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ing documents pretty extensively into the District but from some counties I have very few names. Green, Scott, Morgan, Cass and Menard I know but little about and have but few names in either of them.
TRUMBULL TO PALMER.
Washington, Aug. 3, 1856. Dear Palmer,
I see our Nebraska friends have advertised a series of meetings in different parts of the State and I think we ought to imitate their example. Richardson has returned here professing to be very much elated. He and Douglas are evidently hoping for salvation through the Know Nothings.
It is my expectation to be in Springfield by September 11th and should a meeting be held there that week, I would endeavor to be present and address it, if thought advisable. I would also attend any other meetings in your Congressional District to the extent of three or four, immediately after the Springfield meeting and which you might think advisable for me to be at.
I have accepted a number of engagements to speak before returning to Illinois which will prevent my reaching Chicago before the second week of September.
We ought it seems to me to endeavor to get up a large meeting at Springfield. That is headquarters. From there my own notion would be to go to the South and endeavor to make a rally in Southern Illinois. We can and must carry the State for Fremont. Where is our executive committee that they do not get up a series of meetings in the right localities.
Please let me know immediately that I may get the letter before leaving, in case you give notice for meetings which you would like to have me attend. Write me at New York, Box 3077, care of H. Trumbull after adjournment of Congress and till September 1st.
You will of course speak in every county in your District and I am with you wherever I can be of service without neg. lecting too much some other localities.
Truly your friend,
LYMAN TRUMBULL. Since writing the within I have concluded to write J. C. Conkling Esq.,39 and N. B. Judd Esq., two members of the central committee, suggesting to them the propriety of calling a series of Fremont meetings. Suppose you see Conkling, Lincoln, Herndono' and other friends on this subject.
Alton, Oct. 17, 1856.
Can you go to Shelbyville and supply their wants? Hope you may be able to do so. The inclosed letter will explain itself. Am about to start for Belleville.
The news from Iowa and Pennsylvania is so contradictory that one knows hardly what to believe. My opinion is we have carried both states.41 The Nebraskaites are so given to lying that I take it for granted they are not telling the truth about the election returns.
Washington, Dec. 2, 1856.
I arrived here Saturday night and find our Republican friends in great spirits for a defeated party. They are bold, confident and united, ready for another fight and feel that they will certainly win next time.
The Buchaniers on the other hand are alarmed. Kansas still gives them trouble. The northern ones evidently feel that
39 James Cook Conkling, of Springfield, had been a law partner of James Shields and was a warm personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. a member of the Republican State Central Committee and was Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions at the Bloomington Convention.
40 William H. Herndon, of Springfield, law partner of Abraham Lincoln, and active in politics.
41 The Democrats carried Pennsylvania by a small majority and lost Iowa.
At this time was
their political salvation depends on making Kansas a free State. It is whispered about that the opportunity of a successor to Marshall Donaldson who has resigned is causing trouble. The Pierce dynasty doubtless want to sustain Gen. Geary's+2 position, but this the South will not tolerate. Geary's position in my opinion is untenable, but I am for letting those who control him manage the matter.
Our friends in the House have taken the bull by the horns and refused to allow Whitfield^3 to be sworn in as member by a majority of seven. An effort will be made to reconsider but I trust it will not succeed. Don. Morrison" is here voting to admit him as a matter of course.
I spent a few days in Springfield before leaving Illinois and found our Nebraska friends about the State House wonderfully bitter. Gov. Moore says he does not like being kicked out and that it is no use to disguise it. Douglas is still North on his bridal tour. 46 I trust that our friends will have a meeting at Springfield this winter and organize for future operations. How sorry I am you are not in the Senate. It was sensible in you to resign, but a thing which none of our opponents under like circumstances would have done. Please write me often and if I can serve you in any way here, you know it will give me pleasure to do it.
Your sincere friend,
TRUMBULL TO PALMER.
Washington, Dec. 14, 1857. Hon. J. M. Palmer.
My Dear Sir,
You have of course observed the new position of things here with regard to Kansas and which are destined as it seems
42 John White Geary, of Pennsylvania, appointed territorial governor of Kansas in 1856.
43 John W. Whitfield, the Democratic slavery delegate from Kansas.
44 J. L. D. Morrison, of Belleville, elected to Congress to succeed Trumbull. Elected as old line Whig, by 1860 he was a Douglas Democrat.
45 John Moore, of McLean County, had been Lieutenant Governor 1842-1846 and State Treasurer 1848-1857.
46 Stephen A. Douglas was married November 20, 1856, to Adele, daughter of James Madison Cutts, of Washington.
to me to have a good deal of influence upon the future politics of your State. Douglas does not mean, I presume, to join the Republicans; but he will evidently be in disfavor with the African Democracy for the future. His political associates from our State will probably all go with him and being clearly right in the issue he has made with the administration, most of the party in Illinois will doubtless go with them; but they will not be recognized as part of the National Democracy and Douglas' prospects for a nomination at Charlestono? are gone. Can he keep up the issue between the Republicans and Anti-Buchanan Democrats in Illinois so as to maintain his position in the Senate from our State? He certainly cannot if the Administration has any considerable strength there. Should Douglas be driven out of the African Democracy, as I think he will be, and really join us, what are we to do with him? You know “the man who won the elephant” found it troublesome to dispose of him.
The administration would doubtless be glad to take up Matteson or any other such man and beat Douglas with him; but Matteson as you know, fights slyly and is not the man to meet Douglas. McClernand has the pluck but not much strength. How many Republicans can Douglas take with him if he stops where he is, merely differing with the administration as to the propriety of submitting the whole Constitution. His strength in the Senate is not sufficient in my opinion with all the aid the Republicans can give him to prevent the passage of the administration measure through that body.
I expect Southern Senators to be pretty severe upon Douglas in debate. He made them mad. You know his manner is offensive. Rumor says there is a settled purpose to insult him, compel him to fight or disgrace him. This I do not credit, but is it not really ludicrous to think that Douglas will now be compelled to sit and bear the jibes and insults in his own person which he has so often heaped upon Seward, Sumner and others. Wish you was here to enjoy the fun.
I do not believe it possible for the Administration to force the Lecompton Constitution on the people of Kansas against
47 The meeting of the Democratic National Convention in 1860 was already scheduled for Charleston, South Carolina.
48 A Pro-Slavery Convention, sitting at Lecompton, Kansas, framed a Constitution and it was submitted to the people to vote for "The Constitution with slavery” or “The Constitution without slavery,” in either event voting for the
their will. It could only be done in blood. But it has the force to carry a bill for that purpose through the Senate as I think and fear through the House also. Please write me fully what
you think about political matters in our state. How much of a party can the administration keep there? Will it be greater than was Captain Tyler's ?49 I suppose that you have seen that Douglas followed in his speech the path I had blazed out the day before, as far as I went. We will not stop to inquire as to his consistency in decrying the legitimacy of the Lecompton Convention after such a speech as he made at Springfield. “While the lamp holds out to burn”-you know the rest. It was really refreshing to listen to Douglas reading from the same authorities I had read the day before to show that a territorial legislature had no power to initiate a convention.
This morning's or rather Saturday's Union has a fourcolumn article on Douglas which I have sent you.
Truly your friend,
TRUMBULL TO PALMER.
Senate Chamber, May 20, 1858. My Dear Sir,
It seems strange that I should not have heard from you this session, since I have written you, I know not how many times, but certainly once.
What are you doing politically? Trust you are not so dumfounded by the course of Douglas & Co., as to have lost your reckoning. Harris seems to be the boldest man here among the Anti-Lecompton Democrats against the Administration and the pro-slavery party. Whatever others may do I do not see how he can get back and I think he must certainly be with us.
There seems to be a sort of truce between the President and Douglas just now. No removals are being made in our state of late though the expectants who are here have been daily looking for them for months.
49 Trumbull alludes to the handful of followers, the so-called “corporal's guard" that followed President John Tyler after his break with the Whigs in 1841.