Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][merged small]

There is no making terms or getting along in harmony with such men. They would be quite willing to use Anti-Nebraska Democrats to help them carry out their purposes when they have not sufficient strength without them; but I do not believe they would go into caucus with them unless quite sure to have the control when there. If the feeling of the Nebraskaites as exhibited at Mt. Vernon is to prevail, we are to have war to the knife, and every Anti-Nebraska Democrat is to be crushed if they have the power to do it.

The Anti-Nebraska men will have a majority in the Legislature, but can they be brought to act together, that is the important question. The Nebraskaites are united and will act in concert, and as you most truly say, "Concert will be of indispensable importance" among their opponents. How this is to be brought about I scarcely know. If all Anti-Nebraska men could be fully persuaded as I am, that we are to receive no quarter from Douglas and his friends, a common sense of danger would, I think, bring us to act in concert; but some of those who agree with us in principle and ought to act openly with us, are I fear inclined to cooperate with the Nebraska men in carrying out their views with reference both to men and measures under the delusive idea that by so doing they can maintain their own former good standing with Nebraska men. I am informed but hope it is not true, that Osgood, Cook+ and Graham are all for Shields. How men of their discernment and good sense can be so blind to their own interest as not to see that the re-election of Shields will be a perfect triumph of their deadliest foes is strange to me.

I have some very warm friends in the South part of the State. Some of them who are Nebraska men, have been re

8 Uri Osgood was a holdover Senator whose district gave an Anti-Nebraska majority in the election of 1854. Osgood was given a large amount of State patronage by the Whigs to conciliate him; Osgood voted for Shields.

* Trumbull misjudged Burton C. Cook, of Ottawa, a holdover Democratic State Senator, who had refused to follow Douglas. Cook was one of the five legislators who voted for Trumbull on the first ballot and was one who, with Palmer and Judd, was charged with Lincoln's defeat and Trumbull's election. Also member State Central Com. (Rep.), 1856.

• Senator Benjamin Graham made the speech nominating James Shields for reëlection as United States Senator.

James Shields, a native of Ireland, who had commanded the Illinois contingent in the Mexican War, served as 'Democratic United States Senator from Illinois from 1849 to 1855.

Upon his defeat in 1855, he removed to Minnesota, - which state returned him to the United States Senate in 1858. In 1879 he served in few days as Senator from Missouri,—the third state to be represented by him in the United States Senate.

turned to the Legislature, but such is now their feeling towards me politically that I do not believe they would vote for me for constable. I am really astonished at their bitterness. They have cried out abolition so much that if I was really a Garrison or a Phillips they could not think worse of me than they do.

My impression is, that there is no middle ground for AntiNebraska Democrats to occupy, and that they must either go down themselves or put their intolerant adversaries down. We now have the power, once gone we may never be able to regain it. If our Northern friends will only stop at the proper point without urging us too far, I think a plan may be fallen upon which will succeed. The Legislature ought to pass resolutions of some sort.? Those of last session must at all events be rescinded.

Now will it be possible for the Anti-Nebraska men to agree upon a series of resolutions? This is a most important question. If this can be done, all else will go well, for we can then have concerted action. If the proper steps are taken in time so that the members fully understand each other, and appreciate the importance of concession and concerted action to save themselves from utter defeat, I have great hopes that Nebraskiaism may be routed in the Legislature.

As for the Senate I am for any good Anti-Nebraska Democrat. There are many reasons why I wish to see Shields defeated and I would be for almost any man as against him. My own position, having just been elected to the lower House, is such that I think it would be exceedingly impolitic for me to think of being a candidate. It would not do for me to be a candidate for every office in the land. That very fact, if nothing else, would defeat me; but I am willing to do all that in me lies in an honorable way to elect an Anti-Nebraska Democrat in Shields place and I will not be particular about the man? How will Koerner8 do?

In order to succeed will we not have to keep out of caucus? At the start, when the Legislature first meets, is the important

? The resolutions endorsing the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Thirteen Democratic members of the House and Senate including Palmer, Cook, Judd, Osgood, and Campbell had voted against them, and thirteen more Democrats had refrained from voting. Cole, Era of the Civil War,

8 Gustavus Koerner was president of the Republican State Convention in 1858. He lived in Belleville and was Lieutenant-Governor at this time (1853-1857).

p. 121.

time and if the Anti-Nebraska Democrats will keep out of caucus the Nebraskaites musto necessarily be defeated in the election of officers for the two houses. To accomplish this would be a great point gained as it would break the enemies power at the start. Already they have their candidates for the various offices in the gift of the two Houses at work writing letters to different members and if they are elected they will be an active corps about the Legislature through its whole session, to do their master's bidding. If possible, all this small fry must be whipped out.

Yourself, Juddio and Cook could control this matter in the Senate and in the House I do not think there is much danger.

Are not your relations with these gentlemen and perhaps some other Anti-Nebraska Senators such that you could correspond with and obtain their views? I cannot believe that Cook has gone over to the enemy.

I have written very hastily and thrown out suggestions just as they occurred to me. May be in error in some of my views. Our zeal often misleads us, but I have a sincere desire to pursue the most politic course consistent with truth and right to attain the end we all have in view, the triumph of Freedom over Slavery.

Your sincere friend,

LYMAN TRUMBULL. If you learn anything of the views of Anti-Nebraska Senators from the North about going into caucus or their views of the proper course of action please let me know.

I should also like to know your views fully. Write me freely about the course to be pursued when the Legislature meets. It is an important crisis with both you and me. I

9 As Trumbull suggested Judd, Palmer, Cook, and Osgood refused to caucus.

10 The Nebraska members of the General Assembly alleged that Trumbull's election was illegal inasmuch as the Constitution of 1848 (Article V, Section 11) prohibited the election of any supreme or circuit judge to any office, state or federal, until one year after the expiration of his term. Trumbull had been a judge of the Supreme Court, elected in 1845, reëlected in 1852, and resigned in 1853. There was little doubt, however, that the state could not impose on the United States Senate obedience to this rule in determining the qualifications of its members. Governor Matteson had written a communication to the Senate raising the point as to whether Trumbull was duly elected.

« AnteriorContinuar »