquisition. We look for defeat if the Southern 
platform or a -candidate who favors it be forced upon us. We hgive 
scarce a hope to the contrary, aggravated as our people are by the 
efforts to force upon us the President's "Lecompton policy" con- 
trary to all our preconceived ideas, and expectations derived from 
the columns of all our local prints, and from all our Orators, and by 
the other disappointment named in my last. Mr. Bright thought 
he had all fixed when he compromised with Joseph A. Wright, and 
sent him to Berlin. It is his way to suppose that if leading poli- 
ticians agree on anything, the people will assent as a matter of course. 
In this he is in error, especially when those leading politicians have 
lost caste, as both he and Joseph A. Wright have here at home. 
A hundred thousand Jos. Wrights have sprung from the ashes of 
his weak and dispised self immolation. 

If the Democratic] party should be defeated we in Indiana shall 
despair of its restoration for a long series of years to come, in In- 
cl[iana]. With our platforms and candidate we shall tremble for 
the consequences should the same man be nominated at both Balt- 
[imore] and Chicago; but not truly totally discouraged we shall 


toil and expect in hope. Suffer me then to appeal to such South- 
ern men as I can reach (and I wish I could reach all of them) to 
not take this time to make their useless demand useless, because if 
their platform, and their candidate could be adopted and elected, 
not five northern members of the lower House would even under ex- 
isting circumstances, vote for a law in accordance. I beg for the 
sake of my country (which will probably before two winters more 
be mine no longer) that, even if you are sure you are right, let no 
definite declaration of that right now be asserted. When Tamau- 
lipas and Vera Cruz shall be ours, our people will find a way to 
favor the views of the South. But for God's sake let us have our plat- 
form and our man once more, till scars are effaced. Discredit wit- 
nesses who testify concerning us and our opinions, under the influ- 
ence of extreme prejudice and malignity, and who will never again 
share public favor. I swear to you, by the living God that our 
Indiana witnesses are mistaken or testify falsely. Neither of them 
could this year be chosen to any office in Ind[iana] or in any county 
or district thereof, because in almost all matters they have disre- 
garded opinion at home. 

You may think me indelicate and impertinent; and I confess I 
would be so, but for the fact that I am assured that but little of 
Truth from Indiana has reached you. 

I made a written appeal to J[ames] B[uchanan] just after his 
inauguration. He has suffered terribly in our State from a total 
disregard of my suggestions, and I ruined myself with him I sup- 
pose. My notes may ruin me with you. If so I cannot help it. I 
would be a traitor to my convictions of duly were I to be silent. 
God commands It and I obey. 

Note. What feelings of personal hostility actuate the President, 
both our Senators, our most corrupt Governor, and others, I think 
cannot be held from a man of your powers of observation, and judg- 
ment. Why then rely on their testimony, concerning public opinion ? 
Why consult their preferences? Be indulgent to the Northern 
Democracy at this crisis, and we can come through. The time for a 
Southern Candidate, and for the presentation of Southern views is 
not now, but will come with future Territorial Acquisition if not pre- 
cede the same. Even if I were to minister to your personal ambition, 
I would say now is not the time. I do not however believe your Am- 
bition to be other than decidedly modest, & moderate. Save the 
Democratic] party and it will yet again save you of the South. I 
pray God to give you & others the wisdom which all Human beings 
need to derive from a Divine power. 

I am the same man now that I was when I spoke upon Giddings, in 
the House, except that I do not now hold a "professional Slave 


trader as an unmitigated brute beast" But I am perfectly aware 
of a concerted effort of Bright, Robinson & others to depreciate me 
in 1847 & onward. I know too that I have suffered much from it 
abroad, but not here at home where my unsuspecting disposition, 
generosity, and artless unguardedness, are known, and my blunt hon- 
esty appreciated. 


[RICHMOND, VA.], May llth, 1860. 

MY DEAR SIR: After leaving you I remembered a conversation I 
had with Mr. Washington in which I approved his intention to write 
out some reminiscences of the Charleston Convention. I have great 
confidence in his judgment, but our fight with Douglas, if one is 
necessary, requires most delicate management. It must be carried on 
as a state affair. The Virginia democracy must be the arbiters. 
Our course towards Douglas and his friends must be borne in mind, 
we built him up in V[irgini]a, or rather prevented Ms destruction* 
We must w r ait for action by his friends before we commence hostili- 
ties in that State. Every feeling I have impels me to assail the man 
and his friends, but we must be careful in doing so. Can you pre- 
sent some such views to Mr. Washington? Excuse this short note as 
I am very tired. 


WHEELING, [VA.], May 13, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : Since my return home I have seen a good many of your 
friends in this part of the State, I have found them unshaken in 
their preference for 'you over other candidates for the presidency, 
although recent events have caused them generally to take a despond- 
ing view of the prospect of your success. I am sure that nothing 
will be done about here to embarrass you in any course you may be 
inclined to adopt with reference to your own position as a candidate. 

Upon the latter subject my impressions are about as they were 
when I last saw you. But I think you ought to do nothing and to 
resolve upon nothing for the present. The future is still too doubt- 
ful to justify a hasty decision and, whatever may be your decision, 
it may be made wit.h as much propriety hereafter as it can be no\v. 
Events will certainly take place within a few weeks which will make 
the path of duty more clear. 

It has been my opinion for months that the nomination must fall 
upon yourself or Judge Douglass. Between you of course I could 
readily choose. If you should be withdrawn, I am inclined to prefer 

i A prominent local politician from northwestern Virginia, now West Virginia. 


him to all others who have been proposed if he will stand on a proper 
platform. But, in spite of weighty reasons for that inclination, I 
find myself yet unable to decide that a Southern man ought, in any 
event, to promote his nomination. A single obstacle always inter- 
poses. But for that, I should say that it is clearly the interest of 
the South to nominate and elect him, unless you can be nominated 
and elected. The South, now falling into a minority, ought to bind 
the North- West to herself with hooks of steel. The alliance is nat- 
ural and almost unavoidable, unless we repel it. It is the only 
alliance between the South and any part of the North which is likely 
to be permanent, apart from mere government connections. 

As to the " platform," there ought to be no changes in it, unless 
Judge Douglass is to stand on it. If he is to be the candidate, the 
South must protect herself against an affirmation of his doctrine of 
" Squatter Sovereignty." But no more ought to be asked than is 
necessary for that purpose. Whatever we gain in that direction will 
be gained by a sacrifice of other interests of the South and at some risk 
to the Union. Even in the Territories, a sound Democratic president 
would be worth more to the South than any " Slave Code." But we in 
Virginia have a more immediate interest in turning the hostile gov- 
ernors and legislatures of neighboring states out of office. 

You know it would best comport with my first opinions if we 
could elect you and let the platform alone. This we could have done 
but for the conduct of Southern men who professed to be your friends. 
They have done more to injure the South than all her enemies could 
have done during this year. I wish I could accord to them all the 
merit of good intentions. Possibly through all this confusion we 
may get back to the goal for which we first started. But if Southern 
leaders intend to renew the contest at Baltimore and to make an 
ultimatum such as Alabama made at Charleston, or the Senate reso- 
lutions or anything of that sort, I do not desire to be a member of 
the Convention at Baltimore. I am not willing to separate from the 
South. Neither do I wish to participate in measures which, in my 
judgment, will be ruinous to the South and disastrous to the country. 

I should have added with reference to Judge Douglass that most 
of the Democrats whom I have seen in this part of the State begin to 
look upon his nomination as a sort of necessity and are prepared to 
acquiesce on proper terms, rather than break up the party. But the 
disposition to take him up as the " available " man under the circum- 
stances is less decided than I expected, although rather generally dif- 

The length of this letter, I trust, requires no apology as it is written 
in fulfilment of a promise. 

[P. S.] The speech to be made by Douglass tomorrow may change 
some of my views. 



STATESBTJKGH, [S. C.], May 1^ 1860. 

DEAR HUNTER : I went down to Charleston to the convention to see 
what I could do for you, but I am sorry to say that I was unsuccess- 
ful. The N. Eastern and Western men, were immovable. They 
stuck to Douglass to the last and will still do so, unless they are 
l>ou(jht out. The course the Virginia delegation has taken, if not 
amended in June, will cause her to lose irretrievably the influence and 
prestige she has heretofore held in the Union. The North are ex- 
acting without a prospect, or a very slim one, of giving a single 
electoral vote, and we look upon it, as a piece of impudence and an 
attempt at bullying that they should require us to give up to them, 
upon the mere chance, of obtaining one or two votes. If we meet at 
Richmond, which I think we will do, pass the majority platform and 
nominate candidates, it is probable most of the states will wheel into 
line. There is now no other course for us to pursue. I think we will 
send from this state to the Richmond Convention our ~best men. All 
the Districts are up and doing and what is better, all the ultra State 
rights men in the State join in the movement and are willing to par- 
ticipate in it. If my hopes are realized, that is, if the Richmond Con- 
vention will act uncompromisingly and with energy, I think yours is 
the best chance. At all events you have luck, which is something in 
political as well as in other matters. I will endeavor to be at Rich- 
mond and Washington. I saw our friend from Virginia, Hubbard, 
and expressed my views to him. I knew a great many men from 
various parts of the Union in the Convention, with all of whom I 
broached the subject of your nomination, as the only satisfactory one 
that could be made for the South. They all agreed, that you were 
perfectly acceptable to them, but no reliance can be placed upon the 
Northern and N[orth] Western men. Woods delegation, if it had 
been admitted would have gone for you. It may possibly occur that 
they will be admitted in Richmond, however, every thing is just now 
very uncertain. In this state, we have now fortunately got clear of a 
subject of disagreement, that is Convention and anti Convention. 
More than two thirds of our people have been heretofore opposed to 
Conventions, but now they feel no hesitation in being represented at 
Richmond. I am sorry we have not more time, to perfect this ar- 
rangement, however, as it will be a game of chance, I go for luck. 
Dont write a line on politics, " keep your bowels open and ride with a 

P. S. Send me some interesting document, in acknowledgment of 
my letter. Now the old Boss is dead (Calhoun) we States rights men 
have to look to you to keep us straight. 

*A Representative In Congress from South Carolina, 1839-1843. 



WHEELING, [V*A.], May Wth, 1800. 

DEAR SIR : I have read with much care the " address to the National 
Democracy " published in the Constitution of the 17th Tnst. over the 
signatures of yourself and some other members of Congress. I regret 
to find it so different from what I had expected. Owing to the rela- 
tions between us, I feel obliged to state with friendly candor the 
impression it has produced on my mind. 

In this paper the course pursued by the " Seceders " at Charleston 
is applauded with emphasis; while that of your friends who re- 
mained in the Convention is approved in cautious and measured 
terms. If the former were "compelled to withdraw" in order to 
escape " a burning imputation upon the honor and patriotism of the 
party," they doubtless deserved your applause. But I expect to be 
called upon to defend myself and others against the attacks of those 
in Virginia who take that admiring view of the late secession. 

This paper also encourages the Seceders to believe that, if they 
return to the Convention, we will follow their lead in a course of 
conduct which will "proudly vindicate the action of the seceding 
delegates." That course is repugnant to my convictions of duty, as 
I have partially explained them to you already. I have yielded 
to the seceding delegations the utmost that my judgment would sanc- 
tion and, in return, they have recklessly spurned the counsels of Vir- 
ginia, ruined the prospects of her candidate, put her material inter- 
ests at hazard, broken the harmony of the Democratic party and 
imperilled the Union, without a sufficient justification. 

The Alabama delegation were compelled to withdraw. The others 
acted under no compulsion except that which resulted from their own 
imprudence, I believe the most of them acted with the best inten- 
tions, but under a pernicious influence. Whatever their motives may 
have been, however, 1 cannot "vindicate their action" or put myself 
under their guidance. 

I need not tell you how much I regret to discover such a diverg- 
ence between your views and my own in this crisis. Although, it 
may prevent me from being further useful (if indeed I have been 
at any time useful) to your political interests in the present canvass, 
it does not diminish my admiration of the qualities which have at- 
tached me to your cause and to your person. I shall be compelled 
to vindicate my conduct, even against the publication to which you 
have lent your signature. 



U. S. S. FALMOUTII, ASPINWALE, N. G., May 19, I860. 

DEAR SIR: I had the honor some time ago to address you a note 
upon the subject of a bill before the Senate for my relief, and had 
the great pleasure since of noticing your remarks, on its coming up 
and final passage. 

At the same time another bill from the Court of Claims for my 
relief was put before the Senate, and was postponed at the sugges- 
tion of Mr. Pugh of Ohio. I beg leave to say to you that I think 
there is not a more just claim before Congress than that very one. 

When I was on the Coast of Brazil in 1848 in command of the 
On-Ka-hy-e I captured a Slaver having on board $85,000 in Specie. 
I sent the ship home to the district to which she belonged. She 
arrived safe, was delivered according to law to the Marshall of 
the District. The case was duly tried, the vessel, cargo and appurte- 
nances sold by order of the proper court. The Specie being a part 
of the Cargo I delivered in person to the marshall of the district 
and took his receipt for it in quantity and kind. That is the last I 
have seen of it. The officers and crew of the On-Ka-hy-e Z>y a law 
of the land are entitled to a portion of that money, as well as the 
proceeds of sale of ship and cargo. Now sir the only money which 
was paid from such proceeds has been the fees, amounting to upwards 
of $4,300. 

I beg Sir in the name of justice that you will give me one single 
glance at this case, and I am sure you will readily perceive how illy 
the Captors of that Slaver have been used. It has now been upwards 
of twelve years since that capture occurred, and I have been at great 
expense endeavouring to get a bill passed for the relief of that faith- 
ful and deserving little crew. 


WHEELING, VIRGINIA, May 84th) I860. 

MY DEAR SIR : How came Hunter the cautious to be so inconsider- 
ate as to sign that circular? It has unquestionably lost ^im every 
vote from our delegation. I have only had letters from three, but I 
have no doubt they speak what will prove to be common sentiment. 

Come back to the Convention, the platform will be modified to 
suit you, if not, your choice for a candidate will prevail and failing 
both you still have the resource of secession left you and you will 
have power then to carry out other conservative states with you. 

Now you know the temper of the Convention well enough to un- 
derstand that whilst there was every desire on the part of the major- 
ity to conciliate as to those who remained, there was a clear mani- 


festation that no effort would or coulcl be made to harmonize with 
those who undertook to dogmatize in the convention, and failing 
there endeavoured to demoralize the party by Secession. They 
failed to drag Virginia at their chariot wheels as a captive and thus 
their own movement a total wreck, they desire to come back and to 
smooth their way Mr. Hunter has to throw his body in the rut. 

Not content with that the circular goes on by implication to argue 
that those who constitute the majority are not democrats, and that 
their love for the plunder of office will be sufficient to induce them to 

What would you think of a man who was a candidate for your 
support and who would thus speak and advise in regard to you. 

It seems to me that the manifest tendency, if not the intent of the 
circular was to defeat the object of the adjournment, a harmonious 
nomination by the democracy. 


WHEELING, [VA.], May 89th, 1860. 

Mr DEAR SIR : It did not require your assurance to satisfy me that 
in signing " the address " you did not intend to disparage the course 
of your friends. If I had thought you did I could not have pro- 
fessed, as I have done very sincerely, that my attachment to you re- 
mained and remains undiminished. Lest you should misunderstand 
my feelings, I will make no further comment upon the address. 
But, I fear, its effect upon the public in some quarters of the country 
has been unfortunate. I enclose a copy of a letter which I have re- 
ceived within a day or two from a friend in the Ohio delegation. 
One of the links of association between him and myself for some 
years has been his admiration of you as a public man. But he is 
now for Douglass on the score of availability. The letter was writ- 
ten in the freedom of private freindship and I might not be war- 
ranted in giving you his name. But I send the letter as a means of 
enabling you to judge of public sentiment; supposing that such in- 
formation must be desirable to you at present. About here the im- 
pression produced by the address was that you leaned to the cause 
of the " seceders." Your friends, however, believed that your pur- 
pose was worthy of you. * I sincerely wish that I felt competent to 
give you advice, as you request. In the confusion that prevails it is 
almost impossible for me to form an opinion satisfactory to myself 
as to the course which you ought to pursue. If you can yet be 
nominated with a reasonable chance of election, that is what I still 
desire to accomplish. But I confess that I am greatly discouraged. 
Unless we receive decided encouragement from other States, North 
and South, you ought not, I should think, to let your name be used 


again in the Convention. But I see no harm in deferring a final 
decision until the time for the meeting of the Convention. 

If you retire I shall be as much perplexed to decide upon the choice 
of ^ another candidate as I am now to advise about your course. In 
this part of the State there is a pretty general inclination to take 
Douglass. But I am not yet able to see how that can be done. Nor 
has any other name been suggested which offers a reasonable hope 
of extricating us from our present difficulties. I enclose a copy of 
an address which I have felt constrained to publish in vindication of 
my course and that of our delegation so far as I was concerned in 
shaping it. I have said some things which, I fear 5 you will think 
had better been left unsaid. I observe what you say in your letter 
about our conversation of the subject of seceding. As the address 
which you signed only expressed an opinion that we will secede in a 
certain contingency, I can not say that it was not authorized in that 
regard, if the contingency had been more precisely described and it 
had not been intimated that we would go to Kichmond with the 
former seceders. I requested Mr. Garnett not to commit the dele- 
gation to any course in the proposed address. I did not know what 
they would do. I knew the most of them would have seceded at 
Charleston if our terms had not been agreed to. I intended myself , 
when I saw you, to retire if the Tennessee Resolution should be re- 
jected at Baltimore. But if we had seceded at Charleston we would 
not have joined the convention of seceders. Nor will I if I am con- 
strained by any event to secede at Baltimore. I am totally opposed 
to the separate movement organized by the seceders. When I leave 
the National Convention I will go to no other unless it be a State 
Convention. The leaders of the seceders have objects in which I do 
not concur. Their policy, which led to a disruption at Charleston, 
was opposed to my judgment If their combination grows to a head 
in Virginia, I expect to fight it. 


Sioux CITY, IOWA, June 4th, I860. 

DEAR SIR: I am a Virginian, from King Geo[rge] Co[unty], am a 
Hunter man. I am surrounded by Douglassites and Eepublicans. 
Please send me any Speeches or other documents in defense of the 
Southern Views of democracy and with much success in your glorious 
future prospects. 


EICHMOND, VA., June ^A, I860. 

MY DEAR SIR : I am obliged to you for your prompt reply, to my 
enquiries respecting the Japanese, and their future movements. The 
information you furnish, will satisfy my friend Colo. Smitk. 


The present condition of political affairs, bothers and annoys me 
excessively. I do not see how the divisions and dissensions in our 
party are to be adjusted. The complications and embarrassments 
seem to me rather to increase than diminish. Davis' resolutions and 
the discussion they have created, has tended only to increase the 
trouble and difficulty of a settlement at Baltimore on the 17th in- 
stant. For the first time in my life, I cannot to my own satisfac- 
tion, work out the results that are to follow the existing condition 
of public affairs. 

I had almost despaired, when I saw in the papers, a day or two 
since, that Rhett was placed at the head of the South Carolina dele- 
gation, to the Eichmond Convention. Since that time I have had 
hopes, that union and harmony might yet be secured. I do not think 
it possible, that any party can survive the leadership, of two such 
politicians, as Rhett and Yancey. The result now I think will be, 
that all sensible, practical, conservative men will seek for some 
ground, upon which they can unite, to defeat the objects of these 
ultras. Their purpose is the disorganization and overthrow of the 
Democratic party, and the country must see it, and understand it. 

I have regretted to see Benjamin's speech in the " Examiner " of 
this morning. It is calculated to hurt you, by exciting Douglas and 
his friends against you, and I see no possible good its publication 
can accomplish. An article in the "States " a day or two ago looked 
hostile, and I fear this may induce other attacks upon you. I hope 
it may turn out otherwise, but I have my fears. 

The folly of General Houston in announcing himself a candidate, 
is another movement, that tends to add to the complications, and 
will have the effect of further distracting the South. I suppose 
that he will take off Texas, and thus weaken us, to that extent, even 
if we shall harmonize at Baltimore on a ticket. 

It really looks to me, as if the Democratic party, was going to 
pieces, and if it shall be dissolved, I regard the future as gloomy 
indeed. With these divisions we may hope for, but we shall have 
no power to secure, a practical result, against the Republican or- 
ganization, under the lead of Lincoln and Hainlin. 


CHARLOTTESVILLE, [VA.], June 5, I860. 

MY DEAR SIR : The appointment of a successor to Judge Daniel is 
of very little less importance to the South than the election of the 
next president. One is for life, the other for but four years. There 
may be no danger of a wrong appointment, but still I am fiWed with 
solicitude by a rumour, which I have just heard, that Jas. Lyons is 
the favorite of Mr. Buchanan. 


Our friends here all believe Win. J. Robertson of the Court of Ap- 
peals is the very man for the place. True as steel and firm as a rock 
the South may rely on him with the surest confidence. He is, more- 
over, in the prime of life, and may live to serve us long, even until 
the stormy and the evil clay come, as it surely will come, if we can- 
not break our bonds, which I fear we cannot yet. To incorruptible 
fidelity, and unflinching firmness, Robertson acids vast stores of legal 
learning, which will make him a great judge. 

The ardent wish of many of your friends here is that Robertson 
may be appointed, but, of course, we are very far from wishing to 
embarrass you in the least. If you can help us in this thing we shall 
be very glad ; if you cannot, we know it will be for a good reason. 



POTTSVILLE, PA., June 8, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : Permit me though a stranger to you to address a few 
lines to you upon a question of vital interest to the Democratic party 
of Pennsylvania. I am the Postmaster of this place and am the 
editor of an administration paper, so that you may know that I am 
a friend and no enemy in disguise. I also refer you to Gov. Bigler. 
Having said tins much by way of explanation as to my position in 
the Democratic party, I will refer to the subject upon which I believe 
so much depends. It is this, you are aware that the Democratic party 
in the North is in an almost hopeless minority, except perhaps the 
great states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They have always been 
conservative national and patriotic. The waves of fanaticism Jiave 
clashed against them only to be hurled back by her sturdy and Union 
loving people. These are facts with which you are conversant. 
Pennsylvania has on almost all occasions decided the Presidential con- 
tests. She will decide the next. If so, and I think you will not doubt 
it, it must become apparent that if the Democratic party of Penn- 
sylvania is successful, that the next Pi-esident will be of the same 
faith. Can this be accomplished? I answer sir, beyond the possi- 
bility of a doubt that it can. Its solution rests with the United States 
Senate of which you are an honored member. I refer to the Tariff 
bill now under consideration in Committee of which you are chairman. 
With its solution depends the success or defeat of the Democratic 
party, nay more I verily believe that it will defeat it for years to 
come, and may indeed result in influencing the destruction of our 
glorious Union by elevating sectional discord. If a proper Tariff bill 
passes the United States Senate it will make a difference of 20,000 
votes in Pennsylvania, to the Democratic Party. If it is defeated 
we cannot hope to succeed. This is conceded by all who know the 
feelings of the people. 


With this yiew of the case, and it is not an overdrawn one, cannot 
you, sir, who represent the Southern idea upon this question, sacrifice 
your principles a little, and save, yes save the Democratic party of the 
Keystone state, that has so often battled side by side with the Mother 
of Presidents. You sir, can save us, or consign us into the hands 
of sectionalism that will keep us in the minority for years to come. 
The present opportunity is one pregnant with anticipation. Now 
the blow must be struck for our weal or woe. Now the question must 
be met? Again, shall our honored Senator Bigler be the last of 
Democratic Senators from this state. Language sir fails me to ex- 
press the sentiments my heart would utter. But let the appeal not be 
in vain. You sir, have the key to the solution. You sir, must remem- 
ber how often the victorious columns of a Pennsylvania democracy 
have sent a thrill of joy to your heart. With all these recollections of 
the past can you fail to be impressed of the necessity of saving our 
party from annihilation and defeat. The masses of this state think 
and speak of nothing else but the Tariff. It is a question sir, that rises 
up from every fireside, and all, all are looking with anxious eyes to 
the democratic Senate for its solution. 

But sir, I am perhaps trespassing too much upon your time, and 
will bring this hastily written letter to a close. But while I do so 
I am trembling with anxiety, not for that bill only, but for the 
Democratic party and my country. Oh sir, fail not to appreciate 
the position that the Democratic party of Pennsylvania, occupies 
on this question, I hope and trust that you may be induced too look 
favorably upon it, and once more give power and success to the de- 
mocracy of Pennsylvania. 


LAKELAND, [VA.], June llth, I860. 

DEAR SIR: The vacancy on the Bench of the Supreme Court, has 
caused almost every man of sound (state rights) principles to turn 
to my friend Wm. J. Robertson, now of the Court of Appeals. My 
attachment to him is very strong, and I think I make all proper 
allowance for the effect of my feelings towards him. But if I had 
the choice of any, and every man in the South, to fill a position so 
important to us, to be rightly filled, I should unhesitatingly take "Rob-. 
ertson. He is so pure, morally and intellectually and far abler than 
(high as he stands) he is yet known to be, that I break through my 
rule of not pushing my opinions upon you, to urge you, if you can 
consistently with your own opinions, to use your influence in obtaining 
for us the services of such a man, on the last line of defence which it 
seems is now left to us. 



BICHMOND, VA, June IB, 1860. 

DEAR SIR : I have just -written to Mr. Mason. Please see his letter. 
I prefer Robertson of course. My warm personal regard and high 
estimate of his ability, with confidence in his opinions on political 
subjects determine me. 

Judge Lee I know well, and respect highly, my personal regard 
for him is strong not only from early association, but from recent 
intercourse. He is a good lawyer, and a clear headed judge, and of 
studious habits. 

I should hate to lose either from V[irgini]a. As I have said to 
Mr. Mason I fear the result of this Convention. The impression is 
they are set upon a rupture. Nothing then can save us from Doug- 
lass but the fear of defeat/ on the part of the North with his nomi- 
nation. What is to be done? 



New York, June 13, I860. 

DEAR SIR : I will beg permission to say, that the very able manner 
in which you have sustained the principles of Democracy during the 
present session of Congress, not less than throughout your long and 
eminent public career, has awakened my deepest interest and ad- 
miration. I will here express the conviction that, a glorious triumph 
now awaits the efforts of the patriotic men who have so eloquently 
maintained the great ideas enshrined in the Constitution. I had 
anticipated that the late Democratic National Convention would 
finally place your name upon its standard, the rallying watchword 
to battle and to victory, and, if upon assembling at Baltimore it 
shall judiciously adopt this course, all of the conservative elements 
of the country would be united in enthusiastic support and I believe 
we should achieve a national triumph almost unparalled in our 
political history. In the auspicious event of your nomination, we 
should indeed expect to carry this state. New York will again take 
her proud position, as of yore, in the ranks of the Democracy. 

Permit me to enclose an extract from an article of mine. In its 
reference, however, to your senatorial career it but inadequately gives 
expression to the sentiments which I have long entertained. I shall 
hope that the loftiest political honors may continue to gather around 
your path. 

It will afford me, I beg to say exceeding pleasure, in being allowed, 
indeed, as an especial favor, the honor of hearing from you, at your 
early convenience. 




DEAR SIR : In reply to your oral inquiry of this morning, I have 
the honor to State, that we estimate, that of Warrants issued under 
the Bounty Land Acts of 1847-50-52 and 55, there are outstanding at 
the present time about 72,054 Warrants, embracing an area of 
7,319,370 acres. 



DEAR SIR : I observe from the recent proceedings of the Senate and 
House of Representatives that it is proposed to authorize the Execu- 
tive to contract for the return to Africa of such recaptured Africans 
as may be brought into the ports of the United States, ancl for their 
support for twelve months thereafter at a rate not exceeding one 
hundred dollars for each individual I also observe that an appro- 
priation of $250,000 is proposed to be made for the return and 
support of those now officially known to be at Key West. 

It is not improbable that other Slavers will yet be captured, and, 
indeed, it is reported, not officially but upon respectable authority, 
that such is already the fact, in which event additional expenditures 
must be incurred and the means therefore should be supplied at 
the present session. 

How much may be required it is, of course, impossible to conjec- 
ture as it must depend entirely upon the number of persons for whom 
provision will have to be made. 

I have the honor, however, looking to the contingent nature of 
the Service, to recommend an appropriation of two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars with the remark that even this amount may fall 
below what will be required for the service of the next fiscal year ancl 
that Congress may be called on to meet the deficiency at its next 


PHILADELPHIA, [PA.], June 83, I860. 

DEAR SIR : Will you allow me to trespass upon your valuable time 
so far as to ask you to read the enclosed and reflect upon its contents? 
It is one of a series of letters addressed to a free holder ancl anti 
slavery editor of New York, but it might with equal propriety have 
been addressed to the Enquirer or the Whig. Southern policy, as 
you will have seen is rapidly forcing all the trade of the country 
through Northern cities and more and more North at every step. 


Southern policy is creating an entire monopoly of manufacturers in 
the East, and the monopoly becomes more complete with every year. 
The men and the States to whom the South is most opposed, are thus 
enriched and strengthened while the men [of] other cities, and other 
States, to whom the South is accustomed to look for help are becom- 
ing impoverished and enfeebled. Boston and New York are becom- 
ing stronger every hour, while Phila[delphia], Baltimore, and 
Norfolk are becoming weaker. When is this to end ? Is it not likely 
the Southern man should see and understand the great fact that they 
are always aiding the ones whom they regard as enemies while 
punishing those who would wish to be their friends? 

The interests of these States, Maryland and Virginia, are one and 
the same, and if they could be brought to act together for the de- 
velopment of their just resources, they could guide and direct the 
entire Union. Divided as they are, they are little better than mere 
instruments in the hands of extremists of the North and South. 
Could they not be brought to act in harmony with each other? The 
man who could bring this about could do more for the Union than 
lias been done by any man since the days of Washington. 



December 10, I860. 

GENTLEMEN : I have had the honor to receive your letter inviting 
me to fix some day previous to my departure for Washington upon 
which I would address the people of my native county, at Tappa- 
hannock, upon the present state of public affairs. I regard it as 
both a duty and a pleasure to respond to such a call on the part of 
my friends and fellow-citizens of Essex and were there time enough 
before the day of my necessary departure to convene the people, I 
should have been gratified to have addressed them as you propose. 
But as there is not sufficient time for this, I have thought that I 
should comply substantially with your wishes by responding in 
writing to the call which you have made upon me. I am not sur- 
prised that you should desire to take counsel, not only with your 
Representatives, but with all who have a common interest with you, 
in the present perilous conjuncture of public affairs. Never in the 
whole of my public life, now not a short one, havt I known a period 
when the destiny of our beloved State, and the fate of the Union, were 
involved in so much of doubt and uncertainty. If there be a remedy 
for the catastrophe, which now seems so imminent, it rests chiefly with 
the North to provide it. And yet there would seem to be but little 

1 Copied from the Richmond Enquirer of Dec. 12, 1860. 
23318 18 VOL 2 22 


hope ill that quarter, when we behold the strange unconsciousness in 
the Northern mind of the imminence of the danger arid its almost 
entire insensibility to the state of public sentiment in the South. So 
far, the attempts made to rouse and inform it on these points, have 
only served to provoke taunts and menaces, which were calculated 
to embitter the feud, whose fires were already blazing high enough 
without this new fuel for the flame. And yet it ought to be obvious 
to all that the present state of things in the United States is unpar- 
alled in our previous history. For the first time since the Union was 
formed we have seen a President of the United States nominated and 
elected, so far as the popular voice is concerned, by a sectional party, 
a party founded in hostility to the institution of African slavery, 
which exists in nearly half the States in the Union, and composed 
of members, all of whom believe it to be their duty to war upon the 
institution whenever a legal opportunity is afforded them; the dif- 
ference being that some of them profess a respect for the restraints 
of the Constitution, as they construe it, whilst others openly avow 
a contempt for all such restraints in regard to the subject of slavery. 
The man who, more than all others, seems to make the issues for that 
party, Mr. Seward, of New York, has declared that upon this sub- 
ject of slavery there was a law higher than the Constitution, which 
should govern him, despite the provisions of the latter. And, as if 
to practice upon such theory, many of the non-slaveholding States 
haye, in effect, nullified the fugitive slave law, and nearly all of 
them have practically made the provision of the Constitution, upon 
which that law was founded, a dead letter and of no avail. All of 
them deny to the slave States that equality under the Constitution 
to which we are entitled by the principles of a fair construction of 
that instrument, and by the decisions at different times of all the de- 
partments of the Federal Government. This sect or party, for it 
seems to be as much of one as the other, where it bore the rule in the 
co-States, has failed, and in the case of Ohio, I believe, refused to 
discharge in our behalf the duties which were not only common to 
humanity, but which, as neutral and independent States, they would 
have been bound to have performed towards us. Notwithstanding 
the assault made by John Brown and his confederates upon the State 
of Virginia, and the excitement produced by it, none of the non- 
slaveholding States have passed any law to prevent or punish such 
armed combinations for the purpose of making war upon the slave- 
holding States. On the contrary, the leading State in New England 
has just elected as its Governor an open sympathizer with Brown in 
his assault upon Virginia. For purposes of exasperation, what this 
party lias said is almost worse than what it has done. Nearly an 
entire generation of men in the non-slaveholding States must now 
have grown up in the constant habit of hearing such denunciations 


of slaveholders and slaveholcting States as were calculated to infuse 
into their minds a spirit of hatred towards the South. The seeds thus 
sown have already borne their bitter fruits in the division of 
churches and parties North and South, and who can now say that 
the final result of such teachings will not be found in a disruption 
of the Union itself? It is true that there are numbers in the non- 
slaveholding States who have fought the battle of the Constitution, 
and of justice, when we were the objects of assault, with a fidelity, 
an ability and an intrepidity which have earned and won our warm- 
est gratitude and admiration. But, alas! for the cause of the Con- 
stitution and the Union, they have been overpowered by their ad- 
versaries, and it must be a work of time with them to recover if, in- 
deed, they shall ever effect it their former ascendancy. If time 
could be given them, I should still hope for good results. Such is my 
faith in the power of truth, and such my confidence in the men. 
But, unfortunately, events have occurred to bring the two sections 
into presence upon the fearful issues which divide them, and there 
seems to be no voice now powerful enough to still the tumult or quiet 
the storm which has been raised. And yet we see around us daily 
that preparations are being made which look to the possibility of "an 
appeal to the arbitrament of the sword. No man can doubt but that 
the time has arrived when the people should consult together and 
look around them for the remedies if there be remedies for the 
evils with which we are threatened. 

It is now almost certain that one of the slaveholding States is 
about to secede from the Union, and the probability is that four more 
of them, lying near her, will soon follow her example. Believing, 
as they do, that their social systems and the peace and safety of 
their people will be endangered by the advent of this mischievous 
sectional party to power, that this party, when in power, will pervert 
and change in its practical operations, the Constitution, which is 
identical with the Union, as it was formed by the fathers, and that the 
General Government, in such hands, instead of providing for the 
common defence, will be used as an instrument of hostility towards 
the slaveholcling States, they are already taking measures to with- 
draw themselves from its jurisdiction, and to form another, to which 
they may look with some confidence for assistance in the protection 
and defence of their rights. In this state of things, who amongst 
us does not ask, what is to be the final result of these movements, 
and what is the practical mode of healing the breach between the 
sections? We already hear from the stronger party threcits of 
coercing the seceding States, by force. But if, unfortunately, such 
an experiment should ever be tried, even the stronger section would 
find the remedy worse than the disease. Suppose they could suc- 
ceed, which result I regard as being in the highest degree iinprob- 


able, what sort of Union would that b& which could only maintain 
itself by dragging along after it five or more of its members in 
captivity and chains? Our political system is founded on the idea 
of self government, a,nd how is that principle to be maintained when 
a part of the States are bound to the Union, not by voluntary asso- 
ciation, but by force, and are ruled, not by laws which they have 
assisted to make, but by the sword? You commence by governing 
five States of the Confederacy by the sword, and having set aside 
the Constitution, as you must do to effect it, how long would it be 
before the whole system became one of force? First, we should have 
the absolute control of a sectional majority without restraints from, 
the Constitution, which hereafter would be whatever they wished it ; 
and then as sure as the day follows the night, would come another 
change. The majority would find it necessary for the efficient and 
convenient exercise of its power to concentrate it in fewer hands, 
and the minority for some protection from the human sympathies 
of one master, would gladly seek any escape from the proscription 
and tyranny of th*e soulless corporation of a sectional party. 

What, then, would become of the remaining slaveholding States 
which had aided in the unworthy application of force to the others, 
who were bound to them by common interests, common sympathies 
and common wrongs? What security could they have in such a 
position for their rights or their peace and safety? A helpless 
minority, declared to be inferior, and voluntarily accepting that 
position, to whom could they look for protection, and from whom 
could they command respect? From themselves? Alas, that would 
be the worst feature in the case, for who can command respect from 
others, when he has lost his own? But the border slave States, in 
my opinion, would not permit the use of force to coerce the seceding 
States without taking part in the contest. The attempt to do this 
would kindle a general civil war, and one which, in the end, might 
draw within the vortex other parties, for almost the whole world 
has now an interest in the great staple of cotton, of which certain 
of the slave States are almost the only producers who make a sur- 
plus beyond their own wants for exportation. What would become 
of the interests of the non-slaveholding States themselves, who are 
so largely concerned in the employments to which cotton gives exist- 
ence, whilst such a war was in the course of prosecution, or, indeed, 
after its conclusion, with the waste and destruction which it would 
occasion, if, unhappily for themselves and others, these States were 
successful in such a contest ? 

But in the case which I am discussing, I hold coercion by force 
to be almost impossible. It would fail if attempted, and would 
never be attempted, unless madness ruled the hour, and passion raged 
where reason ought to govern. But how would we stand if we would 


attempt to rule by force five States of tlr- Confederacy, who de- 
clared our Government over them to be a i^anny, and claimed the 
right of governing themselves ? Is it not the great American prin- 
ciple, that legitimate government rests on the will of the governed ? 
Was it not in behalf of the sacred right of self government that we 
appealed to the world for sympathy and assistance, in our struggle 
for independence? Is this General Government to play the very 
part towards some of the United States themselves which was taken 
towards us by the British Government under Lord North ? Is this 
General Government of ours to resort to the British statutes to 
search after the Boston Port Bill, and other coercive measures used 
against us in our struggle for self-government, as precedents of 
the means to be directed against some of our States, who are en- 
gaged in asserting that same right for which we all contended then? 

It would, indeed, be an instance as ruinous as it was melancholy, 
of the instability of human opinion, and of the mutability of man, 
if a portion of the old thirteen States should be found searching 
the political armory of Great Britain for models of the engines of 
oppression and coercion, and send them against another part of the 
States which constituted the glorious old Confederacy. But, in my 
opinion, there is no rightful power in the Government of the remain- 
ing States to coerce a return to the Union, if States acting in their 
sovereignty capacity had seceded from it. They could not derive 
such a power from either the law of nature or the Constitution of 
the United States. The Convention which framed that instrument 
refused to give the power to coerce a State to the General Govern- 
ment. The very nature of the compact of government into which 
the "United States entered, implies the right, I believe, to secede from 
the Union which it formed, when the conditions and obligations 
upon which it was made have been violated and annulled. 

I believe in the truth of what was "explicitly and peremptorily 
declared " as its view in the General Assembly of Virginia, in one 
of the immortal series of resolutions, and drawn by James Madison, 
in 1798, to wit: that "the power of the Federal Government results 
from the compact to which the States are parties, as limited by the 
plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that com- 
pact, and no further valid than they are authorized by the grants 
enumerated in that compact ; and that, in case of a deliberate, pal- 
pable and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by the said 
compact, the States who are parties thereto have the right, and are 
in duty bound, to interfere for arresting the progress of the evil, 
and for maintaining within their respective limits the authorities, 
rights and liberties appertaining to them." Or, to express the same 
idea more fully and explicitly, I will borrow the words of Mr. Jef- 
ferson, the reputed author of the Kentucky Eesolutions of 1798, in 


which, it is affirmed, " That the several States comprising the United 
States of America are not united on the principal of unlimited sub- 
mission to their General Government, but that, by compact under the 
style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amend- 
ments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special 
purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite powers, 
reserving each State to itself the residuary mass of right to their 
own self-government," and " that to this compact each State acceded 
as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, 
the other party; that the Government created by this compact was 
not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers 
delegated to itself ; since that would have made its discretion, and not 
the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other 
cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party 
has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as the 
mode and measure of redress." 

In other words, I believe, with these high authorities, that the 
Constitution of the United States is a compact of goverment be- 
tween parties, and that the several States constitute these parties. 
And farther, I think, with them, that in case of a dispute between 
the parties as to the mutual conditions of this compact, there is no 
common judge. As evidence to sustain the first proposition as to 
who constitutes the parties, it is enough to refer to the fact that 
the Constitution of the United States was formed by a convention, 
in which the States were represented, and voted as States; that it 
was afterwards ratified by the people of the several States, acting 
each in its separate capacity ; that the provision for the amendment 
of this instrument requires the concurrence of three-fourths of- the 
States, each acting in its individual capacity; that the powers re- 
served from grant to the General Government were reserved to the 
States, and thus the Constitution-making power is recognized as 
residing in the several States, which are considered as the units of 
which our Federal system is the multiple. That the Federal Judi- 
ciary is not, as is contended by some, a common judge in cases of 
disputed powers between the parties to the compact, is, I think, con- 
clusively shown by Mr. Madison, in his report on the Resolutions of 
1798, which was made in 1799, and adopted by the Virginia Assem- 
bly of that day. In that report he says: 

" However true, therefore, it may be that the judicial department 
is, in all questions submitted to it by the forms of the Constitution, 
to decide in the last resort, this resort must necessarily be deemed 
the last, in relation to the authorities of the other department of 
the Government; not in relation to the rights of the parties to the 
Constitutional compact, from which the Judicial, as well as the 
other departments, held their delegated trusts. On any other hy- 


pothesis, the delegation of Judicial power would annul the authority 
delegating it. And the concurrence of this department with the 
others, in usurped powers, might subvert forever, and beyond the 
possible reach of any rightful remedy, the very Constitution which 
all were instituted to preserve." 

Whilst I do not dispute the right of the Federal Judiciary to de- 
cide the law of the case, so as to bind parties within its legitimate 
jurisdiction, whether that law is drawn from the Constitution itself, 
or a statute passed in pursuance of it, I do deny, for the reasons given 
in the above extract, that this Federal Judiciary can make an au- 
thoritative decree in cases of disputes growing out of the Constitu- 
tion between the parties to that compact. If, then, this Constitution 
be a compact, between the States, as parties, and consists, as it does, 
of the mutual obligations, stipulations and conditions, and if there 
be no common judge in cases of disputes between the parties as to 
infractions of that compact, it follows clearly that each state may 
decide for itself whether the compact has been broken and whether 
the breach be of such a nature as to justify its withdrawal as a party 
to the compact. Should it determine these questions in the affirma- 
tive, then in my opinion its political right to secede is demonstrably 
clear. Such must have been the opinion of the Convention of dele- 
gates of the people of Virginia, when, in the very act of ratifying 
the Federal Constitution, they did, " in the name and in behalf of the 
people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted 
under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United 
States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be per- 
verted to their injury or oppression; and that every power not 
granted thereby remains with them and at their will." Indeed, 
Mr. Webster himself, 1851, when his judgment was fully ripened by 
experience, is reported to have said, at Capon Springs, Virginia : 

" I do not hesitate to say, and jepeat, that if the Northern States 
refuse, wilfully and deliberately to carry into effect that part of the 
Constitution which respects the restoration of fugitive slaves, the 
South would no longer be bound to observe the compact. A bargain 
broken on one side is a bargain broken on all sides." 

As ^ understand it, the Union, as it was adopted and formed by 
the fathers, and the Constitution of the United States are one and 
the same. To sustain the one you must maintain the other. There 
were no formal articles of Union between the States, but each ac- 
ceded to the Union by ratifying the Constitution ; the members of the 
General Government are sworn to support, not the Union, but the 
Constitution. The Constitution has two great purposes in view- 
one to create the machinery of a common government, the other to 
prescribe the conditions and limitations under which it was to op- 
erate, and the ends and purposes of its action. Now, if one section 



should get possession of this machinery, and not only destroy the 
limitations and conditions of its action, but direct that action to ends 
and purposes not only different from, but hostile to, those for which 
this political organism was created, they destroy the Union as it was 
framed by the fathers, and seek to substitute another for it. The 
States which secede for such a cause, and refuse to contribute to the 
farther maintenance of this machinery of Government, are, in fact, 
refusing to aid in the destruction of the old Union and the substitu- 
tion of a new. The Union-breakers are those who destroy the Con- 
stitution; the Union-savers are those who preserve that instrument 
or compact in all its parts. Those who would maintain the existence 
of the machinery of a common government, although it was acting 
without regard to the restraints of the Constitution, and for un- 
constitutional purposes, plainly prefer the means to the ends, and 
acquiesce in the exercise of unlimited power by a sectional majority 
which may have possession of the machine. The plain statement of 
such a proposition is enough to condemn it, at least in the opinion 
of Virginians, who have always been distinguished for a jealous 
regard for their rights and liberties, and by an anxious desire to pre- 
serve the limits imposed by the Constitution upon the action of 

For all the reasons which I have given, and for others not now 
enumerated, I believe that each State, acting in its sovereign capacity, 
has a political right to secede from the Union, when it believes that 
there has been a palpable and dangerous infraction of the Constitu- 
tion or compact. But whilst I recognize its right to judge for itself, 
I am also of opinion that the act is morally justifiable only when the 
infraction is of such a character as to make secession the only rem- 
edy, or when the danger of such an infraction is so imminent that 
secession must be immediate to be a remedy at all. Therefore it is 
that when I was questioned during the recent canvass to know 
whether I would regard the election of Lincoln, by constitutional 
means, as a just cause for secession, I replied, that for such a cause 
I would not advise Virginia to secede, but that if any State did deem 
it just cause, and for that reason secede from the Union, I hold that 
she had a right thus to act, without question f mm me, and that there 
was no rightful authority anywhere to force her back within the 
jurisdiction of the General Government. In the case of Virginia, 
where, as a voter and a citizen, I have a right to speak, I would say, 
that although such an election, in my opinion, affords just cause for 
serious apprehension, and makes it prudent to prepare the means of 
self-defence, in case of the worst results, still, I would not desire to 
break up this Union, without at least an honest effort to preserve it, 
upon terms consistent with the rights and safety of the South. To 
preserve the Union of the Constitution I would be willing, I trust. 


to make any personal sacrifice. I therefore desire and advocate a con- 
ference amongst the Southern States to consult and agree upon such 
guarantees -as in their opinion will secure their equality and their 
rights within the Union. 

These might be found in constitutional amendments, which either 
declared the construction of the Constitution to be such as we now 
give it, or which still more explicitly defined and protected that 
equality and those rights, or, better still,, if it could be had, which 
made a new distribution of power, so as to give each section the 
means to protect its rights. That the circumstances of the case, and 
the condition of the times are such as to justify the Southern States 
in demanding new securities, or a re-institution of the old ones, would 
be allowed, I think, by the Northern mind itself, if we could have the 
decision of its reason, uninfluenced by passion. If the Southern 
States could obtain terms which would secure their rights within the 
Union, then they ought, as I think, to stand together, to maintain 
and preserve it. My own opinion is, that the Southern States have a 
common destiny, and ought to stand together, either to preserve their 
rights within the Union, or, if that cannot be done, then to defend 
them without the Union; for in either move they would be able to 
protect themselves. Should, however, the Northern States refuse 
either to give the South new securities, or to re-institute the old ones, 
then the question presents itself in a new form. 

In that event it is hardly to be doubted that at least five of the 
cotton producing States will withdraw immediately and irretriev- 
ably, to be soon followed by all, or most of those, engaged in the pro- 
duction of that staple. The question, then, for the border slavehold- 
ing States will be, not whether the Southern States would have been 
safe if all had remained in the Union, but to which division of the 
Confederacy they ought to attach themselves now that it was severed. 
In such an event, I have not the shadow of a doubt as to what ought 
to be the course of Virginia and the other Southern border States. 
If they united with the other slave States they would confederate as 
equals, and with those whose population was homogeneous, and whose 
interests were identified with their own. If they united with the 
North under such circumstances they would constitute a helpless 
minority, in an association with States whose population was not 
homogeneous with theirs, and whose interests would be considered 
as different and hostile. They would be treated as inferiors by the 
dominant majority, and considered as having acquiesced in that posi- 
tion by the choice which they had made. In the Southern Con- 
federacy they would find an outlet for their surplus population of 
slaves, not only in these co-States, but in whatever Territory might 
be acquired by the Union. Under that Government, too, they would 
find effectual protection for their property and institutions. In the 


other Confederacy their slave population would indeed be " penned 
in " and " localized " within their own borders. 

The dominant party in the North looks to this object as the car- 
dinal principle of their association, and they would be able to pursue 
that end without the show of an opposition. This negro population 
would then be penned up, not only by restrictions from the Northern 
majority, but by restrictions from the neighboring slave States also, 
who would probably hold it to be their interest to force the border 
States to hold on to their slaves, not only for political reasons, but 
also from a desire to interpose an obstacle to the escape of their 
fugitive slaves. What then would be the position of the slavehold- 
ing States in the Northern Confederacy ? * As their slave population 
increased there would be a tendency to fall in wages. The white 
laborer, by emigration, could better his condition by removing where 
his labor was more productive, but the slave, by the circumstances of 
his position, must remain and work for the home rates of wages, 
whatever it might be. In this state of things, the white laborer 
would emigrate where he could work on better terms, and the slave 
would remain to increase his hold upon these States, and to become 
the governing element of their population. Whilst the new territory 
of this Northern Confederacy would be given to the white man, ac- 
cording to their theory, the old territory of the border slaveholding 
States would be given to the negro. The consequences of such a 
process would soon reduce to such an extent the number of whites in 
these States, that they would lose their only, but slender means of 
defence, which they had enjoyed through the little political strength 
with which they had entered that Confederacy. Indeed, how long 
would it be before the non-slaveholding States would increase to the 
mark requisite to enable them to abolish slavery within the States by 
a constitutional amendment ? Would they wait for that progress, if 
they did not know it to be both rapid and sure ? With the principles 
and feelings of this sectional party, which would wield the power of 
that Confederacy, how long would the institution of slavery endure 
in the five or six slaveholding States which were attached to that 
Union ? Is there one of the slaveholding States which would volun- 
tarily incur such a risk, with the fate of the British West Indies be- 
fore their eyes? In a Union with a Southern Confederacy, they 
would encounter none of these dangers. In that connection, the 
slave population operates as a safety-valve to protect the white la- 
borer against an unreasonable or ruinous decline in the rate of wages. 
The law of profit moves him to a theater where he will earn more for 
his master, and yet more for himself, whilst the labor market which 
he leaves is thus gradually relieved from the pressure, and the white 
man remains in the land of his birth, to enjoy the profits of remuner- 
ating operations. As a proof of the truth of this view, I ask if the 


average rate of wages of the white laborer of the South is not higher 
than in any other settled portion of the globe ? 

But I have not done with the view of the relative advantages of 
an association on the part of Virginia with either of these Confeder- 
acies. In the Southern Confederacy, the border States would soon 
derive all the advantages which the noii-slaveholding, and particu- 
larly the New England States now derive from the markets of the 
cotton States. With Virginia, this would especially be the case. Un- 
der the incidental protection afforded by a tariff, laid without other 
views than those for revenue purposes, there would be an unexampled 
development of her vast capacity for mining, manufacturing, agricul- 
tural and commercial production. Nor would a great navigation in- 
terest be slow to spring into existence within her borders. Falling 
heirs, as she and the other border States would do, but Virginia 
principally, to the profitable occupations and rich markets of the 
Cotton States, where they would find customers mainly, and not 
rivals, and of which hitherto the Northern States have enjoyed the 
almost exclusive monopoly, their development of all these sources of 
material wealth would be greater, probably, than anything that has 
been witnessed in the North, or West, or East. If the Northern 
States are mad enough to throw away such advantages, in their in- 
sane war upon slavery, to the existence of which institution they 
chiefly owe them, would not the madness of the border slave States 
be even greater than theirs if they should voluntarily shut them- 
selves out from such a field of adventure? But this is not all. The 
most profitable commercial relations of Virginia are with the South 
and South-west. The manufacturing, mining and agricultural pro- 
ductions of North-western Virginia, if we look down the Ohio, find 
their chief markets in the South and South-west; or on the Chesa- 
peake, if we look Eastward. The great railroacf connections of Vir- 
ginia almost all look to the South and South-west for their profits. 

The connecting links of the great South-western line are so nearly 
completed that Norfolk and Richmond may be said to have already 
locked arms with Memphis and New Orleans. When we look to 
geographical position, who can doubt but that in a separate Southern 
Confederacy, composed of all, or nearly all, the slaveholding States, 
there would arise in or about the shores of the Chesapeake a great 
and commanding centre of credit and commerce. With the com- 
pletion of the central line of railroad, and above all with the com- 
pletion of the great water line of the State, there would grow up 
some city on or about the Chesapeake, which would enjoy immense 
and commanding advantages for the interchange of commerce, and 
for the distribution of the commodities of the world over a vast area 
filled with rich and profitable consumers. Indeed, through this 
water line a large portion of the great North-west would stand 


towards some place in Virginia as the Canadas do to New York. 
But this is a subject to which I will barely allude, as to treat it fully 
would swell this letter far beyond its proper dimensions. Suffice it 
so say, that for these great advantages, we could find no compensa- 
tion in an association with the non-slaveholding States, where we 
would find more rivals than customers, and where these great inter- 
ests of Virginia would probably be exposed to hostile legislation. 

So far I have dwelt upon the relative political and material ad- 
vantages to be derived from an association with the one or the other 
of these Confederacies. But there is yet another point of compari- 
son, which weighs more with me than all the others. I mean the 
social effects of a union with either. We should enter the Southern 
Confederacy as equals. The roads to honor, office, and profit would 
be alike open to all. We should enter into a government whose 
constituents are bound together by common interests and sympathies, 
and who treated each ether with mutual respect. But, above all, our 
social system, instead of being dwarfed and warred upon by the 
action of the Government, would receive all the assistance and means 
of development which it is proper for a Government to render to the 
society which it represents. If it be the individual culture which 
develops the man, it is the social culture which regulates the progress 
of the race. This social culture depends much upon the system of 
government itself. The difference is wide between the measure of 
progress of a social system, when the government aids and promotes 
on the one hand, or assails and seeks to prevent its development on 
the other. But what would be the operation upon the social system 
of these few slaveholding States in the Northern Confederacy ? De- 
clared to be inferiors by the dominant majority, and forced by weak- 
ness to submit to the position, they could not enter with equal chances 
into a competition for the honors and profits of Society. Who would 
voluntarily place a son in such a position? Humbled by the stamp 
of inferiority placed upon him by his government, conscious that he 
was attached to a political system from whose honors he was ex- 
cluded by the circumstances of his position, and a member of a social 
system which was assailed and dwarfed by his own government, then 
it would not be long before he would lose, together with his sense of 
equality, that spirit of independence to which manhood owes its chief 
grace and its power. 

I have given at some length my views as to the relative advan- 
tages to the border States, in case of a dissolution of the Union, to 
be derived from an association with the one or the other of the 
(wo Confederacies which will be formed at first. I have done so 
because I see much reason to fear that it is in this form that the prac- 
tical question will present itself. For myself, I would much prefer 
to see the whole South remaining in the Union upon such guaran- 


tees as would secure their rights and safety. My own opinion is, 
that the non-slaveholding States would do wisely to give that se- 
curity, and thus preserve the Union and peace. I cannot, however, 
shut my eyes to the fact that these guarantees may be refused, and 
that in such an event a part of the Southern States will secede. A 
portion of the slavehokling States would probably prefer to remain 
in the Union, and make yet a farther fight for their constitutional 
rights, if they could make that fight with a united South. But 
when a part of the Southern States had left, it would, as it seems 
to me, be a hopeless contest for the residue. Whether it willed it 
or not, the Union would have been divided, and the slaveholding 
border States would have to decide, not upon the question of Union 
or no Union, but to which division of the Union, now that it was 
dissolved, they would attach themselves. That question must be 
decided, should it come, upon considerations of reason rather than 
of feeling. 

I know that it is said by some in the border States that it is hard 
they should be dragged out of the Union by the other States. On 
the other hand, the Cotton States might say, it was hard for them 
to be held in the Union by the border States if they thought their 
peace, safety and prosperity required them to withdraw from it. 
The question, if it arises, ought to be decided upon considerations 
of moral, social and political advantages, and not be approached 
in the spirit of anger or crimination. The time has now come when 
Virginia ought to be acting. It may possibly be within her power 
to mediate the differences and save both the Union and the rights of 
the South. There ought to be a conference of the Southern States 
to see if they cannot determine upon some common course of action 
in this regard. If this cannot be done, and the Southern States can- 
not obtain such guarantees as would retain them all within the 
Union, then comes the other question upon which Virginia must 
decide in her sovereign capacity, and that is, with which confeder- 
ac y w ju s ] ae lm it e her destiny. Such a decision would not necessarily 
occasion war. 

If all the slaveholding States were united in one Confederacy, 
and the non-slaveholding States in another, the consequences of war 
would be so disastrous, and the consideration in favor of peace would 
be so strong, as probably to prevent a resort to force, unless, indeed, 
the passion engendered by the occasion should be so high as to gain 
the mastery over reason. Indeed, if there were two such Confed- 
eracies, each standing upon a Constitution, the same, or nearly the 
same, with that of the United States, I could conceive of a league 
between these two, whose bonds not being so close as those of the 
present Union, woflld avoid the exciting subject of dispute, and which 
might yet embrace enough of the objects of common interest to 


place them in the position which Mr. Jefferson assigns to the United 
States under the existing Constitution, which, he said, made " them 
one, as to the rest of the world, and several as to each other." 

But it is idle to propose remedies unless we know the temper with 
which such proposition would be received by the non-slaveholding 
States, with whom it lies to save the Union, if it is to be done at all. 
If we judge of that temper by the past conduct of the party which 
now wields the political power of that section, we can hardly expect 
either reason or moderation from them. It is consoling, however, 
to know that the issues of our destiny are in the hands of Providence 
who makes and unmakes, the prosperity of men and nations at His 
own good pleasure. It may be that with His aid, some scheme of 
deliverance may yet be worked out. The Southern States, I be- 
lieve, can preserve not only their rights and domestic safety, but 
also the peace of the country, if they will stand together. It is time, 
however, that some movement was made for conference and consulta- 
tion amongst those States, and I do not see why the Legislature of 
Virginia may not initiate such a movement at its approaching ses- 
sion. If, however, nothing can be effected in the way of concilia- 
tion and adjustment and a separation of the States should take place, 
it will be for the people of Virginia, acting through a Convention, 
and in their sovereign capacity, to determine with which of the two 
divisions they will unite themselves. Of that choice I do not permit 
myself to doubt. We have now reached a period when this con- 
troversy must be settled. All the great interests of society require 
it. The business relations of the country are obstructed by it, and 
if the Union holds together without an adjustment of the dispute, 
the same difficulties will recur with each succeeding Presidential 
election, shaking the foundations of credit and property, and filling 
the public mind with anxiety and uncertainty, until the people will 
accept any change of government which promises to give more 
stability and security to their peace and their property. These 
quadrennial agitations seem to increase the intensity, and must in- 
evitably break down the government at no distant day, if something 
cannot be done to quiet them. If this state of irritation between the 
sections should become chronic, the question will be not how to pre- 
serve it but how to get out of it. When the future which lies before 
us is so clouded by gloom and uncertainty, we all must feel that the 
time has come for Virginia to put her house in order. No man can 
now tell what a day or an hour may bring forth. An accident might 
fire a train, whose explosion would part the Union asunder. But, 
be the issue what it may, peace or war!, and no man desires the 
former more earnestly than I do, may the noble old Commonwealth 
be prepared to play the part that becomes her. Certain I am that I 
speak the common voice of nearly all her sons, when I say, where 


she leads we will follow; and should she in her sovereign capacity 
throw her banner to the breeze, we will rally to it as the emblem of 
our allegiance, whether it bears upon its fold a single star, as the 
representation of her undivided sovereignty, or a whole constella- 
tion to mark the numbers of a confederated system. When she 
speaks, her voice will be heeded at home, and, I trust, respected 

But I fear I have already exhausted your patience by the length 
of this letter, which must be excused by the magnitude of the crisis 
to which it relates; and I will conclude with the expression of my 
thanks for the confidence you have reposed in me, and subscribe 
myself, with assurances of respect and regard. 


NEW YOEK, [N". Y.], April 14th, 1861. 

DEAR SIR : Enclosed is a sketch in which you may find some inter- 
est. It is designed to be fair, though hurriedly drawn and without 
quite sufficient data. 

[Written expressly for the N. Y. Loader.] 

Number XLVIII. 

Not often seen on our Plaza, but very conspicuous and attracting much at- 
tention whenever visible, this broad-shouldered, thick-set, middle-aged and 
middle heigh ted man, handsomely but plainly dressed, and with features a 
good deal suggesting traces of Pocahontas lineage; this rather slow, steady 
and courteous gentleman, with masses of thick brown hair, silky and straight 
as an Indian's; dark and large brown eyes of a somewhat sleepy tendency; 
dark eyebrows, handsomely arched and sharply defined at the base of a full, 
broad forehead ; regular and very pleasant features ; shaved cheeks, oval ,and 
olive colored, with a developing double chin and rather animal contour; such 
is the outer man of Hon. Robert M. T. Hunter, one of the clear-grit P. F. V.'s 
a public man of prominence before the country during the last three and 
twenty years many times re-elected to the Senate of the United States, and 
holding in that body the most laborious and responsible Committee Chairman- 
ship to wit, that of Ways and Means. Run Mad Tom Hunter, as he was once 
nicknamed, was first elected to the lower house of Congress in the year 1837, 
running on an independent ticket and in opposition to the regular Democratic 
nominee. That was the year of the famous Broad Seal Controversy so-called 
from the fact that Speaker Pennington, then Governor of New Jersey, had 
given the Broad Seal of State-Certificate to a Whig delegation, whose seats 
were contested by Democrats claiming to have received clear majorities of 
the popular vote. What part the independent Mr. Hunter took in this fight, 
it would be difficult to say ; but certain it is, that in the Broad-seal struggle 
for Speakership of the House after almost as many weeks of ineffectual bal- 
loting as we have lately witnessed, the Conservatives, led by ex-Senator Tal- 
raadge, Reeves, Wise and Company, coalesced with the Whigs ; and as the re- 


suit of this, the independent R. ML T. H. was elected Speaker as their com- 
promise candidate. Serving several terms in Congress after tins, he was first 
elected to the Senate, nearly twenty years ago, by a coalition between the Whigs 
and bogus Democrats of the Virginia Legislature. It is hut justice to Mr. 
Hunter to add, however, that notwithstanding his first election to the Senate 
in this manner, he has ever since been re-elected as the regular Democratic nomi- 
nee ; and that on every occasion when his name has been presented to Virginia, 
the solid and responsible men of that Old Dominion, have thronged in mass to 
express their confidence in his abilities and their high estimate of his charac- 
ter. On the return of Henry A. Wise to the Democracy in 184G, and ever since 
that date, there has been a rivalry on the part of Wise against Hunter the 
fiery and gallant ex-Governor sometimes carrying with him for a brief season 
the sympathies of the lower strata; but the upper-crust old families, always 
standing like a wall of granite to buttress the fortunes of the Tocahontas Sena- 
tor. So far as regards personal repute and habits, we hazard nothing in saying 
that Mr. Hunter is one of the purest and most fortunate men that has ever 
lived so many years in the National Capitol, In all our recollection we have 
never heard his name breathed except in accents of respect ; and foes dare not 
deny the boast of friends, that in.all his official acts dealing, as he has done, 
with the whole finances of the country during the past ten or fourteen years- 
no shadow of suspicion as to the absolute integrity of his motives, has ever 
rested on the name of Robert Hunter. A laborious and faithful man, perse- 
vering, quietly ambitious and with all his desires under most admirable con- 
trol, the subject of our sketch is more free from faults than any public man 
within the range of our experience. His appetites are moderate; his style of 
living handsome, but largely within his means ; every hour in his life seems to 
have its allotted mission, and he is of that cautious, indefatigable temperament 
which works and progresses without cessation, and yet without betraying any of 
the jar and racket which accompanies the spasmodic industrious-fits of less per- 
severing men. True all this and the praise is rather under than over what 
we feel to be due, it is no illogical consequence that a man so correct as 
Hunter should lack that popular, vitative force, which more frequently sur- 
rounds men of more decided, hut less perfect characters. It is not the mere 
negative angel that masses of men will bow down to reverence; they are too 
faultless for popular sympathy too cold to make allowance for the hot fancies 
and passions which sway the multitude. At some calmer period of our history, 
such a man as Hunter would be a resistless candidate for the Democratic party 
to put in national nomination; but in the present inflamed and illogical con- 
dition of sectional and factious feud, the mild virtues which we have described 
would count for nothing, and a more positive man of some kind must be our 
standard-bearer, if we hope to win. As to the present Virginia Delegation, 
Wise undoubtedly expected, and made strong efforts to carry it for himself ; but 
the solid men of the State prevailed, and there can be no doubt that the first 
vote of the mother of Presidents at Charleston will be cast for Hunter. That 
such a vote can amount to a mere compliment and nothing more, we feel con- 
vinced; nor as friends of R. M. T. H. could we wish to see him put up for 
popular slaughter at such a time. Should he be nominated, however, it would 
puzzle his enemies to find a blot, personal or political, on his escutcheon ; and 
it might also puzzle his friends to find any '* Cry," or popular watchword of 
sufficient potency to make his name successful. He might, however, we suppose, 
reckon on the very earnest support of his old " Conservative " friends in this 
City such as Francis B. Cutting, Chas. O'Connor, Jerry Towle and others of 
that class who have, since 1837, aspired to be ranked as the only original 


Simon-pure Democrats of Manhattan Island ! We think the best policy for Mr. 
Hunter he being abundantly young yetis to stand back for the present and 
pursue such a course towards Douglas as will form a claim of gratitude on the 
friends of that candidate to be used for Mr. Hunter's benefit-in the Convention 
of 1864. 


December 13th, 1867. 

Mr. Hunter said he could claim the merit of impartiality for the 
counsels which he was about to give his countrymen, as he had no 
interest in the proceedings of this or any other political body except 
those which every citizen has in the good government of the country 
to which he belongs. He had a sentiment, however, which was 
stronger than any interest could be, and that was for the promotion 
of the welfare and preservation of the honor of his native State, 
which was dearer to him now in her misfortunes than in the palmy 
days of her prosperity. He had no political aspirations, and if ho 
had, there was no possible public career before him. He said this 
not by way of regret or complaint, for whilst he held that no man 
had a right to throw away any opportunities of usefulness which 
had been bestowed upon him, yet if they were talten from him he 
might rightfully turn aside to domestic pursuits, which were far 
more congenial to his tastes than the stormy career of public life. 
He had, however, a difficulty in offering counsels now which he had 
never experienced before. He had been a member heretofore of pub 
lie meetings which Sad the welfare and honor of Virginia under con- 
sideration. But then, there were always some general principles of 
justice or considerations of expediency upon which he could reason 
and form some theory, which, whether right or wrong, was satis- 
factory to himself at least. Now, he was not to consider the ques- 
tions befpre us in that point of ^iew, but he was to ascertain, if pos- 
sible, what would be allowed to us by those who controlled us, and 
to choose amongst these things what would be best for Virginia. 

Even in this limited view of the question he was at a loss as to what 
was before us. If he were to take the recent elections as a test of 
the feeling of the North, he could hope that the cup of universal 
negro suffrage would pass from us; but if he must take the recon- 
struction act as the ultimate and final decree of the Congress which 
must rule us at least for the next two years, then he had only to 
choose between military government or the control of the colored 
race. Between these alternatives he had no hesitation in saying that 
he preferred the military control. ' Under military government he 
was controlled by men of his own race; educated men who acted 

i See Richmond Whig, Dec, 13, X86T, 
28318 18 VOL 2 23 


under the responsibilities of their commission and in some degree 
under the control of a President who we know to be disposed to do 
us justice, and accord to us, as far as he could, our constitutional 

If we were to be placed under the control of the black race, in 
the country between the Potomac and the Rio Grande, it was not 
difficult to divine the results. We had the experience of Hayti and 
Jamaica before us. There was no doubt but that it would result 
in the formation of a black man's party, which would persecute the 
white man in all possible modes. In Hayti they were suddenly eman- 
cipated as in this country, and without adverting to the scenes of 
atrocity which occurred when they had the control of public affairs, 
it is enough to say that the result was to destroy all the elements 
of material prosperity and moral progress. A black man's party 
was formed and the whites were persecuted until most of thorn wore 
driven from the country, and he had the authority of an intelligent 
observer, who has recently been amongst them, that they not only 
exclude all white men from office, but deny them the privilege of 
holding real estate. The black men themselves only work by com- 
pulsion, and the culture of sugar, of which they made 120,000,000 
of pounds in 1789, has disappeared, so of cotton, and so would it 
have been of coffee if it were not that the trees planted long ago 
still continue to bear. In Jamaica we have the same history as far 
as was compatible with the control of the English Government. The 
same hostility to the white man, the same decadence in agricultural 

Could any one doubt but that we should see similar results in 
the Southern States if the whole country between the Potomac and 
the Rio Grande should be submitted to the rule of the colored race ? 
The Radical party seemed to think that they would thus secure the 
support of the whole Southern country so long as the black man 
should rule. They would find themselves mistaken in this after the 
first election. The blacks would form, not a Radical, but a black 
man's party, and we know, from the history of party welfare, that 
all parties would bid for them. They would act for the benefit of 
themselves and not for this or that party of the whites, and can there 
be conceived anything more demoralizing than a party consisting, in 
the language of one of the resolutions, one third of the Senate, and 
a fourth of the House of Representatives who would thus hold the 
balance of power between the two parties of the white race, and act 
only for their own good. As Free Lancers in the field, they would 
determine all disputed questions in reference only to their own 

He said this in no feeling of hostility to the colored race, but in 
accordance only with the history of the past. On the contrary, he 


felt kindly towards the colored race, but thought their welfare was 
to be promoted in a mode which was contrary, perhaps to their own 
,view. But there were dangers ahead of them in their present 
course to which they had not adverted, and which had been care- 
fully concealed from them. Suppose they could assume the control 
of the Southern States for the present, how long would it last? 
Would the white race in the North long endure a state of things 
in which the blacks, though a minority, would control, by holding 
the balance of power in all contested political questions? Would 
they consent to see the material resources and productions of the 
South wasted and perhaps destroyed which used to yield them so 
large a harvest of wealth? Would they contribute to the result 
which was to restore the cultivated field to the wilderness and 
jungle, and leave the wild beasts and the alligator to reign supreme 
over those plains and bottoms, which heretofore had been the seats 
of a refined civilization, and of a production whose profits extended 
North as well as South? Would they stand by contently and see 
the moral, material and social elements of strength and happiness 
wasted and almost destroyed to maintain the supremacy of the 
colored race, which would seem to be the present policy. 

Every consideration of self-respect and national interest would 
forbid it. The extreme western limit of agricultural settlement east 
of the Rocky mountains has already been attained. It cannot be 
long before the tide of agricultural immigration must soon tend 
Southward. The colored race will -not be allowed to hold these 
immense resources in abeyance. This country belongs to the white 
man, and they will claim its control. To subject the white race in 
Virginia to the government of the black race, when it is superior in 
numbers, wealth and intelligence, would be to commit one of the 
highest of all sins, a sin against nature. Would any party in the 
loyal States permit the blacks to give the power of the government 
to a minority amongst themselves when they had only to call into 
action their own strength to avert it? Was there ever a race superior 
in numbers, wealth and intelligence to those who governed them 
who tamely submitted to be so ruled? 

I throw out these considerations not merely to encourage my 
own fellow-citizens and brethren, but for the black race itself, for 
whom I have kindly feelings. I was not only reared amongst them 
and feel the kindly ties of early association, but I acknowledge the 
obligation which rests upon us to give them all the opportunities 
of progress and development which we can afford them in justice 
to ourselves. That the reaction will come, I have no doubt, but 
I fear it will come in a mode which I should regret as a friend of 
civilization and humanity, and to the black race itself. And sup- 
pose for the sake of a brief period of control which is given them. 


not for their own sakes, but to secure the supremacy of the Kadical 
party they should thus get up a contest between the races and incur 
the hostility of the whites, what will become of them when the re- 
action comes? I shudder to think of the result. If the Radicals 
appeal to the black race to sustain th$m, will not the other party 
invoke the aid of the whites, who are so much more powerful in all 
the natural elements of strength' in the country in which they may be 
brought into competition ? I speak not only in the interests of the 
white, but also of the black race, when I protest against any system 
of laws which seeks to place the weaker and inferior race in control 
over that which is superior in wealth, numbers and intelligence. 
After all, the citizens of any community have more interest in its 
good government than in the question of who shall direct it. I will 
not offer the advice, because it will not be received in the spirit 
in which it is offered, but far better would it be for the blacks to 
leave the government of the country where they found it. If they 
do not provoke the hostility of the white race, they will be treated 
not only with justice but generosity. If they are made equal in 
the eye of the law and protected in all their rights, would they 
not be in a far better position to leave the government to the whites, 
who are best fitted for it? I am sure I speak not only my own 
feelings, but those also of the white citizens of Virginia, when I 
say that at present we would tolerate no government which did not 
respect not only their freedom, but their just rights of person and 

But, Mr. President, it may be that they will heed no advice which 
I can give them. The Radical party which now controls Congress 
may retain that for two years yet to come, and they may force on us 
a state of things contrary not only to justice, but sound policy. 
There will nothing be left to us then but patience and endurance until 
the reaction comes. That it will come I do not doubt for a moment, 
and if it should bring consequences to the black race which we shall 
all deplore, we shall not be responsible for it. Mr. President, I know 
what I recommend when I counsel patient endurance and manly for- 
titude to the people of Virginia, if this state of things should occur. 
It will be best for our beloved State that it should be so. The present 
generation has suffered, still suffers, and perhaps may continue, for 
some time to come, to suffer. But what is the life-time of one gen- 
eration in the existence of a State. Virginia will revive, and ,fulfil 
a destiny as bright probably as her most ardent son ever wished for 
her. Trials, difficulties and sufferings constitute the discipline by 
which individuals and States are trained to moral and heroic excel- 
lence. What individual ever attained greatness who was reared in 
the lap of ease and luxury, and was not trained, for some part of his 
life, in the school of adversity? What nation has achieved excel- 


lence in greatness which was not disciplined in the same school? 
England had what is called its rebellion, a period of some cruelty and 
much suffering, and yet from that rebellion sprung some of those 
acts which are the proudest monuments of the liberty of the subject, 
and more than all, the resolution in which were laid broad and deep 
the foundations of British freedom and prosperity. 

The revolution of France was far more terrible. The wisest men 
trembled for her future, and yet from that revolution sprang that 
equality of all men before the law, and the throwing open of all the 
pulses of life to the free and equal competition of all, which gave a 
new impulse to the energy of the nation, and placed it at the head 
of the European powers. Who shall say that the present period 
may not prove a new seed of progress and a new germ of growth in the 
career of Virginia? I think I already see its effects in the rising 
generation. The times are teaching them habits of self-denial and 
self-reliance, which contributes so much to give strength of char- 
acter and self-respect. The feeling of patriotism is intensified by 
the present condition of the good old Commonwealth, and every true 
son feels a redoubled desire to redeem her from her present depres- 
sion and to reconstruct her morally and nationally. Mr. President, 
they will do it ! The young men of Virginia will do it. Let them 
meet their present difficulties with a manly fortitude, a noble con- 
stancy. The State has been dismembered, it is true, but she is still a 
great State, large in territory and abounding in resources. To speak 
the language of flattery in these times would be vain and wicked. 
But the past justifies my confidence in my fellow-citizens; they have 
been equal to all emergencies in the past, they will meet the difficulties 
of the present in a proper spirit. We are poor, very poor, it is true, 
but our hands, I trust, will be endued with a patient fortitude and 
manly constancy. 

There is wealth in the earth, let us plough, dig and mine for it. 
There is wealth in our falling waters and running streams. They 
will turn the mill and build up manufactories. There is wealth, too, 
stores of wealth, in our black diamonds; they will make the steam 
which drives the car, propels the boat and turns the wheel. We have 
streams to bear away the fleets of commerce as far as the tide may 
flow, and we have forests to build those fleets. It is for the people 
of Virginia to say whether we have not the men to develop those 
resources. I believe that we have. I have confidence in my fellow- 
citizens. I believe that there is" great and glorious destiny yet in 
store for Virginia, I have given, I think, a reason for the faith that 
is in me. But, Mr. President, I confess that I, too, have my moments 
of despondency. When I think of what Virginia has been, of all 
that she has done for the Union; her sister States and for mankind, 
and then reflect upon her present condition, I may sa v, in the 


words of another, that thoughts, feelings and emotions crowd upon 
mj mind which I cannot altogether repress, and yet which in humble 
submission to divine Providence I dare not express. But I thank 
God that this is not my permanent state of mind. I do not despair. 
The present hours of darkness and despondency will soon pass away, 
and Virginia, if not exactly her old self, will be a great State again. 
The time must come when she will hitch on to the Federal train as 
great as any in her constitution of freight ,and passengers ; and who 
shall say that the trumpet of leadership may not be placed once more 
in her hands. 

Mr. President, every man has sometimes a belief for which he 
cannot exactly account and which seems to come to him more from 
intuition than reason. Such, perhaps, is in fact the foundation of 
my faith in the future greatness and prosperity of Virginia, I be- 
lieve. Sir, that the seeds of Anglo-American civilization was first 
sown on the silent banks of the James for some divine purpose. 
It is now nearly three centuries since the Anglo-Saxon came, the 
master builder of forms of government, with his compass and square 
to lay the foundations of the immense social fabric which we now 
see around us, embracing almost every variety of climate and race 
which are known upon earth. From that seed sprang the "Old 
Dominion", the mother of States and of statesmen. The "Mother 
of States ", for every State South of the isothermal line of the north- 
ern line is numerously stored with the descendants of Virginia sires. 
Kentucky was her eldest daughter, and under the great pioneer, 
George Rogers Clark, acquired the territories which now comprises 
most of the Northeastern States, already the seat of empire freely 
bestowed by Virginia upon the Confederacy for purposes of peace 
and harmony. The mother of statesmen, all acknowledge her to 
have been. It was she who gave the author of the Declaration of 
Independence, and the long line of Virginia Presidents under whose 
guidance the beginnings of empire were laid which are the most 
painful steps in a nation's progress. Her great mission seems to 
have been to promote individual liberty as far as was consistent with 
the existence of democratic republican government. We appeal to 
history to sustain the assertion that whenever the Federal Govern- 
ment was under the influence of Virginia principles the people were 
harmonious, prosperous and happy, and so soon as that government 
departed from those principles trials and discontent have arisen. 
The old state of things has passed away ; concentration and consoli- 
dation are now the order of the day. Time will make up the issue 
between the old state of things and the new ; history will record that 
issue, and impartial prosperity will pronounce the verdict. I will 
not undertake to predict what it will be, but, as a Virginian, I do not 
fear the result. 


Mr. President, I hope for better tilings, but still I will look to the 
future in its worst aspect. Suppose that a temporary supremacy of 
the black race should be forced upon us. We must meet it with a 
manly fortitude, a patient endurance; we must do nothing incon- 
sistent with our self-respect or wound the honor of our people, which 
to nations is the pearl of greater price. Patiently we will bide our 
time until the reaction comes, as assuredly it must. The interests of 
the North will not endure the waste of so much of the sources of its 
wealth and prosperity, and may I not hope that its feelings will also 
forbid our subjection to such domination. Such a state of things 
cannot last. We would not even be treated with such a danger if 
the passions and bitterness of the contest had not obscured the judg- 
ment of those who now govern. These passions must subside before 
long, and the volcano will burn it. For this, I trust not only to 
natural causes, but to Providence, which will not permit the destiny 
of such a State to be marred or leave its tale " half untold." 

In conclusion, fellow-citizens, as Lord Elder said amongst the best 
of his utterances, " I submit the cause of my country to that Great 
Being who can say to the madness of the people as he can say to the 
raging waves of the ocean Hither shall thou come, no further. 55 


LLOYDS, ESSEX Co., VA., June 14, 1869. 

MY DEAR SIR : I hasten to respond to your letter received a short 
time since, in which you suggest that some interest is felt by yourself 
and others in regard to my opinions upon the gubernatorial contest 
and the issues upon wliich the people of Virginia will soon be called 
upon to vote. 

If the expression of my opinions upon these subjects will gratify 
any of my friends, it will give me pleasure to make it. In regard to 
the gubernatorial contest, I feel no hesitation in choosing between 
the candidates- I know that they are both Eepublicans, and that 
it is sometimes a most unpleasant task to be forced to choose between 
evils. But nevertheless, it is often a positive duty to do so, and in 
this instance we are not responsible for the issues on which we are 
called upon to decide, but which are forced on us by circumstances 
and a power that we cannot control. * There is nothing left us but 
to deal with the circumstances in which we are placed not by our- 
selves, but others, so as to make the most of them. We are not re- 
sponsible for doing the best in the abstract as we might be if we were 
a free and equal State in the Union ; but for doing the best which is 

1 Copied from the Richmond Enguirer, June 23, 1869. Beverley Browne Douglas was a 
member of the State Constitutional Convention of Virginia, 1850-1851; represented 
Virginia in Congress, 1875-1878. 


possible in the situation in which we are placed. Neither can we 
justify ourselves for inaction by saying there is nothing left us but 
a choice between evils, which we refuse to make, if by doing so we 
can render a service to our State, which, in my opinion, we can and 
ought to do in this case. Many of the most important steps in the 
conduct of life, and particularly of government are after all a choice 
between evils. No great question exciting bitter strife between 
parties, if not settled by the absolute submission of one of them is 
ever adjusted, except by compromise, which, by its nature, involves 
some sacrifice of opinion on both sides. It was so in the great acts of 
the British government, which are considered as monuments of 
their liberties ; it was eminently so of the constitution of the United 
States, and it will always be so of questions between great and 
opposing parties who have a voice in their settlement. To say there- 
fore, that we will do nothing which involves a sacrifice of opinion 
is simply to assume an impracticable position. Under this view of the 
case, I should not hesitate to give my vote, if I had one, to Walker 
for Governor, for a Conservative State government and for the ex- 
purgation of the constitution submitted to the people of Virginia for 
a ratification. 

We are to choose, as it seems to me, between what is called the 
Underwood constitution, simple and pure, with Wells and his party 
to administer it on the one hand, or the same constitution so ex- 
purgated as to leave the power of governing and representing the 
State in Conservative hands with Walker and his friends, the Con- 
servatives of Virginia to administer it. Who can hesitate as to his 
selection between such alternatives, or refuse to make a choice in 
which his State and all whom he loves have so deep an interest? 
That the issues are such as I state them to be*, I do not for a moment 
doubt. That either Walker or Wells will be elected as Governor 
nobody denies, and that the constitution in" one shape or the other 
will be adopted by the people of Virginia everybody seems to believe, 
and if it were not so, who will guarantee us that the Congress of the 
United States, as at present constituted, will not force it upon us 
in its most obnoxious form? That body has shown no great consid- 
eration heretofore either for our rights or feelings, nor does it seem 
to regard much either tile constitution of the United States or even 
simple justice where we are concerned. That the election of Wells 
and the adoption of the Underwood constitution, as it came from the 
hands of its framers, would ensure the ruin of our State and con- 
summate the degradation of our people, there are few Conservatives 
who will deny. 

On the other hand, although I have no personal acquaintance with 
Mr. Walker, I am induced to believe by friends in whom I rely, and 
by what I have seen of his course, that he would exercise the power 


and duties of his office, if elected, in the manner whibh he supposed 
would redound to the interests and honor of the State which he rep- 
resented. The constitution, if expurgated, as we may do if we 
choose, will throw the political power of the State in the hands of 
the Conservatives, who would administer it with a just and proper 
consideration for all. Can we refuse to accomplish such results for 
our State, which has suffered so much already, because we care not 
for Mr. Walker, who acted once with the Republican party on issues 
which are now past and gone ? 

If there were still a question as to negro suffrage and negro eligi- 
bility to office I might see how opposition might be made to him 
upon these grounds. But all must see that these questions are settled 
against our opinions I mean those of the whites, by a power greater 
than ours and from which we at least have no appeal. Upon those 
questions which, as I said before, are now gone and past dispute, 
he did differ with us it is true, but upon the issues which are yet to 
come, and which are now before us, it is in every way probable that 
he will act with the Conservative party from sympathy as well as 
from principle. Shall we sacrifice the living to the dead? Shall 
we take no part in the real and the practical, because we are too 
much absorbed with the memories of questions now decided and 
gone, to do so? God knows those memories are as dear to me as they 
can be to any man; my interest, too, in those questions when they 
were before us and living was as keen as that of him who is most 
sensitive in regard to them, and continued to be so whilst there was 
any hope of accomplishing their defeat. But the necessities of our 
State are too pressing, and her suffering too great to justify us in 
pausing upon matters which are no longer the subjects of action, 
when by striking at once we can secure even a partial relief, which 
though partial and not entire, will yet be felt as great in every nerve 
and fibre of the body politic. There are sometimes great national 
emergencies in which the necessity for immediate action is so great 
that we must follow the scripture injunctions and let the dead bury 
the dead. We can find ample employment for all our energies in 
dealing with the real and the living. Let us not then refuse the 
assistance of men in the present and future, who are willing to give 
it honestly, because they were unwilling in times past to act with 
us on questions which though near and dear to us, are now finally 
decided. The more of such men we get, the more we enlarge the basis 
of the power of the Conservative party, which is now a matter of 
much moment with us. 

So much for the gubernatorial contest, but there is another ques- 
tion which I confess has occasioned me more doubt, and upon which 
I have had more difficulty in forming an opinion. I mean the course 
proper to be pursued in regard to the constitution if expurgated of 


those clauses which disqualify so many of our white citizens. This 
constitutionals indeed so bad in nearly all its parts, that there is 
hardly any expurgation which can reconcile me to it. Those who 
framed it, seem, to have looked more to the punishment and to the 
humiliation of a large majority of the white race, than to the ends 
of justice and good government, a scheme of government devised for 
the injury of a decided majority of those to be affected by it, cannot 
be made acceptable to that party, unless indeed it be so amended as 
to transfer the moving power of the government to them, or unless 
it is plain that they have to choose between the instrument with 
amendments or without them. 

After some reflection I have come to the conclusion that such is 
our case at present. If we can so amend the constitution as to strike 
out those clauses which disqualify and disfranchise so many, the 
whites will have a decided majority of the voters, and thus wield the 
political power of the State. If they administer that power, as I 
trust they will, with justice and a proper consideration for all, the 
Conservative party, of which the whites constitute so large a ma- 
jority, will continue to increase. When the blacks perceive that 
their rights as now established will be respected, and themselves 
treated with justice and proper regard, they will open their eyes to 
their true policy and, in time, act with us, when they will perceive 
that in Federal legislation our interests are the same. 

This process will be slow, it is true, but we ourselves may probably 
make it sure. At present they are misled by improper influences 
exercised over them by those who are looking only to office, and by a 
distrust of us, who they are made to believe would use political power 
unjustly and to their injury. It will not be long before they learn 
the true motives and character of those who now deceive them, and. 
in time I trust they will dismiss their fears of us. Should this state 
of things be brought about, society will move more harmoniously and 
happily. But whether it does or not, with the removal of the two 
great disqualifying clauses in the constitution the whites will wield 
the political power of the State, a power to which they are entitled 
by the tests of intelligence, numbers and propriety, whether consid- 
ered separately or together. The Underwood Constitution adminis- 
tered by the Conservatives will be a very different thing from the 
same constitution administered by Wells and his party. I do not go 
the length of saying that the government which is best administered 
is best, but I believe that very much depends on the administration, 
so much that a bad government may be so administered as to become 
tolerable, and a good government may be so badly administered as 
to be intolerable. The operation of the county organization clause 
it-self, will depend very much on the character of the men who fill 
the offices. If the constitution be expurgated as proposed, the whites 


in most of the counties can protect themselves. A Conservative Gov- 
ernor and Legislature can do much In a legitimate way to mitigate 
the mischiefs of this and some other provisions of the constitution. 
But the whites, if they have the majority, can amend the constitu- 
tion, and after there is some experience of the operation of this 
instrument, I think it probable that many of the blacks will unite 
in a call for the change. Those at least amongst them who hold 
property and understand their interests. 

But there is yet another consideration which makes me desire to 
rehabilitate the State, and restore her to the exercise of political 
power. I wish to see the representative seats of Virginia in Con- 
gress filled by men who will represent her truly and honestly; who 
will look to her honor and interests, and not sell them out to cater to 
the avarice or animosity of her enemies. Let the power to which 
she will be entitled under the constitution as it now stands, be wielded 
by such men in her defence, and they will find the means to protect 
her. She will no longer be treated as the cheap subject of every po- 
litical experiment which it may please red republicans or New Eng- 
land Radicals to try at her expense. Here is the true " brazen wall " 
of our defence, which will b& worth more to us in the way of pro- 
tection than all the good feeling toward us which exists in all the 
North, even if we had unlimited power to draw upon that capital. 
It is a work of difficulty I confess for the present, but if we can so 
administer and manage our State governments as to produce har- 
mony and good feeling between the races, it may lead to a common 
pursuit of common interests. Should it happen that this invention 
of negro suffrage, conceived as it was supposed for the injury of the 
South, should be so returned as to plague the inventor, it must be 
remembered that we are not responsible for such a result. We did 
not originate the measure, but against our earnest remonstrance it 
was forced upon us. 

So far I have considered to enforce my views by considerations spe- 
cial to Virginia herself, but I confess that there are others of a more 
general nature which have weight with me. I believe it is a matter 
of general interest that the influence of Tirginia should be once more 
felt in the government of the Union. Her worst enemies will admit 
that it was an honest influence, and all must feel that such an element 
was never more needed than now in the conduct of national affairs. 
When I reflect upon all that she did to delay the establishment of 
the despotic powers of a mere majority of numbers, I cannot but 
think that there may yet be some potency in her voice to check abuses 
and restrain oppression. When I remember, too, how long she main- 
tained her gallant struggle with no other weapons than reason, the 
constitution and the moral influence bequeathed her by her mighty 
dead, and that she held her line until overwhelmed by the corrup- 


tion of the times and the vast odds against her, it seems to me that 
she must have discovered the true line of defence against despotism 
in every shape. Even though it should appear in its last develop- 
ment and final form of imperialism, whose coming many secretly be- 
lieve and some openly declare to be inevitable. Should that time ever 
arrive, those to whom its approaches are unwelcome, may rejoice in 
the assistance of her who has been ever ready to resist unlimited 
power in all its forms. Weapons that are now rusting from disuse 
in her political armory may again come into play, and she may be 
called upon for hands skilled in wielding them. It is true that in 
the past she failed to commend to tRe favorable consideration of her 
co- States a democracy with limited power, but her voice may be 
better heeded when it becomes a question as to the limitation upon 
the power of a monarchy, should that be ever established, an event 
upon which it used to be thought almost sacrilegious to speculate, 
but which now somehow seems to have become a familiar topic in 
the mouths of men. 

If Zisca's dead skin, when stretched upon a down, could give forth 
a sound, as fabled, to awe even the haughty Turk at the height of 
his pride and power, the voice of what yet lives of Virginia, like 
" the shout of a king amongst them", may once more rally the hosts 
who are called upon to repel the approach of oppression with the 
tramp of its iron heel or of despotism with its merciless and all- 
absorbing grasp. I could wish that the country might be saved 
from such trials, but what nation, what government, and especially 
what republic, has ever escaped them? But I am approaching a 
subject which would take me too far from the matter in hand. I 
have given the reasons which, in my opinion, make it proper for Vir- 
ginia to accept even the Underwood constitution if it should be so 
expurgated as to bestow the political power of the State upon the 
white race, which constitutes the majority of its people. I would 
accept almost any constitution which would have that effect. I would 
do almost anything to see a State government composed of Virgin- 
ians who would respect her honor and represent her interests. There 
may be worse things, I know than even military government, but it 
was reserved for these extraordinary times to force that conviction 
on the mind of one trained up in the enjoyment and tradition of 
social and individual liberty. I confess, however, that I am weary 
of seeing the sword of the conqueror in the scale of justice. I can 
live under arbitrary power, I know, because I have done it, and still 
do; but it is comparatively a new thing to me, and I can never be 
reconciled to it. I shall take the first fair mode of escape from it 
which is open to me. I think the opportunity is now afforded in the 
issues presented by the Conservative party of the State. They do 
not offer, it is true, all that I would like, or all that I think we are 


entitled to, but it is all that they can give. I am for taking every 
step towards self-government for which an opportunity may be af- 
forded me by the majority that rules us. Concessions may be forced 
upon them by the necessities of the times, or may be made from a 
slow returning sense of justice. I will take them as they come, be 
they little or much, without inquiry into the motive which prompts 
them, if they enable us to take another step towards the restoration 
of our State to the rights of self-government: I will not only accept 
them, but accept them promptly, for I believe this Congress to be 
capable of resuming to-morrow what they may have granted to-day. 

Should we fail to ratify this constitution after it has been ex- 
purgated, I feel by no means sure that the party in power will not 
force it upon us as it came from the hands of its makers. Let no 
hope be entertained to the contrary, because the constitution of the 
United States forbids them to do so. W