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Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland) (1808-1873) to unknown

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03629 Author/Creator: Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland) (1808-1873) Place Written: Cincinnati, Ohio Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 April 1851 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 25.2 x 20.1 cm.

Summary of Content: Chase writes to an unknown recipient, apparently the editor of a weekly Ohio newspaper, the "Democratic Standard." Chase remarks that the recipient excerpted his letters for publication in the paper, and suggests several edits, including reducing his name to "S. Chase," noting "I never liked Salmon as a name for a human." Compliments the recipient's recent article on the next Whig candidate for president. Argues that the next nomination for the presidency must be made by a compromise between William H. Seward in the Senate and Badger, Dawson, Bell, and others from the South (possibly referring to Southern Senators George Badger, William Dawson, and John Bell). Attests that Winfield Scott alone "can be successfully represented as a friend of the Compromise Measures in the South and a friend of freedom in the North." Discusses politics and the "limitation & discouragement" of slavery. Transmits Dyer's pamphlet (not included) and a letter for possible publication. Asks if the recipient knows any men who could edit a weekly paper like the Democratic Standard.

Background Information: Chase was a U.S. Senator from Ohio 1849-1854 and 1861-1862, Governor of Ohio 1856-1860, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 1864-1873.

Full Transcript: [excerpt] [draft]
I see by the last Standard that you have done me the honor of quoting some words from my letter to you at the head of your columns. ...I wish I could feel that any words of mine were worthy of such a place. Indeed if I had dreamed of any such use being made of them I should have been a little more careful in the expressions. The words 'power to the people' and 'restriction upon the Executive' seem to me, on seeing them in print, somewhat vague, though I dare say nobody could mistake the general tendency of the policy indicated by them: nor indeed do I think of any substitutes which, in as few words, express the same ideas, more clearly. But if you think fit to continue these matters where they now are let me ask you to strike out the word 'new' in the first line, and reduce my first name to a simple S. I never liked Salmon as a name for a human. For myself I would fain have nothing fishy about me.

I like very much your article on the next 'Whig Candidate for President' ... The next nomination for the Presidency must be made by a compromise between Seward & his friends in the North and Badger, Dawson, Bell and their friends in the South ... who except Scott can be successfully represented as a friend of the Compromise Measures in the South and a friend of freedom in the North?

I fear the Democracy have let slip their golden opportunity. If two years ago they had taken in Ohio the counsel 1 ventured to offer ... the Democracy of this state would have been triumphant at home and their counsels would have commanded respect abroad. If followed they would have led to the nomination of Candidates standing boldly and openly upon the Jefferson proviso of slavery restriction & discouragement, and these candidates would have commanded as against any doubtful men the votes of all the Free States and a most respectable support from the Slave States...
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People: Chase, Salmon Portland, 1808-1873
Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872
Badger, George Edmund, 1795-1866
Dawson, William Crosby, 1798-1856
Bell, John, 1797-1869
Scott, Winfield, 1786-1866

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: American StatesmenJournalismWhigsPresidentPoliticsGovernment and CivicsElectionCongressSlaveryAfrican American HistoryCompromise of 1850

Sub Era:

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