Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Johnson, Cave (1793-1866) to P. G. Washington

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02823 Author/Creator: Johnson, Cave (1793-1866) Place Written: Nashville, Tennessee Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 6 December 1859 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Discusses the ownership of an unspecified paper, mentioning several persons associated with the paper's publication. Recommended Washington's brother to one of the paper's editors. Comments that he is no longer engaged in politics, and is disappointed in the Democratic party. Discusses the Democratic Party Convention scheduled to be held in Charleston, South Carolina in April 1860. Of the candidates for nomination at the convention, prefers James Guthrie of Kentucky over Stephen Douglas. Also mentions candidate Daniel S. Dickinson. Writes, "The present position of the Slavery question operates most unfortunately upon our colored population... in every respect their condition [is] made worse whilst strong efforts are now being made in the general assembly to drive out all the free colored population or force them again into slavery an act of cruelty and injustice which I hope we may be able to defeat- there is no danger from them here and but little inconvenience felt from their presence- the most that we should do would be to prevent more from coming in from other states & allow no more to be emancipated." Further discusses politics and slavery, mentioning President James Buchanan, former Governor of Tennessee and future President Andrew Johnson, and others.

People: Johnson, Cave, 1793-1866.
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868.
Guthrie, James, 1792-1869.
Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861.
Dickinson, Daniel Stevens, 1800-1866.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: African American History, Slave Life, Journalism, Politics, Democratic Party, Election, Government and Civics, Abolition, Slavery, Immigration and Migration, Freemen, Emancipation, President

Sub Era: Age of Jackson