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Title: Letters and Literary Memorials of Samuel J. Tilden, v. 1
Author: Tilden, Samuel J.
Language: English
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                          LITERARY MEMORIALS
                           SAMUEL J. TILDEN

                               EDITED BY
                          JOHN BIGELOW, LL.D.

                                VOL. 1


                          NEW YORK AND LONDON
                     HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS

                Copyright, 1908, by HARPER & BROTHERS.

                        _All rights reserved._
                       Published February, 1908.

_Shortly before the death of the late Samuel J. Tilden, and in
compliance with his wishes, a selection was made by our senior
colleague from such of Mr. Tilden's public writings and speeches as
were then conveniently accessible and seemed then responsive to a
popular demand. This selection was edited and published in 1885._

_The forty-second section of the will of Mr. Tilden, who died in the
following year, provided as follows:_

_"I also authorize my said Executors and Trustees to collect and
publish in such form as they may deem proper my speeches and public
documents, and such other writings and papers as they may think
expedient to include with the same, which shall be done under their
direction. The expenses thereof shall be paid out of my estate. My
Trustees and Executors are authorized and empowered to burn and destroy
any of my letters, papers or other documents, whether printed or in
manuscript, which in their judgment will answer no useful purpose to

_In discharge of the duty imposed on us by this clause of the
testator's will, we have selected such portions of a vast
correspondence with, or relating to, the testator as give promise of
answering a useful purpose; and at our solicitation Mr. Bigelow has
undertaken to edit and publish them in a form that shall harmonize
with, and be complementary to, the volume of "Speeches and Writings of
Mr. Tilden," already in print._

                                    JOHN BIGELOW,      } Executors
                                    GEORGE W. SMITH,   } and
                                    L. V. F. RANDOLPH. } Trustees.


At an early period of his life Samuel J. Tilden seems to have had a
sense of its importance not ordinarily felt by youth of his age. This
may be accounted for in part by the circumstance that while barely out
of his teens, both by pen and speech, he had secured the respectful
attention of many of the leading statesmen of his generation. At
school he preserved all his composition exercises, and from that time
to the close of his life it may well be doubted if he ever wrote a
note or document of any kind of which he did not preserve the draft
or a copy. As the events with which he had to deal came to assume, as
they naturally did, increasing importance with his years, one or more
corrected drafts were made of important papers, most, if not all, of
which were carefully preserved.

As what may fitly enough be termed Mr. Tilden's public life covered
more than half a century, during most of which time he was one of the
recognized leaders of one of the great parties of the country, the
public will learn without surprise that the accumulations of social,
political, and documentary correspondence which fell into the hands of
his executors, to be measured by the ton, embraced among its topics
almost every important political question by which this nation has
been agitated since the accession of General Andrew Jackson to the
Presidency in 1829.

A collection of _Tilden's Public Writings and Speeches_ was published
in 1885, only a year before his death, but very little of his private
correspondence appeared in that publication.

The duty imposed upon his executors of looking through such a vast
collection of papers and selecting such as would be profitable for
publication has been a long and a very tedious one. They indulge the
hope, however, that the volumes now submitted will be found to shed
upon the history of our country during the latter half of the last
century much light unlikely to be reflected with equal lustre from
any other quarter. It will also, they believe, help to transmit to
posterity a juster sense than as yet generally prevails of the majestic
proportions of one of the most gifted statesmen our country has

Tilden may be said to have fleshed his maiden sword in politics as a
champion of President Jackson in his war against the recharter of a
United States bank of discount and deposit. He next became somewhat
more personally conspicuous as a fervent champion of Mr. Van Buren's
substitute for the national bank, now known as the Assistant Treasury.

In 1848 he led the revolt of the Democratic party in New York State
against the creation of five slave States, with their ten slave-holding
Senators, out of the Territory of Texas. Among the immediate results of
this revolt were the defeat of General Cass, the Democratic candidate
for President, and the development of a Free-soil party, which later
took the name of the Republican, nominated and elected Abraham Lincoln
to the Presidency--synchronously with which, and for the first time in
the nation's history, the decennial census of 1860 disclosed the fact
that the political supremacy of the nation had been transferred to the
non-slave-holding States.

Though averse to resisting the secession of the slave States by
flagrant war, Tilden did his best and much during the war to prevent an
irreconcilable alienation of the people of the two sections, while at
the same time building up for himself a reputation in his profession
scarcely second to that of any other in the country; and by it, before
he had reached the fiftieth year of his age, a fortune which made him
no longer dependent upon it for his livelihood.

The first public use he made of this independence was to retrieve the
fortunes of the Democratic party by delivering the city of New York
from a municipal combination which was threatening it with bankruptcy.

Of Tilden's many achievements as a public servant, it may well be
doubted if there was any for which he deserves so much honor as for his
part in the overthrow of this pillaging combination, familiarly known
as the Tweed Ring, nor any for which it seems so entirely impossible
to have then provided another equally competent leader who could and
would have given the time, incurred the expense, and assumed the risks
that Mr. Tilden did when, with no personal advantage in view, he boldly
consecrated several of what might have been the most lucrative years
of his professional life to this desperate battle with intrenched
municipal villany.

The people of the State were not slow to realize that a man with the
courage, power, and resources exhibited by Mr. Tilden in this memorable
conflict was precisely the kind of man needed by them for Governor; and
while yet wearied with the fatigue and covered with the dust of this
municipal struggle, he was constrained by his admirers to enter the
lists as a candidate against General Dix, the Republican candidate for
that office. The result was a change of about 100,000 votes from the
number by which Governor Dix had been elected two years before, and
Tilden's triumphant election to his place.

Without doffing his armor, and even before his investiture with his new
robes of office, he instituted an elaborate investigation of the canals
of the State; so that he had been but a few weeks in office before
he was engaged with numerically a far more formidable foe than the
one over which he had just triumphed, but one for which his official
position happily equipped him with far superior resources. His triumph
over the Canal Ring of the State was consequently so short, quick, and
decisive as to give him a national reputation, and to make him, long
before his term of office at Albany expired, the inevitable candidate
of his party to succeed General Grant for the Presidency. He was
unanimously nominated by the Democratic National Convention, held at
St. Louis in 1876, on the second ballot, and was elected by a popular
majority of over 250,000. He was then destined to receive a distinction
never shared by any President of the United States, of being an elect
of the people for that office, which, by the operation of a tribunal
unknown to the Constitution, was given to another.

For the remaining ten years of his life Tilden's health prevented his
being wholly a candidate or wholly not a candidate, so reluctant were
his numerous friends to give up all hope of such a restoration of
health as would enable him to resume once more the leadership of his
party. In this they were disappointed.

Thus for more than half a century Mr. Tilden was a shaper and a maker
of American history. What kind of history and by what means it was made
these volumes are expected to render more clear to the world, and his
fame perhaps more enduring.

Mr. Tilden's life, like that of Israel's second king, was, as we have
seen, a life of almost constant warfare, and of course he was always
more or less liable to be viewed by partisan eyes and judged with only
partial justice. None of us can judge himself quite correctly until he
can look back upon his conduct after a considerable lapse of years. So
we only see a public man as he is entitled to be seen, as Moses was
permitted to see his Lord: after He had passed. It is to be hoped that
sufficient time has elapsed since Tilden was taken from us to enable us
to see by the reflection of his life in this correspondence how lofty
was the plane of his entire public life, and how correctly he judged
his qualifications for a successful political career when he said that
his party standards were too high for the multitude. They were too
high, unquestionably, for what is commonly understood as success in
politics. It would have been easy for him--as these pages will show--to
have been President had his ethical standards been nearer the average
of those of the parties of his time.

Without presuming to institute any invidious comparisons, I have no
hesitation in expressing my conviction that neither in the writings,
speeches, or literary remains of any President of the United States
thus far will be found more suggestions profitable for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, and for the instruction of any American
who aspires to be a maker of a nation's laws or an administrator of
them, than will be found in Mr. Tilden's Writings, Speeches, and

       *       *       *       *       *

With the permission of Messrs. Houghton & Mifflin, I have prefixed
to these volumes an "Appreciation" of Mr. Tilden by the late James
Coolidge Carter, which originally appeared in the _Atlantic Monthly_ of
October, 1892. Mr. Carter's eminence at the American bar and forum, and
his relations, both personal and professional, with Mr. Tilden, give
value to his judgment of his deceased friend which, both for the honor
of himself and of Mr. Tilden, is entitled to all the prominence that
can be given to it in these volumes.



My acquaintance with Governor Tilden began a few years before the
War of the Rebellion, and my first impressions were not favorable to
him. Completely dominated by the combined and swelling impulse of
patriotism, passion, and aspiration under which the Republican party
was then gathering its mighty hosts, I was in no condition to tolerate
anything in the nature of opposition to the movement, or even to
appreciate the reasons upon which any such opposition might be founded.

It was not until the war was over, when the passions had subsided, when
it became necessary to cultivate the arts of peace and to restore the
waste and ruin which war had wrought, that I was inclined to extend
any hospitality to the qualities for which he was most distinguished,
or to lend any ear to his teachings. Drawn from year to year into a
nearer acquaintance with him, and having occasion, when he came to fill
stations of influence and power, to observe the ready sagacity and easy
skill with which he conceived and carried through important measures
for the redress of errors and frauds in public administration, I became
more and more impressed with his prodigious superiority to other men.

What he would have been able to accomplish had he been permitted to
assume the functions of the great office to which the majority of
his countrymen believed him to have been elected is matter of idle
conjecture only; but the list of his achievements during the few years
in which, upon a narrower theatre, he acted a public part can hardly
be matched. Omitting from view the splendid contributions made by him
from time to time, prior to 1871, by papers and speeches upon the
principles of politics and the methods of governmental administration,
and taking note only of the practical measures in the conception and
execution of which he was the leader during the five short years
in which, either as a private citizen or as public officer, he was
actually engaged in the public service, we can distinctly impute to him
the following results: In 1871 he seized the opportunity, suggested by
the disclosure and publication of the prodigious sums drawn from the
New York city treasury by way of pretended payment of municipal debts,
to endeavor to fasten upon the principal city officials the crime,
universally suspected, but of which there was no proof, of having
corruptly embezzled to an enormous extent the moneys of the city. By a
long and patient tracing of a multitude of accounts in different banks,
he reached a series of results which, when compared, not only disclosed
but conclusively demonstrated, by competent legal evidence, the whole
scheme of fraud, the officials engaged in it, and the amounts received
by each. Although a strict party man and chairman of the Democratic
State Committee, yet, finding that the Democratic organization of the
city of New York could not be wrested from the control of the official
delinquents, he organized and led the popular movement which effected
their overthrow. He accepted, at the same time, a nomination for the
legislature, was elected, and extorted from a reluctant majority the
impeachment of the corrupt judges who had disgraced the judicial
ermine. In 1874, when the craze for fiat money had become prevalent
throughout a great part of the country, and more threatening to the
public prosperity than the free-silver delusion has at any time
been, he drew from the Democratic State Convention of New York the
first condemnation which it had received from either of the national
parties. Elected in that year as Governor of the State, he conceived
an extensive series of reforms in administration, drew the necessary
legislative bills, secured their adoption, and carried them into
effect. These plans contemplated, by the adoption of new methods and
various economies, extensive reductions in the public expenditures, the
institution of suits for the punishment of frauds of public officers,
and the recovery of moneys embezzled by them. They had very large
practical results.

Nor was he less efficient in baffling mischievous schemes. The
Democratic organization of Tammany Hall, reorganized, after the
overthrow of Tweed, under the leadership of John Kelly, an able and
not dishonest partisan chief, demanded from the Democratic majority
in the legislature the passage of laws designed to secure to that
organization a more complete control of the municipal patronage.
Governor Tilden refused to lend his countenance to this policy, and
the imperious leader undertook to force him into acquiescence by
forming a combination in the legislature with the numerous adherents
and stipendiaries of what was known as the Canal Ring. That coterie of
men, powerful in both parties, had already scented the peril to their
practices threatened by the Governor's reformatory plans, and were
only too willing to join in a warfare against him. He suddenly found
himself in danger of being deserted by a majority of his own party.
The Democratic Speaker of the Assembly took the floor, and arraigned
him as unfaithful to the Democracy of the State. He had long before
seen the possibility of this combination against him, and had sought by
the practice of all the conciliatory arts, of which he was a thorough
master, to prevent it. When it came, he was not daunted by it, but
boldly went behind his enemies to the constituencies which they were
betraying. They soon found that they were dealing with an adversary who
possessed resources which they had not taken into account. Most of them
abandoned their opposition. The rest were severely dealt with by their

Never were the possibilities for good of a great office like that
of Governor of New York so happily developed and displayed. In the
course of an administration of two years, an enormous reduction in
taxation was effected; the administrative system in every department
was improved; the lobby was almost dispersed; and at the same time the
Governor, in his communications with the public through his annual
messages, his veto messages, and speeches upon official and other
public occasions, was furnishing to the people of the State, and indeed
of the whole country, a nearly complete exposition, theoretical and
practical, of the whole work of public administration. I have never
read a state paper which equals his second annual message in the power
and ease with which it treats of the principles upon which government
should be conducted, or in the order and perspicuity with which it
arranges and sets forth the details of public business. In this paper
he considers at much length the then depressed condition of business,
its causes, and the proper remedies. It may be thought--was thought
at the time by some--that this was going beyond the domain of state
affairs in order to make an ambitious display of knowledge upon the
larger concerns of the nation; but it would be well if every man
possessing such knowledge as is here exhibited, and such a capacity
for communicating it, would embrace all opportunities to display it.
Governor Tilden, however, had a special motive in placing his views
before the country at that time. He saw the false policy of indefinite
issues of government legal-tender currency everywhere taking hold of
the public mind, and that, unless speedily corrected, it would acquire
a force to which the timidity of political leaders would submit.
He had already induced a convention of the Democratic party in New
York to take ground against it. He wished to draw forth a similar
declaration from the Democracy of the nation, at its next convention
for the nomination of a President. He succeeded; and to his influence,
probably, more than to that of any other man, we owe the downfall of
the paper-money delusion.

An attempt to analyze the rare combination of talents and faculties
which enabled him to accomplish so much in a period so brief may not
be uninteresting. His original intellectual endowments were of the
highest order. They were not of that character which, while leaving
their possessor satisfied with some hasty and superficial conclusions
that at the moment seem true, enable him to impress them upon others
by fervid and moving language. These are the intellectual traits most
frequently exhibited by the ablest men whom our public life brings into
notice; but they do not make up the _scientific_ mind which Governor
Tilden's pre-eminently was. At the beginning of his intellectual
manhood he clearly perceived that the whole moral world was as rigidly
as the physical world subject to an order, an arrangement, a law; and
that all policies, whether in government, in finance, or in business,
not founded upon a recognition of this truth would result in confusion
and mischief. Naturally attracted to the study of the public economy
of States, his first aim was to discover the laws governing every part
of that extensive domain. Whether the theme was expenditure, taxation,
private or public justice, internal improvements, or any form of
public administration, he would make no utterance until his brooding
mind had reached what he conceived to be the underlying truth; and the
same trait was manifest in him where the purpose was not to refute or
establish a general policy, but to ascertain, in a particular case, the
truth upon a disputed question of fact.

This was well illustrated in his defence, in 1856, of the title of
Azariah C. Flagg to the office of comptroller of the city of New York,
against the claim of John S. Giles. Flagg had been declared elected by
the Board of County Canvassers. He was a man of resolute integrity, had
held the office before this election, and, by his obstinate defence
of the city treasury against unjust and fraudulent claims, had drawn
upon himself the hatred of the municipal plunderers, and earned from
them the title of "Old Skinflint." His enemies had made a combined and
desperate effort to defeat his re-election, and, having failed by a few
votes only, they determined, upon the pretence of an erroneous return,
to make an attempt to oust him from his office by a judicial proceeding
and install Giles in his place. For this purpose they fixed upon the
vote of the first district of the Nineteenth Ward, the majority of
the election officers of which were bitter enemies of Flagg. Their
pretence was that the return of the district election officers giving
316 votes for Flagg and 186 for Giles was a clerical error, by which
Giles' vote was awarded to Flagg and Flagg's vote to Giles. Three of
the election officers who signed and filed this return were sworn
as witnesses for Giles, and positively testified that the vote as
actually counted was just the reverse of the return; that Giles had 316
votes, and Flagg 186. The original tally-list of the regular tickets,
which would have shown the truth, had been conveniently lost, but these
witnesses produced what they swore was the original tally-list of the
split tickets, and upon which was a pretended transfer of the votes on
regular tickets, which they swore was correct, and this fully supported
their statements. Other witnesses on the same side testified that they
were present at the close of the counting on the day of the election,
and heard the result proclaimed, and that it gave 316 to Giles and
only 186 to Flagg. This formidable case could be overthrown only by
showing that these witnesses were perjurers, and this pretended split
tally-list a forgery. Tilden had no doubt that this was the fact, but
he had no direct evidence to prove it. He was a determined enemy of
these base conspirators and a close friend and ardent admirer of Flagg,
and he was resolved that the fraudulent scheme should not succeed.
Acting upon the assumption that a lie has no place in the regular order
of nature, but is something violently thrust into that order and will
not fit the surrounding and attendant facts, he laboriously endeavored
to bring into light, so far as possible, all those surrounding and
attending facts. It so happened that this election was a contest
between numerous factions, and that there were seven regular tickets
voted; that is, tickets having uniformly the same names and for the
same offices; and there were twelve candidates for the various city
offices on each ticket. There were also many split tickets, created
by erasure of one or more names from a regular ticket, or otherwise.
Here was fruitful material for the exercise of Tilden's powers of
investigation. He demonstrated, and with mathematical certainty, by
an analysis and comparison of the actual returns of votes for all the
candidates on these tickets, that the pretence of Giles was a pure
fabrication. At the close of his argument he threw his demonstration
into a dramatic form, which created such an impression that, as Mr.
Charles O'Connor, who was associated with Mr. Tilden, once told me,
the case of the plaintiff Giles was utterly defeated before the
defendant had called a witness. It was, of course, difficult for the
jurors to carry in their minds the numerous figures which made up the
demonstration. Something was needed to impress upon them the result.
For this Tilden pitched upon the lost original tally-sheet of the
regular vote. It was upon the amount of Flagg's _regular_ vote that
the whole controversy turned. If the contents of that lost tally could
be shown, all doubt would be dispelled. Said he, "I propose now,
gentlemen, to submit this case to a process as certain as a geometrical
demonstration. _I propose to evoke from the grave that lost tally_;
to reproduce it here, to confront and confound these witnesses who
have been upon the stand swearing to what is not true. It is an honest
ghost. It will disturb no true man." And he did it triumphantly.
Handing to the jurors sheets containing copies of the regular tickets,
and selecting a name which was found on only one of these tickets,
that of Samuel Allen for street commissioner, he called off from the
actual return to the Board of County Canvassers, and the jurors set
down Allen's vote, which was 215. It necessarily followed that every
other name on that ticket must have received the same number, or the
ticket would not be regular. Proceeding in the same way with all the
names on all the tickets, and then deducting the regular vote from
the whole vote as shown by the actual return, and thus obtaining the
split votes for each candidate, and comparing these results, except
as to Flagg and Giles, with the tally-sheet of the splits which had
been produced by the witnesses for Giles, and which was presumably
correct, except in respect to the vote for Flagg and Giles, he slowly,
step by step, re-created an original tally of the regular ticket,
which, when increased by the split votes shown on the split tally-list,
corresponded in every particular with the actual return to the county
canvassers except as to three unimportant names, and as to these it was
manifest that the actual return was erroneous. Each juror found, at
the close of the calling, that he held in his hands what he could not
but believe was an absolutely accurate count of the votes in the first
district of the Nineteenth Ward for all the candidates voted upon, for
whatever office, at the election under investigation. The hideous
monstrosity of the figures assigned to Flagg and Giles in the split
tally-list became so palpable that none could doubt. It is needless
to add that when the case was finally submitted to the jury they
immediately returned with a verdict for "Old Skinflint."

He employed a similar method in the case of what was called the Six
Million Audit fraud of Tweed and his accomplices. That the payment of
this enormous sum was a gigantic fraud no one could doubt; but there
was no proof showing _how much_ of the payments was in excess of what
was due to the claimants, or among whom the excess was divided, and how
much to one and how much to another. Mr. Tilden unlocked this mystery.
He went to the banks in which the conspirators kept their accounts,
and by a patient decomposition of the credits into the original
items, as shown by the deposit tickets, evolved the plunderers' rule
of division. Applying this rule to any one of the hundreds of paid
city warrants embraced in this series of frauds, and without going
beyond the face of the warrant, it could be determined how much each
of the conspirators received; and the determination would be verified
by finding, upon examining the bank accounts and deposit tickets of
the same parties, that they had received on the day of the payment of
the warrants the same sums which, according to the rule applied, they
ought to have received. It vexed Mr. Tilden very much that the shares
of the conspirators, as thus computed, did not correspond with perfect
exactitude to the amounts deposited to their credit. The difference,
being trifling in amount, hardly affected the conclusiveness of the
demonstration; but it showed that there was some element in the rule of
division which he had not discovered. The missing link was subsequently
found, and then the conformity between the computed and the actual
shares was in every instance exact to a penny. This division and
conformity, appearing upon the face of the accounts themselves, proved
with absolute certainty the conspiracy to defraud, the amounts of the
embezzlements, and the precise shares received by each. Had Mr. Tilden
been present at the meetings of the conspirators and witnessed their
division of the spoils, he could not have given evidence so conclusive
of the fraud as that which he thus drew from written memoranda which
the conspirators had thoughtlessly allowed to be made.

It was indeed wonderful to observe how a man who could study these dry
details with such patience, and even with pleasure, could pass at once
into the fields of political science and compel a wholly different
class of facts to yield to him the loftiest generalizations. But in
truth the process was the same in both instances. It was the original
investigation of facts for the purpose of framing a just theory. It is
a common practice, even with able men, to disparage the conclusions
founded upon the employment of the reasoning powers as being _mere
theory_; as if their own conclusions, so far as they have any value,
were reached in any other way. These are the criticisms of men who are
too indolent to engage in the work of patient investigation, or not
sufficiently instructed in the methods by which it should be pursued.
Undoubtedly there are many minds that undertake the task of evolving
the laws underlying some subject matter and reach conclusions which
are confidently believed and asserted to be true, but that turn out
when adopted in practice to be erroneous. It is in this way that the
results of investigation and reasoning are brought into discredit. But
the fault in such cases is not that the conclusions are those of mere
theory, but of erroneous theory. The reasoner lacks the patience, or
the skill, to embrace in his investigation all the material facts, and
to exclude all others. These are, indeed, the rarest of qualities.
They are possessed in an eminent degree by a few men only in each
generation, and the value of such men to society is inestimable.
Governor Tilden's pre-eminence was especially manifest here. His
educated intelligence was able to pronounce, as if by instinct, whether
the conclusion he had reached was sufficiently certain to be made the
basis of action, or was so encumbered with doubt as to call for further
scrutiny into the facts. He knew how--to use his own happy phrase--"to
limit theory by practice and enlighten practice by theory."

The mere pursuit of truth, the pleasure which comes from the actual
exercise of superior powers, the sense of satisfaction which arises
from the overcoming of difficulties, would have been a sufficient
reward and stimulus to a mind like his; but this was not his principal
motive. His chief aim was to convince others; and he knew that this
could be done only by the effective use of language. He recognized the
importance of the art of rhetoric, and labored upon the composition of
his papers with the same care which the purely literary man employs;
not for the purpose of making up a piece of what is called fine
writing, but to engage and hold the attention by imparting life and
interest to his treatment, and, by an easy and natural development
of his subject, to carry the mind gratefully along towards his
conclusions. It would be hard to find better examples of the way in
which subjects apt to be regarded as dull may be made lively and
interesting, and yet without departing in the slightest degree from
a rigid and logical development, than are found in his report, while
a member of the legislature of New York, upon the causes of the
anti-rent disorders and the proper remedy for them; or his speech in
the constitutional convention of that State in 1867, unfolding the
true policy to be pursued in relation to the canals; or his second
annual message when Governor in 1876. I find, on the page at which I
open a volume of his speeches and writings, the following sentence,
which well illustrates the ease and power with which he could clothe
weighty truths in their appropriate language: "Generations, like
individuals, do not completely understand inherited wisdom until they
have reproduced it in their own experience."

These high intellectual traits would have made him a man of mark had
he been a philosophical recluse holding himself aloof from the busy
activities of life; but the extraordinary thing was that he was at all
times emphatically a man of action. Whether engaged in the conduct
of some great lawsuit or of some important business enterprise, or
managing a political campaign, he was equally at home. The schemes of
small party chieftains and the power of local bosses gave way before
his masterful leadership. He did not despise the aid of partisan
machinery or of official patronage; but he fully perceived that the
scope and influence of these instrumentalities were narrow, and that,
unless held rigidly secondary and subordinate, they would obstruct,
rather than aid, the march of a political party. Profoundly convinced
of the truth of the political creed which he avowed, he engaged in
political warfare only to secure its permanent establishment. Any
victory won by shifty expedients he knew would be but temporary,
and would not fail to retard a lasting success. At the same time he
recognized the fact that no main purpose of a political party could
ever be carried except by the permanent union of men differing from
each other upon a multitude of minor points, and exhibiting every
grade of culture, character, and conduct. Compromise and concession be
recognized as the daily duties of the statesman. He had little regard
for those impracticable natures which refuse to join any party because
they find something to object to in all parties. He was the last man
to yield to self-conceit and obstinacy the titles of conscience and
wisdom. Such men, he once declared, forget "that without concession
there can be no common action for a common object, and that without the
capability of such action a man is fit, not for society, not even for
a state of nature, but only for absolute solitude." I wonder that the
mugwump-haters have not borrowed his description of some non-partisans
of his day: "I know there is a class of no-party men who vindicate
their claim to that character by doing injustice to all, even without
the excuse of bias."

But _how far_ should you carry the spirit of compromise and
concession--_how far_ tolerate what you believe to be error in order
to obtain an over-balancing good? This is the puzzle of statesmen, and
indeed of every man, so far as he undertakes any part, even though
only as a private citizen, in public concerns. There are two ways of
dealing with it. One is to shirk it by an indolent abandonment of the
important offices of social and public life. The other is to meet it
with the best solution we can find. Tilden had little regard for the
first of these methods. He accepted the second; and with his matchless
ability for drawing a line up to which we must, but beyond which we
must not go, he would have had little excuse for the other choice.
There were several occasions when he felt obliged to draw this line
and rigidly observe it, although the result might be immediately
disastrous to the party to which he was attached and to his own
personal ambitions. His opposition, in 1871, to Tammany Hall, already
noticed, is an instance. Occupying, as he then did, the important
post of chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, he could
not step out of the local organization in the metropolis and make war
upon its leaders without seeming disloyalty to his party, nor without
endangering its success in the next State election. But he determined,
against combined solicitations and threats, to take this course, and
the result showed the wisdom of his choice, even as a measure of party
policy. And again, when the irredeemable paper-money delusion had to a
far greater degree than the free silver coinage craze gained possession
of the popular mind throughout the West and South, and in the view of
many ardent politicians promised a victory to the Democratic party
if that party would extend some favor to it, he compelled from the
national convention of the party a repudiation of the heresy. No
temporary advantage which his party might gain would in his view be
worth acceptance, if purchased at the price of such a sacrifice of
fundamental principle.

It is not to be wondered at that with his profound knowledge of the
causes by which human affairs were controlled, combined with such
capacities for skilful action, he should have accumulated a large
fortune. Aside from what he received for professional services,
his large gains were, I imagine, rather easily acquired. Among the
mischiefs of an unstable currency is the facility with which men who
have the power of dealing skilfully with exceptional conditions may
amass large fortunes. Few men understood such things better than Mr.
Tilden. He had striven to prevent, as well as a man in opposition
could, the issue, during the war, of an irredeemable government
currency; but I remember his saying to me after the policy was adopted,
in substance: "Now is the time to make yourself rich. Buy all that
you can pay for, or run in debt for. Every day it will be easier and
easier for you to pay, and your property will correspondingly rise in
value, or rather in price." And at the close of the war he advised
the opposite course. I do not know, but I have little doubt that he
acted extensively on this policy. If there were a question as to the
propriety of such action, he certainly was excusable. Had his counsels
been regarded, no such measure would have been adopted.

The malice of political opponents was wont to ascribe his success in
money-getting to schemes for obtaining interests in the property of
insolvent railway companies at less than their value. They stigmatized
him as a "railroad-wrecker." Never was there less foundation for a
charge. He was a railroad-preserver. His skill in the management of
difficult and complicated affairs, combined with his profound knowledge
of the fundamental principles of equity, made his services invaluable
to parties interested in the property and securities of railroad
companies which by bad management, or in consequence of over-sanguine
expectations, had fallen into difficulties. His capacious mind was just
fitted for the survey of such situations. He was among the first, if
not the first, to perceive that a ruthless attempt to foreclose a first
mortgage and thus to crush out all subordinate liens and interests
was ill-suited to such cases; that the just and true method was to
ascertain the real capacities of the business, and to reorganize the
enterprise upon a scheme which would indulge the hope of saving to the
junior securities a large part of their supposed original value. More
than one of the great railroads of the country have, at his skilful
touch, risen from absolute bankruptcy into prosperity, and repaid all
or the larger part of the original investment.

With all his capacity for making sober estimates, and escaping
the illusions by which many minds are carried away, he was yet an
enthusiast, especially in respect to the plans and enterprises which
were the offspring of his own fruitful brain. This came partly from
personal vanity, of which he had a plentiful supply, and partly from
the exhilaration which attends the exercise of high intellectual powers
and rewards the conquest of difficulties. I remember a display of this
tendency which greatly impressed me.

In the performance of a professional service for him while he was
Governor, in connection with a lawsuit to which he was a party, it
became necessary that I should tarry several days at his house in
Albany in order to secure his attention during the intervals between
his official duties. It was while the St. Louis Convention was in
session at which he was nominated for the Presidency. One would suppose
that under such circumstances he could have given his mind to little
else than the business in which his personal fortunes were so deeply
concerned. But he could not have devoted himself more ardently to
recalling and arranging the facts of the complicated transactions out
of which this lawsuit grew than he did on the very day when he was
nominated. Late in the afternoon of that day, after protracted work, he
took me upon a long drive with him. In the course of it he did not even
allude to the convention, or its doings, although a flight of telegrams
had been coming to him. His conversation, animated and incessant,
was upon false policies in government, the mischiefs and burdens of
over-expenditure, the true principles of taxation, the errors of
protective tariffs, etc. One could see that the mere matter of holding
the Presidential office was little to him; but that the chance of
laying his reforming hand upon the multitude of abuses with which, as
he supposed, the whole administration of the general government was
infested aroused his enthusiasm, as the prospect of a season of sport
would that of a boy. Becoming animated with his theme, eloquent and
intense in his language, he failed in attention to the high-spirited
horse he was driving, and I was in constant fear of a catastrophe.
Indeed, on a similar drive the succeeding day we met with one from the
same cause. The injury was inflicted instead of received, and cost
the Governor several thousand dollars by way of damages. When, on our
return, on the day first mentioned, we were near home, I observed to
him that he would perhaps find at the house a telegram announcing his
nomination. "No," said he, unconcernedly, "not until about half-past
nine." It came not many moments from that time. Impressed upon this
occasion with his profound and extensive knowledge of everything
relating to the science of government, and thinking his views not
substantially at variance with those held by leading Republicans--for
at that time the Republican party had not become committed to its
present dogmas on the subject of protective tariffs--I ventured to
express to him the surprise I felt that he had not allied himself with
that party; saying that it seemed to me that, considering the greatly
superior number of men of education and public spirit to be found in
its ranks, he could much more easily procure a general acceptance of
his opinions by acting in alliance with them. He answered that he
thought that I was mistaken; that, while it was true that a large
majority of the men of culture, wealth, and force were to be found in
the Republican party, the trouble was that, to use his language, "it
was a party of self-seekers." He explained that he did not mean this in
any offensive sense; that what he meant was that the controlling men
of that party were men of large pecuniary interests, seeking to build
up fortunes and families; that these personal interests were so large
as necessarily to engross their thoughts and control their opinions,
leading them to use their powerful influence so as to shape the
legislation of the country in a form which would favor those interests;
that it was difficult to lead such men along the pathway of those
fundamental principles of democratic government by which alone equal
justice could be done to the masses of men; that the Democratic party
held within its ranks a far less number of men of this description--not
enough to control its action--and consequently the opinions of its
great masses could be more easily shaped and molded by the mere force
of ideas; that this was the distinction between the former Democratic
and Whig parties, and that the Republican party would, as the patriotic
inspirations caught from the opposition to slavery and the defence of
the Union died away, become the mere successor to the spirit and policy
of the Whig party.

"These observations, as applied to the two present parties of the
country, would not, probably, be accepted without dissent; but they
intimate a most important truth. This is that when a man comes to be
the possessor of large property interests, these will, whatever may
be his character, control his opinions in relation to any question
affecting them. The great railroad interests of the country are
conducted by men, I suppose, of as honorable character as can be found
in any walk of life; but they will not, in the face of threatened
disaster, keep the agreements they make with each other. They do not
hesitate, when these interests are threatened by adverse legislation,
to defend them by secret arts and practices--kept secret because they
could not be avowed without a blush. Mr. Jay Gould, in some testimony
drawn from him by a legislative committee, expressed the truth by
saying that he was "sometimes a Democrat and sometimes a Republican,
but always an Erie man." It must be admitted that the occasions are
often fearfully trying. They sometimes impose a test which human nature
is ill-fitted to bear. The individual who is subjected to them is
called upon to defend, not only his own property, but that of others. A
man may surrender his own interests, but what account is he to give of
himself when he surrenders interests which have been intrusted to him
for defence?

I cannot help thinking that Governor Tilden possessed, on the whole,
greater capabilities for usefulness in public life than any other
man of his generation. I cannot find elsewhere such a union of the
ability to discover true governmental policies with the firm and
undeviating purpose to pursue them. This is not the universal estimate
of him. A certain measure of distrust seems to have accompanied the
general admiration of his talents. For this there never was any
just foundation. I do not think any public man of his time was more
faithful to his conceptions of truth. No impartial man could now well
doubt this after going over the record of his services and reading
his speeches and public papers. Indeed, it is hardly possible that
so ardent a searcher after scientific truth could be otherwise than
faithful to it. We can scarcely imagine Socrates and Newton to have
been dishonest men. That Lord Bacon fell excites our wonder. And yet
there must always be some ground for any widely extended impression.
I think that in this instance the cause is manifest. His pre-eminence
was in the intellectual rather than in the emotional powers. In order
to achieve his purposes he preferred to appeal to the intellect rather
than to the heart. Plain, blunt honesty is universally perceived and
understood, and is admired and confided in, even when it blunders.
But common men have so often been deceived by the sharp practices of
those who are a little brighter than themselves, that they are apt to
distrust intellectual superiority, and half suspect it to be a species
of cunning. The malice of personal and party hostility, working upon
this natural tendency, has found an easy acceptance of its calumnies.

But, beside this, Governor Tilden was a practical leader in affairs,
both of business and politics; and although he was all openness and
candor in his public discussions, yet in his methods of action he could
not, any more than other men, dispense with secrecy and reserve; and as
he was apt to excel others in whatever methods he adopted, he perhaps
excelled them in secretiveness as well. A good share of another quality
which does not tend to secure admiration for the possessor fell to Mr.
Tilden. It was not unnatural that a man so conscious of superior powers
should be somewhat vain. Men do not like to have "I told you so" flung
into their ears at every turn in the course of events, and Mr. Tilden
had a habit of doing this.

But he was by no means wanting in the sense of moral earnestness, and
he had a just perception of the occasions demanding the exercise of
that faculty. He was well aware that fraud and corruption could not
be successfully combated with the weapons of reason, and that they
did not deserve to be reasoned with. When he found himself confronted
by the powerful Canal Ring, which had fattened for a generation upon
fraudulent contracts for repairs and pretended improvements to the
canals, a ring which had founded wealthy and influential families, and
had its stipendiaries among the able lawyers of the State, he perceived
that it was a warfare in which no quarter could be given, and which
could not be carried on by the weapons of facts and figures alone.
He courageously determined to invade, single-handed, the strongholds
of his enemies, and to arouse against them the moral indignation of
the people. Using a vacation from pressing official duties, he made a
series of speeches in a tour along the line of the canals from Buffalo
to Albany. Flinging aside his customary temperance and moderation,
he denounced his adversaries--men of wealth and the highest social
standing--as criminals, and summoned the people to stand by his side
in an effort to enforce against them the criminal law. Speaking at
Syracuse, in the midst of the men he was condemning, he said: "Here,
under your own eyes and your own observation, these transactions have
been carried on in open day, by a combination that has sought to rule
the State.... I was called upon this morning to speak some words of
encouragement and hope to four hundred little boys in the Western House
of Refuge. During all my journey I have been frequently followed by
persons asking for their friends and those in whom they were interested
a pardon from the penitentiaries and State-prisons. I have been
compelled to look into such cases to see who are the inmates of these
institutions, and of what they have been accused, and to ascertain what
it is that constitutes the wrong to society of which they have been
convicted. When I compare their offences, in their nature, temptations,
and circumstances, with the crimes of great public delinquents who
claim to stand among your best society, and are confessedly prominent
among their fellow-citizens--crimes repeated and continued year after
year--I am appalled at the inequality of human justice." He made by
this series of addresses a profound impression upon the public mind.

He was cautious not to be imposed upon by those who wished his
official aid or influence, and commonly subjected them to a searching
cross-examination, but a case of real distress quickly moved him.
I remember an instance which occurred during my sojourn, already
mentioned, at the Governor's mansion in Albany. We were at work
together rather late one evening, when he was told that a little girl
wished to see him. She was wretchedly clad, and seemed to be in
great misery. Moments were then quite precious to him, but he dropped
everything and spent half an hour with her. When he returned to the
library where we were at work he told me her tale. It was that she was
the oldest of several children; that her father was a drunkard and
cruel to her mother, who also sometimes got intoxicated--though, as
the girl said, only when her father abused her--and who had, the day
before, although having a nursing infant only a few weeks old, been
sent to prison for ten days for drunkenness; that the little girl had
been vainly endeavoring to take care of the infant and the rest of
the family, but had given up in despair. The Governor seemed a good
deal moved at this separation of mother and infant, and spoke with
indignation of the manner in which the criminal law was administered in
the lower courts by incompetent magistrates. He immediately despatched
a secretary to the executive chamber for a sealed pardon in blank,
filled it up and signed it, and sent the same secretary with the girl
to the prison, with instructions to see that the woman was released
and taken to her home that very night. I asked him whether this was
not rather hasty and inconsiderate action, adding that possibly the
magistrate, if consulted, might give a different statement of the case.
He answered: "No, and I wouldn't believe him if he did. Don't I know
that the little girl told me the truth?"

In assigning to Governor Tilden capacities for public usefulness
superior to those of other men of his generation, one qualification
should perhaps be made. He could not have led, or rather guided,
as Lincoln did, the storm of patriotic passion which the Southern
insurrection aroused. There are resistless currents in human affairs
which disdain the feeble control of mere reason, and insist upon
working their way by force alone. War is a conflict of the passions,
and, when it becomes necessary or preferable to peace, those passions
should be inflamed rather than checked.

But the superior _wisdom_ of Governor Tilden was equally manifest in
this great crisis, although, perhaps, incapable of dealing with it.
Naturally anti-slavery, he had encouraged the first tendencies towards
the assertion of the Free-soil sentiment of the North by joining in
the revolt of the Northern Democrats against the nominees of the
Democratic convention in 1848, and supporting the candidates nominated
at the Barnburners' convention at Utica. But when he saw this movement
developing into the formation of a permanent political organization
under the name of the Republican party, with the avowed object of
preventing by _national legislation_ any further extension of slavery,
he paused and receded.

The argument of the supporters of the new movement was that Congress
had the power, not, indeed, to interfere with slavery in the States,
but to prevent its establishment in the Territories; and that they were
but exercising their constitutional rights in forming a party for the
purpose of securing such legislation. Tilden could not deny the mere
claim of constitutional right; but this, with him, was but a small
part of the question. What would be the consequence of a successful
assertion of that right? Could it be reasonably supposed that the
Southern States would view it otherwise than as an attack upon what
they deemed to be a vital interest? Would not its necessary effect be
to force unanimity among them in opposition to the policy? Was the
supposition that there was any considerable Free-soil sentiment in the
South which would array itself on the side of the government anything
but a dream? Should we not have two strictly sectional parties arrayed
upon the question of preserving or destroying an institution which one
of them, not unnaturally, regarded as essential to self-existence?
These, in his view, were questions which must be first solved before
such a movement could be encouraged. His solution led him to the
conclusion that war would be the necessary result of such action; and
this involved the further inquiry whether the object in view would be
gained by a civil war, or, if gained, would be worth the terrible cost.
Appalled by the uncertainties and terrors of such a conflict, he took
refuge, as Mr. Webster had before him, in the belief that the natural
forces in operation would of themselves accomplish all that could be
gained by the policy of restriction. In a letter to William Kent in
1860, before the election of Lincoln, he stated his conclusions and the
reasoning which led to them with his characteristic moderation, but
with masterly force. His main conclusion was that if the Republican
party should be successful, the national government in the Southern
States would cease to be self-government, and become a government
by one people over another distinct people--a thing impossible with
our race, except as a consequence of successful war, and even then
incompatible with our democratic institutions. He said:

"I assert that a controversy between powerful communities, organized
into governments, of a nature like that which now divides the North
and South, can be settled only by convention or by war. I affirm this
upon the universal principles of human nature, and the collective
experience of all mankind." And again: "A condition of parties in which
the federative government shall be carried on by a party having no
affiliations in the Southern States is impossible to continue. Such
a government would be out of all relation to those States. It would
have neither the nerves of sensation which convey intelligence to the
intellect of the body politic, nor the ligaments and muscles which hold
its parts together and move them in harmony. It would be in substance
the government of one people by another people. That system will not do
with our race."

This reasoning was founded upon the facts of human nature, the
philosophy of government, and the teachings of experience. Its truth is
more manifest now than when it was uttered. Who of the great Free-soil
leaders would have had the hardihood to persist in their course if they
could have foreseen the consequences so clearly? Greeley, terrified
by the horrible spectacle of war, was driven to say: "Let the wayward
sisters depart in peace." Seward's short vision predicted that it would
be all over "in sixty days"! But in great crises the foresight of the
wisest is but blindness. Were it always given men to see what they are
to go through with, the greatest steps in moral advancement would never
be taken. Tilden did not foresee, through the storms of war, any more
than others, the freedom of the slave with the acquiescence of the
master, and the consequent unification of the republic.

But the trials of our popular system of government were not terminated
by the simultaneous overthrow of the Rebellion and slavery. It may be,
rather, that they have just begun. We were confident before the war
that slavery was the source of the only peril which really threatened
us. That out of the way, we find ourselves confronted with new dangers,
growing out of differences of opinion respecting the extent to which
the black race shall be allowed to participate in government. That
participation is now practically denied by the Southern States, and
the mandate of the Constitution is unhesitatingly set at naught by
the employment either of force or fraud. The remedy suggested is an
enforcement of that mandate by Federal legislation, which means simply
the enforcement of its will by one section against that of the other.
This is not democratic government, but the rule of the conquered by
the conqueror. The evil is bad enough; and the remedy will probably
be worse. We begin to see that the real danger which has at all times
menaced us is the presence on our soil of a different race, unequal,
for the present, at least, to the great office of self-government.
Slavery was not itself the evil, but only one of the methods of dealing
with it. Is our substitute, the bestowal upon the race of universal
suffrage, a successful device? And, if this must be abandoned, what
shall next be tried? These grave problems, already threatening, will
assume a graver aspect if the results of the census just taken, when
studied and compared, shall be found to show a more rapid rate of
increase in the black population at the South than in the white. To
meet such perils we need nothing so much as a class of statesmen of
which Samuel J. Tilden was the most distinguished example.



In 1801 President Jefferson appointed Robert R. Livingston, then
Chancellor of the State of New York, as Minister to France. On his
return, in 1804, Livingston brought with him some sheep from Spain,
then the home of the famous Merino breed, developed from races of sheep
originally introduced into the peninsula by the Romans. In 1809-10 a
flock of 4000 Merino sheep were brought into the United States to meet
the demand created by Mr. Livingston's first importation. The following
letter from the father of Samuel J. Tilden, written the very season of
the larger importation, justifies the presumption that such importation
had been made by Mr. Livingston himself or at his behest. The letter
of Elam Tilden was sent to his son Samuel by the late Eliphalet Nott
Potter in December, 1882, with a note in which he said:

"In looking over a package of Livingston letters I find the enclosed,
and thinking that possibly it may be of some slight interest to you, I
beg that you will accept it with best wishes of the season and for the
New Year."

This letter was written four years before the writer's son Samuel J.
was born.


  "NEW LEBANON, _March 19, 1810_.

"DEAR SIR,--I want to get four or five pounds of your best _full-blood_
Merino Wool to manufacture into cloth for a Coat. I applied to you
once before for the article for the same purpose, but you informed me
that your wool was all previously engaged. I hope, Sir, that you will
accommodate me; I can by some means get it forwarded to Hudson, from
whence I can get it. I will thank you to drop me an answer by the mail,
by which conveyance I will forward you the money, or get it to you by
way of my friend, Dr. Younglove, of Hudson, if you accommodate me with
the wool.

  "I am, Sir, Your
             "humble Servant,
                       "ELAM TILDEN."

The most disastrous fire with which the city of New York has ever yet
been visited is referred to in the following letter. It reduced to
ashes pretty much every structure within the area bounded by Wall and
Broad streets and the East River, a tract which then embraced nearly,
if not quite all the important commission houses in the city; crippled
all our insurance companies, and gave to the territory it covered a
blow from which, after a lapse of nearly three-quarters of a century,
it has but partially recovered. Like the great fire of London in the
seventeenth century, it is still referred to as the _Great Fire_ of


  "NEW YORK, _December 11, 1833_. Friday, _2.30 P.M._

"MY DEAR FATHER,--The last has been the most calamitous night New York
ever saw. The very centre of the commercial part of the city--from
Wall Street across William and nearly to Broad, and to Coenties
Slip,--all is a mass of smouldering ruins. A concurrence of unfortunate
circumstances rendered the fire thus disastrous. The engines had been
much disordered, in consequence of the extensive fires on the previous
night--the hose, many of them, frozen and unfit for use. The atmosphere
was in a state peculiarly calculated to support and extend combustion,
the wind blew with great violence, and the weather was so intensely
cold as to clog and almost close up with ice the hose. The flames raged
through the whole night with uncontrolled violence, impressing every
beholder with the utter impotency of human effort to contend with the
devouring element. The spectacle was grand and awful beyond conception.
I shall not attempt to describe it. All the fires that ever occurred
here before were perfectly insignificant in comparison.

"The question is now, not who is injured, but who has escaped? Almost
all I know are involved in the common catastrophe. At No. 12, Mr.
Hichcock burnt out; Mr. Birch, not even his books and papers saved. Mr.
Brown burnt out, and his goods consumed in the street or in the stores
to which they were removed. Mr. Starkweather not yet injured, but in
imminent danger. Mr. Williams' employees, everything destroyed; and
also Mr. Conckling's, I believe. At 14, Mr. Stewart's employees. At
20, Mr. Bronson among the lost; Mr. Soullard, same; Mr. Davis and ____
escaped. Halsted and Baines, $40,000 lost; 20 to 30,000 saved. Hunt and
Andrews, Conckling & ____, &c., &c.

"So vast is the destruction that insurance affords but a very
insufficient security. The whole insurance capital of the city will
scarce exceed one-half the amount of property consumed in one night!
Estimates are very vague and uncertain--the loss, however, can hardly
be less than twenty millions of dollars.

"There is not time to write a word more to-day.

  "Affectionately yours,
                          "S. J. TILDEN."

"I have business acquaintance with a great many of the sufferers."

Silas Wright took the oath of office as Senator of the United States
from the State of New York on the 14th of January, 1833, and in the
thirty-seventh year of his age. He is still regarded in his native
State as one of the half-dozen wisest statesmen that ever occupied a
seat in the Upper House of our national legislature. He was a warm
supporter of the administrations of Jackson and Van Buren, and the most
eminent victim of New York's successful opposition to the conversion of
the Territory of Texas into five more sovereign slave-holding States
of the Union. He was also a close friend and constant correspondent of
Elam Tilden and of his two elder sons.

The letter which follows reached Mr. S. J. Tilden only a few weeks
before he was deprived of the Presidency by the 7-to-6 vote of the
Electoral Tribunal of 1876. It connotes Senator Wright's first
appearance in the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Waddell,
to whom Mr. Tilden was indebted for Wright's letter, had been United
States marshal during the administration of Mr. Van Buren.


  "BENNETT BUILDING, NEW YORK, _February 26, 1877_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--I _know_ that you have the highest appreciation of
the writer of the enclosed; but I do not know that you have a special
taste to preserve interesting mementos relating to such persons. If
you have, and will observe the expressions in this letter, you will
perceive that W. notes his '_first_ appearance' as counsel before the
Supreme Court of the United States. I beg your acceptance of it for
your collection of interesting memorials, and beg you to believe me to
be, with sincere regard,

  "Yours very truly,
            "WM. COVENTRY H. WADDELL."


  "SENATE CHAMBER, WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1889_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The motion in the 'Custody' case was made in the Supreme
Court this morning, at the opening of the court at 11 o'clock A.M., and
counsel were most patiently heard. Mr. Gilpin, for the Collector, and
I myself for the Marshal. It was, as you know, my first appearance in
that high court, and the decision is yet to come. All I can say to you
is that I made just as good an argument in your favor as I hoped to
be able to make. I believe the decision will be in conformity to your
wishes, but of that I have no knowledge, except that impression which a
lawyer always gets from the argument of a cause.

"Your late letter was duly rec'd. It will give me great pleasure to
see you here before we leave, but I shall leave on the morning of the
4th of March at 6 o'clock A.M. If I get the decision upon the motion
in time, I will send it to you; but if it is not made so that I can
send it to you before I expect you will start for this city, I will not
send it to you.

"I have been called upon to give six notes since I commenced this short
note, and I will stop it now, for I do not believe that you can find
out what is already written. Rest satisfied that the motion has been
made, has been, as I think, very fairly argued, and will be decided, as
I think, in your favor; but decided some way in the due course of time,
and as I hope before you come here.

  "Very truly yours,
                   "SILAS WRIGHT, JR."


  "NEW YORK, _July 15, 1839_.

"MY DEAR HETTY,--Why don't you answer my letter? If the ring does not
suit send it and I can easily change it; if it does, send it that I may
have your name put in it--unless, indeed, you conclude to come with Pa,
which I much wish you would, and, since you are not in school, I see
nothing to prevent....

"I am uncomfortably situated in many respects. I perfectly abhor this
mode of life. The social slavery of the family to any scapegrace, man
or woman, the latter worse, who may choose to sojourn here is really
intolerable. And the whole routine of such an upon-the-town life is
opposed to every good habit and in favor of every bad habit. I did hope
that when one family left, the burden would be lightened; but it has
proved to be only a change of riders. These and other petty annoyances
vex me more than they used to; perhaps my temper is at fault; but I
assure you they are numerous. And it is unpleasant to me, as you can
well understand, to see a disease so full of terror fastening itself
gradually but surely upon J.; to see not one thing in the circumstances
to which she is subjected that gives the least hope of counteraction;
and to feel myself without power, in the slavish routine of the
house, to remedy or prevent. I do not often speak of troubles when I
have them, and would do so now only to you; so you must preserve my

"As to myself, it is only the condition of things at home that
prevents me, if I could make the necessary arrangements, from going
abroad. It is the only thing to which I look with any confidence or
much hope to act upon my own constitution; and would separate me from
circumstances not calculated to lessen the weight of an inevitable
misfortune to which I have been long subject.

"I think that if you are able to come now, your visit will be more
pleasant than last year.

"Write to me.

  "Aff. y'rs,
                   "S. J. TILDEN."


  "WASHINGTON, _December 12, 1840_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have your letter of the 7th inst., and thank you for
the copy of the excellent speech of your son, which for the facts
it contains, and sound, practical views, is worth more than all the
speeches Daniel Webster has delivered on the currency question. The
principal article in the _Globe_ on prices and the wages of labor was
from my pen, and I am pleased to learn that it met your approbation.

"That measures will be adopted before Congress closes to reorganize the
Democratic party and settle on the course of action for the future is
so manifestly proper, not to say indispensable, that I cannot doubt it
will be attended to.

"Arrangements should be adopted for obtaining the facts from every
country, town, and precinct in the Union, in relation to the foul
frauds practised in the late elections. The statements and certificates
of these facts should be verified by oath when it could be done; and
the whole ought to be published in a volume and put into the hands of
every honest elector in the United States. This mass of information
would be used by the Democratic papers as they might have occasion.

"It is true, as you say, that the battle is not yet really begun;
the true issues which divide the Democracy and the Federalists cannot
be presented before the country except the latter are in power. They
are then forced to come out with their measures and disclose their

"There will be a glorious fight for the next four years, the result
of which, I confidently believe, will be highly auspicious to the
Democratic cause and the preservation of our popular institutions.

                           "I am, respectfully,
                                        "Y'r ob't ser't,
                                                 "JOHN M. NILES."

  _"E. Tilden, Esqr.,
        "New Lebanon,
             "New York."_

President Harrison died just one month after his inauguration, a
casualty from which the Whig party never fully recovered. To the
Congress which convened in extra session May 31, 1841, President Tyler
intimated his desire that the members of that body should request
a plan for a national bank from Mr. Ewing, then Secretary of the
Treasury. In pursuance of the resolutions for this purpose adopted
by both Houses, Mr. Ewing sent in a bill for the incorporation of
the "Fiscal Bank of the United States," the essential features of
which were framed in accordance with the President's suggestions. The
bill passed Congress August 6, with a clause concerning branch banks
differing from Mr. Ewing's, which was vetoed by the President. The
letter from Mr. Tilden which follows was a criticism of this bill, and
probably had something to do with its untimely fate.

It does not appear from the copy to whom this letter was addressed by
Mr. Tilden, but it was probably to Senator Wright.

Congress subsequently passed another bill intended to meet the
objections of President Tyler. He concluded he could not approve it
without inconsistency, and therefore vetoed that bill also, by which
act he alienated the United States Bank wing of the Whig party to such
an extent as to make many friends among the party of the opposition. It
is to that phase of that absorbing bank issue at Washington that Mr.
Tilden refers in the succeeding letter to Mr. Nelson J. Waterbury, then
a very earnest, active, and intelligent Democratic politician, a few
years Mr. Tilden's junior.


  "NEW LEBANON, _September 11, 1841_.

"MY DEAR WATERBURY,--On a flying visit of a few hours, which I made to
the city some two weeks ago, I received your letter, but I was so busy
in running about the country that I did not get a chance to answer it.

"You judge rightly as to my sympathy with your sentiments and action
in regard to the veto. Our line of duty is plain. While we render
to Tyler liberal credit for every good act he does, and sustain
every right measure which he proposes, and defend him against the
unjust and unconstitutional attacks of the Whigs, we cannot give
his administration an unqualified support, or commit ourselves in
favor of his re-election. So far, we agree with him only on the bank
question--and there as to _act_ of the veto, not as to its reasons,
which are qualified and hesitating, and mingled with crudities and
unsoundness; while as to the other questions--some of which are of
great, if not equal, importance--we differ from him. If his course had
been less objectionable we ought still to keep ourselves uncommitted
as to the succession. We cannot enter into a bargain of office for
measures. Whatever he does right, he must do spontaneously, and we will
freely and heartily support, leaving the future to take care of itself.

"I never regarded Tyler as a man of very high capacity, and his public
documents since he has been President have not increased my estimate of
him. The last veto--which I have just read over--is better in matter
and manner than the former, which was very objectionable in principle,
but neither of them is creditable.

"I will confess that at first I was not without apprehensions that
Tyler's course might be such as to conciliate a portion of our people,
and weaken the efficiency of our action, while it would not be such as
we could fully approve or safely support; and that he might construct
a half-and-half administration in which real and thorough democratic
principles might suffer more than by open hostility. But my fears are
diminished. Our people seem to be taking the right ground; and the
enthusiasm at first excited will, I believe, settle at about the right
point. A gentleman to whose opinion I very much defer thinks that Tyler
is not a man to accumulate any political strength around him; and can
in no event be dangerous.

"I do not know whether the Whigs will attempt to put in execution any
of the desperate means which have been shadowed forth--such as a formal
demand by the members of Congress for Tyler's resignation--a rejection
of his nominations of official advisers in case the present cabinet
shall retire--a systematic clamor to intimidate him to a surrender of
his constitutional authorities. If they do, we must stand by him and
his official rights to the uttermost.

"I intend to return to the city in about three weeks. Meanwhile I shall
be particularly glad to hear from you.

"I thank you for the paper you were so kind as to send me.

  "Sincerely y'rs,
                      "S. J. TILDEN."


  "WASHINGTON, _December 6, 1841_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your favor of the 15th ult., directed to me at my home,
came round to me here on this day. I left home on the day of the date
of your letter, and when I reached New York found you had left there
but a day or two before. I had a very pleasing visit from your son at
my room at the City Hotel, but should have been greatly pleased if your
visit to the city had been prolonged, as my stay was unusually long and
I could have seen more of you than I have been enabled to see for many

"Our victory has been truly great and gratifying, and yet your strong,
practical thinking has, in my judgment, brought you, as it almost
always does, to a correct conclusion as to consequences. If the Whigs
had retained the Senate for this year it would probably have been
easier for us to have regained the State completely next year. We must
not, however, complain of prosperity, and especially when it comes,
as I think it has come now, by the sole energies of "the sober second
thought" of an honest people. We must meet the crisis as it meets
us. We must show the people the truth as to our finances, and then
act as honest men would act, determined to pay their debts and avoid
insolvency. Everything hangs upon the action of our Legislature during
the coming session. If our friends in that body are bold and frank
and honest the people will sustain them, but if they underrate the
intelligence and patriotism of the people and continue the attempts to
humbug them and to purchase their good-will by their own credit sold
in the market at eighty cents for the dollar, we shall as certainly be
beaten next fall as we have beaten the Whigs this. These seem to me to
be truths so plain that no one can mistake them, and I still tremble
with fear lest some of those elected to the legislature as Republicans
may, from mistaken views, from apprehensions of local expediency, from
selfish interests, or from some other improper or unwise impulse, urge
a continuance of our system of extravagance and resist the measures
indispensably necessary to a return to health and soundness.

"I have little fear of what may be done here beyond what was done at
the extra session. An effort will doubtless be made to rouse the tariff
feeling again, but our point, as I think, should be to raise no more
revenue in any way, or for any purpose, until the land-distribution
bill is repealed and the system of giving away the revenue we have is
formally abandoned.

"I have very little hope from President Tyler, except that he may
prevent some mischief which his party would otherwise do. I do not
think there is enough of him to build upon, or that he has enough of
the democratic principles and sympathies left to govern him.

"I have not a moment of time more. Please let me hear often, and
believe me,

                            "Most respectfully,
                                    "And truly yours,
                                              SILAS WRIGHT, JR."

  "_Elam Tilden, Esq._


  "WASHINGTON, _January 29, 1842_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter of the 18th Dec. has remained a long time
without an answer, and I cannot now answer it, but a single subject
collateral to it.

"Within the last two days I have received two letters concerning your
Post-Office matters, which have deserved and received my attention. I
cannot do here all my friends ask, and have a right to ask, and from me
especially, deserve, but I try to do all I can; and yet unselfishness
and indolence may often induce me to think that I do what I can, when
I might do much more. I fear I have exhibited myself to you in this
way in reference to your Post-Office. But of that I have not time to
write, nor do I wish you to think, as I know you give me more credit
for faithfulness than I merit, and I give you every possible credit for
valuable and faithful friendship. I will, therefore, to the New Lebanon

"Mr. Edmunds and Mr. Bryant, of the _Evening Post_, are the gentlemen
to whose letters I refer. As the Senate did not meet to-day, I have
had the day to devote to business of this character, and I have just
returned, at 3 o'clock P.M., from a day most pleasantly spent in
attention to them.

"Upon a personal call at the Post-Office Department I learned that,
in September last, an application was made to have the name of the
post-office at the Springs changed from that of 'Columbia Hall' to that
of 'New Lebanon Springs,' and to have Mr. Bull removed as postmaster
and Mr. Nichols appointed. Both these things were done, and Mr.
Fuller, the Assistant Postmaster-General, who has the charge of the
appointments, supposed at the time, and now supposes, that the effect
of that action was to remove the office from the Springs to Lebanon
village, the location of the New Lebanon post-office, when you kept it.
I suppose he is wholly mistaken, and as you are a matter-of-fact man,
I wish you to send me papers properly signed by such disinterested men
as you may see to be the most proper men, showing where the office was
kept under Mr. Bull and where it is kept under Mr. Nichols; and in the
same papers you may show, if you please, where your office was kept
and where the office you formerly held is now kept. Let the papers be
directed to the Postmaster-General, and have no political, but a mere
local bearing, and make a map which will be plain, and if convenient
let the men who vouch the facts be Whigs as well as Democrats.

"You must find my apology for this very hasty and bad-looking letter in
the fact that since I began to write it I have heard of the death of a
member of our body, Mr. Dixon, of Rhode Island, and have been summoned
to attend his remains and participate in arrangements for his funeral,
and I have been anxious that this should go to-night and found it would
not if I did not enclose it before I left for that solemn duty.

                            "Most truly yours,
                                              "SILAS WRIGHT, JR.

  "_Elam Tilden, Esq._"


  "WASHINGTON, _February 13, 1842_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have but a moment to say that your favors of the 4th
and 8th and the documents in relation to your P.-O. affairs all came to
me together on Friday evening. I saw Mr. McClellan yesterday, and we
have agreed to make a visit to the Department together on some day this
week, when we can both find leisure to do so, and if possible bring the
matter to some final termination.

"I consider it now perfectly certain that either Mr. Tyler must submit
unconditionally to Mr. Clay, and must place the administration in his
hands or that open and desperate war is to be carried on, not against
him simply, but against his administration, for the future. And yet he
is daily removing from office our best and most worthy men, even those
whom the Whigs dare not attempt to remove, under the delusive idea that
he is filling their places with Tyler men. When he shall call upon them
he will find them where the great body of his party now is to him,
missing and enlisted under another leader.

  "In haste, I am,
                            "Most truly yours,
                                             "SILAS WRIGHT, JR."


  "LINDENWALD, _October 24, '42_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--As you forgot my former commission, I trouble you by
way of revenge with one something like it. I owe the clever editor[3]
of the _Spirit of the Times_ the amount of the within check, which
I wish to have paid to him, and his paper discontinued. As this,
that is, the discontinuance, is at best an ungracious act, I wish
to have it performed in the most gracious way, and therefore commit
the matter to your hands. I am, doubtless to my shame, not much of a
sportsman. I have not, therefore, read his paper as attentively as
others, but I have seen enough of it to impress me most favorably, not
only in respect to the talents, but the just and honorable bearing of
the editor. It would, therefore, afford me pleasure to continue the
_Times_, if the number of political papers which I feel myself bound to
take did not render my expenses in that line too heavy for a farmer's
income. If there is an objection to discontinuing until the end of the
year I will, of course, take it till then.

"Excuse this trouble, and believe me to be

  "Very sincerely, your friend,
                            "M. VAN BUREN."


  "_To the Democratic Members of the Com. Council:_[4]

"The undersigned, members of the Bar, recommend Samuel J. Tilden for
appointment as Attorney to the Corporation. Mr. Tilden's services and
qualifications are such that in our opinion his appointment would give
the highest satisfaction to the Democratic party, the legal profession,
and the public generally.

  "NEW YORK, _April_, _1843_.

"I sign the above most cheerfully:

  C. V. S. KANE,
  D. D. FIELD,

"I cheerfully concur in the foregoing recommendation:


The nomination, election, and inauguration of Senator Wright as
Governor of New York State, in 1844, gave Mr. Tilden a greater
influence perhaps than was possessed by any other individual in the
dispensation of the patronage of the Executive at this time. His
friend, John W. Edmonds, in whose office he had studied his profession,
a native of the same county as himself, and a lawyer of considerable
ability, was anxious for the appointment of Surrogate of New York city.
Though he failed in this effort, he subsequently was appointed one
of the Justices of the Supreme Court, largely, not to say entirely,
through Mr. Tilden's influence.

By the spring elections of 1844 both the old parties were thrown into
confusion and driven from the field by the "Native American" party,
so called, which appeared with a suddenness and force of a tropical
cyclone and swept the country.

The friends of Mr. Van Buren in New York naturally looked to Mr. Van
Buren as their candidate for a renomination to the Presidency. He was
defeated, however, in the national convention, and James K. Polk, of
Tennessee, received the nomination. The following letter from Mr.
Tilden to his brother is the only account we have from his pen of his
experiences in that convention to which he was a delegate. Unhappily,
the manuscript is incomplete.


  "BALTIMORE, _May 27, 1844_.

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--Here we are in a state of extraordinary excitement
and great uncertainty. There is a deep and almost universal
disaffection in the South. Virginia is against us by a large majority,
also North Carolina, Ga., Miss., Ark., La., probably Maryland, Indiana;
New Jersey, Michigan, Alabama, Ill., Conn. doubtful; N. Y., Missouri,
Ohio, N. H., Vermont, R. I. reliable; Penn. instructed and ready to
vote with us on the main question, but liable, some of them, to cheat
on collaterals.

"We have a small fixed majority certain on the first ballotings,
but some of the Penn. delegates and probably some others may be and
probably will be inclined very soon to desert. But the plan of the
disaffected is to require a two-third vote to make a nomination. This,
they think, and probably with correctness, that Mr. V. B. cannot get,
and then they may bargain with those who vote with us but are not
hearty in our cause. Some of the Penn. men who are instructed and are
therefore obliged to vote for V. B. would prefer Buchanan--have been
approached by propositions from the South to bargain with them, with
what effect we cannot know."


                               "WASHINGTON, _May 10, 1844_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter came safely, but you will have conjectured,
from the public appearance of things here, that some of us have been
rather busy for some days past. I have but a single moment now to say
that if you shall have occasion to send papers here for distribution,
Mr. Stevenson will do the labor, so far as you shall direct addresses,
and we will see that others are obtained here, but we cannot send you

"I have only completed the speech to-day, and it certainly is not
better for having been written out amidst the unexampled excitement of
the last two weeks. A part of it will appear to-morrow, and the residue
on Monday evening, and I will take a pamphlet copy, when I get one, and
mark it off as you suggest, by proper heads to the divisions.

"Please inform me, as soon as you receive this, if Mr. Butler has
returned. I want to communicate to him on the subject of the convention
as soon as he reaches, if he is not yet home.

"A letter from Cambreling received to-day tells me that he is off for
Carolina only to return to the Convention. He ought to be at hand to
meet the delegates in New York when they should have a meeting.

                           "In very great haste,
                                      "I am, truly yours,
                                                  "SILAS WRIGHT."

  "_Saml. J. Tilden, Esq._"

The triumph of the Native American party and the election of Mr. Harper
for Mayor led to a general and prompt change of all movable officers of
the municipal administration. Mr. Tilden tried to anticipate the party
proscription, but by some mistake, the nature of which is illegible
in the following letter, he had to undergo the proscription of the
victors, which, however, neither politically nor financially involved
any personal sacrifice.


  "NEW YORK, _May 25, 1844_.

    "_To the Honorable the Common Council of the City of New York:_

"I have expected at each of your meetings to be removed, but have been
disappointed. In case my successor as Attorney to the Corporation
shall not be selected this evening, I respectfully present to you my
resignation, to take effect on the day after your next joint meeting,
until which time the public interests entrusted to my care shall not be

  "I am, respectfully, your, &c.,
                         "SAMUEL J. TILDEN."

Comparatively recent note in pencil in Mr. Tilden's handwriting:

    "In the haste of preparing to leave the city for the Baltimore
    Convention this wish was omitted, and while I was there I was

Senator Wright yielded very reluctantly to the irresistible pressure
of both divisions of his party that he should accept the nomination
tendered him for Governor at the fall election of 1844. It was apparent
to the friends of Mr. Polk that he could not carry the State of New
York without the support of the friends of Mr. Van Buren and Wright,
and no less of a sacrifice than the transfer of Mr. Wright from the
Senate to the Governorship could make the State reasonably secure for
the Presidential ticket. How reluctantly Mr. Wright yielded to this
pressure is not to be measured solely by his far-sighted doubt of its
policy and of the advantages of a victory for the Slavery-Extension
party at that time. He had other reasons of a domestic nature presented
some three years before in a most pathetic and touching letter
addressed to Mr. Tilden's father.[5]

The logic of the situation presented by Mr. Wright's nomination for
Governor in 1844 required that he should by his election save the
Presidential ticket and then "succeed President Polk in 1848 or retire
from public life," and Mr. Marcy to defeat Mr. Wright's re-election
as Governor, or himself retire from public life. It was practically
to engage in such a duel that Mr. Wright went to Albany and took the
oath of office on the 1st of January, 1845. He had in his favor a great
parliamentary reputation, and a character for wisdom, probity, and
political sagacity, enjoyed in a superior degree by no other American
statesman of his generation.

On the other hand, he had to contend with an administration in whose
eyes all these virtues, when enlisted against slavery, were regarded
only as so many additional reasons for crushing their possessor. He
had also to contend with a very considerable number who still called
themselves Democrats, but who had deserted the party from mistrust of
the success of its financial policy, and who were impatient to recover
some sort of party standing.

Mr. Tilden engaged in this canvass for President Polk with more zeal
than in any other except, perhaps, the last, in which he was himself a
candidate, and in both instances was betrayed by his party.

Not the least efficient of his services in this campaign was the
establishment of the _Daily News_ in connection with John L. O'Sullivan.


  "_July 13, 1844._

"Outline of plan of arrangement for the paper between S. J. Tilden and
J. L. O'S.--proposed by me.

  "J. L. O'S.

"1. The entire concern to be owned in equal halves by S. J. T. and J.
L. O'S.

"2. Any disagreement of opinion ever arising, if requiring a decision,
and irreconcilable by discussion, to be determined by reference to B.
F. B. or some other friend, unprejudiced in the matter.

"3. In case of either party ever desiring to withdraw, the other to
have the refusal of the purchase of his interest, on equal terms
with those offered by any one side, or of any portion of the same at
proportional rate.

"4. In case of failure of the enterprise and both desiring to give
it up, the materials purchased to be vested in trust in (query--the
Chairman of the Gen. Committee--or Young Men's Gen. Committee?--or
B. F. B.?)--for the benefit of the Democratic Party. This is to be
determined within six months. If one desires to give it up and the
other does not, at the end of six months, or before, the whole property
then to become absolute in the one remaining.

"5. Neither to place the firm under any debt or obligation without the
consent of the other.

"6. The business machinery to be managed by a Chief Clerk (Guion), at a
salary of $--, and 1/10 of profits.

"7. The estimate of profits of the concern to be made after the
allowance of editorial salaries. S. J. T. and J. L. O'S. to be entitled
to draw a sum not exceeding $30 a week apiece, for editorial labor
and time. Each to do this at his own discretion, and according to his
own estimate of a reasonable compensation for his labor and time. If
hereafter, from regard to health or other cause, either should desire
to withdraw for longer or shorter period from active participation
in editorial charge, the other remaining in charge to be entitled to
an editorial salary of $2500 per annum. In case of death of either,
the other to inherit his share, subject to an annuity for ten years,
according to direction of the deceased, amounting to one-third of
that portion of the general profits which would otherwise have been
divisible between the two--the salary of $2500 in that case being
allowed to survivor for editorship.

"No other points now occur to me requiring provision.

  "J. L. O'S.

"It is possible that Mr. Waterbury may desire to have some connection
with the paper, which will be in that case perfectly agreeable to me.
The amount to be allowed him for his services in it, in that event,
whether in the form of a certain proportion of profits, or part salary
and part proportion of profits, I leave to be fixed by you. I should
like also myself to employ my brother in it, if as clerk and general
aid his services should appear desirable, his compensation being fixed
between us, ranging above a certain small minimum, according to his
services and the ability of the concern.

  "J. L. O'S."


  "NEW YORK, _April 25_, _1844_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I returned three days since, and have been trying to get
an opportunity to write to you without success until now. The prospect
of overcoming the pecuniary obstacle appears favorable. A few days will
decide the question, when I will write to you more particularly.

"A modification of the plan is meanwhile being attempted, which, if
successful, must greatly increase its usefulness. It is, if possible,
to get the $5000 absolutely; with a condition that if we cannot get a
subscription of 25,000 or deem it wise to publish a less number, we
shall have the same _value_ in such printed matter as we may choose,
and additional matter at cost; which we can circulate in what way we
may think best. My own opinion is that, as a general rule, it should be
_sold_, at or below cost, which will itself be very low if the quantity
is large and the work managed economically. It seems to me that in this
mode we could circulate 2, 3, 4, or 5 times our actual capital; that
we should tempt purchases from every part of the country, and make the
most extensive and efficient use of our money.

"Of course there are a great many details to be contemplated in
arranging so large a machine: I cannot now state them sufficiently even
to explain my suggestions, but hope to be able to speak more definitely
in a few days.

"Mr. V. B. was perhaps less impressed with the importance of the paper
than yourself, and circumstances of delicacy prevented my taking
that view of the subject. Nevertheless, he was anxious to have it
undertaken, and, since my return, tho I have in no measure availed
myself of the aid which he was willing to render, our people seem
better inclined than I expected. Still, the experiment cannot be
regarded as tested."


  "SENATE CHAMBER, WASHINGTON, _April 11, 1844_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Having labored in vain during the whole of yesterday to
find time to write to you my promised letter, and not having approached
the probability of such leisure between 8 o'clock A.M. and 12 o'clock
P.M., I now take my seat for the purpose.

"I have conversed as extensively as I could with our Western friends
upon the subject of the paper of which we take,[6] and all I can say,
as to the result of my conferences, is that no dependence can be made
upon them, beyond a reasonable effort to extend the subscription, in
case we shall conclude to take the hazard of making the attempt to
establish the paper. The same feeling of which I spoke to you has
produced the influences I supposed it would, and it, together with the
efforts we are making here to distribute documents, has cooled the
anxiety formerly expressed for such a paper, and especially so when a
suspicion arises that the man's own pocket may be connected with the
effort to establish the paper.

"Still, I confess, I have not been able to diminish, to my own mind,
the importance of such a paper to our cause. I think our State press,
as a general remark, in a very bad state for the pending contest. The
country press has been, time immemorial, accustomed to look to the
_Argus_ for lead and tone in these great fights, but the _Argus_,
during the whole time we have been here, appears to me to have been
insensible of the pendency of the contest, as perfectly unaware of
what appears to me to be its true character. It is not my object to
complain of the _Argus_, and I doubt not that the singular and very
unfortunate state of things at Albany has embarrassed its cause, and
perhaps presented reasons for its silence upon national questions, of
which I am ignorant. In any event, the _Argus_ furnishes no lead to the
country press; we have no weekly general paper, and the Whigs, through
the showers of the _Tribune_ which they are pouring over the State, are
doing much to get the start of us and to turn the current of feeling
with the impulsive and unthinking against us. At least these are my
fears, and it seems to me that these must be the natural consequences
of constant effort and allegation and falsehood on the one side, and
comparative silence upon the other. Of this, however, our friends
at home can judge much better than I can, and I therefore renew the
advice I gave you before we parted here, to go and make Mr. Van Buren
a leisurely visit, and take his counsel and advice about the whole
matter, and act as he shall think best.

"You will not be surprised when I tell you that the news from your
charter election[7] has thrown everything here, for this morning, into
that state of excitement and confusion which renders it troublesome for
one to keep cool and good-natured both. After some months of constant
session, the atmosphere becomes so thoroughly tainted here, and the
members of Congress themselves become either so far corrupted, or so
lost in their remembrances of home and what the people really are, that
they are really more childish and more excitable than so many children,
and it takes more patience than I can command to bear up against their
whims. In the result of your charter election I have experienced little
disappointment, and see no great cause of alarm. If our press would
improve the advantages it presents, it appears to me it could not fail
to fix the Irish and other emigrant vote throughout the country; but
in this, as in other things, I fear we shall feel the want of some
paper which is recognized as having a lead and giving the facts and the
aims of the whole party. The _Post_ is well edited for its place and
circulation, but its exchange-list, I suppose, is not the broadest,
and it never has been looked to for the party lead. I say this in no
disparagement to Mr. Bryant, for no one holds him in higher estimation
than I do, and it is our own fault and not his that his paper has not
held the leading place.

"But I must return to the subject of my letter, and writing, as I do,
in my seat, and in the hearing of an excited debate, I can say little
more, even upon that. You can tell Mr. V. B. all our views about the
proposed establishment of a paper as fully as I could repeat them
to you as to him if I had the time, and if he shall think that we
overestimate our need, or the utility of such a paper, if established,
I shall be perfectly content that any farther movement be abandoned.
If he thinks it best for you to consult any of our friends at Albany
he will tell you who and how. You will let him know, too, that the
reason we did not think of Albany, rather than New York, was that we
supposed the state of things and state of feeling there to be such,
and the relations to our two papers there, those which would be likely
to defeat any movement made there with this view, or compel it to be
made either against active opposition from our own friends or under
dissatisfied feeling on the part of those connected with one of those

"It appears to me that if anything is to be done it should be done
quietly, so that the paper may commence with the nominations. I do
not doubt, if subscribers are sent here to be distributed, that many,
very many, subscribers will be obtained from without the State, and
especially from Indiana and Illinois, and probably from Ohio and
Michigan, but to that end all the time which can be given will be

"I must close, for I have been listening to speeches, while writing,
until I do not know what I have said or what I wanted to say. After
your return let me know the result of your mission as soon as you shall
find leisure.

  "I am, most truly, yours,
                           "SILAS WRIGHT."


"N. B.--I shall write to Mr. V. B. upon this subject by this mail,
and I think it not best for you to go up until after my letter can
reach him. May it not be best for you to drop him a note, saying that
you propose to make him a visit, naming the day, and telling him the
subject is that of a paper, about which you suppose I have written to

  "S. W."


  "WASHINGTON, _April 30, 1844_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter has come, and I have read it with deep
interest, but have not time to give you any answer beyond a mere note.
Events follow so thickly upon us now that I cannot promise when I shall
have another hour at command. The speech has been made, but it will
never be written, if I am overrun as I have been ever since it was

"Mr. V. B.'s Texas letter is producing the fever and fury which I
expected, but I hope feeling will, bye and bye, settle down to a
better state. There is great talk now of another candidate, as a third
candidate, but the members who join in the movement are, as far as I
can learn, much less in number than was expected, being, as is said
to-day, only about 20. I think the number will grow less.

"A single word about your effort. Do not involve yourself pecuniarily.
If you cannot see your way clear without that, let it go, for it is not
your duty to ruin yourself, even for such an object. Your views of the
indispensable necessity for minute organization are perfectly sound.

"All I can send to you is some copies of the Philadelphia Club
preparation, as I cannot get time to draw out in detail what I have
suggested for my own and other counties. You will do that better than I
can. I am called.

  "In great haste,
           "Most truly yours,
                      "SILAS WRIGHT."


[1] Henrietta was the sister of Samuel J. to whom, on the fifth of
the month preceding the date of this letter, for the first and only
occasion in his life he opened his mind on the subject of matrimony, a
topic at that time of serious concern to her. See _Bigelow's Life of
Tilden_, Vol. I., p. 80. Before the expiration of the year of which
this letter bears date, she died. The brother when he wrote this letter
was living with an aunt who kept a boarding-house at what was then the
upper part of Broadway.

[2] Proprietor of the Hartford _Times_ at the date and United States
Senator from Connecticut.

[3] Lewis Gaylord Clark.

[4] The place of attorney for the City and County of New York for which
this address to the Democratic members of the Common Council, was the
only office Mr. Tilden ever held by appointment. He held it but about
one year, during which time he docketed 123 judgments for violations of
city ordinances.

[5] This letter first appeared in print in the _Life of Tilden_, Vol.
I., p. 102.

[6] The paper here referred to was the New York _Daily News_. For an
account of Tilden's connection with its establishment and management,
see _Life of Tilden_, Vol. I., p. 108.

[7] The triumph of the Native American party.


The purpose of the advisers of President Polk to prostrate the
political organization of which Mr. Van Buren and Governor Wright
were the most conspicuous representatives was scarcely disguised in
the appointment of Mr. Van Ness as Collector of the Port of New York.
Their part in preventing the organization of five more slave States,
with their ten pro-slavery Senators, instead of one State with but two
pro-slavery Senators, was such an offence to the Nullifiers of the
South that the President, a citizen of a slave State, was compelled
very reluctantly to yield to it and use his patronage accordingly.

The effort was made to seduce Tilden from his allegiance to his friends
in New York by the offer of the naval office, then a lucrative and
honorable position. Tilden had but just completed the thirty-first year
of his age; the emoluments of the office were some twenty thousand
dollars a year; the labor and responsibility inconsiderable. Tilden
was poor, and many years must elapse before he could hope for any
such revenue from his profession. The offer, however tempting it was,
he promptly declined, saying that he did not labor for the election of
President Polk to push his private interests; that when he was admitted
to the bar he resolved that he would hold no merely lucrative office,
and that, if he took any, it must be in the line of his profession or
a post of honor, but under the then existing circumstances he could
accept of nothing from this administration.

From this time forth there were practically two Democratic parties,
so called, in the State of New York: one led by William L. Marcy, and
vulgarly known by their adversaries sometimes as "Hardshells," and
sometimes as "Hunkers," who were either in favor of or not opposed
to the extension of slavery into the free Territories from which it
had been excluded by the ordinance of 1789; and the other led by
Silas Wright while he lived, also vulgarly known sometimes as the
"Softshells," and sometimes as "Barnburners," who were opposed to the
extension of slavery into those Territories.

Though the division lines of these parties, like those of latitude and
longitude, were not visible to the eye, nor the parties themselves
sufficiently organized to occupy hostile camps, the ends towards which
they were severally working were quite as distinct as if they were.

The following letter was probably addressed to William L. Marcy, who
had allowed himself to be made the instrument of the pro-slavery
contingent in New York, and had been on that account selected by the
President as his Secretary of War.[8]


  "NEW YORK, _1845_.

"I cannot give you in full detail the grounds of the almost universal
odium with which Mr. Van Ness is regarded by the Democracy of this city
and State, but will briefly allude to some of them.

"His appointment was not originally recognized as a Democratic one
or received from a recognized Democratic President. He was personally
and politically a stranger; did not occupy that proper representative
relation to the party here to make his selection proper or acceptable,
or to give him or entitle him to their confidence. On the contrary, all
that was known of his private character and of his political tendencies
was calculated to repel such confidence.

"His conduct since has confirmed and exacerbated the sentiments with
which his original appointment was regarded. In his official action
and his political influence he has been the mere representative and
instrument of a miserable little faction, whose fortunes he has solved
equally when it was in a state of partial alienation and open hostility
to the Democratic party and its regular nominations. For months after
Mr. Polk's nomination, for two-thirds of the whole canvass, he was an
open and decided supporter of Mr. Tyler. All sorts of intrigue were
employed by this little band of officeholders and their dependents to
exact from the mass of the party a partial approval of Mr. Tyler's
administration and an adoption of his appointments as a condition
precedent to his withdrawal. Such had been the abuses and corruptions
of his administration in the use of its patronage here--incredible
to those who like yourself have looked upon them from a less central
position--and shocking to the moral sense of honest men of all parties;
such was the general disgust and hostility pervading the masses of the
Democracy which had been for several years vexed by the abuses and
corruptions of the government patronage employed for the purpose of
distracting the party; so large was the number who had been the subject
of exclusion and proscription because of their very political fidelity,
and so large also the number who desired a new distribution of official
favors, that such a concession as was demanded would have revolted
public sentiment, in all probability have lost this city by a very
large majority. Such was the conviction at the time of our soundest and
most judicious men, who kindly and temperately but firmly resisted and
defeated the project.

"The perilous crisis in our local politics you may form some idea
of, if you will remember that there were then, delicately poised and
uncertain to go for Clay or Polk until within a few weeks of the
election, a body of men more than sufficient to have changed the
result in this State. Mr. Polk has now to choose between the 19/20ths
of the party and this faction; between the disinterested and honest who
were true to his and the party's interest, and the venal gathered from
all former parties into the common receptacle of Tylerism, who would
have sacrificed both to their own mercenary objects. His choice between
them will indicate the _morale_ of his character and administration.
Ever since Mr. Tyler's attempt in 1841 to become the Presidential
candidate of the Democracy, the patronage of the government in this
city has been assiduously employed to harass or control the party here.
It was managed by Mr. Curtis, who was skilful in if not the originator
of all the corrupt tactics of the Glentworth school; and since his
removal, his machinery has been used by Mr. Van Ness [with] much more
industry and zeal and with no less profligacy."

TILDEN TO WM. H. HAVEMEYER[9] (probably)

  "WASHINGTON, _March 4, 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have received your letter of yesterday, which is much
more acceptable than your personal presence. Indeed, I suppose that
your intelligence from Albany would have changed the design, even if
you had entertained it, of coming here. _I_ did not expect you to start
before Mon. morning.[10]

"As far as your personal position is concerned, it is sustained by your
renewed declension--perhaps uttered, although that it did not need.
For be assured that nothing has been done to bring in question the
sincerity and reality of your declension, as well as the good faith of
your grounds, but everything to satisfy both. It, however, does lessen
our right, or _apparent_ right, to complain of the precipitancy of Mr.
Polk's action before the receipt of Mr. Van Buren's letter.

"I judge from your letter that every time the excitement of the
particular motive operating on your mind for the moment to accept any
department, subsides, your aversion returns and strengthens. This shows
that it is the predominant and settled conviction, which ought not to
be, without imperative necessity, disregarded, and applies even in
the case of a _recast_. In this connection, I should add to the hasty
view of the affair I yesterday gave you that Bancroft thinks that if
you had accepted the War a recast could have been had, and intimates
the possibility as if from the President. This may be so--others have
thought so the whole time--but I doubt, for reasons I will explain when
I see you.

"Last evening we had an interview with the President. Representations
had been made to him which were repeated by us and which he said
_convinced_ him of his error, but it was now too late to retract if the
Heavens and the Earth came together. He assured us that he had acted
from misinformation, and with the best intentions--that he would do all
he could to counteract the consequences of his error--that he should
be President himself, although not coming in with the same personal
strength as some of his predecessors, and would protect us from any
malign influences--that in regard to the important appointments in N.
Y. he would rely on his old friends and act with the concurrence of V.
B. and W. He has repeatedly and to different persons pledged himself as
to the Collector. His asseverations of attachment, fidelity, and fair
dealing towards N. Y. were earnest and strong, almost passing dignity,
yet with an air of sincerity which made a strong impression as to mere
personal intentions.

"Still I have perhaps more fears than hopes. The administration is
captured by the quasi-Van Buren men who went with us before Baltimore
but deserted us there; who cannot risk the power of the government in
those who understand and remember them; and confederate now against
Wright. At least that seems to me the influence--which in spite of
Polk's probable intentions--has shaped the Cabinet. Calhoun has no
share. There will be no one in the Cabinet on whom N. Y. can rely.
Buchanan you know. Walker has a strong will enough to predominate over
all the rest. Marcy is taken by the same influence which selected
Walker because while he answers some of the demands of decency towards
N. Y. is least identified with Wright. Mason, Atty. Gen. (unless ____
to James) and R. Johnson. How can Bancroft stand up against all the

  "Truly y'rs,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _March 8, 1845_.

"DEAR SIR,--I have seen Secor. He says that he only contemplated
speaking to Langley, if you had no objection, but to go no further.
That he did not suppose you understood or thought or expected him to
transfer to anybody unless for a price. That he would write to you

"You will see Purdy is going ahead for Collector. He has been
recommended by both of the Genl. Committees, various ward associations,
and a German meeting. Secor tells me he also has a strong letter
from Van Buren, and he went to Albany last night to get testimonials
from there, I suppose. If he is appointed he will fill the Custom
House with a laughable assortment--good, bad, and indifferent. I am
inclined to believe that he will be more thorough in turning out than
we expected. Of course you understand that all his recommendations are
bargained for; places are to be given to the men who get them up. If he
succeeds you may rely that the dissatisfaction which his appointment
will excite will be excessive. There is one way to [head?] him. That
is a merchants' memorial, asking that none but a commercial man be
appointed. This would do, and Havemeyer could be made Collector and
Purdy Postmaster. But nothing ought to be done unless Polk is entirely

"Henry, my brother, is just down, has been at Albany. Our friends
are very much dissatisfied. Polk's offers to Wright and Butler are
not regarded as having been made in good faith. It is supposed that
he has his eye on a second term. I incline to concur in the first
partially--that is, they were mere compliments--not in the second.
I think Polk is as weak as dish-water, but honest. If he is really
so, and could or would be wise, he should send in Havemeyer's name
forthwith. I do not believe that our friends north of this can be
induced to urge it. By the way, Purdy's movements to get this office
are, and his appointments would be, a second edition of Jesse Hoyt's.
This is by far the most important thing to be seen to now.

"I suppose if Bancroft is confirmed you will get on finely with the
Renshaw business. There will be nothing to call you home in some days.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                                "N. J. W.

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._"


  "HUDSON, _March 17, 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--An hour or so before I left Washington I learned of an
act of my friend O'Sullivan which gave me some annoyance and which I
intended at once to explain to you. I should have done so before except
for a rapid current of business which hurried me here.

"You might, fairly enough, perhaps, suppose that O'S.'s act, although
not instigated by me, was induced by his knowledge of my views. But
such an inference would be unjust to me. I suppose the thing was
suggested to him by two circumstances. First, his knowledge that Mr.
Croswell had, in December, proposed it to me with some urgency, and,
as (after casting about to discover his motive for a proposition which
had until then never been presented to my own mind) I concluded to
interest myself in behalf of Gov. Marcy for a Cabinet appointment,
which I had at the time declined to do. Second, the arrival the night
before of a gentleman from New York who said that my name had been
discussed--in highly respectable quarters certainly--in reference to
the Collectorship. In reply to some remarks of O'S. afterwards, I
said that even if that idea had been seriously entertained I should
not desire the place both from inadequacy to its physical labor and
aversion to its hangman's duty at the present time. In that connection,
the other place was spoken of as free from these objections and nearly
as advantageous to me personally, and in reference to the political
administration, as the Collectorship; but I said, that while the large
value and light labor of it would be attractive, I should hesitate
to take it, even if it were offered to me, which I certainly did not
expect, from reluctance to hold a mere _pecuniary_, professional
office, and to surrender or so far postpone my professional pursuits. I
did not, I suppose, decide the question, because spoken of casually, as
it was, I had no thought that it was, or was ever to become, a case to
be decided.

"The moment I learned what O'S. had done, I told him that it was
wrong--that you and Mr. V. B. ought, in no case, to make any
recommendations until the Collectorship was settled and settled
properly, because it might, on some pretence or claim of apportionment
between the different sections of the party, embarrass that case. I
should have written on my way back to that effect had not Gen. Dix,
whom I saw just as I was starting, told me he had done so.

Aside from this, I considered the question a balanced one, which I
could not decide in favor of acceptance without some consideration and
advice. Under no circumstances which I now contemplate could I present
myself as an _applicant_ for a place of this description. I did not
know that after what has occurred you and Mr. V. B. would intermeddle
at all in such matters."


  "ALBANY, _May 1, 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your note of the 26. ult. was duly recd. and I will
attempt to give you a brief reply to it.

"The pardon of Honoria Shepherd was granted upon the exclusive
application of the Inspectors and Keepers of the Prison, upon the
ground that she was effectually reformed, and that longer confinement
would be injurious, and not beneficial. Miss Bruce, one of the
Assistant Matrons of the prison, came up in person to get the pardon,
and said her health compelled her to leave the prison, that she was
about to go to Illinois to reside, and that she proposed to take
Honoria with her, and keep her with her in Illinois.

"I have sent copies of all the papers in this case to Judge Edmonds,
who was a leading person in the application, upon whom I principally
relied, and he will show them to you, if you wish to look at them. He,
too, will advise about any defence of men in this case.

"Thomas Henry was pardoned upon the recommendation of the Board of
Inspectors of the prison, upon the ground that he was in a confirmed
consumption, was a patient in the Hospital, a constant expense, and
must remain so while he lived, and that he had friends who were willing
to receive, nurse, and take care of him, if pardoned. This was a
voluntary report of the Board of Inspectors, embracing the report
of the Surgeon upon 13 permanent invalid Convicts, only two of whom
were known to have friends able or willing to take and take care of
them, and those the inspectors recommended for pardons, considering
it inhumane to ask pardons for the others to turn them out sick and
without home, or friends. I. Parsons of your city is the father-in-law
of Henry, and takes him to take care of him. Parsons is a Ship joiner
and Spar maker, and his daughter, the wife of Henry, who came for the
pardon, has a highly respectable appearance.

"The pardon of George Potter was granted upon the application of
William F. Godfrey of your City, who gave his address to me as No. 94
Grove Street. He brought a letter of introduction to Judge Edmonds,
speaking of him as his neighbor, referring to his business and saying
'I beg to say that you can fully rely upon his representations in the

"Godfrey presented a petition numerous and respectably signed,
representing Potter, though guilty, as the dupe of old offenders, the
offence for which he was convicted as his first offence, and him as
very penitent and subdued, and earnestly praying his pardon.

"Potter was arrested on fresh pursuit, on the charge of picking a
pocket in Broadway, and the report of the testimony showed that he
was one of 4 or 5 who must have committed the felony. One witness was
very positive that Potter took the pocket book, but another witness
testified that he arrested Potter, that he kept his eye upon him from
the time he started to run, and that, upon search, no pocket book, or
money, was found upon him. Yet that he was principal or accessory,
there is no doubt.

"A letter from James M. Smith Jr., Attorney for Potter on his trial,
says Potter always avowed that he did not pick the pocket, and
expresses the belief that, though guilty, he was the dupe of others.

"A letter from the Keeper of the Prison says 'Potter has conducted
_very_ well, since he has been an inmate of this prison, and he appears
to show deep contrition for his "_crime_" and degradation; but he is a
man of peculiar temperament, which renders it extremely difficult to
judge, with any degree of certainty, the true state of his feelings.'

"This is a brief sketch of the paper case presented. Mr. Godfrey
assumed to speak of Potter from personal knowledge, and said he came
to this country from England, some year and a half ago, a young man,
with a wife and two or three children, and with $15,000 in cash;
that he fell into the company of some English blacklegs in New York,
who induced him to gamble, drink, and carouse with them, until they
stripped him of his money, and vitiated his habits, and rendered him
desperate from want, when they commenced to initiate him into the art
and mysteries of picking pockets; that in his first attempt he was
caught and convicted, while the real rogues and the booty escaped; that
his friends in England had been kept in ignorance of his course and his
fate; that they were wealthy and respectable; that friends in New York
had sent his wife and children to them, instructing her not to tell of
his condition; and that they were satisfied his disgrace and punishment
had prepared him, if pardoned and sent to them, to pursue a different
and an honest and respectable course, and they only asked a pardon
conditioned that he should leave the country, never to return to it.

"Confiding in these representations of Mr. Godfrey, I granted the
pardon with such a condition, and I now suppose Potter sailed for
England either on the 15th or 20th of April.

"Since I have seen the strictures in the newspapers upon this case,
I have been very fearful that I was imposed upon by Mr. Godfrey, and
especially as he has not come forward either to justify, or excuse, my
act. I did act principally upon his representations, under Mr. Edmond's
endorsement of him, and I should, at the least, have required him to
put those statements upon paper, and made them upon his oath. I did

"Now as to the matter of explanation and defense, I have felt in no
haste, because I am sensible that I may deserve some castigation for
having been too yielding in the first and last of these cases, and I
have endeavored to school myself neither to wince, nor to be made sour
by fault finding, which I am conscious I deserve, but to try to be
improved and made better by it. If I were to make a defence for myself
I should make about the substance of these remarks and this Confession
a preface to it, and yet it might not be either very graceful, or very

"This matter of pardons is the most troublesome to me of anything I
yet find connected with my troublesome office. The applications will,
I think, average from 3 to 5 per day, from the day I took the oath of
office. My predecessor left an enormous legacy of undecided cases, and
several with promises of pardons after specific periods, which are
occasionally falling in, and this has greatly increased my labor.

"I do not intend to exercise this fearful power carelessly, or loosely,
and yet I feel daily that I am in danger of doing it. I find that
Courts, and Judges, and Jurors, and District Attorneys, sign with some
of the facility which attends applications for office, and that the
officers of the prison are also sometimes under the influence of the
amiable weakness, so that there is no standard by which I can govern my
action, and it is probably impossible to avoid occasional impositions.

"I thank you most sincerely for your friendly care, manifested by your
note, and will now leave these cases with you, and Mr. O'Sullivan, with
whom I had a hasty verbal conversation about them yesterday.

"Will you do me the favor to read this hasty letter to my friend Judge
Vanderpoel, and say to him that I should have written it to him, if
I had not preferred to trouble you with it, that I thank him most
earnestly for his letter to Mr. Van Buren, and have intended to write
him daily, since I saw that letter, but have not been able to find
the time; and that, while I will hold this as the necessary answer
from me to the part of it touching pardons, I will soon write him a
satisfactory reply to the personal portions of it, for which I also
thank him, as he is one of the last men I would have intentionally
wounded by a careless, and what was intended to be a jocose remark.

  "I am Very Truly Y'rs,
                         "SILAS WRIGHT."


  "WASHINGTON, _May 31_ (_Sat._), _2:30 P.M., 1845_.

"MY DEAR O'S.,--At the levee last evening which I attended for the
purpose, I made an appointment with the Pres., and am now waiting in
the War for the Cabinet to disperse.

"In the afternoon I had seen Ritchie for a few moments, and made an
engagement with him. I had a considerable talk with Seth Barton at
the levee and with Tom Green at breakfast. All of them introduced
the subject of the Collectorship, and all of them especially warned
me against imprudence or menace in the interview which they seem to
assume I am to have with the Pres.--all tell me he is very sensitive
to the idea of compulsion--and that the greatest obstacle we have is
the indiscretion of some of us or of those who favor us. They all are
exceedingly afraid that they may be thought to be afraid, which shows,
I suppose, that they are only calmly conscious of their own courage.
But only think of it--such admonitions to _me_! the very incarnation of
Falstaffian valor!

"I replied to Ritchie's caution--which was the first I received; and
which was given when I was talking with some decision, with great
dignity. I _ought_ to have thanked him for its good intention while I
intimated that it was superfluous--I told him that I did not come here
to forget what was due to Mr. Polk or what was due to myself; I had no
design to obtrude upon the President; I had no personal interest in the
question about Van Ness or any solicitude except as it should affect
the party and the administration; my only doubt was whether I should
seek an interview on the subject; I was willing to state facts, make
explanations, expose the whole truth, if the President desired to hear
it, respectfully but frankly; the administration was mainly interested
in coming to a right decision. We had no idea of hostility to it if
it was faithful to our principles--the only question was whether it
was to assail us. All we asked of it was to let us alone. Our politics
were now in excellent condition. We could take care of the Whigs and
Conservatives together if the administration would not systematically
embarrass us, and I rather thought we could if it did. But we thought
we were entitled to an amnesty from our friends at least while we were
so busy with our enemies. The old gentleman seemed greatly mystified,
but I promised to explain hereafter.


"_Sund. Morn._

"I was not able to send my letter yesterday, and now add a word. I
had an interview with the President yesterday. I ran over the case of
Van Ness pretty freely. He replied at considerable length, _ascribing
the delay in his removal to the improper manner in which it had been
demanded_. He did not _say_, but implied that he had never intended
not to remove him; made no defence or argument on the question of its
propriety; merely excused the delay. Mr. Butler, he said, had written
to him that it would do no harm to retain him until the year expired,
if it were immediately announced that a particular man would then be
appointed. He complained bitterly of the attempts to intimidate and
coerce him--talking magnificently about being himself President and the
_locum tenen_ for nobody; said that in his own time, perhaps Monday,
perhaps afterwards, Van Ness should be removed, but swore with that
terrible oath, "if the heavens and the earth come together," by which
Ritchie and Green and Barton had successively warned me he might refuse
if a mischance word of mine should chafe his angry mood, that he would
not appoint Coddington. He should select a man, he said, who would be
received with applause throughout the State; on his own judgment, whom
he knew and had served with. Who that man was he did not say and I did
not inquire, though I did express myself with some freedom as to what
the man should do. Probably the question may now be deemed settled; for
you remember he employed the same planetary concussion to illustrate
the fixed irrevocable fate by which Marcy was to represent New York in
the Cabinet. His solemn form of fiat, I suppose, answers as the "By the
Eternal" of the younger Hickory, and, being partly of earth and partly
of heaven, is undoubtedly of an improved quality of imaginary thunder.
Still it did not shake my nerves, as a lady's displeasure might. I took
it quietly, and talked occasionally as I had a chance, not so fully
on all points as I wished, or mean, if an opportunity comes unsought;
but, although I was conscious of having exposed myself to a part of a
very respectable performance for the benefit of the rebellious Butler,
Dix, and O'Sullivan, in which, perhaps, I might lose a little when
it came to be privately repeated to the Cabinet and confidants, I
thought that, nevertheless, I should not be justified in converting
farce into tragedy. So I behaved well and was myself well treated. I
inquired what was the 'intimidation' and 'coercion' referred to, and
I believe was not very definitely answered. The only specification I
got was letters from three--not more, he said, than three persons,
whose names, he said, he would not tell me--who might never know
about it themselves, whom he could not answer without getting into a
correspondence inconsistent with his dignity, who might not be aware of
the expressions they had incautiously and rashly used. Your letter to
Bancroft was distinctly alluded to as, among other offences, alleging
'violated pledges.' I expressed great doubts whether its contents had
not been exaggerated, and when he said he had not seen it, and it was
not intended for him, advised him to get it and read it. The warmth of
these communications I vindicated as true representations of public
feeling, expressed in honest freedom; though this part of the subject
came up when the interview was forced to a close, and I could not do
full justice. Some explanations, which it was not prudent to make in
the danger of exoneration, I have since made to his intimates with
kindness but clearness and coldness, and shall to him if circumstances
solicit. Am not I a lucky fellow? Soothed all day by the fiery
Southerns, and then sitting quietly, as in a summer shower, when the
storm is beating fiercely on those imprudent young men, Butler, Dix,
O'Sullivan--even, while refreshing myself, putting up my umbrella to
protect them! I only _talked_ treason.

"He felt deeply the warm letter of his old friend Hoffman--an honest
man. He would swear by him, live by him, die by him. I added Mr.
H. was a true-hearted man--he was the last man almost from whom I
parted; I had a long conversation with him. He fully concurred in the
indispensable necessity of removing Van Ness--in the earnest and strong
convictions expressed by the others on that subject. The Pr. replied
not. I think it was he that told me, and then that there had been
letters saying that Hoffman would make his own acceptance conditional
on V. N.'s removal. No, it was Cave Johnson afterwards.

"The President expressed great sorrow that he could not see Silas
Wright for an hour and have his advice. As to what, I did not certainly



                             EAST HAMPTON, _June 21, 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I wrote to you some time ago in relation to the N.
Y. collectorship. Since then the matter has been disposed of; but
in such a way that I naturally feel a curiosity to know, as far as
it is proper that I should, the ground taken by the President in
declining to appoint Mr. Coddington. I have seen a letter designed as a
justification of the Cabinet in the matter; but there is no allusion in
it to assurances given to others as well as myself that the appointment
would be made in accordance with the wishes of Mr. Wright and his

"My letter, I presume, reached you; but as I have heard nothing from
you in relation to your visit to Washington, it has occurred to me that
there might have been some mistake about it.

  I am, Dr. Sir, Yours truly,
                            "JOHN A. DIX."


                             "NEW YORK, _October 13, 1845_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--Contrary to my expectations, I find my name among those
from which your convention are about to select candidates for the
Assembly. I had so uniformly expressed my strong repugnance to any
nomination this fall, and the grounds of it, that I did not suppose
any misapprehension could exist on the subject; but I am now compelled
to ask you to lay this communication before the body over which you

"If the present were an occasion of peculiar or unusual importance,
and if I flattered myself that I was capable of rendering essential
service on such an occasion--nothing, in my power and consistent with
other obligations, would be withheld, or ever will be withheld, from
the interest, the honor, or the wishes of the Democratic party. But I
am not able to take any view of the time or of myself which does not
allow me, in this political calm, to devote myself to professional and
private business on which alone I rely for an independent livelihood,
and which the more imperatively claims my attention now from the
partial withdrawal of it during the great contest of last year. I,
therefore, respectfully decline a nomination.

  Truly Y'r Friend,
                      "S. J. TILDEN."

As Mr. Wright had yielded very reluctantly, and more to Mr. Tilden's
solicitations than probably to those of any other person, to leave
the Federal Senate to be the Governor of New York, he had a right to
insist upon Mr. Tilden's coming to the legislature, where his services
were regarded by Mr. Wright as practically indispensable to him in the
discharge of his executive duties. Mr. Tilden therefore did not press
his objection to the nomination he had declined.


  "NEW YORK, _November 4 (1 P.M.), 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I thank you for your two letters, tho' I have not before
been able to reply to them.

"My opinion is that our whole Assembly ticket will be elected. Col.
Stevenson may be in danger, and if the current opinion were reliable
would be, but I think he will succeed. As to myself, the opposition at
the country meeting was inconsiderable in point of numbers; but it was
the only hostile organization not counteracted by a friendly one, and I
am the only candidate left off from any of the pretendedly Democratic
ballots. I expect to be scratched by some of those who were hostile to
Mr. Van Buren, some of those who are hostile to Mr. Wright--the Tyler
rowdies and the Walsh men."


"The Board of County Canvassers of the City and County of New York,
having canvassed and estimated the votes given in the several election
districts of said city and county at a general election held the fourth
day of November, 1845, do hereby certify, determine, and declare that
Alexander Stewart, Alexander Wells, _Samuel J. Tilden_, Jonathan D.
Stevenson, John E. Develin, Gerardus Boyce, Joseph C. Albertson, Wilson
Small, James H. Titus, Robert H. Ludlow, Joshua Fleet, Thomas Spofford,
and John Townsend, by the greatest number of votes, were duly elected
members of Assembly.

"And the said Board of County Canvassers do further certify, determine,
and declare that Samuel Osgood, by the greatest number of votes, was
duly elected Register of the City and County of New York.

  "Dated New York, November 21, 1845.

                                             "B. J. MESEROLE,
                           "ALEX. H. ROBERTSON, _Chairman_.
                              "_Deputy County Clerk and Secretary._"


  "WASHINGTON, _December 19, 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I sent you Fremont's report, which I presume you have
ere this received.

"As to matters here, I really know as little as yourself--I mean of
the views and intentions of the administration. My intercourse with
the President is official; and the Secretary of the Treasury I have
not yet seen. I came here with the determination of acquiescing in
whatever should be desired in respect to organization. I have acted on
this determination. In respect to measures, I consider myself free to
act according to the dictates of my judgment. Happily, the President's
recommendations I cordially approve, and I shall give them my zealous
support. Where we shall land is doubtful. We have an able and adroit
opposition; and advantage will be taken of the minutest error in our
movements. We had abundant proof of this in the matter of Cass's
resolutions. I never saw two cleverer cases of genteel sparring than
that of Cass by Crittenden and Allen by Clayton.

"I wish to open a correspondence with Mr. Kittell. Will you put me in
the way of it?

"There are a few measures I have much at heart--the warehouse system
and the branch mint at N. Y.; the great measures, of course, take care
of themselves.

"You know I shall always be happy to hear from you. I will write when I
can. But I am a new member, have everything to learn, and not half time
enough to learn it in.

"I cannot yet say whether there is any truth in the report as to
Lawrence. His name is not yet before us. Indeed, we were in executive
session yesterday for the first time, and I suppose the President has
been waiting for us to organize before sending in the great mass of his

  "Yours truly,
                     "JOHN A. DIX."


  "NEW YORK, _December 25, 1845_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--A few days since I received a note from your brother
requesting me to call and see him, and I was distressed to find that
in the short interval since I had last met him his health had become
so dangerously worse. He is anxious to obtain a consulship or some
other place which will give him the benefit of a climate better
adapted to a chronic pulmonary disease, and a reasonable support while
subjecting himself to its remedial influence. I need not say I felt
a strong sympathy for him; but I feel some disability for rendering
him useful aid, which I will in part explain and which he and you
will appreciate. Although he sustained the Democratic ticket at the
late general election, and did service which I understand has been
handsomely recognized by the President, his course was so little
conspicuous that the impression left by his association with former
events will naturally predominate in the minds of the party generals.
If, therefore, the administration should regard the case in the light
of mere party expediency, I do not think I could in candor towards them
say what would be of much avail to him; especially as caution in my
expressions being the more necessary lest I should expose myself to be
quoted not merely as offering a particular instance in regard to which
I should have no hesitation if it stood alone, but as contributing to
and thus sanctioning a general distinction of local patronage which
is objected to, in part on the same ground on which this might be
exposed to unfriendly criticism, and which has prevailed here in the
lesser appointments which most interest the mass of the party to an
extent that excites very great dissatisfaction. Nor does it seem to
me that formal recommendations can at all benefit your brother, nor
anything which I might say in his behalf, unless the administration
desired affirmatively to do something for him. If such be their real
feeling--if they regard his case as one to be controlled by liberal
considerations, if they recognize the strong appeal it makes to their
humanity, and if they are nevertheless restrained by solicitude as
to how the appointment would be received by their political friends
here--it is possible that I may be of some little service to him,
in the only contingency in which it seems to me any service can be
efficient. The object of my letter is to assure you that if the
administration take favorable views of the matter, as I hope and trust
they may, I shall be ready to do what I can to cause the appointment
to be well received by the party here; and that such, I believe,
will be the general disposition of those of our friends to whom the
circumstances are made known. The only hesitation I have in saying this
is lest it may be assuming in me; but if you think it will do your
brother any good, you may communicate it for that purpose. I did not
venture to write to anybody other than yourself lest, in my ignorance
of the state of feeling on which my letter might fall, and however
guarded my language might be, I should unwittingly do harm, which,
however frankly I may write to you, I shall avoid, even if I fail to do

"With the best wishes for the success of this object and your welfare,

  Truly y'rs,
                   "S. J. TILDEN."

The Albany _Argus_, since the election of President Polk, had become
the organ and an extreme partisan of the so-called Hunker party and
champion of the policy of the Slavery Extensionists. One of the
consequences was the establishment of the _Atlas_ at Albany by the
friends of Van Buren and Wright. The _Argus_ was conducted by Edwin
Croswell, a then veteran journalist, and the _Atlas_ by a Mr. Van Dyke,
assisted by a very clever young man of Irish extraction named Cassidy.
These two prints registered the stages of the ineffectual struggle of
the Van Buren and Wright party with the administration at Washington, a
specimen of which is disclosed in the following correspondence between
Mr. Croswell, Mr. Tilden, and John Van Buren, a gifted son of the
ex-President Van Buren, and then rapidly becoming a conspicuous figure
in national politics.


  "ALBANY, _January 26, 1846_.

"DEAR SIR,--I am informed by a member of the Legislature, whose
veracity I cannot question, that you stated to him that I had made a
proposition in relation to a compromise of the questions of difference
between the _Argus_ and _Atlas_, which had been accepted by you or your
friends, but which I had flown from or violated under the pretence of
consulting my friends.

"Allow me to ask whether I am to understand you as having made such a

  "Very respectfully,
              "Yr. obt. servt.,
                        "E. CROSWELL."


  "ALBANY, _January 27, 1846_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The inquiry which your favor of yesterday contains is so
made up of statements and inferences--so very general in some respects,
and so imperfect in others--that an answer to it which expresses
neither more nor less than the truth must be more specific than you
seem to ask.

"I understood from gentlemen whose veracity I could not question
that on the Wednesday before the recent caucus you made to them a
communication to this effect:

"You said that it would not do for you to make any further proposition
relative to the union of the _Argus_ and _Atlas_, but you invited
a proposition to be made to you, the terms of which you specified
as follows: That the _Argus_ and _Atlas_ should be united, at an
appraised valuation; that the joint establishment should be owned by
Messrs. French, Cassidy, and Sherman Croswell in three equal parts;
that you should withdraw from the concern; that Messrs. Cassidy and
Sherman Croswell should be candidates for State printers; and that
the emoluments of that office, if it were conferred upon them, should
belong to the joint establishment.

"This proposition, you said, would be entirely acceptable to yourself,
and you expressed great confidence that you could induce your friends
in the Senate to confirm it. In that event, the bill purporting to
abolish the office of State Printer, of which you expressed decided
disapprobation, would, you hoped, be postponed or greatly modified
or defeated, and harmony, as you thought, restored to the Republican
party. The result of your efforts was to be communicated to those from
whom the proposition was in form to emanate before the assembling of
the caucus. Your suggestion was in all respects adopted and followed by

"Deriving from these facts, as well as from the interviews which you
had sought with me on the subject, strong hopes that an arrangement
satisfactory to all parties, consistent with public duty, and conducive
to the interests and the honor of the Democratic cause, would be
effected; and having reason to believe that more of the radical
Democrats of the Assembly and all those of the Senate would assent to
the union of the two papers (being first convinced that the advocacy
of sound Democratic doctrines would be essentially secured)--of which
fact you were, after consultation with them, advised--you may imagine
my surprise when, half an hour before the caucus met, I learned that,
although twenty-four hours had elapsed, you had not even communicated
with several of your prominent friends in the Senate; had not seen
your partner and relative, who is a member of your own family; had
failed to keep your appointments; and, when sent for, at my instance,
who was still unwilling to impute a design to evade, were unprepared
to close the negotiation, to make any definite arrangement, or even a
proposition. Attended as this failure was by the forcing through the
Senate, at an extra session, held in the mean time, by your friends,
of the bill you disapproved, and followed, as it has since been by
your advocacy in the _Argus_ of that bill, I am forced, in the absence
of all explanation, to entertain more distrust than I remember having
expressed, or wish to express, of a negotiation in which I engaged at
your solicitation.

"In regard to the particular language which your letter ascribes to
me, I have no recollection of having used it, nor does it, in the way
you have stated it, remind me of any conversation out of which the
information you repeat to me may have originated. Nor does it seem to
me in substance correct, so far as it may be construed to imply much
of a direct personal communication between you and me after the first
stage of the negotiation; or any effort to 'compromise the questions
of difference between the _Argus_ and _Atlas_,' further than to unite
these two papers, which I was sincerely anxious to bring about, and
after the intimations from you did actively recommend to my associate
Democrats of the Assembly, while I left them and myself at perfect
liberty to act according to our individual judgments and consciences
on any questions of reform in regard to the office or the functions of
the State Printer. But that I may not have adverted to the distinction,
if there be any in substance, between your making a proposition and
suggesting one to be made to you which you declared beforehand would be
entirely acceptable to you, and may have spoken in general terms of the
proposition as yours as well as that of those you represent, is very
possible; and that I may have casually expressed the sentiments which
the facts above stated necessarily excited, in regard to the part you
bore in the transaction is possible, though I do not remember having
done so, and I am sure if I have not the forbearance is to be imputed
solely to reluctance with which I have put an unfavorable construction
upon your conduct.

"If there is any explanation to be offered I should be glad to hear it,
and to learn if I have even in thought done you the least injustice.

  "With great respect, your obdt. servt.,
                                 "S. J. TILDEN."


  "(_Circa January 21, 1846._)

"DEAR SIR,--I have recd. your favor of the 26th inst. making certain
inquiries of me, and I very cheerfully state my recollections in regard
to them.

"On Wednesday, before the late caucus, I learned from gentlemen
of undoubted veracity that you had made to them the following
communication: You said that you would make no further propositions
in reference to the union of the _Argus_ and _Atlas_, but you invited
a proposition to be made to you, which you said would be entirely
acceptable to yourself, and expressed great confidence that your
friends in the Senate would be induced by you to confirm it. In that
event the bill to abolish the office of State Printer, pending in
the Senate, of which you expressed your decided disapprobation, you
hoped would be postponed and greatly modified or defeated, and harmony
restored to the Republican party. The result of your efforts was to be
communicated to those who were to make the proposition prior to the
assembling of the caucus. The precise offer that you invited was made
to you on Wedy. aftn.

"Hearing these facts, and having strong hopes that an amicable
arrangement satisfactory to all parties would be brought about thro'
your exertions, and having reason to believe that the great mass of the
radical Democrats of the Assembly and all those in the Senate approved
of the union of the two papers on the terms now suggested, which they
thought secured the advocacy of sound principles, you may imagine my
surprise on being informed, a half-hour before the caucus met, that
altho' more than 24 hours had intervened, you had not even communicated
with several of your personal friends in the Senate, had not been able
to see your own partner and cousin, who is a member of your family,
failed to keep yr. appointments, was found with difficulty, and was
not prepared when found to make any definite arrangement or even
proposition. Attended as this failure on your part was by the forcing
thro' the Senate by your friends of the bill you disapproved, and
followed by strong and indignant denunciations the next morning in the
columns of the _Argus_ of several leading Democrats in the Senate, and
warm advocacy of the same bill, I was forced, in the absence of all
explanation, to conclude that if you had not acted in bad faith you
had certainly trifled in a most extraordinary manner with a subject I
considered of great importance.

"Under these circumstances, I claim credit for myself in speaking of
your conduct with great forbearance, and have no recollection of using
the language you attribute to me in your note, tho', as I did not
advert to the distinction (if there be any in substance) between your
making a proposition and inviting one to be made to you, which you
declared beforehand would be acceptable to you, I have doubtless spoken
freely of the part you bore in the transaction as inexplicable and

"I shall be happy to hear any explanation you have to make, and glad to
know if I have unintentionally, even in thought, done you injustice."


"The Board of County Canvassers of the City and County of New York,
having canvassed and estimated the votes given in the several election
districts of said city and county at a general election held the
14th day of April, 1846, do hereby certify, determine, and declare
that Charles O'Connor, Henry Nicoll, _Samuel J. Tilden_, Benjamin F.
Cornell, Campbell P. White, Alexander F. Vache, Lorenzo B. Shepard,
John A. Kennedy, John L. Stephens, Robert H. Morris, William S. Conely,
David R. Floyd Jones, Solomon Townsend, John H. Hunt, Stephen Allen,
and George S. Mann, by the greatest number of votes, were duly elected
'Delegates to meet in convention for the purpose of considering the
Constitution of this State, and to make such alterations in the same
as the rights of the people demand and as they may deem proper, under
an act of the Legislature of the State of New York, entitled, "An act
recommending a convention of the people of this State." Passed May 13,

  "Dated May 11, 1846.

                                               "EGBERT BENSON,
                          "JAMES CONNER,
                                        "_County Clerk, Secretary_."


  "NEW YORK, _August 28, 1846_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Mr. Guion[11] visits Albany at my request to see you
and Kennedy, and through you to consult with others for the purpose
of finally ascertaining whether anything is to be done to sustain the
_News_. If anything is to be done it has got to be made available for
Monday. Unless some money is then obtained, that will be the last
number of the paper issued. I have the same opinion as before expressed
in relation to the great importance of sustaining the paper until after
the election at least; and I have stated to you the only plan I know of
for doing so. Gen. Spinner suggests that John G. Floyd be induced to
take the paper. With $3000 we can sustain the paper until January 1st.
With $2000 until November. If it should go down before the election it
will injure us greatly. Mr. Guion goes up at my earnest request, and
not that he has any further personal solicitude about the matter than
you and me and all our friends feel.

  "In haste, yours very truly,
                         "N. J. WATERBURY."

  "NEW YORK, _Sep. 8, 1846.
                "6 1/2 O'clk. P.M._

"DEAR TILDEN,--The long agony is over--the _Morning News_ is
dead--dead; no time to say more.

  "Truly y'rs,
                   "CLEMENT GUION."

The public interest in the history of the _Morning News_, of which
Mr. Tilden and John L. O'Sullivan were joint proprietors, may be said
to have terminated with the execution of the document of which the
following is a draft, found among Mr. Tilden's papers.


"S. J. T. retires--surrenders all his interest--is indemnified against
its outstanding liabilities.

"J. L. O'S. and H. G. L. (H. G. Langley) rearrange their proportion of
ownership. Hereafter to own equally. The difference of capital to be
equalled by credits to H. G. L., the necessary amount on his advances,
existing or prospective.

"H. G. L. contracts to devote himself faithfully to the business and
interests of the paper--to conduct with the utmost energy and fidelity
the procuring of advertisers.

"Failing to do this, he is to retire, giving O'S. all reasonable
facility to substitute some other persons on reasonable terms of sale.
All disputes and differences of opinion as to these stipulations to be
left to the decision of----"

The triumph of the pro-slavery party in the election of Mr. Polk
resulted in the revolt of Texas from Mexico, her annexation to the
United States, and a war with Mexico.

At the expiration of his term, Governor Wright was renominated almost
unanimously. If elected, nothing in the future appeared more certain
than that he would have been Mr. Polk's successor in the Presidency.
The reversion of the Chief Magistracy to such a formidable opponent of
slavery extension as Governor Wright, who could neither be corrupted
nor cajoled, was then regarded at Washington as a peril, to avoid
which no sacrifice was too great. The magnitude of the sacrifice of
Mr. Wright was as correctly appreciated at Washington, and by the very
men who were to offer it up as a propitiation to the demon of slavery,
as at Albany; but to the short-sighted vision of the statesmen then in
the ascendant at the national capital the political supremacy of the
slave-holding States was to be maintained at any price.

The influence of the Federal government was, therefore, all turned
against Mr. Wright at the Gubernatorial election in 1847, and it proved
to be sufficient to give a majority of some eleven thousand to John
Young, the candidate of the Whigs.

Mr. Wright, at the expiration of his term, returned to his home in St.
Lawrence County, consoled by the reflection that the evil consequences
of taking him from the Senate and making him a party to the faction
fights in New York had resulted as he had predicted--in disaster to the
party and in his own political destruction. He died within nine months
from his retirement.

The annexation of Texas and the war with Mexico which ensued resulted
in the acquisition of vast territories, sooner or later to be organized
into States, to be consecrated to freedom or to slavery. To open these
States to slavery and reinforce the slave representation in Congress,
it had become necessary to paralyze the Democratic party in New York.

The first steps towards this end had been taken in the defeat of Mr.
Van Buren's renomination for the Presidency, and putting a Southern
man in his place. The second had been taken in the defeat of Governor
Wright's re-election in 1847; the third, yet to be taken, was to
deprive the Democracy of New York of its legitimate influence in
Congress and the next Democratic national convention.

In this scheme the administration was entirely successful. At the
commencement of President's Polk's administration the Democratic
party was completely in the ascendant in New York. It had elected its
Governor and Lieutenant-Governor; it had a majority in both branches
of the Legislature, and a majority of the delegation in Congress.
At the expiration of two years its Chief Magistrate was a Whig, and
its Congressional delegation was reduced to a meagre minority. The
following year the whole legislative power of the State was transferred
to the Whigs by an overwhelming majority, and the schism in the party,
encouraged by the bestowal of all the patronage of the Federal
government upon the "Hunkers," had become irreparable.[12]


  "WASHINGTON, _January 2_, _1847_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Yours is received. I do not know whether I can have any
influence in the matter referred to, but will bear your wishes in mind.

"Everything here is in miserable condition. I do not know whether
Mexico will make peace, but I am sure she would not if she knew what a
state we are in. Still I hope for the best. Mr. Polk is in a minority
in both Houses. His most disinterested and reliable supporters are the
friends of those he has treated worst. I am sick of the whole concern,
and, most of all, of the miserable manoeuvring for high place, which is
beginning to show itself.

"If we had a discreet and energetic leader in Mexico, I think we might
bring the war to a close. But the lieutenant-general has been slain,
and with him I think dies all prospect of success by arms or diplomacy.
Our only chance is in luck, and Mr. Polk is so fortunate in getting out
of scrapes just when he is most straitened that I am inclined to bet on
him yet.

  "Yours in haste,
                       "JOHN A. DIX."


  "_April, 1848._

At the threshold of the Free-soil revolt of 1848, ex-President Van
Buren, who was spending the winter in lodgings at Julian's Hotel in
Washington Place, New York, said one day to Mr. Tilden, as he handed
him a roll of manuscript: "If you wish to be immortal, take this home
with you, complete it, revise it, put it into proper shape, and give it
to the public."

Mr. Tilden replied that he had not the slightest wish to be immortal
by any process that would impose upon him at that time any more labor;
but he consented to take the manuscript down to the residence of the
ex-President's son, John Van Buren, who then resided in White Street,
and he agreed that if John would do half of the work he would do the
other half. John did agree, and a few days after the interview referred
to, Tilden and John met at the ex-President's lodgings to report.

Mr. Van Buren opened the subject by asking what they had done with
Niagara Falls. This referred to a somewhat ambiguous metaphor which had
found its way into the ex-President's manuscript. "We have struck that
out," was the reply. He laughed, as if rather relieved at having an
unpleasant duty discharged by other hands, while they went on to read
the result of their joint labors.

After the address had received the combined approval of each party to
its composition, the next question was how to get it before the public.
After discussing various plans, they finally decided to issue it as
an address of the Democratic members of the Legislature. Accordingly,
on the 12th of April, Senator John G. Floyd, from the committee of
Democratic members of the Legislature to prepare and report an address,
read the paper to his colleagues, by whom it was unanimously adopted.
This memorable and epochal document was given at length in the _Public
Writings and Speeches of Tilden_, Vol. II., page 537. This address
deserves to be regarded as the corner-stone of the "Free-soil" party,
as distinguished from the party of unconditional abolition.


  "COLUMBUS, _June 19, 1848_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Many of our Free-Territory men in this quarter are in
doubt as to the course which the New York Democracy intend to pursue
in reference to the Buffalo convention. Will they be represented in
it? Will they concur in the nominations made by it? If Judge McLean
can be induced to accept a nomination for the Vice-Presidency, in
connection with Mr. Van Buren for the Presidency, will they cordially
accept it? If the convention, on mature deliberation, should think it
expedient to nominate Judge McLean for the Presidency and Col. Samuel
Young or Bradford R. Wood or yourself for the Vice-Presidency, would
the New York Democracy concur in that nomination? There is a strong
disposition, also, in the West to drop the older politicians altogether
and take younger men, who better represent the spirit of the time. One
of the best and ablest Democrats in the State, I mean Edwin M. Stanton,
said to me to-day that if John Van Buren should be the nominee of the
Buffalo convention he would roll up his sleeves and go to work till the
election for the ticket; and I am sure that to all the young Democrats
and all the young Whigs in the State your name would be more acceptable
than your father's. Suppose the convention should be animated by
this spirit and nominate men of this generation, would the New York
Democracy concur?

"I put these questions to indicate the various phases which the
movement may assume. My own opinion is that, under existing
circumstances, the best possible nomination for the Presidency has been
made at Utica, provided the name of John McLean can be associated with
it. Whether it can be is, as yet, in doubt, though I fear the doubt
will be resolved against my wish. If it cannot be, we have no man in
the West whose name on the ticket would be altogether unexceptionable.
If Judge McLean should consent to allow his name to be used, the
ticket would undoubtedly sweep Ohio, and would gain immense accessions
of strength throughout the West. I firmly believe that the nominees
may, in that event, be elected this year. It would be, to be sure,
sacrificing a good deal on the part of Judge McLean, so long prominent
in the regards of the people as a candidate for the first office, to
accept a nomination for the second; and the bitterness with which he
could be assailed by the slaveholders and their allies would exceed
greatly that which is now manifested towards your father. Nothing but
a strong sense of personal duty, and a deep interest in the success of
the movement (and he avows that interest openly), will prevail on him
to consent, and, I fear, he will not feel that duty absolutely requires
the step. It is probable that he would regard an offer of a nomination
for the first office differently. He would then be the recognized head
or representative of the movement, and would feel the abuse directed
against him, as levelled chiefly at the cause. And I think he would
represent the movement almost exactly as Silas Wright would have done
if living. I regard him as more nearly resembling Silas Wright in the
general character of his views on public questions than any living
public man. While, therefore, I repeat that if we can have Judge
McLean's name for the Vice-Presidency I would rather take the ticket as
it would then stand--Martin Van Buren and John McLean--than any other,
you will not wonder that I regret that the action of the convention
at Utica has interposed an obstacle to a different arrangement.
Whether the obstacle is insuperable you are a far better judge than
I am. If it be, then, we must take the Utica nomination, supply the
Vice-Presidential vacancy and make the best fight we can.

"You will have observed the difficulty suggested by the _National Era_
growing out of the expressions in your father's letter, in relation
to slavery in the District of Columbia; and you are doubtless aware
that all that part of the letter in reference to the course of his
administration on the subject of slavery is very distasteful to almost
all anti-slavery men, whether Whig, Democratic, or Liberty.

"I wish that part of the letter could have been omitted. It does no
good to revive the past. Our business is with the present and the
future. Your remarks in your speech at Genesee on the 20th of June are
full of truth. The Free-Territories question, in discussion, must bring
up the whole slavery question inevitably. Our contest is with the slave
power, and it will break us down unless we break it down. The people
will not stop with the exclusion of slavery from Territories: they will
demand its complete denationalization. Now many understand Mr. Van
Buren's letter, so far as it touches upon slavery in the District, as a
reiteration of his pledge to veto a bill for the abolition of slavery
there if enacted by Congress. I do not myself so understand it. I
cannot believe that at the present day and under present circumstances,
when a strong anti-slavery sentiment exists in Maryland and Virginia,
which would be vastly strengthened by such a measure--so strengthened,
indeed, that those States would by it be converted into free Territory
States--that he would interpose the slightest obstacle to its adoption.
I cannot doubt that, on the contrary, he would give it every favor
consistent with the proper discharge of his function as President.

"So many, however, take a different view from mine that it is highly
desirable, in the event that M. Van Buren is to be the nominee of the
Buffalo convention, to have all doubt on this matter removed, so that
he may be received and understood everywhere as a true representative
of the movement.

"The uprising in this State exceeds all expectation, and if we only can
present a proper ticket at Buffalo we shall have the best chance of
carrying the State. But the effect of the movement is different here
from its effect in New York. The question in this State will be between
the independent nominee and Cass. Taylor is, with us, entirely out of
the question. The people reject him, and the politicians support him,
when they do at all, doubtingly and without enthusiasm. The Cass men
are more active and with better hopes. In conversation with Judge Wood
yesterday, or the day before, I remarked to him that I was a little
surprised, after reading of the interview between himself, Cass, and
the people at Cleveland, to hear of his advocating on the stump the
claims of Cass, as a Wilmot proviso man. 'Oh,' says the judge, 'He
is for the proviso as much as any of us.' 'Do you mean to say, then,
that the Nicholson letter was designed to cheat the South and get the
nomination?' I asked. 'D--n them,' said he, 'it is their _turn_ to be
cheated.' This is a common argument among the Cass men; and as there
is something like _retribution in kind_ indicated by it, it don't take
very badly among the people.

"I shall be very glad to hear from you, and to be advised of the views
of yourself and others, to whom you may show this, as to what is best
to be done and the best mode of doing it.

  Yours very truly,
                        "S. P. CHASE."

"P. S.--Did you or Mr. Preston King receive a telegraphic despatch, at
Utica, stating the action of our people's convention, which adjourned
the day before your session commenced? We, Mr. Vaughan and myself, sent
one on the evening of the 21st, and it should have reached you on the
morning of the 22d at the latest. We shall be glad to know whether it
reached you at all, and, if so, when."


  "NEW YORK, _July, 1848_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter came here in the absence of Mr. J. Van
Buren, which still continues, and it has been handed to me by Mr.
Bryant, with a request that I would answer it. I desire to do so
with perfect candor, and with as much accuracy as I can in regard
to questions which depend upon the concurring action of numerous
individuals composing a large party.

"As to your inquiry whether the Barnburners of New York will be
represented in the Buffalo convention, I can only say that so far as
representation consists in the presence of persons who will be asked
to consult with the members of that body and inform them of the views
of the Democracy, there will be no want of it. But representation of
the formal and authoritative character which is usual in the delegated
conventions of organized parties will not be possible, either from
the nature of the convention itself or the circumstances in which
the Democracy of this State are placed. The convention professes to
be merely a mass convention, and does not aim at the indispensable
characteristics of a delegated body--among which is a proportionate
representation of ascertained constituents, whose numbers and relations
are already known; but it will be simply a voluntary assemblage of
individuals, whose relations to each other are to be for the first time
established. Nor is there any person to act authoritatively for the
Democracy of this State, as an organized body, until the meeting of the
Utica convention on the 13th of Sept.

"But all this is not deemed to be a matter of much consequence. The
Buffalo convention must act with spontaneous harmony or it will fail
of its objects, and the spirit of the people and the circumstances of
the occasion will be likely to make it very independent of forms. If
it acts with wisdom, the Utica convention will doubtless concur in its
nomination for the Vice-Presidency.

"As to the Presidency, it will not, under any circumstances, be
practicable to change the position of the Democracy of this State.
Their convictions on this subject would be irresistible, whatever might
be the desires of leading men. Nominated, as Mr. Van Buren was, against
his wishes, and because he was believed to be the strongest candidate
with nearly all to whom they had a right to look for support, and
acquiescing, as he did, on the ground that his old companions and their
descendants had a right to his name to strengthen them in maintaining
their characters and cause amid the perils and difficulties which
surrounded them, it would not be decent towards him, now that more
than they at first hoped is sure to be accomplished, to seek another
representative. A still stronger consideration would be the bad faith
of such a procedure towards large numbers of men and influential
presses which have been drawn into our support of Mr. V. B.'s name.
Another would be the great impolicy of changing front on the eve
of battle, when the public mind has adapted itself and individuals
have found relations with reference to the candidate. And another
would be the conviction that in this State at least his name is far
the strongest that can be presented with reference to practicable
accessions to the cause. Of course this may be assumed to be the fact
among the Democrats from whom our strength must mainly come--and the
aid we have derived from it has been very great--while those Whigs who
are disposed to go with us prefer him to any other Democrat, if I may
judge from their expressions to me and others before the convention of
the 22d of June.

"The Democracy of this State supports the cause and Mr. Van Buren, an
organized party having more than fifty presses, many of which are the
longest established and most influential in the State, and are organs
on which perhaps the contest turns."


  "PHILADELPHIA, _October 12, 1848_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your very kind and flattering letter of the first
instant would have been sooner acknowledged but for my having had the
pleasure of having with me Mr. and Mrs. Singleton and Miss McDuffie,
and also your son, the colonel, and Angelica, and since they left me I
have been so unwell as to be incapable of writing. And I am still too
much indisposed to do much more than to express the gratification I
derived from its perusal and to receive your commendation of my letter
to Mr. Richards, which gave me the more pleasure, as I found my letter
would disappoint him and other friends from its treating on newspaper
and common-place topics, accessible to all, instead of giving facts and
anecdotes not generally known, and which had become particularly well
known to me, from the deep interest I have long taken in the subject,
from my residence in Illinois at the period when efforts were made to
make it a slave-holding State, and from my intimate acquaintance with
most of the great men of the country. But I was sensible of not being
able to do justice to the information I possessed, without a reference
to documents not accessible to me at Schooleys Mountain.

"Your son John having requested me to send him a copy of a letter
written by Mr. Jefferson to me in August, 1814, on the subject
of slavery, and also a communication made by me to the _National
Intelligencer_, and published in that paper Feb. 14, 1838, in relation
to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, I have since
my return home from my summer excursion enclosed them to him to 91
White Street, New York, and hope he has received them, as I think the
republication of Mr. Jefferson's letter at this time will do much

"In explanation of some parts of Mr. Jefferson's letter, I ought to
add that it was written in reply to one from me, informing him of my
repugnance to holding slaves, and my determination to leave Virginia
unless I could see some prospect of abolishing slavery in the State,
and urging him to step forward as the leader in the great work. He
showed our correspondence to many persons, and urged them to associate
with me and form what he called a phalanx for bringing forward the
necessary measures to put an end to slavery. Seeing no prospect of
success, I abandoned the State, restored to my slaves their liberty,
and removed them to Illinois, where I have had the high gratification
of seeing them free, happy, and prosperous.

"I have been too unwell to see and to deliver to our old friend, Mr.
Short, your kind message. As soon as I am well enough to walk to his
house I will do so. As I am now suffering a good deal from headache
I must conclude, after repeating assurances of my great respect and
sincere regard.

                                                  "EDWARD COLES.

  "_Martin Van Buren, ex-President U. S._"


                                "NEW YORK, _Oct. 16, 1848_.


"RESPECTED SIR,--Under ordinary circumstances it would be out of
place for such an humble individual as myself to address you, but I
consider that a crisis has arrived in this country which calls for the
untiring exertions of every good man to check the spread of slavery
which threatens the very existence of the institutions of the country,
and my apology may be found in the fact that I am identified with this
proscribed class. You will recognize me as the conductor of a small
newspaper in this city called the _Ram's Horn_, a few copies of which I
have taken the liberty of mailing to your honor.

"The approaching election I look upon as one of considerable importance
to the country, and altho my paper is not a political one, yet I have
thought right under existing circumstances to advocate the nominees
of the Buffalo convention,[16] and try to induce the few hundred of
my colored brethren in this vicinity who have votes to cast them in
favor of Free Soil. We have had several meetings, and, in fact, done
all we could with our limited means, and I have consulted with the Free
Soil men here what is our best course to pursue, and the conclusion is
to continue publishing and operating as efficiently as we can among
ourselves, and if we can obtain a little pecuniary assistance for a
short time I think we can do considerable in the right direction. Can
you put us in a way to have a little funds at our disposal, and thereby
enable us to forward the good cause?

             "THOS. VAN RENSSELAER."


  "LINDENWALD, _October 18th, '48_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--As you are the man of business, if not the only one in
our ranks, you must not complain of the trouble I am about to give you.
The enclosed has embarrassed me not a little. Having been pleased with
the writer's very successful reply to Mr. Gerrit Smith, which I think
we read together, I feel loath to slight him altogether, and yet I can
neither do what he suggests without falsifying my position or open a
correspondence with him without exposing the act to perversion. I wish,
therefore, you would take the trouble to send for him and explain to
him my situation upon the said point.

  In haste, very truly yours,
                           "M. VAN BUREN."


[_From the "Evening Post," Dec. 23, 1848._]

"When we wrote our former articles on the bill of Mr. Douglass we had
not seen the letter from Mr. Greeley which was published in Saturday's
_Tribune_ (Dec. 16, 1848). The intimation contained in that letter of
his sentiments and probable course in regard to that bill if presented
in its original form, would not have been allowed to pass without the
animadversion which its extraordinary nature calls for, and which we
shall now briefly make, not upon the impersonality which edits the
_Tribune_, but upon Mr. Greeley, the legislator, who represents in part
the people of this city in the highest councils of the nation.

"When, after having professed to consider the extension of slavery to
free Territories as the question of questions involved in the late
election--after having for months exhorted all to treat it as far above
the other objects of party association, and reproached those who did
not so treat it as false to freedom--after having at first distrusted
the noble band of Democrats who proclaimed their determination to
maintain throughout the canvass and at the polls the sentiments which
they had before professed, taunted them with the prediction that
they would ultimately surrender principles to a slavish subserviency
to party, and at length applauded their constancy when it could no
longer be disputed; after having stigmatized as recreant to principle
and duty all who should support a candidate for the Presidency not
avowedly in favor of the Wilmot proviso; after having denounced General
Taylor as identified in interest and association with the slave power,
and probably unsound in principle on the greatest of issues; when,
after having done all this, the editor of the _Tribune_, on the eve
of election, announced his intention to support General Taylor, to
vote for a man because he was available, whom he had denounced for
that very reason when nominated as an available; to vote for a man
because he would beat Gen. Cass, whom he had denounced when nominated
on that express ground; to vote for a man whom, after three months of
nice balancing, he found to be a shade less objectionable than another
candidate, because it was necessary to make a choice of evils between
the nominees of the two old party organizations, no matter how wrong
and dangerous the principles of both might be; thus surrendering the
great question of freedom in the Territories, in the same manner and
for the same reasons, for which most of the supporters of Taylor and
Cass at the North professed to surrender it, and uniting with them in
presenting the miserable spectacle of a number of electors sufficient
to choose the President, all voting for men not representing their
sentiments on a question professedly regarded by them as the most
important, because there was _no chance_ of electing one who did
represent those sentiments; when, in a word, after all his former
professions, Mr. Greeley ended in doing precisely what the original
Taylor men and the Cass men of the North did, and for precisely the
same reasons, and addressed to others precisely the same arguments
which had been so long addressed to him in vain, and which he had
been so long refuting, he shook deeply--very deeply--the confidence
in his sincerity which his apparent zeal in behalf of freedom had
inspired. For our part, we were inclined to take a charitable view of
his conduct. We thought we saw him struggling in the meshes of party
association, and yielding not until he had half satisfied his own
conscience that he could vote for Taylor as not so certainly declared
as Cass, and therefore not quite so objectionable on the great issue,
and at last reconciled to himself by the general sense that it was
a little better that Taylor should be elected than Cass. We thought
we saw a painful conflict with his self-respect and his sense of
consistency--a consciousness that he had not chosen the nobler, even
if the more expedient, part--that he was doing at best a doubtful act
against which his better nature revolted. We are disposed always to
respect, in silence, such manifestations, and not to reproach.

"But what shall we think, what shall we say, of the spirit exhibited
and the sentiments expressed in the following passage of Mr. Greeley's
letter, which we have read with astonishment and regret:

"'... And now to revert to the main question--the organization
of the new Territories, and the allowance or disallowance of
slavery therein--I have been confidently hoping for an _early and
peaceful adjustment of the whole vexation_. The bills of which Mr.
Douglass, in Senate, gave notice on reaching this city--to provide
for the organization of California as a State and New Mexico as a
Territory--were _signs of promise_. Upon the basis here suggested,
it _seemed to me practicable to settle the whole difficulty without
farther excitement or peril_. I thought we should ultimately agree to
permit _New Mexico_, as well as California, to take the requisite steps
for organizing as a State, and _bring them both into the Union in the
course of the next two years_, leaving them _free_ to frame _their
own institutions_. This done, the North would be morally certain that
slavery would not be tolerated in either State, and the South would
_save the point of honor by the almost certain defeat_ (in Senate) _of
the Wilmot proviso_, which, to an established and admitted State, is
confessedly inapplicable. And thus would _close the grave of agitation_
with regard to slave territory.'

"And the letter then proceeds to say that 'the bright sky has been
overcast' by the modification by which it is proposed to annex the
portion of New Mexico east of the Rio Grande to Texas, which is _stated
as the only objection to the bill_.

"The first remarkable thing in this letter is the spirit in which it
speaks of the question of extending slavery to the Territories now
free. If the only thing to be done was to get rid of a troublesome
question, Mr. Greeley's mind would seem to be directed exactly to the
object. If the writer were one of the conservatives of the Syracuse
convention of 1847, who laid the Wilmot proviso on the table, or one
of the Whig Dough Faces of the Philadelphia convention, who 'kicked it
out' of that body, the terms in which the measure is spoken of would
be very characteristic. To adjust 'the whole _vexation_'--'to settle
the whole difficulty _without farther excitement or peril_'--'to _close
the grave_ of the _agitation_,' was precisely what _they_ desired to
do. But if there is something more to be done than to evade this great
question in order to save party arrangements from embarrassment--if
it is of any importance to make freedom in the Territories _certain_
instead of leaving it to chance--if the opinion, which has been so
frequently and earnestly maintained by Mr. Greeley, as well as all who
profess to be friends of freedom, that for this purpose an express
enactment by Congress ought to be made, be not an utter imposture and
fraud, then we submit that the spirit manifested in this letter is not
that in which this great question should be treated.

"The second remarkable thing in the letter--and by far the most
remarkable--is the _mode_ in which it purposes to adjust 'the whole
vexation.' A Territory extensive enough to make thirteen States as
large as New York has been acquired; it is wholly unoccupied, except by
a small population in a few localities. The question is, shall slavery
be allowed to be established in it during its territorial condition?
Neither party to the controversy regards as of practical moment the
territorial condition, except as it will influence and practically
control the conditions, in this respect, of the States which are to
be formed out of the Territory. And it is gravely proposed at once to
declare this Territory, which is in no proper situation to be formed
into States, and which nobody would think of forming into a State
now except for the purpose of getting rid of the necessity of acting
on this subject, to be a State. And this is called by Mr. Greeley
'_settling_,' instead of _dodging_, the question!

"Gen. Cass proposed, in his Nicholson letter, to leave to the
scattered inhabitants who are to be found in some small portions of
this vast region to decide the question by a territorial legislature.
Mr. Greeley, in _his_ letter, proposes to leave it to precisely the
same individuals 'free to frame their own institutions' by a State

"What essential difference is there between the two plans, so far as
the extension or restriction of slavery is concerned?

"Suppose that on the 3rd of March next, at the close of the session,
Mr. Greeley's plan should be adopted; that on the 3rd of July a
territorial legislature should be elected; and that on the 3rd of
September it should meet and adjust the 'whole vexation.' Or suppose
that on the 3rd of March Gen. Cass's plan should be adopted; that on
the 3rd of July a State legislature should be elected; and that on the
3rd of September it should meet and decide the question.

"Would it be important whether the government were called 'State' or
'territorial,' so long as it had equal power to act on this subject,
and constituents and representatives were the same, assumed their
functions at the same time, in the one case as in the other? Would it
affect in the slightest degree the actual extension or restriction of
slavery which should be decreed by them?

"But Mr. Greeley evidently thinks that this little change of names gets
him over the whole difficulty. And he touches what he obviously regards
as the point of the case when he adds that 'the Wilmot proviso' is 'to
an established and admitted State' confessedly inapplicable.

"Without discussing the authority of Congress to insert a restriction
against slavery in the act of admission, which was done with most of
the Northwestern States, it is true that _after_ a State has been
established and admitted the Federal legislation has no power to apply
to that State the 'Wilmot proviso'; and that by the unconditional
conversion of a territory into a State Congress divests itself of that
power. But it is not easy for anybody--except Mr. Greeley--to see
how the reference of the question, even when confessedly within its
jurisdiction to a territorial legislature, as proposed by Gen. Cass,
is more objectionable in a moral point of view than the voluntary
divestment of that jurisdiction for the very purpose of shirking off
the question upon the same legislature called by a different name. Gen.
Cass's plan has some advantages over that adopted by Mr. Greeley.

"It is less evasive and more manly, frank, and honest.

"It may afford some chance that the fate of the various parts of this
immense tract of unsettled lands shall be decided by the people who
shall at some future period inhabit them after they shall be organized
into distinct Territories, the more densely populated portions having
been admitted as States; which might be somewhat better than leaving
to a few thousand persons in Santa Fé and San Francisco to fix the
destinies of hundreds of thousands of square miles in which not one of
these persons ever trod.

"Above all, it would not, in the miserable attempt to avoid the
question of slavery in the Territories by admitting a State of
boundless dimensions, incur the great and perilous mischiefs which
we have pointed out in our two previous articles, to the safety and
permanency of the confederacy, and incur these evils without the least
necessity or any compensating benefit.

"But Mr. Greeley says that 'the North would be morally certain that
slavery would not be tolerated' in the States to be formed. So said
Gen. Cass in his Nicholson letter, when he proposed under a little
different name to leave the question to be settled by exactly the
same persons. So said Mr. Buchanan. So said Mr. Clayton. Yet nobody
denounced their contrivances with more indignation than Mr. Greeley.
Talk of the Cass 'juggle,' the Buchanan 'compromise,' the Clayton
'trap'--the Greeley and Douglass juggle is worse than any of them."

       *       *       *       *       *

The prostration of the Democratic party--whether by the defeat of
General Cass or by the conditions which procured his nomination, it
is inopportune here to discuss--though a great disappointment to Mr.
Tilden, was, like most disappointments, good-fortune in disguise. It
gave him the opportunity and provocation to devote all his energies
and talents for the succeeding quarter of a century to his profession,
during which period of its service it rewarded him as the wisest of
Israel's kings was rewarded for his obedience--with fame and fortune.
In less time than he had spent in making himself a leader of his party
in New York, he placed himself in the front rank of the American bar.

It was not until the year 1850 that Mr. Tilden leased his first office
for professional purposes after his admission to the bar. It was on the
third floor of what was then known as Jauncey Court, now replaced by
majestic banking-houses, on the south side of Wall Street, a few doors
west of William street. His landlord was Alexander Hamilton, Jr., one
of the sons of President Washington's first Minister of Finance. Here
is a copy of their agreement, followed by a bill of Tilden's personal
taxes for the previous year:

"This is to certify that I have hired and taken from Alexander
Hamilton, Jr., the office, consisting of two rooms, on the 3rd floor of
the Jauncey Court Building, and marked on a plan of said building No.
1 (it being understood and agreed that if the above premises shall be
rendered untenantable by fire, the rent shall cease during the interval
occurring from the happening of said fire until the premises shall
have been repaired), for the term of three years from the first day of
May, 1850, at the yearly rent of four hundred and twenty-five dollars,
payable on the usual quarter days.

"And I hereby promise, in consideration thereof, to make punctual
payment of the rent in manner aforesaid, and quit and surrender the
premises at the expiration of the said term, in as good state and
condition as reasonable use and wear thereof will permit, damages by
the elements excepted, and not to assign, let or underlet the whole
or any part of the said premises, or occupy the same for any business
deemed extra-hazardous on account of fire, without the written consent
of the landlord, under the penalty of forfeiture and damages. And I do
hereby, for the consideration of aforesaid, waive the benefit of the
exemption specified in the first section of the act entitled 'An act
to extend the exemption of household furniture and working tools from
distress for rent and sale under execution,' passed April 11, 1842, and
agree that the property thereby exempted shall be liable to distress
for said rent; and also, that all property liable to distress for rent
shall be so liable, whether on or off the said premises, wheresoever
and whensoever the same may be found.

  "Given _under my hand and seal this_         day of February, 1850,
  in the presence of

                                     "SAMUEL J. TILDEN." [Seal.]

This lease was renewed on the 12th of February, 1853, for three years,
to end May 1, 1856, for $550 a year, an increase of $125 a year.

The rent paid for these two rooms by Mr. Tilden does not contrast more
violently with the price of equal accommodations now, than his charges
for his professional service during his first year contrasts with the
rewards for similar work expected by his profession a half-century
later, as appears by some of his bills, which follow, at that period:


                                          To S. J. TILDEN, Dr.


  Jan. 12th. To drawing bill to amend the charter of
  said company, and attending at various
  consultations and advising in reference
  thereto                                                           $150


                                          To S. J. TILDEN, Dr.


  Oct. 18-24. Going to Lancaster, Pa., to attend sheriff's
  sale and attending negotiations
  in Philadelphia (6-1/2)                                           $350

  Dec. 12. Drawing articles of association for the
  company                                                            100

  " 15. Drawing conveyance from Mr. Sander
  to Mr. Pyne                                                         10

  Drawing trust deed from Mr. Pyne to
  the trustees of the company                                         25

  Jan. 8. Examining and preparing                                     50

  Aug. 1. Drawing conveyance for P. R. Pyne to
  the corporation                                                     10

  Release and conveyance of the trustees.                             10


                                          To S. J. TILDEN, Dr.


  Jan. 1. Drawing articles of agreement for a union
  of the business of the Dauphin & Sus.
  Coal Co. and sundry consultations in respect
  thereto--proportion of Pequa Co.                                  $125

  Drawing bill for a union of the two companies
  and consultations in respect thereto--proportion
  of Pequa Co.                                                        50


                                          To S. J. TILDEN, Dr.


  Jan. 1. Drawing articles of agreement for a union
  of the business of this company with that
  of the Pequa Co. and sundry consultations
  in reference thereto--proportion of
  the D. & S. C. Co.                                                $125

  Drawing bill for a union of the two companies
  and consultations in reference
  thereto--proportion of the D. & S. C. Co.                           50


                                          To S. J. TILDEN, Dr.


  June 17. To preparing another draft of the assignment
  of contract to obviate objections
  made to executing same                                             $15

  "    28. To preparing another draft of an assignment                20

  To preparing another draft of a new
  contract (36 folio)                                                 25

  Apr. 7. To going to Albany in respect to water
  grants                                                             100

  Mar. 19. To drawing power of attorney and agreement
  for the masters of the Wyoming
  Coal Association to accept stock of the
  Penn. C. C.                                                         20

  "   17. To consultation in reference to                             10

  "   18. Certain Coal contracts                                      10
  To advising in respect to the mode of
  transferring the property of the W.
  C. A. to the Penn. Coal Co., and attending
  numerous consultations in respect
  thereto, as well as the meeting of the
  stockholders                                                       100

  To examining and revising conveyance
  of the Wyoming Coal Association to
  the Penn. C. C.                                                     10


  June 20. To advising in respect to power to contract
  the same        $100

  "   27. To going to Philadelphia and conferring
  with Judge Malloy in respect to your
  loan                                                               250

  July 1. To drawing resolutions and proceedings
  to be adopted by the board authorizing
  the loan of $600,000

  To drawing the trust mortgage to secure
  its repayments--the form of the bond
  and other necessary papers, and advising
  in respect to the various proceedings
  until the transaction was consummated                              250

  Sept. 3. To attending and advising in respect to
  rights of company in purchase of
  water right at Williamsburg                                         10

  "   5. Ditto                                                        10

  General counsel fee                                                250


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 1849_.

    "_To the Supervisors of the City and County of New York, for
        Taxes, 1849._


    "To tax on personal estate, 11 Fifth Avenue.
    "Valuation, 2000.
    "Rate, 118.32.
    "Tax, 23.66."

Mr. Tilden had already become interested in a small way in the
establishment of the first balance dock ever provided for the New York
harbor. His friends, O'Sullivan, Waterbury, and Secor, were also among
the number interested with him. The following contract shows the nature
and extent of Mr. O'Sullivan's interest. The venture did not prove very
profitable to them, nor to have received much attention from Mr. Tilden.


  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 22, 1850_.

"Whereas, I have this day drawn a draft at three months on C. A. Secor
in favor of Messrs. Wright & Betts for about sixteen hundred and
fifty dollars, and the same has been accepted by said C. A. Secor, I
hereby authorize and request you to hold twenty shares given stock
in the Balance Dock Company (out of the forty-two shares of which
the certificate is in your hands, with my power of attorney to make
transfers of the same dated March 14, 1850), as security for the
payment of said draft; said twenty shares to be sold for payment of
same unless satisfactory provision for its payment be made by me within
one week prior to its maturity.

  "_To S. J. Tilden, by_

                                             "J. L. O'SULLIVAN."

"I hold a certificate of twenty shares of stock in the Balance Dock,
with a power of attorney from J. L. O'Sullivan in regard to the same,
which have been deposited with me by Messrs. O'S. and Secor, and I
accept the trust so far as the said papers may enable me to carry it

                                                 "S. J. TILDEN."

  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 22, 1850_."


  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 29th, 1850_.

"MY DEAR MADAM,--Your letter of Oct. 13th, and that of Mr. Chase
accompanying it, came at the commencement of an illness which disabled
me for some time from making the inquiries which yours requested.
Since my recovery I have been diligently seeking to learn something of
the line of steamers destined to touch periodically at Vera Cruz and
Tampico. Mr. Geo. Law, who is the principal man in the Chagres line,
and Mr. Wetmore, an associate of his in that enterprise, inform me that
nothing of the kind has been connected with their line; and they agree
in thinking that, although such a proposition was before Congress, it
did not pass. Mr. Brooks, who represents this district in the House of
Rep., and who is conversant with such matters, is of the same opinion.
Mr. Croswell, of Albany, _not_ of this city, who is interested in the
Chagres line, and whom I was fortunate enough to meet a few evenings
since, has the same impression, but referred me to young Mr. Worth, of
this city, as having something to do with a project for such a line.
On inquiry of that gentleman I find that he is not aware of any action
of Congress on the subject; that the project is purely commercial, and
that it is so very immature that it can scarcely be deemed to have an
existence. This was for a line between this city and Vera Cruz. The
laws of the last session have not as yet been published, so that I
could not examine them. I am thus particular, because one gentleman
of whom I inquired had an impression that such a bill did pass. While
there seemed to be very little definite knowledge, my conclusion is
that no such line has been authorized, but I shall keep an eye to the
matter, and communicate to you any information which may seem important.

"I found in a N. O. paper that the steamer _Alabama_ will make trips at
intervals of about 20 days from that place to Vera Cruz. The news that
reached you may have originated partly in this circumstance and partly
in the pendency of a proposition, such as you mention, in Cong.

"It would give me great pleasure to aid Mr. Chase, in the way
you desire, so far as I may have power, if such a line should be
established; though the thing is as yet so indefinite--and I am
inclined to think will remain so--that I cannot estimate my ability to
serve him.

"The friends of whom you inquire--Mr. Green, Miss Green, and Miss
H.--are well and pursuing happiness ardently in their customary modes:
each one pursuing his favorite phantom, the poet hath it, but I will
not apply to them the association that rises in my memory. There are
objects in life which are not phantoms--tho' little pursued, and not
by many. I am tempted to seek for myself the gracious welcome that
awaits the bearer of good-tidings by telling you that Miss. H. intends
to leave here on a Southern tour in the latter part of Dec., and has
some thoughts, even hopes, of persuading her father to prolong the
excursion to Tampico. But do not flatter yourself too much. Wind and
weather are not less uncertain on the Gulf than elsewhere, and even the
steady purpose and persuasive power that characterize our friend may
not prevail against every mischance.

"The change in the nat. adn. was as sudden and remarkable as you regard
it. The policy of the gov. was a little modified by it, but on the
whole it was most striking as illustrating how quietly our political
machine works, even while the hands that seem--and seem only--to
guide it are shifted. I do not share, to any considerable extent, the
apprehensions entertained or professed by many as to a dissolution
of our federative union. I would not needlessly put its bonds to the
test. But I think they would prove stronger than is generally supposed;
that danger would bring upon the theatre of public affairs a higher
class of men than the holiday patriots who figure there in a season of
peace--men who would represent the actual sentiments of the masses of
our citizens, the serious, earnest purposes, now applied to private
objects, that would be turned to the preservation of the Union as an
important, practical means to great public ends. The idea of American
nationality--progress and destiny--is the master-thought in the minds
of our people, and creates a tendency to unity in the govt. quite
strong enough. I have, too, a feeling--for it may be that, rather
than a conclusion of reason--on this subject, which some may call
superstitious. I believe that the gradual amelioration and culture of
our race is in the inevitable order of Providence. I see elements which
have been and are preparing our country to act a grander part than any
has hitherto done in this great plan. That part is to be wrought out,
not by an indolent repose on what our ancestors have ordained for us,
but by trials and sacrifices and earnest efforts to solve the great
social and civil questions which necessarily arise in the experiences
of a nation. It seems to me--but here I may read the sacred oracles
not aright--that the Union is an essential condition to the destiny we
appear appointed to fulfil; and I believe it firm enough and strong
enough to endure the conflict of social and political forces which is
going on within its bosom. It will survive them all, working out what
it can, and as far as it can, and casting off to a future period what
it cannot now entirely work out.

"I resume my letter which has been in my portfolio unfinished for more
than a week. A current of affairs suddenly struck me, and swept me
on so incessantly that I have not before been able to return to it.
You must not infer, however, that I affect any special industry, or
that I am ordinarily so busy. My life has vibrated between a leisure
in which I amused myself with books, and the greatest activity in
pubic and private affairs; and, if the last few months have been as
engrossingly occupied as any part of it with professional and personal
business, I do not expect or desire it to be generally so hereafter.
What has most exacted attention was temporary and occasional, and has,
as yet, produced, and may produce nothing to me or to others, though
lest such a confession excite too much pity for me I will add that in
the mean time what has cost me comparatively little trouble has been
sufficiently fruitful. My disposition is not to permit merely private
business to engross me, nor to be in any of an unprofessional nature
which creates anxiety. I have never been accustomed to surrender to it
my inner life, or to allow its cares to fill those little interstices
between actual occupation which are instinctively given to, and
which characterize our ruling habits of thought and feeling. There
no doubt is danger, as the relations of business multiply around us
and our enthusiasm for public objects is qualified or weakened and
our sympathies often come back upon us as the chilled blood returns
from the extremities to the heart, that what furnishes occupation to
our activity without the trouble of seeking it and without making us
inquire whether we choose it, will grow too much upon our attention.
But I desire to reserve something to better purpose--something to
friends and to myself, and possibly, if hereafter I can recall the
enthusiasm of early years, with a share of its former strength and
steadiness, something to consecrate life by a sense that it has not
been wholly given to objects so selfishly egotistical as are most of
those which we pursue. It is time for me to stop; for I am moralizing,
when I began merely to exclude a possible inference that I have not
leisure to care for the wishes and interests of my friends, and to
assure you that I am always happier if I can serve them, and glad to
talk with them, as I now do, even if it be at such a frightful distance
as, in this age of ocean steamers, railways, and telegraphs, to put a
quarter of a year between question and answer.

"I wrote you a very long letter--I tremble to think I ever addressed
such a missive to a lady--all full of finances and figures, on about
the first of October. I mention it lest it may have miscarried. I
should regret if you have failed to get the answer it attempted to your
inquiries. I have hoped, and do hope, to hear from you in respect to
it and its subject, if I can at all aid you. As a whole, it was not
intended to be answered--as somebody said of his own speech--but I do
look for a reply; I hope it may be an early and favorable reply--to
some parts of it--as, for instance, that you are rapidly maturing your
plan of changing your residence to this country, and that, at all
events, you are coming over here next spring. If you should say that,
you may take your own time for the statistics of the money-market and
of money-making. Waiting patiently as I can for such an answer, and
begging you to present my best respects to Mr. Chase, I remain,

  "Very truly, your friend,
                          "S. J. TILDEN."


"There are, of course, the U. S. sixes, if you are content with so low
a rate of interest. The New York stocks are about the same. There are
others which are lower. If put to the choice myself, I should prefer
bonds secured by mortgages on real estate, or, as we familiarly call
them, b. and m. at 7 p. c., which, with care, can be had, even in the
present plethora of money. There are also many varieties of bonds of
private companies paying 6 or 7 p. c.; but, as a general rule, I should
decidedly prefer bonds and mortgages on real estate.

"There are also stocks of private companies. Many of the banks are
earning 7, 8, 10, or even more per cent. But these stocks are at
considerable premiums, and have risen much recently. They cannot be
always continuing on the ascending series. When a commercial depression
shall occur these bonds will feel it more promptly and more deeply
than that of most corporations; their dividends will be reduced,
the premiums (which are equivalents for future, unearned, dividends)
will fall off; and you may lose more by this decline than you have
realized in the excess of the dividends over a fair interest. The
same remark is applicable to the few railways which pay very large
dividends, although they are not so sensitive to the fluctuations of
commerce as the banks--in this as in the other case. The Delaware &
Hudson Canal Company--whose business is to produce and bring to market
anthracite coal--has declared about 16 per cent. for the last four or
five years. The premium on its stock is now 50 p. c. That is lower
than it has been, because of special circumstances, while I think that
the next year's business will be better. The dividend is over 10 p. c.
on premium and all. I would rather risk the continuance of its high
premium than in any other case of a railroad. I may say, any other
similar case. There is a similar company which has just come into
operation--a very solid concern--which we think will be at least as
good; its stock at a premium of 15 p. c. It is not so well known or so
promptly marketable, and its stock is in a rather complex form, which
it is expected to simplify next winter. It would be idle to say that I
have not great confidence in it, since I have transferred what I had in
the other to it, and have put in it more than the sum you mention in
your letter; but I should not like to have another person invest in it
or any similar thing merely on my judgment; and, to do so on his own,
he ought to have more detailed knowledge than could be communicated in
this hasty letter. The claim is that its stock will not advance much
for the next 3 months--perhaps not for the next 6 or 8 months.

"There are also classes of ins., to some of which I have great
objection, but it would be futile now to discuss their merit.

"With respect to investments in private companies generally, I have
some observations to make. A very large proportion of one's means
should not be concentrated in one institution, especially without the
most thorough familiarity with its affairs. A wise selection between
them requires at any time special knowledge and individual judgment;
and more so now than usually. The abundance of capital and low rates
of interest causes high premiums to be given for the most productive
stocks as well as the most ____ so that it is scarcely possible to get
them at prices [half a page is here utterly undecipherable] unless in
special cases where the enterprise is comparatively new and unknown, or
its real merits are not fully appreciated by the public, in which cases
you rely upon what you suppose to be superior information or judgment.

"I ought to add, in qualification of those general views, that I do
not mean that the market has reached its highest elevation. I think
it probably has not; nor can I now see the particular time when, or
the particular event by which a change is to take place. We are not
in a state of high speculative excitement; we appear to be tending to
such a state, though causes may occur to check the tendency. But we do
know that--whether the present abundance of capital and prosperity of
business shall, temporarily, increase or not--we cannot expect them
to continue for a very long period, _even to the present degree_. It
is desirable to make your investment at as low prices as possible,
in order to enhance your interest and have greater security against
possible contingencies; but even this consideration may be so modified
by peculiar circumstances that it is difficult to state an absolute
rule applicable to all cases.

"On the whole, your main interest is to find your money safe and
available when you come here, and are able to make a permanent
disposition of it on your own judgment. I am gratified to be able
to believe that you have already secured an ample provision for the
future--its reasonable tastes as well as its necessities--at a rate
of productiveness which will give the greatest safety. Anything that
you can hereafter add to your income or capital would be really of
very slight importance to you, compared with what you now have. I do
not undervalue your fortitude and energy, or concede to own to the
impertinent advances of time, when I say that your chief care should be
to avoid even the possibility of being compelled to begin anew the work
of life--so far as the providing for its material wants can be called
such--when, if the period most fitted for that purpose have not passed,
the years which have been allotted to it cannot be recalled. The
advantages of such skilful disposition of your means as are consistent
with safety--and such advantages there are--will be to be enjoyed by
you when you shall become--as I hope you soon may--a resident in our
country. In the mean time, a deposit with the trust company seems to
be as good a temporary arrangement as you can make at your distance
from the scene or as I can suggest in my ignorance of your particular
affairs, wishes, and future movements. I need not add that any aid
which I can give you in making this or any other disposition _of your
remittances_ which you may prefer will be very cordially rendered. I
shall be happy also to answer further inquiries and convey additional
information, as far as can be done by correspondence; and shall hope to
do so more promptly than I have been able this time, and more briefly;
for without purpose to be very ____ I happen to have been visited by
unusual concourse of people talking to me about all sorts of things and
by a necessity of ____ my talk with you ____ very rambling and diffuse.
I have had the ____ to read it over--with something of dismay that I
should ever have written such a letter to a lady, and I must beg that
it be communicated to Mr. Chase, to whom, in truth, it seems mainly to
be addressed--and to all eyes but his remain forever a sealed book. It
might ruin all my prospects with less forbearing fair ones if it were
supposed there could be any risk of a similar epistle.

"If you should place a deposit, or otherwise temporarily dispose of
such remittances as you may make through the winter, would not the true
policy be for Mr. and Mrs. C. to come on here for a short time, next
spring or summer, to make more permanent arrangements? The journey
is not much, and might be more than repaid by the business results.
If you could leave your affairs at home the trip might be useful in
all respects. I have left myself little space for other topics. But I
must find room to say, in reply to the friendly message of Mr. Chase,
that I consider myself already, in some sort, acquainted with him,
and to beg that he will not measure the little attentions I had the
pleasure of rendering to a lady who interested me, as well by her
personal qualities as by the situation in which I met her, by the
disproportionate sense of them which she entertains.

"I fear the probability of my being able to visit Tampico at present is
not sufficiently substantial to fabricate a dream of. My consolation
must be the hope of meeting you here, in which I trust you will not
disappoint me. The authority with which you commission me to 'say many
kind things' to certain of your friends--if intended to be general--is
too flattering in its conferment and too agreeable in its exercise to
be renounced. And yet I fear I should not be the 'faithful agent' you
hope if I did not candidly admit how little, in this respect, you need,
or can be aided, by any service of mine.

"Hoping to hear from you shortly, and to see you at an early period,
and wishing Mr. C. and you every prosperity and happiness, I remain,

  "Very truly, your friend,


[8] Letters from Tilden intended for Marcy were commonly addressed to
Marcy's brother-in-law, Mr. Newell, who resided in Washington during
Marcy's war ministry.

[9] Twice Mayor of New York City.

[10] Mr. Tilden on _Saturday_, after seeing Mr. Polk and delivering my
letters, and perceiving a disposition to make the appointment finally
made, _wrote to me to come on to advise_. This I declined, believing
the matter disposed of, as proved to be the fact. The letter to Gov. M.
was mailed at Washn. on Saturday P.M. W. H. H.

[11] The business manager of the Daily News.

[12] _Life of Tilden_, Vol. I., p. 116-117.

[13] At this time a member of the United States Senate from New York.

[14] A resident of Ohio, the following year was elected to the United
States Senate, subsequently became War Secretary of the Treasury under
Lincoln, and died Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United

[15] The letter here referred to was brought to me by John Van Buren
about the date of the letter here given; was published by me promptly
in the New York _Evening Post_, and was republished by the late Paul S.
Ford in his edition of the _Works of Jefferson_.--Editor.

[16] At this convention Martin Van Buren had been nominated by
the Free-soil party for President, and Charles Francis Adams for

[17] Mr. Greeley was at the time this article appeared in the N. Y.
_Evening Post_ a member of Congress from New York city.

[18] This letter was addressed to Mrs. Franklin Chase, whose husband
was U. S. Consul at Tampico.



  "LINDENWALD, _Jany. 5, '51_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience
on the subject of my money as it lies unimproved; also your opinion of
the best investments now to be made. What would you think of putting
five thousand dollars in Erie income bonds if you do not take it?
Explain to me the character of the stock and the principles upon which
it has been issued. Don't forget Lawrence. Excuse me for troubling you,
and believe me,

  "Very truly,
                    "M. VAN BUREN."

The measure for the enlargement of the Erie Canal at an expense of nine
millions of dollars, projected by jobbers in what are still known as
the canal counties, and which is referred to in the following note of
Mr. Burwell, was so effectually resisted by Mr. Tilden, both by speech
and pen, that it was put to sleep for more than forty years, when it
reappeared and was passed. It resulted even more disastrously than
Mr. Tilden had predicted, and to this day no one knows what became of
the $9,000,000 that were spent, though no one will pretend that a new
canal-boat was built or another ton of freight was ever carried through
the canal in consequence of that expenditure.


  "ALBANY, _March 30th, 1851_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I presume you have observed the canal bill, which
increases the State debt $9,000,000. Will you not devote some time
to-morrow to get letters from the money kings--Messrs. Beekman and
Morgan and Williams--to have the bill defeated?

"An effort is to be made to press the bill through this week, and it is
very important there should be some delay.

"I write you because I know you will feel an interest in defending
those constitutional provisions you contributed so essentially to
form. I have heard that many of the sound financial men of Wall Street
are opposed to this new scheme of debt, and particularly Mr. C. W.
Lawrence, of the Bank of the State of New York. I hope you will devote
one day more to defend the public faith.

"I should not write, but I really feel it a solemn duty to urge every
one I can think of to the defence of the Constitution.

"If you could get up a short remonstrance you would do something worthy
of your past labors; but have it sent up by Tuesday or Wednesday.

  "Yours truly,
                      "D. BURWELL."

By the death of President Taylor, in 1850, the Vice-President, Millard
Fillmore, of New York, became Acting President.

Whether, and if any, to what extent, the free State and the slave State
partisans in New York, on whose political course the next Presidential
election was largely dependent, would be able to act together at
the ensuing Presidential election, had become an absorbing question
throughout the nation in 1851. Gideon Welles had for many years been
prominent among political journalists as editor of the _Hartford
Times_. He had also been a devoted champion of the principles and
policies of Presidents Jackson and Van Buren, and was at this time a
warm partisan of the Free-soil wing of the Democratic party. He later
had the honor to be selected by President Lincoln in 1861 for his
Secretary of the Navy, the department of the military service which
during the Civil War of 1861-5 proved most uniformly victorious and


                             "HARTFORD, _24th Sept., 1851_.


"DEAR SIR,--I am wanting light on matters political, and write you for
guidance and information. It was my expectation to have gone to New
York about this time, but as I cannot, excuse my writing. My general
views and my peculiar position (peculiar for me) I very frankly gave
you, and also the attitude of things here when I saw you in June.

"Your convention is to me somewhat of a mystery, for I have seen no
one from your State to enlighten me, and there is no one in the region
hereabout better informed than myself. Things have not taken, in all
respects, the course I could have wished and, indeed, expected, but it
is not uncommon that we are controlled by circumstances rather than
circumstances by us.

"My object is to learn from you the course that the Democrats of your
State will be likely to take in regard to the Presidential election.
I need not say to you that whatever you may communicate shall be in
strictest confidence, and shall be submitted to no other eye or ear
than mine; but it may be of material benefit for you and for us in
Connecticut if I can have some indication of the course which our
friends in New York intend to pursue.

"As I remarked to you when I last saw you, I found things in our State
in a very unfortunate condition when I returned from Washington, and
while I would not commit myself to the schemes on foot, I at the same
time did not think it expedient or useful to place myself in exactly
an antagonal position to old associates and friends. I have therefore
stood somewhat aloof--commenting on and criticising measures and men,
to the great annoyance and disappointment of some, who thought it in
their power to compel me to take a position as they had done by Niles.

"At this time the party in this State which supported Cass do not
mention him. He seems to be dropped by universal consent. His leading
friends, the managers of what you call the Hunker party, are generally
inclined to Buchanan, but the more efficient and active portion of
those who went with him are disinclined to take Buchanan, and, to
a considerable extent, avow themselves for Houston. I have been in
exactly that position when I did not feel inclined to allay their

"In the mean time, within a few weeks past and since the death of
Woodbury, some of the shrewd and cunning friends of Buchanan are
talking up Douglas. Without going into speculations on this matter
generally, I can well perceive the local design and bearing which
those movements may have, and hence my desire to know something of the
intentions and ultimate object of the real Democrats of your State, for
it is desirable that we should harmonize.

"If I could make the next President, Col. Benton would be the man,
although the old man takes occasionally strange freaks. In a late St.
Louis _Union_ I read a strong article in favor of Buchanan, backed by
an editorial equally strong which surprised me. I am no partisan of
Buchanan, whose course on all recent questions appears to me extremely
objectionable, and, in fact, his career is not one that I admire
generally. Cold, selfish, intriguing, and heartless, he panders to
vicious doctrines; he is not a root-and-branch Democrat, and I always
doubt his sincerity. I should very much prefer Marcy, especially if he
could disentangle himself from a few bad associates. From some of the
proceedings of your State convention, and a few odds and ends in the
papers, I have been half inclined to think that some of Marcy's warm
friends threw their influence with the Barnburners, and defeated the
extreme Hunkers. This is mere speculation of mine, without a word from
any one, and made perhaps in the absence of any more obvious cause for
what then occurred.

"In former years I was accustomed to get from Mr. Wright a letter or
two annually that made my pathway clear, and his suggestions enabled me
sometimes to do the cause efficient service. At this time I feel the
necessity of knowing something of the probable direction our friends
in New York will take, and I must rely on you for hints, suggestions,
and views. There is quite a disposition to talk up the Presidential
question, and our active busybodies seem anxious to connect themselves
in season; and without appearing intrusive or actually doing a great
deal, I am perhaps in just such a position as enables me perhaps to do
more active and substantial service than a much abler man, differently
situated. I therefore write to you as an old acquaintance, knowing that
you can give me light.

"Where is our friend Genl. Dix, one of your best clearheaded and
pure-minded men? I suppose things are in such a condition that he could
not be brought forward, but how infinitely superior to most of the
men named for Chief Magistrate. Let me hear from you as early as you
conveniently can, and believe me,

  "Very truly yours,
                       "GIDEON WELLES."

"P. S.--Your father, as well as Gov. Wright, was an old correspondent
of mine, and hence, in part, my claim upon you.

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._"

William L. Marcy had been Governor of New York from 1833 to 1839,
and in 1852, as will be seen by the following letter, he was already
indulging dreams of succeeding Mr. Fillmore at the impending
Presidential election, which, however, resulted in the choice of
Franklin Pierce. Mr. Marcy had too many friends like Van Buren and
Tilden and Dix and Flagg to be trusted at the head of the government
by the partisans of slavery, while and because of those friends he was
wanted in the Cabinet for his influence with those statesmen in New
York; but they took care to put him in the department where he would
have least occasion or opportunity to interfere with the policy of the
slave-holding class. He was made Secretary of State.


                                   "ALBANY, _Apl. 2d, '52_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--Though I have heard of nothing calculated to excite
alarm, yet I do not feel quite easy as to what may be the result of
the delegate meeting on the 7th inst. As Lt.-Gov. Church does not
stand entirely unexposed to attacks on account of the canal lettings,
I think it would be quite agreeable to him to be selected as one of
the State delegates. Should his selection be pressed it may embarrass
the proceedings. I have information from Washington that Dickinson's
_man_, Birdsall, is here exhibiting much bitterness towards me, and
has distinctly broke ground for Dickinson as a candidate. As he cannot
carry the State it will be important for his object, as it would be
to Gen. C.'s friends, to create an impression that no one can carry
it. He will therefore endeavor to get up a scene of confusion here at
the delegate meeting. Though I have no intimation on the subject, yet
I do not doubt that he will propose a wholesale endorsement of the
compromise. If so, the blow must be skilfully parried.

"I also fear the Hunker delegates favorable to me will stiffly insist
on Hunker State delegates, but will go far to gratify the other section
of my friends as to the particular persons.

"I allude to these things to enforce the request I make to have you be
here a day or two before the delegates meet if you conveniently can.

"If we can surmount the embarrassments which may arise in this matter,
I flatter myself that our future course will be more smooth.

"I am inspired with confidence from the information I get from
Washington that things, as they appear there, are not _worsening_ for
me, and if the business at the delegate meeting is done as it ought to
be my prospects will be much improved.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   "W. L. MARCY.

  "_Saml. J. Tilden, Esq._"


  "LINDENWALD, _Sept. 17th, '52_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Accept my thanks for your attention to my stock affair.
Please deposit the balance to my credit in Mr. Worth's bank. I regret
your inability to visit me, as I long to have an old-fashioned chat
with you.

  "In haste,
      "Very truly yours,
                   "M. VAN BUREN."



  "NEW YORK, _Jany. 15th, 1853_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I thank you for the copy of Hawthorne's _Memoirs_. It
would have reminded me, if I had forgotten, that I promised to write
you my views on the subject of our conversation when I last had the
pleasure to see you. I should have done so earlier, but engagements,
which it is no exaggeration to call incessant, have left me no

"The preliminary question is, on what general theory is the new
administration to be formed? Is the Cabinet to be composed of those
who are commonly regarded as Presidential men--who were candidates for
the recent nomination--and are surrounded by the affiliations which
naturally grow up around those occupying that position? It seems to
me that this would be attempting to stand steadily and firmly on a
half-dozen different stools. The President might himself look after
the success of his administration, while his constitutional helpers
were thinking how each measure and each appointment would affect their
pretensions to the succession; or he might content himself with the
formal honor of presiding over the councils of these heads of factions.
But, in my judgment, he ought to be--not what Victoria is in the
British government, not a grand Elector, as Sieyès would have made
Napoleon, not a mere chooser of the actual rulers--but the real and
responsible head of the administration. That he may be such, he should
have, as far as practicable, a Cabinet able to perform its duty towards
him, faithfully and effectively, and not inviting by the aspirations of
its members internal dissension or external hostility. In the last term
of an administration, it may be difficult to exclude pretensions to the
succession. But why incur the embarrassments which they never fail to
generate, during a first term, unless it be certain that it is also the
last! And is it to be now assumed that the Democracy will look from the
candidate through whom it solved the difficulties of a choice at the
last convention, and to candidates through whom it found itself unable
to solve those difficulties? It is not clear that the party can, after
so recent a disorganization--if it could under other circumstances--be
sufficiently consolidated in a single term to be instrumental to any
great public service. But it is clear what will become of the family
discipline and how the farm will be managed if the old gentleman begins
by announcing his own decease and inviting the boys to scramble for the
inheritance. Polk tried that, secretly meaning all the while to be his
own heir; and while he contrived and they scrambled, the inheritance
went to strangers. Let not Gen. Pierce content himself with being a
loose and temporary bond of union between factions; but rather let him
aim to fuse those factions, and constitute a single, compact party.

"Now what is to be done with New York? Some will say avoid all
difficulties by taking no member of the Cabinet from that State. That
would be better than to do worse; and, if on due reflection it should
be deemed most expedient, I should not personally complain. But it
is not a policy after my heart or my judgment; nor does it tend to
constitute a party out of the fused elements of factions. An evasion
policy, in such a case, is a feeble policy.

"Well, who then shall be taken? The public regard Messrs. O'Conor,
Dickinson, Marcy, and Dix as candidates; and therefore I may be
justified in remarking upon them as such. The first two I shall not say
much about, because I do not suppose their present relations to the
prevailing policies of the State will make them regarded as admissible

"Mr. O'Conor is a man of extensive and accurate legal learning, of
an acuteness of reason somewhat excessive even for the higher uses
of his profession--of great mental activity, indefatigable, vehement
and sarcastic in controversy; remarked at the bar as able rather than
wise, and remarkable for a want of tact. What these qualities--not
weakened by a life almost exclusively forensic--would naturally
make him in politics, where they are not counteracted by the large
knowledge, long experience, and settled rules and habits that modify
their effects in his profession, and where the opposite qualities, the
power, not of dissenting or contesting, but of moulding, constructing,
and organizing, of determining one's self and representing others,
are mainly required, may be imagined. Add inexperience in politics,
very limited acquaintance with its subjects, its questions, its
history, its methods or its men--unsettled convictions, a tendency to
capriciousness, and as little as can easily be found of that capacity
which enables a man instinctively to act with others or make them act
with him, and you have the political aspects of his character. Whether
in personal judgment or action in politics, in administrative council,
in a deliberative assembly, or in leading or aiding to lead a party
of a nation or a ward, his destiny is to illustrate how little fitted
to such purposes may be talents conceded to be eminent in a peculiar
sphere. This opinion is the result of many years' observation. It
was confirmed when I was associated with him in the convention that
formed the present Constitution of this State, and, in an intercourse
constant and never unfriendly, was a daily witness of the development
of his characteristics. The partiality of his friends would not change
the nature, though it might lessen the degree, of this criticism. No
one has suggested him except as Attorney Genl.; and for that station,
I presume, on the idea that its duties are purely professional. If
that office did not share in the general administrative councils of
the President; if, as a legal adviser, he were not required to look
at the mixed questions that come up before him somewhat with the eye
of a statesman as well as that of a mere lawyer--or at least with
the largeness and comprehensiveness of a judicial view; if he had no
duty or utility beyond conducting the cases in the courts in which he
occasionally appears for the United States, certainly there could be
no objection to the personal adaptation of this gentleman, and, if
that member of the Cabinet from New York need have no relation to the
majority of the party there, which has the entire State government, and
whose ascendency is every day becoming more complete and solid, and
but a very ineffective relation to the minority, if he need represent
nobody and be capable of representing nobody, such a selection might
not be injudicious as respects the Democracy of the largest State in
the Union.

"I ought perhaps to add a matter of information without going into
discussion of political antecedents that in our great financial
controversy from 1836-7 this gentleman was with the Whigs, and was not
again visible in our ranks until 1844.

"Inferior to either of the other gentlemen mentioned in general
abilities and acquirements, and to either of them, except Mr. O'Conor,
as a politician--and not strong with his State in any of his political
antecedents--Mr. Dickinson has brought himself into his present
unfortunate relations with a great majority of the party here by the
extreme positions he has occupied on questions which have divided the
State, and still more by the fatuity with which he has followed Judge
Beardsley and Mr. Croswell in a policy which must have been fatal to
the party if it had not sooner been fatal to its advocate. I mean the
policy of resisting every attempt at an honorable or practicable union
of the Democracy of the State--on the chance that, while the prominent
men of the section, which formed a majority of the whole and had many
sympathizers from the rank and file of that section, could be made
through the influence of association with the party in other States;
and that, while the Democracy of the Union should take the risks of the
experiment, those who got it up would, at least, own the wreck. Fairer
and wiser men saw that such an experiment in a party which rarely
commands a majority exceeding two or three per cent. of the aggregate
vote, even if more successful than could be reasonably hoped for,
could have no result but to leave New York as thoroughly federalized
as Massachusetts or Vermont for a generation to come. But the folly
of the scheme was no less in its personal aspects. It mistook the
sentiments as it underrated the sense of the masses of the party. They,
as everybody ought to have seen, were in favor of a reunion on equal
and honorable terms. And the attempt to resist it--which, if openly
made, would have been generally rejected--was sufficiently perceived
to break the hold of its authors upon the masses of their own section,
who, although sometimes in a collateral question where old associations
or prejudices could be appealed to showing a large minority have been
drifting from these gentlemen ever since, and many of them resuming
relations with the radicals with whom they formerly acted.

"Gov. Marcy and Genl. Dix both possess the important requisite of being
of the union Democracy of the State, and are both capable of fulfilling
the duties of a Cabinet station with signal ability and distinction. I
express my judgment between these gentlemen, not without regret arising
from kindly personal disposition towards the one against whom that
judgment, under all the circumstances, must be. But I shall state it
frankly, and briefly some of the reasons on which it is founded.

"It seems to me, in the first place, that the selection of Genl. Dix
is most wise and right in respect to the mutual relations of those
who, acting generally with both these gentlemen, since the reunion of
the party in 1849, would be divided in preference between them. On the
first nomination of Gov. Seymour, in selecting a State candidate for
the recent Presidential nomination--in choosing the two State delegates
to the national convention on the renomination of Gov. Seymour--indeed,
on most of the important occasions since the reunion, the radicals,
while constituting far the larger and more effective element of that
union, have conceded almost everything. The magnanimity with which
they have done so, and the fidelity with which they have carried out
the measures in which it has been done, have been strongly recognized
by Gov. Marcy and his friends. These concessions have sometimes been
not without dissatisfaction at the extent and frequent repetition of
them; nor without large demand on the credit and patience of those who
have been the means of inducing acquiescence in arrangements, in which,
while one side contributed most of the capital of the partnership,
the other received nearly its entire benefits. I feel some right to
speak on this point without suspicion that I am swerved by personal
associations from a fair judgment as respects all parties, as well from
the general position I have held on these occasions as from the part I
took in some of them.

"It may not be improper to mention an instance. When the two State
delegates to the national convention were to be chosen, Gov. Marcy, as
desiring to be presented as the State candidate for the Presidency, and
Gov. Seymour as a candidate before his own party the first time after
his defeat before the people, felt their fortunes very deeply involved
in the result. Gov. Marcy wrote to me requesting me to attend the
meeting of the district delegates at Albany, and I did so. I never knew
either of those gentlemen manifest more anxiety or having to confront
more serious embarrassments. It had been the settled understanding that
one Hunker and one radical should be taken for the State delegates.
Most of the votes relied on to make the choice were radicals; and
prominent men of that section, some of whom the radicals most desired
to send, strongly wished to go. It seemed to Gov. Marcy necessary
to take two Hunkers, but he felt the embarrassment of asking it,
especially on the grounds that could alone be rendered; and others, who
had to make the choice or were in firmer association with those who
had to make it, were not easily convinced of the necessity or propriety
of such a course. The difficulty was at length solved by our passing
our favorite men and assenting to elect Mr. Seymour and another Hunker.
Those of us who have, on this and other occasions, felt the strain
with our own friends of keeping the elements of the union Democracy
working harmoniously and efficiently under such circumstances, have a
right to be heard when we express the conviction that the present is
a fit time for Gov. Marcy and his friends to evince some mutuality in
their relations towards the radicals; and that a more safe, proper,
and unobjectionable opportunity to reciprocate the magnanimity with
which they have been treated cannot be offered than in assenting to
the selection of Genl. Dix for the Cabinet. Such I believe to be the
general sense of those who have formed four-fifths of the majorities in
our State conventions and elsewhere since the reunion of the party from
which Gov. Marcy and Gov. Seymour have received support.

"Regarding the question simply as it affects the party in this State,
I think it highly desirable and important that the occasion should be
embraced to manifest that mutuality towards the radicals without which
the elements of a party cannot be kept in cordial or lasting union,
and I think that, on such a question, the general sense of fair men is
more wisely conformed to than disregarded. Certainly I do not mean to
censure Gov. Marcy for allowing his name to be presented, or that we
have any right or disposition to limit the range of selection by Genl.
Pierce; but simply to state considerations which, in my judgment, are
important in deciding the choice.

"This brings me to the question how the party in New York, as a whole,
stand affected as between these two gentlemen? The radicals, who are
a full majority in numbers and more in efficiency, are for Gen. Dix,
and would, under the circumstances, feel some sense of exclusion
in a choice of a different nature. Gov. Marcy and his personal
friends, though preferring him, cannot, as the case stands, make
any actual opposition to the appointment of Gen. Dix; and, if it be
made, will acquiesce--most, if not all of them, with cordiality. The
considerations I have alluded to appeal strongly to their judgment
and sense of justice, if failing to change their wishes; and with the
relations which have grown up with many who are for Genl. Dix, secure
this result. The opposition of the extreme Hunkers to Marcy or Dix will
be most manifest towards the one appearing most likely at the moment to
be appointed; but I think that they are generally less repugnant to the
selection of Dix, towards whom there is less of violence and bitterness
in individual leaders. So far as this may be supposed to arise from
the part Gov. Marcy took in promoting the union of the party, I
regard it as a merit; and for that, with a friendly construction of
acts and motives, we have handsomely acquitted ourselves towards him.
This animosity has other causes, among which is that he has been in
the way of other gentlemen who have grown faster in their own esteem
than in his appreciation (in which difference I think he is more
right than they); and especially that Mr. Dickinson regards him as
having, by being a candidate for the Presidency, kept that distinction
from alighting on fitter shoulders--which it is certain that Mr. D.
confidentially calculated the convention would find, after trying Cass'
awhile, to be of exactly his own management.

"Looking to this State, therefore, I think the appointment of Genl. Dix
would be the most wise, expedient, and prudent, with his moderation
and conciliatory conduct always, and conciliatory disposition, it
will prove generally satisfactory. Not that all can be pleased. Still
less that a few impracticables in this city will be--who never have
been for twenty years, when the party was strong and prosperous--I
mean the leading spirits. Their idea of building up the party has
been to exclude from it a majority as Barnburners, and the most of
the Hunkers as having traitorous sympathies and affiliations with the
Barnburners; and, incapable of more than one idea at a time, they have
continued faithful to this, until they have pretty much exhausted
the credit they acquired in 1848 with the masses of those who voted
for Gen. Cass; and have lost their influence in the organization of
the party even in this city, while their crotchets are not and have
not been shared in by a tenth of those who were nominally classified
with them. They may be safely disregarded. There will be no local
dissatisfaction in this city arising from appointments, if those which
are of a local nature be judiciously made. The truth is the divisions
and factions which appear on the surface of our city politics are
pretty much confined to the petty leaders, and excite attention or
interest in but a very small portion of the masses. They are generated
by the very large number of offices, contracts, and other objects of
cupidity, municipal, State, and national, which are concentrated here,
and perhaps in some degree by the stirring and heterogeneous character
of our population. They always exist, and have little to do with any
settled general classification. Their effect is to render opinion and
individual character less influential than in the more natural and
sound condition of the rural districts, and to make the organization
of the party, always scrambled for to promote personal ends, a much
less true index of the real sentiments of the party. So far as the
relations of the administration with the party in this city are to be
effected at all by its appointments, assuming them, of course, to be
intrinsically proper and reputable, it would be incomparably more by
the multitude of little ones than by the large. While the appointments
here should be made with primary reference to the honest and efficient
discharge of official duties, a judicious care should be had for the
harmonizing and conciliating the entire party. The one or two which
have extensive subordinate patronage should not be surrendered to
the bigotry of clique or of individuals on the idea of a partition
between factions, but should be entrusted to persons who have largeness
of views, judgments, and local knowledge enough to administer the
subordinate patronage on the same principle on which the administration
itself acts. With such a policy the disturbing causes will be reduced
to a minimum and the party will move on in general unity and strongly
ascendant. I will venture what character I have for political judgment
that no perceptible obstacle to this result would be found in the
selection of Gen. Dix for the Cabinet.

"There is another consideration in respect to that gentleman. He is a
model of a Cabinet officer. Able, accomplished, and judicious, capable
of doing a given quantity of work in a specified time, not having made
himself or been made a candidate for the Presidency, he will serve the
administration faithfully, and without aiming to control or manage it
to personal ends; and being in nobody's way for the succession, with no
affiliations formed to secure it to him, not looked to with any such
view by those who present his name, he will draw on the administration
no jealousies on that score from those who fear passive not less than
active rivals, and will not believe that Presidential ambition, once
entertained, can ever be practically relinquished.

"To the force of all these considerations is opposed nothing but an
alleged repugnance of the South or portions of it to Genl. Dix's
appointment arising from his position in 1848. I do not suppose Genl.
Pierce will be disposed to, or can listen to, an objection of this
nature, and I think it will be found to have as little real existence
as it has cogency. Mr. Dickinson's friends thought before the last
convention that they should ruin Gov. Marcy by charging him with
having allied with the Barnburners; but it rather proved an element of
strength, and the votes he received were, notwithstanding, from the
extreme South. Our friends there, as elsewhere, wanted a candidate who
could win. Every man of sense, then, must see now that if the party
would maintain itself, it must do so by the same policy by which it
regained the ascendency. The real difficulty in respect to the South
will be in composing their own dissensions, in which all sides there
will feel infinitely stronger interest than in any New York question.
Such an objection to Genl. Dix may be entertained by bigotry or the
narrowness of views of some, or more likely it may be the pretence
of men dissatisfied on grounds interesting them personally. If this
pretence be wanting to such, others equally available will be found.

"Whatever it be, the sooner the administration shall show that it does
not intend to reverse the policy which brought it into existence the
better. Without a prompt, firm, and decisive course in this respect,
we shall have nothing--from cabinet minister down to tide-waiter--but
discussions of past dissensions, which it is the policy and duty of
Genl. Pierce, with all his power as the head of the party, to bury.
It is a case in which boldness is the highest prudence. If the party
cannot be kept large enough to contain all the great divisions of it
which have predominated in powerful States or sections of the Union,
it cannot be kept in the majority. In the face of the certain results
of any other system, I feel courageous in supporting this, on the
principle on which Moreau said he rendered his soldiers brave--by
making them fear more to run than to fight.

"Asked the other day by a Hunker friend if I thought it prudent to
take a man of Gen. Dix's class, I replied, most certainly to take one
such. If past positions on the slavery question as it existed among
Democrats, are to be the grounds of a classification, it is proper
and necessary to represent the divisions to which Genl. Dix belonged
as well as others. Can it be done anywhere else as well as in New
York? He will be in line with the majority of the party and the entire
government in that State, which the minority of the party there, if
that classification be the criterion, will still be amply represented
in other members of the cabinet, whereas if he be not taken, and the
section to which he belongs be not represented elsewhere, as we may
presume it will not, the results will be regarded by the country as a
practical exclusion of that interest.

"It seems to be, therefore, desirable to take a man of Genl. Dix's
relations; and to take one or more of the States-rights Democrats
from States in which they stand with a majority of the party, and to
represent the other great interests, as there will be abundant room
to do, in the rest of the cabinet. A strong administration cannot be
made by combining negations. If it be formed, as it should be, by men
who have a predominant regard to its unity and success, the more its
members have of the confidence and favor of the interests and States
they are respectively taken to represent, the better. Of course I mean
only men of qualifications and character, and of fitness in these
respects and from their Democratic antecedents--and the objection to
whom is merely the part they had in the recent Democratic divisions
North and South. Let unfriendly critics, if they please, call such a
cabinet mosaic. If the joiner work be good, as I believe it may be,
and the materials be of the right general character, I do not care how
firm the texture or strong the colors of the parts. It will dovetail
the party together for a basis on which the administration may stand
securely. Certainly, I assume that in this there will be no violation
of principle and honor to shock the confidence of the country. Those
who think there is, and have acquiesced thus far, might feel some
delicacy that their scruples arise for the first time when they are
asking for themselves and on this ground a monopoly of the fruits of
the wrong. Restitution to the true owner would be more becoming. If
the party that elected Gen. Pierce be an alliance of those who cannot
honestly act together, it ought to be dissolved; but if it could
honestly unite, there can be no objection to proclaiming the intention
to continue that union, or to carrying it out in the most effectual

"At the late election, the large popular majorities as well as large
electoral votes were in the great States of New York, Pennsylvania,
and Ohio. Notwithstanding the clamor about the identification of Scott
with Seward, the South did not do equally well, except in States where
personal antipathies to that interest or personal commitments of Whig
leaders produced systematic defections. No administration or party can
stand without the support of at least two of the great free States.
And the conceded abandonment at the outset of the canvass of either
of the two largest, especially if it be the first in electoral votes,
and of metropolitan action or opinion, usually loses one or both of
the others. No man has been elected President against the vote of New
York in the six successive elections since it has been cast unitedly
and by the people; nor, indeed, ever but in a single instance, the
circumstances of which scarcely constitute it an exception. Her vote
has been often an unnecessary addition to his majority--and a hopeful
contest for it would often enable the other States to do without her;
but it is not easy to measure the force of her conceded or apprehended
loss, representing, as her population does, elements that affect the
equilibrium of so many other States.

"The interest, headed by Gov. Seward, which nominated Scott, is a
powerful minority in these great States. Carrying almost the whole
Whig party against an existing Whig administration and the influence
of the great Whig leaders, it may, as an opposition and surviving
those leaders, absorb the third party, now almost holding the balance
of power, without disintegrating itself. It will be likely to try
the experiment. The defection from it last fall, tho' encouraged by
the commanding patronage of the administration and the name of Mr.
Webster, was scarcely more than one--certainly not two--per cent.,
and was confined to a few localities. If the previous State elections
had not practically decided the contest, that defection would have
been inconsiderable. Hereafter, not only are these disturbing causes
stilled, but it will have the cementing influence of a common

"The characteristics of this interest, in our State politics, have
been profligate jobbing and reckless enterprise and expenditure. The
only effectual barrier to its predominance has been in the radicals.
They include the prominent men who, with Wright, Hoffman, and Flagg,
fought all our great financial contests; and a majority of the masses
who maintained their measures, although large numbers of the latter
were--temporarily, as I believe--detached by the divisions of 1848 and
bound with the opposite interest about half of the entire party. While
the questions on which they separated were occasional and temporary,
questions of honest financial policy and administration are ever
present. Indeed, in our time the chief political duty seems to be to
protect the people from plunder under the forms of legislation and in
the abuse of administration.

"On all these questions, as well as doctrines of States'-rights,
free trade, and in most general views of government, the radicals of
New York (as I should have remarked while speaking of the relations
between them and the State-rights Democrats of the South in a composite
cabinet) sympathize with the radical Democracy of the South; and,
indeed, are the only unflinching coadjutors the latter have had in New

"Agreeing in what is the only safe reliance of constitutional rights,
as well as the cardinal point of the Democratic faith--embracing, as
each does, the flower of the Democratic youth, enterprise, and energy
in its own region--without discussing individual views of the course of
either, antecedent to the general reunion of the party, and admitting,
if you please, that they are somewhat alike in the boldness with which
they maintain their opinions, and repel aggressions on what they deem
to be their rights--it is obvious that there are points of sympathy
between them which make it easy and natural for them to fraternize,
when out of the presence of any immediate course of difference, as they
did all through the late Baltimore convention and in its result.

"The radicals of New York include as much talent, courage, enterprise,
and fearless devotion as can be found in any party. They have the
advantage of being, on an average, half a generation younger than the
other. These circumstances, as well as those I have before mentioned,
mark them as the future of the Democracy of New York. Since Silas
Wright's death they have given their affections to no providential
man. They fell into the support of Genl. Pierce with alacrity at the
convention, and with generous enthusiasm in the canvass, because they
recognized in him qualities in common with those of their lamented
leader, attested as well by the warm regard generated between them
in former years by mutual sympathies, as by the whole career of the

"As a matter of mere party calculation, I do not think it wise, with
reference to the reconstitution and reconsolidating of the party on a
comprehensive basis, to leave them the only large and powerful class
not represented in the cabinet; nor, in undertaking to represent
them, to pass over a statesman of great merit and in all respects
unobjectionable, unless because he is one of their number. The
administration will, I believe, ensure their support by its principals
and measures. But looking to the condition of domestic politics, in
New York and the other great States on which the strength of the
party mainly depends, I do not think it would be a mistake to add
the cordiality that comes from a sense of equality and reciprocity
in party relations and the energetic and efficient co-operation
which will result. There are other considerations, but my letter has
already reached an unconscionable length, my apology for which is,
that writing my thoughts as they arose while writing they would not
stop, and I could not--I have set them down frankly, not without some
delicacy, at seeming so much to advise, but remembering that nobody
need follow, while I would be unwilling to mislead. If I can contribute
any information or suggestion to the general stock which you have
a right to advise, and He whose province it is to judge must needs
gather from all quarters, my end will be attained. I am too sensible
of the difficulties of filling up a cabinet on principles which seem
essential, or any general principal and at the same time securing
the highest individual fitness, worth and weight and a reasonable
concurrence of our friends in the various localities,--to be willing to
increase them. A just and firm policy will solve them, as nearly as is
ever attainable in such cases, to the satisfaction of the country. With
the best wishes of one who may speculate safely because he is without
the responsibility of acting--and who, except as a citizen, a Democrat,
and a friend of the new administration, has, and can have, no interest
in the result, though not exempt from the influence of sympathies of
opinion and association in attempting to take a fair view,

  "I remain truly your friend,
                (Signed) "S. J. TILDEN."[19]


                             "HARRISBURG, _Feb. 23d, 1853_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--A little matter of business, which called me here for
a day, has brought me again in contact with Gov. Bigler, and his
impressions are so strong on a point I casually mentioned to you
in New York that I think it not improper to repeat his suggestion
more formally. It is that, in case you have decided to take Mr.
Campbell[20] into your cabinet, you should, if practicable, put him in
the Interior or Navy, rather than the Post-Office. The Gov. says the
Catholics are very numerous in this State--enough to make it probable
that, in many instances, they may become candidates for appointment
as postmasters--and enough to awaken little neighborhood jealousies
respecting them. He deems it undesirable that Mr. C., as the head of
the department, should be called upon officially to decide on these
cases, and be exposed to the suspicion of appointing from religious
partiality, or to the necessity of doing injustice in order to avoid
that imputation. It is worth considering whether these views have not
more force than your own observation in the different condition of
things existing in New England would induce you at first to give them.
In expressing them, the Gov. can have no motive but the welfare of your
administration and of the party here, and his observation of the state
of opinion here is entitled to a consideration. He seems to entertain
these ideas so strongly, and so much to _desire that they shall_ be
presented to you, that I take the liberty of drawing your attention
once more to them;--not to press them upon you, but that your mind may
pause upon them and take their exact measure before you conclude the

"I am not sure that my engagements will permit me to be in Washington
at the inauguration; but I hope, at any rate, to have the pleasure of
seeing you soon after.

                           "With great respect,
                                            "I remain, truly,
                                                           "Your friend."

  "_His Exy. Franklin Pierce_."

We have here a continuation of suggestions which Mr. Tilden felt called
upon to present to President Pierce to guide him in his dispensation
of his patronage in the State of New York. It makes one sad to think
what an opportunity was lost by this President, and through him by the
country, from his failure to see the wisdom of this advice and to adopt
it. Had Mr. Pierce respected the public opinion of the State of New
York and properly recognized the political sentiments and sympathies of
the majority there, as he did in the Southern States, the presumption
is that the Nullification party would have been as effectually disarmed
under his administration as it was by President Jackson a quarter
of a century before. Franklin Pierce, however, was a different man
from Andrew Jackson, and the conditions under which he received his
nomination did not leave him a free agent.

It was only at this stage of Pierce's administration that Tilden began
to indulge in the deplorable error of walking by sight and not by
faith. He did not believe, nor did he ever again seem to comprehend,
that in the slave States all other questions even the Constitution of
our government and the integrity of our territory, were subordinate
throughout the South to the preservation and extension of slavery; that
every person who ventured publicly to express a doubt of the wisdom of
allowing slavery to extend to the free Territories was pronounced there
a _suspect_, and was proscribed as a person who tainted every one who
associated with him politically. The Nullifiers saw, and saw correctly,
that the anti-slavery sentiment could only be resisted in America as
heresy was resisted by Louis XIV. in France--by crushing the heretics
or driving them from the country. To reason with Pierce in favor of
dispensing his patronage in the State of New York in accordance with
the public opinion of the State, was as idle as the lambs reasoning
with the wolf in the fable.

The following notes, though without address, were without doubt
prepared by Tilden and addressed to Pierce or to some one for his
perusal. By the paging of the MS., it appears that thirteen pages,
which have not been found, preceded those which are here submitted to
the reader.



"The Collectorship, the Sub-Treasuryship, and in a less degree the
Naval Office, have State as well as city aspects. I have therefore set
down the Secretary of State and the foreign missions in connection with

"Considered in a State aspect, see how much more the Hunkers (Hard and
Soft) get, in every view of this allotment, than the Barnburners, who
are more than equal in numbers and power to both of them united.

"Considering the Collectorship singly in that aspect, the same result
is obvious.

"Be not misled by the apparent predominance of the Hunkers in the city.
Up to the moment of the schism in 1848, the Radicals had five-sixths
of the masses and nearly the whole party organization. Their old
associates have been returning to them ever since. In 1851 the Radicals
had a majority of the delegates to the State convention, and there
was but a small majority against them in the General Committee of
that year. At the last election of General Committee in 1852, they
carried a majority; and at the last trial in the Tammany Society their
majority was five to one. I grant that a large majority of the party
went for Cass in 1848, but I do not think a majority are now in the
leadership of Schell, Sickles, etc., or included in the distinctive
class of Hards. I entertain no doubt whatever, if the appointments are
such as not to affect the question anyway, the Radicals will remain in
permanent possession of the organization. The truth is that four-fifths
of the rank and file follow the organization, by whichever leaders it
is wielded. All this, however, is matter of opinion; I do not claim
for it the assent of your judgment, although I have never been known
hitherto to over-calculate the strength of those among whom I belong.

"But permit me to say that this point is below the importance and
dignity of the general question before you. The most controlling
aspects of the case are State aspects and general aspects. If you vest
the most powerful and influential trust in the State of New York in a
politician of the most vulgar sort--or narrow views, prospective in all
save the promise by which that trust is secured, a schemer for personal
ends by desperate and fraudulent means, that almost revolted the party
at the last election--nay, if you fail to take most ample and certain
guaranty against the predominance of any such influence, in the known,
tried, and elevated character of the man you select, your appointment
cannot fail to be discreditable and disastrous in its results. You
should rest that corner of your administration on the sense and moral
power of the community, by an appointment which should appeal to them,
and draw approval from all disinterested persons. Do this, and you will
rise above the altitude of mere politicians; and no disaffection which
their disappointments will create can raise a ripple on the surface.

"There is one other consideration. I have recounted to you on a
former occasion the series of surrenders by the Radicals to the
Softs through which the Union movement of the New York Democracy has
been thus far carried on. I could not adequately express to you the
painful personal embarrassments by which its recent steps have been
marked--the embroiling of old personal relations--and the difficulties
with which it has been achieved. These were our main motives to ask in
the selection of a Cabinet officer from New York some recognition of
the radicals. Again they yielded, and they have looked forward to the
most prominent local appointment in the State as a case in which what
they felt to be justice--long deferred--would be accorded to them. The
impression--whether well or ill founded--has existed that such would be
the course of things. I confess that I have shared in that impression.
Instead of there being any cause for shrinking or hesitation, I think
the occasion ought to be _desired_ to fulfil an expectation so right
and reasonable. I clearly think that it is needed. I know I speak the
sentiments of the strong men among the radicals when I say that the
personal interests, desires, or gratification of Gen. Dix, or any other
man whom they have honored, are as dust in the balance in the true
gravity of this question. I believe Gen. Dix is the last man who would
dissent from this opinion. At any rate, I take the responsibility of
expressing it in the name of all his supporters.

"A clear, conspicuous recognition, in a case in reference to
which expectation has [been] excited, and which concerns more
than the gratification of a single individual, is what is needed.
The controlling men of the radicals in all parts of the State are
independent men--in condition as in character. They are weary with
debating questions of their own equality with the rest of their
party. They have not proposed to proscribe anybody. The question has
constantly been whether they should be proscribed. They do not rely on
instructions contrary to the disposition and whole anterior conduct
of the individual intrusted with the power. Such reliance would be an
illusion inconsistent with all ordinary experience; and a choice which
should imply it will utterly fail of inspiring confidence or producing
any valuable effect.

"The programme should be accomplished to this actual condition of facts
and sentiments.

"It is with a clear sense and earnest feeling outrunning my power of
adequate expression, in the haste in which I write, that I put you in
possession of these ideas. I do so only because I think I comprehend
the case better than can easily be done from a distance; and because
I deem it important that you should be appraised of the sentiments of
a powerful class on which the success of the administration, so far
as New York is concerned, largely depends. A desire that you should
do what is wise for it and for yourself is not less my motive than a
desire that you should be just to the class to which I myself belong.
I confide entirely in your disposition to do what is fair and right to
all; and have a grateful sense of the kindness and consideration with
which you have treated me personally. These very sentiments impel me to
address you with earnest frankness in respect to a matter, a mistake in
which cannot, in my judgment, be easily, if at all, retrieved.

  "Very truly,
          "Your friend,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _Mch. 21st, 1853_.

"MY DEAR FOWLER,--Yours of yesterday is recd., and I have read it to
Kennedy and Waterbury, who have started to get letters--they feel
confident that the Mayor will write; Dix is at Rye, but has written,
I think, to Tilden. Havemeyer writes for nobody this day. I enclose
a note of my own, which, with Marcy friendly, ought to cover ground

"I yesterday wrote O'Sullivan by Benton--also Temple; you will have
seen my letters before this. If I had known last week I could be of
service I might have run on. Now I start for Albany at 1.15, where
I have 3 causes amongst the first 10 in the Court of Appeals, and
they now have a rule that they will not strike off or reserve on the
first day. If I can get away the last of the week I will run on to
Washington, but then I suppose it will be too late. Tallcott came on
with Tilden to Philadelphia, and brings accounts corresponding with
those in your letter. If I had known exactly how matters stood I would
not have alluded in my letter to Temple to my previous letter to
Tilden; if he has not read the President my letter to him he may strike
out that part, or say that Tilden was afraid the abruptness of it might
not be understood, and so retained it. There is nothing in either
letter that should be misapprehended between honest men--the President
is entitled to frankness and plain-dealing, and so are we.

"In regard to my visiting Washington, I see no good I could do,
except to satisfy the President and Govr. Marcy that we mean to deal
with them not only fairly but liberally. This can as well be done by
yourself, Tilden, Richmond, O'Sullivan, Crosswell, Temple, Cassidy,
and any other friends with whom I have no secrets, and without whom
I should be powerless, if disposed to differ from them. Marcy must
be perfectly aware of this, and I am sure the President is. I am not
surprised to hear from all our friends that Marcy behaves well--his
natural disposition, old associations, good sense, and obvious policy
all combine to take him to the side of sound men, and if he is prudent
the party can be made very strong in this State. It is curious, but
true, that I have said from the first that the only fear I have about
him is that he will be too violent on the hard shells! It is a singular
fear for me to have, but it is because such a course would weaken M.'s
influence with Pierce, and excite sympathy with the hard shells. That
M. would be just to our people I have never doubted since he was

"I left word at Dix's that I had named him for the Collectorship. I had
some conversation with him about it the other day, and inferred from
what he said he would not decline. On looking over the whole ground
this seems to me the best thing the President can do--and I think Dix
would be pleased with it. We cannot insist on a mission for him and
the collectorship for a Barnburner. We must have the latter, and if
Dix, after being gazetted to the Cabinet and to France, should get
nothing it would be extremely awkward and almost ludicrous; this would
mortify me extremely as well as him and his friends. I have been to
see Havemeyer; he _says he will not accept_. I told him if he declined
we would murder him. But it seems to me the President should choose
between Kelly and Dix; if he can take Kelly and give Dix a mission that
would be best of all. Write me at Albany, and telegraph if anything

  "Truly Y'rs,
                     "J. VAN BUREN."

"P. S.--If the President gives us a fair man for Collector, and the
Navy ____ only, he might put in some Hunker for Marshal, P.-O.,
Apprsr., Surveyor, etc., leaving room for Dix's mission."


  "_Private and confidl._
                                     "WASH., _4 Apl., '53_.

"DEAR SIR,--The appraisers have been up, but I have got the appts. put
off for a few days. Let me know who (you think) ought to be app'd.

"Dickinson is to be here to-morrow--and it is expected by his friends
that he will interfere and have a potential voice in N. Y. appts. What
of Thompson for Appr. at Large? Redfield has telegraphed me that he
shall accept and come on here. See him if you can, as he passes thro'
N. Y.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   "W. L. MARCY."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._

"P. S.--Pomeroy is nominated as Appraiser at Large."

The accession of Pierce to the Presidency was soon followed by the
retirement of F. P. Blair, who had edited the _Globe_, a semi-official
press since the inauguration of President Jackson, and by the
establishment of the _Union_ as the new administration organ, under the
editorship of Mr. Ritchie, the proprietor of the leading Democratic
print in Virginia. This was the first unmistakable evidence of the
deliberatively proscriptive policy of the new Cabinet.

Mr. Forney, who for many years had been the Washington correspondent
of a Philadelphia print, was assigned to a prominent command on the
skirmish-line of the allied pro-slavery press. Though not a wit
himself, the following skit will warrant his friends to claim for him
the credit of being once very nearly the cause of wit in another. Its
chief interest to the reader now consists in its glimpses of many
transitory political issues which only live in the daily press and
private correspondence of the period.


"A daily journal will be established in the City of New York under the
title of the _Forney-caterer_, the first number of which will be issued
Jan. 1st, 1854, or on some other first of January.

"This journal will profess radically _Democratic principles_. Believing
in the largest liberty--especially in using the public moneys, it
will insist on the extension of that liberty through all the domains
of the public treasuries, national, state, and municipal, as the true
idea of _Democratic progress_. It will be in favor of _free trade_, as
practically illustrated in steamship contracts; and will particularly
sustain the _Sloo_ contract, and the assignment thereof to George Law,
Edwin Croswell, Prosper M. Wetmore, and Marshall O. Roberts; and the
_Collins_ contract, which its editor will also personally advocate
in the lobbies of Congress for a moderate compensation. Opposed to
_internal improvement_ by the general government, it will urge liberal
appropriations of the public funds to any private company which shall
make satisfactory arrangements for grants in aid of the Pacific
Railroad; and will take a small interest in the purchase by the
United States of the property of the Hudson's Bay Company, should that
beneficent measure be revived with a prospect of success.

"In respect to the foreign policy of this country, it will be equally
explicit. Asserting the honor and dignity of this great and powerful
people, it will uphold the claims of Messrs. Hargous with firmness,
whether against belligerent or bankrupt nations or against refractory
or unconvinced commissioners.

"Located at the great commercial centre, this journal will aim to be
metropolitan in its character. Not indifferent to the concerns of
sister States, it will take a large interest in maintaining the Camden
& Amboy monopoly and other domestic institutions, the blessings of
which no traveller ever can pass a sister State without feeling.

"Strangers to the city and State of New York, as the editor and founder
of this journal both are, it cannot be expected that they should at
the outset act without hesitation in purely local matters. In respect
to the offal contract and the Broadway railroad, and as to the canal
lettings and the timber contracts of John C. Mather, it may be as well
to say that they are, as yet, wholly uncommitted. They are, however,
not altogether unfamiliar with similar things elsewhere.

"An ample capital has been contributed by gentlemen who are interested
in maintaining the great measures to which this journal is to be
devoted; and no expedient has been omitted to ensure its success as a
business undertaking in behalf of its stockholders and managers. It
will be provided with editors, reporters, and other _attachés_, enough
to perform all useful services in the lobbies of Congress, of the State
Legislature, and of the city Councils; and with talent and democracy
enough in the editorial rooms to make good the ordinary wear and tear
of character and influence incident to the other departments of the

"As conveyancing will form a large element of the business, expert
legal counsel will be provided in the person of Mr. D. E. Sickles, who
is recommended for this purpose by his rare skill in _taking_ mortgages.

"Before concluding, it is a painful necessity to advert to the unhappy
divisions of the Democracy of New York, which it is the main object
of this undertaking to heal. An exact impartiality between those who
are for preserving the party and those who are for breaking it up, was
intended to be secured by dividing the ownership of the paper equally
between them, and then putting its absolute editorial control in the
hands of a gentleman whose associations, sympathies, affiliations, and
tendencies are entirely and irresistibly--with the latter.

"That equitable and sensible plan having met some unexpected objection,
it has been slightly modified; but it will nevertheless be carried
out as if unchanged. The business arrangements are most profound
and comprehensive. The proprietors who invest a large capital in
the enterprise are to have no voice in its editorial management,
because that department--the doctrines it maintains, the degree of
its ability, its consistency, its integrity, in a word, its whole
editorial character--is not supposed to make any difference with the
subscription-list or advertising of a newspaper. The modern idea of a
complete separation between those who spend and those who pay is to
be carried out more fully than in any other joint-stock speculation
heretofore known; and gentlemen of first-rate ability in both these
departments have been secured. It is not doubted that the result will
eclipse anything that has gone before it in the newspaper line. The
editor will be paid a double salary for his shares and the sacrifice
he will make in relinquishing a lucrative place in the House of
Representatives, but without prejudice to his continuance in that post,
to which he will be a candidate for re-election.

"The issue of this journal having been postponed from the period first
announced, an explanation is due to the public. The paper had become
deeply pledged to support the State ticket to be nominated at the
Syracuse convention and the regular organization of the Democracy of
New York, under the expectation that both would be in _adamantine_
conformity to the principles herein avowed. The editor and founder and
their associates were assembled in this city to await the issue of that
body; and at the very moment of the bloody scenes of Syracuse were
having recourse to the private perusal of the riot act, when, lo! they
were themselves thereby incontinently dispersed, and cannot be at once

  "NEW YORK, _September 19th, 1853_."


  "NEW YORK, _Sep. 10th, 1853_.

"DEAR SIR,--Your letter was received yesterday. I do not think there
will be any considerable difficulty in respect to resolutions. The
general disposition will be to go to every reasonable extent to disarm
those who are predetermined to make mischief. The true and only serious
difficulty is to get the convention organized. The plan of those who
are hostile to the union of the party is to have two conventions, if it
be possible to confuse the public mind as to which really represents
the party and its organization. All the moderation, prudence, and
liberality consistent with the preservation of the convention must be
exercised to avoid a disorganization; or, if that cannot be avoided (as
it cannot be, if any considerable minority are bent on it), to leave
the disorganizers with as little of a case as possible. The danger is
in the large number of contested seats--real and pretended. In about
half of the cases there is no shadow of claim on the part of the
hard-shell contestants; and such cases can be multiplied indefinitely,
so as to form with the extreme men in the convention and the
contestants out of it a sufficient number to be a quorum of a separate
body. I think we can stand the large number of these now known, if
the moderate and union Hunkers can be held, as we anticipate. I have
heard from various sources that the President feels the same solicitude
which your letter expresses, and that he thinks that the defeat of the
party here would revive and reorganize the Whigs all over the country.
In that he is quite right. On the encouragement of a disaster in this
State, the Whig party would spring to new and full life. It was so in
1837 and in 1846, and in both those cases the results spread over the
whole country. Neither you nor the President need doubt that we are
fully aware of the peril, both to the party in the Union and in this
State; or that any reasonable effort will be omitted to avert it.

"But we are put to great odds when 30 or 35 of our districts are
neutralized by contested claims, and in all this part of the State
the mass of the patronage of the genl. government is used most
unscrupulously against us, and--"


  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 23, 1854_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have called at your office twice to-day on some
business of my own. Will you oblige me by letting me know when you are
in your office, that I may come and bore you?

  "Yours truly,
                    "W. C. BRYANT."


  "NEW YORK, _Oct. 12, 1853_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I take the first moment I have been able to command to
answer your note recd. on Monday.

"There is no truth whatever in the story that Grover[21] voted against
or dissented from the resolutions of the late Syracuse convention. As
the question was then taken _viva voce_ it is foolish to say that any
man actually voted for them unless you happened to see his lips move
or distinguished his voice, but as _Grover_ did _not_ express dissent
or apparently reserve his vote, I suppose he must be deemed to have
concurred in their adoption. I have no doubt that he did so, for in
the caucus the evening before he was openly in favor of adopting the
Baltimore resolutions. My own knowledge of his sentiments, as expressed
before, correspond with this course on his part. I state this as matter
of fact, because it is fact; and not that I do _not_ think it idle to
expect to silence those clamors in respect to Mr. Grover. They must
have something to say. The convictions I expressed to you as the true
policy in respect to the collectorship would have been strengthened by
subsequent events if they had not been before so clear and strong.

"The safe issue with Bronson was on the charge that he has lent his
official character and influence to disorganize the party in this
State, and to aid the formation of an organized opposition to the
administration, and has abused the appointing power entrusted to him
to accomplish those objects both of hostility alike to the Democracy
and the administration. He would be easily convicted of the first
charge by his overt act in taking part with the bolters from the
character of the ticket he sustains and from the declarations of the
body of his associates. Indeed, his practical position in that respect
is already sufficiently recognized by the general public. The second
charge that he had exerted his official influence and the appointing
power to further the ends of the new combination into which he has
openly entered would be readily believed, and its truth could be
abundantly shown at leisure. These charges, if well founded, as they
unquestionably are, are of a character to justify and, indeed, demand
of the administration, by its duty of self-preservation and its duty to
maintain the Democracy as an organized party, to intervene for objects
so important and so elevated. It can act on such grounds without
loss of dignity, and with a justice that is capable of triumphant
vindication. That action should correspond with the nature of the
case--the clear legal [obligations] of the Collector to the President
and to the character of the administration. In my opinion such action
is to be performed only in the exercise of the power of removal. The
efforts of the administration to come to an amicable understanding with
this 'refractory subordinate,' as the _Globe_ used to say, have all
failed hopelessly. Any attempt to coerce his discretion while retaining
him in office is inconsistent with every attribute which ought to
characterize the action of the administration, as the case now stands,
and will entirely fail of results except to weaken and besmirch the
administration itself.

"The failures to coerce his discretion, even his unfairness and his
infidelity to the policy of the administration in the distribution of
the subordinate appointments, are by no means the strongest grounds on
which to place his removal. On the contrary, I think it a godsend that
he has furnished other grounds proved to your hands, of impregnable
strength, on which to justify a removal made necessary by petty wrongs
and frauds, but now becomes at once indispensable at the hands of the
administration and capable of being done without loss of dignity.

"There is still another ground besides those mentioned where the
movement in this State has for its _avowed_ object to compel the
President to remove his Cabinet. This object is daily manifest through
the press and by speeches and by resolutions. The Collector has taken
open part with this movement, and, while disclaiming these objects, he
is fairly to be held to concur in them, and I presume nobody has any
doubt that he, in fact, does so. He at the same time holds an office
of most power and of more importance to the administration than any
member of the Cabinet. Now is it possible to suppose that if a member
of the Cabinet were taking part in public meetings of men, whose
object was to expel the rest of the Cabinet, the administration could
omit to interfere in the matter without a total loss of all public
respect? The principle that the heads of the departments should be in
relations of harmony and confidence with the President has been applied
as much to the Collectorship of this port as to the Cabinet offices,
and with at least as much reason. Prudence as well as principle has
always sustained the President through all change of parties and of
individuals in bringing the chief officers of the government into
this harmony with it whenever he has found them otherwise. These are
the grounds on which the removal of Bronson should be placed, and
his unfairness and infidelity to the policy of the administration
in appointments only incidental as constituting or being part of a
systematic abuse of the appointing power to aid his general object.
This latter should be very incidental.

"It is important that the issue should be made on _his_ conduct and in
its moral, general, and public aspect, and not on the conduct of the
administration in interfering with his appointments. It is important,
in a word, that the administration should have the _affirmative_ of
the issue--that it should be charging the attacking party, and not the

"You are now pausing on the edge of a marsh, when you should be in full
march on solid ground, so at least it seems to me nothing remains but
to recover as soon as possible a firm and strong position.

"If Bronson answers at once, his reply will afford the occasion for an
instant removal.

"In that event, care should be taken, by a well-considered and powerful
article in the _Union_ of a semi-official character to place the
removal on the true grounds--and as little as possible on the one by
which the correspondence will probably be used by him and by the Whigs
to frame; and that article should be especially shaped to carry the war
into Africa.

"If, as I fear, Bronson should delay answering in the knowledge
that time lost is all in their favor and against us, there is one
other resource. Let the administration treat the open avowals of our
organized movement to change the Cabinet, which have been made since
the correspondence commenced, as a _new development_ of the designs
and character of the movement with which Bronson is implicated, and as
a new offence which calls for immediate action. I see no difficulty
in doing this if the administration is really earnest for action
instead of wishing occasion for temporizing. Take an affirmative,
energetic course, and the details will work out themselves or be easily
brought into conformity with the broad grounds on which you act. The
administration is perishing by slow disease, the result of indecision
and want of energy. I do not say this because I am willing to think
it is the administration's duty to come up to any personal wishes
or opinions of mine, but I should be blind if I failed to see the
indication of a general and prevalent public opinion.

"If you had not known me, and I have known you more than twenty years,
and will not think I speak rashly, I would not speak so frankly, though
it is at once the highest office and best testimony of my friendship to
convey early what is slow and late to reach the ears of men in power.

"The bolting movement in this State would have utterly failed if it
could have been understood at the outset that this administration were
united in discountenancing it. We should have carried the State, and
the President's policy, wise and right as it was, would have had the
double triumph of carrying at once Georgia and New York, and faction
would have been silenced in and out of Congress. The main force of the
movement here has been the false pretence that it was favored by a part
of them, representations of this nature being readily believed when
made by local leaders in whom they have confidence. It is idle to say
that enough has been done to counteract this evil, when we are daily
argued with by respectable men to show the contrary.

"But yesterday John Bowdish, of Montezuma, came to see me on the
subject, saying that Thomas B. Mitchell has assured him that the
President and part of the Cabinet were with the Hards. I heard also
from Putnam Co. that such is the general opinion there. It takes more
time than there is before the election to penetrate the localities with
the truth, and in the mean time men are getting committed too strongly
to change. An unmistakable act at the outset would have saved all and
would do infinite good yet. In addition to the general considerations
respecting the character of the administration it is desirable [the
next three lines undecipherable]. Excuse the haste in which I write.

  "Very Truly Your Friend,
                          "S. J. TILDEN."


(This letter is obviously in answer to Tilden's last preceding.)

                                    "WASH., _Oct. 16, '53_.

"DR. SIR,--I received yesterday yr. letter of three sheets, and before
I read more than one of them the President came in and interrupted me.
The tenor of our conversation was such that I thought that yr. letter
would be good reading-matter, and I handed it to him. Now, sir, if
there is anything wrong in it--not fit for the Presidential eye, the
fault will be yours for writing and mine for not guarding agt. yr.
confidence in my discretion.

"Bronson's reply is not here, and fears begin to be entertained that it
will not come. To tell you frankly what I apprehend, I am bound to say
that it is possible there will be no decisive action before election
if he does not reply; and perhaps none if he does reply, as I fear he
will, that he has fairly divided his appts. among the sections, etc.,

"One thing I am much afraid of, and that is the course of J. V. B.[22]
He told me at Albany that if the President did not stand by himself,
he would not stand by him, and, further, would denounce him. I have
just opened a letter from him in which he intimates an intention to
carry out this policy. If he does, you may depend upon it the cause
will suffer beyond measure. I entreat you and all his friends to warn
him of the fatal consequences of such a course. I have good hopes that
things here will in the end be brought right--but I shall have none if
he carries out his mad suggestion. I beg you will interest yourself in
this matter. I see more mischief lowering in that quarter than in any
other. I shall write to him, but my warning may not be much heeded.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   W. L. MARCY."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden, N. Y._"


  "APPLETON, _Wis., Aug. 8, 1854_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have been upon the point of writing to you for the
past two months, but I have been constantly upon the wing. I regret
I was not in this State with you. I travelled with Messrs. Corning
and Delavan over this region; they were delighted with the crops and
the appearance of the country. The wheat is now nearly gathered. The
quantity and quality are unequalled by any previous harvest. I think
it will give a new tone to affairs here. Your road is making good
progress. I wish it was done. It will be of great advantage to this
section when the two lines are united. Something will be gained when
the Watertown Road is reached. I hear this will be done in about ten
days. We must make an united effort to get immigration turned into
northern Wisconsin. It now goes to Iowa and Minnesota. A few of the
many thousands coming to our country from Europe would give life and
riches to the region if they would come here. It is the best country
for them. The Wisconsin roads make great efforts to carry them over the
length of their lines. This carries the immigrants into other States.
You and Mr. Ogden must devise a plan to correct this.

"I am very much disturbed about Secor's note in the Merchants' Exchange
Bank. My losses have been very great during the past two years, but I
do not like to come short of high honor in my dealings. I do not think
I ought to pay the note, but I may be wrong. In my doubt, like most
weak-minded men, I have done nothing. I have no right to trouble you,
but I must. I send you a letter from the bank. My continued absence
from home has prevented me from answering it. This is another offence.

"Get me out of the scrape in the way you think right.

                            "Very truly yours,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._"


  "NEWPORT, (R. I.), _Aug. 26, 1854_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your last letter reached me just as I was hurrying from
the city to fulfil a business engagement at Lebanon. I partly wrote an
answer, while there, but left suddenly, and have not found another
opportunity till I came here for a few days' relaxation and sea-bathing.

"The address of my brother, for which you inquire, is 'Henry A. Tilden,
New Lebanon, Columbia Co., N. Y.'

"In my former letter I did not write in respect to politics because I
was very busy, tho' I would not postpone acknowledging your letter,
replying to the business matter it contained. If that reason had not
existed a sufficient one might have been that I had added nothing
to the impressions I entertained when there was an opportunity of
expressing them more fully than could be done by correspondence.

"The truth is, the moment I return to the routine of my home-life there
are, at present, so many business obligations and responsibilities
claiming my thoughts and exhausting my activity that I could not, if
disposed to do so, give much habitual attention to politics. It may
be that, notwithstanding my necessary preoccupation, I should not
acquiesce in so practical a retirement if I were able to propose to
myself anything satisfactory which I could see a reasonable prospect
of accomplishing in the present chaotic state of parties and politics.
I have at least reflected enough, and discussed with others enough, to
assure me that I _cannot_, at present, propose to myself any such thing.

"My opinions as to the promotion of a fusion party, whose object should
be the restoration of the Missouri Compromise, have been more fully
stated to you in conversation than they could be here, and have not
been weakened by subsequent reflection. I do not think such a measure
of any practical avail to rescue Kansas and Nebraska from slavery. Long
before it could succeed, in the most sanguine view of its prospects,
their destiny will be settled; and I hope that, through other agencies,
it will be settled favorably. That being done, there is nothing in
the Missouri Compromise which you or I would wish to have restored.
This basis is not, then, broad or permanent enough to found upon it a
party organization of much power or durability. So, I think, the public
mind will regard the matter. Its action will be through the emigration
societies, and to punish those whom it holds principally responsible
for the breaking up of the armistice on the slavery question. In these
modes Northern indignation will find complete vent, and will exhaust
itself; and there will be another general calm. Nor do I now see any
other kindred question able to change this result.

"In regard to bringing out Col. Benton as a Presidential candidate.
He is very strong with the remnant of the old veterans of 1834 and
1840, and has great general respect from the whole country. But I have
not changed the opinions formerly expressed to you in relation to his
chances for 1856. The Democratic organization will run a candidate.
If an organization, including the Northern Whigs, does the same, I do
not see how Col. Benton could get an electoral vote. Presented, in
the first instance, as an independent candidate, it would require the
concentration upon him of the whole body of the Northern Whigs to give
him any prospect of an election. Whether such a state of things can
arise, it is too early to foresee.

"I greatly regret Col. Benton's defeat in his district, but cannot say
I am much surprised. The Whigs do not seem to have aided him much. When
he ran before, denouncing all against us, he was the novelty of the
day. The Know-Nothings are that now. If he had been personally in the
canvass it is _possible_ he might have saved himself.

"So far as my observation extends in this part of the State, a
third-party organization, if attempted, would not, in my judgment,
embody a quarter of the force or numbers our movement did in 1848. I do
not know a man who bore any considerable share of the heat and burden
of that day who would enter _actively_ into a similar campaign now.

"A few who did comparatively little then might wish its labors
repeated, if themselves exempted. The general disposition among
those most dissatisfied with the course of things at Washington is
disgust, indifference, in some cases individual opposition, in many
independent personal action; but very little towards organized,
affirmative movement. They expect the Democratic party to be broken
down for the time. They expect the folly of its leaders to inure
to the benefit of the Whigs. Some will look on with indifference;
some will frame a ticket to suit themselves; some will, perhaps, aid
to produce the result which all look upon as inevitable. Most will
expect the Democratic party to rise again, purified, and to resuming
relations with it. I know of none--tho' doubtless there are such
individuals--who intend permanent union with the Whigs. I know of few
who would undertake the formation of a new party outside of existing
organizations. The body of those who went with us in 1848 will continue
within the organization in which they have since acted."


  "N. Y., _Sept. 5, 1854_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I did not think I should desire to be at the convention;
but as the time approaches, I suppose that, if it were possible, the
knowledge that you and some like you are to be there would call me once
more to commune with you. But all such uprisings of the old spirit are
quelled by a round of engagements here to which I must attend.

"I do not suppose that in the doings of the convention I can be
entirely pleased--perhaps no one man will be. I cannot judge, as well
as you who are present, precisely what should be done in a state of
things at once so chaotic and so complex; and I have great faith in the
wisdom that comes up from the counties. It seems to me, however, that
there is more _not_ to be done than _to be_ done. It is a safe rule in
affairs--and not less so in mere declarations that simply commit you
without producing any practical result--that when you are in doubt what
to do, do as little as possible. There is nothing to be achieved in
this campaign but to preserve, as far as may be, the connections and
harmony of the radical Democracy--a confederacy of men that has done
some public service and is worth keeping."


  "LINDENWALD, _August 3d, '55_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I regretted not to see you during my short stay at
New York, but was happy to hear that you are about to do what you ought
to have done long ago, and if the young lady I had the pleasure to see
at Rome is the happy fair one, you have my ready and hearty consent.

"I am engaged in putting my house in order, and will thank you to hand
me a statement of my affairs in your hands and the papers by the first
convenient opportunity.

                                "In haste,
                                     "Very truly yours,
                                                 "M. VAN BUREN."
  _"S. J. Tilden, Esq."_


  "NEW YORK, _August 23rd, 1855_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--After I received your letter, some three months ago,
proposing to confess judgment to the Bk. of North America for the note
due to it, I saw Wm. Henry, who desired me, if possible, to get the
matter postponed, in order that some different arrangement might be
made. I applied to the bk., and they consented to some further delay,
willing to receive part payment and to renew the residue. But no plan
of that kind having been acted on, the bk. has been latterly speaking
to me every time I meet its officers, and urge some proceeding so
strongly that it cannot be further delayed.

"The bk. prefers an action which may bring in all the parties to a
confession of judt., and I have had Mr. Green take the proceedings to
save any unnecessary expenses. A copy of a summons and complaint is
sent, with an admission of service endorsed, which you will please sign
and return.

"At the same time, I cannot forbear expressing my regret that the
matter has not been put in a shape which would render this course
unnecessary. Persuaded in this instance, not without great reluctance,
to violate the rule on which I habitually and almost without an
exception in my whole life--act, and which requires me to refuse all
endorsements and suretyships--I feel that I ought to be prevented from
annoyance from this transaction. If I have submitted and am submitting
to have the trouble and care growing out of the affairs of the company
thrown upon me most disproportionately, it is simply from a friendly
disposition, as far as I can within any bounds of reason, to see
through a matter in which my friends are involved, and at least to get
it in the best shape I may for them. From the beginning I resisted
connecting myself with the enterprise, into which I was, nevertheless,
drawn; and except, for the considerations mentioned above, I would
dismiss the affair from my mind forever. Under the circumstances, it is
not strange that I feel that the trouble and care thrown upon me thro'
my regard for the interests of friends should not be added to by their
omission to take care of their confidential paper.

"Mr. Green has recently spent some days in Vermont in making
investigations into the circumstances under which the Stark Bk. became
the owner (if it is so) of your acceptance. The results are very
satisfactory. It will be necessary to make some additional inquiries
of the corresponding banks. I think we shall be able to show that the
Stark Bank took the paper for antecedent debt which will dispose of
their claims effectually and forever.

"Authority has been given to Mr. Thompson to sell 1,000,000 of the
bonds, as W. H. & Co. is dissolved.

  "Very respectfully,
                       "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _Aug. 26th, 1855_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--My name having been connected by some of the delegates
with a nomination by the Democratic convention for the office of
Comptroller, and in the public journals with that of Secretary of
State--it is due to those who may do me the honor to think of me for
either of these distinguished trusts that they should not be allowed
to be under any misapprehension as to the true state of the facts. The
old friends whose names I see on the list of delegates will recollect
that I have never permitted personal feelings or taste to govern my
political action, or been wanting in deference to the general interests
or judgment of my associates; and will do me the justice to believe
that I act in the same considerate spirit when I say that obligations
which I am at present under and have no right to renounce are, in
my judgment, incompatible with my undertaking properly to discharge
the duties of either of the offices mentioned. As I do not deem it
consistent with propriety to be nominated for either of them under
such circumstances, you will do me the favor to communicate this
determination to any of my friends who may be disposed to present
my name to the convention, and in case of its being so presented to
withdraw it from the consideration of that body."


  "UTICA, _Sept. 8, 1855_.

"SIR,--Pursuant to the direction of the convention of the Democratic
party of the State of New York, assembled at Syracuse on the 29th
ultimo, the undersigned were commissioned to notify of their
nomination the various candidates recommended by the convention to the
people for election. The delegates convened, as above stated, have
signified their unanimous desire that the votes of their constituents
be cast for your name at the coming election for the office of Attorney
General. The Democracy of the State await an official announcement of
the acceptance of the candidacy from those upon whom the choice of
their representatives has so satisfactorily fallen.

                           "With great respect,
                                      "JOHN B. MILLER,
                                      "WM. CASSIDY,
                                      "THOS. G. ALVORD."

  "_To Hon. Samuel J. Tilden, New York._"


  "NEW YORK, _Sept. 9th, 1855_.

"MY DEAR RICHMOND,--I expected to find you here yesterday on my return
from Lebanon, where I had occasion to go on Sat. But I suppose you
stopped at Albany.

"Since our conversation I have thought over the question of my running
for Atty. Gen. The ground you put it on--expediency for our friends,
without much prospect of success to me--is not one which makes it easy
for me to decline. I could not render that reason or, with such friends
as you, act on it while rendering another. Nor do I, in truth, care
much for any consequences I can conceive as resulting from defeat. But
I am worn from overwork. I have upon my hands now more than I can do
for the next six months. And if upon the ticket I shall be expected to
share in the canvass more than will be possible, and subjected to those
special annoyances that are peculiar to a candidate residing in this
city. I therefore greatly desire that you should make up the ticket so
as to let me off."

  "NEW YORK, _Sept 14th, 1855_.

"GENTLEMEN,--Your letter appraising me that the recent Democratic
State Convention 'have signified their unanimous desire that the votes
of their constituents should be cast for "my" name for the office of
Attorney General,' has been received.

"In accepting their nomination thus tendered, I acknowledge my deep
sense of an honor, conferred by a convention in which was assembled
so much of remarkable and varied abilities, of political virtue and
personal worth, and enhanced by association with a ticket which, in
my judgment, will, if elected, constitute a working body, capable of
acting with unity, wisdom and effect, for a restoration of the honest
and wise policy indicated by the convention, and for _reestablishing
good government within this State_."

"With great respect, gentlemen, I remain,

                         "Very truly, yours, &c.,
                                               "S. J. TILDEN.[23]

  "_Messrs. John B. Miller,
          "Wm. Cassidy, and
          "Thos. O. Alvord,
              "Committee, &c._"


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 28, '55_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter in answer to mine in respect to your debt to
the Bk. N. A., on which I am endorser, came to hand. It was not what
I supposed from your previous assurances I had a right to expect, nor
what seems to me just. Whether it be even wise for yourself, I will not
undertake to judge.

"An endorsement made for a man's accommodation is called
_confidential_, because it is supposed to impart a very high and sacred
obligation to protect the friend who incurs such a liability in your
behalf and for your benefit. It was a departure from my usual habit
and settled rule, wrung from me by the importunity of friendship. With
a good deal of trouble to me, it has been deferred from time to time
at your instance, and in the last case with a strong assurance on your

"You must pardon me if I say that I am not advised of any circumstance
that can excuse the failure of so high an obligation. I have no reason
to believe that an _absolute inability_ exists.

"You allude, in this connection, to other liabilities hanging over you;
by which, I suppose, you mean the claim on the drafts held by the Stark
Bank. I should think that if anything _could_ add to the obligation
to protect me from a liability on your confidential paper, it would
be that I have been engaged, and am still, with infinite care, labor
and trouble, in trying to rescue you from that unjust claim--that the
intricacies of the case, the complexity of the transactions out of
which the claim grows, the witnesses being out of the State--" [The
rest wanting.]


  "LINDENWALD, _Septr. 1st, '56_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am happy to find that the 'sober second thought'
has brought you to the right conclusion, as I was quite sure it must
do. I may add, too, that I honor the scruples by which you have been
embarrassed. It requires no small share of moral courage for men of our
antecedents to keep the posts of right and duty against the influence
of such resentments as we have been exposed to. But it would have
been a crying shame to have had a single link broken in a family so
pre-eminently Democratic as yours has been--from Dr. and Mrs. Younglove
to Sammy.

"We are not only right, but the crisis is, in my judgment, the most
imminent and critical of any we have ever experienced. That union
should so long have been preserved in a confederacy which contains an
element of discord of such magnitude and of so disturbing a nature as
that of slavery, is a wonder--more surprising than its dissolution
would be. This has been owing to the fact, I firmly believe, the
single fact that there have always been neutralizing considerations of
sufficient force to maintain party cohesions between men of the free
and slave States. Slavery questions have from the beginning had more
or less to do with our political contests, but have never before had
the effect of dissolving old party connections and sympathies, and the
balance-wheel has thus been preserved. Now, for the first time in our
history, one side, and that the one in which we reside, has undertaken
to carry an election, including the control of the Federal government,
and against the united wishes of the other. It has placed itself in a
position which, for the first time cuts itself loose from all hope, if
not desire, of assistance in the slave States. It not only admits that
this is its position, but avows that it is a desirable one. It wishes
to accomplish its mastery by its own unaided arm. Now, it needs no
ghost to tell us that one successful effort of this description will be
followed by another, for men have too much the quality of wild beasts
in them to stop the pursuit when they have once tasted blood, and it
would be against reason and experience to expect a Union, in which
political mastery is so plainly exhibited and organized, to continue.
From this evil we have been saved by the state of parties which
hitherto existed, and to this danger are we exposed from the new and
extraordinary thing which has taken the place of it.

"Slavery agitation must be eradicated in some way or another, or
our institutions cannot continue in their present form. I was so
indignant against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise that I could
not do justice to the Kansas Organic Act, as that was the instrument
by which the outrage was perpetrated. But I am now satisfied that
if Mr. Pierce had from the beginning taken the stand he now seems
to be taking, and interfered against all foreign interference the
moment he saw the disposition to interfere, of which he had at least
notice in the movements of the Missourians, the country would have
been saved from the disgrace to which our institutions have been
exposed in the estimation of the world, Kansas would have been a
Territory so decidedly free as to put an end to attempts to make it
a slave State, the country would have been quiet, the party united,
and he renominated. All that is now wanted to secure many of the most
important of these results is a rigid and effectual execution of the
Kansas Organic Act. Although I am not a particular admirer of Mr.
Buchanan, I have reasons that satisfy my mind that he will, if elected,
secure to the country this great advantage, and therefore, and because
he is the regular nominee of the party, I should vote for him. If I did
not think so I would not go to the polls. I do have a very favorable
opinion of Col. Fremont personally, but cannot for a moment doubt,
from his utter want of experience in the affairs of government, and
his inexperience in everything that belongs to it, that he would, if
elected, inevitably be thrown into the hands of Seward, Greeley, and
Weed, and I do not think the difficulties in Kansas could be brought to
anything like a satisfactory result through such agencies. I, on the
contrary, think there is the greatest reason to fear that to commit
the power of the government into such hands, at a moment so critical
as the present, would be but 'the beginning of the end' in regard to
the confederacy. There are, I trust, few Democrats who would like to
subject to their control and to the plundering propensities of their
followers, the treasury, much less the government itself. Our friends
who think they can go with the so-called Republicans this once and then
return, make a dangerous experiment. Their party has always been a
bourne from whence very few Democratic travellers have ever returned.
The reasons for this are numerous and too obvious to make it necessary
to detail them. They have, therefore, but one of two courses to
pursue--that is to trust to the Democratic nominee and the conservative
characters of the Democratic party, or to fly to evils they know not
of, save only that except upon a single point, out of a great many,
they cannot even hope for favorable results.

"But I must stop. This is the first private letter I have written about
the election, and it will probably be the last, and nothing but my very
great respect for yourself and your race, and my desire to preserve
their Democratic consistency, could have induced me to write this. If
it gets into the newspapers I would leave no stone unturned to have you

"Upon the subject of your last inquiry, I do not possess definite
knowledge. I believe no final resolution has yet been come to. But
I can tell you nothing encouraging. If ancient Federalism gain its
long-lost ascendancy in that quarter, as it is so apt to do one time or
another, I should give up judging of character.

"Remember me very kindly to your mother, sister and brother, and
believe me,

                               "Very truly,
                                       "Your friend,
                                                  "M. VAN BUREN."

  "_Moses Tilden, Esq._"



                     "WASHINGTON, _8th Oct._ (_1857_).

"DR. SIR,--- The course _by letter_ having been taken, an instant
removal cannot be effected. I have pointed out the error, but there is
now no help for it. Removal is the object aimed at and intended to be
reached circuitously. After a long correspondence the _thunder_ will be
used, and it will be said it is used because worsted in the argument.

"I believe most of the Cabinet were for bold action. I have pointed
out very clearly the _equivocal_ position in which the administration
now stands and the disrepute into which it is fast falling, and have
showed the only remedy--_decisive action_. The Prest. sees this _now_
as plainly as anybody, and is willing to apply the remedy. I have
endeavored to convince him that he is missing the very best occasion
for using it.

"Some impression has been made on the mind of the Prest. as to Grover.
It is said that he was opposed to, and did vote for, the resolutions at
Syracuse. I hope there is no truth in this allegation, for if there is
it weakens our position very much. A _bolt_ from a Free-soiler will be
easily excused. It will be awkward to punish men for not voting for a
ticket--regular though it be--if it is tainted with Free-soilism. The
bolters are laboring hard on that point. Let me know if there really is
anything wrong in this matter.

  "Yours truly,
                     "W. L. MARCY."


"GENTLEMEN,--If your note means that your clients withdraw from the
proposition to allow us 1000 tons of rails, besides the 2470 bars, you
already know what my answer must be. Every negotiation has contemplated
the yielding of that amt. for the purpose of finishing the road to
Oskosh. Your clients must think I am disposed to trifle or be trifled
with if they suppose the way to agree is to recede from all that is
most essential in their own proposition and in the basis of every

"I am not quite pleased with myself (if it is my fault) that I have
spent so much time so fruitlessly.

"All that remains--if your clients adopt and persist in that
purpose--is to decide what you will do in respect to the application
for the remission of the forfeiture of the iron at Milwaukee;
whether, thro' your counsel there, you will aid or embarrass it.
That application cannot be much longer delayed. We shall make it, and
do our duty fairly, knowing at the same time that you have a greater
interest than we in our success. If you choose to act adversely or not
to neutralize your counsel, or not to aid, you must bear in mind that
every opportunity has been given you to do what is reasonable and wise.
I should like some understanding on that subject soon.

                            "Very respectfully,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Messrs. Knox & Morgan_,
      "_43 Wall, Dec. 18th, '57._"


  "NEW YORK, _Mar. 2d, 1858_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--A bill has been sent to some member of the city
delegation by Mr. Green (who is absent for a few days), the nature and
objects of which I wish to explain to you.

"Vessels were formerly repaired by careening them, afterwards by
drawing alongside or suspending to them stages; afterwards by drawing
them out on ways. The railway, acting by hydraulic force, was the
next mode by which repairs were effected. Some 16 to 20 years ago
floating docks were invented and brought into use. They have gradually
superseded all other modes; and vessels have increased in their size,
until there are now no other means of coppering or repairing them than
these floating docks.

"Of their utility and indispensable necessity there is no question. The
commerce of this port could not get on without them.

"They have, since their first invention, been located in the waters of
the East River, adjacent to the 7th Ward. The propriety and legality of
their use of the basins (with the consent of the parties entitled to
receive wharfage) has never been disputed until last year, when some
parties proceeded against them on the ground that they are unlawful
obstructions of the public waters.

"Judge Roosevelt made a decision which, if well founded, goes the
length of holding that this commercial use cannot be lawfully carried
on or enjoyed in any of the slips, or at any wharf or pier of the city,
and in the opinion which he pronounced on that occasion he recommended
an application to the Legislature to supply the technical defect of the

"This is the object of the bill. It legalizes the use, with the consent
of the pier and wharf owners, and subject to the power of the Common
Council to regulate and fix the location.

"The bill is right in all respects. I take great interest in its
passage, in behalf of the company I represent, the stockholders of
which are owners or consignees of two-thirds of all the shipping which
comes to this port, as well as on account of the general commercial
interest. I will regard your aid as a personal favor.

                               "Truly Yours,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Hon. Geo. Weir, Albany._"


  "PROVIDENCE, _June 16th, 1858_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I waited for you till nine o'clock and then retired to
secure a good night's rest, a matter of no small importance to a man of
my age. I have no recollection of putting the charge for the box and
cartage on my note, and think the chances are two to one that I omitted
it; I therefore send it now. When I am gone I trust you will, as my
confidential representative, be more punctual in the performance of
your engagements.

                            "Very truly yours,
                                                  "M. VAN BUREN."

  "_Mr. Tilden._"


  "LINDENWALD, _June 29, '58_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Mr. Brooks had arrived when I reached home, and I
beg you to accept my best thanks for your attention to the matter,
to me one of decided importance. As one good turn deserves another,
especially when it is a particularly good one, I beg the farther favor
of you to stop at Stamford & Storr's and buy me a set of _Scott's
Family Bible_ for family use. They will cost from $10 to 15 for the 8
volumes. If you can get them cheaper and better anywhere else that is
convenient you will, of course, do so. I have hitherto troubled Mr.
Butler[25] with these matters, and there has not been one which would
have given him more pleasure, but he is out of town and his mantle
falls on your shoulders. I dare not trust John, as he would ruin me by
the price, particularly as it is to be a present.

"Present me very kindly to your mother and sister if they are yet with
you, and believe me,

  "Ever truly yours,
                        "M. VAN BUREN."

"Send by express, and let the bookseller send me the bill."


  "NEW YORK, _Jan. 6th, 1859_.

"MY DEAR CASSIDY,--I was so occupied at the time I reced. your letter
that I did not get a chance to answer it before the election, and since
that time I have been in an ice-pack of engagements which accumulated
around me in a ten-days' career as a politician.

"I sympathize entirely with your feelings in respect to our friend
Church. I do not know whether your suggestions applied only to the
contingency of my election as counsel to the corporation. Even if they
did, I should be happy to see him, and, if there is anything within
my power remaining--to serve him. I have just returned from Phil. and
write without your letter before me."


  "LINDENWALD, _Jany. 19th, '59_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Accept my thanks for the _Cicero_, which I have read,
after _cutting the leaves_ and placed with your books. Will return
it prepaid. Now, upon the time-honored principle that one good turn
deserves a great many, I go on. I have $10,600 dollars of Erie bonds,
second mortgage, and I presume they will be paid on the 1st of March. I
wish to seek a place for a new investment; have the goodness to let me
know whether there is any doubt of it.

  "In haste,
         "Truly yours,
                   "M. VAN BUREN."


  "FISHKILL LANDING, _October 14, '59_.

"MY DEAR MR. TILDEN,--I am here on a visit to Judge Kent; intend
to remain till Monday, then go to Mr. Kemble's, remain there till
Wednesday or Thursday, and then go home. I left John at Lindenwald,
suffering from a slight attack of the liver, which I thought required
attention, and with considerable difficulty extracted a promise from
him to remain till Monday of next week, and avail himself of Mr.
Pruyn's advice; as an inducement, I promised him to ask you to come
up and spend a day or two with us the latter end of next week. Can't
you come? Take the whole the week after Thursday, or, if necessary,
Wednesday to Friday. Perhaps Saturday would be the least inconvenient
to you, and to come down with John on the Monday following. I am
particularly desirous to see you, as I wish to have some conversation
with you on a subject in which my feelings are deeply enlisted. Drop
me a line here, if you can, and if not, at Coldspring, informing me of
what you can do. The sooner the better, as I would like to inform John
so as to assure his inducement to remain.

  "As ever,
        "Truly Yours,
                  "M. VAN BUREN."



  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 25, '59_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I wish you a 'merry Christmas!' It is the first
opportunity I have had to acknowledge your kind letter of condolence.
I take it up first of a bundle of letters which have waited for me to
get out of the ice-pack of engagements which collected around me in
ten-days' career in politics. I am just ill enough to be justified in
declining all dinners, and am having a quiet time to-day.

"If your curiosity to know the 'whys and wherefores' of our defeat
is not displaced by some later topic, I will drop you a hint or two
towards a theory.

"A modern invention practised in Tammany Hall is for the genl.
Committee to dispense with primary elections. It was introduced by
Wood and has continued since he was driven out. The effect of two
or three years' practice under the system has been to break off
relations between that body and the masses in the wards. It was no
longer necessary for the one committeeman and his four dummies, who
represented a ward in the committee, to keep up a vital party in his
ward. The ward committees fell into disuse, and in some cases what
remained of them were in hostile hands. Meanwhile the outsiders felt
that they had no chance, and antagonisms were multiplied in all the
captains of tens and fifties--the new men, the active elements of
fresh ambition. The chiefs of the general committee became totally
bankrupt, were split into two parties--about equal--had been occupied
for months in a scuffle for the assets, the real value of which they
did not see till the last moment. In a party twice as large as any
it had to contend with, and therefore tending to division--with its
central organization in this condition, and its ward all run out--Wood
hung up his sign over the outsiders. He made local organizations among
them; worked at it assiduously for two years. When I stepped inside the
ring and took a view I thought that in some wards, each having once and
half as many people as your county contains, we should scarcely have
machinery enough to run our ticket with--the 11th, for instance. We had
less than two weeks to get up our organization, beginning anew--in a
bad state of local nominations, many of the candidates running on both
tickets and being really against us. Wood had gained the lower stratum
of the Irish, combined many special interests, and at last had the aid
of the jobbing Republicans, two of whom voted for him to every one of
the other class for Havemeyer. Then the _Tribune_, in _bad_ faith,
and the _Post_ in good faith, succeeded in making the impression that
the way to beat Wood was to vote for Opdyke; and not only kept the
moderate Republicans to him, but drew many quiet citizens who preferred
Havemeyer, but were most anxious to beat Wood.

"In truth, the leaders of the Republican party and Wood were in perfect
concert, as they are partners in the gigantic schemes of plunder, which
will presently appear.

"Mr. Havemeyer polled a prodigious vote of the business classes and
of the silent people, but not enough to supply the defects of the
organization which, in my judgment, did not by its own strength give
him 15,000 votes.

"Enough of this. I should not have gone over the ground except for the
curiosity you expressed--that what appeared to be an immense public
opinion was ineffectual. It is a public opinion with a party, and not
without, that sweeps the stakes.

"For myself, while I am quite aware how different is the _prestige_ of
success from defeat, and how great was the part which might have been
attempted in reconstructing the administration of the government of the
city, I cannot but feel more comfortable as I am. The proper duties of
the office are one thing. A joint tenancy in the administration of a
city like this (if you really attempt to do anything); a reconstruction
of its government, which must be made from the very foundation, in
order even to palliate existing evils, is a different matter. Overworn
as I am with some heavy engagements, from which I cannot retire, yet
uncompleted--and some heavy cares unrelieved--I could not help seeing
the burden more than anything else. This may have been morbid. A little
more strength and health might have dispelled it. But it enables me to
accept the result with a sense that a great trouble is off my mind, and
leaves no personal regret to mingle with the disgust I feel at Wood's
election, and the disappointment and injury to our friends. At present,
I am content to live from hand to mouth, and take no thought for the

"Notwithstanding your invitation to discuss the matter, I feel some
excuse necessary for a letter that has grown so long and so personal.

"With my best wishes for your continued health and comfort and progress
in the work which enlivens your retirement, and my kind remembrances to
Mrs. and Miss Van Buren,

  "I am, very truly, your friend,
                               "_S. J. Tilden._"

"P.S.--I had almost forgot to mention that the prospect now is that you
will get your end paid in full. I should take the money."

       *       *       *       *       *

The two succeeding communications to N. H. Swayne, afterwards one of
the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, are interesting
from their giving a sketch of the preliminary but comprehensive
preparations for the rescue and reorganization of the Pittsburg,
Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad during the early days of the Civil War,
and transforming it from a bankrupt corporation into one of the most
prosperous highways on this continent. It is doing injustice to no one
to say that it was mainly through Mr. Tilden's devotion, sagacity,
professional ability, and foresight that this transformation was so
successfully accomplished.


  "FEB. _10, 1860_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--It being designed, if possible, to provide for a
reorganization of the Pittsburg, F. W. and Chicago R. R. Co. during
the present year, such legislation as is necessary should be obtained
at the present sessions of the Legislatures of Penn. and Ohio. That
would be expedient even if we were to wait for legislation in Indiana
and Illinois until next winter. But I do not think it is necessary so
to wait. I suppose that a corporation created by one of the States in
which the road is situate, if endowed by the law of its creation with
the capacity to exercise its functions in the other States, may hold
and operate the road in those States if the sovereigns there will allow
it to do so. I suppose that express permission is not necessary. It may
do so on the principle of comity, unless prohibited by the legislation
or declared public policy of those States. It may still be prudent to
get the assent of those States declared legislatively. The act which
governs the constitution of the corporation may be obtained in Penn.
That will avoid any question as to the operation of the clause of
your constitution imposing a personal liability upon stockholders. In
Indiana there is a general law adequate to enable us to reorganize a
corporation of that State. Its Legislature, like that of Illinois, does
not meet till next year. There is nothing in the statutes or decisions
of Illinois to prevent a corporation of Penn. or Indiana from holding
and operating a railroad in Illinois. I presume there is not in Ohio,
but that I have not investigated, as it is wiser to have an act of
recognition. In Penn. the statutes of _mortmain_ exist by judicial
adoption, and no foreign corporation can hold real estate there without
express permission.

"We propose, then, immediately to get what we can, viz., a parent act
from Penn. and an act of recognition from Ohio.

"The act for Penn. was finally agreed upon between Mr. Campbell and me
yesterday, and was taken by Mr. Ogden to Mr. Cass to be passed. I will
send you a copy as soon as I get one.

"I have drawn and send herewith what I deem to be a suggestion towards
the bill proper to be passed by your Legislature.

"There may be a disposition to add some provision bringing the
corporation under the jurisdiction of Ohio. You must be careful that
nothing of this kind is done in such general terms as to bring the
stockholders under the operation of your Constitution or laws as to
personal liability.

"I would like to have you revise this bill and put it in motion. We
must rely on you and Judge Thompson to have it passed. It would be
prudent to urge it forward as fast as possible.

"I enclose some passages cut from my points in a recent case, which
touch on the questions I have alluded to.

"It is very desirable that Mr. Stansbery's bill, converted into
a general form, or some other bill applicable to all railroad
corporations in your State needing reconstruction, should pass. I trust
you and Thurman will aid in effecting such a result. There are plenty
more of cases needing your doctoring. I regret that I must write in so
much haste. I have to leave here in half an hour, having just returned
from Phil.

"Mr. Ogden is to-day in Pittsburg with authority to have a settlement
effected if it can be.

"Do me the favor to let me have your views as soon as possible.

                 "S. J. TILDEN."


"NEW YORK, _Feb. 21st, 1860_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--My mind has often turned to your letter, which I am
some six weeks in arrears in answering. But I have in that time been
three times called to Philadelphia, and once to Lebanon by the extreme
illness of my mother and sister; and, altogether, have had my hands
full. I am much obliged by the kind expressions of your letter, as well
as the friendly interest you have taken in me.

"In respect to the subject which you incidentally mentioned in your
letter, I do not think that my private business affords the elements
of a desirable combination between John V. B. and myself.[26] It
furnishes few occasions which would give scope to his powers, less,
perhaps, than ought to be availed of even by me; but it and other cares
occupy me too much to leave any room for the ambition of collecting
the materials, or constructing a business of a different character. I
content myself each day with what my hands find to do. I have not been
very fortunate in deputizing such business as I have generally had.
It may be because the things which come to me are usually complex and
difficult, or because I am exacting as to the mode in which my clients
are served."

It is to be regretted that Mr. Tilden's letter to ex-President Van
Buren, assigning his reasons for declining to enter into a partnership
with his son John, is incomplete. A more impracticable union for
business purposes than such a partnership would have yielded can hardly
be conceived. It is probable that the original of this letter to Mr.
Tilden may be found among the collected papers of Mr. Van Buren, which
have recently been presented to the Library of Congress, unless it was
destroyed immediately upon its receipt, which is not unlikely.


  "N. Y., _May 19, '60_, EVENING."

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter inviting me to act as a vice-president of a
meeting to be held at the Cooper Inst. was recd. yesterday, but I was
so busy in a trial that I had no chance to answer it earlier.

"Having elected a delegation in which we have confidence, it is
contrary to my personal disposition towards them, as well as to my
notions of what is most conducive to their power and usefulness in
their conference with the other representatives of the Democracy of
the Union, to interfere by any public meeting before they shall have
completed their trust. Without questioning the judgment of those who
think differently, I must decline your invitation.

                            "Very respectfully,
                                         "Your friend,
                                                  S. J. TILDEN."

  _"Hon. John Clancy._


                                  "2 UNION PLACE. TUESDAY EVENG.
                                                  "_Oct. 9th, 1860_.

  _"To the Editors of the 'Evening Post':_

"GENTLEMEN,--You politely offer to publish in your columns a speech
of mine which you seem to think was not adequately developed at the
Cooper Institute last evening, and you add that my friends among your
readers 'would be glad to know how' I 'have reasoned' myself into the
associations in which I stand on the Presidential question.

"If I had a speech already written I would at once avail myself of
the opportunity of submitting my views on public affairs to a mass of
readers, among which are many cultivated intellects and some friends
of my earlier years who, I respectfully say I think, are widely and
dangerously wrong in their present political action. I have but the
intervals of exhausting daily engagements in which to prepare a speech;
but if after this explanation your offer shall continue open, I will
endeavor within the next few days to write out in a condensed form
what I think ought to be said, not to my friends only, but to all our
citizens touching the present state of the country. If, indeed, it can
be justly said that I have helped to lead the _Evening Post_ into any
'heresies,' I acknowledge the sacred duty of showing it a 'decent way
out' of them.

"With much consideration, I remain,

  "S. J. TILDEN."

"Though we invited Mr. Tilden to give us the speech which he proposed
to address to his spectators--they would not permit him to call them
his audience--at the Cooper Institute, we are quite willing to extend
the courtesy to anything he may choose to offer us in which he thinks
the public has an interest. The readers of the _Evening Post_ know much
better than the crowd he tried to address at the Cooper Institute that
Mr. Tilden never writes or speaks without having something to say worth
hearing, though they have not lately been unfortunate enough to agree
with him on Federal politics."

The foregoing letter, with the editorial comment which follows it,
appeared in the _Evening Post_ October 10, 1860.

The occasion which provoked it was the following account, which
appeared a day or two previous in the _Evening Post_, of a meeting
at the Cooper Union of malcontents, having little in common to unite
them but their hostility to the party which had nominated Abraham
Lincoln for President. They were mostly the unaccounted-for _débris_
of the old Whig party, who tried to disguise themselves by taking the
name of "Merchants of New York." Mr. Tilden was invited to speak, but
this motley audience did not care to listen long to so prominent a
political partisan of Jackson and Van Buren, who had also been the most
formidable critic of all Whig measures during all their successive


"The 'Dry-Goods party,' as by general consent the fusionists have come
to be designated, held what they called a 'Union meeting' last night at
the Cooper Institute. They did not meet at Tammany Hall, for obvious
reasons, though it must have made some of the gentlemen who contributed
towards the expense of the entertainment feel a little queer when they
found themselves associating politically with a class of men who could
not be persuaded to put a foot inside of the old Wigwam. It has been
observed that political parties, as they decline in strength, lengthen
the list of officers supposed to officiate at their public gatherings,
just as the shadows of mountains lengthen as the sun goes down. The
Dry-Goods party did not attempt to be an exception; on the contrary,
they seem to have made all of their party vice-presidents that they
did not make president and secretaries. In looking over the list of
gentlemen who figure on this occasion, we could not but be struck with
what Clay called the 'mutability of all human opinion.' It seemed as if
the milky portion of the old barn-burning party of '48 which had soured
from the effects of Republican thunder, had been specially served up
for the public entertainment. There was Dix, who ran for Governor
with Van Buren in 1848 against Cass, nominated for chairman by Wilson
G. Hunt, largely in the dry-goods line, who supported Van Buren and
free soil as zealously and liberally as he now supports Breckinridge,
Douglas, Bell, Sam & Co.

"Our old friend Tilden, who stood at the wheel during all those
troublous times; who was one of the counsel for the Barnburners in the
Baltimore convention of 1848, and who helped to lead the _Evening Post_
into all its free-soil heresies without ever showing it any decent way
out of them, offered the resolutions and made a short speech. It would
have been longer, but the audience wished to hear Wood. Either Wood or
a song they must have, and so Mr. Tilden retired with his speech just
as good as new, and, as it appeared, too good for his audience, that
they might hear a song from a Mr. Cosgrove, Wood being returned by the
officer 'not found.' The preference for Wood is explained, perhaps,
by the fact that the first vice-president, W. B. Astor, was one of
the ten or dozen gentlemen who certified to Mayor Wood's character
when a candidate a second time for the '_mayorality_'--as Mr. Wood is
in the habit of spelling the dignity he at present enjoys--and who
recommended him warmly to the suffrages of the people. All the rest of
the gentlemen who signed that 'character,' Moses Taylor, M. Aspinwall,
the Browns, etc., figure also among the vice-presidents, and it is
not strange, therefore, that a meeting thus officered should prefer a
speech from Fernando Wood to a speech from Samuel J. Tilden.

"Then there was Henry Grinnell, who paid liberally towards raising
the standard of rebellion at the park meeting, held shortly after
the nomination of Cass, in 1848, and whose name was freely used by
the Barnburners until about the time that the Union-saving steamship
companies began to be incorporated and subsidized by Congress. Since
then he has had little or no interest in anything North, this side of
the Arctic circle.

"John Cochrane, Dan Norris, Henry Eveson, William F. Havemeyer,
Stephen Cambreleng, Charles A. Secor, Myndert Van Schaick, whom, to
his great disappointment, the Barnburners failed to elect Mayor of the
city before the days of fusion, T. B. Tappen, John Van Buren, A. B.
Conger, Addison Gardiner, etc., etc., make up the list of distinguished
Barnburners of the milky sort who have 'turned,' and now form the
cheesy pillars and architrave of the Dry-Goods party.

"The speakers for the evening were James W. Gerard and Charles O'Conor,
two of our ablest lawyers, skilled to make the worse appear the better
reason, and, from long professional training, about as much at home on
one side of a question as another. As neither of these gentlemen were
in good standing with the old Democratic party, the first being an old
Whig and the other a fractious and crockery-breaking independent, they
were listened to with patience by an assembly conspicuously impatient
of anything savoring of old-fashioned Democracy.

"What effect the bringing together such a crowd of officers for
such a thin display of speakers will have upon the dry-goods market
will doubtless appear in the column where such reports are usually
chronicled; what effect it will have on the Pennsylvania election will
appear by the returns in to-morrow's _Evening Post_; what effect it
will have upon the vote of this State is of no sort of consequence, for
we were sure of a large majority before it was held, and of course we
may reasonably expect a larger majority now.

"We are sorry about Mr. Tilden's speech. We have no doubt it was a
good one, and as we are the friends of free speech we will publish it
cheerfully in the _Evening Post_ if he will give us the opportunity. It
will reach a great many more of his friends through our columns than
stood within the reach of his voice, and they will all be glad to know
by what process so clever a man has reasoned himself into such bad


    "ALBANY, _Octr., 1860._

"DEAR TILDEN,--Newell tells me that you are preparing a reply to the
_Post's_ appeal to be 'shown the way out.' Do so; and it will give
me a chance to write an editorial, which I intended and postponed
till the occasion passed by. I enclose a reply to an assault upon
our consistency, the last half of which is _apropos_ to the _Post's_
inquiry. I am afraid your committee of fifteen will do more harm than
good--as usual. You recollect how the Castle Garden movement defeated
Seymour and elected Church, reversing its intended effect, and how the
Fifth Avenue movement of last year paralyzed us? Let it go, however,
with the other blunders.

"What I write to you about is to say that I intend to come down to New
York on the 7th proxo. and consult you in regard to a project which
O---- and I have long discussed--establishing a New York daily. We
can readily get $60,000 (or more) for shares, and from a few men. I
can name Plumb, DeWolf, Johnson (of Oswego), Ross--besides Richmond,
Cagger, Corning, Kelly, etc. We could _add_ what an establishment here
is worth, $40,000 or $50,000. The sum could be increased, and all
subscribed outside of New York. It is not for help (to ask you 'to go
round with a paper,' as your party friends generally do), but simply
for advice. Wesley, the banker, once proposed to sell me some of his
interest in the _Times_ if I would go in there. This is _entre nous_,
and I allude to it only to explain why I am going to consult him, as
well as you.

"If we could buy the _World_, the _Express_, or the _Post_, that would
make the best beginning. If we established the New York _Argus_ or
_The Age_ we could start with a larger subscription and in better
organization than any two other persons. Of course we would have to
go to great expense, employ many hands and heads, and meet a fearful
competition. But neither of us are without experience, and we have
regarded the question on all sides. There must be, and there will be, a
Democratic organ in New York. Who is to control it? In the transitive
state of politics, 'that is the question.' There's a vast volume of
Democratic patronage going to waste in the city, and still more beyond
it. We send out 40,000 weekly papers from Albany, and in less than
a year could raise it to 200,000 if we were in New York. That is as
much as Greeley has for his _Tribune_, and that is the source of its

"There is plenty of ability in New York that could be called in.
What is wanted is conduct--a policy, prudence, independence--for
the political part. For the business part we want competent men--an
association, if possible, with a great publishing house, in order to
avail ourselves of literary talent, not allowing it, however, to be our
publisher. Commercial and other reporters, and enough literary talent
to supply a daily _feuilleton_; for we must call on the aid of fiction,
as the Paris papers do, and so gratify a taste which is stronger here
than anywhere else. I would commence by getting Hawthorne or some
writer of equal talent to furnish a novel, which might be republished
afterwards in a volume, and which would thus pay. To do this, we should
want a paper like the _World_. We will reverse the wish of Archimedes:
give us the _World_, and we will find the lever to move it.

"But I intend to ask your advice, not to forestall it. Until I see you,
which will be after the November triumph, I remain

  "Yr. frd. & fellow-sufferer,
                              "WM. CASSIDY."

"When Wood was elected by Greeley's agency, I made up my mind that he
would administer retributive justice upon G. & Co. by some stupendous
organization of the canvassers. But you have an honest vote of 100,000.
The Republicans are not entitled to more than 30,000 of this. Give us
40,000, and we will carry the State. Organize--make them do it. The
registry will facilitate such work."


  "OCTOBER _10, 1860_.

"DEAR TILDEN,--Send on your MS. to-night if you can; that is, what
is ready, and the rest as early as possible to-morrow. I will then
announce it to-morrow for Saturday. If we undertake to get it up
to-morrow it will not be well printed, as all outside matter must be in
hand before 10 o'clock. Of course, therefore, the men will have to work
on it in the afternoon after the work of to-morrow's paper or to-day's
to get it up and properly proved. Besides, I want time myself to read
it, for I presume, if you sleep in my bed, I should have the privilege
of making it up.[27]

  "Yours truly,
                    "JOHN BIGELOW."


  "EVG. POST, _Oct. 11, 1860_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--By the _Post_ of to-day you will see that our
printers are waiting for copy. I desired to put you in a position to be
regarded by the public as a representative of your party, and by your
party as their chief and most capable champion and defender. If you
prefer to put what you have to say in the form of a letter you need
not hesitate to do so in consequence of anything which has passed.
Artistically, I can imagine that the letter shape will have some
advantages over an undelivered speech, and I would recommend it, though
it was my purpose only to say I hoped you would unburden yourself in
just the way you find most agreeable.

"If you can let me know, a day or two in advance, when your copy will
be ready I shall be more sure to secure a place for it without delay.

"Speaking in your interest, not in our own, I would advise you to be as
brief as possible, for I want to have what you write read. If you can
get within a couple of columns, so much the better for all concerned.

"Let me suggest that whatever you have to say you will lose nothing
by conceding the errors which have brought the Dem. party to its
present condition. It becomes you to write as a statesman, and not as
a partisan, in this instance, at least, and perhaps we Republicans, as
well as those you particularly address, may profit by your teachings.

  "Yours truly,
                    "JOHN BIGELOW."


  "2 UNION PLACE, _Oct. 11, 1860_.

"MY DEAR BIGELOW,--I thank you for the very kind terms of your note.
I entirely agree with you as to the letter form, and the space you
suggest is what had occurred to me as proper. I shall keep as nearly
as possible to it. I note what you say as to notice. My only real
difficulty is the _rush_ of things in which I live.

  "Very truly yours,
                       "S. J. TILDEN."


  "OCT. _27, 1860_.

"MY DEAR BIGELOW,--I extremely regret that my letter has reached such
unexpected length; and I have condensed it as much as possible, and
omitted much which I desired to say, but you did not propose, nor I
undertake, to have the thing done too imperfectly. I must, therefore,
throw myself upon your indulgence. I assume you will, and that the
balance will appear on Monday.

                            "Very truly yours,
                                                 "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Sat. Morn., Oct. 27, 1860._"


  "_Nov. 6, 1860_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I cannot content myself with a mere formal
acknowledgment of your admirable pamphlet, which I have read with
extreme pleasure. Nothing which I have met with on the dreadful subject
which now convulses the country has seemed to me more clearly or
forcibly urged.

"I remain, dear sir, with high respect,

  "Very truly yours,
                     "EDWARD EVERETT."


  "SELMA, NEAR WINCHESTER, VA., _12th Novr., 1860_.

"DEAR SIR,--I have just read your pamphlet--'The Union, its dangers,
and how they can be averted.' To say only that it is the best which
the occasion has called forth, would be to do as little justice to my
discrimination as to its merit.

"It is too late now to arrest the catastrophe which it shows impending;
but it must, to minds capable of understanding fact and logic, force
the people to pause and consider.

"I trust that measures will be taken to give it an extended circulation
in the Northern States; in the South its effect only can be to make the
people comprehend what they already feel.

"My note, however (which I am obliged to write through an amanuensis),
is only to thank you for this great contribution to American thought,
and, like the hungry schoolboy, to ask for more. Can you oblige me by
sending me some twenty copies, or as many as you can conveniently spare?

                            "From your obliged
                                   "friend and servant,
                                                   "J. M. MASON."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq., New York._"


  "BOSTON, _Nov. 19, 1860_.

"DEAR SIR,--I beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of, and to thank
you for, your letter on the Union. I agree with you heartily in your
views: they are sound, wise, and patriotic; but what avails it to
proclaim them? Anybody who preaches moderation and forbearance--who
endeavors to calm the tempest of excited feeling--is called 'a skulking
neutral,' or, at best, an obsolete old fogy, whose proper place is in
Noah's ark. We must learn wisdom by the smart of folly, and it looks
very much as if the teaching was begun. I look upon Mr. Seward as the
most mischievous man now in the public service; and for his incendiary
course he has not the apology of a fervid temperament and rash blood.
His words are the more dangerous, because so deliberately uttered. But
I rejoice that you have written the letter, and that so many patriotic
and judicious men have been willing to speak and write as you have
done. Always anticipating the election of Lincoln, I have been in the
habit of saying to our friends that the value and importance of the
Union party would not be fully apparent until after that event. I think
I was a true prophet. If the country is to be safely navigated through
the shoals which are around and ahead, it will be by the agency and
instrumentality of the Union party.

                               "Yrs. truly,
                                                 "G. S. HILLARD."

  "_Samuel J. Tilden, Esq._"


(_Continued and Concluded._)

"The people of the United States voted yesterday upon the questions
at issue between the Republicans and their adversaries, as represented
by Lincoln and Hamlin, candidates of the former, and by Douglas and
Johnson, Breckinridge and Lane, and Bell and Everett, representing the
latter, with the following result:"


  Connecticut                    6
  Illinois                      11
  Indiana                       13
  Iowa                           4
  Maine                          8
  Massachusetts                 13
  Michigan                       6
  Minnesota                      4
  New Hampshire                  5
  New York                      35
  Ohio                          23
  Pennsylvania                  27
  Rhode Island                   4
  Vermont                        5
  Wisconsin                      5
      Total                    169


  Missouri                       9
      Total                      9


  Oregon                         3
  California                     4
     Total                       7


  Alabama                        9
  Arkansas                       4
  Florida                        3
  Georgia                       10
  Louisiana                      6
  Mississippi                    7
  North Carolina                10
  South Carolina                 8
  Texas                          4
      Total                     61


  Delaware                       3
  New Jersey                     7
  Kentucky                      12
  Maryland                       8
  Tennessee                     12
  Virginia                      15
      Total                     57


                                                         _Electoral Votes._
  For Lincoln and Hamlin                                                169
  For Breckinridge and Lane                                              61
  For Bell and Everett                                                   57
  For Douglas and Johnson                                                 9
  For Doubtful                                                            7
  Whole electoral vote                                                  303

  Lincoln's majority over all, certain                                   35
  If Oregon and California vote for Lincoln it will add to his majority   7
       Total                                                             42


  "_Dec. 6, 1860._

"MY DEAR SIR,--Two modes of investing the future owners of the P. F.
W. H. R.[29] with a corporate character within the State of Ohio have
been suggested.

"1. One is to make them a corporation of the State of Ohio--by creating
them a new corporation, or by continuing to them the old corporate

"I understand Mr. Stanbery and Mr. Hunter to propose the latter
method. By providing for the transfer of the existing franchise to
be a corporation by a general law, they avoid the constitutional
provision that 'the general assembly shall pass no special act
conferring corporate powers.' They think, also, that by preserving the
identity of the existing franchise they can avoid the operation of the
constitutional provision 'that in all cases each stockholder shall be
liable over and above the stock by him or her owned, and any amount
unpaid thereon, to a further sum, at least equal in amount to such
stock,' upon the ground that the provision is not retractive, and was
established subsequently to existence of this corporation. They think,
also, that although the identity of the corporation will be preserved,
it can be discharged from liability for the debts and contracts which
it has made. If it should be found to be liable for those debts and
contracts, the main object of the reorganization would fail.

"2. The other mode is to make the future owners a corporation of
Pennsylvania or Illinois, and to enable that corporation to hold,
maintain, and operate the part of the road which is situate in Ohio,
without being a corporation of the State of Ohio.

"To enable a Pennsylvania corporation, for instance, to hold, maintain,
and operate the part of the road situate in Ohio two things are

"_First_, that it should be endowed by the law of its creation (which
would be the act of Pennsylvania creating it), with capacity to hold,
maintain, and operate the part of the said road which is situate within

"_Secondly_, that it should have the consent, implied or expressed, of
the State of Ohio to the exercise within that State of its powers to
hold, maintain, and operate the part of the railroad situate within
that State.

"Such consent in this case will be implied, unless the implication is
negatived by express legislative declaration of the public policy of
the State.

"As the laws of Ohio allow an individual purchaser to hold, maintain,
and operate the railroad--which individual might be a non-resident--and
as there is no policy established by legislation or by a judicial
construction to disable a corporation of another State having the
requisite capacity from doing so, the case comes clearly within the
principle on which nearly all the acts of corporations in other States
than those of their creation are sustained by the courts as lawful.

"The rights of the State of Ohio are not violated; for it is by her
consent that these powers will be exercised within her dominion. That
consent could have been withheld. I do not say that it might not be
withdrawn by legislation, not so as to divest rights of property
which accrued while it existed, but so as to produce inconvenient
consequences to the tenure of the corporators: nor will I advert to
the fact that a vast number of transactions are daily carried on in
some of the States by corporations of other States, subject to the same
possibility, or that in some States, as in New York, most corporations
exist subject to full legislative power to repeal the act conferring
the franchise.

"For I have not doubted--I have uniformly expressed the opinion that in
a case of the peculiar nature and vast importance of the present it is
wise to obtain an express consent.

"Shall that consent be given by special act or general law? Would it
have any effect on the extent of the liability of the corporations?

"The essence of the corporate character is that several individuals are
united in one body--enabled to exist and act as an artificial person
created by law, the members of which can change without impairing the
identity of that body of person.

"The code of regulations, according to which it exists and acts, which
fix its _modus_ is incidental to that creation.

"Its other powers, which may be and often are possessed and exercised
by natural persons, are not, strictly speaking, corporate powers,
such, for instance, as making discounts, granting insurances,
operating railroads; there is nothing in the nature of these powers
which necessarily confines them to corporations. They are not of the
essence or of the incidents of the corporate character. I think the
prohibition of the Ohio Constitution that 'the general assembly shall
pass no special act conferring corporate powers' is a mere paraphrase
of the prohibition of the New York Constitution, contained in the
following provision: Corporations may be formed under general laws,
_but shall not be created by_ special act, etc. The next clause of the
Ohio Constitution provides that 'corporations' may be formed under
general laws.

"The provision was, in the main, copied from the Constitution of New
York. The modification of details accounts for the change in the

"In a cursory review of the discussions in the Ohio convention I see
no trace that anything further was intended by the prohibition than to
interdict the creation of corporations by special acts.

"That construction accords with the true meaning of the words
'corporate powers,' which is powers essential or incident to the
nature of the artificial being created by law--such as the power to
take a common name, to have corporate succession, to contract and be
contracted with, and to sue and be sued as one person, etc. These are
properly corporate powers. It is true the words are sometimes used to
include all the powers which the particular corporation possesses; but
that is a loose and inaccurate use.

"I think that the correct interpretation of the publication is that
it simply forbids the creation of a corporation by a special act of
incorporation--nothing more. It does not forbid an act operating to
enlarge, modify, or restrict the rights of an existing corporation,
any more than it does a similar act in respect to a natural person in
a like case. Still less does it forbid such legislation in respect to
a foreign corporation. It is enough for the present case to say that
the clause does not prohibit a legislative recognition or an express
sanction of an existing comity of the State in favor of an existing
corporation of another State.

"1. I am, therefore, of opinion that a special act declaring the assent
of the State of Ohio to the exercise within that State of all the
powers necessary for a beneficial use of the Pittsburg, F. W. & Chicago
Railroad by a corporation of Pennsylvania or Illinois, which should
have become the owner of the part of such railroad situate within the
State of Ohio, would be valid and effectual.

"A general law would, of course, be somewhat preferable, as it would
avoid this question. If it is certainly attainable, I would seek our
legislation in that form.

"But I foresee the possibility that it might excite more jealousy than
a special act, because its full application and use cannot be certainly
anticipated. I foresee, also, the possibility that it may affect
special cases of existing interest, prejudice, or passion, of which I
am ignorant.

"In the first section of a draft of a general law which I have hastily
made at a suggestion, I have tried to avoid the first of these two
objections by limiting the cases to which the law applies.

"1. An existing railroad.

"2. Partly situate in Ohio and partly in some adjacent State.

"3. Sold under an existing lien.

"4. Acquired by a corporation of another State in which another part of
the same railroad is situate.

"5. Such corporation acquiring the part of the railroad situate in that
other State.

"6. Of course, such corporation having the capacity to take and operate
the part situate in Ohio.

"Perhaps I may have put in more limitations than are necessary.

"Whether the measure will run foul of any other interest can be better
judged of by men conversant with the state of affairs in Ohio and in
its legislation.

"The general law, as proposed, is not more liberal than the existing
consolidation act of Ohio. We ought to be able to obtain it. If there
is a strong probability that we cannot, we ought to obtain a special
act of a similar nature, applicable only to our particular railroad.

"2. The advantage of not making the corporation a creation of the State
of Ohio is that it certainly and unquestionably avoids this double
liability of the corporators imposed by the Constitution of that State.

"The degree of liability to which the individual corporators shall
be subject is a part of the code of regulations specifying the mode
and conditions of the existence and action of the artificial being.
Sometimes it is nothing beyond the stock paid in. Sometimes, as by the
Ohio Constitution, it is a limited amount beyond the stock paid in;
sometimes it is absolute, as in the case of partners. It is not of the
essence of corporations--it is a regulation imposed by the sovereign
who creates the artificial being an incident to the particular
corporation. Nobody but that creator could impose such a regulation.
The most any other State could do would be to refuse its comity to a
corporation until it should get the regulation imposed by the lawful
authority of the State of its creation.

"Besides, the provisions of the Constitution of Ohio applies only to
corporations created by or under the laws of that State. It does not
purport to operate on corporations of other States transacting business
in Ohio under the comity of its sovereign.

"3. In respect to the general act proposed by Mr. Stanbery and Mr.
Hunter, I think they should prepare it and that we should co-operate
in procuring its passage. It would be open to our choice if on
consultation we should prefer to act under it; and it would be useful
in other cases. My idea originally was to have that general law and a
special act for the Pittsburg, F. W., C. R. R. If we change the latter
to a general law, it makes two of that character; but I do not see any
objection if we can get them both passed.

"I should like to have a copy of the draft of such an act as Mr.
Stanbery and Mr. Hunter propose.

"The draft of a general act which I send contains provisions which
ought to be considered as consulted upon. I have prepared them without,
perhaps, sufficient study of your laws on the subject, and without
knowing the temper of your Legislature.

"In some particulars they must be regarded as mere suggestions.

"1. The clause of Sec. 1, subjecting the company in respect to its
management of the part of the railroad to the duties and regulations
imposed by your general laws--whether there is any provision which
should be accepted, whether this clause ought to be made more stringent
in order to be satisfactory to your Legislature. But care should be
taken not to use expressions which could include the personal liability
provisions of the Ohio Constitution and laws.

"2. The clause of the same section subjects it to be--

"Section 2 is intended to give the same power as to mortgaging the
rolling stock, etc., which is contained in the Pennsylvania act. I do
not think this ought to be objected to.

"Section 3 is an adaptation of a clause proposed last summer.

"I cannot send a fair copy of the special act without losing a
mail. The general one is sufficient as a basis of consideration and

"I would like to have you consider the matter, and must contrive some
way to meet in consultation.

"I address this letter to you, though its contents are for Mr.
Stanbery, Mr. Hunter, and Judge Sherman, to whom I pray you to offer my
best respects.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_W. H. Swayne, Esq.,
          "New York, Dec. 6, 1860._"


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 17, 1860_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--As you leave in the morning to return to Chicago, I
seize a few moments this evening to submit to you some suggestions as
to the present crisis in the affairs of our country. I know you have
no personal aspirations; that you are exempt from the blinding and
misleading influence of active partisanship; that your disposition is
equitable; that you have no motive but the public good--no interest
except in common with all patriotic citizens; and that, far better
than most men, you understand that there is usually another side to a
controversy than 'our side.'

"Your situation may enable you to be of great service to your country
and to mankind, and of not less service to a gentleman who to-day
occupies a more important and responsible position than has been the
fortune of any other of his generation. Of course I allude to Mr.
Lincoln. His patriotism I do not doubt. The impression he made on
me, upon two occasions when I casually met him, was that of a frank,
genial, warm-hearted man. In the actual duties of the Presidency he
cannot but take conservative views. No man can have a motive so strong
and yet so noble to prevent his own name from closing, amid public
sorrow and shame, the illustrious roll of American Presidents which
began with Washington.

"It must be his renown or his calamity to decide whether he shall
be the Chief Magistrate of a whole country or of half a country.
Providence has cast upon him that immense responsibility. In saying
this I do not touch the question, What has caused the mischief? I speak
only as to the question, _Who has the power to save the country?_

"1. The reality of the _danger_ of disunion, I think, cannot be
doubted. The cotton States are far more unanimous for secession than
our fathers were when they made our revolution despite of the royalist
majority. Practically, their people are unanimous. We can only hope for
an effective minority forming itself in some qualified position within
the current of popular opinion. A statesmanlike policy would be to aid
the formation of that minority--to strengthen it that it may become a
majority, to create, to hasten, to swell the reaction for which we hope.

"2. Our first necessity is to comprehend the crisis. That is difficult.
A man on one side of a question cannot easily turn out the set of ideas
which fill his mind and admit the opposite set, even for an experiment.
Nothing is so difficult in ordinary experience as to see both sides
of a question. For us who have been educated with Northern ideas or
in party controversies, we must be almost more than mortal to be able
to take a perfectly candid and impartial view of the position of our
adversaries. It is necessary to do more--to imagine ourselves in their
position, in order to form a policy adapted to their case."


  "PHILADELPHIA, _Dec. 19, 1860_.

"DEAR SIR,--Last evening, at Mrs. Gilpin's, I met Mr. Ogden, who kindly
gave me a copy of your letter to Mr. Kent.[30] It is so well calculated
to do good that I want to obtain copies for distribution. Can you have
your publisher send me fifty, with a line stating the cost, which I
will remit? Years, perhaps, of the dreary labor of reconstruction of
our empire are before us, and it will not do for us who foresaw the
storm to desert the wreck while a single plank of hope remains.

"I send you a copy of a pamphlet by a Mr. John R. White, of this city.
It has some good points.

                            "Very Respectfully,
                                         "TOWNSEND WARD,
                                                          "204 S. 5th St.

  "_Samuel J. Tilden, Esq._"


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 1860_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Immediately on receiving your note I caused 50 copies
of my letter to Judge Kent to be sent to your address. I acknowledge
a deep sense of the favorable estimate you express of that effort, on
a sudden occasion, amid the toils which fell upon me as one of the
Union committee, to recall our Northern people to the duty of justice
and fraternity towards our Southern fellow-countrymen. I have delayed
writing to you to say so until I could seize a moment in which to add
a suggestion as to the future; and, in the mean time, how rapidly, how
fearfully, have events been hurrying forward!

"It seems, too, that these events cast largely upon the Virginia
statesmen of this generation the momentous duty of saving from
destruction a political system which we and the world owe mainly to the
Virginia statesmen of the golden era of the Republic."



"NEW YORK, _Wednesday_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I understand that you are to be consulted this evg.
as to the propriety of assuming control of the Pres't and his adm'n
from this time forward on his promise to surrender everything to the
Democrats. This plan assumes that Church and yourself will enter
heartily into this movement, and that one of you will go into the

"Whoever does so will, in my judgment, run a very serious risk of
damaging his own record; the adoption of the plan will hasten rather
than retard impeachment; it is not unlikely that the finances may be
deranged, which will be chargeable to us, and with Johnson's sins of
omission and commission on our backs, we stand a fair chance of defeat,
when otherwise we might win in the coming Presidential fight. I see
nothing to be gained except a few places, very few, too, with Congress
against us, for a few men who want position. I hope, if you agree with
me, you will not countenance the plan in any form.

                                               S. L. M. BARLOW."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._"


[19] To whom this letter was addressed does not appear, but there is
every reason to believe it went also to Mr. Newell, through whom he
conducted most of his correspondence with the Pierce administration.

[20] Mr. Campbell was a member of the Catholic communion.

[21] Mr. Grover had acted with the Free-soilers in 1848. He was now
suggested by Van Buren's friends to succeed Judge Bronson as Collector
of the Port of New York.

[22] John Van Buren.

[23] For the history of Mr. Tilden's nomination to the office of
Attorney-General, and of his correspondence with Mr. Sutherland, his
"Hardshell" competitor, see _Bigelow's Life of Tilden_, Vol. I, p.

[24] Governor Tilden's eldest brother.

[25] Who had been Atty.-General under Van Buren when President.

[26] This is no doubt the subject referred to in Mr. Van Buren's letter
of October 14, 1859, in which his feelings were deeply interested.

[27] For further particulars of this memorable and very able letter,
see _Life of Tilden_, Harper & Brothers, 1895.

[28] The following year Commissioner of the Confederate States to

[29] The Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad.

[30] The letter here referred to will be found in the _Writings and
Speeches of Samuel J. Tilden_. Harper & Brothers, 1885.



  "NEW YORK, _Jan. 13, '61_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I read your letter, and the printed one you were kind
enough to send me, with much pleasure, and gave them to Mr. Miller,
with the stipulation that they should go to Messrs. Hewitt and Cooper
in succession. In the main I assent to your views.

"I have no doubt--

"1. That the late election[31] was not a verdict of the Northern States
on the theoretic questions urged by the Republicans. Masses went for
Lincoln, from habit and association, as a lineal succession from
Whiggism. Masses from mere opposition to the Democratic party, and from
all the causes which gradually operate to make a revolution between
the ins and the outs. The drift created by the disorganization of the
Democratic party, and our inability to present any single candidate as
a point of union to the conservative sentiment, and the concession from
April till October that we must inevitably be beaten; I say this drift
alone might fairly be 24,000 out of 675,000 voters, or 3-1/2 per cent.,
which would have changed the result in N. Y. and in the Union.

"2. That a very important reaction has already taken place.

"3. That, even if we had not had our present difficulties to bring
men to consider, Lincoln's administration must necessarily go utterly
to pieces when it came either to _present affirmative measures_ or to
_distribute the patronage_.

"4th. That, on the whole, through all these struggles and much apparent
increase of the anti-slavery element, there is growing a larger and
stronger party, capable of doing the Southern States full justice,
than ever has existed for half a century past; I mean, capable of
recognizing, on reason and principle, the right and the necessity
the Southern States have to grow in the natural expansion of their
industrial and social systems. In 1820 the North was unanimous in
claiming the right to attack conditions operating after a State should
be admitted. That idea is now abandoned by a vast majority of our
people. It is natural that when a new question arises, assumed to be
within our constitutional jurisdiction, our people should all start to
apply to it the ideas on which they have acted at home. To see that it
cannot be wisely disposed of by their merely voting in respect to it as
if it were a purely domestic question; that they must calculate for the
co-existence and expansion of the two systems; that they must partition
the Territories--is a later stage in their political education.

"I am of opinion that prevalent errors have, in the main, run their
course; and we need only to give our people a fair chance to secure
the adoption of a wiser and better system than they have ever before
understandingly accepted.

"If the present Congress continues unable to do anything adequate,
I think the next best thing will be a convention of all the States
to propose amendments to the Constitution, with an arrangement, if
practicable, to keep the parties in _status quo_ while those amendments
are being perfected and submitted. The convention should be elected in
districts on the basis of the House of Rep. The submission should be to

"That would make two popular elections necessary. The convention
would be sure to be conservative. By summer the disintegration of
the Republican party would be completed, the reaction perfected, and
three-quarters of the States would ratify amendments substantially on
the basis of Crittenden's propositions.

"Our people are temporarily misled, but by a vast majority conservative
at the bottom. We only need time to bring them to a sound position.

"Excuse the haste with which I am compelled to write, and believe me,

                               "Very truly,
                                      "Your friend,
                                            "(sd.) S. J. TILDEN.

  "_Hon. Wyndham Robertson,
                  "Richmond, Va._"

Dudley Burwell was a prominent lawyer in Albany, a thoughtful and
estimable man, and had been an active Democratic partisan of Van
Buren in opposition to General Cass in 1848. He shared Mr. Tilden's
apprehensions of a civil war as the inevitable result of Mr. Lincoln's
election. He held no office himself, and I am not aware that he
ever sought any. His letter is valuable as an illustration of the
diversity of opinion among leading men of all parties by which Mr.
Lincoln's government was perplexed during the three first years of
his administration. Advice was in abundance, but no two counsellors
entirely agreed about what the government should do or abstain from
doing. It was impossible to divine the opinions of the people upon any
subject, the succession of new and unfamiliar events was so rapid and


"I pray you read this letter immediately!

  "_Jan'y 29th, 1861._

"MY DEAR CASSIDY,--I received your telegraph this evening--and so kind
a message would have started me at once for Albany, but one side of my
face is badly swollen, and unless it is better to-morrow I must keep
within doors.

"From the names of the delegates to the convention, and the disrelish
now almost universally expressed against coercion, do not doubt its
expression will be strongly against war.

"I hope they will make Gov'r Throop president, and that they will name
Mr. Fillmore or Gov'r Hunt, Gov'r Seymour and Mr. Brady or O'Connor and
Mr. Belmont to visit Washington and such other places as they shall
think advisable for the purpose of persuading all belligerents to defer
all hostile demonstrations for a period of 15 months, or until the 4th
of July, 1862, in order to give the people time to consider the whole
subject and to act upon it in such way as may be agreed upon.

"_Time is necessary. It is indispensable._ And if the convention will
confine itself to that one point and ask time for consideration it
cannot very decently be refused.

"Time is wanted--

"1st. That Mr. Lincoln may dispose of his patronage.

"2nd. Until elections can be held in all the Northern States, in most
of which the Republicans would be defeated.

"3rd. That the South may try the Southern confederacy, in which they
will probably fail to realize the golden advantages, and will be quite
willing to resume their places in the Union when they can do so with

"I think Legislatures may be elected next fall in 2/3 of the States,
a convention called, good amendments proposed and ratified, so as to
bring all the States again into the Union, and that your convention is
the proper body to _start this project at this time_.

"If it takes this course it should appoint an executive or
corresponding committee to act and correspond with other States, and
should omit expressing any opinion as to the _particular amendments now
before Congress_, so as to be free from all commitments to special and
particular projects.

"I think this the only way of preventing war and saving the Union.

"I hope the resolutions will refrain from condemning the seceding
States, also from demanding the forts to be reclaimed, and, in fact,
everything that can lead to war.

"I had a talk yesterday with Mr. Loomis, and he understands my views,
and will, I believe, act in accordance with them, as they seemed to be
his also.

  "_Wednesday Morning._

"The two sides of my face are too unequal to show it in Albany, so
I will add a few words which I think the most important I have ever
penned, unless there should be some one or more who have by careful
reflection come to the same conclusion; and I hope you will not reject
them on the first perusal, but weigh them, reflect upon them, suggest
them to Richmond, Van Buren, O'Connor, etc.

"_To direct the whole action of the convention to initiate a call of a
national constitutional convention through a requisition upon Congress
by the States, and demand the necessary and indispensable time to
effect this object._

"Such action will drive the Republicans to abandon their warlike
measures, and will very likely hurry them either to the adoption of
some of the measures before Congress or to take the initiative this
winter for the call of a national convention while they have the
apparent power of controlling it.

"Such a movement would carry every Northern State except Massachusetts
and Vermont, would restore the Democracy to power, and revive and
invigorate the Union. Start it, I implore you, and do not let the
convention exhaust itself on the rubbish now before Congress. We must
strike a blow at the overwhelming patronage of the Federal government,
and restore it to the States to augment their power. We must place the
South in a position where it will feel its equality, and have the means
of defending itself in its own hands.

"By taking this course, simple and pure, invigorating it with all the
spirit and vehemence of the convention so as to arrest the attention
of the whole country, you will open a door for the reunion of all
Democrats at home and abroad, and save all that is worth saving in our

"You recollect Act. 5--Cons. U. S.--that Congress _shall_, on the call
of 2/3 of the States, call a convention.

"You initiate this proceeding, then you have a reason for demanding
peace, for you have a constitutional remedy to propose. You have an
object always ahead to accomplish, all old, obsolete issues are dead,
and you have always hope to influence the masses and the _Union to
love_ to incite all men to its restoration to health and vigor.

"If this plan of action is proposed by others, encourage it if you
have resolved upon it; be confirmed in your resolution, but do not,
I beseech you, reject it because it comes from so humble a source
as myself. I fancy I have bestowed as much calm reflection upon all
the phases of this state of the country as all the members of the
convention. I believe no one can be personally less interested, whether
we all go to chaos and confusion, or come out with renewed vigor from
the dangers of this dark hour.

"If it shall appear that I am a suggester, then I beg you to place the
matter in Van Buren's hands and let him at the first practicable moment
lay the subject fairly and squarely before the convention. And as more
think upon it they will admit it is the thing to kill the Republican
party. If John is obdurate try Seymour and some one else.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   "D. BURWELL."

  "_Wm. Cassidy, Esq._"


                                           "_Jan'y 30th, 1861, 11 A.M._

"MY DEAR CASSIDY,--I have just put a letter in the post-office
explaining why I am here instead of being in the cars on my way to
Albany, and now I acknowledge the receipt of yours of last evening.
It would have been a most agreeable surprise to me had I seen you and
Cagger on Saturday or any other day approaching my domicile through
banks of snow. And I hope, as you have conceived the project, you will
not abandon it but come at any time.

"The letter I post you this morning is of grave import, as it opens a
practical work for the convention to do, and will put you on the right
road to save all that is savable of our present Union.

"Do not let the Democratic sink into an Opposition party, but present
an attainable object--a work to be accomplished. One that does not
bring into discussion any of the questions which have heretofore
divided persons possessing the same principles.

"The only fear I have is that, if the convention shall prove unanimous
in demanding time until a convention of the States can be called,
it will drive Weed and Seward into the same measure, and they will
endeavor, through their present legislators, to accomplish the same
object; but this is balanced by the consideration that they must then
preserve the peace.

"Another fear I have is about the forts p. p. Let this be left in the
discretion of the committee you send South. I think no harm could
come from surrendering those posts to the States where they are
located--during the stay of proceedings; of giving them, the seceding
States, the benefit of postal and other benefits on their stipulating
to collect the same revenues as are collected in other ports of the
United States, until it becomes apparent that the Union cannot be

"In any event, I hope and pray that no harsh, unkind, or reproachful
word will be used against the seceded States, and that they may see
that there is a real, substantial body of men who can and do look at
the matter in its true light.

  "Yours truly,
                      "D. BURWELL."


  "WASHINGTON, _D. C._, _Feby. 6_, _1861_.

"DEAR TILDEN,--I got here Tuesday night. I cannot say I have got any
new ideas, except that it is important for such Northern men to be
here as can command the ears of our Southern friends--I mean of the
border States, for the rest either have none at all or they are _very
long ones_, and are attended by the other peculiarities of the animal
whose head they adorn. The bordermen complain of the precipitancy
of the South. They, themselves, take _time to deliberate_, in the
presence of such weighty action, though the _aggrieved party_. How much
more time do the _people_ of the North need to determine what to do,
dumbfounded, as they are, and slow to see precisely where they are,
and what they have done, and how far they may make reparation. It is
about out of the question to expect anything from men elected on the
Chicago platform, unless from the action of their constituents, in some
way. Some bordermen I have seen admit this. Your letter has given you
power to influence these men, and it is a moment when you should make a
sacrifice to exert it, if a sacrifice is necessary. I think you should
come at once.

"I found at Mr. Eames' last evening Mr. Everett, Crosswell, Guthrie, W.
B. Lawrence, Col. Berrit, and Count Garowski.

                                Yours, &c.,
                                               "G. W. NEWELL."[32]

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esqr., New York._

"Mr. E. wishes me to be emphatic."


  "WASHINGTON, _March 3, 1861_.

"DEAR SIR,--Hoping that in a day or two the new President will have
happily passed through all personal dangers and find himself installed
an honored successor of the great Washington, with you as the chief of
his Cabinet, I beg leave to repeat in writing what I have before said
to you orally, this supplement to my printed 'views' (dated in October
last) on the highly disordered condition of our (so late) happy and
glorious Union.

"To meet the extraordinary exigencies of the times, it seems to me
that I am guilty of no arrogance in limiting the President's field of
selection to one of the four plans of procedure subjoined:

"1. Throw off the old and assume a new designation--the Union party.
Adopt the conciliatory measures proposed by Mr. Crittenden or the
peace convention--and my life upon it, we shall have no new case of
secession, but, on the contrary, an early return of many, if not of
all, the States which have already broken off from the Union. Without
some equally benign measure the remaining slave-holding States will
probably join the Montgomery Confederacy in less than sixty days,
when this city, being included in a foreign country, would require a
permanent garrison of at least 35,000 troops to protect the government
within it.

"I stop here to call your attention to the fact that Maryland did not
join the Montgomery Confederacy, and yet with Maryland on our side
to-night, it requires a garrison of 150,000 men to protect Washington.

"2. Collect the duties on foreign goods outside the ports of which this
government has lost the command, or close such ports by act of Congress
and blockade them.

"3. Conquer the seceded States by invading armies. No doubt this might
be done in two or three years by a young and able general--a Wolfe, a
Desaix, or a Hoche, with 300,000 disciplined men, estimating a third
for garrisons, and the loss of a yet greater number by skirmishes,
sieges, battles, and Southern fevers. The destruction of life and
property on the other side would be frightful, however perfect the
moral discipline of the invaders.

"The conquest completed at that enormous waste of human life to the
North and Northwest, with at least $250,000,000 added thereto, and
_cui bono_? Fifteen devastated provinces! not to be brought into
harmony with their conquerors, but to be held for generations, by heavy
garrisons, at an expense quadruple the net duties or taxes which it
would be possible to extort from them, followed by a protector or an

"4. Say to the seceded States, Wayward sisters, depart in peace!

                            In haste, I remain,
                                       "Very truly yours,
                                                "WINFIELD SCOTT."

  "_Hon. Wm. H. Seward, &c., &c., &c._"


  "LISBON, _May 6_, _1861_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--The heart-breaking news has just reached us here,
first of the attack and capture of Sumter, for which the signal was so
madly and wickedly given by the administration (dominated, evidently,
by the war portion of that party) in its despatch of reinforcements;
and, secondly, of Lincoln's declaration of war by his proclamation
for 75,000 volunteers for the recapture of all the Southern forts,
that is, for the invasion of the South--an act followed, of course, by
secession of Virginia, and soon to be followed, I have no doubt, by
that of all or nearly all the border States. Also the telegraph tells
of a Massachusetts regiment resisted in an (insane) attempt to force
a passage through Baltimore. Gracious God, that we should have lived
to see such things! You can better judge, than I could describe, my
affliction. At first it drew from me convulsions of tears. I think it
is a greater grief than that I passed through a little short of a year
ago. What doom is sufficient for the mad authors of all this! By that
I mean, for 9/10 of the crime, the ultra portion of the Republican
party. The papers say that there is a common enthusiasm of all parties
at the North for the support of the admn. I may stand alone, but I do
not share this. I am extremely anxious to hear from you. Do write me
your views. I chafe terribly under the impossibilities which alone
prevent my hastening home. Not only have I not the means, but I cannot
leave my debts here, when a short, prolonged stay will probably assure
me the means of paying them. Then I shall come, to do my best in the
fight at home for _peaceful_ separation if reunion has become indeed
impossible. What will New York do? I trust devoutly that if any troops
march from our State southward they may consist only of Republicans.
My hope now is that the North will at last realize the mad horror of
the whole thing, and that a cloud of witnesses will arise to protest
against its being carried further. Thus far the country has drifted
along, both sides standing obstinate to the consistency of their
opposite _theories_. But surely all should now agree to pause and hold
back! But the Republican leaders, I fear, will now move heaven and hell
to push and drag forward the North to sustain them in the position
to which they have brought things. And I fear much from the fighting
character of our people. I dread the next news. If Maryland goes with
Virginia there will probably be dreadful fighting for the possession of
Washington, unless the wise and patriotic like you can stop it.

"We are exemplifying the fable of the dispute between the head and tail
of the snake for the right to lead. The Democratic party is the natural
and the only possible government of our Democratic confederation. It
alone has ever understood the idea of State rights. The tail has taken
its turn of leadership, and you see to what a pass it has brought the

"Were it not for the immediate question of the fighting to grow out of
the question of the possession of Washington, I should say it were best
that the border States should now all go at once, so as to make the
North feel the absurdity of further prosecution of war. But reunion is
now, I fear, scarcely to be hoped for!

"My wife sends you her affectionate regards.

  "Ever yours,
                 "J. L. O'SULLIVAN."

"The great question for me here of the success of our copper
establishment is not yet decided. I had expected to find the works
in operation. They will not be ready to begin short of a week or
fortnight, and then there may be further delay from changes required
in details of machinery. Everything is very encouraging. I have
good prospects of a contract for rifles and artillery from this
government--it is under consideration now. Could not do anything _at
present_ in France, though the plan was recognized as superior to their
own or to anything known. But in the present state of Europe they could
not introduce a _change_, their existing armament on their own plan
being on so vast a scale. But I was encouraged for a later day.

"In regard to politics, I suppose the North will be too hot to hold
_me_ hereafter, if the papers are right in their account of the
Northern feeling."


  "LINDENWALD, _May 13th, '61_.

"Many thanks to you, my dear sir, for the compliment conveyed in your
obliging letter.[34]

"But be assured that if the time ever arrives for the consideration of
such a work there is another man in this State who could do it far more
justice than I could hope for, and that is your brother Samuel. For
myself, I shall for the rest of my life have but one thing to tinker on
in that way, and how that will fare in these troublesome times is, I
fear, very doubtful.

"Do me the favor to present me very kindly to your good sister and all
the other members of your family, and to believe me, as ever,

  Your friend,
                    "M. VAN BUREN."


His patriotic address to a regiment in 1861. Published in New York
_Tribune_, November 3, 1874:

  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 2, 1874_.

"SIR,--On Saturday afternoon, June 22d, 1861, a stand of regimental
colors--the gift of its Democratic friends, merchants and others--was
presented to the 37th Regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers. The colors were
presented at the Battery, the regiment then being drawn up in line, and
being at the time ready to depart for the scene of war, which it did on
the following day.

"There was some ceremony at the presentation of the flags, and several
speeches were made. One of the speakers on the occasion was Mr. Samuel
J. Tilden, who made a stirring appeal to the officers and men of the
regiment--a speech not excelled in patriotism by any public speaker
during the War of the Rebellion.

"The writer of this letter knows whereof he affirms, for he was also
present and took part in the presentation ceremony.

  (Signed) "JOHN T. AGNEW."


  "LISBON, _June 5, 1861_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I have not yet a word from you, and should feel
more angry than I do at such a cruel silence were it not that I fear
you must be sadly harassed and occupied with your private affairs,
superadded to the afflictions of the patriot. Since my last letter
I have seen in the papers reason for some mitigation of the extreme
disgust and indignation I had before felt in regard to the conduct of
the Democratic party at the North. I had all but forsworn it, supposing
that it had all gone over, bag and baggage, into this worst form of
Republicanism, which consists in the support of this insane and wicked
war, and that, consequently, no possible place remained for me, even
in a corporal's guard, left of it. But I see in the newspaper letter
from New York the cheering expression that 'the _Daily News_, by taking
a strong Southern view, has largely increased its circulation, which
shows that people like to see what can be said against the war, if they
do not agree with the opinions expressed.' This assures me at least
that even though I might be myself hung for a traitor in the streets of
New York, for my sentiments on the subject, there would still remain
somebody willing to cut me down and give me decent burial. I now look
with great anxiety for the Democratic State convention called for the
4th of July, though what it can do to resuscitate the suicided body of
the old party I do not see. I beg you to go to the office of the _News_
and subscribe for their weekly paper for me, with the back numbers for
the period since the beginning of the war. Do the same in regard to
the _Day Book_. Let them be directed to the U. S. Legation, Lisbon,
through care of John Miller, U. S. Despatch Agent, 26 Henrietta Street,
Covent Garden, London. Subscribe, also, for the _Weekly Post_. I must
get you to advance the payment for these subscriptions for me, which
I will repay. The _Herald_ I see here through another channel. The
_Post_ I want only, of course, for the object of seeing the talk of
the enemy. Do tell me all _your own mind_ on the subject. I am frankly
and decidedly with the South now in their stand of resistance against
subjugation and for independence. Whatever antecedents may have led up
to it, that stand is now rightful and honorable, and submission would
be pusillanimous and base, while in those very antecedents four-fifths
of the wrong has been on the Northern side. This war against States
constituting nearly half of the Union is an entire violation of the
whole spirit of the Constitution, as well as of that of the law of
'95, under which it is made. It is the South which is now fighting
in defence of all the principles and rights of American liberty, for
self-government and the dignity of man, and even though it should be
conquered and subjugated the Union of force and military centralization
thence to result would be in itself a worse political evil, and
more pregnant with future mischief, than would be _now_ a confirmed
separation. However, therefore, I may deplore, with heartbroken grief
and shame, all the disasters of these fratricidal battle-fields, yet
truth and justice and conviction extort from me the avowal that I hope
the South will be successful in beating back from their own rightfully
defended soil this most fatal and iniquitous invasion; and for this
sentiment, though it may be the extreme of treason, I am willing to
stand responsible before God and man.

"God bless you, my dear old fellow, whether you now go with me the full
length of my opinions, or whether I may have to regret, as a sensible
addition to all the rest of my present affliction, that we no longer
stand united in our old accord of sentiments. _Eadem sentire de re
publica._ Just as I would have shouldered a Northern rifle to unite in
the defence of Washington against menaced invasion from the South, so
would I now, were I at home, stand up in aid of the rightful defence
of the Southern soil against this equally unjustifiable invasion from
the North; and this, were I on that side of the Atlantic, or were it
possible for me to get there, I would do, unless I could do better
service to the cause of the right by speaking, writing, and acting for
it at the North. It is only the foolish and mad co-operation of the
deluded Democracy that has enabled the Republican administration to
undertake this war, and now enables it to carry it on. In that sense
the Democratic party is, though secondarily, as much responsible for it
as the Republicans. If it were now to draw back and insist on peace, it
has the power to enforce that policy. This is what I would labor for,
and it is with a view to this that I have written to urge my views upon
you and upon the public, so far as you may have consented to publish my
letters, every word of which I should be glad to see in the columns of
the _News_ or of the _Day Book_.

  "Ever faithfully Yours,
                     "J. L. O'SULLIVAN."



                                             "NATIONAL HOTEL,
                                 "WASH'G., _Aug. 18, 1861_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The wheel of public events is rolling rapidly, and soon
the good men of the country will have to combine outside of President
and Cabinet to protect the national honor and save our institutions.

"Seward is premier and President, and under his weak, mischievous rule
the ship of state is rapidly approaching the breakers. He nor the rest
of the Cabinet have any administrative ability, nor any comprehension
of the immensity of the crisis. They are all governed by a narrow
policy, and are so intent upon personal objects that the higher duties
of the citizens are made subordinate in this emergency of a nation's
life to the success of the partisan.

"Seward is the great failure, but he is egotistical, false, flippant,
grotesque as usual.

"Chase is equally vain and selfish, but more just, behind a rampart of
dogmatic egotism. Of the rest it is unnecessary to speak, but of Blair,
who is the weakest and most mischievous of the whole set.

"We are in the presence of mighty events, and under the rule of pigmies.

"Our foreign relations are in a critical condition, while Seward has
not the grasp to comprehend nor direct them.

"The maladministration of the War and Navy depts. is in full force,
while corrupt odors are continually exhaled.

"The army is in a disaffected, disorganized, discouraged condition, and
not in good trim for service, chiefly through the utter incapacity of

"The expenses are a million a day, which will not be patiently borne,
no matter who the people are, without corresponding results.

"There is a feeling of gloomy dread in the public mind here of coming
misfortune, and let me ask you what will be the effect upon the public
opinion of the North if this city should be taken. The enemy is in
great force, daily increasing, victorious, defiant, and in spirit and
condition to be aggressive. If he does not soon attack the capital he
will be restrained only by prudential or political considerations.

"The North may as well, however, look that probable event square in
the face. Thus, after a rule of five months of this wretched Cabinet,
with a great nation supporting it, with imperial resources at command,
approved and animated by a self-sacrificing patriotism rarely equalled,
we are disgraced, dishonored before the world, and scarcely in a
condition to act bravely on the defensive. Soon France and England may
interfere, and then, pray, what is our condition?

"You will probably remember what I said at our first meeting at the
hotel of the strength and resources of the South, and of the incapacity
of this Cabinet to grapple with the palpitating hearts.

"I am no prophet, but it seems as if we are only approaching a mighty

"I am mortified and humiliated that the great, brave American people
have such representatives at the head of their government.

"For what are we fighting? Congress has no voice, except of adulation
for political paramours, and this quailing, squirming Cabinet is dumb.

"I have never even seen Lincoln. Mr. S. told the other day that a
Western gentleman of distinction said to him: 'Unless you soon change
this Cabinet the people will change you, and it--'

"The New York papers are congratulating the country upon the loan.
That is well, and I am gratified at the confidence in the honor and
resources of the nation, yet regretting that the bankers did not make
conditions, knowing that incapacity and rascality sit enthroned at
the head of the War and Navy departments. Banks, it is said, has been
ordered to advance his lines nearer the Potomac. McClellan is doing as
well as he can--has good administrative ability. 'Tis said the lines
are widening between him and Scott. Scott is infirm, and falls asleep
at a brief talk. Chase is chiefly responsible for placing McDowell in
command of the advancing army--and thus of our defeat.

"Please give my kind regards to Judge Pierrepont and Barbour, and with
best wishes, I remain,

                          "Your friend & Servant,
                                                 "J. D. ANDREWS."

  "_Saml. J. Tilden, Esq., New York._"


  "BALTIMORE, _3 Dec., 1861_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I was much gratified by the receipt of your letter. The
proclamation was issued and distributed in Accomac before I sent copies
to the President and Genl. McClellan. On a few important occasions in
life I have acted without consulting any one. Where my convictions have
been so strong as to give me an undoubting assurance that I was right,
I have fore-borne to consult others for fear they might differ with me.
I do not know that Genl. McClellan approves all I have done. I am not
sure as to the President, though I think he regards my policy as the
true remedy for the special phase of the malady of secession, which
existed on the eastern shore of Virginia. Whether he will regard it as
the proper treatment for other phases of the disease I do not know. If
our madmen in Congress, when everything is prospering, adopt Sumner's
miserable scheme of emancipation or John Cochrane's diabolical project
of arming slaves against their masters, all hope of a pacification will
be at an end. Kentucky, I fear, will instantly array herself on the
side of the Confederates. The conservative men of the country must make
themselves felt in Congress and without a moment's delay.

                          "Ever sincerely yours,
                                                   JOHN A. DIX."

  "_Hon. Saml. J. Tilden._"

"P. S.--When I came here, four months ago, I ordered all my colonels
not to allow negroes to come within their encampments. This rule has
saved me from all annoyance. The only difficulty I have had grew out of
the reception of a fugitive slave against my orders.

"N. B.--I send a correct copy of my proclamation. There were verbal
inaccuracies in all the published copies in N. Y."

The proclamation here referred to was dated November 13, 1861, and
addressed to the people of Accomac and Northampton counties, Virginia.
It ran as follows:

"The military forces of the United States are about to enter your
counties as a part of the Union. They will go among you as friends, and
with the earnest hope that they may not, by your own acts, be forced to
become your enemies. They will invade no rights of person or property.
On the contrary, your laws, your institutions, your usages, will be
scrupulously respected. There need be no fear that the quietude of
any fireside will be disturbed, unless the disturbance is caused by

"Special directions have been given not to interfere with the condition
of any person held to domestic service; and, in order that there may be
no ground for mistake or pretext for misrepresentation, commanders of
regiments and corps have been instructed not to permit any such persons
to come within their lines."


Mr. John Van Buren, who had become an earnest supporter of the war,
just before he made a speech at a great Democratic meeting in the city
of New York, in October, 1862, called upon Mr. Tilden.

"We must be for the war," said Mr. Van Buren.

"Certainly," replied Mr. Tilden.

Mr. Van Buren showed a letter from General Scott, in which he proposed
to "let our erring sisters depart in peace." Mr. Van Buren could not
resist the temptation of making an oratorical point upon the letter of
the great military chieftain, and read it to the meeting. An audience
applauds point more than reason. Mr. Van Buren was an orator who
sported with the tumultuous sympathies of a popular assembly, as a
daring horseman rides a fiery steed. In the action and reaction between
the speaker and the auditors, Mr. Van Buren, contrary to his intention,
was carried into some seeming indulgence towards General Scott's idea.
The impression was not satisfactory to his friends or to the leaders of
the Democratic party.

At a casual meeting, at which were present Mr. Dean Richmond, the
chairman of the Democratic State Committee, Mr. Seymour and Mr. Jones,
the Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, Mr.
Tilden was consulted. He disapproved the aspect in which the last
meeting had left the matter, and suggested that, as Mr. Seymour was
to speak in Brooklyn on the evening of the next day, he should at the
close of his speech make a more correct and an authoritative statement
of the Democratic position in respect to the war.

Mr. Tilden was requested to reduce to writing what he suggested should
be said. The next morning, on his way down-town, he left with Mr.
Seymour a sketch of a peroration for the speech to be made that evening.

It was in the following words:

"And now, if my voice could reach the Southern people, through the
journals of our metropolis, I would say to them that in no event can
the triumph of the conservative sentiment of New York in the election
mean consent to disunion, either now or hereafter. Its true import is
restoration, North and South, of that Constitution which had secured
every right, and under whose shelter all had been happy and prosperous
until you madly fled from its protection. It was your act which began
this calamitous civil war. It was your act which disabled us, as we are
now disabled, of shaping the policy or limiting the objects of that
war. Loyally as we maintained your rights, will we maintain the right
of the government. We will not strike down its arm as long as yours is
lifted against it. That noblest and greatest work of our wise ancestors
is not destined to perish. We intend to rear once more upon the old
and firm foundations its shattered columns, and to carry them higher
towards the eternal skies. If the old flag waves in the nerveless
grasp of a fanatic but feeble faction to whom you and not we abandoned
it, we, whose courage you have tried when we stood unmoved between
fanaticism and folly from the North and South alike, will once more
bear it onward and aloft until it is again planted upon the towers of
the Constitution, invincible by domestic as by foreign enemies. Within
the Union we will give you the Constitution you profess to revere,
renewed with fresh guarantees of equal rights and equal safety. We will
give you everything that local self-government demands; everything that
a common ancestry of glory--everything that national fraternity or
Christian fellowship requires; but to dissolve the federal bond between
these States, to dismember our country, whoever else consents, we will
not. No; never, never, never!"


         "FORT MONROE, VA., _7 Sept., 1862_.

"_My dear Sir_,--Your letter by some mischance got among those
intended to go by flag of truce to Richmond, and I only received it the
day before yesterday. Yesterday I wrote to Judge Pierrepont, saying
that I cannot relinquish my position in the field. There is only one
condition (and that an impossible one)--a call from the people of New
York on me to be their Chief Magistrate for the purpose of carrying,
if possible, greater vigor into the conduct of the war. I say this is
impossible, because I see clearly that the Republicans will not relax
their hold on anything they possess, and that the Democrats are taking
the field under their old and everlasting office-seekers. I see no good
to the country from such a contest, and I cannot go into it.

                             "Sincerely yours,
                                                   "JOHN A. DIX."

  "_Saml. J. Tilden, Esq._

"Consider this confidential."


  "UTICA, _Nov. 10, 1862_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have a very high opinion of young Mr. Ketcham. I have
made partial arrangements about my secretary, but I hope it will be in
my power to serve him in some other way. I wish you would so advise him.

"Now that you and others have got me into this scrape, I wish you would
tell me what to do. Give me your suggestions. I shall need all the
help my friends can furnish. It looks to-day as if the administration
intended to push forward without regard to public opinion. If they do,
the financial rope will hang them up.

                                "In haste,
                                   "Truly yours, &c.,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"


  "COLLECTOR'S OFFICE, 163 5th Av.
  "937 BROADWAY, cor. of 22d St.

                                    "U. S. INTERNAL REVENUE,
                               "8TH DISTRICT, STATE OF NEW YORK.
                                         "NEW YORK, _1863_.

  "MR. S. J. TILDEN,

  No. 2 Union Square.           Street.
  "Your tax on income             $--
  and on enumerated articles      $2.00
  amounting to                    $--

as returned by the assessor of this district is due, and should be paid
at once. Bankable money or checks required. Office hours from 9 A.M. to
3 P.M.

"Please bring this with you.

  "Yours respectfully,
               "G. P. PUTNAM,


  "NEW YORK, _January 27, 1863_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--When you have done with the paper which I gave you at
Albany will you be kind enough to send it to me at your convenience?

"Don't you think it is high time for the conservatives to go to work
and make a powerful demonstration in our city and State in order to
compel the administration to a change of measures and men? If nothing
is done, I see but ruin and national bankruptcy before us. Could not
Gov. Seymour send a strong and determined message to the Legislature,
recommending immediate measures for a convention of the centre States,
with such others as may favor us?

                            "Yours very truly,
                                                "AUGUST BELMONT."

  "NEW YORK, _January 27, 1863_."


  "WASHINGTON, _22 Feby., 1863_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have just read your letter of 1860 to Judge Kent. It
is full of wisdom and accurate prophecy. I wish it could be read by all
reflective men of the old Union. Until we act upon the theories there
developed, our country must submit to the evils which error has brought
upon us. More fatal delusions never led mankind than guide the party in
power. Until they give place to reason, sound sense, and honesty there
will be no relief.

"In one of the addresses issued by the executive committee here, in
1860, prepared by me, there is a prediction of the fatal consequences
of elevating to power a representative of the principles of those
who nominated Lincoln. I was, it is true, unwilling to believe what
my reason told me was inevitably true. But I felt bound to proclaim
the convictions resulting from much reflection. But our countrymen
were mad, and like mad men would heed no warning. The fatal error was
committed, the consequences of which no one can calculate. But you, at
least, are not responsible for the result. You did all that one man
could do to direct to the path of safety. I tried to do mine, but met
with no success in making converts.

"I fear there is a disposition on the part of many of our friends to
take and act upon a mistaken view of our present duty. The 'peace
policy' of many will prove fallacious. I would go with the sword in
one hand and the most liberal measures of reconciliation in the other,
while I would require all, in and out of authority, to observe the
Constitution and the rights of all citizens, and punish all infractions
where possible to do so without regard to station.

"After our court adjourns I intend to go to Lebanon, and hope to see
you when going or returning.

  "Yours truly,
                "R. H. GILLETT."[35]

William Chauncey Fowler, a son of Reuben Rose Fowler, was born
September 1, 1793. When four years of age his parents removed to
Durham, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale College in 1816, became a
tutor in 1819; two years later he became pastor of the Congregational
Church in Greenfield, Massachusetts. In 1825 he became professor of
chemistry and natural philosophy in Middlebury (Vermont) College,
whence he resigned to take the chair of rhetoric and oratory in Amherst
College in 1843. In 1825 he married the daughter of Noah Webster,
and edited for his father-in-law the university edition of Webster's
Dictionary. He served in the Legislature of Massachusetts in 1851,
and in the Senate of Connecticut in 1864. His _English Grammar_ was
extensively used as a text-book in the schools. He was a member and
chairman of the school board in Durham for twenty-five years. He died
January 15, 1881.


                    "DURHAM CENTRE, CONN., _Feb. 23, 1863_.

  "S. J. TILDEN, Esq.

"DEAR SIR,--I have just risen from the perusal of your letter,
addressed in 1860 to Professor _William Kent_, and published last week
in the New York _World_. The public were and are under obligations to
you for this satisfactory and patriotic expression of your sentiments;
and, for one, I beg leave to express my thanks. The opinions you
expressed have been confirmed, and the prophecies recorded have been
accomplished by the thick-coming events of the last two years.

"But, unfortunately, it has been the fate of us 'union-savers' that our
prophecies have been disbelieved, as were those of the fabled Cassandra
when she foretold the ruin of Troy.

"'_Can the North understand the full import of the federation idea?_'
This question of yours is pregnant with meaning. It did once understand
it. But two or three generations since that time have passed off, or
are passing off the stage, and this idea has gone with them. Can the
country be restored to 'its first love,' and do its 'first works,' and
thus preserve the Constitution and the Union?

"I have read the remarks of Prof. Morse and Mr. Curtis and yours with
the same satisfaction with which I listened to them at Delmonico's.

  "Very truly and respectfully yours,
                          "WILLIAM C. FOWLER."


                   "CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND, _Feby. 23, 1863_.


"DEAR SIR,--I received, and have read most carefully and with great
interest, your 1860 letter to the Hon. Judge Kent, which recalled to
me some views you expressed at Mr. Stoughton's dinner-table during the
conversation that ensued between Mr. Stoughton, Mr. Collector Schell,
yourself, and myself. I must confess your predictions, both in the
letter and what fell from you in that conversation, which have since
been fulfilled, astonish me, and compel reluctant admissions of your
superior political sagacity. Still, the worst, that is, most injurious
consequences foretold by you have not yet occurred; and though I
hesitate somewhat in my views and hopes from perceiving how much I did
not expect, nor even apprehend, and which you asserted would happen,
have resulted as you predicted, I am yet sanguine enough to believe
what is still unfulfilled will remain so during our day at least; and
then, after us, 'the deluge.' Allow me to subscribe myself,

  Faithfully and truly Y'rs,
                       "GEO. A. THURSTON."


  "NEW YORK, _Feb. 26, '63_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The truth is that the plan of the Society for the
Diffusion of Political Information is not completely matured. It had
not become a movement of much importance or definiteness of aim when
it was brought into sudden notoriety by the attacks of the extreme
Republican press.

"I send you a copy of the Constitution, with Mr. Curtis's introductory
address. Your suggestions as to the character of the publication are
good, and, I think, in accordance with the intentions of the society.

"I do, indeed, feel strengthened in the general views of public affairs
which I take by the concurrence of a thoughtful and instructed mind
like yours. The calamity of our times is that the people have outgrown
their knowledge of their own civil institutions--in some sections of
our country.

"I add a copy of the letter to Mr. Kent, which has been drawn into some
renewed notoriety by the attacks on the Delmonico meeting.

  "Very truly,
         "Your friend,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."


  "_Private and confidential._

                                  "HUDSON, _June 18, 1863_.

  "S. J. TILDEN, Esq.

"MY DEAR SIR,--It has occurred to me that it would do no hurt if it
did no good to make some further suggestions on a topic which we
discussed a little in New York--to wit., the expediency of my changing
my residence to that city, or of connecting myself in a business way
with some gentleman there, continuing my present official position or
not till the expiration of my term as should be thought advisable. I
have so much confidence in your good judgment, as well as command of
large business interests, that it has occurred to me whether some sort
of professional connection could not be established between us to our
mutual advantage. You must have at times more than you can attend to,
and, besides, will find it necessary to consult your health and allow
yourself more leisure. On the other hand, my health is pretty firm,
and my disposition to labor unabated. I make the suggestion for your
consideration, and shall accept in the best feeling any suggestions
you make, whether I suppose them to tend to my interest or not. I
should be desirous if I went to New York to connect myself with large
interests, if possible, and am persuaded no one in that respect is
more advantageously situated than yourself. And I am convinced that
with the close of this unhappy war (if it ever _does_ terminate) those
interests with which your business is more directly connected will
receive a decided impulse, leading to a large and lucrative increase of
professional interests connected with them. Besides, such connections
must place one at times in a position to make profitable investments,
and in many other respects are to be desired. If such an arrangement
could be made, I would be disposed to do what was, on the whole,
thought advisable as to the time to enter into it. And if a business
connection would not strike you as favorable to the interests of either
of us or of yourself, I think you might make useful suggestions in
regard to the matters here hinted at, as you already have done. I pray
you to have no delicacy on the subject in saying what occurs to you as
proper. Nor let the pendency of the case before me, in which you are
counsel, have any influence to deter you. In such matters I profess
entire independence, and while I never suspect the slightest attempt on
the part of a friend to influence me, often disappoint my best friends
in the conclusions at which I arrive. In that matter at present I have
positively no decided opinion whatsoever. May I hear from you at your
convenience, and ask you to treat this as confidential?

  Truly Yours,
                  "H. HOGEBOOM."[37]

---- to Tilden

                          _July, 1863_.

"DEAR SIR,--The Legislature of this State, at its last session, made
a liberal appropriation for the protection and relief of soldiers
returning from the war. Under this appropriation, the New York State
Soldiers' Depot has been established and located at Nos. 50 and 52
Howard Street, New York, and we beg to call your attention to the
objects of the institution, and to solicit your co-operation in
carrying them into effect.

"The board of managers consists of the Adjutant-General of the
State, the Inspector-General, the Surgeon-General, and the
Quartermaster-General, and their action is subject to the supervision
of the Governor.

"The depot is a spacious building, containing every convenience for the
accommodation, health, and comfort of the inmates. Food and lodgings
are furnished to them free of charge; they are washed and cleansed,
and provided with clean underclothing and with transportation to their

"The sick and wounded enter the hospital department and receive careful
medical treatment until in a condition to be forwarded to their
residences. If any die at the depot, their remains are transmitted to
their friends. The system of station agents and train couriers adopted
by the board effectually protects the returning soldiers from robbery,
imposition and vice.

"It is unnecessary to dwell upon the advantages of such an institution.

"It secures immediate relief to the suffering and needy men who return
sick, wounded, and penniless from the war. It removes those who
possess health and money out of the reach of the temptations of the
city, and protects them from the impositions so generally practised
upon returning soldiers, who are specially marked as the prey of the
dishonest. Its effect will be to induce re-enlistments, for it will
prove to the volunteer that the State will not forget or neglect those
who fight in defence of their country.

"The board of managers, being desirous of having the advice of some of
their fellow-citizens in the prosecution of their work, have concluded
to form an advisory committee. You have been selected and are invited
to act as one of that committee.

"You will always be welcome at the rooms of the depot.

  "Very truly Yours,


  "ROCKAWAY, _Friday, 17th July_ (_1863_).

"MY DEAR SIR,--I was obliged to leave town suddenly on Tuesday, as
my family were expecting me by a certain train, and were in a little
cottage here without any other male protector. I do not expect to go
to the city again before Monday. I have read the city ordinance. After
much reflection, it seems to me that there are two or three modes of
raising the legal question; and I take it for granted that the State
authorities, if the draft is pressed, will act only in support of
their own judicial process. Does not the jurisdiction of our Supreme
Court, in General Term, admit of a writ of prohibition, to be applied
for on the ground that certain persons, etc., are about to enroll,
summon, and subject to martial law A. B. and C. D., citizens of New
York and members of its militia, etc., etc.? This would avoid all
difficulty about the _hab. corpus_. If it be said that a prohibition
out of a State court cannot control a Federal officer, I think it is
sufficiently answered if the prohibition is founded on the allegation
that the Federal officer is undertaking to act under color of a law
constitutionally invalid. The process and the case may be afterwards
drawn into the Federal judicial power for revision. But it may issue
and may be served, and then there is a legal process and not a mere
forcible resistance.

"The Federal court, too, has probably the same jurisdiction, although I
have not the means here of looking at that. I should think Judge Nelson
would come to town if requested.

"It will, of course, be understood that I am prepared to discuss the
question in any court, if my services are needed.

  "Y's very truly,
                 "GEO. T. CURTIS."[38]


  "PHILA., _July 21, '63_.

"DEAR SIR,--The suspense here to have the adjudication of your courts
upon the constitutionality of the conscription act is painful. If the
courts shall hold that this enactment is outside of and overrides
the Constitution, our people in Penn'a will sustain that position.
On the other hand, if the courts shall hold the act constitutional,
rather than resist law and invoke anarchy, I do not think there
will be any other opposition than sporadic outbreaks and a general
fleeing to avoid the compulsory service. I write to ask you that for
the sake of the public peace, and I may well add for the sake of
republican liberty on this continent, you give your best efforts to
obtain a _speedy_ decision on this subject. I take the liberty of
thus addressing you because of our former (to myself) very pleasant
personal acquaintance, and because of my knowledge of your professional
and political position. I feel confident you will agree with me that
unless sufficient courage combines with patriotism and a comprehensive
appreciation of pending movements to overthrow constitutional liberty
in this sorely afflicted country, we will soon have to mourn the
establishment of the most absolute despotism.

                            "Yours Very Truly,
                                                  "F. W. HUGHES."

  "PHILA., _July 21/63_.

"Please address me at Pottsville, Pa."


  "NASSAU ST., _July 24_ (_1863_).

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have revised the opinion wh. I gave to the Governor
last March on the conscription act, and have since thought of
publishing it as an opinion given to the Governor at that time. He has
been bitterly assailed for having spoken of the 'rights of the people.'
I want the public to see the grounds for the opinion that the people
_have_ rights, which have been violated. I should not, however, print
this opinion if the state of things, in the negotiations with the
govt., makes it inexpedient at the present moment. But I mean to get it
fully ready, and to let it be known what I think of this law as soon as
there is a fitting time for it. Will you mention this to the Governor?
I shall be in town again on Monday.

  "Y'rs truly,
                  "GEO. T. CURTIS."

The _National Intelligencer_ was the organ of the old Federal and
Whig parties almost from the foundation of the government. It was a
faithful champion of the slave-holding interests of the South until
its representatives in Congress withdrew from the Union. The demise of
the Whig party by the incorporation of the Northern portion of it into
the Republican party and the separation of the slave States from the
Union, left the _Intelligencer_ no longer any constituency, and after
a few struggles like the one of which we read in the following letter
from Mr. Kennedy, and a brief, precarious existence which Mr. Tilden
contributed financially to prolong its publication was discontinued.


  "WASHINGTON, _July 25, 1863_.

"DEAR POND,--I have been _credibly_ informed to-day that unless they
shall be so fortunate as to receive immediate relief from some friendly
source, the _Intelligencer_ will actually be suspended in the course of
the coming week.

"The paper, it is generally known, became embarrassed by the entire
loss of its large Southern circulation, consequent on the rebellion,
which loss has been followed now by the withdrawal of the official
advertisements of the govt. departments, which they have hitherto
enjoyed under almost every administration, thus cutting off resources
by which they have managed to meet their expenditures, and rendering
imminent an event which of all others will gratify the ultra party of
the country and bring mortification on the conservatives which they
will deplore when too late to be remedied. Its fall will exhilarate
the abolitionists by the assurance it will appear to justify, of the
opposition to extreme measures, and the inability of the conservatives
of the country to sustain a journal at the seat of government opposed
to radicalism, and practically confirm the standing and increase the
influence of the radical press here, while it will deprive the country
of a tried and faithful watchman on the walls of the citadel whose
very presence intimidates from a surrender of the bulwarks of the
Constitution and the constitutional union. Shall this be? Will the
wealthy, patriotic, conservative men of New York quietly permit such
an advantage to be gained by their destructive adversaries, and suffer
to be lost what holds out such a prospect and guarantee of usefulness
and necessity to them when a comparatively small effort may avert such
a catastrophe? In view of the depressing effect which the stoppage of
such a paper at this juncture will produce on National men North and
South and their cause, and the advantages which will inure therefrom
to the sectionalists, cannot some good men of New York make up a loan
to the establishment of a few thousand dollars, which will give it
stability and independence thro' the rest of this year, when it is to
be hoped a new era will open, thereby maintaining an important element
of power for good, in bringing about a reasonable and happy settlement
of our difficulties when the force of arms shall have accomplished its
work. Will these good people of New York allow this old and influential
journal of more than half a century's standing to go down for defending
their cause against the destructive policy of the radicals, and when,
if it go down, the conservatives will have to make greater sacrifices
in establishing another in its stead which must be long in acquiring
the same confidence and power of usefulness? These are questions which
must be determined in a few days, or the capital be left without a
paper representing and upholding national views and the country be
deprived of a faithful journal, which can be relied on, regardless of
government favor, and continue to do its duty to the people unawed by
power though it perish in the struggle.

"The amount, if supplied, may be deemed _and made_ a lien on the
establishment and apply as a credit on its purchase hereafter, or may
be _a loan_ to be secured by deed of trust thereon.

"I have stated facts, with no personal interest to advance other than
as my welfare is identified with the honor and prosperity of the
country and the integrity of the Union and the preservation of law
and order. I have made suggestions, and can conceive of no act more
patriotic or more demanded by the highest interest of the country than
the object of my note.

"I have advised that a confidential agent go to your city, and I am
writing to ask you to aid him by your counsel in putting him in the way
to avert an impending calamity. What I write you are at liberty to use
according to your discretion, but please keep my letter in your sole
possession. My engagements preclude my leaving home at present, and I
write as I would speak and would wish to say to men who will readily be
suggested to your mind. Can _you_ say it for the country's sake, and at

  "Yours faithfully,
                 "JOS. C. G. KENNEDY."


  "PHILAD., _July 28, 1863_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Our proposed litigation here, as to the conscription
law, has thus far failed--from want of courage on the part of the
litigant, whose chance of success, within the law, was not very
encouraging, and whose doom, in the event of failure, was very certain.
The form which was adopted by Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Wharton was that of
an injunction bill against the enrolling and drafting officers, and the
hearing hoped for was before the court _in banc_. I now very much doubt
if it will be resorted to. A _habeas corpus_ before a single judge on
the receipt of notice, which constitutes a technical custody, seems to
me preferable.

"The draft, in the mean time, is going on and, I confess, I am puzzled
by the apathy with which it is received, especially in connection with
the admitted fact that New York and probably New Jersey are to be
exempt. Still, I think there will be an outbreak whenever the actual
kidnapping begins.

"Of course you see or think you see the dangers which threaten you
more clearly than we at a distance do. But the apprehension is very
prevalent here that Gov. Seymour is in danger at any moment of secret
arrest. Things of that kind have been hinted at, and certainly I saw
nothing in New York to make such an outrage practically difficult.
There is inducement enough, for his removal puts the whole Democratic
North under the heel of the radicals. My theory about arrests is that
they are always fatal. No public man ever recovered from the stain
they seem to inflict. I doubt very much if Mr. Vallandigham will ever
recuperate. Gov. Seymour is the only public man who at this moment
stands in the way of a centralized despotism, and him a small guard of
Federal soldiers could easily and secretly remove.

"I am, no doubt, very nervous and very suspicious, but, I assure you,
these facts are not confined to my own bosom.

                             "Very Truly Y'rs,
                                               "WILLIAM B. REED."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq., New York._"


  "NEW LEBANON, _July 28th, 1863_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have been peculiarly unlucky in the attempt to answer
your letter of June 18th. It came on my return from an absence from the
city, followed immediately by another; and then by an illness which
wholly disabled me for a week, and from which I emerged only after the
commencement of the riot, and that brought upon me many demands for
attention and counsel amid ten days of excitement and bustle. I turn to
it as actually the first real business of my own to which I have had a
chance to attend for some weeks, indeed, since the 4th of July, when
I had begun an answer, until now. I came here Saturday evening, and
expect to return to-morrow morning.

"How swiftly events move, and how greatly they change! I am reminded,
as I see by what I began to write, how deeply a few weeks ago I was
involved in solicitude for the results of the military operations then
reaching their crisis. At no time since this war commenced have I been
so disturbed as before the battle of Gettysburg; a different issue
of which might, in my judgment, have put us on our defence even as
far as Phila. and New York, and brought a revolution in our thoughts
and occupations, and since that New York has been upon the verge of a
social peril, at that time wholly unexpected.

"I appreciate the frank and cordial spirit of your letter, and shall
state my own impressions in the same confidence which you express that
our long knowledge of each other will, at least, secure us a perfect
mutual understanding. I say impressions, for I am conscious that all
my views of the future, for myself, and for all others in whom I take
interest, may be colored by the peculiar uncertainties which now
enshroud our horizon.

"1. While I think it proper for you to keep your eye upon the
opportunity of forming a future business in New York, I doubt if you
can prudently abandon your present sure and honorable position, or
can count with sufficient certainty upon events to enter at present
into definite engagements of so much importance to your interests
and happiness. I think you will remember in all our conversations a
disposition on my part (arising, perhaps, from the habitual caution
which my views of public events inspire) to contemplate such a change
in your affairs as taking effect after the close of your present term
of official service.

"I think, if the battle of Gettysburg had happened to be such a
disaster to us as is always possible in the vicissitudes of war,
business in New York would have been for the time, and how long a time
I know not, suspended. Who can compute the consequences of the loss
of Washington, Baltimore, and, perhaps, Philadelphia? Nor can I be
insensible to the social disorders to which great cities are exposed
during such civil convulsions as our country is now undergoing.

"You are at present sure of a livelihood by a tenure and in a
geographical position which are not affected by the military,
political, or financial vicissitudes to which all business in the city
of New York is exposed, and which might fall with peculiar severity
upon a newly formed enterprise--undertaken in reliance upon profits
which any of these causes might render illusory, and amid expenses
which city life and city business inevitably involve. Under these
circumstances I hope you will not consider it officious if I express
the opinion that it would be wiser for you, holding to your present
certainty, to await events which can scarcely fail to shift greatly, if
not frequently, before a decision can be practically forced upon you.

"2. I agree with you that after the war shall have closed the city of
New York will afford scope for business corresponding to the revivified
interests of the country; but I agree with this qualification--that
it can hardly be that the transition can be made, changing, as it
will, the application of labor and enterprise from one set of objects
to another, without a shock of more or less duration, and that the
retirement by any process of the paper issues may be expected to
produce a period of constantly increasing depression. It will be after
this that, with its metropolitan character more than ever assured, New
York will return to a state of healthy prosperity, if its position as
the trade centre of all the States be preserved.

"3. In respect to myself. I am not sure that the advantages of a
professional connection with me would be as great as might naturally be
expected. It has been the general opinion of the profession that a mere
counsel business, of large extent and income, could not be permanently
kept up. So far as I have succeeded in doing this, my experience may
have been exceptional. I have years ago abandoned all ideas of regular
clientage, and could scarcely see any reason why my business should
not much diminish, perhaps almost dry up, with the completion of that
pending at the time. The substitution of mere business--easy to be
deputed, regular in its flow, and almost formal in its nature, which is
the basis of large profits in the general experience of the bar--I have
not had, possibly because I had not the organization in my office to
do it, and could not do it myself without abandoning the part to which
I have devoted myself. If ten years ago I had provided for it what it
might have grown to is a matter of conjecture. It is now too late for
me to undertake the labor, care or responsibility, or even to acquire
the disposition to construct such a business. How far, in lessening my
active connection with affairs of the peculiar nature mine has become,
I could transfer would be doubtful. Indeed, it would seem to me that
some species which have occupied half of my attention for five years
past are likely to disappear.

"4. Some years ago I had two suggestions of what seemed to be very
flattering connections. One of them was of several intimate friends,
who thought we could combine and build up a larger concern than ever
existed in this city. I assented to that opinion, but shrank from
assuming obligations and necessities which could not be practically
terminable at my own choice. Uncertain how long health would permit
or necessity require the efforts I was then making, or how long a
disposition to continue them would survive the immediate occasion for
them, I felt that I should unavoidably part with the perfect freedom
of my choice if I allowed friends to build their calculations upon
me--that no reservation I could make would exempt me from a sense that
what I might prefer to do would disappoint or damage those with whom I
had entered into the joint undertaking.

"In the interval these motives for keeping free from all connections
have strengthened, while all motives to form them have nearly ceased.
The necessities of that day have been fulfilled. My health requires
an exemption for a time of more or less duration, from the cares
which would attend any new engagements, or, indeed, the thought
whether or not business is to continue. Everything that I could
endeavor to foresee, whether personal, as health, taste, my remaining
here or travelling to Europe or to the far West, or whether public,
as financial or political events amid the civil commotions of our
country--everything, in a word, which could ordinarily form the subject
of calculation, seems to be more uncertain than ever before. My
habit, therefore, in all things--I scarcely know whether it comes of
disposition or of judgment--is to make no plans at present, except such
as are inevitable; to await events, and to keep myself as prepared as
possible to act, free from engagements and even from predeterminations
of my own mind, according to the changing phases of affairs.

"I have thus, my dear sir, unveiled to you more of my private affairs
and thoughts than, perhaps, are known to any other person; for I have
written them as if we were talking together, writing my ideas as they
arose, without much method or care.

"Please consider them as confidential, and excuse the haste with which
they are expressed and the length to which my letter has grown. Accept
the frankness of my revelations and suggestions as an evidence of my
cordial interest in your views, and be assured that whatever I can do
by way of information, advice, or suggestion towards your purpose, if
you continue to entertain it, will be at all times at your service.

                               "Very truly,
                                        "Your friend,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Hon. Henry Hogeboom._"


  "ALBANY, _Aug. 6, 1863_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have been doing all that one overburdened man can
do to adjust matters with the general government. I am satisfied it
means to go on in a spirit of hostility to this State; that it is
governed by a spirit of malice in all things small and great. I do not
believe they will accept volunteers on account of the draft. Let it be
so. I am willing to accept results. This conscription will make the
administration odious and contemptible. It will fail as a measure to
raise men. I do not take into account forcible resistance which will
aid rather than embarrass government. It will break down because it is
impossible to coerce a people. Some will commute, some will run away;
many will prove disabilities, and a few will go, enough, perhaps, to
demoralize the army. I have sent a communication to the President,
written in calm and respectful terms, objecting:

"1. To the fairness of the movement.

"2. To the policy of conscription.

"3. Asking for a test of the constitutionality of the measure.

"It will do no good, except making up a record. I look for nothing
but hostility, but I shall do my duty, and demand my rights, and let
consequences take care of themselves. I feel no uneasiness.

                             "Truly y'rs, &c.,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"



                            "LINDENWALD, _Sept. 4th, 1863_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--My father left to the col's son Martin a bust of
himself by Powers; Smith and I have ordered two copies, or as they are
to be executed by Powers, they will in effect be originals. The cost
will be about $500; something under. They should arrive in October or
November. The value of a bust by Powers as a work of art exceeds the
sum named. It would be more convenient for me, I am sorry to say, not
to take this bust, and I know nobody to whom I would offer it except
yourself, or who would prize it so highly. Please drop me a line to let
me know if it would be agreeable to you to take it. I need hardly add
that this is a confidential matter between us.

"What have you been doing this summer, and why have you not looked
in upon me? Thanks to a good farmer, I am promised fair crops and,
thanks to the war, they should command fair prices; but I find I have
upon my hands an establishment very much beyond the strength of Anna
and myself, and so distant from my office as to cut me off from my
profession. I shall be obliged, therefore, to change my arrangements.

"I was glad to see you helped the Tammany Democrats to keep the 4th
of July, and trust you united in the sound war spirit that seemed to
animate their proceedings. We hope to be back in 4th Ave. by or before
the 1st. Novr., and shall be glad to see you there if you do not look
in on us here before.

                               "Truly y'rs,
                                              "J. VAN BUREN."[39]

  "LINDENWALD, _Sept. 4th, 1863_."


  "29 WILLIAM ST., _Sept. 9, 1863_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I spent some time last evg. with Mr. Reverdy Johnson at
the 5th Avenue Hotel, where he will remain two or three days. He would
be gratified to see you. The object which he seeks to accomplish--the
continuance of the _Nat. Intelligencer_ until after the close of
the next Presidential election--is one, in my judgment, of great
importance. Should that paper be permitted to go down there will be
a very large number of respectable and influential persons in this
country left as sheep without a shepherd. They will have lost the
leader which they have been accustomed to follow, and whose voice they
know, for many years.

"I pray you put forth vigorous and prompt efforts to prevent such a
result. I like the views you are reported to have expressed the other
day, of uniting _all the opposition to the present administration_ in
selecting our candidates for the next Presidency.

  "Yours very truly,
                      "HIRAM KETCHUM."


  "NEW YORK, _March 24, 1864_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--An absence from the city and the occupations preparatory
to it have deferred my acknowledgment of your letter longer than I

"In respect to the first topic of your letter, although we both agree
in considering it practically past, the desire I have that the real
state of facts should be completely understood by you induces me to add
a word to our former discussions.

"As nearly as I can now recollect, the misunderstanding occurred about
the time, I think even before, my action in respect to the Peninsula
was decided. The false relation between Mr. Ogden and you with the
impressions which such of our friends as occasionally met Mr. Parsons
derived from him repelled overtures to you. Mr. O. always said that he
thought he could satisfy you, but doubted and deferred.

"There never was a moment when I did not desire to communicate with
you; but my acquaintance was so slight that I thought it necessary to
wait for others, until at last I forced a breaking of the ice, and our
interview took place.

"But enough of this. I should not recur to the topic if I had not a
great respect for you. The past is gone. We can deal only with the
present. That is within our powers. I do not think that, on the whole,
we cannot now do nearly as well as if we had done what was best at
first. For myself, I have so often felt your reproach for having
omitted to promote our understanding, so capable of benefits to both
sides, that I am determined as to the present and the future, which
alone are in our power--that the boot shall be on the other leg.

"Coming now to what is the really important part of your letter--put
after the fashion of the ladies in the P. S.--it must be admitted that
if you should meditate anything more than a mere _sale_ on the best
security--anything approaching in part to a sharing of the common joys
and sorrows of the adventure--the future policy of Peninsular company,
in the particulars mentioned by you, would be an important matter.

"I think that policy will be, whether in your society or out of it,
_conservative_ to your heart's content.

"It would, no doubt, be very desirable to have the terminus of the
Peninsular at Escanaba or Sand Point connected with Green Bay by rail.
What we can do on that point, and what we cannot, has been definitely
announced to Mr. Ogden and others by me assuming to speak for the very
solid gentlemen who are the principal owners of the Peninsular.

"If the Northwestern will build that road we shall be glad. We do not
believe the difficulty of operating it in the winter is any more real
than it was supposed to be from Boston to Albany or from Piermont to
Dunkirk twenty years ago; or as much so as on the Chicago and St. Louis
in 1856. There will be a telegraph to Marquette in a few months. An
all-rail line to that point would revolutionize the region.

"If the N. W. needs the privileges of our charter or the land grant
which attaches to the portion of the line from Escanaba to the
Menominee, we ought to accord them so that we incur no pecuniary
liability for the construction or operation of the line.

"If the N. W. needs that we consent to a modification of the drawback
which it is to allow us on its whole 242 miles for joint business that
comes to or from the Peninsula--we may do that.

"But we cannot dilute our present investment by what will be inferior,
though incidentally very desirable to us; or enlarge our undertaking
from what we know to be completely within our means, of which we have
measured the cost, and except to a very subordinate extent fixed it by
purchases and contracts. If any of us aid the line south by taking an
interest in it, it will be as a separate adventure.

"Not only has this been our uniform answer to such suggestions, but
our present mortgage expressly excludes any extensions south from its
provisions in favor of extensions north.

"Now as to extensions north, our policy would be not less provident. We
must feel our way, accepting only what will surely be remunerative and
not diluting our investment.

"So much in answer to your letter.

"Now a few words in addition on the general subject.

"1. Separately, our charges can scarcely fail to be affected 25 cents
by the mutual fear of competition, alleviated as much as possible. That
all comes from the profits on 300,000 tons; it is the interest on a

"2. In a state of paper-money prices, advancing constantly because
of increasing issues, we can protect ourselves only by making rates
correspond with daily increasing expenses.

"This is not apt to be done with sufficient promptitude and boldness.

"You will be and we shall be timid and laggard in meeting the
exigencies which are before us--from fear of competition and from the
delay which always attends arrangements between independent parties.

"3. We should better our condition as to our land grants if our efforts
were joined. We could do so at the present session of Congress.

"There are other considerations which I have not time to discuss.

"It is necessary to arrive at results as soon as possible.

"1. Some important construction we have deferred to await the

"2. We shall soon have to decide important questions which would be
affected very materially by the junction of our interests. Of course,
we are not so improvident as to act now on the hypothesis of successful
negotiations between us.

"Our construction is advancing well. We have sent up 400 additional men
since Feb. 1. We still strain every nerve for completion June 1. None
of our managers in the West fear that it will be much later. I assure
you that in this respect and in all respects our affairs were never so
promising as now. I express my strong desire to form a junction of our
interests as frankly as if you did not represent the other party to the
negotiation; for, while attending carefully to everything necessary to
our independent existence, I see that it can still be bettered by the
measure contemplated. There is no mistake so common among business men
as to suppose that what one gains another loses. I have just had an
illustration of this in making in behalf of the bondholders of the Fort
Wayne a counter proposition to that of the stockholders under which the
stock rose 40 per cent.

"It is important to all interests that a conclusion be arrived at as
soon as possible. When you are in a situation to negotiate definitely,
with full powers, I shall be glad to discuss and also to submit
suggestions, and shall be ready to conclude arrangements, if any be
found practicable.

"Please excuse the rambling haste in which I write.

                                "I remain,
                                    "Very truly,
                                           "Your friend,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Joseph S. Fay, Esqr., Boston, Mass._"


  "NEW YORK, _April 8th, 1864_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter of the 4th was duly received.

"In reference to your conclusion that there is 'no difficulty in
arranging some mode of sale but _price_,' I agree that it is justified
by the general correspondence of our views as to the utility of uniting
the two lines and as to the policy which should govern the management
of the joint concern. Doubtless your mind has truly fixed the precise
point at which divergence of sentiments would be natural, and where
alone it is likely to exist.

"But is such divergence inevitable even there? Is there not some
solution which will give us what we agree in desiring--the unity of
works and interests, and will yet allow scope enough for the favorable
view by each party of the relative value of its own property?

"Financial expedients are so capable of adaptation, and I have so often
been fortunate in bringing into accord interests and opinions which
seemed to the parties to clash, that, seeing an object desirable to
us both obstructed or delayed, I am disposed at once to analyze the
elements of difference, and try if there be not some solution equally
advantageous and equally agreeable to the parties whom we respectively

"I know I shall bring to the attempt candor in considering what I may
not at first accept, and an entire freedom from the huckstering spirit
which seeks to appropriate all benefits of a concord which ought to be
founded upon mutual interests. I do not doubt that you will meet me in
the same dispositions.

"I mentioned in my former letter some of the evils of delay--the loss
of the present session of Congress in respect to our land grants (we
should want Mr. Morgan as our regular attorney to join his efforts to
our special and temporary agent if we were together), the tendency to
reduce or keep down the prices for our transportation services, from
the natural operation of divided action, to be aggravated perhaps when
our agents come to seek business, the probability of some unnecessary

"You have justly added the inconvenience of extending over the region a
diversity of gauges, every day becoming more difficult to change.

"And I now add still another consideration. The delay--perhaps
indefinite postponement of the construction of the link from Green Bay
to the place, lately Sand Point, which we have christened Escanaba.
That construction would connect the mineral regions of Lake Superior
with the entire railroad system of the country.

"Now, in these times so favorable to get money for new enterprises,
if the opportunity is _seized_ and _wisely used_, I think if we were
united, our joint strength would induce the Northwestern to put in that
link this year if the question could be determined within the next 30
days. There are auxiliary influences, potent at this moment, which may
be lost and the result postponed for an indefinite period.

"I am confident that such a construction would enlist the warmest
sympathies of yourself, of Mr. Ely, and of all who have investments
in the Lake Superior region. It would probably create, likewise, new
opportunities for investments, capable of surviving the financial shock
to which all property will be subjected by the present condition of the

"But I wander into discussions, when the object with which I began my
hasty letter was simply to say to you that I think we ought to have
a personal conference without unnecessary delay--that we ought to be
possessed of the purposes of our respective parties, and armed with
full powers to act, if not for all, at least for a majority in interest
of our respective companies.

"I will meet you in Boston or in this city at your earliest
convenience, having a little notice to arrange my engagements. My
situation would make me prefer New York, if your convenience would
allow or you could be induced into a visit to your friends here.

                               "Very truly,
                                        "Your Friend,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Jos. S. Fay, Esq._"


  "N. Y., _Mar. 26th, 1864_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I send some specimens from various locations in Lake
Superior country on which I desire information and your judgment.

"No. 1. Hematite is claimed to give 61 1/3 per cent. of iron. They
call it granular hematite. I should like to know whether it will
produce so much in order to judge whether it will bear very distant
transportation. I should like your judgment of it in all respects.

"2 and 3 are of the same general character.

"_Next._ I want to know whether No. 6 has any admixtures which may
affect its value in working. It is called specular and slate iron.

"_Next._ I want to know about No. 4. The analysis given me is 41.885

"31. ox iron manganese.

"It is called massive hematite pyrotistic.

"I should like to know about its working character and its availability.

"5, I believe, is similar. 7 and 8 are specimens of slate iron.

"8 claims to be 43 per cent.

"7 claims to be 57 per cent., with traces of manganese. It feels too
light. I should like a test of it.

"I should be glad of your ideas on the subject at as early a day as
practicable. Send me results as they can be obtained without waiting to
complete all.

                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Mr. Kent._"


  "_Thursday 10th, 1/2 past 11_,
                 "_May 10, '64_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I want you, _as a very great favor_ to Mrs. Eames
and myself, to give me your time from _1/2 past two to-morrow, sharp_,
at which _moment_ I will be here to take you up to 84th St. to look at
some lots and houses, and see how they can be divided in four equal
or nearly equal parts and values--differences of value to be settled
by payment or receipt of money--so that division of same among the
co-heirs may take place by agreement without the fuss of partition
suit. Your help in this will have a great weight of authority with us
all and will carry the thing through. Fanny has set her heart upon it.
Please do not refuse. I fix day and hour so sharp because I _must_ go
back to Washington Thursday, and am told _not_ to come till this is
done. The brothers will go with us to look at the property.

                            "Yours very truly,
                                                      "C. EAMES."

  "Thursday 10th, 1/2 past 11.
  "_May 10/64._"


  "39 NASSAU, N. Y., _May 20th, 1864_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I have had no opportunity to inquire about the Kaska
William Coal Co. stock, but have such confidence in your knowledge and
judgment that I will take of you the 200 shares at $4250, and feel
obliged by your letting me have them.

"Please let me know when you require the money.

"Take care of your health, and believe me,

                               "Truly y'rs,
                                                  "J. VAN BUREN."

  "_Mr. Tilden._"


                                               "79 STATE STREET,
                                 "BOSTON, _Sept. 27, 1864_.


"DEAR SIR,--I desire to introduce to your acquaintance my son, the
bearer, Mr. William C. Whitney. My son wishes to complete, in your
city, his preparation for practice in the law. I have taken the liberty
of advising my son to call upon you for the reason that I believe a few
words of friendly advice from yourself would be of great value to him
in fixing upon his selection of an office for further preparation. Any
advice or act of courtesy you may please to extend to my son, I need
not say, will ever be regarded as a great personal favor to

  "Your obt. Servt.,
                   "JAMES S. WHITNEY."

General James E. Whitney was the father of the late William C.
Whitney. At his behest, Governor Tilden was instrumental in securing
for the son, then recently graduated from the Harvard Law School, the
appointment of counsel for the corporation of the city and county of
New York. The son subsequently became--through Mr. Tilden's aid, I
believe--a very large proprietor of stock in the metropolitan railways,
and later was a member of President Cleveland's Cabinet as Secretary of
the Navy during that President's first term. He died in 1904.


  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 17, 1864_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--There are so many topics about which I desire to write
you that I must touch them rapidly.

"1. You and Wetmore are elected directors of the Iron Cliff. You will
be entitled to the information, advice, and aid which Wetmore shall be
able to give.

"You must represent the company and act in all cases where it is

"2. _Information._ We need direct and frequent communications with the
Cliff Co.

"Mr. Curtis will have more time than the rest, and his occupations will
be more regular. He should write _twice a week_, giving information as
to all matters concerning the operations of the co., the no. of men,
the preparations to accommodate them, the work going on, etc.

"From you I should like to hear as often as you are able.

"Communications should be addressed S. J. Tilden, 12 Wall St., New York

"3. Col. Foster left Mr. Ray in charge of the Tilden and Foster mines;
Mr. Foote in charge of the Ogden; Mr. Curtis managing the accounts
and finances, and Mr. Whitehead conducting explorations; and these
gentlemen, all in the main, independent of each other.

"I shall be surprised if disorganization does not develop the want of a
_head_ to enforce accountability and to govern and direct.

"For the time being you must assume and exercise whatever powers seem
to be necessary in order to keep harmony between all these different
authorities, and to see that all are working well.

"=> Whether we shall need a _mining_ head, independently of these
gentlemen, is a question upon which, after you have studied them, and
the working of the business, I should like your opinion. It may be that
a general business head will be all that will be required, and that Mr.
Ray and Mr. Foote will get along well in their respective departments.
Or it may be that some man like Mr. Merry or Mr. Ferguson will be

"Between us, Mr. Merry told me, just before I left, that he wished me
to bear in mind that he expected to be with us next year. Mr. Stewart,
of the Jackson Co., rather complained to Col. Foster that Mr. Ogden had
interfered with them in respect to Merry.

"I mention the state of things that you may be advised of the actual
state of the case, and may be considering what information and advice
you can give me.

"As to Mr. Curtis--he was engaged by Col. Foster as a sort of cashier
when the former was about leaving without our having much knowledge
or experience in respect to him. I have been to see Mr. Booth, who
recommended him, and get the best accounts as to his trustworthiness.

"Whether we can hereafter enlarge his functions will depend upon how
his capacities shall develop in the experience of our business.

"In the mean time he should be required to _organize_ our _accounts_,
take an inventory of all materials and supplies sent up for the use
of the company, keep a record of their use, and be able to account
for them; open an account with each mine, and enable us to know that
all the expenditures of each are proper, keeping a sort of financial
supervision over their operations; corresponding with us, and keeping
us advised of everything which is going on.

"Col. Foster informs me that he instructed Ray and Foote to send here a
report each week of their doings.

"=> Consult with Mr. Wetmore and give me your views as to

"(1) What is necessary for the sale of ore and the management of
transportation at Cleveland or elsewhere; study the organization of the
other companies; see whether it is best, etc.

"(2) What will be necessary at Escanaba.

"(3) Whether anything further will be necessary at the mines.

"5. It will be quite necessary for us to have the branch to the Cliff
mines and the extension to the Cleveland done, and all the road in good
running order.

"6. It is very desirable that we have this winter the benefit of a
telegraphic communication with the Cliff mines.

"It is equally necessary for the Peninsular railroad. And for that--but
_especially for the Northwestern_--a winter road from Escanaba to Green
Bay is important.

"7. For the Iron Cliff mines see that all necessary supplies are
provided; see Ray and Foote on this subject, and have them closely
interrogated that nothing may be overlooked; Mr. Merry would aid with
all his experience in making provisions for winter work, and Mr.
Wetmore will also have much information on this subject.

"8. In respect to any question requiring experience in working mines,
Mr. Merry was good enough to say he would aid Mr. Ray (who is his
brother-in-law) and us generally. You can have recourse to him, if

"9. It is thought that at the Ogden mine (Foote) accommodations ought
to be made for at least 50 men; and at the Tilden mine for 100 men.

"This is for immediate operations, looking, of course, to enlargement
as fast as possible.

"10. I intended to write to you on the subject of furnaces, but must
defer that subject to a future occasion.

"=> Please advise me of the condition of the Peninsular R. R., and give
me what information you can as to the mines, dock, branches, etc.

"One of the most serious inconveniences attending the construction of
the Peninsular--all through--has been the want of regular information

                               "Truly Yours,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_S. C. Baldwin, Esq._"

Charles P. Daly commenced his public career as a member of the New York
State Assembly soon after his admission to the bar. From the Assembly
he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which position he
continued to hold by re-election until he was retired by age. Meantime
he had been prominent in founding the New York Geographical Society, of
which he was the first and only president until his death.


  "2 UNION PLACE, _March 3rd, 1865_.

"GENTLEMEN,--Your letter, inviting me to 'address the great meeting,
to be held at Union Square to-morrow, to celebrate the recent national
victories,' reaches me while I am confined by illness, and expect to
be, at the time of the meeting, totally disabled from speaking. I
shall, however, none the less, join in rendering the most grateful
homage to the achievements of our gallant soldiers and sailors and
their skilful commanders, and the most cordial appreciation of the
value of these achievements towards preserving the unity of our Federal
Republic, and the nationality of the great people which has been formed
under the shelter of its rightful and beneficent sway.

"These sentiments have never been weakened, even when it has sometimes
seemed to me that this great object of our efforts and sacrifices was
imperilled, and those efforts and sacrifices made more costly, if
not fruitless, by errors of civil policy or of military or financial
administration. Nor, amid such errors, and all errors tolerated during
the 'throes and convulsions' of civil war, by the people, who were in
so unaccustomed a situation, and were intensely occupied by the great
struggle in which they were involved, have I ever lost faith that, when
the struggle should be once successfully over, they would completely
re-establish the great traditions of constitutional government, founded
on local self-control and on individual liberty and personal rights.

"Let me add that, in the present posture of our public affairs, it is
better to look forward than to look behind--to think of battles to be
fought rather than of victories already won, and in preparing that wise
and liberal statesmanship by which alone a complete pacification of the
country is to be attained, to remember that '_peace hath its victories,
not less renowned than war_.'

"To co-operate, candidly and cordially, with the existing public
agents in all measures for bringing the war to a successful close, and
to remove the evils it will have engendered in our civil and social
systems seems to me as plain a duty as it is at every election to
promote the choice of such public agents as will, in our judgment, best
attain these ends.

"With much respect, I remain,

  "Truly yours,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."


"EIGHTEENTH WARD, "NEW YORK, _April 3rd, 1865_.

"DEAR SIR,--We appeal to your generous kindness and well-known
liberality in all public concerns to aid us in the effort to avoid the
necessity of having the draft enforced in this ward.

"A number of citizens have contributed to a fund for this purpose, and
we venture to hope that you will not withhold your assistance to save a
number of good and useful citizens from being taken from their families.

"Please enclose your contribution to either of the undersigned.

                                    "PET. W. COOPER,
                                    "JAMES KELLY,
                                    "CHARLES P. KIRKLAND."


  "NEW YORK, _Aug. 31, 1865_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--My friend, Mr. Houston, of Ky., has returned from
Washington. I am more satisfied than ever before of the position of the
President, but I think you should at once go to Washington and have an
interview with him. I enclose Mr. Houston's card, which will insure an
early meeting after your arrival.

"I am entirely in favor of a hearty and earnest support of the Prest.
by our convention, and I hope the _tone_ of the resolutions to be
passed will be more moderate than in New Jersey, or Pa. or Ohio. On one
subject only is it necessary to be entirely free from ambiguity--I mean
on the question of the civil rights of the people, North and South, and
their right to know that the first fruits of peace, to wit., freedom
from the military power, are fully assured. "I will see you on your

                               "Yours truly,
                                           SAMUEL L. M. BARLOW."

  "_S. J. Tilden Esq._

"On one other question I think our convention should act explicitly. I
refer to the pledge of the public faith of the govt. to its creditors,
towards whom the highest order of national honor is pledged.

  "S. L. M. B."


"WASH., _19 Oct., 1865_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I have a letter from Frank, written at Cincinnati
previously to his speech in St. Louis, in which he refers to you and
myself to judge of _the circumstances_, the _when_ and the _how_, he
shall do what it seems he has declared to the country publicly he is
ready to do, if necessary, to advance the cause of the party which
nominated him to the Vice-Presidency. If, therefore, any change is to
be made in the persons to represent our cause in the Novr. elections,
please telegraph and I will come instantly to meet you.

"So much as concerns Frank's position.

"Now let me say a word about the intrigue which produces our

"Seward and Chase, who never were identified with the Democracy, have
entered into a coalition to control its destiny. They were 'unco-thick
and thrang thegither' last winter, and Seward disclosed to an ardent
Democrat the other night the cause for which they combined. Seward
approached a brother-in-law of Voorhees and made an eloquent appeal to
him to convince a company brought together for the purpose that it was
necessary that Chase should supplant Seymour, and, of course, that the
nominations of our convention should be surrendered. Now it is clear
that the Chief Justice and the Secretary of State have undertaken to
dispose of our party. Neither ever had its endorsement for any station.
Why should they be allowed to dispose of the highest without having
consulted the people?

"If we are to change _front_, why not take McClellan and Pendleton,
who have been endorsed by national convention and the party at the
polls? Why not Hancock and Hendricks, who had high votes in our late
convention? Why not McClellan and Hendricks? Or Hancock and Adams?
We might bring Indiana and Penna., or Indiana and Ohio by their most
famous Democratic sons to increase the vote of the last election in
these States. I think these or many other combinations might be made to
strengthen our ticket.

"In my opinion the copulation of Seward and Chase would bring not only
defeat, but eternal disgrace on the Democracy.

"This, however, all for yourself. What I have to say further about the
second to Mr. Seymour will be in person and in consonance with your
joint wishes.

  "Your af. friend,
                       "F. P. BLAIR."


  "NEW YORK, _Feb. 19th, 1866_.

"DEAR SIR,--I have the pleasure to enclose you (_facsimile_) copy
of Lt.-Genl. Grant's acknowledgment of the testimonial to which you
were a contributor; also a list of the subscriptions and copy of the

"In furnishing this information to contributors I am requested to ask
that no copy of these documents may be allowed to be printed, as many
subscriptions were made with that understanding. Please consider this
my receipt for your subscription.

  "I am, very resp'y,
              "Yours, &c.,
                   "DANL. BUTTERFIELD."

"Please acknowledge."

       *       *       *       *       *

                              "NEW YORK, _Feb. 15th, 1866_.

  "LT.-GENL U. S. GRANT, &c., &c., &c.

"GENERAL,--In accordance with the request of many citizens of New York,
whose names are herewith transmitted, I have the honor to ask your
acceptance of the enclosed testimonial of their appreciation of your

  "I am, very resp'y,
           "Your obt. servt.,
                   "DANL. BUTTERFIELD."

"Enclosed find:

  "Mortgage and interest            $30,437.50
  55,000 7.30s U. S. 1st series     $54,725.00
  Cash                              $19,837.50



  N. Y. Stock Exchange, by
    R. L. Cutting, Prest.       $5,000
  Aspinwall, W. H.               1,000
  Astor, W. B.                   1,000
  Brown, Jas.                    1,000
  Barney, D. N.                  1,000
  Bonner, Robt.                  1,000
  Chittenden, S. B.              1,000
  Claflin, H. B. & Co.           1,000
  Clens, Kenny                   1,000
  Coming, H. K.                  1,000
  Culver, C. V.                  1,000
  Cutting, F. B.                 1,000
  Davis, Chas. Aug.              1,000
  Dinsmore, W. B.                1,000
  Drew, Daniel                   1,000
  Duncan, Sherman & Co.          1,000
  Eno, Amos R.                   1,000
  Fearing, Danl. B.              1,000
  Forbes, Paul S.                1,000
  Gandy, Shepd.                  1,000
  Garrison, C. K.                1,000
  Green, John C.                 1,000
  Grinell, Minturn & Co.         1,000
  Griswold, N. L. & G.           1,000
  Harbecks & Co.                 1,000
  Holliday, Ben                  1,000
  Howland & Aspinwall            1,000
  Hunt, Tillinghast & Co.        1,000
  Johnston, John T.              1,000
  Johnston, J. Boorman           1,000
  Lanier, J. F. D.               1,000
  Leary, Arthur                  1,000
  Lenox, Jas.                    1,000
  Lorillard, P.                  1,000
  Low, A. A. & Bro.              1,000
  Matthews, Ed                   1,000
  Morgan, E. D. & Co.            1,000
  Ogden, Wm. B.                  1,000
  Opdyke, Geo. & Co.             1,000
  Parish, Danl.                  1,000
  Phelps, Dodge & Co.            1,000
  Roberts, M. O.                 1,000
  Sampson, Joseph                1,000
  Spofford, Tileston & Co.       1,000
  Stewart, A. T.                 1,000
  Stuart, R. L. & A.             1,000
  Taylor, Moses                  1,000
  Tilden, S. J.                  1,000
  Wetmore, Saml.                 1,000
  Weston & Gray                  1,000
  Wheeler, Sam. G.               1,000
  Wolfe, Jno. D.                 1,000
  Allen, D. B.                     500
  Andrews, Loring                  500
  Anthony & Hall                   500
  American Express Co.             500
  Arnold, Constable & Co.          500
  Armstrong, M. & Sons             500
  Ashley, O. D.                    500
  BabCock Bros. & Co.              500
  Ball, Black & Co.                500
  Banker, Jas. H.                  500
  Barker, H. J. & Bro.             500
  Beekman, J. W.                   500
  Bronson, Fredk.                  500
  Brooks, D. H.                    500
  Cary & Co.                       500
  Cash                             500
  Collins, Geo. C.                 500
  Connolly, C. M.                  500
  Cowdin, E. C.                    500
  Cutting, R. L.                   500
  Dabney, Morgan & Co.             500
  Delmonico, L.                    500
  Dows, David                      500
  Detmold, C. E.                   500
  Easton & Compy.                  500
  Englis, J. & Son                 500
  Field, B. H.                     500
  Garland, Jno. R.                 500
  Goodridge, Fred                  500
  Grant, O. D. F.                  500
  Greenleaf, Norris & Co.          500
  Griswold, A. W.                  500
  Groesbeck, D. & Co.              500
  Haggerty, O.                     500
  Hanna, Saml.                     500
  Howe, S. C. & Co.                500
  Hoyt Bros.                       500
  Hoyt, Edwin                      500
  Hurlbut, H. A.                   500
  Kennedy, R. Lenox                500
  Lane, Fredk. A.                  500
  Lang, W. Bailey & Co.            500
  Learned, Ed                      500
  Livingston, Fox & Co.            500
  Lord, Rufus L.                   500
  Mali, H. W. T.                   500
  Marshall, C. H. & Co.            500
  Meyer, S. H.                     500
  Mitchell, Saml. L.               500
  Morton, L. P. & Co.              500
  Phelps, I. N.                    500
  Phelps, J. J.                    500
  Place, J. K. & E. B.             500
  Polhamus, T. & Co.               500
  Quintard & Everett.              500
  Quintard, Sawyer & Ward.         500
  Randolph, F. F.                  500
  Robbins, G. S. & Son             500
  Roosevelt & Sons                 500
  Russell, C. H.                   500
  Schuchardt, F.                   500
  Selover, A. A.                   500
  Shultz, Jackson S.               500
  Skinner, F. & Co.                500
  Slade & Colby.                   500
  Steward, John                    500
  Stewart, J. & J.                 500
  Stimson, H. C. & Co.             500
  Sturgis, Jonathan                500
  Thompson, Sam. C.                500
  Tiffany & Co.                    500
  Travers, W. R. & Co.             500
  Trevor & Colgate                 500
  Tuckerman, J. & L.               500
  Ward & Co.                       500
  Webb, Wm. H.                     500
  Williams & Guion                 500
  Winslow, J. F.                   500
  Wood Brothers                    500
  Worth, White & Kean              500
  Devlin, Danl.                    250
  Draper, Simeon                   250
  Draper, J. H. & Co.              250
  Gentil & Phipps                  250
  Halsted, Haines & Co.            250
  James, F. P.                     250
  Jesup, M. K.                     250
  Lottimer, Wm.                    250
  Morgan, H. F.                    250
  Packer, E. A.                    250
  Peckham, W. H.                   250
  Sherman, Isaac                   250
  Skeel & Reynolds                 250
  Skiddy, Francis                  250
  Taylor, R. L.                    250
  Wesley, E. B.                    250
  Talman, Geo. F.                  200
  Ward, G. Cabot                   200
  Bentley, N. S.                   100
  Chapman, T. G.                   100
  King, T. G. & Sons               100
  Lockwood & Co.                   100
  Schuyler, Hartly & Graham        100
  Whiteright, W.                   100
  Total                       $101,000[41]


"WASHINGTON, D. C., _Feb. 17, 1866_.

"DEAR GENERAL,--Your letter of the 15th inst., enclosing me the very
handsome testimonial of the citizens of New York, with names of all
the too generous contributors to it, is received. I feel at a loss to
know how to express my appreciation of this substantial token of the
friendship of the citizens named in your letter, and for the generosity
of the citizens of New York generally, and especially towards those
who they conceive have rendered service in maintaining the integrity
of the whole Union. Suffice it to say that I shall always appreciate
their generosity towards me and endeavor to pursue a course through
life, and to make such use of the means thus unexpectedly placed in my
possession, as will meet with their approval.

"Through you I wish to thank the gentlemen whose names you have
enclosed to me individually and collectively.

"I have the honor to be, Your obt. Servt.,

  "U. S. GRANT, _Lt. Gen._"


  "804 BR'WAY.

"DEAR SIR,--I am, in one sense, not a politician, and my opinion is
not worth so much as those of others; but in the sense of being always
interested in public affairs, I am perhaps a politician. What I mean
is, that I have not a view of things from inside of the machinery.

"From the outside I have naturally thought about candidates for
Governor. I have come to the conclusion that you are the best man for
the place. I take it for granted you have no desire for the place, for
I am willing to judge you as favorably as I would judge myself, and
such a place would have no temptations for me.

"But at this time you have no right to consider only your own

"You are the best man--

"1. Because you would poll more votes than any other (Dix included);
you are above the rings and cliques, and would excite no personal

"2. Because you could, after election, make a party of the right
materials. The only set of men who can bring back our politics to
purity and statesmanship are the Barnburners of this State; after
carrying the election these men, whether they have voted of late years
the Democratic or Republican ticket, could, under you, be brought
together--could make a new Democratic party, slough off the corrupt
elements, especially that malign influence with which we shall have
to act this election, T. W., and dictate a reform in the Cabinet
which should give the influence of the general government to the same
sound principles as of old controlled this State. This, I think, is
the _great_ movement to be made in politics--the reconstruction into
compact force of the divided Barnburners, and for this we must carry
this State election first, no matter what allies we have to take in for
the present.

"I, of course, shall not mention your name for the place to any one,
but, if it should be offered you, you must not decline. Stranger
things have happened than that it should be offered amid the
conflicting claims.

                           "Yours respectfully,
                                             "JNO. D. VAN BUREN."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._"


"MY DEAR SIR,--If you should decide on talking with our venerable
father of the faithful _fully_, I thought it might be well you had an
excuse for doing so in a suggestion from some one, no matter whom. To
that end you may use the enclosed if worth using.

                            "J. D. V. B."



                                "NEW YORK, _Sep. 17, 1866_.

           "_Secretary of the Treasury_,
                            "Washington, D. C.

"MY DEAR SIR,--There is a rumor here that some changes in the Federal
appointments for this city are being projected. My object in writing
you this morning, in too much haste to allow of any discussion, is
to say that _before anything of this character is done_ those who
represent the mass of President Johnson's supporters in this State, in
an authentic and authoritative form, wish an opportunity of submitting
their views to him.

"It is important, in the last degree, that in any changes which are
made in the great appointments here, and, indeed, in any of them, the
influence which these offices are capable of exercising should be held
and exerted as a sacred trust for the success of the administration and
the policy of President Johnson.

"To give them away as mere personal benefactions--to allow them to
become the mere aids to ambition or interest of a selfish individual
or clique, to be disposed of by him or it as mere patronage or for
pecuniary gain--would be suicide on the part of the President and a
betrayal of his supporters and his cause.

"In the course of a week or ten days I shall have the pleasure to see
you and to discuss these matters.

"In the mean time, please do me the favor to communicate to the
President the request contained in this note, and let it remain
strictly confidential between you and him.

"You will notice that the _Times_ of this morning staggers a little.
The real difficulty is that it _is losing subscribers_.

"Up to the time of Mr. Richmond's death the arrangement for the State
nominations was that the Democrats should take the Governor and the
Republicans the Lieut. Governor. The only chance that Dix had was in a
movement which was originated by me. It was contingent on events which
could not be controlled, and on the failure of which it was only to be
persisted in under circumstances which could not be prudently defied.
But enough till I see you. Let us be firm and courageous and go forward.

  "Truly Yours,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."



                                 "ALBION, _Sept. 17, 1866_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--I went from Albany to Chautauqua Co., and did not get
your telegram until late Saturday night--not in time to answer. It
is impossible for me to go to New York. I am obliged to go to Albany
to-night on business, and then hurry back to the Lockport circuit. On
many accounts I would be glad to go to New York, but there will be many
better speakers there than I am.

"I hope the committee will make you chn., and I have said so to
everybody I have seen. I regard it very important that it should be so,
although some of our friends think it should not be in N. Y.; but these
men don't know that you belong to the party in the State, and not in
the city.

"Now for the campaign. To be successful it must be effective; not
merely noisy, but a hard-working campaign, and you will excuse a few
practical suggestions.

"1st. A large amount of money must be raised, which, if properly laid
out, will help very much. I think every county should have $1000, in
two instalments--$500 to take a thorough canvass; this can only be done
by hiring men in each town to do it. We have not had a canvass worth
anything in many years, and an incorrect canvass is worse than none.
The only way to do it is to appoint a reliable man in each judicial
district to visit each co. and put the money and canvass books in the
hands of a reliable man, who will _hire and pay the men_ to take the
canvass. It can be done in no other way.

"Then, during the week before the election, $500 more to be paid in
getting the votes to the polls.

"2. A thorough and systematic course of meetings in every co.

"Such a campaign, carried on by the State com., with what our friends
will do in each co., will carry the State. Anything short of this will
result in defeat, in my judgment.

"The utmost care must be exercised to have the money properly expended.
In most of the counties in the State we have no local officer to help
us, and no canvass can be obtained except in the way I indicate--by
paying men by the day for doing it.

"Confidentially. Cannot the pressure be made for the Collectorship
before election? I suggest it only for your consideration. I shall be
happy to hear from you.

                               "Truly Yours,
                                                  "S. E. CHURCH."

  "You ought to go to Washington with Hoffman."



"ROCHESTER, _Oct. 6, 1866_.


"DEAR SIR,--It is said that S. P. Allen will be removed from the office
of Revenue Collector for this district on charges. He cannot and ought
not to be moved on political grounds, because he is with us, although
not very efficient.

"But if he is removed we want Wm. C. Rowley, Esq., of this city,
appointed without fail, and I will regard it a personal favor if
you will interest yourself in his behalf. He is the most useful and
efficient party man we have; is honest, and always right. He is a
prominent Democrat, has been several years on the State com., and was
a delegate to the Phila. convention. He is, besides, a friend of mine,
and I desire to render him all the assistance in my power.

"With your aid, I have no doubt, he can get the appt. if Allen is
removed, and I assure you it will be in all respects a great political
point to accomplish it.

  "Truly Yours,
                             "S. E. Church."



                                           "TREASURY DEPARTMENT,"
                                                   "_Oct. 22, 1866_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your note introducing Messrs. Magone and Pierce has been
presented to me.

"We are in receipt of communications from reliable friends from many
sections of New York expressing the opinion that removals made so soon
before the election are, as a general thing, inexpedient, and may do
injury to the cause. The President feels, therefore, that, in making
changes, the greatest care should be exercised. He desires to meet the
wishes of his friends, but he desires, also, that his friends should
be fully and thoroughly advised before they endorse applications for

"It has occurred to me that a change of Collector in the St. Lawrence
district at the present time would be injudicious; and while we desire
to take care of Gen. Barney, we are of the opinion that it would not be
advisable to appoint him Collector just now, certain as it is that his
nomination will be rejected by the Senate.

                         "I am, very truly, Yours,
                                          "H. MCCULLOCH,

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden, New York._"



                                           "TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
                                                    _Oct. 26, 1866_.

"DEAR SIR,--Your two favors of the 22nd inst. are received.

"Campbell's appointment was suspended because we were advised that
the incumbent was ill and a conservative; that, while absent for the
benefit of his health, the office is being administered by the deputy,
who is a hearty supporter of the President. Under the circumstances of
the case it was thought best by some of our judicious friends that no
change should take place in the office; at all events, until after the

"The decision of the President to withhold from Mr. Campbell his
commission was not influenced by the representation of any gentlemen
unfriendly to Mr. Campbell or his brother, the candidate for Congress,
but rather from a desire to do nothing which might impair the
administration's strength in the district. After the election the
subject will receive due consideration.

"In regard to the 12th district, I have only to say that a good deal
of disapprobation has been expressed by the appointment of Mackin
as assessor; and as there seemed to be a good deal of difference of
opinion among our friends in the district in regard to the removal
of the collector, it was thought advisable to make no change in that
office for the present.

"It is pretty clear to my mind that in order that an office should be
made effective in an election, it is important that the office should
be fully and properly organized some time in advance.

"The President desires to make as few changes as possible, and none on
political grounds unless it is clear that the interests of the service
or the interests of the administration are to be certainly benefited by
them. I will, however, present this case again to the President.

                         "I am, very truly, Yours,
                                         "H. MCCULLOCH,

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden, New York._
    "I return Mr. Campbell's letter."


                              "NEW YORK, _Nov. 20th, 1866_.


"DEAR SIR,--As you are about to leave our country for the distinguished
post in the diplomatic service to which you have been assigned by the
government, we avail ourselves of the occasion to express to you the
respect and esteem which we entertain for your personal and public
character, and invite you to partake with us a private dinner at the
Union Club at such time as you may conveniently designate.

                            "With much respect,
                                       "We remain, very truly,
                                                         "Your friend,

  "NEW YORK, _Nov. 20th, 1866_."



                                "ROCHESTER, _March 8, '67_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--Would it not be a good idea to publish a quantity of
the veto message of the military bill for general circulation? There
might be other things put with it and make a document and circulate
it through the committees. I think it would do far more good now than
during a campaign.

"This measure seems to me so momentous in every aspect of it that I
cannot keep quiet. If we cannot do anything else, let us howl. Our
papers do not make as much noise as they ought to about it. The _World_
is the most outspoken, and it should keep it up; but the most effective
work would be the circulation of the veto message, with a brief history
of reconstruction since the war closed.

"Johnson talks and writes well, but he lacks executive pluck. He shd.
have forced Congress to let the South in at the start, but he failed,
and it is now too late.

"He now trembles for fear of impeachment, and will in the end give
the radicals all the offices in hopes thereby to propitiate them
and prevent impeachment. But they will impeach him and despise him,
besides, for yielding, and before another year rolls around Ben Wade
will occupy his place. They know that he is cowardly and will not
fight, and they will for that reason go to the extreme.

"I know that you are averse to a row. So we all are, but I tell you
there is no other way. It must come sooner or later; these devils are
bent on destruction, and the sooner the crisis comes the better for us,
because they are strengthening themselves every day.

"There is only one chance left, and that is when the impeachment comes
for the President to refuse to yield the office in the first place, and
in the second place to refuse to be tried by part of a court. He ought
to refuse to carry out the military bill, and let the fight commence

"Please write me.

  "Yours truly,
                     "S. E. CHURCH."

"P. S.--The dist. atty. matter is not yet disposed of. It would be a
disgrace to reappoint Dart, and I hope they won't do it."


        "UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, _17 May, '67_.


"DEAR SIR,--It gives me pleasure to inform you officially that at a
meeting of the council, held last evening, the degree of _Doctor of
Laws_ was conferred on you by their unanimous vote, and the same will
be announced at the coming commencement.

"With great respect,

  "I am, Yours, &c.,
            "ISAAC FERRIS,



"PARIS, _19 June, 1867_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I wrote you some two months ago, but have not heard
whether you received my letter. I expressed the hope that you would be
a member of the constitutional convention, and was very glad to see
that you were chosen.

"I presume the anti-renters will endeavor to get some amendment of the
Constitution, by which they may become owners of the fee of the lands
they hold under leases without compensation. This, if done directly,
would impair the obligation of contracts, and would be declared void
by the Supreme Court of the U. S. It will, therefore, probably be
attempted indirectly--by burdening leased lands with disabilities and
exactions, which will make them of little or no value to landlords.

"In regard to leases forever, it is possible that there may be a
proposition to convert them into allodial tenures by giving to lessees
the right to redeem them by paying to the lessors a principal sum,
which will yield the rent in the annual interest. This would be to
introduce a condition not in the contract. I would not object to it
on any other ground if the sum paid were sufficient to yield the rent
at an interest of four per cent., which is considered a fair rate on
agricultural lands. For instance, if the annual rent on a farm or lot
leased forever were $70, the principal sum to be paid should be $1750.
If only $1000 were paid--a principal sum, which at legal rate (7 pr.
ct.) interest yields the rent--the landlord would be put to the trouble
of reinvesting on less durable and safe security.

"In regard to leases for years or for lives, the convention should not
interfere. It may, if it choose, declare that hereafter no leases for
lives shall be given. The Constitution has already declared that there
shall be no leases of agricultural lands for more than twelve years;
and this is a bad restriction for tenants. But leases for lives are
in the process of rapid extinction, and they are not renewed now. My
father-in-law, Mr. Morgan, gave a large number of such leases sixty
years ago. Some of them are still in existence, although they were
only for three lives, which in England are considered equivalent to
21 years. We are selling on liberal terms to the lessees or their
representatives. There should be no interference with such tenures,
unless it be to prohibit them in future. Every man on Mr. Morgan's land
who has used it in a farmer-like manner has grown rich. Only the idle
or improvident, and now and then an unlucky fellow, have failed to make
money. The lands were leased for the interest of less than $3 per acre.
They have for thirty or forty years been worth treble and quadruple
that price, and the tenants have reaped all the benefit of the advance.
Now to interfere in any way with the reversionary interest of the
lessor would be the grossest injustice to him. Of course it would be a
violation of the contract, which we should resist; and it would do an
incalculable injury to a commercial State like New York, whose vitality
depends so much on the inviolability of its faith and the security of
property of all kinds.

"Should there be any movement of the kind I have adverted to, I
wish you would talk with Evarts, Pierrepont, and others of the
right-thinking men of the convention; and if you please, show them this

"I am very hard pressed between the exposition, the foreign sovereigns,
and our own home sovereigns, of whom we have a tremendous influx, and
write you '_currente calamo_,' as you see.

"We are all well, and cast longing eyes every day across the Atlantic.

                          "Ever Sincerely Yours,
                                                   "JOHN A. DIX."

  "_Hon. Saml. J. Tilden._"


                                                   "_14 Augt., '67._


"DEAR TILDEN,--Your long absence gives anxiety to your friends here.
We miss you in council and on the floor. You must come up soon; for we
will have to meet the financial question, and want you. I would have
written you before, but have been laid up by the heels myself for a
fortnight. Indeed, I would have gone down to New York to see you if I
had been able. I would have asked leave of absence, but each day you
were expected to be on hand, and I am opposed to placing on record the
fact that you were ever ill. A majority of the convention has been on
the sick list. Take 160 middle-aged men, and you will have a pretty
large show of invalids in midsummer, when all classes are accustomed to

"You have lost nothing thus far. We have lost your speech on
naturalization, etc. It must come in elsewhere. Write me, and tell me
what I can do to aid you, and when you expect to be on board.

  "Yours truly,
                 "WILLIAM CASSIDY."


  "EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., _Novr. 12, 1867_.

"SIR,--It having been suggested to me by political friends in New
York that you have some suggestions which you desire to make to me,
in relation to the public welfare, which would be of service to the
country, I would be pleased to have your views at such time as may suit
your own convenience.

                               "Very truly,
                                               "ANDREW JOHNSON."

  "_Hon. Samuel J. Tilden, New York._"


  "UTICA, _Nov. 29, 1867_.

"DEAR SIR,--I send you the enclosed letter because I said I would call
your attention to the subject of a paper in Kansas. I hope the harmless
compliment to me will not harm the writer. Such things are usually
found in letters asking favors. I do not know what can be done in such
cases. I know that you as well as I have to meet such calls every day
of the week. I hurried up my letter, getting my name off of the list of
candidates so that I might save what little property I have. If it is
so ruinous to be talked of for nomination, I do not see how any one can
live through a canvass after a nomination. I expect now to be let alone.

"I wish the State Committee would do one thing--that is, send a
circular to any Democratic paper in the State asking them to print John
Q. Adams' speech, which is published in Friday's _World_. The National
Committee should see to its publication elsewhere. To my mind it is the
most effective speech made in years. This will cost nothing, but it
will tell at this time.

"Please to send me back Mrs. Moore's letter.

                            "Truly yours, &c.,
                                              "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"




                                 "NEW YORK, _Dec. 3, 1867_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Take a cool, philosophical view of this note, but
believe every word of it.

"It is very hard for me to do an ungracious thing, and few things are
more ungracious than to reject kindness. I have carried the enclosed
in my pocket a good while, but could not muster courage, when I saw
you repeatedly, to take away from you the pleasure of having done the

"No matter tho' none but you and I know it, I cannot go to the club
while _I feel_ that I have not paid my own footing; I have given it a
good thinking, and I am sure I shall never incline to go there until
this is done. So that the very object you desire would not be attained.
You must, therefore, of necessity, take it back.

"It is not because I am unwilling to receive kindness from _you_ that
I return it; and pray do not forget that the balance of favors done is
very largely to your credit as between us. _You_ would have made me
Comptroller if I had not refused; and your intentions with me are just
as much a cause of gratitude as the realization would have been.

"One other thing. I will continue to give you my aid in the State
Committee business, and follow your orders promptly so long as I have
time; but for such work I cannot take pay.

                               "Yours truly,
                                            "JNO. D. VAN BUREN."

  "_S. J. Tilden, Esq._"


  "THE 'ARGUS,' ALBANY, _7 Decr., 1867_.

"DEAR TILDEN,--The convention is going on, after a fashion, with the
judiciary; New York is absent, except Daly, who has confessed judgment
for the judicial partnership in New York, upon which execution is
to issue and the corrupt concern to be closed. Opdyke is ready to
adjourn if there is Democratic strength enough to accomplish it. Let
the New York delegates be on hand on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we can
accomplish it; either adjourn till spring or to New York, for a winter
month. Do you notify the city members confidentially to be on hand. I
will write also.

"Schev, according to Warren's account, is not to blame for the
protested draft. He spent $1000, and it was arranged in State committee
that I was to go to the 8th dist. You need not come up to abolish him!

"Seymour is here, and is most anxious to commence the propaganda of
Democracy, in tracts and newspapers, under the auspices of the State
committee. You are unwell. Give up railroads and take to politics
exclusively. The alternative will be as good as rest.

  "Yours ever,
                 "WILLIAM CASSIDY."


  "THE 'ARGUS,' ALBANY, _12 Decr., 1867_.

"DEAR TILDEN,--I received your check for $500, which was welcome,
because we were hard up for money at this _Argus_ office. The
convention will owe us some $10,000, but we must wait for the
Legislature and the Campbells to pay us in the spring. For the same
reason, if you have not placed the $3000 belonging to Mrs. C., I will
take it. She can pay part of it on the house she bought, and then I
want to buy in Richmond's shares in the _Argus_. I ought to have them
at half price, in view of a certain indebtedness of the late chn. of a
State committee.

"We will adjourn the convention till spring, in spite of you. Unless
the weather is too cold I will be down to New York. I want to talk of
the Presidency, the Cabinet, the Governorship, and of yourself first
and last.

  "Yours ever,
                 "WILLIAM CASSIDY."



  "UTICA, _Dec. 13, 1867_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--This is a bitter cold morning, and I have made up
my mind to keep by the bright wood fire which is blazing on the
hearthstone in my farm-house. I shall make use of the time to write to
you a political letter. It is seven years since the Democratic party
went out of power. Seven years of war or of discord, of corruption, of
hate, of taxation and tyranny. In that time, how many who have enjoyed
the honors and profit given to them by the Democratic party have turned
against it and have proved to be its bitterest foes! How few were left
to stand up against the storms of insult, scorn, and threats which beat
upon any man who cared for principles of liberty, humanity, and rights!
But there were those who did this, and they live to see the day dawning
when right and truth will conquer.

"But all conditions have their dangers. The time-servers and
spoil-hunters are seeking to come back to our party, not as penitents,
but as leaders. They may in time forgive us for not joining in their
treachery, but it will always be counted against us that we did not
go out with them to gather spoils. There is danger that these men may
divide those who stood together in the years of trial and of trouble.
They hatch schemes to draw off some who have strength, and thus break
up the band that held together in the dark days.

"What should we do to counteract these plans? We have in New York a
great party. It is fresh, vigorous, and united. It is animated by
a sense of past wrongs and of future victories. We have but a few
leaders, for none but men of nerve and of truth could stand the tests
of the last seven years. Those leading men are well placed in different
parts of the State, so that neither their numbers nor positions make
them clash. All fair and honorable ambitions can be gratified--could
we be more fortunately organized. Let us in a generous spirit train up
as many new men as we can and fit them for places of honor and trust,
but do not suffer those who come in sunshine and leave us in storms to
walk into our councils and shape our policy with a view to their own
gain. We who have held to the cause of constitutional liberty have not
always agreed in our views. At times there may have been irritation.
But surely past trials have made a groundwork of an attachment and
confidence which cannot be felt towards those who turned against us or
who shrank away in our times of trouble. Those generals without troops
who want to come back into leadership will bring no strength, but much
discord. To my mind it is clear that policy and duty alike demand that
we should stand, as to organization and counsellors, where we are. We
do not want more leaders. We have the public with us. But something
must be done to let all of our friends feel that we are to act together
in the spirit that should be, and I think has been, nurtured in
trials we have passed through. We must have the whole matter frankly
talked over. In the mean while each one should keep clear of all
entanglements. I have written to Sandford E. Church on this subject
in the way I write to you. I wish you would let me know your views. I
think eight or ten men should meet at Albany as soon as the Legislature
gets under way. You should see four or five in New York--say, Sweeny,
Tweed, Brennan, Hoffman, etc., etc. The rival candidates for the
Presidency will all try to get men drawn into their interests. Let us
keep our power by holding ourselves free.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                    "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


                                             "CLEARFIELD, PENNA.
                                                  "_30 Decr., 1868._


"DEAR SIR,--I have yours of 24th inst. I have received responses from
several gentlemen to whom I addressed letters similar to that to which
you reply, and I have been awaiting your reply before proceeding to
name a time and place for our meeting. I am still of opinion that good
will result from a meeting of the chairmen of the executive committees
of the Northern and border States, by securing unanimity of sentiments
or discovering the points of difference, as well as from discussing
the general plan of campaign. I have thought of suggesting _Washington_
as the place of meeting, and about _Febry. 1st_ as the time. If the
time and place suit you, and you will so advise me, I will proceed to
notify the chairmen of all of the Democratic committees and invite
their attendance.

  "Very respy. yrs.,
                     "WM. A. WALLACE."


[31] Mr. Lincoln was elected President on the 7th Nov., 1860.

[32] A kind man and enjoying the confidence of Mr. Marcy who had been
Secretary of War under President Pierce.

[33] Mr. O'Sullivan had been appointed, by President Buchanan, Minister
to Portugal.

[34] It is presumed that the work here referred to is an account from
Van Buren's pen of the administrations of President Jackson and his
own. It is greatly to be regretted that Mr. Van Buren did not, to that
extent, at least, become his own biographer.

[35] Mr. Gillett was a neighbor, a friend, and the authorized
biographer of Silas Wright. His letter is only interesting as another
illustration of the diversities of opinion among the spectators, about
the first thing to do when the neighbor's house is on fire.

The letter of Mr. Tilden to Judge William Kent first appeared in the
_Evening Post_ in 1860, and was republished in the New York _World_ in

[36] Mr. Taylor was appointed Harbor Master of New York, in Jan'y,
1873, by Governor Hoffman.

[37] Mr. Hogeboom was a lawyer in Hudson, Columbia County, of which
county Mr. Tilden also was a native.

[38] A lawyer from Watertown, Mass., who settled in New York city, and
was the author of _Several Studies of the Federal Constitution_, of
_The Last Years of Daniel Webster_, and _The Law of Copyright_. In the
Civil War his sympathies were with the insurgent States. He died in

[39] Martin Van Buren had died in July, 1862.

[40] Mr. Eames took the first honors of his class at Harvard
University; studied law in New York; married the eldest daughter of
Judge Campbell, then Surrogate of New York city. On the election of
Polk he took up his residence in Washington, and during the Civil War
was much employed by the government in the Supreme Court, as counsel of
the Navy Department, in resisting illegal claims.

[41] The difference in the amounts received by General Grant and the
amounts subscribed was doubtless cash from the donors whose names were






"MY DEAR MR. TILDEN,--Unless Indiana breaks from Pendleton, as I
told you last evg., he will have all the Southern votes, including
Tennessee, this morning, and then Indiana cannot leave him, and he will
be nominated.

"I hear that in no case will more than half of the Indiana vote be
given for Hendricks. If this is so, it seems to me that a better
selection can be made. It is awkward to put a candidate in nomination
who gets no vote out of his own State, and in leaving him to go for one
who has but half his own State. But you know better about the facts
than I, and I may be misinformed as to Indiana's probable course.

"But in no case is it probable that Hendricks can be nominated, and for
success he should not be.

                                               "S. L. M. BARLOW.



  "_Thursday,_ 10 A. M. [_1868._]

"MY DEAR SIR,--At this juncture is it not wise for the N. Y. delegation
to ask the Pendleton men whom they will support? If they answer
Seymour, he _must not_ decline. But I am confident it won't do to take
up Gov. Chase until the Pendleton men have been consulted.

  "Faithfully yours,
                 "CLARKSON N. POTTER."


  "CLEARFIELD, PA., _Feb. 3d, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The time is rapidly approaching when we must select a
candidate for the Presidency, and so far as the State is concerned we
are all at sea. The judgment of our political friends seems to be in
favor of the nomination of Gov. H. Seymour, and unless some objection
be presented to him of which we have not heretofore heard I think
our State will declare for him on the 20th proximo. We regard his
declination as simply a manifestation of his personal desires on the
subject, and not as denying his name and services to the country; at
all events, we deny his right to control his friends to that extent,
and unless his home friends deem it inexpedient we shall urge his

"I do not regard his chances of success as in the least impaired by
what has occurred in the West. Mr. Pendleton is a good man, of high
attainments, but I fear he has started an issue on which we cannot
unite; at all events, it cannot be made the leading issue. The
restoration of the ten absent States to the Union, with the rights and
privileges of the other States, and with their local governments in
the hands of their white population, must be the absorbing question.
All else must be subordinate and secondary. The Democratic party will
protect the good faith and honor of the nation as well in reference to
the public debt as in reference to all other questions.

"What is the prevailing sentiment in your State? Is it in favor of Gov.
Seymour; if not, to whom does it tend? Gen. Hancock would do right well
for the second place, but I do not think our people are inclined to go
for him for the first.

"Be kind enough to reply to this note, and address me at the Merchants
Hotel, Phila. What you have to say shall be strictly confidential, and
I shall go over to see you if you desire me so to do.

  "Very truly, Your Obt.,
                           "WM. BIGLER."



  "_Feb. 10, 1868._

"DEAR SIR,--I saw the Great Mogul,[42] agreeably to your suggestion,
and, finding him in very good humor, had a pretty long, full, and free
chat with him.

"He is all for the cause, and cares not for any man living relatively
to the result itself. He deems a failure fraught with indescribable

"I am sure that he speaks the truth and is honest. He repeated that
so far from having any antipathy against your man, he rather likes
him; used some strong terms of commendation, and says that unless by
some slip nothing will appear to his personal disadvantage. Indeed, he
seemed to agree to my hint that he might best avoid sneering at any one
who was a favorite with any so as to keep all in good humor. He would
like very well to get your man in. The whole question is, Who's most
likely to win?

"He is in trouble about the feud in Ohio; thinks Vallandigham more of a
man than Pendleton. Wishes something done to reconcile the feud.

"He says the Democrats will deserve a thrashing if they nominate one
day earlier than the last day to which the act can be postponed.

"Train all your men, keep all their friends in hope till it's too late
to back out, and then try to nominate, with a sole view to victory, is
his advice.





                                 "NEW YORK, _10 Feb., '68_.

"DEAR SIR,--I have been reflecting on the subject of next Presidential
nomination suggested by you the other evening, and am seriously of
opinion that I know of no one more able, or who would nearer meet all
the requirements of the present crisis than yourself. The selection
of any such names as those you mentioned would bring up _old_ issues
and prejudices, and _insure_ defeat; no one doubts your ability or
integrity; you, I think, could cut loose from such old associations
(for they will be fatal to any candidate on our side who _can't_ do
it); _you_ have _not_ been worn out on antiquated platforms. Why can't
such a nomination be made? I believe it would [be] acceptable to the

"If you ask me if I think that you could be elected against Grant, I
say _yes_, if the party won't force on you a platform that _says too
much_--(if the devil ever possessed a sensible man, it is in getting up
'platforms'); not more than _three_ or four cardinal points, viz.:

"1. Cheerfully accord freedom to the negro, and equality before the
law; but no _universal_ negro suffrage, nor _domination_ of the negro
over the white man.

"2. No cavilling about the national debt, however incurred; that is
sacred as honor, and must be paid, principal and interest.

"3. No further patching of the Constitution of the country, nor
curtailing the independence of the Supreme Court.

"4. The present erroneous expenditures of the genl. government shall be
reduced, and taxes equalized and diminished, and tax-gatherers shall no
longer be suffered to pry into domestic affairs nor count the spoons.

"If such a platform could be put out and _stuck_ to, not dragged out
into _side_ issues, or _dead_ issues, success would be sure; so it
appears to me; but if I am only another instance of the side allusion
above, it would not be strange; but I would like such a nomination as
proposed--there could be none better.

  "Y'rs, &c.,
                     "R. C. ROOT."


  "NEW YORK, _Feb. 28th, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Two successive absences, between which I was in town but
one day and passed that ill in bed, have prevented an earlier answer to
your letters.

"I concur in your judgment that the paramount issue in the coming
election would be 'the restoration of the ten absent States to the
Union, with all the rights and privileges of the other States, and with
their local government in the hands of the white population; and that
all else must be subordinate and secondary.'

"Our position must be _condemnation and reversal of negro supremacy_ in
the ten States (added to that in Tennessee), created by the measures
of the Federal government--_first_, by disfranchising the whites and
overawing them by military force, and, _secondly_, by admitting the
blacks and organizing them through the Freeman's Bureau, not only
involving us in a partnership in self-government with a mass of voters
(in all the U. S. over 900,000), confessedly incompetent at the present
time to exercise the suffrage wisely or safely, and without any of the
training, habits, or aspirations of freemen, but, by thus obtaining
control of nearly one-third of the Senate and nearly one-quarter of the
House, establishing a practical dominion of the same character over the
great free States of the North and over the whole country.

"Associated with this issue are all those measures by which the Senate
is to be packed by the admission of new States--the subdivision of
the present States--added to the control of 20 from the ten States
and others constituting a Senatorial dynasty of long tenure, and the
usurpation by the Senate thus constituted of the opportunity, power,
and the absorption by it and the House of the rightful authorities of
the Executive and of the Judiciary.

"In my judgment, if we obscure or weaken this issue, we shall not only
fail to meet the necessities of the present condition of the country,
but we shall commit a great political blunder.

"On no other question can we be so unanimous among ourselves. On no
other question can we draw so much from the other side and from the
undetermined. It appeals peculiarly to the adopted citizens, whether
Irish or Germans; to all the working-men; to the young men just
becoming voters. The Republican party contains large numbers who are
naturally hampered by its position on this issue; and large numbers of
old Federal and old Whig antecedents, who do not think that any poor
man, white or black, ought to vote; and though they may go along with
their party on the theory that the blacks are a counterpoise to the
adopted citizens, their hearts misgive them. The pride of a superior
race and self-esteem, well founded in this case, are a universal power.

"The more we concentrate the public attention on this issue, so that
the people will act with reference to it, the better our chance of
success will be.

"Subordinate, but next in importance, is the financial question.

"The best aspect of that is its connection with the other issue. It
is now costing the country, directly and indirectly, 100 millions a
year--perhaps as much even as the whole interest on the public debt--to
carry on the reconstruction system and the measures associated with it.
The army expenses are now about 144 millions, exclusive of pensions.

"The best policy on the finances is a general attack on the prodigality
and corruption of the present governing power. Our promises should be
purification--reduction of the army and navy, diminution of expenses,
and remission of taxes.

"I inquired into the state and prospects of the finances when in
Washington, and am satisfied that the expenditures are now running at a
rate much larger than the public are aware of. And the tendency is to a
fall of the revenues. I do not--"(the rest wanting).


  "HARRISBURG, PA., _March 4th, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letters came to hand, but I have made but a very
limited use of them. So soon as the diversity of feeling in the State
was apparent I determined that it was true policy to avoid naming a
candidate, and none will be named. On the Western border the Pendleton
fever had some start. In the East and interior the friends of Gen.
Hancock were disposed to present his name, and on the Southern tier of
counties there was a disposition to compliment Judge Black.

"The only name on this list, however, seriously mentioned was that of
Gen. Hancock. But at the bottom of all this, so far as civilians are
concerned, is the feeling and purpose I expressed to you.

"But the Young Democracy are making some trouble on our hands about
delegates at large, and may defeat some of the older men, perhaps
myself. Woodward is almost certain to fail. Packer will be chosen (not
the Gov., but Asa), and I think I shall be also; but whether in or out,
my usefulness in arranging matters would be about the same. I shall
inform you by telegraph.

  "Your Obt. St.,
                       "WM. BIGLER."


  "UTICA, _March 4, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I think Hendricks will be as good a candidate for the
Presidency as we can get. I have thought the thing over and looked
through the country, and I do not now see we can do better.

"I will try to meet you in Albany.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                    "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


  "UTICA, _March 7, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Yours of the 5th is rec'd. 'Mayor Spriggs and
the younger Kernans' all pleased with your congratulations and
commendations; and think they at the next election can do better even
than at the last.

"Gov. Seymour is all right as to health. If he is the next Presidential
candidate there need be no fear, in my judgment, in reference to his

"The Governor is not in our district, and I have not seen him for
several weeks, as I have been mostly from home at court; but I do
not think he should or will be a delegate at the approaching State
convention. Nor should he, in my opinion, be a delegate in the national
convention. We should not allow him to be a delegate to the national
convention. This would be regarded as evidence that he was not to be
our Presidential candidate in any contingency.

"Mr. D. C. Grove, editor of the _Observer_, is the delegate to the
State convention from this district. He will be disposed to do whatever
our friends shall deem best. Mr. Spriggs and I mean to be in Albany
Tuesday night to aid, if we can, in consultation.

"In my judgment we should not in the State convention lay down anything
like a platform of principles; leave this to the national convention.

"We might very properly in brief and well-considered resolutions
denounce the revolutionary schemes and measures of the Radicals;
declare our convictions that our institutions and the peace and
prosperity of the country are in danger; and call upon the people at
the coming election to elect men and declare in favor of principles who
and which will restore the country to peace and prosperity and preserve
American constitutional liberty.

"I do not think that as a party we should take any part in the struggle
now going on between President Johnson and the men who elected him.

"In reference to the candidate for President. I think we should select
as delegates our wisest and most patriotic men--men whose character
will give them weight in the national convention, and who will not be
influenced in their action by the views of any clique of interested

"Believing myself that Gov. Seymour is our best man for the times
and our strongest man for the canvass, I hope the delegation will be
composed of men friendly to his nomination.

"It seems to me also that the State convention should, in proper terms,
in reference to other States and other candidates, give expression
to the confidence in and preference for Governor Seymour as the
Presidential nominee.

"I have made above suggestions in haste, and will be happy to compare
views with you and others at Albany. Let us try to act wisely, for in
my judgment everything depends upon our success in the next election.
This country cannot stand another four years of the Sumners, Weeds, etc.

                               "Your Truly,
                                            "FRANCIS KERNAN."[43]

  "_S. J. Tilden._"



                      "CLEARFIELD, PA., _March 16th, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The newspapers report Gov. Seymour as saying that
under no circumstances would he consent to become a candidate for the
Presidency. I sincerely hope this report is not literally correct. Such
a determination would be a great misfortune for the country, and, in
my judgment, a wrong to the reputation of Gov. S. The whole country
understands and respects his aversion to the attitude of a candidate
for the nomination, but it will never do for him to say that he will
not run if nominated, or serve if elected. He may think that there is
no inclination to nominate him; if so, he is mistaken. As the case
now stands, he would certainly be selected, and his late speech will
add greatly to his strength. Mr. Pendleton, it is true, seems to have
strength by reason of his greenback issue, but that issue will not
live till the 4th of July, nor will it bear examination at any time. I
perceive that Mr. McMaster, of your city, who attended our convention,
intimates that our vote will be cast for Mr. P. He is totally mistaken.
One 5th or 6th of the delegates may, at present, prefer Mr. P., but
I am convinced that by the time of the convention he will have no
party at all. But the friends of Gov. Seymour desire to talk about
him, and the almost unbroken reply is that he is the right man; but he
declines, and we must look for some one else. Now, we must not be left
in this position. Your letter is enough, but it is dated prior to his
last declination and before the State convention, and as he was not
presented it may be said that the Democracy of your State are not for
him. There has been, as you may be aware, an attempt to make a movement
for Mayor Hoffman, at Phila., but I do not think it will extend, even
with Seymour out of the way. The delegates from the South will seek to
act with N. Y. and Pa., and will do what these States desire. I _know_
this to be the general sentiment, and when Gov. Seymour's late speech
is circulated it will awaken much enthusiasm for his nomination.

"I had intended to visit you after our convention, but I was unwell
and had to return home. We had things our own way. The young Democracy
yielded the convention to the older men of the party.

"May I hope to hear from you at your convenience?

  "Very truly, Your Obt. St.,
                             "WM. BIGLER."


  "UTICA, _March 24, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I was struck with your speech[45] when I heard it in the
convention, but I was weary at the time from my own speaking, and I did
not feel the full force of what you said. I read it this morning by my
fireside, and I wish to tell you how much it impressed me. It is not
only original and philosophical, but it has the higher merit of being
suggestive. It not only gives views and facts, but sets men upon trains
of thought which they will work out for themselves. This gives to a
speech its highest value. But a few things can be said in a speech,
and if it fails to be suggestive to the hearers or readers it does but
little good. Beyond anything I have read in a long time your words at
Albany have not only given me new ideas, but they have also led me into
pathways of thought, where I have found many views for myself. Many of
its suggestions will be worked out by our speakers into full speeches.

"I am still at my humble farm-house, cut off from learning much that is
going on. I shall try to go to New York soon. It will give me pleasure
to hear from you at all times.

                            "Truly yours, &c.,
                                              "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"


  "_April 6, '68._

"DEAR TILDEN,--I intended to have consulted you further in regard to
the Drew and Vanderbilt controversy, but did not see you after the
symposium at the Manhattan.

"The struggle has got to be one of mere money. Last Sunday Drew was at
Vanderbilt's house, and yesterday the interview may have been renewed.
At any time the two chiefs may compromise at the expense of their

"State Engineer Bristol, Senators Morris, Nichols, Hubbard, and others
are interested in the Erie, and deprecate the adverse criticism of
the _Argus_. Cagger thinks with you that I should keep out of the
controversy. There are certainly some aspects of the controversy with
which a Democratic organ should not be identified. I have denounced the
illegality of the over-issue and the attempt to whitewash it, and will
stand by that position; but perhaps it is unwise to go further. Our
political capital is as important to us as Vanderbilt's money to him.

"I want you to write me on the subject.

  "Your friend, &c.,
                    "WILLIAM CASSIDY."




                                    "PARIS, _15 May, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your letters by Mr. Cutting, Dean Richmond's friend,
were duly recd., and I did what I could for him during his brief stay
in Paris.

"Though withdrawn from politics, I have not lost my interest in things
at home, and therefore I write a few lines confidentially.

"I notice a disposition in some quarters--how extensive it is I have
no means of knowing--to confine the approaching contest to a single
issue--constitutional or unconstitutional government. It would be a
fatal error. The contest will be severe; and, if the conservative men
of the country are faultless in their tactics, it will nevertheless
be close. They cannot afford to dispense with the strength they would
derive from opposition to practical abuses, which are apart from
constitutional questions--the financial and commercial mismanagement,
and the reckless expenditure by Congress. To ignore these issues would
be to dishearten all the friends of honest reform in the administration
of the government and make them passive spectators of the contest.

"The power of the old Albany regency consisted in the frankness and
intrepidity with which they met all public questions. The people never
give their confidence to artful dodgers. Nothing will save you but a
bold, manly policy. You ought to take ground in language not to be

"1. In favor of bringing back the Southern States on the same terms as
the others.

"2. Of maintaining inviolate the public credit.

"3. Of returning as speedily as possible to specie payments, and of
reducing forthwith the paper circulation.

"4. Of repealing, simultaneously with the resumption of specie payment,
the act of Congress making paper a legal-tender.

"5. Of reducing the enormous duties on imports, which are destroying
our commerce, and will ultimately react most injuriously on our
agriculture and manufactures; and

"6. Of reducing the public expenditure by a rigid system of economy and
lightening the burden of taxation.

"Nor will this be sufficient, unless you present to the people, as the
exponents of these principles, men who are known to be their tried
advocates, and who in the late Civil War were active and unqualified
supporters of the government. With every advantage on the other side,
Gen. Grant will be a hard man to beat. It is but a few months since the
Democracy thought seriously of making him their candidate; and there
are multitudes who do not believe, and cannot be made to believe, that
he will favor ultra measures of government, under whatever auspices he
may be elevated to power.

"Having given you all this good advice unasked, it only remains for me
to say that I am glad to hear you are to be a candidate for Governor
next fall, and that I am, as ever,

                            "Very truly Yours,
                                               "JOHN A. DIX.[46]"

  "_Hon. Saml. J. Tilden._

"P. S.--What a folly it was to talk about paying in paper a bonded debt
(5/20) not due for years to come! We should hold our tongues and settle
the question by resuming specie payments."



                                              "_N. Y., May 22, '68._


"MY DEAR SIR,--I returned from W. this A.M., having left there last
evening. I did not see the President, as Randall thought it best that
I should not. Had two conversations with Randall--one in the morning,
the other in the afternoon. Between the two conferences the Governor
had an interview with the President in relation to the future action of
the administration. Randall said no action could be taken in regard to
consolidating against Grant until after the 26th. The Johnson men would
be glad to have a conference with you and your friends in New York at
any time you would name after the 26th here in N. Y. The first name he
mentioned, upon which a consolidation could be effected, was Hancock.
Afterwards mentioned Chase, as upon him more Senators could be brought
than upon the former. He mentioned the names of several Senators who
would support Chase beside the Republican non-impeachers. He asserted
positively that Chase would accept a nomination from the Democrats
and Conservatives. That Chase's negro antecedents could be got along
with by adopting a plank in the platform giving each State, or rather
conceding to each State, the management of the franchise question. He
also said that should Chase be nominated there would be no lack of
'material aid' to carry on the campaign successfully.

"My opinion is that if our convention could be brought to nominate
Chase, with Hancock, we would sweep the country, and on the fourth of
March next have a working majority in the Senate.

"Randall also suggested that you get some of your commercial men to
write to the acquitting Senators, thanking them in the name of the
great interests of N. Y. for their votes, and especially Senator Grimes.

"I hope that the proposed conference will be held, believing, as I do,
that it will result in the overthrow of the political ascendency of the
Radicals; at all events, it can do no harm, as I am entirely satisfied
that the Johnson interest would see the Democracy succeed rather than
the Rads, even if they are not recognized.

"The _Times_ of this morning copies an article from the _Argus_, and,
if I can read the article and understand it aright, it is a feeler in
this very direction.

"I shall publish a leader, when I return home, of the same import, but
a little plainer, without mentioning any names, and we will see what
comes of it.

"One other thing. Randall intimated to me that the President and Smythe
were not on as good terms as they might be. The President did not take
his last offer to do a certain thing, provided he would give him the
_mission to Australia_. The President thought it would have been better
in Smythe to have paid up arrearages before asking further favors.

"Randall said other Senators would have voted for acquittal had it been

  "Confidentially Yours,
                        "WM. S. HAWLEY."



                               "ROCHESTER, _June 10, 1868_.

"DEAR SIR,--What about the military organizations being represented on
the 4th of July? Is it to be general? If so, a call from some military
man in this State should be issued at once. In whose interest is this
military representation called? With such a body in session asking for
a military man, can you refuse putting one on, either at the head or
tail of the ticket? Some of our military friends in this section of
the State are anxious to know about it, and if it is gone into we had
better direct it. Please give this attention. I don't expect an answer.

  "Yours truly,
                     "S. E. CHURCH."

"Chase is out of the question. He would be the weakest man we could
have. We will use him well, but must not think of nominating him.

"The more I consider the question the more I am inclined to favor
Hendricks. He would make a good candidate.

"I think we cannot fail to succeed at the election. The other side are
dying with the dry-rot, and the people are looking to us for relief.
Let us not fritter it away. We rely _on you_ and some of our discreet
friends to keep things steady."


                             "LITTLE FALLS, _June 8, 1868_.


"Public opinion is being rapidly formed in relation to the candidate
for the Presidency at the next election. Your position is potential
in influence. I take the liberty of addressing you in advance of the
convention to urge upon you and through you upon our Democratic friends
to insist, with all our State and Democratic pride, prestige, and
weight of influence upon the nomination of Gov. Seymour unless fairly
overruled. Gov. Seymour's course during the war was so nobly sound and
Democratic that he attained a very strong hold upon the confidence and
affections of the Democracy of this and of all Northern and Western
States. His name will, I assure you, develop a hearty enthusiasm among
Democrats that can be drawn out by no other. The hope of winning
friends from our adversaries by taking up a man who has been identified
with the other party finds little encouragement in our past experience.
Those who do not hate the Radicals worse than they do Democrats will
continue to vote with them. It will not be love, but its opposite, that
will control their action. Let us stand by our principles and by those
who have maintained them when trampled under foot by the despotism
inspired and prompted by war. Chase's record is not a good one; it
has great defects. Ambitious politicians may deem his acquisition a
bargain; but I tell you his name has no strength with Democrats. That
pride, in and for the men and for the principles which he has assisted
us to sustain in dark times, which Seymour's name would command, will
be thrown away without him, and especially with a candidate so recently
a leading man in the administration of Mr. Lincoln. The election of
Lincoln, taken with all its consequences, was about the greatest
calamity that ever befell a great nation. The Democracy all over the
land, though hushed to silence by the war spirit, feel it to be so.
They ache for an opportunity to show their zeal and their strength.
I have no doubt but that Seymour's scruples may be overcome if he
deems the interests of the country at stake. I must say that I think
his unqualified declension has been injurious to his success in being
nominated, but not in being elected if nominated.

"In my judgment, Pendleton's name stands next to Seymour, though
I suppose N. Y. city thinks otherwise. His theory, as he himself
explained it, was not so very objectionable as some of the N. Y.
financiers seem to suppose, but the answer and cure of all that
question between greenbacks and gold will be settled under a Democratic
administration very shortly by the resumption of specie payments, and
this is and should be the only answer to it. With Seymour at the head,
take Hendrix for vice. With Pendleton, take, possibly, C. F. Adams,
or, better still, our own Church. I believe the Democracy have the
power and the will to restore the government to common-sense and the
Constitution to its position as the fundamental law of the land, and
I believe it must [be] done through the agency [of] men who have not
swerved from their principles, whether in peace or War.

  "With Great Respect, Yours, &c.,
                        "ARPHAXED LOOMIS."[47]


  "COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE, Albany, _May 25, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Is it not about time that you were instructing the
faithful how to vote in convention on the 4th of July? I feel that I
have been kept in ignorance about long enough. I would like to know now
who I am expected to hurrah for then, so that I can make affidavit that
he is the spontaneous choice of the people, and is to be elected by
acclamation. It is no great thing to be nominated by acclamation, but
if we can shout our man into office it will be a 'big thing.'

"I fear that we are to be embarrassed by the want of a candidate to
oppose Mr. Pendleton. Gov. Seymour should have consented to the open
using of his name, or else we should have agreed upon some other man.
Is it possible at this late day to unite upon a man with whom we can
head off Pendleton? I fear that we cannot go into the fight with great
confidence and enthusiasm with him as our standard-bearer.

"Can we not nominate some one who will be acceptable to the _Evening
Post_ and those who are denounced by the Radicals as unsound on the
impeachment? I think Bryant would be satisfied with yourself, or some
one else that you could name?

"Has Farragut been heard from, and what of him? I am for a fight to win.

  "Truly Y'rs,
                     "W. F. ALLEN."



  "NEW YORK, _June 21, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am more impressed even than when I saw you as to the
necessity of you seeing Mr. Chase, as I have just seen some influential
Democrats, one of them practically representing a State, who tell me
that they are for Chase first, last, and all the time, because:

"1. They believe he can win.

"2. Because it is a necessity for them, by their political action this
fall, to show that there is no practical barrier between the races, and
that this can be done in no way so well as by Chase's nomination. They
are in earnest, and will not yield their convictions lightly.

"If he will answer for Carolina on the negro question, I do not know
but we could take him.

                                              "S. L. M. BARLOW."



  "WASHN., _June 5th, '68_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I send another missive from Frank by which you
will see his hopes are revived. You asked me to keep you posted, and
therefore I send these advices, as they come to me intended only
for me. I think the Chase fever will die out and will help Frank
in the end. I wrote Barlow yesterday, who seems, by the way, to be
_enthused_ about it, that it was regarded here as an attempt like
Pendleton's to subordinate the great constitutional questions involved
in the reconstruction measures--a question which is fundamental
and will determine whether this is to be a free govt. or not--and
the subordinate one of whether the debt was to be paid in gold or
greenbacks. It is impossible that the public mind shall make such
a diversion, and those who attempt it are swayed by personal, not
public, interests, and can have no real hold on the country, and no
comprehension of the serious mood in which the people are at this
moment. You, who really believe in the people and have faith, a real
faith, in the Democratic philosophy, can comprehend how dangerous it is
for the leaders of a great party to trifle with this subject, and that
it is trifling with it to set up a man as the representative of a cause
who has no heart in it, and only because he has quarrelled with his
own party for their daring to prefer another man.

"The Chase spasm will help Frank by loosening up of the party feeling
and antagonizing Pendleton. If any Democrat can go for Chase _a priori_
they can go for Blair, and Frank[49] will carry just 10 Republican
votes for every one that Chase can carry; for Chase has not the
slightest influence with the only class of Republicans who are disposed
to go with us, viz., the Lincoln men. He was an active Radical, and the
Lincoln men would delight to have him beaten. He was the only human
being that I believe Lincoln actually hated. Our running Chase would
fix thousands to Grant, who would certainly go for us with Frank as a
leader, Frank being really the true heir to Lincoln. Lincoln sent for
him from the army to defend him and to assail Chase on the floor of
the House of Representatives, and Lincoln, you remember, published his
letter to me requesting my brother to leave his command and take his
seat in the House of Reps., promising to restore him his commission as
soon as military operations were resumed, which he did to the chagrin
of all Chase men.

"I had a great contest to get into the convention. The B. & O. R. R.
and Pendletonians exerted themselves to the utmost to defeat me, but
by the sheer pressure of public opinion in Baltimore I was carried
through. At every mention of my name in the convention the immense
hall rang with the applause of the people, and I got 18 of 21 city
delegates, altho' every man of them had been pledged against me.

  "Y'rs truly,
                        "M. BLAIR."



                         WASHINGTON, D. C., _May 30, 1868_.

"DEAR SIR,--When you were last in Washington you were pleased to ask my
views as to the candidate who ought to be nominated by the Democratic
convention for the Presidency. I gave you my opinions then very
briefly, but the great events which have transpired since that period
have, in my judgment, settled the question conclusively. Our strongest
man, and the only one who can _certainly_ be elected, is Genl. W. S.

"My reasons are as follows:

"1st. Pennsylvania is the most doubtful State in the Union, and has
always decided contested Presidential elections. The reason is not
only the closeness of her vote and the great number of her electors,
but that her State elections precede by three weeks those in other
States, and thus influence beyond calculation the result of the
Presidential election. Hancock is the only man who can carry that
State. His nomination from that moment would give us the prestige of
certain success there, and a probable majority of 50,000 in our favor
in the October election, which would immensely influence other States
in November following. He is a Pennsylvanian by birth and education,
and by far the most popular of her soldiers. He commanded in person
more of her troops than any other man, leading them always to victory,
especially at Gettysburg, to Pennsylvania the decisive battle of the

"2nd. About one-third of all the voters of the North were soldiers
during the recent war. Recognizing this, the radical party have
nominated Grant. We must receive a large proportion of that vote in the
coming contest or we are defeated. No Democratic candidate can receive
anything like so large a proportion of this vote as Hancock. From the
commencement to the close of the war he has commanded, in person, over
three hundred thousand troops, and both officers and men were greatly
attached to him. His military record during the war was most brilliant,
and will bear the closest scrutiny and the most favorable comparison
with that of Grant.

"3rd. He would be more acceptable to the South than any other military
candidate, many prominent Southern leaders and newspapers having
announced their preference for him. Especially is this the case with
her wisest men, because, whilst recognizing his sound Democratic
principles, success is to _them_ a necessity, and they believe that his
nomination would make our victory certain. They do not support him with
reluctance, but with enthusiasm. His humane, able, and statesmanlike
administration of the affairs of the 5th military district, at a time
when all seemed lost, when every other military leader had either gone
over to the enemy or concealed his views, gained him their respect and

"4th. Hancock has from his youth up always been a Democrat. In taking
him we do not rely upon a man of doubtful or vacillating principles,
but one of our faith, with the firmness and the courage to maintain it.

"5th. Hancock, I believe, would make a President of whom not only our
party, but our country, would be proud. He would unite and strengthen
the party, and his firmness, good judgment, and total disregard of
political trickery would lead us safely through the coming crisis of
our national affairs.

"6th. No man can foreshadow the events of the next four years. Are
they to be peaceful or warlike? And how is the latter condition to
be avoided? We must nominate a man who can certainly be elected, and
whose name at the head of our Presidential ticket, whilst giving us the
prestige of certain success in that campaign, will give us strength
to carry the Congressional elections. Has any such man been thought
or spoken of except Hancock? I have heard of none. Besides, you will
recollect that, by unconstitutional legislation, Grant has been made
the virtual commander-in-chief of the _armies_ of the United States.
We must have for his commander-in-chief a man who has the ability, the
courage, and the firmness to command him. Such a man is Genl. Hancock.

"This will be the great struggle for the supremacy of one or the
other great party of the country. A written Constitution against a
popular, if not a military, despotism. If we fail now we may be lost
forever, for a civil war alone could tear down the barriers which
the Radical party would erect against our liberties. They would then
have, as now, the Senate and the House, the legislative departments.
Then, as now, by similar intimidation, carried to a greater excess by
their victory, they would suspend the functions, as they pleased, of
the Supreme Court, the judicial department. They would have also the
executive department, thus securing substantially all the departments
of the government. Do you doubt the extent to which they would carry
their revolutionary doctrines? And would the Senate any longer be a
curb upon the frenzy of the House, with an addition of 20 members from
the negro-ized South? We must start out, casting aside all personal
preferences and prejudices, determined to succeed. We must select
the man who can secure the most votes, and who will be supported
with enthusiasm by every Democrat, war or peace, so-called, by every
conservative Democrat or Republican soldier, and by the thousands of
new recruits and conservative Republicans. I think that Genl. W. S.
Hancock is the only man who would receive the combined, enthusiastic
support of the people South and North.

"I know that, if you concur with me in these views, you will not
hesitate to use every effort to secure by this means the success of
that party which is dear to us both. I have written you because I knew
that you would not misconstrue my motives, and because I believe that
you can exert great influence for the good of our country. If there be
reasons which I may have overlooked, in forming a deliberate judgment
upon a subject which has caused me much anxious thought, I should be
very much pleased to hear them from a friend like yourself. Let us have
harmony in our councils, and with wisdom success is ours.

  "Very truly your friend,
                          "R. J. WALKER."


  "_July, 1868._

"GENTLEMEN,--Regretting that I cannot personally attend the celebration
of the Fourth of July by the Tammany Society, to which you have invited
me, I nevertheless concur most cordially in the patriotic sentiments so
eloquently expressed in the address of the sachems.

"Your venerable society may well felicitate itself upon its political
retrospect. It did everything in its power to avert civil strife
by a policy which was represented as too conciliatory by those who
did not comprehend the danger. When the conflict of arms came it
cordially maintained the nationality of our people in a confederated
republic, which Jefferson and Madison and Jackson always held to be
incapable of being dissolved except by a revolutionary destruction of
the Constitution. And now that peace has once more happily returned,
it claims that constitutional rights shall be restored throughout our
whole country; that every State shall be replaced in its constitutional
orbit; that we shall once more present to the world a continental
system of States, bound together by a constitutional union--founded on
the twin principles of local self-government and industrial liberty,
and sustained by the voluntary action of a people among whom government
is everywhere carried on by the consent of the governed.

"Alas! that this benign work of peace should be more difficult than the
fierce struggle of war. But so it is.

"Multitudes of our fellow-citizens are so infatuated with fear of the
danger of disunion, which has now passed, that they create a danger of
centralism fatal to all liberty--to all constitutional government--and
at last by inevitable reaction to the Union itself.

"Instead of restoring the system of our fathers, the purpose to do
which alone consecrated our cause against secession as righteous, they
would erect upon this fair continent eleven Polands, eleven Hungaries,
eleven Irelands!

"And the same principles of despotism which they would apply to our
recent enemies they freely extend to the whole Northern people.

"I say the principles of despotism. For _centralism_ is _despotism_.
Was centralism ever before so rampant as now? The distinguishing
characteristic of the controlling element of the so-called Republican
party which now sways the two Houses of Congress is a total disregard
of all limitations of power established by our written Constitution; an
overwhelming contempt for all fundamental law, whether State or Federal.

"No right of localities or of individuals is deemed sacred.

"The principles which underlie our whole political system are not
respected; they do not seem to be even comprehended.

"The present Congress and the advanced Republican party are a rule
unto themselves. Their own opinion of what it is convenient or
expedient they should do, is the only limitation of power which they
acknowledge; and it is their opinion that they should do pretty much
everything, in all places and with respect to everybody.

"Of course, such a false system of political philosophy does now, as it
has in all ages, immediately degenerate into selfish rapacity. Congress
is mainly occupied in putting new manacles on the trade and industry of
the country; and the more respectable representatives of the prevalent
political ideas are voting money out of everybody's pockets into their

"In this condition of things nothing but the principles of the
Democratic party, as maintained by Jefferson and Jackson, can save the
country. There is no organized agency which can give effects to these
principles except the Democratic party, with such alliances as it may
form in the cause of liberal government.

"From the day of the accession of President Johnson I have felt renewed
confidence that the American people would not only maintain our
national unity, but would reconstruct our political institutions on
their ancient foundations.

"The political ideas of Jefferson and Jackson in which President
Johnson was educated, and which have become incarnated in his very
nature--the character of the work he was providentially called to
undertake in bringing back into our system the people of eleven States
lately in revolt, which he could only do by addressing the intellects
and sentiments of that people--were guarantees that he would recur to
the original fountains of our American principles of government.

"As for us, we could not but accept what we had sought when we
endeavored to elect McClellan: first, the re-establishment of national
unity; secondly, the starting the restored government in its new career
upon its original and true principles.

"The situation controls. Not the plans or wishes of individuals.

"In my judgment, neither President nor the Democratic party could stop
what events so clearly commanded.

"Last year, at your Fourth-of-July celebration, I promised him in your
name, in the name of the Democratic party, and of your acclamations, a
liberal co-operation in the great work; and afterwards repeated that
assurance in person.

"The time has now come when all parties who favor President Johnson's
plan of pacification must act with reference to the election of the
next Congress.

"President Johnson will now be under the necessity of appealing to the
whole body of the people, accepting all who come to him on the issue he
has made, and separating from all who go against him on that issue.

"If he should attempt the narrow and futile scheme, urged upon him by
those who are neither his friends nor the friends of his cause--of
carrying out his policy through the exclusive agency of the Republican
party, in case he can capture it and convert it to his purposes--he
will find his machine turned against him in the hour of his need. He
will find himself, like the unfortunate object of Turkish jealousy,
tied up in a bag, to be silently strangled. I do not doubt that he
will act on the larger policy which would have governed Andrew Jackson
or Henry Clay under like circumstances. He will cast himself upon the
whole body of our people, leaving parties and organizations to take
care of themselves. He will be triumphantly sustained.

"The Democratic party should pursue a liberal policy in all its
action, and accept as brethren all who stand with it on the present
issue. It is too powerful to be jealous. It has too great a motive in
the restoration of its own traditional principles of government to
an ascendency in the councils of the country, which they made great,
prosperous, and happy, to think of anything less grand or less noble.

"With much respect, I remain, gentlemen,

  "Y'rs truly,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."



                                                      "_July, 1868._

"MY DEAR SIR,--I had no agency in getting Gov. Seymour into his present
scrape, though I would have been glad of his nomination if his consent
could have been freely given. I yielded to his wishes out of tender
regard for him. And I feel now that I am the last man who can with
delicacy bring a pressure to bear upon him; but my judgment is that
acceptance, under present circumstances, would not compromise his
reputation for sincerity or be really misunderstood by the people;
that the case is not analogous to the former instances which have made
criticism possible; that the true nature of the sacrifice would be
appreciated; while, on the other hand, the opposite course would be
more likely to incite animadversion; that, on the whole, acceptance is
the best thing. I think a decision is necessary; for it is not possible
to go thro' the canvass with a candidate declining. I am sincerely
willing to accept such action as will be most for the honor of our
friend; at the same time my personal wishes favor acceptance. You may
express for me so much in this respect as you find necessary and think
proper. In haste, but

  Truly yours,
                    "S. J. TILDEN."


  "WASHINGTON, _July 13, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I tried to see you before leaving New York last week,
but failed to do so.

"It is vastly important for you to have the reporters of the press of
this city, who make the views and give the tone to every important
newspaper in the country. They are now in an organized state, and if
_done at once_ can be controlled for Seymour and Blair.

"The Grant men have declined to pay them any money, but offer _largely
in case of success_. This don't suit.

"It will take about 3000 to 3500 $ per month until the campaign is over
to secure these men, about 30 in number, and they are worth more than
all the stump orators in the field, and if I had the control would pay
them, _if necessary_, 10,000 $ p. month, or so much as would secure

"There are no such men in this country as the reporters stationed here
for energy and smartness.

"If you can get Gov. F. P. Stanton, _upon whose title-head I_ write,
to take charge of the money and disburse it, you must succeed. Gov.
Stanton is treasurer of the Chase committee here. He is brother-in-law
of Mr. Perrin, who was secretary of your convention.

"Can't you come or send some reliable man here at once to attend to
this matter?

"Let them call on Stanton, who is posted.

  "Your friend,
                    "R. W. LATHAM."


  "SILVER SPRING, _15 July, '68_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--The day after I got to New York Bennett sent his
carriage to take me out to dine with him. He did not talk favorably of
Chase, but as an antagonist of Seymour, whom he considered to be at
heart opposed to him. He spoke well of Frank, and intimated a purpose
to support him if nominated. The day before I left the city Montgomery
and myself called at his office. He said he would have supported Frank
cordially, but insisted that now it was Grant vs. Seymour, and the
former w'd succeed. His son, in whom all his hopes and affections
are bound up, is greatly attached to Frank. Is it not worth while to
work on the old man's personal vanity and his ambition for his son's
advancement in the party's consideration to get him into line to help
our cause? Lawrence Jerome is devoted to Frank, and Bennett's son to
him. Jerome is out for Frank, although he once subscribed to Grant.
I think through him, by proper management, we might get hold of the
_Herald_. Whatever may be thought or said of this fickle print, it is
a power in the body politic through its vast circulation. I think it
might be led to make a transit to Seymour by means of its inclinings
to Frank; and Jerome would be a safe conduct in this matter, as he
and Bennett were both shipped once for Grant, but now prefer my hero.
They want a hero, and so does our cause; and although Frank is a
mighty small young Hickory, he is the best we can now command. Do try
and make something of these suggestions; we have so good a cause,
and its success is so essential to the welfare of the country, that
some condescensions to the old Plutus (or Pluto, if you please) might
be a cheap purchase of a three months' command of his columns. If
my scribblings in them could be of use in reviving memories of the
Jackson-Van Buren era and the prosperous times it brought about for
the Republic, I would give a part of every day to inveigh against the
monstrous doings of the banditti that now set up for a Congress--and it
would be by way of contrast.

"I believe the convention, although it seems to have been by accident,
really made the wisest disposition, both as to the ticket and the
platform that could have been devised. Seymour's eloquence and polish
and moderation has a happy influence to recommend us to the refined
and all who are apprehensive of rash counsels in this crisis. Frank's
boldness and thorough grasp of all the issues which are looked to as
necessary to put the Democracy at once in possession of the good,
will do much to rally to our standard all the zealots for the instant
overthrow of the corrupt military despotism that now lords it over the

"I enjoin it on you to give your sister that _dollar_ I promised
to return through you and you w'd not take; I insist on a specific
performance for the honor of

  "Yr. mo. afft.,
                      "F. P. BLAIR."


  "UTICA, _July 20, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have given much thought to the subject of
organization. I am satisfied a new course must be taken. I do not
count in any degree upon the national committee. It will do nothing
from the nature of its organization. We have been a long time out
of power, and are apt to call upon those who used to be efficient
without making allowance for the change made by time. We only need
organization. The moment we get it we shall become aggressive. We can
get no vigorous organization without putting our young men into the
field. To do this we must give them a motive as well as a method for
action. This has been done in New Jersey and Connecticut by the Jackson
clubs. They are, to a degree, secret organizations. This gives them
the charm of novelty, as we have heretofore had nothing of the kind
on our side. They hold out a motive to the active young men, as they
give to them power at once in their localities. James Spencer, Esq.,
of New York, and Mr. Palmer, of Wisconsin, called upon me last week
with a plan of the kind, which I think is the right thing. They are
both good organizers. This scheme is the most efficient, and costs the
least. When a club is formed it is not only self-sustaining, but it
does a great deal of work at its own cost. If men are sent at once
into Maine, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania they will in a little time
give such a start to the movement that it will go on of itself. Time
is everything, and it is my opinion any other method should be dropped
and this plan entered upon. It has freshness, economy, and simplicity
to recommend it. It appeals to young men, as it gives them something
to do, and also gives them strength and power in their towns. I wish
you would see Messrs. Spencer and Palmer when they call upon you. I
am quite well now, but I am suffering with the rest of mankind from
the heat. I am overwhelmed with letters. Of course, all I get are very
satisfactory. Our papers should keep up a steady fire upon the subjects
of debt, taxation, etc., etc.

                            "Truly yours, &c.,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"


  "SILVER SPRING, _10 Aug., '68_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--Your Milwaukee speech has done me much good--a
thing not to be thought of if it were not that this good done to one
obscure individual extends to the whole country, when everybody is
alike advantaged as I am. Your exposure of the terrible cost the whole
nation is put to in maintaining an army to hold one portion of it in
subjection makes it plain that the entire commonwealth is subjected.
That section of ours which bears the tax (more than England and France
both bear to enslave two empires), to keep the South under the foot of
our quondam slaves, certainly gets less for its money, although laid
out in producing a very thorough despotism, than the imperial dynasties
abroad. You have made a capital demonstration of the enormity of the
flight into tyranny which our Radicals have made in a short time, from
the vantage-ground they obtained in the war over our free govt. The
North sells itself into debt and slavery to enslave the South.

"But I owe you something more than the commonalty for your speech--your
making my son a great man, giving him the heirship of Old Hickory's
glory, although I know it is far beyond his reach, fills me with
delight. You put a brilliant rainbow before my eyes, and tell me there
is a pot of gold where it stands on the earth. The vision pleases,
however, sensible that no effort will find its footing on the ground.
Yet I hope Frank's aspirations will not all prove delusions to him
or his father. He has all Old Hickory's devotion to his country, and
he has the courage to attempt its redemption from the hands of the
banditti that has for the time seized on all its wealth and all the
defences of its liberties, and I have faith in a providence to overrule
it, so that my young stripling who is put forward in the battle against
the Philistines may do some execution with his sling.

"I beg you write me a line to say what promise you bring from the West.
I have some influence with Bennett. If you think well of it I will
write to him and urge him to open his columns to us. I think if Frank
made well-considered speeches Bennett would _Herald_ them.

  "Yours afft.,
                     "F. P. BLAIR."

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--My father wished me to mail this for him. I agree
in what he says about your Milwaukee speech. It was unanswerable in
argument as to Frank's coming East. I am glad he has declined doing
so. His letter to that effect came yesterday, saying he did so because
you had advised him to confine himself to the West. He has made no
speeches, except some off-hand efforts at receptions, etc., etc.

                               "Y'rs truly,
                                                      "M. BLAIR."

  "WASHN., _Aug. 15, '68_."


  "UTICA, _August 17, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I send you three letters got to-day: one from Chicago
about Indiana and Illinois; one from Governor Haight, of California,
about the Pacific States; one from Henry D. Barto, of this State,
who writes about the mining States. You know him as a gentleman of
sagacity and standing. Of course, candidates always get flattering
statements which prove nothing. But these letters, like all the
letters I get, use the same language. Indeed, if my letters were not
dated from different States I should think they were all written from
one locality. This uniformity of words and facts means a great deal. It
foretells a political change.

                            "Truly yours, &c.,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. Samuel J. Tilden._"


"We, the undersigned, each for himself, hereby agrees with Augustus
Schell, Chairman of the Democratic National Executive Committee, to
pay to said Schell each ten thousand dollars in such instalments
as he may call, which sums shall be expended in such manner as the
national Democratic committee shall determine, to defray the just and
lawful expenses of circulating documents and newspapers, perfecting
organizations, etc., to promote the election of Seymour and Blair.

"It is understood that if in the judgment of said committee the
subscriptions for the purposes of the said election not embraced
herein shall render it unnecessary to expend the whole amount hereto
subscribed, then any surplus which shall remain shall be refunded to
the subscribers in equal proportion.

  "NEW YORK, _Aug. 15, 1868_.

                                    "AUGUST BELMONT,
                                    "S. J. TILDEN,
                                    "AUGUSTUS SCHELL,
                                    "RICHD. SCHELL,
                                    "GEORGE I. MAGEE,
                                    "THOS. C. DURANT,
                                    "CH. O'CONOR,
                                    "C. H. MCCORMICK."


  "_Aug. 19, 1868._

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--Y'rs of yesterday has come to hand. Mr. Welles is
now at the Kittery Yard in person, and will not be here for a week
perhaps. He has probably done what Shaw and friends ask. If not, 'twill
be too late to act, I fear, on his return. Welles is very earnestly
with us now, and I have no doubt will do anything he can. My accounts
from the West agree with yours as respects political prospects there.
But Able, who is not of a sanguine temperament, writes that our friends
are going to carry Missouri by 20,000 majority.

"From Maine, Mr. Clapp, former M. C. from Portland, a brother of Mrs.
Woodbury, who is also a cautious man, is very confident of gains in the

"If my father can go on to New York I am sure he will do so, to see
Bennett. The truth is, however, that Bennett looks _to position_, and
there is no getting him without assurances of it. It was in this way
that Lincoln got him. He could have been nominated to Paris undoubtedly
if he had not himself declined accepting the mission, because he would
have been rejected. Chase got his support, I am sure, by promising
him this mission if he was elected. The negotiation with Lincoln was
carried on through a fellow of the name of Bartlett, who was the
same man who got the _Herald_ for Frémont. I had no part in either
negotiation, but I knew of both and sustained Lincoln in keeping his
bargain with Bennett. His inclinations are with our side, I am sure,
and he told my father and myself he would have supported Frank's
nomination earnestly.

"I would not hesitate myself in supporting him if he would give us the
power of his press to elect our ticket. I regard him as every way a
most reputable man, and one of far greater ability than Chief-Justice
Chase. I said this to one of Chase's hangers-on one day when he was
turning up his eyes at Lincoln's appointment of Bennett.

"If Seymour could support Chase for the Presidency for his doings about
impeachment I cannot see why he could not appoint Bennett for helping
to save the country.

"Seymour ought not, under any circumstances, to be approached on this
matter. But I think we might legitimately hold out hopes to Bennett
and keep our promise of support in good faith. I would, for myself,
unhesitatingly offer to do my utmost to get the President to appoint
him, though I would not offer that Seymour himself should come under
any promise about it, or indeed be approached on the subject directly
or indirectly.

"Of course, I would not be so explicit on this subject with any one
else. But with you I talk freely, so that when the old man comes on, if
he should, you will be prepared to take ground on the point in question.

                               "Y'rs truly,
                                                      "M. BLAIR."

  "WASH., _Aug. 19, '68_."


  "UTICA, _Sept. 26, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The canvass has run on for more than two months, and the
questions of the day have been discussed in journals and meetings by
so many different minds, and in so many different modes, that they are
somewhat confused in the public understanding. Would it not [be] well
if at this moment we could get a fresh presentation of our purposes in
a way that will arrest public attention and in a way that will meet
the points urged by our opponents, as we now have a need of their
position? I have been talking the matter over with Mr. McCormick, in
whose judgment I have great confidence. Now, every candidate for the
Presidency must have a 'privy council.' There must be a number of men
upon whom he can lean, who will help to shape out before election a
line of policy which will carry the country through its difficulties.
Able, influential, and thoughtful men should know now what they can
rely upon in the event of our success. With clear ideas on these points
they can work with more vigor, etc. Would it not be well to have a
meeting of ten or twelve persons who should talk matters over clear
through the coming year? Should not some definiteness be given to
our future plans? Could not some position be taken now which will do
good in the way of foiling the attacks of our opponents? Up to this
time, with the exception of my consultations with you and two or three
others, I have been almost isolated in my position. There are many
advantages in this, but it should not be held too long.

"I am anxious to see you, and if it be possible for you to meet me here
or elsewhere I should like to have a free talk with you. I will write
to you soon about taking the field myself.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                    "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


  "UTICA, _October 1, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Yours of the 30 ult. is received. I see nothing more to
be done in Penna. beyond counteracting the effects of the soldiers'
meeting. This is a movement upon which the Republicans count largely,
and upon which they have spent large sums of money. Now, the _éclat_
of this will not depend upon the soldiers, but the generals who will
be in attendance. Can this be done? Get Generals McClellan, Hancock,
Franklin to go to Philadelphia on Thursday of next week. Give them
a reception. There will be an immense turn-out of the citizens. The
Republican meeting and the near approach of the election will furnish
all the stimulants needed. As it will be gotten up without parade or
all the notes of preparation which have gone before the Republican
show, it will tell more on the public minds. The soldiers throughout
the country look to see how the popular generals go. We can make the
best show in that way. I learn that Hancock has not been asked by the
general committee to go into Penna. He is very strong there. I fear we
have neglected the soldiers too much. It seems to me that some military
exhibition on our side is the only thing to be done before the Penna.
elections. If it is made a 'reception' of these generals it cannot be a
failure, as there will be a great turn-out to see them. General Slocum
should also be there. He can give aid in getting up the movement.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                    "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


  "UTICA, _October 2, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I send you a letter from General Franklin which is very
gratifying. I have written to him, urging him to go to Penna. He is
a distinguished soldier, I think from that State, and a great number
of those who served under him live there. As he is unused to public
speaking, some good talker, who is a man of character, should go with

"I have written to Genl. McClellan, asking him to go to Penna. I felt
a delicacy in doing so, but the necessity is so great that I sent him
the request by Mr. Mather. It will do us great harm if he declines. Our
people have looked for his return with anxiety. He has more power in
Penna. than any living man. This I learned when I spoke there in 1864.
His visit will wipe out the effect of the soldiers' convention. As he
was with me when Penna. was invaded, he can do me much good. I did not
feel I could in my letter to him say as much as I felt. The soldiers
are not inclined to go for Grant. He slaughtered them too ruthlessly.
With many thousands of them McClellan's words will be words of command.
All my letters from Penna. say that his visit is the only thing needed
before their election.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                     "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

"I hope the committee will urge Genl. Franklin to go to Penna."


  "NEW YORK, _Oct. 4th, 1868_.

"Received of Allan McLane, Esq., two hundred and fifty thousand dollars
($250,000.00), the same being one-half the purchase money for the
steamer _Oregonian_, sold by W. H. Webb, Esq., to the said Allan McLane
for the sum of five hundred thousand dollars, and conveyed by bill of
sale to me, the undersigned Samuel J. Tilden, in trust for the said
Allan McLane, and to be by me transferred to the Pacific Mail Steam
Ship Co., on whose account the aforesaid purchase of the said steamer
_Oregonian_ was made by the said Allan McLane, the conveyance aforesaid
to be made by me, when requested by the said McLane and upon the
payment of the balance of the said purchase money, to wit., the further
sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

  "(Signed) SAML. J. TILDEN."


       "CARONDELET, ST. LOUIS CO., MO., _October 10, 1868_.

  "HON. S. J. TILDEN, New York.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your favor without date, enclosing me a note written to
you by Governor Seymour, was received last evening.

"The Governor's letter is very delicate, kind, and considerate.

"I have been confined to my room since the 10th of September, and in
that time to my bed until within the last few days. I am far from well
now. My wound, which had closed after opening, threatens to reopen. It
may not do so immediately, but I presume it is but a question of time,
as it had been allowed to close too soon.

"It will be many days, probably weeks, before I shall be in condition
for any effort.

"I am a member of the 'Dyer' court of inquiry, which has been postponed
from week to week on account of my absence. So soon as I am able to
endure the fatigue of travel I shall be compelled to go to Washington
on that service.

"I had always believed that it was not well for officers of the army
to engage actively in political campaigns, and I had concluded so long
as I remained in the army not to set a contrary example to younger
officers; still, the crisis is of such vital moment that I might
probably have acted differently in the particular case urged by you,
especially when possibly our eventual success depends upon the action
of my own State in October. But neither time nor health permit me to
act. It is therefore not necessary to discuss the question.

"I believe the election next Tuesday will decide the result of the
Presidential election if the majorities in the States are at all

"Our carrying two of the three will insure us a victory in November.

"I feel great interest in the result, I believe no person more so than

"It is our only and last chance.

  "I am, Truly Yours,
                  "WINFD. S. HANCOCK."


                           "NEW YORK, _October 17th, 1868_.

  "W. F. STORY, Chicago, Illinois:

"Telegram just received. The suggestion made to change ticket was
wholly unauthorized and unknown to National Democratic Executive
Committee or any member thereof. The proposition is regarded as
absurd, and is received by our masses with astonishment, derision, and
indignation. In October elections we gained largely on much increased
vote, compared with eighteen sixty-six, and nearly carried Pennsylvania
and Indiana. Been overborne only by systematic frauds and rejection
of votes of citizens of Irish and German birth by party that claim
suffrage for negroes as national right, and practically accords him
supremacy over white men. We came nearer to our expectations than
Republicans to theirs. If our friends continue contest in all States
with same vigor, our foes will find it impossible to spread their
resources over so vast an area with equal effect. Our masses are
resolved to renew contest under our chosen leaders, with our old flag
flying, with organization unbroken, and with two and half million
voters compact and always ready to rally for rescue of constitutional
government and civil liberty.

                                    "S. J. TILDEN,
                                    "AUGUST BELMONT,
                                    "AUGUSTUS SCHELL."


          _Washington, D. C._

"Without contemplating any change, I should be glad to consult with
you, but can't leave my post. Come here immediately if you can.

                                                  "S. J. TILDEN.

  "NEW YORK, _Oct. 20, 1868_."


                                "NEW YORK, _Oct. 21, 1868_.


"Had conference with Spencer and others, and on reflection conclude
that we can't spare you possibly. You must come back to the helm with
me and provide other companionship for our leader. Come to-night. Can't
explain further.

            "S. J. TILDEN."


  "ROCHESTER, _Dec. 2d, 1868_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I suppose the St. Paul preferred was not purchased. I
am sorry that it was not, because I see that you was right about the

"I see that the Erie fight is in a great muddle and growing worse.

"I have been thinking of a project for my own benefit, and that is to
have all the parties compromise upon me for receiver. I suppose that
Belmont on one side, and Tweed and Sweeny on the other, might control
it. I would deal fairly by all, and the Erie people might be assured
of that, while Davies would be content to have the law business. It
would enable me to make some money, and be a good thing all around. I
thought I would suggest it to you in strict confidence, and _if you can
accomplish it I feel sure it will be for your interest, and I will make
it so_. If you think anything of this act accordingly; if not, burn it,
and say nothing about this, attributing it to a weakness to make some

  Truly yours,
                    "S. E. CHURCH."

In the first volume of my _Life of Tilden_ (page 226) I had occasion
to refer to some of his reasons for declining to withdraw from his
candidacy for Governor in favor of Mr. Church. The statements there
made gave offence to some of Mr. Church's political followers, which
found expression in one of the most devoted newspaper organs of the
Canal Ring in Syracuse. In the preceding letter from Mr. Church the
reader will find some additional justification for the opinions above
referred to, and which helped to inspire Mr. Tilden's distrust of Mr.
Church as a leader of a party for reform.


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 25th, 1868_.

"GENTLEMEN,--I regret that I shall be unable to be in Albany to-morrow
at the meeting of the Bar, which you have invited me to attend, and
which is to be held for the purpose of 'taking appropriate action in
regard to the death of our esteemed friend and professional associate,
_Peter Cagger_.'

"I should, however, do injustice to my own sentiments if I did not
avail myself of the opportunity to join my expressions with yours of
our common sense of the personal and public bereavement which is the
occasion of your meeting, and of the esteem and affection with which
we regarded our lamented associate and friend, while living, and with
which we still cherish his memory.

"I hope that some one of those who best knew Mr. Cagger will make an
enduring record--not merely of the frank and genial and hearty nature
which beamed upon us all; not merely of his characteristics as a
citizen, a friend and a man, which are known to everybody; not merely,
even, of that remarkable executive ability which he manifested in his
profession, in business, and in the broader relations with men in which
he acted so important a part, but of his great undeveloped capacities
as a lawyer and a public man, which were evident to those who saw him
intimately and were only kept from the public view by his unambitious
temper, which deferred to others and voluntarily limited his own sphere
of action.

"With great respect, gentlemen, I remain,

  "Very truly yours,
                       "S. J. TILDEN."


  "N. Y., _Nov. 11, 1869_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am so pressed for time that I do not know that I shall
be able to find a printed copy of the opinions read in the Legislature
of New Jersey on the motion to rescind the assent of the 14th Amendment.

"They were three in number, I think: one by Reverdy Johnson, one by
George T. Curtis, and one by me. If it should become desirable to use
any of them they can readily be found in any file of a Democratic paper.

"Should mine be deemed worth using, I should like to have a correction

"By way of emphasis I italicized the word _when_. This is printed
_where_ in all the copies I have seen; and to render the pointlessness
of my expression as striking as I desired to render its point,
'_where_' is sometimes italicized and sometimes put in small caps.

"If you should have any part in using or printing this paper, I am sure
you will see this error corrected.

"It is understood that the 14th Amendment is past revocation now, as
the requisite number of States have consented. The consent of several
were _forced_, and if the Democratic party is to live in the future it
will deny the efficacy of such extorted consents.

"I mention this to the end that you may consider whether the consent
of N. Y. to the 14th should not even now be rescinded. Of course, that
question has more in it than the inquiry as to the 15th Amt.

  "Y'rs truly and in haste,
                           "CH. O'CONOR."


  "MANSFIELD, OHIO, _Oct. 20, '69_.

"My dear Sir,--I have just read over, in the quiet of my study,
your admirable circular to the bondholders, etc., of the P., F. W.
& C. R. R. Co. I cannot forego the expression of my appreciation of
the clearness and ability of this statement. It exactly defines the
reciprocal duties and rights of the owners of a railroad and the public
at large, and states in as few words as possible the reasons for the
lease. I do not believe we will soon have occasion to regret it, and
sure I am you need not be ashamed of your 'statement of the case.'

  I am, truly Yours,
                       "JOHN SHERMAN."



                                   NEW YORK, _Oct. 7, '69_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Returning home to-day, I find your letter of the 4th.

"It is difficult to obtain the funds necessary for the most economical
conduct of our State canvass, especially as we have no candidate who
is wealthy. We expect to fight the 'poor man's' battle, but expect to
fight it successfully; at present the committee has no funds, and is
going on credit of its expectations, which are small, but, we believe,
sufficient. I do not think it probable that money could be raised in
this city to send abroad. The number of contributors is small, usually,
and there is now not much political excitement.

                             Very truly yours,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Richd. Vaux_,
          "_520 Walnut St., Phila., Pa._"


  "_Aug. 18, 1869._

"MY DEAR SIR,--At the suggestion of a friend of Mr. Russell Sage and
of mine, I should attend on Tuesday next in the Oyer and Terminer if
I were not obliged to leave town early to-morrow morning on business
which will probably make it impracticable for me to return in season.

"Under these circumstances I beg leave to say to your hearers as if
upon that occasion some part of what I should say if present.

"I think there can be no doubt that all the grounds of the
discrimination contemplated against Mr. Sage, as compared with the
other persons charged with having received more than seven per cent.
for the use of money--as those grounds are reported in the public
journals--are erroneous in point of fact.

"The principal ground is the supposed participation of Mr. Sage
in the locking up of greenbacks. This allegation is denied in the
most positive and comprehensive manner by an affidavit of Mr. Sage.
That denial is corroborated by affidavits of one or more persons
most intimately acquainted [with] his affairs. I find no difficulty
in giving full credence to these denials from my own knowledge of
Mr. Sage, his methods and habits of business, his transactions and
investments. They are all incompatible with his being engaged in any
such scheme. I have known him well for years. He is about the last
man to enter into any combination which would limit the freedom of
his individual and personal action. He is not a lender of money as a
business or otherwise than of his temporary balances. His interests
are all in favor of elevating rather than of depressing stocks, in
which the bulk of his property is invested. It would not need the
affirmative proof which is offered to make me totally discredit the
representation that he was or could be involved in a combination of
the character and objects imputed to him. Mr. Sage is a man of rare
ability, energy, and enterprise; and his use of these powers is all in
the way of building up, constructing, developing. I am satisfied that
there is not the slightest ground for imputing to Mr. Sage anything
beyond the mere fact of receiving more than seven per cent. for the use
of money. I hope that you will consider it consistent with your duty to
confine your sentence to the fine which you have applied to the other
cases of the same character; and I am sure the judgment of the bar and
of the entire community will sanction such a disposition of the case.

"It is not necessary, in my view of the matter, to discuss the statute
of 1837. It was peculiar in two respects: that it reversed the
equity rule which had prevailed always before in this State and in
England, that in cases of usury 'he who seeks equity must do equity';
and that it added to the forfeiture at law of the money loaned a
criminal penalty. I remember it in its origin, its authorship, and the
circumstances under which it came into being. It was then deemed an
extravagant and barbarous law. I have never known its criminal feature
enforced until now. I presume that nearly all the community, as well as
Mr. Sage, were ignorant of the existence of a feature so anomalous in
all jurisprudence.

"I beg to add that the case cannot be deemed one calling for any
exceptional rigor; nor do any circumstances of aggravation exist to
justify the infliction of a special indignity upon a man of character
like Mr. Sage, doing an act, not _malum in se_, universally practised
and universally tolerated.

"With much respect,

                                "I remain,
                                        "Truly y'rs,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Hon. Albert Cardozo._"


                               "ROCHESTER, _June 27, 1869_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--Your favor is recd. I was sorry you was not at home when
I called, although I had no specific business. But it is a good thing
to have a general talk once in a while to see whether we look at things
alike. Politics seem to be drifting just now, but I think the general
tendency of public opinion is in our favor, and at the end of four
years we shall go in as a matter of necessity. As to investments--I
have precious little to invest, but I would be glad of an opportunity
to make some money, and if you see any good chance I hope you will let
me know.

"Are you not coming up this way this summer? We would all be glad to
see you and any of your family that can come with you.

  "Truly Yours,
                    "S. E. CHURCH."



  "ROCHESTER, _Jan. 27, '70_.

"My dear Sir,--This is my first letter written by myself. You inquire
what my physician thinks and what I think about my recovery. My
physician and others who have been consulted all say that my recovery
is certain and will be perfect, restoring me to full health, but that
it will require time on account of my great prostration.

"I have had the 'blues' occasionally, but I believe I shall recover and
be well. I am confined to my bed most of the time, but am able to sit
up some and walk a little.

"I would like to make some money. Is there not some speculation by
which I can do so?

"Why don't you get interviewed?

"Please write.

  "Yours truly,
                    "S. E. CHURCH."


  "NEW YORK, _Jany. 10, 1870_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Can you furnish me the following information:

"1. Copy of the record of _births_, deaths, and marriages in the family
of Isaac Tilden or any others of the name of Tilden, as shown in your

"2. Memorandum of the _names_ of _parties_, _dates_, and _substance_
of _deeds_ and _mortgages_ to and from the said Isaac Tilden and others
of the name of Tilden.

"If these are very numerous, a brief memorandum will answer.

"I can decide afterwards whether I will want copies, and, if so, what.

"3. How can access be got to the church records, and can you get the
information from those records as to the matters embraced under No. 1?

"4. Where is the probate office in which wills were kept from 1702 to
1760 or 1780?

"Can you look for will of Isaac Tilden conveniently?

"Of course, I will give you a reasonable compensation for any trouble
you may be at in procuring and sending me the information mentioned

                               "Truly yours,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Hon. T. P. Bissell, Esq.,_
          "_Hebron, Conn._"


  "_President's Office, Erie Railway Company, cor. 8th Ave. and 23d St._
                                "NEW YORK, _Feb. 11, 1870_.

  "S. J. TILDEN, Esq.

"DR. SIR,--Feb. 24, 1869, I paid you retainer for Erie R. R. Co.
$10,000. Subsequently, on March 5, at your request, I bought Flagg's
bonds, with the understanding that he will co-operate with us in A and
G matters, paying him $3038.29/100, being the face of the bonds and
accrued interest, compounded. At the same time that I paid you the
$10,000 I paid you also $1000 for Flagg's services to date as trustee,
for which you returned me voucher signed by A. C. Flagg for his

"I wish to ask you whether, in view of the foregoing, we are not
justified in being surprised to find you against us _without notice_?

"Please reply and oblige,

  "Yours truly,
                       "JAY GOULD."


  "MONDAY EVENING, _February 14, 1870_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--On my return late Saturday night I received yours of the
11th, and I take the earliest time at my disposal to reply.

"The retainer to which you allude grew out of and related to matters
wholly distinct and disconnected from the A. and G. W.,[52] and was
arranged without any agency of mine, and the subsequent payment of it
was purely voluntary on your part.

"No intimation was ever made to me that it had any reference to or was
to affect my relations to Mr. Flagg[53] as trustee under the several
mortgages of the A. and G. W.

"I cannot doubt that it was known to you that I had acted as his
counsel for more than a year previous. Nor did I ever suspect that you
did not perfectly understand that I was still at liberty to do so.

"Afterwards, when Mr. McHenry[54] sought to retain me in reference to
his scheme for reorganizing the A. and G. W., and asked me to name the
amount--having looked into all the relations of parties, and having
considered his plan--I declined to have anything to do with it in any
manner or for any purpose, and refused his retainer, repeatedly pressed
upon me.

"In one of these interviews I informed him that the suits which had
been commenced to foreclose the mortgages, if, as I understood them to
be, for I had not seen the papers, were objectionable, that, if a sale
were to be had, they must be reformed or abandoned, and new suit in
proper form, and with proper parties, instituted; that Mr. Flagg--at
the instance of any bondholders, and possibly in an extreme case
without their instance--ought to intervene for that purpose. To this
view he yielded.

"When the lease proposed to be made by the receiver was brought to
my attention some weeks ago, the counsel of the Erie called on me to
ask my consideration of it as counsel for Mr. Flagg and of the first
mortgage bondholders. He called on me to exercise my function in that
capacity; and had prolonged negotiations with me, not as an associate,
but as a representative of a different party.

"I heard no complaint until it happened that, while acting as counsel
for the trustees and bondholders, I did not do precisely what their
adversaries preferred to have done.

"Now, I answer your question: You 'are not justified in being surprised
that I am acting for the trustee and his bondholders "without notice"'
to you. You had notice all the time that I was at liberty so to act,
and much of the time that I was so acting. If you _are_ surprised,
you are under some misapprehension as to the situation. I would have
omitted no courtesy towards you. I had no suspicion that you did not
understand my position exactly as I understand it.

"When the question as to the proposed lease came before me, suddenly
and unexpectedly, it was with the declaration of Mr. Meyer that he was
'opposed to it, unless I could show him reasons to the contrary, which
he did not think I could.' I looked at it to see if I could devise
modifications which would make it safe for the bondholders.

"The difficulty of the case is the _short_ and _uncertain_ duration
of the lease. I was not able to see in it, _as drawn_, sufficient
guards to satisfy the bondholders. I spent a morning with Mr. Lane
and Mr. Meyer discussing amendments; and we left for Ohio, with the
understanding between him and us that we should have a conference there
upon the subject of amendment. It was only when the motion was on
and the argument was about beginning that we learned to our surprise
that Mr. Backus had decided that no negotiation for any modification
would be entertained. So the question had to be argued as it stood.
Just before I left Cleveland, Mr. Backus said to me that if we would
recognize the advance ($1,390,000) as to be ultimately paid, he would
do everything to give us security in the operation of the lease; and,
if, when I got to New York, it was thought advisable to negotiate,
he would come here on your request. After my return I _did think_ it
advisable to consider the question, and so said to Mr. Lane; but he
declined. Shortly after, the motion in Philadelphia, of which Mr.
Cuyler had given notice, in pursuance of a reservation he had caused to
be made in the original order, came on.

"I allude to these circumstances to show that I have treated you fairly
and considerately while in an adversary position on this question of
temporary lease.

"One word as to Mr. Flagg. The payment of the $1000 for his services
was due him, and should have been provided for. I first called the
attention of Col. Stebbins to it, and then yours. The purchase of the
bonds of Mr. Flagg--to a trifling amount--was no greater favor than had
been accorded on a large scale to parties who had stood in the way of
the arrangement for the close of the receivership and the making of the
lease. That he had taken no selfish care for himself did not seem any
reason why he should be treated with less consideration. I submitted
the matter to you as the proper party. You treated it with equity and
courtesy. You are entitled to the same spirit from Mr. Flagg. But you
could not have supposed that he would be unfaithful in any respect to
his trust.

"In conclusion, what the first mortgage bondholders want is:

"1. That the suit for foreclosure should be prosecuted, in proper form
and with proper parties, to give a good title at the sale, and that
they be represented in these suits by their own agent and not by agents
of any adversary party.

"2. That, if a sale and purchase of the property be made which
operates to discharge their lien, with or without an agreement for
reorganization, the title be taken by satisfactory agents for their

"That in the mean time the property be protected and further debts in
priority to their rights be avoided.

"With these conditions observed, the first mortgage bondholders have
every desire to preserve the best relations with the Erie, which is
the natural and preferred connection. That is my advice. That is their

"If you wish any conference on the points on which differences have
arisen as to the proposed lease, or as to the general relations of the
two roads, I shall be happy to obtain an appointment for that purpose.

"In my judgment the faculties of the parties would be better employed
in devising a complete and permanent harmony of interests than in
litigation. I think, also, that to attempt to discard from the
negotiations the divisional bonds which represent most of the value in
the property is a practical mistake.

                      "Very respectfully, Yours, &c.,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_To Jay Gould, Esq._"


  "NEW YORK, _Feb. 21, 1870_.

"DR. SIR,--I am in receipt of your note on the subject of the retainer
of $10,000 paid you by this Co. I can only say that it was understood
and treated by the company as a general retainer, and the voucher so
states. The only matters I have consulted you in reference to have been
A. and G. W. matters. Knowing the pressure of your other engagements, I
felt like troubling you as little as possible, and I therefore simply
said to Mr. Lane to consult you if necessary, but to trouble you as
little as possible. The reason I could not consent to Mr. McHenry
giving you a retainer was the fear that his interests and ours would
clash, as I did not have confidence in his schemes.

                     "JAY GOULD."

"P. S.--I shall be happy to meet the other parties on the subject of an
arrangement at any time.

  "J. G."


  "NEW YORK, _April 15th, 1870_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The election of a chief judge and six associate judges
of the Court of Appeals--which will take place on the 17th of May--and
the nomination, at the Democratic State Convention to be held at
Rochester on the 27th of April, of our candidates for the chief judge
and _four_ of the six associate judges, are events of great interest.

"The Democratic party has never hitherto failed to supply in the court
of last resort judges of undoubted moral and official purity and
integrity, who have commanded the confidence and reverence of the whole
people, and who have, by their abilities and professional learning,
illustrated the jurisprudence of our State and country.

"In the present tendency of our times--towards a weakening of the trust
of the people in the judiciary--it is more than ever important that we
hold our standard of character and qualifications _high_.

"A degradation of the administration of justice is the last calamity of
a republic.

"Distrust or doubt in the public mind as to the administration of
justice, even if unfounded, involves half the evils of an actual

"At this moment--when we are about to form our highest court, _entirely
anew_, and _for a long period_--it is our duty to give attention to
the subject, to withdraw ourselves for a little time from our private
avocations in order to fulfil our highest obligations as citizens of a

"_First_, special care ought to be exercised that our most _wise_,
_discreet_, and _disinterested_ men be chosen to, and be induced to
attend, the nominating convention at Rochester on the 27th.

"They should come there to confer for the public good, in a spirit of
_harmony_, conciliation, and surrender of all personal prejudices and
all personal antipathies to the great object of forming _absolutely the
best ticket possible_.

"_Secondly_, assuming--as we may, with confidence--that we shall so
act at the convention as to start our canvass with the favorable
opinion of the public and of the bar of the State, still in a special
election held at an unusual time, and in so short a canvass, prompt
and efficient measures should be taken in each county to organize a
movement to bring out our vote and elect our ticket.

"I ask your co-operation for these objects.

  "Very truly yours,
                       "S. J. TILDEN."



                                "NEW YORK, _April 20, '70_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--My letter, which passed yours in the mails, if I
recollect its contents aright, is, or implies a practical answer to
your last, so far as we can see until we meet in Rochester. I have
trusted to it for a day or two, while I am engrossed with measures not
capable of being deferred, and which seem essential to the convention
and election.

"As to candidates, I have carefully kept myself free; saying
uniformly--in quite a number of cases where communications have been
made to me personally or by letter--that I intended to be perfectly and
absolutely open when opportunity should be had, at the convention and
just before, for consultation with our friends to do what might seem
best. I am not committed to Comstock, unless it be implied that I would
not decide against him until that time, from such expressions made to
him and to others.

"He, undoubtedly, has counted on the nomination as chief judge; has
believed that Allen was for him, and only aimed to be associated with

"While I have kept more cautiously free than Kernan and others, I
wish to treat Comstock with delicacy and kindness. Indeed, as I look
upon my own future, totally void of any conscious desire for the most
honorable of official labors, it seems to me I feel more difficulty in
wounding--any more than I at last must--those who are capable of fixing
strong affections on objects of an elevated ambition.

"I need not say how strong--and stronger than in other cases--is the
personal interest I feel in promoting what shall be finally agreed to
be best in respect to your future career, or how disposed I should be
to give the prevailing weight to your own ideas on that subject.

"While it is not safe to assume the action of a convention, I should
think that besides those who will go for you on public grounds and from
personal regard, there will be an element which would like to remove
you from the field of active politics. I thought, from December to very
recently, this was visible in respect to me, and perhaps there may be
even greater motive in respect to you in that you were more likely to
become a rival to some existing powers.

"Before I had quite finished my note, which lay over from last evening,
yours of yesterday came.

"You perhaps interpret it rather more strongly than I intended. I aimed
only to suggest the topic, and naturally stated the _cons_ rather than
the _pros_.

"I will endeavor to see you, as you suggest, at Albion, before the
convention, unless something happens to make this inadvisable.

"And letter-writing is so insufficient for such topics that I reserve
the discussion till then.

"Meantime, consider what is the method of proceeding in nominating the
_four_. Is that to be done singly, or on one ballot?

                                "In haste,
                                       "Yours truly,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Hon. S. E. Church._

"Make my special regards to Mrs. and Miss Church."


  "ALBION, _April 20, 1870_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your kind favor received. I infer that you are opposed
to my taking a nomination for chief judge, and it is quite likely you
are right about it; but I feel that there has been a great _break_
in my life, and that it may be as well to start on a new track. My
reputation is now fair, and on the bench I can keep it so, until I want
to use it for my own benefit and that of my friends, and I think I can
aid you politically as much as I can to remain as I am. I shall, of
course, object to being regarded as '_shelved_' by the operation, and
yet such may be the result, and some people will doubtless favor my
nomination for that reason. _They may be awfully mistaken, but this is

"I shall not dare to go to Rochester next week, lest the excitement
might produce a relapse; but you must come here and see me the day
before the convention, which you can easily do, and then we can talk
the whole thing up--as you say, it cannot be written. Don't fail to

  "Truly yours,
                     "S. E. CHURCH."

"Mrs. C. and Nellie send regards."


  "NEW YORK, _Apl. 21, 1870_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am obliged by the kind terms of your note of
yesterday, which were also repeated to me by Mr. Frost, who called on
me. But I do not change the feelings with which I regard the nomination
for the chief judge, and have regarded it since it was presented
to my view in December, or weakened the settled preference I have
for freedom and relaxation over even such an honorable distinction.
Notwithstanding such a definitive purpose on my part, I hope that you
will take care to send a good delegate, because you and I will probably
never have another chance of doing so much service to the community in
which we live, or to the profession to which we belong, as in securing
the best possible selection for judge of the judicial court under a
comparatively permanent tenure.

  "Very Truly,
           "Yours, &c.,
                     S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _Apl. 22nd, '70_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I shall regret it extremely if you cannot extricate
yourself from the embarrassments which you mention and I appreciate;
and yet come to the convention, if not as a delegate, at least as an
outsider. Such an occasion will not be likely to occur in your time
or mine, and ought we not seize it to do something of real value to
our four millions of people and to pay the debt which Lord Coke says a
lawyer owes to his profession?

"I have often thought and talked of you as eminently suitable to take
a part in the reconstructed court, but have heard that you were not
ready to sacrifice the large gains of your professional career. You
are over-modest in the suggestion of one or two friends desiring you
to come to a different conclusion; for I have talked with a large
number who looked to you, and whose motives cannot be imputed as mere
friendship, but spring from a sense of public utility, in securing to
the public service your abilities and independent integrity. Indeed,
Grover told me some time ago that he would not be a candidate if you
would be; and I think the same concession would have been generally
made, at least at an earlier day.

"With respect to myself, I cannot reconcile myself to the idea of
being tied up for a series of years. I prefer freedom and a period
of relaxation to any honors which involve permanent and laborious
duties. In December, and repeatedly since, the suggestion from Albany
has been made to me that I might have a general support from that and
this part of the State for chief, in which those not supposed to be
the most friendly would concur, and a considerable number of similar
tenders have come to me from other quarters; but to all, by letter
and verbally, and among others to Cassidy, each, and Allen--and to
Comstock, who is an affirmatively [_sic_] candidate, to Kernan and
O'Conor--I have stated my purpose, and I have no disposition to change
it. It is not that I undervalue these great trusts, but I am content
that they go to those to whose more robust natures and physical vigor
the same considerations which influence me are not applicable, and
to those in whose peculiar condition they are an object of laudable
ambition. If I can help to get a good selection, and then to elect the
ticket, I shall consider myself as concentrating in a few days all the
public service I could perform in the whole 14 years; and so having
completely acquitted myself to my day and generation, become entitled
to a play spell.

"Now, my dear sir, it is in just this matter that I regret to lose your
co-operation. _You_, if present as a delegate or as an outsider, could
help largely in the selection of members from all parts of the state.
For this city--if the bar were to control as it now stands--they would
unite on Rappallo, but whether he can get any political support or not
remains to be seen. He has been one of Vanderbilt's counsel, but I have
often put him with you when I have said that, with the best quality of
men, that consideration could be wholly disregarded.

"Can you extricate yourself from the embarrassments to which you
allude--or be neutral on that case--and come and help as to others?

"Remember that for your time as well as mine this occasion is not
likely to recur.

"I sat down to say this, and must beg you to excuse me for the long
letter I have poured out upon you.

  "Very Truly,
           "Yours, &c.,
                     "S. J. TILDEN."

"I have omitted to speak of Church. If he becomes a candidate, as
is probable, though not decided, he will be a strong one before the



  "NEW YORK, _June 2d, 1870_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--You will recollect that some time ago I requested you
to give me a statement in respect to the circumstances attending an
arrangement communicated to me by you in the winter of 1869, by which
the Erie Railway Company paid me a retainer of $10,000 in connection
with the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company, a majority of the
stock of which was then owned by the Erie Railway Company. You deferred
it, in consequence of the pressure upon time. I should now like to have
you furnish me the statement.

"The reason I applied to you was that my original information as to the
purposes of this retainer was derived exclusively from you; and that it
was under this information, in no respect changed by anything derived
from other sources, that I accepted the payment. The facts, so far as
they are within my knowledge, are these: Early in 1869--I presume it
must have been in January of that year--you asked me to consent to
become a director of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company and a
member of the executive committee of that company, holding the balance
of power between the other two members in case of their disagreement.
You stated the object to be to make an amiable arrangement between the
parties then litigating in an Ohio court, whereby the railroad could
be taken out of the possession of the receiver and restored to the
management of the company; and that as a part of the same compromise
you were to become a director with others who were to be agreed upon.
You will remember that I replied that I was already burdened with work
in the capacity of director in other companies, which consumed an
inconvenient share of my time and thought, and without remuneration;
that the tendency of such work was to become more encroaching; that
I had entered upon it in every instance only under the influence of
existing relations, and was desirous to relieve myself of such duties
as I had already done in some cases; and that I was unwilling to take
such a trust in respect to a company in which I had no interest, and
had never had any relations. You and Mr. McCullough repeatedly pressed
me not to positively refuse; and when I was elected it was without
any assent on my part. One day you mentioned to me that Mr. Jay Gould
had proposed that the Erie should pay me $10,000, the Cleveland and
Pittsburg $5000, and the Fort Wayne $5000. I certainly understood that
those payments were proposed to be made in respect to services or
benefits expected in connected with the arrangement for the change in
the condition and management of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Company,
and nothing else. Your communication related to that matter and to
that alone. You will remember that when you mentioned the proposal
to me I made no comment, and manifested no interest in it or desire
that it should be adopted. Afterwards, when Mr. Gould mentioned the
matter to me he made no further or different explanation, but spoke of
it as if it were a matter which I already completely understood. He
subsequently, a second time, mentioned that he was going to send me
a check, and about the last of February did send it. I never did or
said anything about the matter except to accept and receipt for the
check. The Cleveland and Pittsburg Company, at a meeting when I was
not present, but believe you were, adopted a resolution appointing me
their counsel, with a monthly salary at the rate of $5000 a year. I had
supposed they would have put it in one payment, but they adopted such
form as they pleased. The Fort Wayne never mentioned the subject to
me, nor I to it. I had relations to it, but none to the Cleveland and
Pittsburg or to the Erie. The proposition to make the payments by those
two companies was purely their own; the amounts were fixed without any
consultation with me, and on their own estimate of the utility of the
arrangement to them. In expressing to you my repugnance to undertaking
the services, I did not contemplate any condition as to pecuniary
compensation. Nor can I now say that any such consideration was a
principal inducement to my aiding in the trust. I could not foresee
how much of labor or trouble I was to undertake. I did not desire
more business, but less. I had during the two years before repeatedly
declined retainers from the Erie and from its adversaries. The object
of the arrangement was attained. The receivership was closed and the
administration of the road was restored to the Cleveland and Pittsburg
Company. I served out my term as director, as member of the executive
committee, and as counsel of the company, and gave every necessary
attention to those duties. When this was done I deemed that I had
performed all I had undertaken, and that the C. and P. and the Erie had
realized all they had contemplated in the arrangement which they had
proposed, and in the payments which they had voluntarily made.

"It was not until in February last, when I was acting for the trustees
of the bondholders of the Atlantic and Great Western Railway Company,
that I learned with surprise that Mr. Gould entertained the idea that
the implied engagement in accepting the retainer before mentioned
extended beyond the affair of the Cleveland and Pittsburg, to which the
arrangement exclusively related. I answered him at the time. But the
circumstance that he did entertain such an idea induces me to address
you this letter.

                            "With much respect,
                                        "Yours very truly,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Hon. George W. Cass._"


  "_June 10, '70._

"I have this day sold to Samuel J. Tilden a bay horse gelding called
Topic, six years old, for fifteen hundred dollars; and I hereby warrant
the said horse to be sound and serviceable in every particular, and to
be kind and gentle in use under the saddle and in single and double
harness; and I do further agree that such sale is made on the following
special conditions: _first_, I agree that if the said horse, after he
shall have been used, shall not in all respects suit the said Tilden, I
will, upon notice at any time within one year from this date, take back
the said horse Topic, and return the said purchase money, but without
interest; _secondly_, if the said Tilden shall prefer I will give to
him in exchange for Topic any horse which I may bring to New York for
market within the year, on fair and reasonable terms of exchange,
provided that the said horse Topic shall be fairly treated by the said
Tilden in the mean time, and shall be also at the risk of the said
Tilden in respect to accidental injuries, and that the delivery of the
said horse Topic, in return or exchange, shall not be required before
April first, 1871. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this
10th of June, 1870.

                                                  "LOGAN RAILEY.

  "_Witness, Geo. W. Smith._"


  "_Strictly private._

                                             "SUNDAY, 5-1/2 P.M.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I regret to inform you that there is a great deal
of bad feeling abroad among _our_ friends respecting the arrest of
Connolly,[55] and _you_ and Mr. Havemeyer are blamed and denounced for
it, and for deserting him in the hour of his need.

_Of course, as far as you are concerned_, the sentiment I speak of is
baseless and unfounded, and I have endeavored to set you right, and I
think have succeeded; but as to Mr.

H., there is but one feeling, and that of universal condemnation.

Mr. Connolly is still in duress, and I am afraid he cannot get the
required bail. What's to be done?

I mean to stand by him and sustain him now, for under my advice
(together with the urgent appeals of Mr. H.) he resigned, and the
result is imprisonment; and as Mr. Peckham says on his affidavit, they
were awaiting only his resignation to accomplish what has been done.

"I write this to you in strict confidence.

"I think you ought to know what is going on. I am your true friend, and
do not intend to have you placed in a false position.

"I am going to New York Hotel (room 131), where Connolly is. Unless you
see some insuperable objection, I think you ought to call this morning
and see him.

                               "Truly yours,
                                             SAML. G. COURTNEY."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"



"_Centralism_ in the _government_, and _corruption_ in _administration_
are the twin evils of our times. They threaten with swift destruction
civil liberty and the whole fabric of our free institutions.

"_National Government._

"The Democratic party was originally organized by Jefferson to oppose
these evils. It ruled the country for fifty of the seventy years of
the present century, and protected us from disunion on the one hand
and from centralism on the other, and from corruption. Under twelve
years of rule of the Republican party, the Federal government is
rapidly usurping power from the localities and from individuals, and
has become more corrupt than was ever imagined possible. The masses
of the Republicans, like the masses of all parties, are honest. No
doubt some allowance ought to be made for the effect of a great war.
But the system of false finance which has corrupted us into a nation
of gamblers was as unnecessary as corrupting. And the principle and
measures of the Republican party, their centralism, tariffs not for
revenue but to control the labor and capital of the people, legislative
grants and jobs of all kinds tend to corruption. And the ideal standard
of their statesmen is lower than any ever held by the followers of
Jefferson and Jackson.

"_State Government._

"In 1846, twenty-five years ago, I went to the Assembly to sustain the
administration of Silas Wright. Not a man in either House was even
suspected of corruption. The Democracy under Martin Van Buren, Silas
Wright, William L. Marcy, and Azariah C. Flagg had ruled the State
during the life of the old Constitution from 1821 to 1846. They were
all men not only of transcendent ability, but of personal purity. They
gathered around them men of like character in all the counties. They
wielded party power not only in favor of good measures, but in favor
of good men. No corrupt Senator or Assemblyman could live in their
atmosphere. The race ran out.

"From 1846 to 1870--23 years--the Democracy never had a majority in the
Senate, and but twice a small majority in the Assembly. Those bodies
became what the Republicans, and the party from which they sprang, have
made them. When William H. Seward and Thurlow Weed came into power the
character of the legislative bodies fell in an instant, and during all
the 23 years of Republican ascendancy it continued to fall."


[42] A James Gordon Bennett, Senior, the founder of the New York

[43] A fellow-citizen of Governor Seymour in Oneida County. Later an
unsuccessful candidate for attorney-general, and subsequent successful
candidate and member of the United States Senate.

[44] Governor of Pennsylvania.

[45] For this speech delivered in the Democratic State convention
assembled in Albany on the 11th March, 1868, to select delegates to
the convention which was to nominate candidates for the Presidency and
Vice-Presidency at the ensuing election in November, see _Writings and
Speeches of Tilden_, Vol. 1, p. 394.

[46] General Dix had been appointed by President Johnson Minister to
France in 1866.

[47] Mr. Loomis was best known in his day as an associate with David D.
Field in drafting the Civil Code for this State. He had no sympathy,
however, with the Lincoln government, its origin or conduct. He was a
man deservedly of much influence by virtue of his sterling character
and good-sense. He exerted no inconsiderable influence in shaping the
revised Constitution of the State of New York in 1866.

[48] Mr. Allen was a kinsman of Sandford E. Church; had been a
Collector of Internal Revenue; was Comptroller of the State at the date
of this letter, and subsequently became a judge of the Court of Appeals.

[49] Frank P. Blair was a son of the former editor of the Washington
Globe; he had been a Member of Congress from Missouri; he served
in the Union Army during the Civil War, and attained the rank
of brigadier-general. He was nominated in the fall of 1868 as
Vice-President on the Democratic ticket which selected Horatio
Seymour, of New York, for President. General Grant was selected by the
Republican party as its candidate for President, with Colfax, of New
York, for Vice-President. The Republican ticket was successful.

[50] Mr. Walker had been a Senator from the State of Mississippi, and
subsequently Secretary of the Treasury under President Polk.

[51] A member of Congress from California.

[52] Atlantic & Great Western Railroad.

[53] Hon. Azariah C. Flagg, former comptroller both of the State and
late of the city of New York.

[54] James McHenry, the promoter of the Atlantic & Great Western.

[55] For an account of this grievance of Mr. Connolly and his relations
with the Tweed ring and with Mr. Tilden, see Bigelow's _Life of
Tilden_, Vol. I., pp. 182-210.




                                 "NEW LEBANON, _Aug. 1871_.

"MY DEAR CASSIDY,--I think you had better note the tone of the 30 or 40
extracts which the _Times_ daily publishes from journals of all parts
of the United States--nearly all administration, but a few Democratic.
It indicates the _mode_ of using the exposures of the _Times_ which are
employed throughout the country.

"Two ideas are sufficiently apparent now:

"1. That the evils and abuses in the local government of the city of
New York are general characteristics of the Democratic party, and would
occur in the Federal government if that party should come into power at

"This argument, fallacious though it be, is likely to satisfy the
Republican mind and to animate it to effectiveness; and to confuse
and embarrass the Democratic mind, and render it ineffective, if not
irresolute. The immense preponderance of the Republicans in journalism,
and the situation of this local cancer, directly under the focus of
that journalism, which makes it more conspicuous to the eye of the
country than a hundred such would be if existing in remote or obscure
parts--the peculiar and remarkable clearness and certainty of the
proofs compared with the inferential and argumentative nature of the
evidence in such cases usually, are circumstances which go far to
enable the Republicans to succeed in propagating this idea. We are out.
Our case requires not merely firmness in holding our position by our
veterans, but affirmative, aggressive action, resulting in accessions
from the hostile or neutral, captures from the enemy. If the higher
_morale_--the better weapons, the stronger ammunition--are not _with_
us, but _against_ us, how are we to be capable of the kind of warfare
necessary to the situation?

"2. The second idea is that the leading Democratic journals _defend_
the wrongs alleged, thus impliedly adopting them or admitting a
responsibility for them, which does not allow of disavowal and

"A mode of discussion which countenances such a construction is not
only wrong but foolish, both in respect to the party and the journal.
All that can be conceded to the accused is the benefit of whatever
doubts may exist as to their guilt. It will not do to set off similar
wrongs alleged against the other party, for that, if frequently
repeated, will gradually foster in the public mind the conclusion
that we admit these wrongs to be properly carried to our side of the
account. The idea should be kept _all the while_ before the public mind
that the Democratic party is not responsible for these wrongs; that it
will be foremost in punishing the authors and foremost in adopting all
measures necessary to prevent their recurrence. The _first_ impression
is important, and persistent repetitions of that impression are
necessary to affect the public mind. The point of the article which was
commended by Mr. Kernan, Gov. Beach, and myself needs to be presented
again and again--perhaps with even more distinctness--until it attracts
more public attention than it seems to have done. This is especially
necessary in view of the articles in the _World_."


                                   "ALBION, _Aug. 1, 1871_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--The ticket this fall must be made up of sound men who
will inspire confidence, or we shall be beaten. I think the party in
the interior are all right if properly attended to. The awful 'botch'
made in suppressing the riot, and the ventilation of financial matters
in N. Y., are calculated to weaken our strength in the country, and
something must be done to counteract their influence. Is it not a good
time to dismember the New York ring? How does Hall relish the position
in which he has been forced? It is so long since I have heard from you
that I almost think you have forgotten me. Are you not coming West
before the State convention? I have got to living now, and shall be
glad to see you. At any rate, write me.

                               "Truly yours,
                                                 "S. E. CHURCH."



  "UTICA, _Aug. 12, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--In the matter of the 'caucus,' do nothing until you are
called in. In the mean time let the Republican surgeons hack and cut
away. There can be no better time. When the public mind is turned to
the question of frauds, etc., etc., there will be a call for the books
at Washington as well as in the city of New York. I think a spasm of
virtue will run through the body politic. Business is dull. The farmers
are getting poor, with no look ahead of better times. Immigration,
railroads, and machinery are crowding the markets with provisions and
breadstuffs. Taxes are now felt as they have not been since 1860.
The corruption in our party is local. In the Republican party it is
pervading. We can lose nothing by stirring up questions of frauds. I
hope I shall meet you soon. In the mean time see more 'devil opements,
and can judge better of the course to be taken.

  "Truly yours,
                  "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


  "NEW YORK, _August 12, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Returning to the city two days ago, I found your note.

"The better way to see me would be to meet me at Saratoga. When can you
be there? Communicate with me by telegraph, if necessary.

"I am not unobservant of the situation. The question is what are our
people morally able to do? Would you allow your opinion to be public,
and attend at the place where a convention should be held? What would
Jarvis Lord do? What DeWolf?

"Some of our people from the interior think the recent exposures will
not hurt us much in the country districts. That is not my opinion.
I should be sorry to think the demoralization is so great that such
things would not hurt us.

"We have to face the question, whether we will fall with the wrongdoers
or whether we will separate from them and take our chances of possible
defeat now, with resurrection hereafter; possible chances, I say, for
if the party could act _unitedly_ I do not despair that we could save
it now.

"I have not time to write now, but I hasten to acknowledge your note.

"The best immediate thing for you to do is to have the _Union_[56]
begin at once prudently to disavow and denounce the wrongdoers, and
educate our people.

  "In haste,
       "Very truly Yours,
                   "S. J. TILDEN."


  "3 WEST 21ST ST., _2 Sept., 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am just going to my country-place at Westhampton,
Long Island, and am sorry that I cannot have a few minutes with you to
talk about city affairs. It seems to me that every honest man must be
sincerely desirous of a thorough investigation; for, independently of
the wrong to the taxpayers, it must be evident that popular government
cannot be maintained unless the authors and sharers of the plunder, of
which we have unquestionable evidence, can be discovered and disgraced.
I earnestly hope that you, who stand before the community with as
enviable a reputation for integrity as any man in it, and who can do
so much to effect the object in view, will take an active part in the
movement which is in progress.

"I wished to see you on another matter. I have looked for two years
in vain for my war-horse. He has disappeared. I have, therefore, got
another horse--not a war-horse, I hope. If you have not parted with my
saddle and bridle, are you willing to let me have them? As my seat was
molded to the saddle by six years of daily use, I should not probably
find another so well fitted to it. If you will do so, and at the same
time let me know their value, you will greatly oblige me.[57]

                            "Yours very truly,
                                                   "JOHN A. DIX."

  "_Hon. Saml. J. Tilden._

"My address is 3 W. 21st St. My son forwards my letters when I am out
of town."


  "NEW YORK, _Sept. 11, 1871_.

"DEAR SIR,--The time between the meeting of the State convention and
the election being a little shorter than usual, it has been deemed
advisable to begin preparations for the canvass _at once_, so that
even more than the ordinary period for organization will be afforded.
The poll-book for your district has been already sent to the chairman
of your county committee, and may be had on application to him.

"The Democracy have never been called on to act when _wisdom_ and
_courage_, and _devotion_ to _principle_ and to _right_ were more
needed than at the State convention about to be held.

"I appeal to you, therefore, to attend the primary meeting which will
choose delegates to your Assembly district or county convention, and to
send to that convention your most discreet and best citizens, in order
that they in turn may choose as delegates to the State convention men
_eminent_ for _judgment_, _integrity_, and _honor_, and who have, in
the largest degree, the trust and confidence of their fellow-citizens.

"_Centralism_ in _government_ and _corruption_ in _administration_ are
the twin evils of our times. They threaten with swift destruction not
only civil liberty, but the whole fabric of our free institutions.

"The Democratic party was organized by Jefferson to oppose these
identical evils. It conducted the national government for fifty of
the seventy years of the present century, and gave the people safety,
prosperity, and happiness.

"The present demoralization has happened under the ascendency of the
Republican party; and though the mass of them, like the mass of all
parties, are honest in their intentions, and some allowance ought to be
made for the demoralizing influence of a great civil war, more of these
results are to be ascribed to the utterly false and corrupting system
of finance unnecessarily adopted by these Republican administrations;
and there is no doubt the tendency of the principles and measures of
the Republican party is unfavorable to purity in government.

"In the State, the Democracy ruled for twenty-five years--from 1821 to
1846--under Van Buren, Wright, Marcy, and Flagg; and corruption, always
condemned and punished by them, was almost unknown.

"In the 24 years from 1847 to 1870 the Democracy never had a majority
in the Senate. Twice only did it have a slender majority in the

"The Republicans had the legislative power of the State, and that is
now the government both at Washington and at Albany.

"The Republicans made the morals of the legislative bodies what they
have recently been. When Seward and Weed took the place of Wright,
Marcy, and Flagg, public and official morality fell in the twinkling of
an eye.

"Even as to the city government of New York, until 1870, it was exactly
what the Republican legislatures made it. The Republican party was born
in 1855. In 1856 it swept the State by 80,000. In the Senate of 1857
the Democrats had but 4 out of 32 members; in the Assembly, but 37 out
of 128.

"Then the Republicans made the city charter under which we have lived
until 1870. At the same session the same hand which created the
Republican party created also the supervisor's board, which has been
the source of all the corruptions in our city government.

"The league between corrupt Republicans and corrupt Democrats which
was formed during Republican ascendency was too strong for honest men
in 1870. The charter of that year had the votes of nearly all the
Republicans. I denounced it in a public speech.

"Wherever the gangrene of corruption has reached the Democratic party
we must take a knife and cut it out by the roots.

  "S. J. TILDEN."


                           "NEW YORK, _September 16, 1871_.


"SIR,--I have considered the question which you have submitted to me;
and, to prevent the possibility of misapprehension, reduce my advice to

"1. On the assumption of your innocence of the charges made
against you, I do not consider resignation of your office as your
proper course. Your duty is to give every facility to the fullest
investigation, and to abide the result.

"2. In your answer to the request of Mayor Hall for your resignation,
you have stated that your official acts which have been impeached were
'supervised and approved by the superior vigilance' of Mayor Hall;
that equal responsibility for them attaches to him, and that, in his
affidavits in the pending litigation, those acts were adopted and
vindicated by him.

"Even if you are conscious of having done wrong in your trust, you owe
it to the community not to commit another wrong, but to make every
reparation within your power.

"To surrender your office into the hands of a confederate would be a
fresh betrayal of your trust; and, while it might damage yourself,
would fail of doing justice to the community. You practically make
your own successor. As the law now stands, he can assume your office
only by an arrangement to which you are a party to create a vacancy
for him. The man you give place to ought not to be the tool of those
implicated in the transactions which excite the public distrust and
alarm. He should be the nominee of the citizens now seeking to protect
the people. In that way alone can he have the confidence of the public,
or sustain the credit of the city.

"No man selected by Mayor Hall can, without some other moral support
from the community, have the public confidence. He will be compromised
by a previous understanding with the Rodin of the 'ring' or by the
acceptance of the favor.

"Fortunately, the law affords a perfect solution of the case. By sec.
3, chap. 574 of the laws of 1871, you are authorized to appoint a
deputy comptroller who, in addition to his other powers, possesses
every power and shall perform every duty belonging to the office
of comptroller whenever the said comptroller shall by due written
authority, and during a period to be specified in such authority,
'designate and authorize the said deputy comptroller to possess the
power and perform the duty aforesaid.'

"My advice to you is to forthwith appoint Andrew H. Green as such
deputy comptroller; to leave him to exercise the full powers of your
office without conditions and without interference; with complete
custody of all books and papers belonging to your office; with the
appointment of all persons whom he may think necessary to protect the
public property and interests, and to enable him to carry out the most
searching investigations, and to aid the committees appointed for that

"I have carefully considered the selection I recommend. Mr. Green has
knowledge and experience in the affairs of the city; has the most
reliable character for integrity; has no relations which could mislead
him by bad influences, and is strong in the public confidence. If you
adopt my advice I shall insist on his accepting the disagreeable duty
for the sake of the public interest."


  "_Sept. 16, 1871._

"MY DEAR SIR,--In advising the comptroller as to certain questions
which he has submitted to me, I have deemed it best to adopt the
shortest and most direct way to get at the condition of affairs in
the comptroller's office and of the city government, in order that
the public may have the earliest information relating [thereto]. To
this end, I have advised the comptroller to appoint you his deputy,
and to commit to you all the powers of his office without conditions
or restrictions. This he has consented to do, and I enclose his
appointment without conditions. I have no doubt that this position in
the present condition of affairs will be most distasteful to you, but
I deem it your duty promptly to accept its duties, and to do what you
can to aid in restoring order and system in the financial affairs of
the city. I have advised him not to resign, but as the best thing that
can be done, under the circumstances, to appoint a deputy in whom the
public has confidence. Of course you cannot accept the position with
any restrictions as to the future or the past.

  "Yours truly,
                 "W. F. HAVEMEYER."


                                                  "_Sept. 16, 1871_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--The office of deputy comptroller of this city having
become vacant by the removal of Mr. Richard A. Storrs, I hereby
designate and appoint you, Andrew H. Green, for that office, deputy
comptroller of the city of New York, and earnestly press upon you the
acceptance of this position. The critical juncture in the affairs of
the city and the condition of public sentiment seem to demand that the
important transactions of my department should be conducted by one
possessing the unlimited confidence of the public. In determining upon
the action required by the present exigency, I have been guided by the
advice of gentlemen whose respectability and prominence elevate them
above all suspicion of unfair or interested motive. I am endeavoring to
act with sincere regard to the public interest and to insure it against
possible sacrifice, and pursuing the authority and phraseology of the
statute I hereby designate and authorize you to possess the power and
perform all and every duty belonging to the office of comptroller of
the city of New York from the time of this appointment to the first day
of January, 1872.

  "Very Respectfully."


  "N. Y., _Sept. 29, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have given the best attention in my power to the
matters mentioned yesterday.

"1. My mind is fully and conclusively made up as to the convention. I
will not attend it for this single reason. The post of duty on these
occasions is _that_ in which one can be most useful. In my opinion this
little use of my nativity is the proper _venue_ for my action. Appoint
me, if you like, give me a respectable alternate, and I will write
_him_ a letter.

"2. I think it would be very inexpedient to take Mr. Green out of the
city for 24 hours. He ought _not_ to go to Rochester.

"3. I have little knowledge of Connolly, and no access to him, nor
would I be willing to have any. Consider:

"1. Must you not in resolutions, etc., body forth the determination to
compel robbers to disgorge and even to inflict punishment, etc.?

"2. Will 'Slippery Dick' stick to his integrity steadily for weeks, in
the face of a hazard like this?


"3. Is it not desirable to strike whilst the iron is hot, get a
resignation and the appointment of 'Handy Andy,' as I perceive the slow
wits of the opposition begin to call him? It is not a bad name, and
might do a man good who sought preferment, if he could get it to stick.
Handy Andy blundered, to be sure, but he was faithful and honest in
the last degree, and his blunders were true Irish bulls; they excited
merriment, thus doing good to the souls and bodies of the observers; a
certain _naïve_ wit hung around each erroneous conception that evinced
a good motive; besides, there was in each a singular approximation to
cleverness and a kind Providence always effectively gainsaid any actual
evil in the results.

                               "Yrs. truly,
                                                   "CH. O'CONOR."

  "_Mr. Tilden._"


                                                "(_Sept. 30, 1871._)


"Anti-Tammany organizations letter received. All have united on
delegation headed by Charles O'Conor and Oswald Ottendorfer, and filled
by our strongest representative citizens. Nearly all will personally
attend. O'Conor gives his soul to the movement, and considers
compromise as equivalent to ruin in State and nation. That is also my
opinion. Action and not words can save us, but it must be complete and
decisive action, and must fully satisfy the public opinion and the
immense masses who now accept our lead and are strong enough to carry
us through to success. We have no danger except in half-measured and
half-hearted counsels."


  "_Oct. 2, 1871._

"DEAR SIR,--I have not time to call upon you this morning, although I
wish to see you very much.

"If you should be in Wall St. early, perhaps you will step in.

"I wish to show you my letter. It may not be altogether satisfactory to
you, and, if not, perhaps it should not be sent.

"I stated to you that I had some invincible scruples concerning the
men, or rather the organizations who, acting as reformers, should be
admitted as anti-ring representatives.

"Suddenly and without my consent my name appeared in the papers in
a certain association not satisfactory. I have had great difficulty
in reaching a satisfactory conclusion as to my course, increased by
the circumstance that I have not had a single human being to consult
with, and, in such things, one does not like to be alone. But my mind
is now fully made up, and my action will be decisive, accordingly. I
shall regret if in your eagerness to fix and announce my enlistment any
laudable design on your part shall be injuriously affected. But for
such a result, if it ensues, I shall feel blameless.

  "I am, Dear Sir,
              "Yrs. truly,
                       "CH. O'CONOR."


  "UTICA, _October 8, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have not been well since I got back from Rochester,
but I have turned over the state of things in my mind, and I now sit
down to give you the ends I have reached. When I left home I thought
our friends had made up their minds to take high ground. When I met
Lord and others at your room I saw at once 'the switch had been
changed.' When Lord asked about the ticket I knew that a party had been
made up to which you and Kernan and myself were not to be invited. Of
that I am proud. All of the officeholders, the canal contractors, etc.,
are in it. Warren, DeWolf, and Cassidy lead the move. It is not in my
heart to say an unkind word of Cassidy. In many ways he has had a hard
time. His fine mind has been used by others while he was left poor. It
was the strange policy of the Central Railroad men to give wealth to
Weed and others, who fought them if they did not, while Cassidy was
helped to live by loans and in other ways which kept him poor. When
Tweed went to Albany he turned a stream of patronage into the _Argus_
office which made it strong and rich. I think Cassidy means, in the
main, to stand up for the right, but it is hard for him to strike men
who have lifted him into wealth and when all about him shrink back.
Now what are we to do? A new party is made up, and we are outside of
it. For this I am glad. But this is not all. We may forgive others,
but the men who have left us will not forgive us. The old ties are
broken. They have yielded to temptation, and now they are like church
members who have fallen from grace; they not only hate to meet their
minister, but they learn to hate him. This feeling cropped out at
Rochester. They were glad to hit us, and the young men would have done
more if the wiser ones had not held them back. You would have been put
off the State committee and McQuade would have had the seat of Kernan
if they had thought it wise. All things were made ready to do both of
these acts. While Kernan was thrown off of his guard by Van Buren's
assurances that his seat would not be contested, the committee on
credentials was made up; their names were known to McQuade's friends,
and an active canvass was made in his behalf. The plan was either to
reject Kernan or to keep him out until the Tammany men were made sure
that their seats would not be filled. I made up my mind to go home. I
told Mr. Warren I would not act as president of the convention. In the
evening I was very ill, and when the committee called upon me I said
I was not well enough to go into convention. This was true, but I am
sorry I put that reason out. I was in so much pain that I had not my
wits about me. I should have said to them, as I did to Warren, simply
that I would not preside.

"Now what are we to do? You know that I hold that all that a man does
about politics after he is sixty years old is only meddling with other
people's business. But duty may force us to act, and then how do we
stand? The Democratic leaders and organization are dead against us. The
members of the convention went home pleased with the diplomacy of their
leaders, but with lower tone of morality than they had when they left
home. The young men we looked to with hope in the future are debauched.
They were willing to have Tammany coaxed out of the convention and then
to slam the door in the face of the honest men who had unearthed crime
in New York. When the leaders had done their work on Thursday noon
the Tammany men stood in the light of having acted in a high-toned,
generous way. The convention was grateful to them for allowing it to
say stealing was wrong in a way that should hurt no one's feelings.
The anti-Tammany men were in disgrace and disfavor. The majority of
convention wanted to leave matters in that shape, and they were angry
when you and Kernan and West and others forced them to do a few decent
acts. I think you saved the ticket by this. I know you saved your
honor. You must now count upon the hostility of old supporters and of
all State officials. You are in the way. If you mean to fight you can
do so by means of the new parties in New York. You must hold them up
to the highest tone and to untiring activity. You must put yourself at
the head of the reformers and use your list of correspondents for any
papers you wish to send out to enlist the country against frauds. I
have stated all the odds against you, but you can whip the party back
to right grounds if you wish to do so. It is on the defensive now.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                     "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


               "ROCHESTER, N. Y., _Oct. 25, 1871_.


"DEAR SIR,--No single incident of the war against the machine has given
the people everywhere so much joy as the announcement yesterday by
telegraph that Charles O'Conor had been tendered an Assembly nomination
and had not declined, but justified the hope of his acceptance. The
acceptance and election to the Assembly of O'Conor would, in my
judgment, aside from what he might be able to accomplish by official
action, be productive of a good moral effect that is incalculable.
He occupies a position to-day prouder than that of any President
or crowned head. Universally recognized as the foremost man of the
bar, and unreservedly trusted as a guardian of the people's rights
and interests in a time of great peril, all eyes are turned towards
him as a sort of savior in this era of corruption in governmental
administration. His declination now, after giving ground for hope,
would be disheartening. I earnestly trust that the pressure will be
brought to bear upon him so strongly that he will not disappoint the

"You yourself ought by all means to go to the Assembly also. While
your position differs in some respects from that of Mr. O'Conor, your
presence at Albany this winter would be no less important. You have
led, are the leaders of, the fight against the machine, and, of course,
have incurred the hostility and hatred of the machine men and their
henchmen in different parts of the State. The fight will be continued
in various forms at Albany during the session of the Legislature, and
you ought to be there to direct it, as well as to do service on the
floor of the Assembly. Our Democratic press, that is heartily in the
good work, must speak out fully and boldly of all proceedings this
winter, and not leave iniquity to be cloaked and public sentiment to be
formed by subsidized newspapers and newspaper correspondents at Albany.
I have never given Albany matters during the session much attention
heretofore, but next winter it will not be my fault if the public of
western New York do not learn through the _Union_ what is going on, and
all that is going on.

"Everything here looks well. I think we will elect Lord Senator.

  "Yours, &c.,
                      "WM. PURCELL."

"P. S.--It would amuse you to see some of the written suggestions I
have received since the fight was won at the State convention from
those who condemned my article of the 3rd on the 'Paramount Duty,' and
who wanted to 'fix things up in some way with Tammany.' One of these,
in particular, is cool--suggesting to _me_ that 'the true policy _now_
is to cut loose from Tammany Hall'!"


  "_Oct. 28, 1871._

"DEAR SIR,--I answered, declining, and they have determined to run
Horatio Seymour without asking his consent.

"My letter, very full and condemnatory, is ready for the press. I don't
much like to print it without consultation, especially as to one point.
But later than Monday morning would be too late. What shall I do?

  "Y'rs, &c.,
                    "CH. O'CONOR."


  "N. Y., _Oct. 29, 1871_.

"DEAR SIR,--There are [no] Sundays in revolutionary times. So I am at
work. The declinature is corrected and all ready. I am to have copies
this afternoon for my intended constituents; it will be out in all the
morning papers.

"But the greatest of the great productions of the day has just passed
under my eager eyes. The speech of Frederick A. Conkling, a conspicuous
Republican, is the true touchstone. Surely every honest heart in the
land will be thrilled with patriotic emotion by its stirring tones.

"What do you say to this?

"Beginning to-night, let us print at once in the large octave called
royal, on good paper, in large type, easily read and every way in
good typography, my poor effort in the declinature and this glorious
Conkling speech. Thus the views of Democrat and Republican may go side
by side. It should be added that a member of the Legislature need not
reside in the district that elects him. Every one don't know this.
By making it known we might yet have, in the Legislature, not only
yourself, but Seymour and Kernan and Minturn and others that I cannot
now think of. Conkling, too, of course.

"Kernan would be a grand candidate for the Senate against Tweed or

  "Yours truly,

"P. S.--Conkling's speech was in _Herald_ of 27th. I send it to you.
Don't lose it. Speed and vigor for God's sake and the Republic's.




       "22 EAST 16TH ST., SATURDAY EVENING, _Nov. 4, 1871_.

"MY DEAR MR. TILDEN,--_You_ must not be allowed to spend any money for
your election. Your noble conduct has made all honest Democrats your
debtors. I have just sent my subscription to Mr. Cooper, but there must
be many expenses which the committee cannot provide for, and on Monday
I will send _you_ a check for $250 to aid in your personal expenses.

"It has only just occurred to me that we should all strengthen your
hands, or I should have done this before.

"Very truly Your friend, & proud of your political course,



  "NEW YORK, _Novr. 8, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--An old personal friend, whose views on political
questions have generally differed from yours, thanks you from the
bottom of his heart for your noble work, your manly, honest exposure of

"On your election I do not congratulate you, but the public.

"There is light ahead!

  "In haste, very truly y'r friend,
                             "HAMILTON FISH."


  "HARV. COLL., CAMBRIDGE, MASS., _9 November, 1871_.

"DEAR SIR,--Now that the struggle in New York is over and the political
labor, I presume, at an end, I venture to approach you with a request
to which I earnestly hope you will find yourself able to accede.

"You are probably aware that the _North American Review_ has taken
occasion, from time to time, to follow up the history of the great
scandals which have made New York so unpleasantly famous, especially
the Erie troubles. I am desirous of placing on record, by the side
of the 'Chapter of Erie,' an account of the Tammany frauds and their
history, given by a person whose authority is decisive. In view of
the further questions relating to New York government, likely to come
up before your legislature and in the press, it seems probable that a
clear and a non-partisan (that is, not Republican) statement of the
case may be of political value as well as of historical interest.

"An account, therefore, of the Tammany frauds and their occasion, of
the struggle of Tammany to maintain itself after the discovery, and of
the means by which it was overthrown, and, finally, an expression of
opinion as to the proper means of preventing such evils in the future,
seems to me to be required.

"I know of no one except yourself who is capable of doing this
properly. You alone know the private history of the affair, and have
the means of estimating the actors at their proper value. I venture,
therefore, to ask you to do it. If, as I believe, this story is to
become historical, I am anxious that historians should be rightly
informed as to the facts.

"In case there is any chance of your undertaking the task, I shall hope
to hear from you shortly.

  "I am, y'r obt. Servt.,
                          "HENRY ADAMS."


  "120 BROADWAY, N. Y., _Nov. 22d, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Having attended at your office a number of times for
the purpose of delivering the enclosed lists, and not being able to
find the time when your many and diverse engagements permit you to be
at your office, I have concluded (as perhaps would have been best at
first) to send to you, instead of personally delivering, the lists
which you requested.

"The manuscript roll, which I enclose herewith, presents, in classes
corresponding to the Assembly districts from which they are drawn, the
names of young men of Democratic principles and good character, who,
so far as I can learn, are willing and prepared to participate in the
duties of active political life. Almost all the names submitted are
those of young lawyers, though I have not hesitated to include the
names of gentlemen pursuing other avocations when I have learned of
their personal qualifications for the task contemplated.

"Almost, though not all, of the names are taken from the roll of the
Young Men's Democratic Reform Club, of which I send you a printed copy.

"In the collection and classification of these names I have taken from
my professional duties more time and attention than would seem to me
justifiable, were it not that I have been acting at the request of
one who has himself spared neither time nor attention in the public
service, and the purity of whose motives I have from childhood been
taught to respect.

"Trusting that my labors may not be entirely irresponsive to your
request, I remain,

  "Very truly yours,
              "FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON."


  "THE ARGUS, ALBANY, _Nov. 24, 1871_.

"DEAR TILDEN,--I find the Washington St. suite of rooms most cheerful
and accessible. The bedroom and bathroom are separated by the
parlor, which is an objection, and the noise of the street may be
objectionable. The suite at the south end--the new building--is free
from these objections, and will prove, on the whole, most satisfactory.

"But it appears from the following that some one else is to be
consulted. What profound dissimulation you have exhibited! If true, it
is your greatest reform government. Give my love to Emily Josephine. My
wife sends congratulations, and will give a bridal party when you both
come up.

              "WILLIAM CASSIDY."

This letter was accompanied by the following clipping from the _Sunday
Albany Press_:

    "A grand wedding will take place in Washington County on
    Wednesday next: Miss Emily Josephine Smith to the Hon. S. J.
    Tilden, of New York city. Many Albanians are invited. Our
    friend, Hon. Chas. Hughes, formerly member of Congress, will
    be the principal groomsman. The wedding-cards are models of


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 12, 1871_.

"DEAR TILDEN,--As my journey to Washington is postponed indefinitely,
I shall be at home this evening, which has been set apart for an
_interview_ with the reporter of the _Times_ on the subject of the
charter. I shall want to use, on the occasion, the papers I let you
have on Sunday. If you will send them to me by the bearer I will return
them to you to-morrow.

"Subsequent reflection has rather convinced me that I ought not to have
declined answering your question as to what I received for my work on
the charter.

"I declined as I did simply because I do so in all my professional
business. Such is my _general_ practice, but there are exceptions, and
I see no good reason why this should not be one of them.

"What I received was $10,000.

  "Yours, &c.,
                   "J. W. EDMONDS."



"MY DEAR SIR,--The Senate committee of investigation and retrenchment
have resolved to meet in New York on Wednesday, January 3rd, and take
testimony in relation to the abuses alleged to exist in the Custom
House in that city.

"Mr. Casserly and I are desirous the investigation should not be
fruitless or superficial. To prevent its being either we must rely on
the friends of honest government and reform in _both_ political parties
to place us on the track of these abuses that we may unkennel them.

"If the utterances of the _Tribune_, the _Evening Post_, the _Sun_ and
other organs are meant in earnest, they must now prove it by admitting
us to their sources of information. If they rely upon their party
friends in the committee, then, I fear, _our_ hopes in the question
will be blighted.

"I write you, knowing the grand service you have done and are doing,
and because I believe your position and relation to the _honest_
Republican leaders in the desired reforms will give you influence with

  "Very truly and respectfully yours,
                               "T. F. BAYARD."


  "NEW YORK, _Dec. 29, 1871_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The rush of events, in which I have been and am, has
given me no opportunity earlier to acknowledge, as I intended to do,
your note of congratulation and sympathy in respect to the recent
municipal controversies. I beg you to believe that, among the many
which events have brought to me, none is more appreciated than yours,
not only because of the many years of personal friendship which have
subsisted between us, but--and more--because I think it was prompted by
your feelings as a citizen of this great metropolis, closely and long
identified with its interests and its renown.

"Accept my thanks for the books you were kind enough to send me, and
believe me,

     "Very truly yours,
                          "S. J. TILDEN."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _Dec. 22, 1871_.

"DEAR SIR,--I can do nothing in Wall St. So I mean, if possible, to
stay here until the 26th inst. This will afford an opportunity to put
some matters in shape for the operations required after Jany. 1.

"There will be such a pressure of the _outs_ to get _in_, and of the
jobbers to stick a project here and a plan there that no reform charter
can possibly be framed and accepted on Gov. Church's instantaneous plan.

"A few very brief enactments can be framed which will meet every
public necessity, and thro' a commission a really good charter may
be framed. The lean corruptionists, who see a prospect of pasture,
will, of course, try to control the appointment and the action of
the commission, but the faces which have been set like flint against
the _fat_ sharpers must also present a stern front to the lean. If
the Legislature is to fail in its duty, perhaps so much the better.
What his lazy Majesty the People has long needed was a sharp prick of
the corruptionist's spear. It may be that he is not yet sufficiently
aroused. Fainting in the legislature may be an absolute necessity.

"The _present_ pressing needs of legislation can easily be supplied.
The muddle about the Aldermen is as easily disposed of as the Mayor,
Tweed, and Fields. Luckily, the law point is manifestly against the
recently elected Republican Aldermen. We can show how to _give_ them
their seats.

                  "CH. O'CONOR."


  "N. Y., _24th Feby., 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Mr. Palmer, prest. Broadway Bank, gives me permission
to attend at his bank only from 3 to 6 o'clock P.M. each day, except

"With this gracious promise on his part I have twice to-day applied to
Mr. Green for two or three men to assist me during these three hours,
but can get nothing from him. When I asked him to allow me to employ
outsiders (after he had informed me that he had no men to furnish me)
he refused, stating that if once men were on his hands he couldn't
shake them off.

"For myself to go there alone each day to examine these old books and
papers will be merely child's play, and I am much disappointed at Mr.
Green's action. Palmer's concessions amount to but little, and I fear
our chances of getting what we desire are but slim.

"Permit me respectfully to again call your attention to the necessity
of some legislation touching upon this point, whereby some person or
persons can have the authority to not only call for the information
necessary, but also to incur the expense necessary to a full

"As the matter now stands it amounts to nothing.

  "Respectfully, &c.,
                      "H. F. TAINTOR."

The following circular from the Grand Jury room gives the names of the
parties then under suspicion:

                             "NEW YORK, _January 11, 1872_.



"SIR,--We regret to trouble you again, but from our present researches
we find it necessary to extend our inquiries to 1868 and 1869; and, in
order to save the inconvenience of calling you before the Grand Jury by
a subpoena for the purpose of answering the following interrogatories
(in case the Grand Jury should be willing to waive that right), I would
thank you to state in a note to me whether an account was kept during
those two years with your bank by either of the following persons, and
if yes, by which of them, viz.:

  "James M. Sweeny,
  Peter B. Sweeny,
  Hugh Smith,
  A. Oakey Hall,
  J. H. Ingersoll,
  N. Y. Printing Co.,
  A. J. Smith,
  Conrad Boller,
  J. McB. Davidson,
  J. W. Smith,
  Joel A. Fithian,
  Wm. M. Tweed,
  James Watson,
  R. B. Connolly,
  C. E. Wilbour,
  Cornelius Corson,
  A. D. Barber & Co.,
  J. A. Smith,
  Geo. S. Miller,
  A. G. Miller,
  Mrs. R. B. Connolly.

"I will submit your answer, and take the further order of the Grand

               "Yours, &c.,
                 "LUCIUS S. COMSTOCK,
  "_Foreman Grand Jury, Court of General Sessions._"


  "_Feb. 3, 1872._

"MY DEAR SIR,--G. wrote me a note last night, stating that from
haste, etc., he omitted many things, especially facts relative to the
transaction of 1869.

"He is doubtless growing fidgety and impatient in consequence of his
privacy and solitude and the delay.

"I wrote him a reassuring letter, and suggested quiet on his part until
the close of the Jumel trial. I promised then to take up the business
and put things on a definite footing.

"Once that trial is over I shall be free; and if great and controlling
reasons do not oppose, I will proceed at once to deal with the
questions and the _persons_ of the hour as public necessity shall, in
my judgment, seem to demand.

"Fidelity to a cause once espoused is the first law of my nature.
This alone has tied me to these troublesome and engrossing Jumel law
suits. They will be over when the corrupt gang of villains engaged in
the present enterprise shall have got their _quietus_. This can hardly
fail to happen within a fortnight; and thenceforth no private person's
affairs shall prevent the entire devotion of all my time and power to
the good cause in which you have so faithfully toiled and of which you
have been the most efficient as well as the foremost champion.

  "I am, Dear Sir,
             "Yours truly,
                       "CH. O'CONOR."


  "_Jan. 28, 1872._

"MY DEAR SIR,--The friend and the counsel of the gentleman we talked
of came to see me last evening in response to a telegram from me. The
former says and the latter assents that no change on their part has
happened. It is obvious that the prejudice against venturing into this
city is invincible; and they thought from the last interview that you
did not feel interest enough in the matter to pursue it further.

"Their present plan is to have instructions issued which shall protect
their man from arrest if he comes personally to his home, and then to
have him come there and to have me or some other of us meet him at the
house of his friend.

"That, they say, they are willing still to carry out.

"The friend will be in town to-morrow.

"Now, what say you about this?

"I might perhaps go to the town where he lives next Saturday.

"They would want to be sure that he would not be molested, and perhaps
would want to see the evidence.

                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Charles O'Conor, Esq._"

       *       *       *       *       *

  "_Jan. 28, 1872._

"DEAR SIR,--If you think fit to see him you can give him promise of
safe-conduct to and fro. But prompt action should be insisted on and a
full disclosure.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   "CH. O'CONOR."

  "_Mr. Tilden._"


  "13 WEST 42D ST., SUNDAY, A.M. (_1872_).

"MY DEAR SIR,--It was remarked in my hearing last evening, after you
had so gratified the club and its guests, 'Mr. Tilden looks as if
he not only had a great head, but also a large heart.' I propose to
address the latter, if you will graciously pardon the intrusion.

"I learn that Mr. Peckham intends procuring from the Oyer and Terminer
G. J. a duplicate charge agst. me for official neglect. It is in your
_power_ to advise against and prevent this. I think, sir, I can satisfy
you that such advice will be in harmony with that unflinching standard
of justice by which you measure all men and all things.

"I have filed an unqualified stipulation that pending charges be
removed to the O. and T. The removal order has been entered. This would
have been done before except that Mr. Vanderpool expected Judge Bedford
to sit and make it _pro forma_. There is, therefore, no legal necessity
for a duplicate. To press one now is only to wound the feelings of
my very interesting family by arousing fresh (and doubtless, at this
partisan pitch, cruel) newspaper criticism, and without accomplishing
any better oblation to justice (either to me or the people, as the
case may prove) than could be attained with existing pleading. And
especially when some weeks ago I wrote Atty.-Genl. Barlow I should
always be ready for his convenience.

"I think, sir, that ever since, in Sept., 1871, I became convinced of
the monstrous frauds (committed by men whose offences are condoned, or
whose battles are carried on over my shoulders, because I neither skulk
nor avoid fight) I have done much to atone for any imputed neglect in
my acts as an auditor during the month of terrible mental trial to
me which followed the inauguration of the new charter (May to June,
1870), as well as to entitle me to consideration upon a mere question
of discretion like this I now ask you to prefer to Mr. Peckham. I say
discretion, because, were it a question in his mind of imperative right
towards his affirmative action, I could not insult you, nor him, nor
myself by the request to forego it. I shall always be willing to meet
the _necessary_ exactions of the law without asking favor. It is only
against unnecessary applications I respectfully protest. Surely my
unassailed administration as Dist. Atty. during _12_ years; my bearing
and course as Mayor in all save these unfortunate audits or non-audits
(as you please to phrase it); the character of my appointments since
Nov., 1871; my uniform support of Mr. Green in his trying position; and
my surrender of much personal pride to aid even personal enemies in
accomplishing public good, ought to entitle me to ask from Mr. Peckham
to be spared all unnecessary stigmas.

"Pray pardon _me_ for thus annoying you who, at this crisis, must be
almost overwhelmed with duties. But when I heard the remark with which
I began this note, the suggestion came to me with almost the intuition
of a woman, and as if the whisper of a daughter--'appeal to his heart.'

"This does not require reply, nor is one expected.

"With great respect and regard,

                             "Your obt. sert.,
                                             "A. OAKEY HALL."[59]

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"


"MY DEAR SIR,--I was compelled by what seemed for the time to be
the most urgent of my many duties, to remain in Albany a little
after the diligent chairman of the judiciary committee had resumed
the investigations held in this city. In that interval, Mr. George
Ticknor Curtis thought it pertinent to the defence of Judge Barnard
to introduce certain statements concerning me from Mr. Jay Gould. It
happened, also, that the examination on this topic was conducted with
so little art--or with so much art--that it totally failed to elicit
the complete or substantial truth, and did produce, in practical
effect, a mere falsehood. It happened further that, although the
investigation is not public, the testimony on this point appears in
this morning's journals, with an exceptional fulness.

"If I had been present, I presume Mr. Gould's testimony could have been
developed so as to render any further statement to establish the exact
truth unnecessary. But as it was not, the series of accidents--such
I will assume them to be--that have falsified the transaction, will
excuse me in asking you to state the truth which is peculiarly within
your personal knowledge.

"The _Herald_ report is as follows:

"'_Q._ Did you employ any other counsel beside Messrs. Field and
Shearman, in behalf of the Erie Railroad?'

"'_A._ I employed several others.'

"'_Q._ Who were they?'

"'_A._ I had John Ganson, of Buffalo; Judge Diven, of Elmira; and
Samuel J. Tilden, of New York.'

"'_Q._ When did you retain Samuel J. Tilden?'

"'_A._ In the year 1869.'

"'_Q._ Did you retain him before this order was granted?'

"'_A._ Yes, sir.'

"'_Q._ How much did you pay Mr. Tilden?'

"'_A._ Ten thousand dollars.'

"'_Q._ Did Mr. Tilden ever do anything for that ten thousand dollars?'

"'_A._ No, sir; on the contrary, I heard nothing about Mr. Tilden until
he turned up as counsel against the Erie Railroad in a case with the
Atlantic and Great Western Railroad.'

"The _Times_ report varies a little:

"'Q. Did he ever act as your counsel?'

"'A. Never to my knowledge, nor did he ever return the retaining fee.'

"Now, it is within your personal knowledge that the fee paid me was
for a year's service as counsel and arbiter in the executive committee
of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company. The arrangement
was formed by you without my presence or knowledge; and the only
communication of the terms of it ever made to me was by you.

"In January, 1869, the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad was placed
in the possession of a receiver by an Ohio court, on the ground of
fraud and breach of trust, committed or intended, by the then board of
directors. Mr. Gould disavowed the acts complained of, and desired to
have the road restored to the management of a board of directors to be
newly constituted. You stated to me that the only feasible arrangement
for a compromise between the parties was this: The executive committee
was to be composed of myself, Mr. J. N. McCullough, the president,
and Mr. Gould, who represented a majority of the stock then alleged
to be held by the Erie Railway Company. I, who had no interest with
either party, and was indifferent between them, was to hold the
balance of power between the two other members, and be able to decide
every question of law and every question of administration in respect
to which they should differ. When the arrangement was submitted to
me I declined the part allotted to me. I said I had no interest in
the company, and never had any relation to it which imposed a duty
in respect to it upon me. I declined more than once to you and Mr.
McCullough, notwithstanding the arrangement had been made by which the
Erie was to contribute $10,000 and the C. and P. $5000 as compensation.
I thought the trust might be troublesome and vexatious; and, at any
rate, did not want the business. You, nevertheless, appointed me;
and I afterwards acquiesced. I at no time made any conditions about
compensation. I never rendered a bill. The payments, when they were
made, were purely voluntary. I presume you do not doubt that nothing
but your personal persuasions and those of Mr. McCullough induced me
finally to acquiesce.

"You never communicated to me that there was any idea on anybody's
part that I should owe any duty to the Erie Railway Company except to
perform my duties as counsel, director, and arbiter in the executive
committee of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company. I never
assumed _any other obligation_.

"That duty I performed during the whole year. Upon every question of
law, of administration, of policy, I acted; and, as far as I know, with
satisfaction to everybody. I had no difficulty with Mr. Gould, who
always behaved with consideration and deference. He got the company out
of its troubles, and largely enhanced the market value of the stock by
the arrangement, and appeared to be satisfied.

"Mr. Gould may well say that (except so far as acting in the Cleveland
and Pittsburg was acting for the Erie) I never did act for the Erie
in anything, so far as he knew. I never undertook to do so. There
never was any ground to pretend that in any of the litigations of that
company it had any claim to aid, or shelter, or countenance from me.

"As to the Atlantic and Great Western, I never acted for the company.
Prior to this time I had acted for Mr. A. C. Flagg and others, trustees
under several of the mortgages, and for certain bondholders; and Mr.
Gould knew it. Certainly, nothing in this engagement in the Cleveland
and Pittsburg interfered with my right to continue to act for those
trustees and creditors, or to act anew for them. In January and
February, 1870, I argued before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and
in the Ohio court, for the trustees and first mortgage bondholders,
various questions as to the proposed lease. Mr. Gould faintly set up a
claim that he was entitled to notice from me; and I at once reminded
him that he knew all the time what my relations to the trustees and
bondholders were, and had been for years, and that I had frequently,
as _their_ representative, had conferences with the counsel of the
Erie. The union of the Atlantic and Great Western Company and the
creditors inferior to the first mortgage with the Erie, prevailed; and
a lease--which I believe all now agree was improvident and unwise--was

"I do not mean to say that it might not happen that a retainer is
sometimes received and yet no further services rendered in the case.
I presume that this often happens without impropriety. I have only to
say that, so far as I recollect, it never has happened to me in any
single instance of my professional life. I have been content to receive
compensation fixed by agreement with my clients after the services were
rendered. I have, in no instance, had any controversy or difference of
opinion with any client as to the amount of compensation. I have never
heard of any discontent after the settlement, unless this may be such a

"Since there is an elaborate attempt to misrepresent an act of my
professional life, I have a right to say this--without the imputation
of egotism; and I have a right to add that, for the last sixteen years,
at least, my only trouble has been not to accept more business than I
could perform according to my standard of duty and justice to those
who entrust their affairs to my management; that I have not accepted
half which has been offered of cases in which the clients were willing
themselves to fix my compensation to my full satisfaction out of what
they would recognize as acknowledged benefits.

"And I have never hesitated to choose what business I would decline. At
the outset of the famous litigation of the Erie, under the presidency
of Mr. Eldridge, it was communicated to me that the Erie desired to
retain me; and afterwards Mr. J. C. Bancroft Davis, in its behalf,
twice came to my office to offer me retainers. I declined. In 1869,
Mr. James McHenry, when acting in apparent unison with the Erie,
several times pressed upon me retainers in behalf of his scheme of
reorganization of the A. & G. W.; but, after considering his scheme,
I declined. In the same year Mr. James Fisk, Jr., called upon me with
Mr. Jay Gould. Mr. Fisk said, with many flattering suggestions, that
they desired to retain me in reference to a matter then pending, and in
the course of the interview he stated that they had paid within a year
$125,000 to a member of the bar, whose name he mentioned. I declined.

"I do not mean to imply that there would have been anything wrong in
acting as counsel for the Erie in a proper case; but simply, when
an act of mine is challenged, to state facts which are pertinent to
my vindication. I have ever stood, not only in my personal conduct,
but in my public influence, for the dignity and honor of the bar and
the purity of the bench, and against whatever should tend to weaken
or degrade the administration of justice. I did so, in 1869, when the
evils of corrupt times were growing and powerful. I accepted issue in
the Democratic State convention of that year. On the 1st of February,
1870, at the meeting which resulted in the formation of the Bar
Association, I uttered these unpremeditated thoughts:

"'If the bar is to become merely a method of making money, making it
in the most convenient way possible, _but making it_ AT ALL HAZARDS,
then the bar is _degraded_. If the bar is to be merely an institution
that seeks to win causes, and to win them by _back-door access to the
judiciary_, then it is not only _degraded_, but it is CORRUPT.'

       *       *       *       *       *

"Sir, I believe that this country is to-night at about the lowest point
in the great cycle which we have occasionally to traverse. I believe
that there will come a sounder and a better public sentiment, in which
speculation and gambling and jobbing and corruption will lose their
power, and in which free government will vindicate its rights to the
confidence of mankind. If I did not believe this, I should think that a
very great part of my own life was lost, and all the traditions I have
derived from my ancestors.

"The better day, to which--in that dark hour--I looked with hope and
faith, is now dawning upon our city, State, and country.

                         "Very truly, yours, &c.,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "NEW YORK, _March 16th, 1872_."


  "NEW YORK, _March 18, 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have this morning received your letter of Saturday,
and hasten to answer it, as I am to leave this city for Pittsburg this

"Your statement of the facts connected with the arrangement to pay you
a counsel fee of $10,000 by the Erie Railroad Company, for services in
the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad, is strictly correct, all of which
came within my personal knowledge.

"At the time, since, and now, I held and hold the position of president
of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway Company, which company
then held, and still holds, a very important contract relation with the
Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company. It was this fact that caused
me to take an interest in the complication in which the Cleveland and
Pittsburg Company was involved in 1869, and which had been brought
about through the action of a director of the Erie Company, that
company at the time (as was believed) holding a majority of the stock
of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company.

"To free the latter company from the litigation in which it was
involved, I came to this city and had an interview with the then
president of the Erie Railway Company, who condemned the whole
proceedings of what was called the 'Erie board' at Cleveland. He agreed
that a portion of the members should resign, and that you and myself
should come into the direction and the executive committee. I returned
home, and, after a conference with J. N. McCullough, Esq., then and now
president of the C. & P. R. Co., a plan of reorganization was agreed
upon, as set forth in your letter. To this date nothing had been said
to you on the subject. On coming to this city, and developing the plan
to you, you declined to go into the board or have anything to do with
the business, for the reasons stated in your letter. I said to Mr.
Gould and Mr. McCullough--the latter more than once--not to urge the
question on you any further, as you might take such a decided stand
that we would not be able to overcome your objections, but that the
plan should be proceeded with, and we should elect you into the board
and take the chances of getting you to serve. This was done, and you
were elected without consulting you farther or obtaining your consent.
After the reorganization of the board the arrangement that you should
be the umpire in the executive committee, and have charge of all legal
proceedings and be general counsel to the committee and board was
arranged as you state, and without first consulting you. I took it upon
myself to make such arrangements as would bring harmony into the board,
believing you would acquiesce in such arrangement as I might make.
Before you came into the Cleveland and Pittsburg board a resolution
was placed on the minutes electing you the general counsel, and fixing
the compensation. It was also proposed that owing to the interest which
the Erie Railway Company had (controlling a majority of the stock),
and the interest which the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway
Company had by its contract with the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad
Company, that each of those companies should retain you in their
respective behalfs touching those interests. All this was done without
any indication from you as to what you would do.

"I afterwards learned from you that the Erie Railway Company had paid
you the ten thousand dollars, as agreed, without waiting for you to
render a bill. The five thousand dollars agreed to be paid by the
Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway Company has never been paid
or even spoken of since.

"The compensation above referred to was for those specific services
and for no other, so far as I ever heard or believe. Those services
continued to the close of the year, when you retired from the board. I
remained in the board during that year and ever since.

"I will add that the arrangement made in 1869 was of large pecuniary
benefit to the stockholders, and gave to the affairs, as well as the
stock of the company, a stability they had never before had.

"I believe what I have written covers the whole case--at least I
have so intended--and if, after I return from Pittsburg, it shall be
found that any facts have been omitted, I shall be glad to supply the

  "Truly yours,
                      "G. W. CASS."


  "NEW YORK, _March 28th, 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I rec'd your letter, but find it difficult to get a
moment in which to answer it.

"I cannot at present leave my duties to go to Kentucky.

"If I have a team, I want: 1. That each horse should be healthy (of
sound constitution), a good feeder, and tough. I have had enough of
horses which lose in whole or in part their feed after being driven, or
which have to ____ or a medicine. I do not want a horse that needs care
all the while to keep him well.

"2. I want each horse to be of natural good temper and disposition.

"3. I want each to be free from all tricks, and perfectly sound.

"4. I want the two horses to be well matched in size, appearance,
temper, and action. The color is of less importance.

"5. I want them to move and act together as one horse.

"And if the horses you offer are such, and if you choose to bring on
the horse 'Morris Miller' at my expense and risk, and the other horse
at your own expense and risk, I will take 'Morris Miller' at $5000;
and if the other horse shall prove satisfactory to Mingo and me on an
opportunity of trial for a week or two, to be determined with reference
to the weather and my being in town, I will give $5000 more and the
pony for the other horse.

"Of course, I do not want to try one horse alone, and in doing so rely
upon your representation that the other horse will suit, and that the
two will work together as you say.

"I enclose check for $5000, which you can take if you approve these
terms, but are to return without using it if you do not affirm these

                 "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _May 29, 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have this moment received your card stating that you
'will take the liberty of using my name as one of the vice-presidents
of the meeting to be held at Steinway Hall to-morrow evening, unless I
inform you that I desire you not to do so.'

"My information as to the precise object of your meeting is very
limited--if it can be said to exist at all.

"As I infer that the drift of the meeting is to touch the Presidential
question, it is proper to say, that in a contest practically between
Gen. Grant and Mr. Greeley, I think that a more liberal policy--as well
in respect to the systems of revenue as in respect to the pacification
of the South, the restoration of local self-government in those States,
and the repression of the immense corruptions and wrongs which exist
there--can be better worked out through the election of the latter than
by that of the former.

"I therefore decline the proposed use of my name.

  "Very truly Yours,
                       "S. J. TILDEN."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _June 1, 1872_.

"DEAR SIR--I am sorry you did not extend your ride as far as this.

"I have been thinking somewhat _intensely_ on a particular subject
since I saw you.

"I mean in reference to a question of our personal action in a matter
which, I suppose, is to come off on Monday.

"I have made up _my_ mind definitively that whatever you or others may
think fit to do, I will not, under any circumstances figure in that

"There can be no mistake about _its being unfit_.[61] I shall be sorry
to stand alone, but I am not afraid to do so.

                  "CH. O'CONOR."


                                                  "_June 1st, 1872._


"MY DEAR FRIEND,--It has been intimated to me by a mutual friend that
I have expressed myself as to your acts towards me, previous to the
actions of the courts and jury in reference to my case, that you had
acted unkindly and in a manner that would not appear at all friendly.
I assure you I have not done so, but, on the contrary, have always
expressed myself to others that I was fully satisfied that the advice I
received from you and Mr. Havemeyer was for my benefit, and that both
were governed by pure and patriotic motives. I did confess that in my
actions I was influenced by your advice, as being best for the public
interest and for my advantage. Be assured, my dear sir, that while I
live I shall remember with gratitude your very kind treatment to me
during that eventful period in my life, and I know by my future acts I
shall prove worthy of your friendship and esteem.

  "As ever,
    "Yrs. faithfully,
           "RICHARD B. CONNOLLY."



                                NEW YORK, _June 6th, 1872_.

"The undersigned desire to have a conference of gentlemen who are
opposed to the present administration and its continuance in office,
and deem it necessary that all the elements of the opposition should be
united for a common effort at the coming Presidential election.

"They respectfully invite you to meet a number of gentlemen belonging
to the different branches of the opposition at the 5th Avenue Hotel, N.
Y., on June 20th, at 2 P.M., for the purpose of consideration and to
take such action as the situation of things may require.

"Your attention is respectfully drawn to the fact that this invitation
is strictly personal to yourself, and a prompt reply is earnestly
requested, addressed to Henry D. Lloyd, secretary of committee, P. O.
box 2209, N. Y.


                                    "CARL SCHURZ, Missouri,
                                    "JACOB D. COX, Ohio,
                                    "WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, N. Y.,
                                    "DAVID A. WELLS, Conn.,
                                    "OSWALD OTTENDORFER, N. Y.,
                                    "JACOB BRINKERHOFF, Ohio."


  "OWEGO, N. Y., _June 13th, 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--For some years past I have not been able to see how I
could do any good by active political action. This year it looked as
though something might be accomplished, and I signified my willingness
to go to the State convention, and allowed myself to become interested
in the political situation. The nominations at Cincinnati gave me a
recoil, but still I hoped something might be done. I confess I am
almost discouraged again. If Greeley is to be nominated at Baltimore
it will so divide the Democrats as to cause defeat just when success is
within our reach by a judicious nomination, either wholly Democratic or
partly and principally liberal Republican. We could unite on Trumbull,
Adams, Davis, Cox, etc. I could even (though reluctantly) support Chas.
Sumner, but I don't see how I can preserve my self-respect if I vote
for Greeley.

"Is his nomination at Baltimore a necessity? If a straight Democratic
ticket is not advisable, why could not some arrangement be made to
nominate, say, Trumbull, and some reform Democrat, yourself, for
instance, for V. P.? I am not so much a 'Bourbon' but that I could vote
for such a ticket with great pleasure. I care nothing for the issues
which are past, but Mr. Greeley is directly against us upon the great
living issues, those issues which began with our govt. and must last as
long as it lasts. He has not, besides, the qualities which fit for the
Presidency, but others which would make him the prey of the designing
and corrupt.

"Must such a man be the Democratic candidate for the Presidency?

"I am unwilling to trespass on your valuable time, but should be very
glad of a line from you on this subject.

  "Very truly, &c.,
                    "JOHN J. TAYLOR."


  "(_Circa 1872._)

"GENTLEMEN,--I congratulate you on the substantial progress which
has been made in purifying the judiciary. Everything which at the
beginning of the late legislative session you set before yourselves
as practicable, everything which you were afterwards encouraged
to undertake, has been accomplished. You asked for an inquiry
into abuses in the administration of justice. You have had an
investigation--patient and thorough--during seven weeks, in session
continued from ten in the morning until late at night--carried on
in the presence of the accused and their counsel. It is true the
inquiry could only touch a small part of the evil--the specific cases
presented by you. But every judge against whom you made charges has
been put on his trial, except one, who fled from the ordeal. I repeat
to you to-night what I said at the meeting at which this association
was organized. It was on Feb. 1, 1879--when the shameful perversion
of judicial process and judicial power that characterized 1869 were
fresh in the public mind, and the corrupt oligarchy, whose tools these
judges were, seemed to sit enthroned over the prostrate people of our

"If it will do its duty to itself, the bar can do everything else. It
can have reformed constitutions, it can have a reformed judiciary. It
can have the administration of justice made pure and honorable. One
word as to the pending impeachment of Judge Barnard. I do not share
the fears which have been expressed in the public journals as to the
results. First, I know that in the investigation, which extended
to all the witnesses the accused desired to produce, and with full
cross-examinations, there was developed more impeachable matter--ten
times over--than can be found in the eight principal cases of judicial
impeachment, four resulting in convictions which have occurred in this
country. Secondly, I believe that the leading members of the committee
of managers will faithfully prosecute the trial. Thirdly, I have the
most absolute confidence in the abilities, professional skill, and
earnest patriotism of the counsel who will represent the people, and on
whom the real burden of the trial will fall. I respect the sentiments
of my brethren of the bar which demanded that I should continue still
farther my connection with the movement to purify the judiciary. I
mean, of course, as one of the managers of the impeachment, for you all
know that I would not have acted as counsel. While I did not feel at
liberty by my own act to withhold any service which you thought I could
render to the great reform, my opinion differs somewhat from the public
impression. The great work of investigation, of collecting evidence,
and of securing sufficient concurrence and co-operation to put the
accused on trial--which has been an immense and difficult labor--is
done. The gentlemen whom I met in conference, after everything had been
completed except to decide on the form of procedure--when I consented
to impeachment instead of removal by concurrent resolution--and I see
several of those gentlemen present, will remember that I then stated
my difficulty in engaging in a prolonged trial during the summer. When
the choice of the managers came to be made I did not feel called on
to enter into a canvass or to form combinations. In everything else
I had felt it my duty to exercise all foresight and every care, and
to exert every power I possess to organize such elements as could be
found for good ends. In this I felt entitled to leave every human being
to his spontaneous action. If I should receive an honorable discharge
I had a right to accept it. I cannot be accused of selfishness if I
did so with delight. One care only remained for me. That was to look
after the choice of counsel. I communicated what seemed to be, in the
actual circumstances, the best suggestions to Mr. Alvord, and met his
prompt and cordial concurrence. Of Mr. Van Cott--the senior member
of the committee which represented you in the investigation--I need
not speak. The eminent jurist with whom he will be associated--Judge
Comstock--will bring to his duty great abilities, ample stores of
learning, and an honorable pride in restoring the renown of the bench
and the bar of this State. I remember with what solemn earnestness he
said to me several years ago that we could never reform the judiciary
of this district until we had first crushed the corrupt power which
stood behind it. I do not see that justice will be more likely to fail
that the trial is to be conducted in the light of open day, with the
eager scrutiny of the bar of the State and country, and under the eyes
of a watchful, apprehensive, and somewhat distrusting people. While
what has been done towards purifying the judiciary is just cause of
congratulation, you will appreciate the difficulties through which
it has been obtained if you reflect that everything else in the way
of reform has failed. It is known to you that when I consented to
go to the Assembly it was with a view to the judicial reform and to
certain other measures more particularly interesting to the people
of this city, and that in that work I expected the co-operation in
the Legislature of Mr. O'Conor and Mr. Evarts. This arrangement was
defeated by subsequent events. I thought that it was necessary to
concentrate myself upon a very few measures in order to accomplish
anything. The general demoralization growing out of the Civil War and
paper money had produced widespread effects. The corrupt power which
had just been overthrown in this city had its origin in a partnership
of plunder between men nominally of different politics, but, in fact,
of no politics at all, and had established extensive affiliations
throughout the State in both parties and in both branches of the
dominant party which now possessed three-quarters of the Legislature.
It had been necessary to the system that the capitol should be
surrounded by an atmosphere of corruption. The ambition of some had
been tempted; the interests of more had been addressed by making
legislative business profitable, and the golden showers had sprinkled
benefits in every direction. Some, even, who would not take an actual
part in the saturnalia were content to be silent spectators or
consenting witnesses. I never for a moment supposed that the knife and
the cautery would be agreeable remedies, or that the silent partners
of prosperous criminals would fall in love with those whose duty it
is to detect and punish. I knew, therefore, that obstructions, under
every pretext, were to be met at every step and to be overcome. Let us
thankfully accept what has been accomplished; and let us here to-night
renew our faith that if the bar of this city and State will be united
and persistent, every judicial reform in respect to men and in respect
to systems will be at last successfully achieved."


  "NEW YORK, _July 3rd, 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I _did_ intend sooner to acknowledge your letter and
make answer generally to it, tho I have foreseen that it is a case in
which, as Gov. Seymour says, 'letters answer themselves,' and I should
only pay my respects to you.

"The Cincinnati movement has been so early and long encouraged by
you and by me and by many who thought with us, that it grew to have
an impetus and volume which were important and not easily turned
aside from the channel it made for itself. Our people, in being
educated to favor it, had become accustomed to count on it, and at
last became dependent upon it. I never saw how its acts were capable
of readjustment, or how the question now before us would be other
than the simple issue between Grant and Greeley. On this I concur
with the instinctive sense of our people that a change is necessary
in the Federal administration. It is rarely, if ever, possible for a
party in office to reform itself by the internal force of its best
elements. We must have a better state of things in national, State,
and municipal government, and a higher standard in the public mind by
which official men will be tried and to which they will refer in their
silent meditations and in their actions, if we would preserve anything
of value in our political system. But I am getting beyond the limits of
my time.

"In haste.

  "Truly your friend,
                       "S. J. TILDEN."




"MY DEAR TILDEN,--There is a rumor here that O'Conor is willing to
accept the nomination of Blanton Duncan's Louisville convention. If
you have any influence with him I pray you to exert it to prevent his
doing so. It is as hard for me to support Greeley as it is for any
man I know. But, being compelled to choose between him and Grant,
I am satisfied that we ought to support him--not for his own sake,
but because it is the only mode left to us to break the radical
organization. I have a very high opinion of O'Conor, and would be much
distressed should he give the use of his great name to the Louisville
movement, which is wholly in the interest of Grant.

"Please write to me at _Columbus, Ohio_, where I will be in a few days.

  "Yours truly,
                   "A. G. THURMAN."


  "UTICA, _Oct. 3, 1872_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I enclose a draft for $5233.34 to pay my note and
interest. Please to send it to me by mail. I am very much obliged to
you for the accommodation. How does the canvass go? I am not able to
work myself into any heat about it. I grow old very fast. Then, too, it
is hard to go out to speak for Greeley. His abuse has been so gross. As
facts stand, I think it was wise to put him up, and I can see my way
clear to vote for him, as he can be made of use in driving negroes out
of office; but it is hard to speak for him. But for you and Kernan I
would not move this fall. As it is, I will do what I can.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                     "HORATIO SEYMOUR."



"REPORTER.--Understanding that you had some agency in the nomination
of Francis Kernan as the Democratic and Liberal Republican candidate
for Governor, I have called to make some inquiries about it. Will Mr.
Kernan be elected?

"MR. TILDEN (smiling).--You remember the old adage which says, 'You
can't tell who is Governor till after the election'? But at the risk of
violating that, I will give you an opinion. I feel very certain that
Francis Kernan will be the next Governor of the State of New York.

"REPORTER.--Are you willing to state the motives for nominating Mr.

"MR. TILDEN.--I am perfectly willing to state _my_ motives, so far as
I had any agency in the nomination. Mr. Kernan will be 'the right man
in the right place.' It is scarcely possible to find a man to whom the
public interests can be so safely trusted. He is in the meridian of
life and the maturity of his powers. He has acknowledged abilities.
He has led a distinguished career as a lawyer. He possesses large
knowledge and experience of public affairs, while he scarcely ever
held office. He has inspired universal confidence in his most absolute
integrity, and enjoys the esteem and affection of the people of the
central portions of the State, and of all who know him everywhere else.
Every circumstance about him conspires to assure his single-minded
fidelity to the duties of his great trust.

"In the _first_ place, he has a high standard of public conduct. He
is imbued with the traditions of the best days of the Democracy. Like
Jefferson, he would not attempt to increase his fortune, even by
legitimate methods, while in public life. Like Silas Wright and Flagg
and Marcy, he would not only be pure himself, but would disdain to use
impure influence--impure methods or impure men for party objects. His
ideals are all lofty.

"In the _second_ place, he is not over-ambitious. He does not aim at
a permanent public life, but to serve out his term and return to the
congenial pursuit of his profession.

"In the _third_ place, he is totally free from all ambiguous
associations. He stands on no 'ring.' He owes nobody anything for
political favors.

"Here are reasons enough, and good ones, but not all.

"REPORTER.--What were the others? The Republican newspapers say that
one was that Mr. Kernan is a Catholic, and that you advised his
nomination on that account.

"MR. TILDEN.--There is not the slightest truth, or resemblance to
truth, in that story. But I will speak of that subject presently. The
other reason is the connection Mr. Kernan had with the reform movement
last year.

"_City Frauds._

"The discovery of frauds by certain city officials happened just as I
was about leaving the city to spend a week in the country. On the eve
of my departure I had an opportunity of cross-examining a gentleman who
had the confidence of the financial men and taxpayers of this city, and
who called on me with a letter from a distinguished philanthropist.
I became satisfied that the revelations were substantially true. My
week's reflections in the country resulted in a determination to
attempt to carry out that system of measures in which I have been ever
since engaged; but some co-operation was indispensable.

"_Kernan and O'Conor._

"The first man I sought was Francis Kernan. After much telegraphing
I found him attending court in Albany. I went there to meet him. It
was on the fourth day of August, 1871. He was about to leave for
the seashore to attend a sick relative. I gave him the documents. I
submitted to him my views as to what ought to be done, and arranged
for a further conference on his return. On that occasion he gave
me assurances of his full and cordial co-operation, which I ever
afterwards received. He was to me the one necessary man for a contest
in the State convention. His courage, his independence, his tact and
eloquence in debate, his popularity and weight of character were all

"I next sought Charles O'Conor. I desired his co-operation in a
different department. His great renown as a lawyer, his unmatched
resources in a professional controversy, his lofty independence, and
his high sense of public duty made him invaluable in many things which
were necessary in order to achieve an overthrow of the corrupt dynasty
which then ruled our great metropolis and to purify the administration
of justice.

"Now it so happened that both of these gentlemen are Americans, born
within this State; that they are both sons of exiles, for the sake of
liberty, from Ireland; that they are both of the Catholic religion.
Mr. Kernan's creed had nothing more to do with my desire for his
nomination for Governor than it had with my seeking his co-operation,
or Mr. O'Conor's co-operation in the reform measures. The only mode
in which the question of creed came to be discussed with reference
to Mr. Kernan's nomination was afterwards, when, notwithstanding his
eminent fitness was conceded, it was said that the Republicans would
attack him on account of his religious opinions. Every rogue in the
State became greatly troubled on the subject. Every member of a corrupt
ring, by interest, was opposed to him and thought that his nomination
would eliminate the Protestant vote. I think they could have forgiven
his religion if they could only have ceased to fear his honesty. For
one, I was not disposed to concede much to such an objection. I never
said anything about Mr. Kernan's religion except to defend him. I
should have been as much in favor of his nomination if he had been of a
different creed. Mr. Kernan is totally free from bigotry. His liberal
views on every subject of sectarian controversy are on record in his
speeches and in his conduct. In exercising the powers of an official
trust his just and equitable character would be an impassible barrier
against partiality towards any class to which he should himself belong.
Are you ready to adopt the principle that no man, however superior in
merits and qualifications, who is a Catholic, shall be eligible to high
public office in this great commonwealth of freemen and equals? Such a


is not only unjust, but it is _unwise_ and _self-destructive_, with
reference to the interests you wish to protect. If your apprehensions
were anything but imaginary, you direct them in the wrong quarter.
Ambitious politicians seek to win those classes with whom they have
no natural relations. It was not Southern men, like Washington and
Jefferson and Jackson, who conceded most to slavery; it was Northern
men, like Pierce and Buchanan. A Protestant American demagogue--and
particularly if he had once been a Know-nothing--would do things to
catch votes or win popularity among a class which a Kernan, an O'Conor,
or a John Kelly would reject with disdain.

"_City Reformers._

"New York is a cosmopolitan city. According to the census of 1865,
rather more than three-fifths of the voters were naturalized. In the
other two-fifths are included the sons of naturalized citizens. How
reform in municipal administration or good government in the city is to
be worked out by a moral proscription of the foreign voters or of the
religious belief of the most numerous class of them, it is not easy to
see. Every such effort is calculated to band them together in a compact
mass. Large numbers of them joined in the reform movement of 1871. If
among their classes, or among Americans descended from them, spring
up citizens foremost in all the community for talents and virtues and
devotion to our American ideas of government and society, I would not
challenge the honorable pride they awaken in those of common origin. I
share that pride in such men as Kernan and O'Conor. I would not weaken
any power of leadership which the natural sentiments of humanity may
give them in these numerous classes. I would rather see it stronger
than it is in men like these, who would never seek to create any class
influence, and would never abuse any influence, but rather exercise
every power as a trust for the public good. I had occasion, after the
election last year, in frequent addresses on municipal reform, to
lament the apathy of many of our citizens whose reproach it is that
while by pecuniary independence and leisure and all the legitimate
elements of a just and honorable public influence they selfishly
abdicate their power of leadership in the affairs of our great
metropolis. Wherever a man appears in the commonwealth who is without
venality or the inferior forms of ambition, but from an elevated sense
of his duty as a citizen of the commonwealth, he ought to be encouraged
and his natural elements of influence respected and cherished.

"It is too late in the day to revive the spirit of the native American
or Know-nothing parties. The only purely American stock which remains
on this continent is the whole population of the Southern States, who
are now under the carpet-bag governments, upheld by the banded masses
of rogues and the influence of the Federal governments and affiliated
with the Republican party. In the North we are one-third emigrants of
the last twenty-five years or their children. The great migration of
the last quarter of a century is the most remarkable in the world's
history. It has exercised a controlling power over every important
event of our national progress. In that period about seven millions of
people have come to our Northern States. I had occasion some years ago
to analyze the character of that immigration. I found that it contained
just about twice as many male persons between the ages of 15 and 40
as our resident population in 1860. In other words, it contained the
population of the virile age equal to that of fourteen millions of our
average people. It is that influx which has created our great cities,
which has built our railroads and furnished them business, and which
has produced the immense growth of our Northern States in population,
wealth, and prosperity. It is that influx which overturned the equality
of influence between the North and South in the Federal government,
and stimulated both sides to the measure that led to the Civil War. It
is that influx which would have given the North predominance if the
war had not happened, and which gave it the victory in the conflict
of arms, abolished slavery, and will at last fill the South with
communities like our own.

"This is the state of things. Who could alter it if he would? Who dare
say that, on the whole, he would alter it if he could?

"We must, then, avoid all those civil and social revolutions, work
out as best we may the problem of self-government formed on equal
and universal suffrage. We can only do so on the large, liberal
statesmanship on which we began, and never by going back toward the
dark night of proscription and bigotry."


  "NEW YORK, _Feb'y 22, 1873_.

"DEAR MRS. CASSIDY,--I regret that any delay should take place in
sending you a statement of the results of the investment made by me
for your benefit. But the computations were somewhat long, and needed
either help or instructions from me to enable Mr. Smith to complete
them, which, until now, I was not able to give.

"I had hoped before this time to see you and be able to say that, if
there is anything in your affairs in which I can offer you suggestion
or counsel for the benefit of yourself and your little ones, I shall be
glad to be of service to you.

"About the time--indeed, a little before I recd. the $10,000
remittance--when Mr. Cassidy had told me it would be sent I invested
some $15,000 for you. I sold enough the other day to pay the balance
due me for allowances.

"The investment has gained some $1700, besides interest compounded and
quarterly. The stock would have sold for 5 per cent. more last year,
which would have been $750 additional.

"But investments generally show about that difference; and if you
continue to want such an investment for income, it can now be made

"The Cleveland and Pittsburg stock is about 3-1/2 per cent. lower, and
yields the same income.

"Well-selected gold-interest 7-p.-c. bonds, if bought at 85 or a little
under, will give a larger income. They should be selected with caution.
Now, three courses are open:

"1. If you need the _money_ the stock can at once be sold.

"2. The stock can be transferred to your name if you do not wish to
change the investment. In that event, it had better be put in your
name; for the motive to keep the account open has ceased.

"The stock is perfectly safe as can be--gives quarterly dividends,
and is free from all income tax, and I think from all personal
taxes in this State. The dividends have the security of the great
earnings--$1,750,000 now above the cent, and the guaranty of the Penn.
R. R. Co., with its $65,000,000 of capital, paying ten per cent., and
worth 120.

"But, no doubt, some bond could be found that might pay a little more.
If Mr. Cassidy had lived I intended to change to something which would
give more income, though I think I was rather more cautious in doing it
than he inclined to be. For, after all--especially with a lady--certain
security is the first consideration. We are doubtless now, as we have
been for several years past, on a gradually receding scale of values,
in which the attempt at large profits involves more risk than it did at
an earlier period.

"I write hastily, but thus fully that you may know the whole situation.
Consult with your advisers, and let me know your wishes.

"I remain, Dear Mrs. Cassidy,

  "Very truly your friend,
                          "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _March 14, 1873_.

"My dear Sir,--I have been waiting until something should turn up cheap
enough and, at the same time, safe enough to warrant the reinvestment
of your money. There are gold-interest-bearing bonds at about 90--7 p.
c.; but I wanted something cheaper. I sometimes hesitate about taking
for you what involves so much reliance on one's own judgment as is
necessary, where you buy securities new and not well established in the

"Some time ago I bought 50 bonds on two railroads--now consolidated
in Texas. One is the Houston and Great Northern R. R., the other the
International R. R.

"The bonds are $16,000 per mile, and many of our best business men
have invested in the stock, which is issued at $16,000 per mile. I
think the lines likely to be productive, and the investment is managed
with a cautious and conservative spirit. I gave 82-1/2 and the accrued
interest for these bonds. I will let you have enough of them to come
to your money and interest while it has been in my hands at 7 p. c.,
tho' I generally have a considerable sum lying in bank at 5--say, 40 or

"We sold 6 of your bonds, which gave 6 per cent., or $360 in gold.

"By taking off one coupon--if you can wait--the money and interest
would buy about 7 of these bonds. That would give 490 in gold, or a
gain of 130 a year in gold.

  "Your money, according to the a/c sent you, was  $5,334.46
  Int. to Mar. 14                                     190.86
  "As my young man has computed                     5,525.32
  Int. to July 1                                      115.91
  7000 at 82-1/2                                    5,775
  Deficiency                                          133.77
  "Take off 2 of the coupons--making the other begin
  to run July 1                                       140
  Surplus                                              $6.23

"I would like to have you inquire into the matter if you incline to do
this, so as to act as much as possible on your own judgment. If you
wish to come down here I will be happy to consult with you and put you
in the way of making up an independent judgment.

"If you incline to something more current you can buy Cleveland and
Pittsburg stock--which can be converted at any time into money; but it
will only give you 7 p. c. currency on 90.

  Very truly yours,
                      "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _June 17, '73_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--I send you letters:

"1. Mr. Forster, a member of Parliament and of the present Cabinet. A
strong friend of ours through the war and in keeping up the treaty of
Washn. during the last year's storm.

"2. Lord Houghton, formerly member of H. of Commons as Rich. Monckton
Milnes, an author and society man, friend of Am. politics, etc.

"3. Sir Robt. Lusk, an excellent man and lawyer, now on the Queen's
bench. He was our counsel in the _Alexandra_ case when I was out in

"4. Sir Jno. Rose, of Morton, Rose & Co., whom you know about and
probably know.

"5. Mr. Wilkins, a barrister, who has been in this country and is a
very capital fellow.

"So much for an hour's work to-night.

                            "Yours very truly,
                                             "WM. M. EVARTS."[62]

  "_The Hon'ble Saml. J. Tilden._"

In the summer of 1873, Mr. Tilden, for the first time, visited the Old
World. While there he sent the following note, addressed, I presume,
to John Kelly, then supreme in Tammany Hall. In this assigning reasons
for his mistrust of the Republican party, the organization of which was
contemporaneous with the commencement of the Civil War of 1860-61.


"In the sixteen years during which it will have been in possession of
the government at the expiration of the present Presidential term,
all the evils which call so loudly for redress have had their origin,
their persistent and daily growth. Nearly all its thinkers, speakers,
and writers, its active intellect and its power of leadership are
imbued with strong government theories of so extravagant a character
that even Hamilton would have disowned and doubtless would have
condemned them. The classes who desire pecuniary profit from existing
governmental abuses have become numerous and powerful beyond any
example in our country. The myriads of officeholders, with enhanced
salaries, and often with illicit gains; the contractors and jobbers;
the beneficiaries of congressional grants of the public property or of
special franchises; the favored interests whose business is rendered
lucrative by legislative bounties or legislative monopolies; the
corporations whose hopes and fears are appealed to be the measures
of the government; the rapacious hordes of carpet-baggers who have
plundered the impoverished people of the South at least ten times as
much as Tweed's Ring did the rich metropolis, and whose fungus growth
is intertwined with the roots of the Republican party; all these
classes are not only interested in perpetuating existing evils and
existing wrongs, but they are the main agencies and instruments by
which that work is done."

This is the key-note of Mr. Tilden's view of our Federal politics in
1873. Unhappily, there is nothing in this statement upon which we can
boast to-day of any considerable improvement.



"MY DEAR SIR,--As I shall not be able to return home in season to take
part in the political canvass of this fall, I desire through you to
request the delegate to the State convention who will be chosen from my
district to say for me that I decline a re-election as member-at-large
of the State committee and as its chairman.

"What the country now needs in order to save it is a revival of the
Jeffersonian democracy, with the principles of government and rules
of administration, and with the high standard of official morality
which were established by the political revolution of 1800. At that
time the infant institutions of the republic were imperilled by the
same evil tendencies which have to-day attained a larger development.
The demoralizations of war--a spirit of gambling adventure, engendered
by false systems of public finance; a grasping centralism, absorbing
all functions from the local authorities, and assuming to control
the industries of individuals by largesses to favored classes from
the public treasury of moneys wrung from the body of the people by
taxation--were then, as now, characteristics of the period. The party
which swayed the government, though embracing many elevated characters,
was dominated, as an organization, by the ideas of its master-spirit,
Alexander Hamilton. Himself personally pure, he nevertheless believed
that our American people must be governed, if not by force, at least
by appeals to the selfish interests of classes, in all the forms of
corrupt influence. I recently met here--in the birthplace of Albert
Gallatin--a son of that great man, and himself a distinguished
American. Speaking in the light of the unsullied traditions of that
day, as well as of its public history, he said that the jobbery and
corruption and laxity of official morals were as great, proportionally,
then as now. If this be a true judgment, the reaction which was
effected and which gave us half a century of comparatively pure
administration is an encouragement that official morals and public life
may be again lifted from degradation. As the means of the reaction of
1800, Thomas Jefferson founded and organized the Democratic party. He
set up anew the broken foundations of governmental power. He stayed
the advancing centralism. He restored the rights of the States and the
localities. He repressed the meddling of government in the concerns of
private business, remitting the management of the industries of the
country to the domain of the individual judgment and conscience. He
not only brought the administration into conformity with principles
which lessen the occasions and the motives for corruption, but he
enforced, by precept and by example, purity and disinterestedness in
official life. He refused to appoint relatives to office. He declined
all presents. He refrained, while in the public service, from all
enterprises to increase his private fortune.

The immense ascendency over the public opinion of the country acquired
by Mr. Jefferson--the complete triumph of the party he formed and led,
the acceptance at length by the whole people of him as the highest
political authority--shaped the course of government in the United
States for half a century. That period will stand in all history as the
golden age of the republic.

The reformatory work of Mr. Jefferson in 1800 must now be repeated.
Organizations and names are important only as they are available for
the result. Every patriotic citizen, sincerely desirous of reform,
should discard all prejudices and accept the benefaction from any
source which is capable of providing it.

But it is quite clear that the Republican party now swaying the
administration, although it embraces large numbers of honorable and
patriotic citizens, is, as a whole, incapable of this specific mission.
In the sixteen years during which it will have been in possession of
the government at the expiration of the present Presidential term,
all the evils which call so loudly for redress have had their origin,
their persistent and daily growth. Nearly all its thinkers, speakers
and writers, its active intellect and its power of leadership, are
imbued with strong-government theories of so extravagant a character
that even Hamilton would have disowned and doubtless would have
condemned them. The classes who desire pecuniary profit from existing
governmental abuses have become numerous and powerful beyond any
example in our country. The myriads of officeholders, with enhanced
salaries, and often with illicit gains; the contractors and jobbers;
the beneficiaries of Congressional grants of the public property or of
special franchises; the favored interests whose business is rendered
lucrative by legislative bounties or legislative monopolies; the
corporations whose hopes and fears are appealed to by the measures
of the government; the rapacious hordes of carpet-baggers who have
plundered the impoverished people of the South at least ten times
as much as Tweed's Ring did the rich metropolis, and whose fungus
growth is intertwined with the roots of the Republican party; all
these classes are not only interested in perpetuating existing evils
and existing wrongs, but they are the main agencies and instruments
by which that work is done. They furnish organization, they supply
numerous partisans who devote themselves to electioneering while the
honest citizens are compelled to earn their daily bread by the sweat
of their brow; they contribute and aggregate vast sums of money to be
expended in conducting party canvasses, in influencing the elections
and in corrupting the voters; sums which no number of disinterested
citizens could furnish if equally unscrupulous in the methods of
political influence. For the first time in our national history such
classes have become powerful enough to aspire to be in America the
ruling classes, as they have been and are in the corrupt societies
of the Old World. They threaten to reproduce here a state of things
often found elsewhere, in which the governmental machine, with its
allies and dependents, is capable of setting itself up against and
over the whole mass of unorganized citizens who follow the avocations
of private life. These classes completely possess the organization
of the Republican party. They have absorbed the Republican party.
They are, for all practical purposes, the Republican party. They make
its nominations; they shape its measures, they preserve its policy.
Individual dissenters who preserve the original traditions of American
free government there are, but their voices are not heard; they are
generally paralyzed; they are always powerless. Hitherto no Democratic
minority has been formed capable of exercising any practical power. No
internal remedy can come for a disease which has incorporated itself
with everything vital in the political body. It is too late to cut out
the cancer without killing the patient.

"In the nature of the case, the remedy can come only from an opposition
which shall grow strong enough to turn out the present existing
administration and take its place. In such an opposition the Democratic
masses must contribute a large element. They embrace three and a half
or four millions of votes, and are of themselves within five per cent.
of a majority. They contain nearly all the thinkers, speakers and
writers, all the trained statesmen who adhere to the traditions of
Jefferson; and while individual members have been not unstained with
the errors of the times, the body, as a whole, is sound; and a majority
is sure to declare for the ancient faith of Jefferson and Franklin and
George Clinton and Samuel and John Hancock.

"In the part I have borne in the administration of the Democratic party
of the State of New York--now closed--I have aimed at three things:

"1. To lead on public opinion in favor of the original ideas of the
Jeffersonian democracy and in support of such current measures as
secured valuable reforms.

"2. To terminate a degrading strife in which they enlisted themselves,
in comparing the leprous spots on their respective sides, and
practically declared that the word only was wanting to incite an
honorable emulation in which they should seek and apply effectual
remedies and the public mind stimulated to reform.

"3. To prepare the Democratic masses to act their part in a general
movement for reform in all the governmental institutions of the
country. (_Cætera desunt._)


  "GENEVA, IN SWITZERLAND, _Sept. 6th, 1873_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--As I shall not be able to return home in season to
take part in the political canvass of this autumn, I desire you to
say for me to the State convention that I decline a re-election as
member-at-large of the State committee and as its chairman.

"It is a satisfaction to me that I surrender to the Democracy of the
State of New York--now comprising nearly half a million of voters--the
trust with which they have so long invested me, at a moment when
the pronounced movement for reform and better government in which
I felt it my duty 'to follow wherever any dared to lead, or to lead
wherever any dared to follow,' has been overwhelmingly sustained by the
Democratic masses, until there is no longer a whisper of dissent; and
at a moment, too, when, with nominations responsive to this growing
popular sentiment, the prospects of success at the approaching State
election are so auspicious.

  "With much esteem, I remain,
                "Very truly, your friend,
                            "S. J. TILDEN."


  "_November, 1873._

"It is with profound sorrow that I communicate to you officially the
intelligence that Azariah C. Flagg died at his residence in this city
on the evening of the 24th. At the close of the next month it will
be fifteen years since the public career of this eminent citizen was
terminated. In that interval, totally bereft of eyesight, but with an
intellect clear and strong, and a spirit courageous and serene, he has
lived in complete retirement, fulfilling some private trusts, and ever
thoughtful of all public interests. At last, when a few days would have
completed an age of eighty-three years, he has passed from among us.

"There are peculiarities in the public career and public character of
Mr. Flagg which make it specially fit that the people of this State,
and the people of this city, should pause a moment in their busy life
to render a conspicuous homage to him as his mortal remains pass to the

"He was born in Orwell, in the State of Vermont, on the 28th of
November, 1790. In early youth he migrated to Plattsburg, in this
State. He had an honorable share in the defence of that place against
the British invasion in the war of 1812-15. He sought a frugal
livelihood as editor and printer of the Plattsburg _Republican_, a
Democratic newspaper. In November, 1822, he was elected by the friends
of Clinton to the Assembly. He served in that body with distinction
during the sessions of 1823 and 1824. In February, 1826, he was elected
Secretary of State by the Legislature, and held that office until
Jan., 1833, when he was elected Comptroller. He held the latter office
until 1839. He was restored to it in 1842, and continued to hold it
until the close of 1847. His official service consisted of two years in
the Assembly and 19 years in the Canal Board, as Comptroller, as Secy.
of State; and his unofficial service was even more valuable during the
three years from 1839 to 1842. His career in State administration may
be counted as 25 years.

"In this career of a quarter of a century in the administration of
the State, Mr. Flagg's merit and renown will be found not in the
catalogue of the great offices he held, but in the wise measures and
honest policy he originated or maintained--in the ability, vigor, and
courage with which he pursued the right and confronted the wrong, and
in the great fact that he invariably wielded official power and party
leadership for the cause of good government, for purity in legislation
and in administration; that he used these great influences, not for the
purposes of individual ambition or personal gain, but exclusively and
undeviatingly for the public good; that he contributed very largely
to keep up and to elevate the standard and the tone of official and
political morals in both parties and in the whole public during this
long period in the greatest State of the Union. Mr. Flagg was united
with Martin Van Buren, whose organizing genius and masterly abilities
created the association; with Silas Wright and William L. Marcy, also
statesmen of the first class. They were all men of probity, frugality,
and personal virtue, and they drew to their side similar characters
in all parts of the State. Mr. Flagg made the State finances his
specialty; and surpassed all his associates in enterprise and courage,
though he may not have equalled them in general attainments, and was
often the most effective leader in this State.

"In the six years from 1853 to 1859, Mr. Flagg served as Comptroller of
this city; and although he did not attempt any political leadership,
his career was distinguished by the fidelity and firmness with which he
resented all invasions of the municipal treasury; and his persistent
and unwearied exertions in this service no doubt hastened the malady
by which, at nearly the allotted age of man, closed forever his vision
upon the light of the heavens.

"It may safely be said that the history of the country affords no
equal example of a life devoted for so long a period with so much
affirmative activity, and with so much ability and skill, to the
abstract cause of good government in the civil administration of the
community in which Providence had cast his lot.

"At a period when the people everywhere are feeling how much they
need such virtues and such services, we ought to signalize our
appreciation of so remarkable an example, if only as an incentive to
its imitation."[64]


  "N. Y., _Nov. 14, 1873_.

"DEAR HENRY,--I have but a moment. I am pressed on every side with
urgent demands.

"There will be no use in your asking me for any further aid, unless you
can make up your mind to abandon your pride and imperious will, and
come to terms which I have so long advised for your own good and which
I ought long ago to have enforced for my own peace and safety.

"I scarcely like to repeat my ideas, because I frequently hear, through
indirect channels, of your complaint that I go back 18 years, and so
you don't wish to talk with me.

"Now, I never have recurred to painful topics merely to wound, but only
to try to impress the lessons which you ought to have derived from your
own experience, but which you never would admit to me, and which you
have never acted on. If it is hopeless to expect that you will correct
errors--if you are too proud to admit them--what resource have I but to
keep that which is [left] out of your power? What hope is there that
anything I can do will be of any permanent use to you or your family?
What can I do but turn away my thoughts from a man--this affair, which
has cost me more anxiety, trouble, hazard of my own affairs and of
health than everybody and everything in life--who grabs anything of
mine he can lay his hands on without asking me, never consults me
about restoring it, and thinks it right to do just as he pleases about
incurring new expenditures and operations in preference to paying his
creditors, whom he does not think it necessary to consult, or, indeed,
to have any rights but to submit to what he, in his supreme good
pleasure, chooses to do.

"In prudence and in morality you have much to do to regain my good
opinion. The first thing is to see and admit your errors. The next is
to show signs of amending them.

"1. An ordinary creditor would have a right to know, frankly and truly,
the situation of a debtor. Still more so would a man who was aiding as
a matter of favor--friendship or affection.

"In twenty years I have been able to get nothing from you which was not
wrung out, even when I was making new advances at great sacrifices.
Then as scanty as possible. I never had any information about your
Michigan transactions. I never have been able to get information in
season to advise about the shaping of your plans.

"You have seemed to think that everybody ought to accept your own view
of your affairs--allow you to embark in new undertakings money justly
due to your creditors without their consent or knowledge--and that it
was almost a piece of impertinence for them to wish to know anything
about their own money."


                        "WASHINGTON, D. C., _Dec. 1, 1873_.

  "To S. J. TILDEN,
          _15 Gramercy Park_.

"Should we Democrats vote Fernando Wood and back pay?

  "S. S. COX."


"Telegram received while you are already acting. But State convention,
which is higher authority, had before instructed you.

  "S. J. TILDEN."


  "NEW YORK, _Jan'y 10, 1874_.

"My dear Tilden,--I have been invited by the present Common Council
to present on the 14th inst. to the family of Horace Greeley an
illuminated album ordered by their predecessors. As you were intimately
acquainted with him, and know a good deal more of his history and
character which it may be appropriate to refer to in presenting the
testimonial, you are able to embody them in an address to accompany the
presentation much better than myself, and I hope you will find time to
prepare it.

"In doing so you may say for me that I had no personal acquaintance
with him, never spoke to him but once at a little sociable at Doct.
Bostwick's 25 years ago, had no political relations or affinities
with him, but recognize in the general esteem in which he was held
by a large portion of the community for so long a time as an honest
journalist, that a more intimate acquaintance might have found us in
closer relationship than probably either of us felt ourselves called
upon to acknowledge. I will send for it on Monday morning at your
house, as I know you will take the little trouble it will occasion you
to oblige me.

                               "Yours truly,
                                               "W. F. HAVEMEYER."

  "_To S. J. Tilden, Esq._"


  "SATURDAY MORNING, _April 4, 1874_.

"DEAR YOUNG LADIES,--Miss Daly, when I had the pleasure to see
her--where her like are not always found--at home, suggested to me to
join in some little floral tribute to Nilsson before the close of her
present engagement. With my usual docility I acquiesced, and that is
all which has come of it. I have no guidance, and am in danger of being
a delinquent.

"To-day is the last, if not the best occasion. But the rosebuds would
spring as fitly out of the rugged cleft of the storm-beaten oak as
from me, while they would form naturally and come gracefully from the
representatives of the springtime of womanhood.

"Shall I mention another circumstance in a _postscriptum_?

"I am suddenly called to attend an auction sale of a railroad in Jersey
City at 2 to-day, and may not see the Academy.

"I hope, therefore, you will undertake the disposal of what accompanies
this note.

                               "Very truly,
                                        "Yours, &c.,
                                                  "S. J. TILDEN."

  "_Miss Morse and Miss Daly._
          "_Sat. Morn., April 4, 1874._"


  "18 WALL ST., _Mar. 9th, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have yours of 7th, in all of which I acquiesce except
the following sentence: 'You are full of your own business, and so are
not able to meditate beforehand what you should do.'

"Now, I am full of my own business, but this is part of my business,
and so long as I have anything to do with it shall and does receive all
the '_meditation_' that I can conceive may be of advantage to it.

"I have seen Scudder, have also arranged to carefully re-examine the
figures in respect to the men to whom you allude.

"Scudder is to communicate with his former correspondent and see him,
and do what can be done to bring us together.

"I can get an attachment against the men to whom you refer on evidence
we now have, and with the testimony of either of the men whom we
propose to get can recover; perhaps without such testimony, but I have
not sufficiently examined the figures to say so yet.

"I saw Mr. O'Conor yesterday. He is anxious that nothing be done until
the last remedy bill be passed.

"Mr. Pelton, when writing me, said that copies of the two bills already
passed--attachment and criminal--would be sent to me. They have not

"Will you be kind enough to ask him to send them to me?

"Now, as to Connolly:

"He wants to settle _civil claims only_--not criminal. He offers
$400th. Will give, I think, $500th. It won't let him come home, for the
indictments still stand. I think Mr. O'Conor is not in favor of it. _I
am_, _i. e._, of this particular settlement as to this man. I think
that it is all we could get by litigation. His property has undoubtedly
shrunk, and doubtless he has been blackmailed to a large extent. I can
have the whole matter closed and money paid in thirty days. What do you
think of it?

"I think if the general voice shd. be in favor of a settlement Mr.
O'Conor would acquiesce; but I merely so infer.

"As to the mountain, etc.: Why, Mahomet will go soon.

                               "Yours Truly,
                                            "WHEELER H. PECKHAM."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"


"Your correspondent not having the liberty of an interview,
nevertheless had the privilege of a conversation, not at all private,
worthy of public consideration.

"His Excellency was reminded that he could not be an unobservant
spectator of the circumstance that the leaders of both political
parties are discussing Presidential questions and canvassing the
claims of opposed candidates in both. He promptly responded that that
concerned him the least whilst he had serious duties to perform. The
Presidency, he said, is not strictly before the people at all in this
canvass. They are to elect legislators who should improve the laws,
and executive State officers to administer the same. A constitutional
amendment contemplates cutting off extra compensations to contractors,
but it does not prohibit the Legislature from charging work in the
interest 'of the contractor,' besides authorizing 'the Canal Board' to
cancel such (contractor's) contract. This shows the vital importance
of electing a sound Legislature and a safe Canal Board. The practice
has been too much to pass laws in the interest of the sinister, the
evil, and the profligate classes; and the same have been administered
accordingly, until the rights and interests of the honest and
industrial classes have been greatly ignored and the common prosperity
well-nigh paralyzed. The State has just now a far deeper interest in
home government than in the national concerns. We need not overlook the
frauds and extravagances of the Washington government, but we shall
find on hand full enough to do if we arrest and redress the abuses
that pervade our cities, towns, and counties, and particularly the
State, for this year, leaving the selection of members of Congress and
Presidential electors to their proper time another year.

"His Excellency was further reminded that he could not overlook the
fact that the prominence, not to say popularity, of his administration
had led to the consideration of his name in connection with the next
Presidency, and that some rivalry consequent upon the agitation of
'home questions' had led to the favoring of candidates beyond the
limits of our own State.

"His Excellency promptly (and rather nervously) responded that public
opinion will be very apt to take care of such interests and issues.
He had seen enough to satisfy him that he who escapes the cares and
responsibilities of public life is far happier than he who enjoys its
supposed honors and emoluments. He could most heartily and trustfully
support the superior claims (as they are miscalled) of New York's
favorite son and foremost statesman.

"Of course, this was understood to refer to Governor Seymour. So his
Excellency was reminded that it was objected that he had had his
opportunity, and also that our State has had both of the last two
chances for the Presidency.

"'Oh, that is a superficial, if not sinister, view of the case,'
promptly rejoined my interlocutor. 'The public no longer cares what
State or section candidates come from. They may be taken from one or
the other, or both from either, and the people will not care, so long
as the men and measures are acceptable. Gov. Seymour was nominated
eight years ago against his wishes and his friends', with the tacit if
not expressed understanding that he and they were making a sacrifice at
the time to a political exigency. The same, pretty much, may be said
in the case of the lamented Greeley. New York has no local claims (any
more than the "mother of Presidents" of old had); neither has she any
local disabilities. But there is no use of discussing these matters,
as he said before. We have more appropriate and pressing work in hand.
When that is done it will be time enough to bother our heads about
other political concerns.'

"His Excellency was badgered a little on the reports of his alleged ill
health, but he was disposed to treat it as 'an invention of the enemy.'
Yet he expressed jocosely the hope that his own constitution might soon
experience a respite from his sedentary confinement, as well as the bad
habits of public life."


                               "ROCHESTER, _Sept. 5, 1874_.

  "H. A. TILDEN.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Just after posting my hasty note to you of the 3rd
inst. I met Isaac Butts and went to his office with him. Wilkins, who
has been a delegate to the State convention from this city a number
of times, and Geo. Taylor, the Assemblyman of _last winter_ from this
city, was in said office. After a little time, Butts spoke of the
convention to be held at Syracuse, and said that S. J. Tilden was
the only man that should receive the nomination, 'and would get it.'
Wilkins was still stronger in his views for Tilden. Geo. Taylor said
but little, for he is a Lord man--the Lords are very still; they do
not want W. F. Allen; they wish to keep that _court bench just as it is
now_. You know why. Allen and Ganson, of Buffalo, will be the only men
in the way of S. J. Tilden. I now think that Erie, Niagara, and Genesee
counties will give full delegation for Tilden. Livingston, Monroe, and
Orleans. Ontario will give part delegation for Tilden. A few days more
will show how the cat will jump with the Canal Ring men. They must show
their hand soon. I will keep you posted.

  "I am, Yours,
                  "JACOB S. GOULD."

In pencil by Henry A. Tilden:

    "SAML.,--Monday, 3 o'c. Just received. You see by it how
    matters stand."


  "OGDENSBURG, N. Y., _Aug. 21, 1874_.

"DEAR SIR,--Your telegram, kindly inviting me to be present at the
meeting of the Democratic State committee to-day, was received. It was
impracticable for me to attend, and I could not tell where a telegram
would reach you. I write now to return thanks for your courtesy in
inviting me to be present. I do not share the fears of many of our
friends that Governor Dix's personal popularity will carry the radical
ticket successfully through the coming canvass; on the contrary,
I believe our prospects good, if we are honest with ourselves and
judicious in selecting candidates.

"I am opposed to selecting a candidate for Governor from the judges
of the Court of Appeals. Either Hon. Clarkson N. Potter or Hon. John
Ganson would make a fair candidate, but my first and last choice is
yourself. My position in your case is precisely what you know it was at
the time, in 1872, our mutual and esteemed friend, Hon. Francis Kernan,
was talked of as a probable nominee. Mr. Kernan's religious convictions
were the first, if not the only objection suggested by those opposed to
his nomination; in your case the first if not the only objection urged
is that your courageous and successful attack upon a corrupt ring in
our party will lessen the vote for you, it being always suggested in
this connection that the old and corrupt ring still control a large
vote, especially in your city. I say away with such abject fears! If
our party friends will not support brave, honest men because a ring
of plunderers and their retainers may be displeased, then let our
opponents succeed, and we will at least escape the responsibility
always attending political power. This has been and is my position on
the question.

  "Respectfully Yours,
                       "D. MAGONE, JR."


  "ALBANY, _Sept. 10, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am in receipt of your circular and letter which came
to hand to-day. Enclosed find a corrected list of working-men as you

"I also assume the liberty of addressing you the following, which
please consider confidential. The position of things in this county
and the influences which I believe are working against yourself prompt
these suggestions.

"The _regular committees_ of our city and county will send to the State
convention 12 delegates, all able, prominent, representative, and
live working-men and Democrats. They are, I think, with good reason,
unanimously in favor of your nomination. There will, however, be a
contesting delegation from here, made from powers wielded by a county
committee which commenced its existence about 4 months since, which
is being controlled by its president, John McEwen, and supported by
the _Argus_. I think I hazard nothing in stating that in my judgment
this last delegation, together with the entire power of the _Argus_
and the 'Canal Ring' here, which support them, are inimical to your
nomination and will do all they can to defeat you. The developments
which have been watched, and especially these within the last two
days in connection with the Liberal Republican convention, I think
fully sustain all I say, and even _more_. The whole of these 3 powers
were used to their utmost strength during the last 2 days to drive
you from the field and to force the renomination of Mr. Church. This
plan was fought against by our delegation and those acting therewith,
and to their ingenious and proper management in a great degree is the
result attributable which prevented the naming of Mr. Church by their
convention. The _Argus_, McEwen, and their supporters, we believe, are
doing all they can to fill up your path. We are disposed to keep it
clear and to give you our individual support.

"You are, of course, aware that _our_ admission to the State convention
is to be opposed as bitterly as it can be by the _same powers_ which
are named above as being opposed _to you_. We are therefore very
anxious to receive your support in procuring our admission as regular
delegates into said convention. The self-same persons, we believe,
which are massed against us are consolidated agst. you. The success of
our delegation will add to your soldiers. Knowing you will have much to
say in regard to the committee before whom we must appear, I sincerely
trust you will see that it is so composed that bolting committee
delegations cannot oust those who represent the regular committees from
this county, who have aided you in fighting our political battles so
ably for the last 40 years. When I can be of further service, please
let me know. Shall be happy to acknowledge any attention you may
conclude to extend.

  Your obdt. servant,
                    "ALVA H. TREMAIN."


  "UTICA, _Sept. 11, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have been confined to my house for some days, so that
I have not been able to see Mr. Kernan. To-day he is out of town.
To-morrow I shall go to the north part of our county to attend the
district convention, which I shall get to send me to Syracuse. I have
to go thirty miles to reach it, as it is held in a remote corner of
our county. As I wrote you before, the State has been scoured by your
opponents. The State officers are hostile, and every canal official is
at work to keep your friends out of the convention. In Oneida we have
more than one hundred miles of canals running into all sections of its
territory. I shall not be surprised if I encounter a sharp opposition
to-morrow. It is not open opposition alone which is to be contended
with. Men are put forward who claim to be your friends who are to be
convinced in due time that it will not be expedient to nominate you,
although they hold you in high regard, etc., etc.

"A high compliment is paid to you by men who have schemes when they
show that they do not want you in Albany. So far as your fame and honor
are concerned, it will be fortunate for you if they succeed, for the
whole press, which will be hostile or silent if you are put into the
field, will be full of your praises if it is held that you are too
honest to be made a Governor.

                            "Truly yours, &c.,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_Hon. S. J. Tilden._"


  "UTICA, _Sept. 12, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I came home from Binghamton to-day, where I have been
several days. I see the opposition to you has taken a new phase within
a few days. Your opponents are seeking to have you resign in favor
of Judge Church. I do not think you can now do so with propriety.
The matter of a candidate for Governor has been canvassed for weeks;
it has been understood by us all that Judge Church would not take a
nomination; there were many reasons why, being chief justice, he should
not vacate the position and leave it to be filled by appointment for a
year. Your name has been canvassed, and your friends have taken strong
ground in favor of your nomination; now those who have been opposed
to you, not your friends, ask you to retire that Judge Church may be
nominated. In my judgment you should not take the responsibility of
this step; the matter has progressed so far that I think you should
leave the matter to your friends and the convention which is about to
assemble. I see no other way out of the matter but in thus acting.

"The delegates in this district were elected to-day. The one from the
city will vote for you, and the others also, as I believe.

"From all I can learn I think the convention will be in favor of your
nomination. I shall be at Syracuse Tuesday evening.

  Yours, in haste,
                    "FRANCIS KERNAN."


  "HAMILTON, N. Y., _Sept. 16, 1874_.

"I am too ill to attend the convention. My judgment is that on no
account should you withdraw your name as candidate for Governor. Better
suffer defeat. Circumstances seem to me to require it, and I submit it
with my best wishes.

  "N. W. PARKER."


  "NEW YORK, _Sept. 19, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I take the earliest occasion, on my return home, to
thank you for the timely and friendly tone of yours of the 11th.

"It may be that there is much in the speculations you make as to the
causes of the sudden and active opposition to my nomination. If so, it
is very foolish. Nothing is gained to an individual and much is lost
to a party by forecasting so far in advance of time and events. That I
never do. Mr. Wright once said to me that men who fix their eye on a
distant object are apt to fail to see the sticks and stones in the path
immediately before them, and to stumble and fall.

"The truth is, I did not come to entertain the idea of taking
a nomination until the 21st of Aug. Like yourself, I have seen
everything. There are no illusions in my mind in respect to public
life. I know that peace, content, and happiness are only in a private
station; and it is wholly exceptional in me to do what I am now doing.

"I shall be happy to hear from you whenever it may suit your
convenience to write.

  "In the mean time, believe me, &c.,
                               "S. J. TILDEN."


  "UTICA, _Sept. 20, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have read with pleasure your speech made at the
serenade. It is clear and able. It was a better time to make it than
in the convention, as it would have interrupted its action when all
was going on well. But there are reasons why you should not make any
more speeches. If you do you must speak about national affairs, as
you cannot talk about yourself. This will turn away attention from
the points we wish to keep in men's minds. It will also put you into
antagonism with many Republicans who are disposed to vote for you for
home reasons. As matters stand, you can make no speech which will help
you with those we hope to gain from the other side. You will also draw
upon yourself the fire of journals which are disposed to beat you
fairly. I am clear that the true policy is to look after organizations,
etc. I will write again soon.

  "Truly yours, &c.,
                     "HORATIO SEYMOUR."



         "SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y., _Sept. 21, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--We have known each other for many years; have passed
through many heated political campaigns together, striving for the
same political results; therefore I hope you will not deem it amiss
if I write you a short letter. I premise by saying what every one
knows--that without the aid of the personal friends of Tweed the State
ticket this fall will be defeated by forty thousand majority. Can his
friends be made our friends in this campaign? I answer 'yes.' You
inquire, 'How can this be done?'

"The object of criminal punishment in theory and practice, as laid
down by all elementary writers, is to reform the offender, to deter
him and others from committing like offences, and to protect society.
Has not this object been accomplished in the case of Tweed? Gen. Dix,
if elected, will not pardon him; will you? If his friends have your
promise, when elected, to pardon, will they not put in a half million
into a fund for your success? Then let them say to their friends in
each county that they desire your election _for a purpose_, and we have
the whole strength of the Democratic party. That will not, perhaps,
be enough. Let the temperance men be paid and their organizations
sustained by money, and success is certain. Let one man in each
Assembly district be re-elected who will be in the secret and have the
desired funds, who will thoroughly work his district--both in getting
out the Democrats and taking care of the temperance people--and you
have the desired result. You and the reformers can afford this promise.
I am not and never was a Tweed man--I thought his punishment just--yet
I think he has been confined long enough for all purposes, legal,
moral, or political. The above is a bold proposition; if you think of
it, it will appear a just one. But be that as it may, without some such
move we cannot carry the State. Excuse me if in writing thus I presume
too much.

  "Yours Respectfully,
                         "P. H. COWEN."



(_From the New York "Tribune"_)

It is very much to the credit of the administration journals of
the State that, so far as they discussed beforehand the claims and
qualifications of the several candidates for the Democratic nomination
for Governor, they frankly recognized the fact that the logic of the
Democratic professions of reform pointed unmistakably to the gentleman
who was nominated at Syracuse on Thursday. Indeed, they almost may be
said to have advised and urged his nomination. In doing this we give
them credit for rising above the narrowness of partisanship, and for
taking into view the great public benefit to be derived from having
for the candidates of both parties men of distinguished ability and
unimpeachable integrity, instead of following the instincts of a petty
and unpatriotic selfishness by endeavoring to induce their opponents
to weaken and stultify themselves. Mr. Tilden, at no small risk of
personal popularity and political influence, and with no conceivable
motive but a desire for the public good, had fairly revolutionized
his own party. In arresting the corrupt and profligate career of the
Ring that ruled it, he has contributed to its temporary defeat. But
the movement he led was a success, and the party was shrewd enough
to discern in the signs of the times the wisdom of assuming the
responsibility and claiming the credit for the reform. They have done
this persistently.

It was plain enough to the most casual observer that from the moment
Mr. Tilden consented to have his name presented as the candidate
for Governor of the party to which he had been so conspicuous in
administering discipline, that party could not reject him without
confessing the insincerity of its boasting over what was in so marked
degree his work. Not to have nominated him would have been justly
considered a rebuke and a warning to any and all who should hereafter
put party success in jeopardy for the sake of putting a stop to public
robbery. The administration newspapers which pointed out the folly
and danger of such a course deserve praise for rising above the small
strategy, hypocrisy, and trickery so common in politics. We have
already expressed the opinion that the convention which nominated Mr.
Tilden was driven to it by the logic of events and as a consequence
of its professions of reform. That the nomination is offensive to a
considerable number of the party, who were directly or indirectly
disturbed by Tweed's overthrow, is an admitted fact; and there was, no
doubt, considerable hesitation in the minds of many influential leaders
over the question whether, upon the whole, it would be safe to offend
these people for the sake of making a consistent record for the party.

As for Mr. Tilden himself, it can be of comparatively little
consequence to him personally now whether he is or is not elected. He
has accomplished a great work in his party, has led a great reform,
overthrown a powerful organization of municipal thieves, and compelled
a recognition of his services more emphatic and pronounced in the
mere form of the nomination than an election could be under any other
circumstances. We presume he has not deceived himself with the idea
that the administration journals which have heretofore bestowed upon
him such copious praise, and have so frankly pointed out to his party
his strength as a candidate, have thereby estopped themselves from
attacking his principles and his character. As citizens, the gentlemen
who conduct these newspapers are doubtless glad to be assured that,
whatever may be the result of the election, the office of Governor will
be filled by an able and upright gentleman of whom they need not be
ashamed. As partisans, however, they propose to find whatever joints
there may be in his harness and to defeat him if they can. One organ,
we perceive already, after remarking that it does not know positively
that if elected he would misuse the power intrusted to him, calls
attention to the fact that he has acted as counsel for some of the
greatest railroad corporations in the State, and suggests in a wise
way that it might be very dangerous at this time to put such a man
in the executive chair. Another gives him credit for his services in
overthrowing the Tweed Ring, but adds that he did not do it at the
right time; that he ought to have done it sooner. It does not accuse
him of dishonesty, but feels compelled to call him a "moral coward."
And so they go. Of course there will be a great deal of it before
the campaign is over, a great deal that is mean and contemptible and
dishonest, but just now we prefer to consider the unusual honesty
and frankness with which the administration press treated the
question before the nomination, and to give credit for sincerity and
independence. When each party counsels the other to nominate its best
men, and the advice is followed, we shall see purer politics and better


  "UTICA, _Sept. 23, 1874_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Can you keep the _Tribune_ from taking ground for Dix?
It ought not to go for him, as he opposed Mr. Greeley and has upheld
every act of Grant. When his whole course is laid before Mr. Reid I
think he must change his views of Dix's character. I shall hurry off
to Manlius this week, so that I can get back in time to attend public
meetings if they are held. The quiet work of organization should take
up the time for two or three weeks.

"I send Mr. Pierce to see you because I think he can put a great number
of travelling merchants and tradesmen at work. They go into any part
of the State and can learn what is going on. While the regular State
committee should do its work, you should have in your own hands and
under your own direct _private_ control agencies which will cover the
ground outside of the old political machinery. If the other side do
not hold meetings we should not, at the outset. There are many leading
Repub'c's who do not wish to go to work in the harness if they can keep
out of the canvass.

  "I am, truly yours, &c.,
                        "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


  "_Sept. 29, 1874._

"DEAR SIR,--I wrote Miller a short note [of] congratulation. The reply
recd. last evening is herewith. Can you watch the progress of things
and summon me '_to the front_' when the apprehended movement is made in
the association? I will cheerfully go to the meeting and oppose it.

"I cannot doubt but that an effort will be made to move the lawyers in
Johnson's favor. If it be done a counter-movement to stir the reformers
against him may be needful, or at least expedient.

"It will hardly be possible to keep the swindler issue out of the

"In a note from Frank Barlow, recd. yesterday, a decided opinion is
expressed that Delafield Smith means to quash the Ring prosecutions.

"It really seems to me that things are ripe for a pounce upon him and
the offending majority.

"I have written Miller to print what he pleases, but not to use my
name. If it should become necessary to make the pounce just above
suggested my name should appear there for the first time. Or at least
it should not be worn out in previous skirmishes.

"I was in town yesterday and tried to see Jno. McKeon, but failed.
I would go again to-day but for two reasons: first, it rains, and,
secondly, the hope of controlling him in anything by friendly advice is
always so slight that little inconvenience should ever be suffered for
the sake of offering it.

                  "CH. O'CONOR."


  "_Dec. 8, '74._

"DEAR MR. PURCELL,--Will you accept a place on my staff, with the rank
of Brigadier-Gen., with nominal duties and without pay, as indeed are
all the offices, except the strictly military ones? This offer will
not interfere with the gentleman whom you recommended, for the reasons
that the consideration I mentioned to you will dictate my looking for
a new man in your part of the State."


                      "ROCHESTER, _Dec. 10, 1874_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--Your favor of the 8th was this morning received.
It is hardly necessary for me to say that I thank you most sincerely
for your very kind offer of a position on your staff with rank of
Brigadier-General. But I feel constrained to decline for two principal
reasons: 1st, I have no taste whatever, but rather an aversion, for
military display, and could not persuade myself to appear in uniform
on occasion; and I never want to take my position without doing the
full duty pertaining to it. 2d, if I were to accept I might lay
myself open to the suspicion or charge that while I had recommended
a fellow-citizen for position necessary to serve you that I should
accept, the case would be different, and I would be willing to yield
my own preferences and meet the suggested thoughts of others. But I
feel that by declining I enable you to give the place to some one of
the many seekers after it, who have a taste for and will be glad to get
it. I appreciate your reasons for declining to appoint the gentleman
recommended by me, and if I were in your place I would have no one
about me tainted with Hoffmanism in any way.

  "Yours, &c.,
                     "WM. PURCELL."


  "ALBANY, _Feb'y 28, 1875_.

"My dear Sir,--Your note came this morning, and it finds me in a moment
of comparative leisure which I have scarcely had for weeks, so I avail
myself of the indisposition to do anything more serious to reply.

"You need not be disgusted by the awkward accident about McLaughlin,
for, tho a little ridiculous, it is not serious; as I had all the
elements of decision I acted at once to avoid the competition which
so attractive an office was sure to cause. You will, no doubt, be
surprised if I say that I acted in this case with no more celerity than
I have with three-quarters of the important appointments, and nearly
all the small ones which I have had to deal with. For the grumble at my
delays has no doubt reached you.

"A small coterie of rogues, who, when they first recovered from the
subduing effect of the election, started into a life of whispers, first
circulated the rumor that I had a softening of the brain; next, that
I had suffered a stroke of paralysis; then, that I went to bed drunk
every night; and at last came to the statement that I had lost my
'snap'--that I had not decision or energy to make proper removals or
appointments, and, indeed, had become physically unable to make up my
mind about anything.

"Well, under every mountain of lies there is usually a grain of sand
of truth. In the interminable conferences with public bodies and
committees and officers from Nov. 5 to Dec. 25th, I did become very
weary, and felt some exhaustion of nervous force and much indigestion.
In the hurried preparation of the message I rested; and with all the
burdens since, have recuperated, got arrears nearly cleared off,
appointments made, bills--some passed and others ready--and my physique
well-nigh restored after six months of heavy strain.

"As to appointments, while the most have been despatched rapidly as
soon as reached, three classes have felt some delay.

"1st. Where there was no haste, and more important matters claimed
the earlier attention. It is very likely I have not been altogether
wise, as the world is largely made up of fools, in this respect. I am
so formed constitutionally that I concentrate on what seems of first
importance, and defer with almost contemptuous indifference what can as
well or better wait.

"This is the habit which has given me success in business, in affairs,
in the conduct of parties, in all things where military organizations
and strategy require a concentration of all resources and efforts on
the turning-point of the battle to break thro the opposing lines.

"But the hungry office-seeker sees only the narrow personal interest
he pursues, and perhaps the appointing power should act consistently
in respect to its general duties for the sake of dealing with fools
according to their folly. Perhaps so.

"2nd. When things were to be worked out which could only be known to
the appointing power. For instance, a gentleman sent me a memorandum
from Archbishop McCloskey suggesting two Catholic gentlemen for
the Board of State Charities. He did not know that I had but three
vacancies from N. Y., and that Mr. Jno. C. Deveraux, of Utica, would
go out by expiration of his term if not reappointed. I sent to him to
have his choice between the two he named, if only one of them could be
taken, and to inform him about Dr. D. He gladly preferred the latter
to one of his own nominees. Mr. D., you must know, is one of the best
families of the interior, of the old and early Catholic aristocracy--a
brother-in-law of Senator Kernan. How could I drop him?

"The one whom the archbishop preferred is the one who stands at the
head of your list--Henry Hoguet. Then I wished to take one of the
Hebrew persuasion if I could get a satisfactory one. I have good names,
but location may compel me to forego this purpose.

"Then Mr. Howard Potter, who is one of the members resigning, making
the vacancies I am to fill, has applied for an opportunity to see me
before I make the appointment.

"These arrangements take time, only known to me.

"The case delayed the most was that of judge in this district. There
were applicants from communities from all over the district. The
appointment was made in a few hours after the last hearing was given,
which it would have been an offence to refuse. I have more doubt about
the delay in this case than in any other, but the result is general

"3rd. But the _real grumble_ is from those who ask for action which is
doubtful or suspicious or which is certainly wrong.

"Our friend, Mr. Speaker MacGuire's grievance is this: There has been
started the erection by the State of public buildings at four places
beside the capital of a most extravagant character. One was the Elmira
Reformatory. This was taken out of the hands of a commissioner and put
in charge of an architect. Him I have the power to remove.

"Soon after I came here my old acquaintance, Steve Arnot, broke in
half drunk, leading in the Speaker, Charles Walker, and Senator Bradley.

"He insisted that I should instantly turn out the architect and put in
a man named by him.

"As there was no work going on, and the change might involve questions
about contracts which had been broken--new ones pending, others to
be made, and would involve the whole responsibility of wisdom and
frugality and honesty in the construction--I thought the Governor
had better not abdicate his functions, but had better look carefully
into the whole matter before he embarked himself and the party on the

"The five buildings, including the capital, are popularly estimated to
cost 25 or 30 millions.

"I treated the matter very kindly, but deferred it. I shall continue
to do that until I know enough about it to act wisely. If I change the
manager it will not be for patronage (one $4000 office of an expert),
but to a man in whom I can have a personal trust that he will not
disgrace me.

"My information is that the Democrats of Elmira and the county
deprecate nothing so much as a return of the odium they have once had
to bear. I had no reason to suppose there was any special discontent
until it appeared. The Speaker had informed me he had introduced a bill
which would make all right.

"Since I have written so much more than I intended I will turn back and
make it personal.

  "Very truly, &c.

"I have omitted to mention several narrow escapes. The balance is still
in favor of wariness, notwithstanding some friends get tremors."


  "315 LEX. AVENUE, NEW YORK, _Feb. 27th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--I regret that your kind intentions were so
fruitless of effect. I am pleased, however, to find that the intended
appointment of McLaughlin is generally approved. I am gratified, too,
that Stemmler still is in the land of the living.

"I met your nephew, Mr. Pelton, at Marble's, as I presume he has so
informed you, and there told him of Stemmler's death and advised a
speedy appointment to fill the vacancy. My information was from the
County Clerk's office; one of the principal clerks employed there gave
me the information, and handed me at the same time the _Daily News_,
which contained an account of the death of Stemmler. I enclose you
herein a scrap cut from that paper, and one, too, referring to the
matter afterwards.


"'DEATH OF JUDGE STEMMLER.--Judge Stemmler of the Fourth District Civil
Court died this morning at his residence in Seventy-first Street. Mr.
Stemmler has long been an invalid. A short time ago an abscess on
his right side was operated upon, and he was greatly benefited. Soon
afterward he began to fail and took to his bed. Deceased was 63 years
of age.'


DIES.--Mr. J. Fairfax McLaughlin, who was yesterday appointed to
fill the supposed vacancy in the judgeship of the Seventh District
Court, is a native of Maryland, where he practiced law for ten years
before coming to New York, which he did about four years ago. He has
practiced law in this city, but is at present a clerk in the County
Clerk's office. He has the reputation of being an elegant gentleman and
scholar, speaking several languages. Judge Stemmler, however, is still

"I did not suppose that you would act promptly, and regret that the
affair has occurred.

"Permit me to thank you for your well-disposed intention to do this
kind favor.

"Wm. Dunham informs me that the bill authorizing the Board of
Supervisors, or rather empowering them to remunerate him for the care
and maintenance of prisoners committed to the debtor's gaol is now in
your hands awaiting your signature.

"I have had some experience in the care of the gaol, and was paid a
_per capita_ for maintaining the prisoners. It's unjust, then, to
Dunham that he should not be paid. It appears that the gaol has always
been supported by the county, yet there was no law authorizing it to be
done. This was discovered when the predecessor of Dunham sued for his
money on Green having refused to pay him. Dunham would not have taken
the place if he had known that there was doubt about the remuneration.
This law, then, as you have evidently seen, simply allows the Board of
Supervisors to pay him what is just and proper for services rendered,
and for which he has not been paid by the county.

  "Yours truly,
                       "JOHN KELLY."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _Feb. 25, 1875_.

"DEAR GOV.,--I have perused the substitute. As a matter of course my
first thought was that of a Yankee. I set to work guessing what could
be the _motive_ of the change.

"The substitute is so much more broadly comprehensive than I feared the
'toned-down' document would be that this conjecturing process led me
into what, even to myself, seems a strange dance.

"The substitute proposed is very good, nay, it is as good and as
perfect as the original, save in one single point. It covers every
ground I ever had in view, _save one_.

"And, who beneath the sun, can stand in the gap opposing that?

"Now let me explain to you my thoughts and mental processes.

"The swindlers have removed their property, _i. e._, the plunder, out
of the State of New York. When the infamous decision was made in the
State's own court that it, _i. e._, this State itself, _had no title_,
that judicial point was thenceforth law in all foreign courts. If the
State should bring an action in any foreign court, such court would be
bound to decide against the plaintiff on the strength of that decree,
substantially made _by such plaintiff itself_. But when the county or
city or any like entity brought its action, the maintainability of
that action would be a judicial question, determinable by the foreign
judges according to their own views derived by them from the general
principles of jurisprudence. These principles taught me, and should
teach them, that as to most of these fraudulent abstractions the
subordinate local entity had no title.

"When conferring with you concerning this subject prior to your message
I distinctly stated this consideration.

"Though this may seem the product of a jurisprudent's recondite
studies, it was born of practical common sense, and what is, perhaps,
more to the point of my next observation, and to which it is
preliminary, this idea is of a nature to be eminently popular. It
might fairly be thought somewhat sensational.

"I was amazed to miss it from the lines of your message. If the thought
that _you_ could have any hesitation about pursuing the plunderers
and their plunder to the ends of the earth presented itself to me at
all--as I must suppose was not the case--it was, of course, instantly
rejected as fanciful and silly.

"But now, after a long pause for thought, forth comes the substitute
for your own original conception, so long and so faithfully nurtured
and cherished by me. And what is the difference between the original
and the substitute? Nothing whatever, except this one thing.

"The title to and ownership of the money or cause of action is to
remain unchanged!! Since that title was Allenized it is _not_ in the

"In all the courts of this State your substitute will be just as good
as the original. For _any_ future local frauds I do not see but it
is likely to answer every purpose. The single effect wrought by the
alteration is that the stolen funds now in 'Belgium or Brittany' will
be safe for the enjoyment of the thieves.

"To Dick Connolly it presents perfect immunity.

"Perhaps on this point you may say simply that I am mistaken; but such
a remark never convinces any one. The mistake may exist, but the child
of error never can see his mistake until some one takes the trouble of
dissecting it and showing by adequate explanations that it is a mistake.

"I have done as to this substitute. No further observations upon it
seem needful.

"The Tweed spirit is rampant here. It is determined to possess itself
of unrestrained power over all the offices as avenues to plunder. The
local suits against Tweed _et al._ will no doubt be pushed; but if any
judgments shall be rendered which the gang shall dislike, their friends
in the _Refugium Peccatorum_, as in duty bound, will reverse. Meantime
the Statute of Limitations will do its kindly work.

  "Yours, &c.,
                     "CH. O'CONOR."


  "THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB, NEW YORK, _Tuesday, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--I fully intended to drop in upon you to-day for an
hour or two, but found myself this morning without a voice, and with a
sore throat and headache. I wanted to say what I know it is unnecessary
to say, but might be cheering and strengthening to you, that in this
struggle with Tweed's scattered forces, led by the Mayor, to recover
possession of the city treasury, you will be sustained if you are, as
I am sure you will be, firm and defiant. You have only to inspire the
public with confidence that you cannot be seduced or bullied into any
concessions to the predatory class which is 'trying it on' with you,
and you will find all of this city worth having are your friends. I am
told that the Senate is likely to squelch the Costigan bill. If so,
they will do wisely for themselves, no doubt, but they will deprive you
of an excellent opportunity in a veto message to give Wickham his _coup
de grace_.

"There is nothing you ever did that went so to the heart of the
New-Yorkers as the way you doubled up Tweed and his pals. This movement
against Green is the secondary symptoms of the same disease, and offers
you an opportunity of which, I take it for granted, you will avail
yourself of strengthening the public confidence in your chieftainship.

"You do not need to be told that nothing would be so fatal to you as
the friendship of the Ring who are trying to force you into their
intrigues to plunder the city. Green's defence has produced a fine
effect here, and while the war lasts his position will improve.

  "Very truly Yours,
                       "JOHN BIGELOW."

Mr. Green had not been long in the office of Comptroller, to which
he was appointed for the purpose of rendering its records accessible
to Mr. Tilden, before he had alienated pretty much every one who had
business with his department. He doubtless supposed that that was the
necessary result of doing his duty. But such was not the impression
left upon the Governor's friends, and the following letter from Mr.
Hewitt was not the first indication of a public sentiment which made
his nomination for that office, at the expiration of Connolly's term,
which he was serving, impossible.


  "9 LEXINGTON AVENUE, NEW YORK, _Feb. 23rd, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--You will be glad to learn that I am getting
stronger, and the doctor recommends me to go to Washington for a few

"You may be sure that I have followed the Wickham controversy with
great interest, and was delighted at the perfect ease with which you
applied an extinguisher to his farthing candle.

"If your brain keeps on softening for a few months longer, I think you
will arrive at a development which will leave no doubt in the public
mind as to your entire fitness for a much higher position than you now

"Power told me yesterday that Kelly would be in Albany this week;
let me urge that you have the frankest of free talks with him. I am
satisfied that he will meet your views on every point except the
retention of Green. Now you cannot afford to let Green be slaughtered,
but Green can very well afford, in view of the momentous consequences
to you involved in a disruption of the party machinery here, to solve
the difficulty by placing his resignation in your hands, to be used
only when a successor satisfactory to you and to Kelly can be agreed
upon. I had a long talk with Green on Sunday night. He believes his
position to be impregnable, and he is not at all conscious of the
intense disgust with which he is regarded by the Tammany organization.
He even thinks that the general committee might be got to indorse him.
I told him very frankly that in my judgment it would be destruction
to those who are really his friends to make any such issue in the
committee, and I tell you that it is no use to try it. Your position
and character will be with me the first consideration, and after that
it seems to me that Kelly's position should be made as easy for him as
the circumstances will admit. I think he understands Wickham now, and
you and he ought never to be lacking in a perfect understanding with
each other. I have not seen Kelly, as I would have been glad to do,
but you are at perfect liberty to show him this letter if you choose,
as there is nothing in my mind that I would not be willing to say to
him personally on these topics, if he were to think it worth while to
consult with me.

"Mr. Ruggles has been to see me with regard to the Davis canal bill,
which he thinks is a blunder; he is quite clear, and I agree with
him, that the canal can only be properly administered by a general
superintendent, nominated by the Governor, and approved by the Senate.
The Governor should have the power to suspend or remove the general
superintendent for cause. In this way the Governor will have the direct
control of the canal, and the canal commissioners be relegated to their
proper duties of auditing the expenditures, and seeing that the general
superintendent does his duty.

"It seems to me that the position in which Davis has placed himself
in regard to the Tammany delegation affords an unusually favorable
opportunity for getting this legislation. It might be brought in as a
counter-proposition to Davis's bill. If you had a proper understanding
with Davis in advance, and he would agree to make not more than a
nominal opposition to the substitute, the canals could thus be rescued
from the corrupt ring which has plundered the revenues for so many
years. If your administration could accomplish any such result it would
be a great triumph, as well as a priceless benefaction to the people of
this State.

                            "Faithfully yours,
                                               "ABRAM S. HEWITT."

  "_Feb'y 23, 1875_,
    "_Hon. Samuel J. Tilden_,
            "_Albany, N. Y._"



  "FORT WASHINGTON, _February 11, 1875_.

"DEAR SIR,--I wrote you yesterday. You will have probably seen, ere
this can reach you, a partisan opinion in the _Herald_ pronouncing
your authority in the matter of removals limited to a Delphic response
whether the 'reasons' or the 'causes' are sufficient. This, too, to be
pronounced in the Mayor's specification of his reasons, without any
authority on your part to look out of it.

"This is unsound. Your power of approval is just like the Mayor's power
of removal--absolutely discretionary. You are not bound to pass upon
the 'causes' assigned nor the 'reasons' communicated. The grammatical
import of the law and the good sense of the thing show that your
approval is to apply to the removal, _i. e._, the act itself.

"This journalist's reasoning would tie you up very closely. If the
Mayor were to remove Comptroller on the ground that he had shown
himself quite unworthy of confidence by kicking his wife in a church on
Sunday, in the face of the whole congregation during divine service,
the only point before you would be whether such a cause--assuming
the fact to be as asserted--was in point of law sufficient ground of
removal. Though Green had no wife, was sick in bed at home on the
designated Sunday, and that, owing to bad weather or some accidental
cause, there was no service in his church on that day, you must approve
his removal and let him be kicked out unless you were prepared to say
that, in point of law and reason, such misconduct was not objectionable
in a public officer.

"The truth is, the Democratic branch of the Tweed Ring is no better
than the Republican branch of the same. The former and the latter have
the same aims. Either from weakness or something else, the Mayor goes
with 'our friends.'

"You must make up your mind to go with that interesting party or to go
against it. I am against it; nothing will persuade me to withhold any
little power I possess from the anti-swindler-ism party.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   "CH. O'CONOR."

  "_His Excellency, Samuel J. Tilden_,
                     "_Albany, N. Y._"



                   "NEW YORK, 21 PARK ROW, _Feb. 8th, '75_.

  "HON. SAML. J. TILDEN, Governor, &c.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am satisfied that the choice of Corporation Counsel,
in place of Mr. E. Delafield Smith, lies between Mr. E. R. Robinson and
Mr. Wm. C. Whitney. There is no doubt about this.

"I am, furthermore, pretty sure that Mr. Wickham would be glad of an
influential pressure which would counterbalance the pressure of Wm. C.
Barrett, Thos. Boise, and others in favor of Whitney, and authorize him
(the Mayor) to appoint Robinson.

"You know what the influences of Barrett _et al._ are, and I am sure
you would not think them desirable advisers of a corporation counsel,
as they certainly would be of Whitney.

"I write to beg you to help, if you can, Robinson. I am sure he is far
more in accord with Mr. O'Conor, Peckham, etc., than Whitney would be,
though, of course, I am only able to speak for myself.

"I hope earnestly that you will be able to further the cause of public
justice, for which you have done so much, by bringing about, so far as
the matter comes before you, the appointment of Robinson.

  "Yours Very Respectfully,
                     "FRANCIS C. BARLOW."


                                                  "_Monday Morning_.


"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--I had intended to see you before or when I
delivered the enclosed and satisfy you of _my reasons_.

"But the storm yesterday prevented, and I do not find you here this
morning, and must go down. Fearing you may want to _act_ at once, I
leave it.

"I will see you and _justify_ soon as possible.

  "Yours with respect,
                          "SAML. HAND."


                               "ALBANY, _Jany. 30th, 1875_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--When I received your note to-day by Mr. Pelton I had
already spoken to my partners of the suggestion you had made to me
yesterday that you might, in certain contingencies, ask me to accept
the appointment of judge, and of my promise to you to consider the

"After talking with them, and upon careful consideration, I have
concluded that at this time it would hardly be possible for me to
undertake the duties of the office of judge of the Supreme Court.

"In thus declining your very complimentary offer, I am and shall always
remain deeply grateful to you personally for the kindness of your
intentions towards me.

"I assure you that my present action is not from lack of due
appreciation of the dignity and importance of the office, and of the
high honor, especially coming from your hands, it would confer upon me.

  "Yours, with the sincerest regard and respect,
                                      "SAMUEL HAND."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _Jany. 7, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Perhaps I am too suspicious or too prone to evil
constructions, but I cannot resist the belief that there is a complete
conspiracy. And for aught I see, it may succeed.

"At the outset, Curtis and Porter were called in and gave a written
avowal of their _doubts whether there was any remedy_. When the reform
Mayor, a Republican, was coming in, Smith was substituted for O'Gorman.
Now recently, counting in some way on favor or folly or softness in
Wickham, Smith arranged it to dismiss Peckham and Barlow and substitute
_Porter and Curtis_!! All the scamps have fled except Tweed. Field is
hurrying up Tweed's criminal case, and the moment he gets a reversal,
which is pretty sure, Tweed will fly. No civil process of arrest being
out against him, this is easy.

"What are we to do?

  "Yrs., &c.,
                    "CH. O'CONOR."


  "LITTLE FALLS, _Jany. 6, 1875_.

"DEAR SIR,--The usurpation by the military arms of the United States
of the entire government of the _late_ State of Louisiana has been
consummated by the forcible expulsion of members of the Legislature
from their seats by United States soldiers.

"This occurrence demands, in my judgment, an expression of public
opinion in relation to it more efficient than editorial denunciations,
however emphatic. The press exerts a wonderful influence, but there
are exigencies in which its efforts to arrest abuses may be greatly
strengthened by public opinion expressed in more authentic form.

"In Louisiana the executive branch has for some time past been kept
in place only by soldiers under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief
of the United States armies. The judges hold their offices by favor
of the same Presidential commander. Now he has taken possession of
the only remaining branch of the State government, the Legislature,
by direct military force. The usurpation is complete. The State
government is extinct. One State in the Union has ceased to be. The
atrocious despatch of General Sheridan, commander at New Orleans, to
the Secretary of War, illustrates the arbitrary spirit and thirst for
unlimited martial power that inspires the orders under which he holds
the State in subjection, and exhibits in true colors himself a willing
and dangerous instrument of ambitious aspirations.

"Under this crisis I beg respectfully to suggest for your consideration
whether some official demonstration ought not to be made by the
government of this State--an expression of strong reprehension and
warning--in the hope that it may aid in recalling to their proper
duties those who are now lending their official influence to the
overthrow of our republican institutions. A special message by you to
the Legislature and a prompt and energetic protest by the Assembly,
and I should hope by the Senate also, may be a timely measure of
far-reaching benefit. It seems to me that something of this nature
is demanded by the exigency, and would be an act worthy of the chief
magistrate of the State of New York.

  "Very Respectfully,
     "Yours, &c.,
                          "A. LOOMIS."



                 "18 WALL STREET, NEW YORK, _Jan. 2, 1875_.

"My dear Sir,--In speaking of the Albany judgeship, or rather that of
the 3d district, you always said that you would consider it after the
first of Jan.

"I left with you at your house some papers on the subject, including
the petition of almost the entire Albany bar and letters from many
persons and our firm myself.

"I have nothing to call me to Albany now, and I am very busy here,
but if there exist any conditions as to which I could properly say
anything, or as to which I might present facts or suggestions with
respect to this appointment, I know I may rely on you to advise me
thereof and to give me a hearing.

"There is nothing in which I take so deep an interest--nothing,
I mean, of a personal character--and you can excuse any apparent
over-persistence. I am not much given to expressing emotions, but all I
have are concentrated in this.

"E. D. Smith has 'discontinued' retainers of Genl. Barlow and myself,
and, _I suppose_, of Mr. Carter. He says it is pursuant to his
correspondence with Vause.

"As the local prosecutions stand now, the defts. might as well appoint
the counsel to prosecute.

"Unless some one has charge of them very different from Smith and his
friends, the prosecutions might as well be abandoned.

  "Yours truly,
              "WHEELER H. PECKHAM."


  "UTICA, _January 1, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I do not think I shall be able to see you before you
send in your message. Upon one point I am anxious--that is the _canal
question_. The constitutional amendment, the state of the country, and
the condition of commerce makes this the leading question of the day.
It has, since you dealt with it, taken new forms and aspects. There
are some facts which may not be known to you. This subject cannot be
treated by you in your annual message in a clear, full way. It needs a
message for itself. If you will simply give the return of last year's
business, and then, without indicating any _policy_ upon _any point_,
say you will send in a special communication with regard to it, you
will be able at your own time to treat the subject in a way which
[will] interest the whole country. You can neither do yourself nor the
canals justice by speaking about them without making a long message,
which must be avoided. There will be another advantage in this. You
will have a rod over those whose purposes and plans are yet to be
disclosed. I have my fixed and settled opinion about the canals to
which I am publicly committed, and I do not like to clash with yours,

"My health is not good, and I do not know when I can go away from home.

  "I am truly yours, &c.,
                       "HORATIO SEYMOUR."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOV. TILDEN,--Your favor of the 8th is this instant received.
I have never met the Mayor but once. I then discovered that his prime
object seemed to be the removal of Green. This is the prime object
of all the swindlers, whatever political banner they sail under. Our
friend Marble is also hostile to him. _They_ are determined to get him

"I drew the impeachment of the counsel. As drawn it contained what
more prudent men than myself might pronounce an injudicious paragraph
against the appeals majority. In a council, consisting of Marble,
Burton N. Harrison, and perhaps others, this was stricken out, and
perhaps rightly. The keystone to the arch imparting favor to Tweed
was the story of the substitution of Curtis and Porter for Barlow and
Peckham. But I had to acquiesce in omitting that. The letters on _this_
subject are in the New York papers about 30th and 31st December.

"The Mayor sent to Barlow, Peckham, and myself for our suggestions on
the council's answer. Peckham's and mine contain all that is needful on
this subject. Mine, unwisely, you will say, opens fire on the judicial
majority, and states with suitable words of characterization the Porter
and Curtis substitution. This you will probably not disapprove.

"To understand this branch of the case precisely you should know a few
facts. I had all my life greatly aided and befriended this man. But
this was not strange; I always aid the needy and never strike any one
willingly. He thought me very amiable, but took good care to keep out
of my way from the moment he took office until he was accused. Then
he could scarcely believe his senses; so, near midnight, he visited
me, cried, implored, etc., etc. I gave him no hope, and to his face
condemned him, observing courtesy to be sure in the choice of words.
I commented in terms as apt as this duty would permit, on his Porter
and Curtis affair. This will serve to account for his _subsequent_
attempt to reinstate Barlow and Peckham. No more need be stated. I have
requested Peckham to send you a copy of his reply to Smith; a copy of
mine will reach you as soon as it can be made.

"I am quite sure the _power_ that is bent on removing Green will not
improve the Corporation Counsel's office; consequently, I cannot desire
that the Mayor should be free to fill it.

"I suppose you know that the only political sentiment in which I
indulge is hostility of official thieves. This, like my hostility to
the negro war, places me almost alone. Some degree of circumspection in
my movement is therefore necessary; and, perhaps, some little caution
on the part of political men how far they permit themselves to be
seen in my company, or to be suspected of being influenced by me, is
desirable to _them_.

"Hence I doubt the expediency for _either of us_ of my putting up at
the Governor's mansion for a day or two.

"I may say very little, and will probably do very little to testify my
dissent; but I will see better reasons than have yet been exhibited
before I will in any way assent to Judge Allen's standing as the law of
the land.

"Were I Governor I would not assent to Smith's removal without an
assurance as to the successor. But this, of course, should have no
influence with you; for, as far as you have indicated a choice to me,
you have not named any one who would impart to that office the needed
vigor. At least such is my belief.

"I am morally certain that the majority in the 'hybrid body' will on
some impalpable technicality defeat any civil suit that can now be
brought against the Ring. Nothing but the clearing up bill now in your
hands will draw their teeth."



                               "NEW YORK, _March 2d, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--The enclosed will show you how I employ a leisure
hour. Although I have not been editor of _Frank Leslie's_ since I
left it after the campaign of '72 I occasionally write for it, and my
articles are always published. My feelings towards you have already
been shown in the columns of that paper, and anything I can do in the
future will be most cheerfully done.

"I hope and expect to see you our nominee for President next year;
and therefore, assuming the privilege of old friendship, I give you
my views on a few points, even at the risk of appearing to offer
unasked-for, and perhaps unwelcome, advice. It was said, and I think
truly, that a President, when in office, knew less of the true state of
public opinion than any ordinary observer. Perhaps the rule may hold
good in a modified degree as to a Governor. If so, I trust you may be
an exception.

"I believe I reflect the opinion of a large portion of our citizens
at the present moment when I say that Mayor Wickham is thought to be
drifting in the direction of 'personal government,' with a very strong
leaning, in the distribution of the most important places, towards his
former associates in Apollo Hall. The gentleman said to have been fixed
upon by him for Corporation Counsel, Mr. Whitney, is entirely unknown
either by the bar or the general public, except by the fact that he
ran for District Attorney on the Jimmy O'Brien ticket. His appointment
would give satisfaction to no one but those immediately benefited by
it, while the selection of O'Conor (if he would accept it), or Peckham,
or, indeed, any well-known lawyer, would give assurance to the public
that the promises of reformed Tammany really meant something.

"It is probably apparent to you that a dead set is being made for the
scalp of our old friend Green. He is undoubtedly the most unpopular man
in the city, and such a movement would be too popular for any one but
a man of nerve to resist. As his name has been so intimately connected
with your own, your position, in case this issue is presented, would
be at least embarrassing, and the result, in any event, would be to
your prejudice in subjecting your action to criticism. It seems to me
that all this might be avoided by getting Green to resign, not as a
forced measure, but as a voluntary act, and with flying colors; and he
might resume his old place on the parks, or receive some other position
better suited to his tastes and temperament than the thankless office
of Comptroller. I say this without a particle of hostility to Mr.
Green, for whose ability I have a great respect, and in whose honesty I
have unbounded confidence. I have no personal ends to subserve, and my
suggestions spring from a sincere desire to avoid in an honorable way
the possibility of persons who are not at heart friendly to you forcing
upon you an issue which might injure you with the public. If you were
to approve his removal, instead of being regarded as a second Brutus,
you would be accused of yielding to the pressure of those who had
designs upon the treasury; if you declined it would be attributed to
personal friendship against the unanimous voice of your party in this

"I trust that my remarks may not be considered intrusive. If they are
too frank, it is the fault of my nature and of my earnest wish for your
continued popularity in your present station and for your advancement
to a higher one.

  "I remain very faithfully and truly yours,
                               "MALCOLM CAMPBELL."


  "WESTMORELAND HOTEL, _March 21, 1875_.

"MY DEAR TILDEN,--You could not desire anything more cordial than the
reception given your message here. The press you see. The people are
equally unanimous, and I think enthusiastic. Part of this enthusiasm
springs from the expectation that you will make as thorough work of
the canal ring as you did of its elder brother in N. Y. Be sure you do
not disappoint these expectations. I have not heard much lately about
the softening of yr. brain, but there are some inquiries for the kind
of tipple you are partial to. The Tilden brand is just now rather the

"I dined with Bristow at Stoughton's last night. I am told he had third
term on the brain very bad. Edwards Pierpont is talking up Bristow
himself for the next Rep. candidate. This is P.'s way, I suppose, of
hesitating his dislike for Grant.

"Wickham's political estate is already pretty much bankrupt. You will
soon be able to buy it all in for a bagatelle. What a lucky dog you
are to have your enemies here and in Albany officered by two such
blunderheads as Wickham and MacGuire. They relieve you from a great
deal of responsibility, and serve the important purpose of scapegoats
to carry the sins of your party into the wilderness.

"Please give my compliments and regards to Mrs. Pelton.

  "Very truly Yours,
                         JOHN BIGELOW.

"Judge Comstock likes yr. message, but thinks it not calculated to
promote your political fortunes. That is not the first error in
judgment he has made."



                                                "29 WALL STREET,
                              "NEW YORK, _March 22d, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Among our best people there is but one opinion as to
your message about the canals.

"You are right; the case is urgent, the evils you point out are of the
greatest importance, both in their financial and moral aspect; the
remedies proposed seem practical, and the honor of your administration,
of our party, and of all good citizens is involved in your movement.

"Be firm and active, and if you feel that your success would be
facilitated by a public expression of opinion from our strong men, we
will organize such a demonstration.

  "Very Truly Yours,
               "ALGERNON S. SULLIVAN."


     "55 WEST 23RD ST., NEW YORK,
  "EVENING, _Mch. 22, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I wish you would send me by mail one or two of the Gov's
message of the 19th inst. I want to keep one for future ref'ce. I
notice it was to be printed.

"The truth is, Gov. Tilden understands and fully appreciates the canal
question better than any Gov. we have had for many, many years, and
altho' this last message throws a bombshell into the Canal Ring camp,
still the Gov. will be backed up by the people, who do and will
approve his course. We are all well.

                    "DAVID DOWS."

"P. S.--Just as I had written you, Mr. Pelton called, with your letter,
and I had a pleasant talk with him. I told him I had just written you
and him, and asked you to send me the message; so he, Mr. P., gave me

"Mr. P. has promised to call again when in city, and I hope he will.

"You can depend upon all the strength and support, both physical and
moral, that I have got to back up such sound and practical views as
Gov. Tilden puts forth in his two papers.

  Yrs. Sincerely,
                        "DAVID DOWS."

"P. S.--I wish you would send me a few of the printed messages."


  "CHERRY VALLEY, _March 23, '75_.

"DEAR GOVERNOR,--As a taxpayer I return my thanks for your canal

"Many years ago that sagacious politician, the late John D. Hammond,
author of the _Political History of New York_, remarked that whatever
political parties there might be in New York there always would be '_an
Erie Canal party_.'

"And he was right. There always has been a canal party. The
Constitution of 1846 _manacled_ the State. It declared the canals
should never be sold. The spoils would be gone. The last constitutional
convention determined also to keep the manacles on. The Legislature
had provided that of the members of that convention thirty-two should
be named whose election should be secured, and this, too, without
reference to location. Sixteen were named by the Republican party and
sixteen were named by the Democratic party.

"Of this thirty-two, _not one_ whose residence was south of the
Mohawk and west of the Hudson was named by either party. There was
one north of the Mohawk. With that exception, commencing at New York
and following up to Albany and Troy, and thence on the Erie Canal to
Buffalo, we find the location of them all, except one or two on the
lateral canals in the western parts of the State. There has not been
a high officer of the State in the same region for, I think, the last
quarter of a century.

"Surely, my dear Governor, there must still be a canal party. But
I see you are resolved that the stealing shall cease. I was in the
Legislature of 1869 with your brother, and on a celebrated occasion
witnessed his stern integrity. I recollect well putting my hand on his
shoulder and remarking--

    "'Alone among the faithless,
    Faithful only he.'

"I said then the blood of _old Dr. Younglove told_. I am rejoiced to
see that it has _told_ again.

  "Very Respectfully, your old friend,
                         "WILLIAM W. CAMPBELL."


  "BUFFALO, _March 23, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Your canal message is heroic. It commands my respect,
and must attract to your support all honest citizens. If I were sure
that the prevalent notion that your high and honorable course will
involve you in war be true, I should be delighted to plunge into
the battle, with a God save the right! I cannot now conceive a more
honorable ending of the humble career of

  "Yours very respectfully and truly,
                              "G. W. CLINTON."


  "8 WALL STREET, N. Y., _March 25th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR FRIEND,--Ralph Waldo Emerson says: 'When a man is in pursuit
of the absolute truth every spear of grass is with him.' And an old
book that is sometimes seen in families down this way (and which, if by
chance there is a copy near the capitol, I commend to your respectful
consideration) says, 'The stars in their courses fought against Sisera'
because he was wrong.

"I am impelled to write thus much because I see your great opportunity
and your great danger in the matter of the Canal Ring.

"I have no fear of their _fight_ against you, for then you would be on
your mettle and on your guard; but I fear and write to warn you against
their _conditional surrender_.

"If they come into your camp on any other terms than 'unconditional
surrender' you will be subjected to the danger of treachery and to that
other condition that brought poor, honest Tray to grief.

"Make your fight as Andy Jackson used to for unconditional conquest or
hopeless defeat, and you are all right.

"I hear much talk, and what I fear is less constrained and politic than
what is spoken for your ears.

"I hope you saw the Albany letter of the _Sun_ of to-day, and also the
_Tribune_ editorial; they are encouraging.

"Hurrah for young Hickory forever!

  "Yours Truly and forever,
                           "W. W. NILES."


  "NEW YORK, _March 25th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have seen, in common with others of your
fellow-citizens, the published account of your statements and messages
in reference to the management of those intrusted with a great and
valuable interest of the people--the canals of our State.

"Having for a long time, in fact, from the beginning of that industrial
enterprise, taken a deep concern in the prosperity and improvement
of the canals of New York, and having, in common with many others
interested in them, been much disappointed in the vast expense that has
attended the keeping of this great highway of commerce in repair, allow
me, my dear sir, to congratulate and thank you for the efficient and
courageous method you have taken to investigate what abuses may have
existed in times past, and to put this great industrial and commercial
interest into a more favorable if not a more honest administration.

"I impeach no one personally. It will be your province to investigate
the facts and personal bearings of such charges as you have put forth
in your excellent message in regard to the administration of the
canals. But the results are obvious to every intelligent citizen, and
lead to the natural inference that the large sums appropriated, and the
legislation hitherto employed by the people of this State, to guard,
improve, and administer economically this great public enterprise, have
been intrusted to parties either ignorant or irresponsible as to their
duties in this matter.

"This is the present feeling of the people. And I only express a
general desire that the investigation you recommend shall be conducted
at once by a committee of intelligent and honest men; that this
investigation may lead to the truth is the fervent desire of all good
citizens. With renewed expressions of thanks, and with great esteem,

  "I remain, Yours with Great Respect,
                                "PETER COOPER."


                                                 "(_Mar. 18, 1875._)


"DEAR SIR,--By referring to the records you will find half million of
the city's property given by William M. Tweed and now held by one Mrs.
L. G. McMullen.



  "FORT WASHINGTON, _March 27th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOV.,--If 'honor's voice' has any charms for your eye and ear
you ought to be satisfied, for it silences completely all other sounds.
Even the swindlers themselves dare not condemn.

"Peckham was not come-at-able 'til to-day, and I could not get away
from occupations here. We are to meet and set things agoing on Monday.

"My present motive in writing is to speak of public employments, but I
beg you distinctly to understand that I am not a solicitor. That I am
determined never to be. I only write to give you information, or more
properly, to awaken your attention. I have no personal favor to gratify
or personal desires to accomplish in this line.

"The committee of 4 is of course designed to make an equal division.
Still, you have the initiative and possibly may have through
that circumstance a valuable facility. You will have to name two
Republicans. If possible you ought to name Barlow as one of them. I
need say no more than give the hint and let you know that he will
act. You know perfectly well that he has an ardent desire to unearth
the canal thieves, and you seldom meet with one of any party so
pertinacious and of such unflinching resolution.

"If you want a scholar, with great capacity to write for the public,
do not overlook Wm. B. Reed, of 34 West 27th Street. I know no man
who could serve better in that way. And he has very recently and very
suddenly been cut off from the _Herald_ corps. If Bennett was here or
could be addressed on the subject this would not have happened.

"I can only attribute it to the zeal of some in his cabinet against

  Yours truly,
                     "CH. O'CONOR."



              "ROCHESTER, N. Y., _March 27, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The Committee of the Whole adopted a resolution and
recommending to the House its passage, impowering you to appoint a
commission to make the investigations. Of this you, of course, are
aware. Subsequently a resolution was adopted directing the judiciary
committee to prepare a bill for the same object. Now, what I wish to
say is this: the friends of this move of both parties in both Houses
should be put upon their guard to see that it is what is required. You
must have the very _fullest power_ and authority. I found many warm
friends of yours in both parties in both Houses; but everything hangs
on your getting proper authority, and your friends must certainly be
most active and vigilant and _now_. The authority must be full and
broad. Each friend in both Houses ought to be fully posted as to how
to act and what to do. The leaders in each House should be advised and
most thoroughly posted on all points. Concert of action is imperative.

"The shaping and passing of the bill is of the very highest moment.

"It should be carefully scrutinized and drawn before its introduction,
and watched with the greatest assiduity and fidelity.

"You are fighting the whole 'Prussian army'--officers, rank, and file.

"You must succeed. You must be backed; there should be now no such
thing as failure.

"I dare not think of the consequences that would follow a failure. You
are grappling with subtlety, ingenuity, adepts, experts, dangerous,
and most unscrupulous men whose life has been spent in plundering the
people, and who are most expert in controlling and handling men.

"See to it that the Secretary of State don't flood the State with ring
census tokens. This will be a heavy blow to you and the cause if he
does. I make these suggestions, fearing you might, in the excitement
and pressure of the business of yr. office, overlook these matters, and
perhaps might trust too much to yr. friends. Church is with the Ring in
all their deviltry.

"Upon the proper start--the proper authority of the Legislature--hangs
great events. If I can do anything, command.

  "Hastily and as ever,
                "Truly Yours,
                       "HENRY L. FISH."



                             "NEW YORK, _March 30th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOVR.,--I telegraphed you yesterday requesting that you would
take no steps to fill the vacancy of the 7th district until you hear
from me. You may consider this presumptive, and if you do I shall not
complain, or take exception thereto.

"I shall never forget the promptness with which you responded to my
appeal in behalf of Mr. McLaughlin, and I am afraid that my anxiety in
his behalf has subjected you to humorous criticism from your enemies
and an anti-partisan press. I am, however, consoled by the fact that
you would have been more than pleased with the man. His abilities are
eminently superior to any person who fills these places at present. As
an evidence of his talent I refer you to his description of yourself,
ex-Governor, and myself at an interview which took place at your house
last January. I did not even know that he intended to write anything,
and was not aware of it until I saw it in Marlborough paper, M., etc.
Now you will ask yourself what can be the motive. I will answer by
telling you none at all, except this that I am a lover of talent;
but I assure you that this gift would hardly influence me unless it
was coupled with inflexible integrity. He has both characteristics.
Having said this much relative to the man, I shall now speak of my
impression as to what has occurred in relation to McLaughlin's intended
appointment and what ought to be done to place him and yourself right
before an observing and critical public.

"You appointed him, and when you did so there was no vacancy. Your
motive was of the best kind. You relied entirely for your own
justification on that which I represented to you. Would it not be well
to appoint him again? This will enable him to appear well before the
public, and at the same time vindicate yourself and show the people
well-established consistency in what you originally intended for the
public good. If you think well of this idea--

"Then let me suggest to you another. Mc will not accept the place,
and for the reason that he could not do so. The County Clerk is an
invalid, and is now in Florida seeking health. His deputy has been
recently appointed to the position of 'Dept. Commissioner of Public
Works.' McLaughlin has been promoted to G.'s vacancy, and could not
in honor _except_ [_sic_] any position while his superior is abroad
sick. The place of civil justice would be pecuniarily a godsend; his
moral obligations would prevent him from _excepting_ [_sic_] the place.
Though, as I said before, it is due to him that the place should
be offered him in justification of you both. This would soften the
asperities of the envious and silence the press, which is prone to
contemptuous ridicule. When he shall have resigned the position.

"Having said this much in favor of McLaughlin, I shall now give you
my opinion as to who should receive the appointment. After mature
consideration I have convinced myself that it is due to Alfred T.
Ackert, of your own district. He is honest, and possesses talent
enough to make him a competent judge. The objection that would be
offered that he is not a resident of the district ought not to have any
consideration with you, and for the reason that if the bill passes the
Legislature to elect the civil justices on a general ticket, as I think
it will, the local politicians will not have anything to say except in
a general way; and if they did object it would be but temporary.

"I hope you will consider Ackert in relation to that appointment. He
has worked hard for three years in our organization, and his duties
have been exceedingly laborious, and yet he has never complained, but
willingly performed them with alacrity.

"I have just received Mr. Pelton's letter, in which he refers to the
receipt of my despatch relative to Col. Vilner. This must be a mistake.
I did not send a despatch in behalf of the above-named gentleman, and
if he received one it is a forgery. I sent one in the Stemmler's case,
and no other one. There is no doubt of this gentleman's demise now.
Perhaps you have not been aware of it. He died on last Sunday evening.

"Your message on the canals has raised you very high in the estimation
of the men of all parties. _The wonder is now that none previous to you
had the courage to meet the men who instigated these frauds and to show
them to public condemnation. Your predecessors were as well informed
of their existence as you; but for some reason of their own, not very
difficult to fathom, neglected their duty._ These exposures will have
a salutary effect, and will be the means of correcting abuses which
should have long since been eradicated.

"Pursue the good work you have commenced, no matter where the rod
will fall, either on friend or foe. It is about time that politicians
should understand that they cannot pursue their nefarious frauds under
the supposition that no harm can fall upon them on account of their
political adhesion to party.

"You should take some steps on the papers before you in the case of
Smith. You may depend that unless you do there will be a general attack
made on you by the papers of the city. It is already being whispered
that your recent message was concocted to divert attention from matters
connected with this city. Smith has not been idle in circulating the
story that you are his friend and will not remove him, notwithstanding
the onslaught which you helped to prepare against him at the beginning
of the year. You have already had these papers too long without taking
action. I beg of you to act immediately in this case. If you are not
fully convinced in the fire commissioner's case, you can wait until you
have had further time, and yet I am fully satisfied that you have had
time enough to determine the course you ought to pursue.

                            "Yours very truly,
                                                    "JOHN KELLY."

  "_His Excellency S. J. Tilden_,
                "_Albany, N. Y._"



"At a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, held Thursday, April 1st,
1875, Hon. William E. Dodge, president, in the chair, the following
resolutions offered by Hon. George Opdyke were unanimously adopted:

"Resolved, That Governor Tilden, true to his honorable record against
the fraudulent Ring officials of this city, has now placed the citizens
of our whole State under lasting obligations by his bold and masterly
exposure of the enormous frauds connected with the administration of
the New York canals.

"Resolved, That this Chamber, as the oldest commercial organization of
the State and the one expressly authorized by charter to speak in the
name of the entire commercial interests, feels specially called upon
to express its gratitude to the Governor for his fearless and vigorous
effort to arrest the frauds, so discreditable to the character of our
State and so injurious to its commercial interests.

"His effort deserves the commendation and hearty support of every
citizen of the State.

"Resolved, That this special message of the Governor on 'canal frauds'
is in perfect harmony with the views he expressed in his annual
message. In that document he manifested broad and accurate knowledge
in relation to the present condition of the canals, clearly pointed
out their defects, and suggested the remedies that he deemed essential
to their increased efficiency and productiveness; and also to the
integrity and economy of their administration. Among the remedies he
suggests are a proper disposition of the unproductive lateral canals,
the securing a uniform depth of seven feet in the waterway of the Erie
Canal, and modifications in the present plan of administering them.

"Resolved, That, in the judgment of the Chamber, it is absolutely
essential to the efficient management of these canals that this
department of the State government should be under the control of a
single executive head, appointed by the Governor and Senate, and
removable at the pleasure of the Governor, with power to appoint and
remove his subordinates, and who alone should be held responsible for
the proper management of the canals. All experience goes to prove that
this is the only safe method of securing efficiency, fidelity, and
economy in the administration of public affairs.

"Resolved, That this Chamber will watch with deep interest the progress
of this praiseworthy effort of the Governor to secure perfect integrity
in the Canal Department, and will aid that effort by all proper means
within its power.

"Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, duly authenticated by
the officers of the Chamber, be forwarded to his Excellency, Governor


             "GREEN COVE SPRINGS, FLORIDA, _April 2, 1875_.


"MY DEAR SIR,--By the scanty and irregular news we receive from New
York at this distant point I learn with a degree of satisfaction which
I cannot fully express that you are making a determined effort to
correct the abuses in the canal management of our State.

"Speaking with the earnestness inspired by my experience as a member of
the Canal Board, I trust that you and your friends in this undertaking
will not be dissuaded from the views you have taken and the course you
have marked out by any political or personal influence whatever.

"I do not fear that _you_ will. Let no 'hue and cry' about
'corporations and monopolies,' or the importance of general laws under
the constitutional amendments, divert attention from this subject.
Everything now before the Legislature or demanding your attention
should, in my judgment, be subordinated to this matter if by so doing
these irregularities in canal management may be eradicated, root and
branch. I have studied your analysis of the subject, and I believe you
are on the right track.

"Which political party shall suffer most, or who shall go up or who
down, are matters of minor importance if only right and justice be
done. Pardon the frankness and emphasis with which I address you, but
while I could never quite grasp the evidence, I often felt, as a member
of the Canal Board, and now feel morally certain, that the field you
have entered is fruitful in long-standing and frightful abuses. Accept
my best wishes for your success, and trusting you may receive, as you
certainly deserve, the sympathy and co-operation of all good men in
this great undertaking,

  "I remain as ever,
            "Most truly yours,
                     "G. H. SCRIBNER."

On a visiting-card:


"MY DEAR GOVR.,--You are at liberty to use the accompanying note in any
way you may deem proper for the good of the cause."


                    "NEW YORK, 18 WALL ST., _Apl. 6, 1875_.


"DEAR SIR,--I have your telegram. Mr. O'Conor was to have been here
this morning. I gave him the complt. in the suit vs. Sweeny and Smith
last Friday. He sent word on Saturday that the presence of Ingersoll
was a condition precedent to his going on--_i. e._, that he needed to
see him before making application for an attachment, etc.

"So you see that it is impossible to attach until Ingersoll arrives.
This morning, instead of coming in, as he had yesterday written me he
would, he sent me word that he was suddenly called elsewhere and that
he would be in to-morrow morning.

"The Tweed papers were all ready, but I had not intended to issue
them until to-morrow--_i. e._, after again seeing Mr. O'Conor; but on
receipt of your telegram I concluded to commence that action, and so
issued processes, order of arrest, bail $3,000,000, and attachment

"Will have _lis pendens_ filed forthwith here and in Westchester.

"We find some property left in Tweed--not much; a large lot in his
son Dick; we find much in Sweeny and Smith. They do not seem to have
transferred. The Watson compl. and sums. will be served in a day or
two--to-morrow, if Mr. O'Conor agrees to the draft I have.

  "Yours truly,
              "WHEELER H. PECKHAM."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, _April 6th, 1875_.

"DEAR SIR,--Going on steadily with the _proved_ narrative. It will soon
be in a perfect condition. The revelations are most satisfactorily
exact. The 'long train of abuses' will have an astounding look.

"You are up to your eyes in a confusing multitude of affairs, and may
not have as clear a vision as I fancy I have concerning affairs here.

"There can be no doubt that, as usual in such alterations, there is a
class who counted on coming into the succession and enjoying Tweed's
privileges. In his day the so-called Democratic wire-pullers and the
so-called Republican wire-pullers understood each other and divided the

"This was a still existing policy at the last city election. Wales,
the Republican candidate for Mayor, was nominated in the interest
of the regular Democratic nominee, and ran to secure the defeat of
Ottendorfer, who is an independent man, probably a very honest man and,
for aught I know or suspect, would have as truly supported integrity
and justice in government as anybody else. Accordingly, Wales, as
appeared by the papers, was a champion of Bill Costigan.

"The hungry are fierce, and hardly know what to do with themselves or
where to turn. They don't get a chance to turn Green out, and you keep
the Corporation Counsel on his good behavior.

"It seems to me you must stick just as you are. I have not too much
confidence in the most recently elected Democratic judges. I am sure
that if the Mayor gets the making of a corporation counsel that office
will become as bad as it ever was. Now the incumbent stands in dread,
and behaves un-obstructively. I write to advise that you beware how you
alter this condition of things.

"You have gone so deeply into the hunt after scoundrelism that I do not
see how you could repent, even if you wished to, and I presume you do

"One thing more. Special bills, etc., are being prepared and passed,
too, in aid of jobs. If such things are to be helped or permitted to
run through without opposition it surely will be idle to waste breath
in pursuing Tweed.

"The public will sustain you in vetoing _all_ these things. See the
marked part of my opinion on constitutional amendments.

  "Yours truly,
                   "CHAS. O'CONOR."



                              "NEW YORK, _April 9th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--The bill which was introduced yesterday by Miller, of
Orange, has caused a great deal of bad feeling here among our people.
Green's connection with it is unquestionable. It is strange that any
one claiming to be a Democrat could act so unwisely. Such acts as
these would destroy the best party organization in the country. I am
astonished that our members could act so inconsistently. There is no
apparent head in the Assembly, and in its present disorganized state
its inconsiderate acts will tend to weaken us in the State and be the
means of getting up an outside organization to co-operate with the
Republicans next fall. Already this is being bruited about now. I had
expected that matters would proceed smoothly here in the future, and
there would have been no difficulty if discreet judgment had been used
when this fiasco shall have subsided. I would advise that advances be
made to the well-intending members so that there may be entire unison
of action. Above all, there must not be any disintegration among
ourselves, except so far as they relate to corrupt men, against whom we
should set our faces.

"Your act in pardoning Ingersoll was severely commented on at first.
When your purpose was explained the reaction was instantaneous; all
now, or nearly all, commend you for it. The traitor is at all times
despised, but treason is thought well of, and particularly so when the
people have obtained a substantial benefit, which will be, no doubt,
the result in the Ring cases through the testimony of Ingersoll.

"Your steady and persistent course in these Ring frauds will
immortalize yourself, O'Conor, and those who have acted with you in the
good work you have and are performing in the interest of the people.
May God spare you and your assistants until you will have finished your
tasks. Most of men would have become disheartened at the many repulses
you have met.

"Now, my dear Governor, you must have a man in the corporation
counsel's office who will act for the interest of the public. You
cannot depend on the present incumbent in that office. If he were to
act in good faith with you there still would be eavesdroppers about
the concern who would carry the news outside; there must be an entire
regeneration in that office to make it effective. Your time is now to
follow up the present excitement incident to the release of Ingersoll.
You will recollect how anxiously I pressed this matter on you when in
Albany last week. Let me repeat to you again that you would be entirely
safe in the hands of Whitney. He is an honest, high-toned gentleman,
and will co-operate with you and do credit to himself. Don't let this
matter pass over Saturday.

"I trust that you are enjoying good health, and that your strength will
hold out to enable you to add new laurels to your achievements.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                    "JOHN KELLY."

  "_To Samuel J. Tilden, Governor of the State of N. Y._"



"DEAR GOVERNOR,--Mr. McLean has just been here, and from him I gather
that you are anxious for speed, and especially _in re_ Sweeney.

"The more haste the less speed is often a true phrase. Everything
necessary and within the limits of our power was done at once to
prevent Tweed's escape on a discharge likely to be awarded by his
friends of the _Refugium Pec._ Other proceedings, it seemed to me,
should be cautiously and deliberately initiated. I could not help
seeing the judiciary's headway against us, and that the Scovil remedies
bill, wounded and paralyzed in its birth, limps sadly. So in whatever I
do I feel the necessity of caution.

"I have requested Peckham and his allies to pick up the outside
biographical facts concerning Sweeney and his tribe. How and when they
went off, where they are, etc., etc. Whilst this is progressing I stay
home and _pump_.

"The man is very intelligent; taught by his sufferings, he is perfectly
biddable and bent upon giving entire satisfaction. But men of his
grade are bad at delivery, and need a midwife who has much industry
and inexhaustible patience. He is in low health, constantly taking
medicine, and it was not until Friday afternoon late that I got
possession of him. The information comes forth very slowly, but I think
in the most precise form. I got everything in the most painfully minute
details; but it will not be painful reading. On the contrary, I think
it will be as amusing as instructive. I throw it all into narrative
form. It will read like a novel; and although it is bad policy in
general to show one's hand, I am under the impression that when I get
through with him it would be a good operation to publish his narrative.

"Sweeney is cunning in the extreme, and no doubt had the concealment of
his tracks in view from the beginning. But it will surprise me if he
can escape. I shall try to put things in such a shape that we can drop
suddenly upon whatever may be here. I am told that he designed coming
back to give his skilled talent to the task of defence. Between him and
D. D. F. and the _Refugium Pec._ it might seem that a hopeful fight
could be maintained for a little while. But there can be only one end.

"I think we will want an agent in Paris. I know one, Henry Harrisse, a
lawyer there, who formerly perched in this city. Though a Frenchman by
birth, he is perfectly conversant with our language, our people, and
our affairs. I feel sure that he is honest and trustworthy. Had I not
best write to him at once? The Sweeney tribe will probably have to be
pursued to Europe. Tom Fields is there, and probably other subjects of
discipline are or will be. Had I not best write to Harrisse at once and
retain him?

"You must be patient, no time is being wasted.

  "Yours truly,
                 "CHARLES O'CONOR."


  "_April 12th, 1875._

"MY DEAR SIR,--_I had lis pendens_ filed on all the property Tweed
has owned since 1867. Some little is still in his name. Most of it is
transferred. I have complete lists of the property of the Sweeneys and
Hugh Smith, and _lis pendens_ ready to file the moment Mr. O'Conor gets
the suits ready to begin.

"I saw him yesterday and forwarded to you his letter, which you
received this morning, I suppose. I cannot hurry him. He is making the
case as thorough and complete as possible. Ingersoll turns out to be
all we expected, and is perfectly ready to do what he can.

"I don't think anything can be lost by the few days' delay, as a
transfer just now would be so clearly for purposes of fraud as to make
it of [not?] the least benefit.

"I saw an article in the _World_ to-day, copied from a Syracuse paper,
to the effect that the Court of Appeals had come to a conclusion in the
Tweed case and in his favor and on the points raised by Comstock. I
don't believe it at all, but if so, it is most scandalous, as Comstock
was allowed to raise his points in reply, and we had no opportunity to
answer. There is nothing in his point as _habeas corpus_ serving, and
almost as clearly none as writ of error.

"If the court ever decided for Tweed it ought to be d--d eternally.

"It seems to me almost impossible for it to do so honestly.

  "Yours truly,
              "WHEELER H. PECKHAM."


  "NEW YORK, _April 16, 1875_.

"DEAR GOVERNOR,--Julia has asked me to send you a copy of the contract
between myself and Mr. Henderson in regard to the rent which is to be
paid by the _Evening Post_ in the new building. This is no contract,
properly speaking, but only a letter from me to Henderson, in which our
understanding respecting that matter is briefly stated. In the letter
I simply say that I turn over the building to him, advise him to go on
with it on his own account, making it convenient for the publication
of a daily newspaper, and expressing my desire that a lease for twelve
years of the necessary rooms shall be made to the _Evening Post_, 'the
rent to be fixed by two competent and disinterested persons.' This is
all, and a copy of the letter would show nothing more.

  "Yours faithfully,
                       "W. C. BRYANT."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _Apl. 28, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--Our determination here is to push the Ring suits to
decision as rapidly as possible. Once we get fairly started everything
will move with the utmost rapidity. But getting the fair start is
attended with no slight difficulty. The field is so wide and is so
full of minute details, and the sources of information are so much
more _responsible_ than formerly. We must not let our deponents
make any mistakes. Their knowledge being absolute and actual, their
responsibility is great. If through haste or want of memory mistakes
occur they may be pronounced wilful, and thus their credit be
destroyed, or at least impaired. By interlocutory motions, such as
demands for impracticable things, as copies of destroyed papers, etc.,
they will bring _their_ judges down upon us, and thus precipitate the

"Probably this is well enough. If _their_ judges have resolution equal
to their wishes they can defeat us, in despite of any legislation. But
it is to be hoped that _fear_, like the cackling of the Roman geese,
may save the State.

"It is said that one of our N. Y. judges has pledged himself to save
Sweeney. Very likely. And, I guess, whenever he has a chance, the Mayor
will appoint as a corporation counsel a known friend of that absent

"My precise motive in writing at this time is to warn you of the
necessity of watching closely all amendments of the Code of Procedure,
and any statutes concerning practice. There is great likelihood of an
attempt to smuggle some baffler of that sort through the Legislature.

  "Yrs., &c.,
                    "CH. O'CONOR."



                                                  "_May 26th, 1875._

"MY DEAR SIR,--Yours of date 24th, postmarked 25th, is recd.

"In reply I have just written you at length, and looking at the length
of the document, have destroyed it, thinking that a long history is not
what you want.

"I had not seen the newspaper attacks or the cartoon; did not know that
Barlow had a brother-in-law.

"You say that I may ascribe delay to Mr. O'Conor. _I do._ I drew and
gave him complt. vs. Sweeney. I would have prepared affidavits. He
assumed the duty of so doing himself. At his request I wrote you to
pardon Ingersoll.

"He alone has seen Ingersoll, he proposing that it should be so.

"You say he is not above being helped and aided. I have been completely
at his service from the moment he commenced till now. He has declined
all assistance, saying that the drafting of affds., etc., was work at
which but one could work. If there has been anything other or further
that I could do or could have done I do not know it.

"If the matter had been under my control I shd. have commenced suits
and had attachments long before.

"They would have been without the perfect basis which the results of
Mr. O'Conor's long labor will disclose.

"It may be that such perfect basis, when disclosed, will be well worth
all the delay.

"Whether so or not was and is for you and the Atty. Genl. to determine;
not for me.

"After Mr. O'Conor assumed the labor of preparing the case vs. Sweeney,
etc., it certainly would have been highly improper and indecorous for
me to do otherwise than acquiesce. As to my personal action, all I can
say is that I have been at his service always. That I have urged haste
as strongly as common courtesy to him would allow. You speak of what
might have been done 'if I had been really anxious to produce results.'

"I am at a loss to understand your meaning.

"You certainly _cannot_ mean what the words apparently mean.

"I do not believe that there ever was _a doubt_ in _your_ mind, or
the mind of any man, as to whether I was 'really anxious to produce

"If there was you should not have employed me or suffered me to be
employed. I _have_ waited for Mr. O'Conor. Could I or should I have
done otherwise? You say that Mr. O'Conor is above criticism. Agreed.
But so far as anxiety to produce results--so far as devoting all time
or labor to the cause, so far as making this business the very first,
to the exclusion of _everything else_ are concerned--I insist that I
am as far above criticism as is Mr. O'Conor or any living man.

"If there is or has been any delay caused by want of zeal or attention
on my part I shd. like to know it.

"You will note that I make no criticism on the delay in the preparation
of the affds. I have not seen them, nor do I know what they will be.
From the general description of them, given me by Mr. O'Conor, I think
they will be well worth the delay, and when you come to know what he
has done I think you will wonder not at the delay, but at how soon an
immense work was accomplished.

"I only say in answer to your letter that the delay has been beyond my
control. Mr. O'Conor yesterday expressed great confidence that he would
have manuscript for me to begin printing by to-morrow or next day, and
that I shd. have the affds. for the use to oppose Tweed's motion for a
bill of particulars June 1st.

"From what he has said I suppose that when ready for our use they will
be for all, and that we can commence the other suits next week.

"Whether the delay was wise or not is not the question.

"I only say that whether wise or unwise I am not _responsible_ for it,
for I had not the _power_ to control it. _Responsibility goes with

  "Yours truly,
               "WHEELER H. PECKHAM."

"I will watch for criticisms in the papers as to pardoning, etc., and
see that any error is corrected.

"I rather think that the publication of the affds. Mr. O'Conor is
preparing will be the best answer that can be made to criticisms, and I
now feel quite hopeful that they will be ready next week."


  "FORT WASHINGTON, _June 14th, 1875_.

"MY DEAR GOVERNOR,--Herewith you will receive a fair copy of the views
which strike me as just in respect to the leases.

"There does not seem any need of occupying your time with a call. Your
allowance for this task of passing on the bills is so near its close
that every intrusion, however slight in duration, must be an evil.

"But a single thing occurs to me in your aid.

"Where you cannot approve a bill, is not a simple withholding of your
signature the true course?

"Such appears very clearly to me to be the proper course. A written
memorandum of the reasons which governed you might be useful, and, if
time admitted, should always be made; but a formal veto does not seem
to be called for or expedient. It must necessarily wear an aspect of
severity. A purely negative course is less offensive.

  "Yours truly,
                   "CHAS. O'CONOR."


         "OFFICE OF 'THE ARGUS,'
  "412 BROADWAY, AND 2, 4, 6, AND 8 BEAVER ST.,
                      "ALBANY, _June 20, 1875_.

"DEAR GOVERNOR,--Since you, following in the wake of the Legislature,
abandoned the capital, Albany has been extremely slow and stupid; but
the constant and voluminous gossip that has prevailed regarding the
supply bill indicates that, although absent, you are very 'numerously
remembered,' and, no doubt, prayed for. Will all the prayers be
continued after the thirty days have expired? I am not sure, if I were
near you, that I should ask you to approve the new capitol item. As an
Albanian, perhaps yes; as a citizen of the State, possibly no; and as a
Democrat, no, most decidedly, without a change in the management.

"Your arguments on the canal appropriation bills are really
admirable--so strong, clear, and convincing, indicating so much
research and such thorough knowledge of the whole intricate subject.
They will be very popular, even beyond the State; and here no voice
will venture to rise in opposition.

"The malcontents are restless, vituperative, mischievous, and cowardly.
They abound in threats and slurs and insinuations, and would do much
harm if they only dared and knew how. But they are bewildered, and so
simply stand under cover, make faces, and tell what they intend to do
at the next State convention; among other things, they are then and
there to annihilate the _Argus_. Our organization here, with Abraham
Lansing for president, is very strong--stronger than ever before--and
we shall send an influential and a united delegation to the convention.
The soreheads begin to count much upon the ripple of disagreement that
seems to exist among our friends in N. York. The Governor must smooth
the troubled waters. He knows how.

"Return to Albany as soon as you can. Diluted as they are, can't the
principles of the removal bill be applied to those Job's comforters
with some effect?

  "Respectfully and truly yours,
                           "DANIEL MANNING."



                              "NEW YORK, _June 25th, 1875_.

"My dear Sir,--You are quite correct in assuming that no action of
mine on any bill or item has been inspired by anything but kindly
disposition towards you.

"1. The canal extraordinary repair bill. When I found that I must veto
this I at once communicated with you, and expressed the opinion that
it would not prejudice your position as to the $15,000. That is my
opinion now. I do not see any reason to doubt that you can pay that
sum out of ordinary repairs. Tho' as an original job it may have been
extraordinary work, when it came to be left in a condition to interfere
with the current use of the canal, the removing of the obstruction, and
putting in order the bank of the canal, is ordinary repairs.

"You may get the money at once on this theory. You could not get it
under the extraordinary repair bill.

"2. The Hudson River improvement bill. The Comptroller informed me that
there would be no money to pay for this object or the soldiers of 1812.
The veto certainly had no reference to the commissioners.

"3. The supply bill was finally disposed of on information that had
gradually been collected in the last two days of the period allowed by
the Constitution, and while I was disabled by boils, so that I could
not sit up. I should have communicated with you about the item of
$750 if there had been time. I supposed I had sufficient and correct
information from a gentleman to whom I had referred a portion of the
supply bill for the investigation of facts.

"His report to me was that this item was in conflict--by inadvertence,
I presumed--with two clauses of the amendment to the Constitution.

"Certainly I had no idea of unkindness or disrespect towards you. I
shall be happy to look into the case, and if there is power to make
this provision, to favor it.

"I have on several occasions manifested favorable sentiments towards
you and your brother. I mentioned him favorably in the special canal
message, and you on some recent occasions.

"I gave up my judgment as to the $150,000 for the aqueducts and 16
locks to your joint opinion and wishes.

"I desire to treat you with consideration, and to co-operate with you
for the public good.

"Of course I have defined views of duty in respect to the policy to
be pursued as to the canals, in which I should be glad to have your
concurrence as far as is consistent with your judgment.

"I have dictated this hasty answer to your note in order to avoid delay.

  "_Hon. Francis S. Thayer._"




"SIR,--I have the honor to inform you in an official way that
the president and fellows of this college, at the recent public
commencement, conferred upon you the honorary degree of Doctor of
Laws, and in connection with that act enrolled you with the academical
graduates of the college in the class of 1837.

"In thus recognizing the eminent public services which have so
abundantly deserved the honorable regard of all public-spirited men,
the corporation are especially proud to recall the fact that the
foundations of your educational training were in part laid here, and to
claim you, in virtue of this former connection, as an alumnus of Yale.

                            "Very respectfully,
                                 "Your obedient servant,
                                         "FRANKLIN B. DEXTER,

  "_His Excellency Gov. Tilden._"


  "CITY OF NEW YORK, STATION M, _Aug. 12th, 1875_.

"DEAR SIR,--So the anti-peculation campaign is fairly opened. It can
eventuate on one way only. No such controversy ever ended in favor of
the swindlers.

"But you want some documents. A big one is being prepared by a
sub-editor here. He asks me for some facts. More than I can give him.
Will you make some of your troops get for me:

"1. Copy of the minutes of the proceedings of a little extemporaneous
bar meeting in Albany, held during the Tweed hab. corp. argt. G. T.
---- in the chair. D. D. Field moved. I never saw them. I think they
must be in the _Argus_. Let us have _name and date of the paper_. It
relates to a new form of obsequious reverence for appeal judges.

"2. The letter of Allen J., just previous to your nomination, offering
to withdraw, if every one else would, in favor of his cousin Church.
_Name and date of paper._

"I want you to give me the pedigree or connecting link by which Allen's
cousinship to Church appears. Mistakes will occur unless men are
careful. If you don't know the connecting link, how can it be relied
upon? Don't you _know_ the principal fact?

"In looking into the history of the men, I am most at a loss to
account for Grover's fall. I have a theory, but it is not as clear and
satisfactory as the _known facts_ in respect to all others.

"Your speeches make the welkin ring. Why did you not touch them up at
Rochester? Is there a strong peculation clique there? 'Begad, I begin
soospec,' as the Frenchman said when he caught a man in bed with his

"I wish very much I could have a little chat with you, but I suppose it
is impossible.

"I want a short, succinct statement of the canal frauds detected by the
recent committee. I don't know how to draw it myself. I mean what I
say, a '_short and succinct_' thing.

"The anti-peculation document in contemplation will go hopping along
on one leg if there be not a better short presentment of the canal
detection than any one here knows how to write.

  "Y'rs truly,
                      "CH. O'CONOR."

"P. S.--Answer as quickly as you can."

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 9th of August, 1875, E. Delafield Smith was removed from the
office of counsel to the corporation on charges formulated by Charles
O'Conor, the sufficiency of which was approved by Governor Tilden in a
letter which follows. On the same day the late William C. Whitney was
appointed to the office vacated by Mr. Smith. Mr. Whitney, at the time
of his appointment, was but thirty-six years of age.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                 "ALBANY, _August 6, 1875_.

          _Mayor of the City of New York_.

"SIR,--At the time the proceedings for the removal of E. Delafield
Smith, counsel to the corporation of the city of New York, matured
in the submission to me of all the papers which either party deemed
necessary to a full hearing of the case, the bill under which the suits
growing out of municipal frauds were transferred to the care of the
Attorney-General was well advanced towards its passage, and soon after
it became a law.

"So far as any urgency resulted from the connection of this case with
those suits, that element disappeared; and in no other respect were the
interests of good government in immediate jeopardy. In the mean time
the absorbing demands of measures of canal reform, and the pressure
of legislative business superseded all less urgent matters; and in
accordance with the usual practice of the executive office, this case,
with similar ones from other parts of the State, and with the mass of
kindred business, was deferred until after the close of the legislative
session, and after the action on the bills and appropriations left at
the adjournment, I have now examined the voluminous papers submitted,
and have carefully considered the facts and evidence which they
present, with the aid of such other light as was within my power.

"I am of the opinion that acts are established which amount to causes
of the nature contemplated by law, and which would at least be
sufficient to induce a private client to change his counsel. It seems
to me quite clear that a rule at least as stringent as would govern
a private client ought to be applied for the protection of a great
community besieged by many millions of unjust and fraudulent claims,
which are prosecuted with the energy of private interests, and which
are always able to obtain great advantages over the public in a contest
of professional talent, skill, zeal, activity, and persistence. I
have, therefore, executed a certificate of approval, which is herewith
transmitted. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,



  "FORT WASHINGTON, _Sept. 30, 1875_.

"DEAR SIR,--The thing I apprehended, when suggesting doubts as to the
expediency of removing Smith, begins to develop itself.

"All outside counsel, _i. e._, Barlow, Carter, and the like, are
henceforth to be excluded from any city defence against jobbery. The
new corp. counsel and his clerks and employés inside of the office are
to conduct all the city's business.

"The earliest fruit of this will doubtless be the recovery of
$100,000,000 against the city in the water-meter case. This was one of
Tweed's last contracts. Plenty more of like sort will follow.

"Browne's[67] article cannot be got into any of the city papers. Many
conjectures as to the cause might be indulged in. But one is that,
it being very long and requiring an extra for its publication, the
printers think the reformers ought to be paid for.

"I know no one who is able and willing to contribute to the cost, and I
am not inclined to incur additional expenditures whilst standing alone
in that department.

                               "Yours truly,
                                                   "CH. O'CONOR."

  "_Gov. Tilden._"


  "UTICA, _October 19, 1875_.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am too ill and too old to do much at this
election.[68] I have been kept in my house for some days by sickness.
I shall be glad to help all I can, as I do not like the looks of the
canvass. I fear the loss of some part, if not of the whole, of our
ticket or of a majority so small that it will be counted a defeat. My
fears may spring from the distrust which old men have of the future.
Do not feel too sure. I know you are very confident, and so are the

                         "I am, truly yours, &c.,
                                               "HORATIO SEYMOUR."

  "_To Governor Tilden._

"I will let you know what I can do."


                "PALAZZO COOLEY, 2 VIA DEI PUCCI,
                       "FLORENCE, ITALY, _Oct. 20th, 1875_.


"DEAR SIR,--Allow me to congratulate you on the success and popularity
of your administration as Governor of the State of New York. It seems
to have the true Bentonian and Silas Wright tone or ring in it. I like
it, and wish you the most perfect and entire success in the noble and
patriotic efforts you are making to ferret out and punish thieves,
without regard to party, and bring back the administration of the
public affairs in the State of New York to the splendid condition they
were in when confided to the guidance and care of such men as Wright,
Marcy, and others of their best and most influential days. May God give
you health and strength to carry out your noble purposes to the utmost
limit of your commendable aspirations.

"I rejoice to hear of the signal defeat of the Democratic party of Ohio
on their shameful inflation platform; and I am prayerfully hopeful
that a similar result may accrue to the silly, not to say dishonest,
inflationists of Pennsylvania. However much it may be regretted that
the foolish inflationists of the Democratic party should have had
sufficient influence to insure its defeat this fall in those two
States, it will have the good effect to tumble out of the Presidential
path several aspirants and possible candidates for that high office.

"The Democrats in the United States have once more the political
cards in their own hands, and they are mostly trumps. Two-thirds, I
may venture to say, of the Republican party, are wearied, not to say
disgusted, with Grant's administration and sigh for a change, which
would have been affected at the last Presidential election but for the
inconceivable folly of the Democratic party in nominating Greeley,
who for forty years had exerted himself to the utmost of his ability
to destroy the party and malign and blacken the character of the most
pure-minded and patriotic members of it.

"'Free trade, reform, and speedy return to specie payments' should
be the conspicuous rallying or watchwords of the Democratic party
in the future; and it must follow, as the night the day, that, with
that insignia inscribed upon its banners, and with candidates truly
representing the sentiment or policy it indicates, the party will next
year triumphantly sweep the country from one extremity to the other.

"Protective duties, Civil War, and excessive issues of paper money
have done much to demoralize the character of our people and waft the
country towards the brink of ruin! It is high time to bring these
destructive measures to an end; and to the Democratic party, rightly
directed, is reserved the noble and patriotic mission of effecting this
incalculable benefit to the United States, which would bring back the
party itself to the enjoyment of all of its pristine power and the warm
affection of an overwhelming majority of the people.

"The war is happily at an end, and protective duties may be abolished
by repealing the ruinous acts that authorize their unjust exactions.
But a return to specie payments cannot be effected by simply passing
resolutions or empty and vague enactments of Congress. Something more
grave and important is required to insure this great and much-needed
reform in the deplorable financial condition of the country.

"In an extremity, and as a _war measure_, the government, having
undertaken to furnish a paper currency declared to be equal in value to
gold; and having made that currency the basis of a system of banking,
which has been generally adopted throughout the country, it cannot now
withdraw itself from the full responsibility of that position without
great detriment to the best interests of the country, and incurring
lasting dishonor, until it shall have, as it is abundantly able to
do, appreciated that currency and brought it up to par in gold. This
being done, the government will have returned to specie payments;
and greenbacks, being the basis of banking, the banks themselves
will also have resumed specie payments, if in a solvent condition,
with an augmented appreciation of the whole volume of the currency,
including the greenbacks and the bills of the national banks equal to
the difference between the current value of the depreciated currency
and the price of gold in the American market, which I perceive by the
last quotations is 16 per cent. This _agio_ or premium, calculated on
the whole amount of paper currency now issued by the national banks
and the government (equal, I suppose, to no less than $700,000,000),
would amount to $112,000,000; and this large sum is simply what would,
in that event, justly accrue to the possessors or holders of the
depreciated currency of the government and the national banks.

"How, it may be asked, can this desirable result be _easily_ attained?
Evidently in no other way than by the government taking such steps
and adopting such measures as will surely bring into its possession
an amount of gold sufficient to enable it to deal in its own currency
for _all_ government transactions. How is this to be done? Simply by
a six-per-cent. 'redemption loan,' having 30 years to run, and to an
amount equal to the full volume of the greenback currency now afloat.
I say _six per cent._ because I would make the absorption of the loan
_speedy_ and _sure_, though it is not unlikely that a loan of the kind
might be slowly negotiated at 5 or even 4-1/2 per cent. interest. But
a government loan at 6 per cent., having thirty or even _twenty_ years
to run, would be caught up with avidity by capitalists on both sides
of the Atlantic at a large premium; and it would at once throw the
balance of trade in favor of the United States, so that there would
be no immediate demand for gold abroad. It would, also, break down at
once the mischievous ring speculations in gold at home, and obviate the
necessity of buying gold for the payment of customs; and as gold could
be obtained at any time for greenbacks or the bills of specie-paying
banks, the demand for it would become so small that gold, instead of
commanding, as it does at present, a ruinously high premium, would most
likely become a drug!

"Such a loan as I have indicated should be put upon the principal money
markets of the United States and in Europe and bid for simultaneously,
and _payable_ in _gold_.

"Should such a condition of monetary affairs be attained the government
might withdraw the greenbacks from circulation, so fast as the volume
of currency necessary to meet the requirements of commerce should
be supplied by sound specie-paying banks, until the whole amount
($400,000,000) shall have been retired, without disturbing materially
the general current of trade or adding a single dollar to the present
indebtedness of the United States. The interest on the new loan would,
of course, have to be provided for; but that would be more than
compensated by the saving of gold premium, now annually required in
payments for foreign importations, which, whatever may be the amount,
is added to the price or cost of all foreign commodities consumed by
the people of the United States. The loan, moreover, would doubtless
be taken at a premium of 10 to 15 per cent.; if so, $40,000,000 to
$60,000,000 would be realized by the government by the operation.

"The glory of this great and patriotic achievement may be made to
redound to the honor of the Democratic party is aroused to a proper
sense of justice, and stimulated to a faithful performance of its
obvious duty to the country; and, above all, inspired with a firm
determination to be true to its own self.

"I have the honor to remain, with great respect,

  "Very truly, your friend,
                          "J. E. COOLEY."


  "NORWICH, CONN., _Nov. 9th_, (_1875_).

"MY DEAR MR. TILDEN,--I return herewith answers to all your list of
questions, so far as I am able. It is not easy to give definite answers
to all, especially in relation to aggregate national wealth, income,
and savings.

"I do not believe it judicious for you, in your message, to enter in
any degree into the field of economic controversy. The masses won't
comprehend, and the doctrinaires will fight you. Stick to the great
principles, and do not commit yourself against contraction. I have
thought a good deal over our conversation of last week, and I am more
and more convinced there is no other practical way out of our financial
difficulties. 'All roads lead to Rome,' and all roads to resumption
involve contraction at some stage if they lead where they pretend to.

  "Very Truly Yours,
                      "DAVID A. WELLS."


  "'1. What, at a given period, was the population of
  England, France, United States?

  "'2. What is the best estimate of their aggregate capital
  at such period?

  "'3. Their annual gross income or earnings?

  "'4. Their annual income from foreign government?

  "'5. Their annual outgo to pay interest on foreign

  "'6. Their annual net savings or accumulation?

  "'7. Their exports?

         "   imports?

  "'8. Production of gold and silver in United States for
  each of five years?

  "'Exports and imports of gold and silver during same



  From 1872. France (exclusive of Alsace and Lorraine)   36,102,920
    "    "   Great Britain                               31,835,000
    "  1870. United States (Census)                      38,115,641
    "  1872.    "      "   (Estimated)                   40,000,000


"_United States._--The valuation of the property of the U. S. by the
census of 1870 was (in currency) $30,068,000,000. The returned assessed
valuation for the same year was less than one-half, or $14,178,000,000.
The census counted as property, both property and the evidence of debt
secured on such property. I do not think the productive capital of the
United States in excess of $25,000,000,000.

"_Great Britain._--Baxter, in 1867-8, estimated, from accepted data,
the aggregate value of the real and personal property of the United
Kingdom at 6,000,000,000 _pounds_, or 30,000,000,000 dollars. I should
put it for 1872 as high as _seven_, possibly _eight_, thousand million

"_France._--I know of no estimate of the aggregate value of property in
France. I find several recent French writers, who incidentally refer to
it, as less than that of Great Britain.


"Baxter estimates, for 1867-8, the annual gross income of the United
Kingdom as 814,000,000, or $4,070,000,000; and the _net_ at about
600,000,000, or $3,000,000,000. This last constitutes the fund out of
which the nation feeds and clothes itself, pays taxes, and repairs
and saves. I should estimate the gross income of Great Britain for
1872-4 at full 1,000,000,000, and the net at 800,000,000. There are no
reliable data for estimating annual savings, constituting new capital.
_Ten_ per cent., which is a high estimate, in my judgment, would give
80,000,000, or $400,000,000; and yet these figures are not consistent
with the recent returns of the Board of Trade, respecting the income
from British foreign investments.

"_France._--Victor Bonnet asserts that the data are certain
that France before the war of 1870 saved annually as much as
$400,000,000--2,000,000,000 francs; and thinks that the present saving
is about $600,000,000. He quotes Sir Robert Peel, approvingly, to the
effect that France, with equal revenues, saves more than Great Britain.

"_United States._--Greater natural resources here give a greater gross
and net income, with equal labor. I am inclined to put our gross income
between $6 and $7,000,000,000. I do not believe our annual saving,
in prosperous years, in excess of _five_ per cent., or from $300 to


"_Great Britain._--A late number of the London _Economist_ puts
80,000,000, or $400,000,000, as the minimum paid Great Britain by
foreign countries for interest on capital invested abroad, and _for
freights and commissions_. The last year, I should think, represented
full _one-third_.

"_France._--The estimate of revenue derived by France from industrial
enterprises in foreign countries and foreign loans, from 1873-4, is
about 260,000,000 francs, $52,000,000.

"_United States._--Nothing.


"_Great Britain._--Nothing.

"_France._--An inconsiderable amount, probably not in excess of 12 to
15 millions of dollars.

"_United States._--Not less than _one hundred millions_ of dollars.
Probably more than less.


  _United States_ 1872-3   Exports   $677,000,000, Currency.
                  1873-4      "       716,000,000,     "
                  1872-3   Imports    649,000,000, Gold.
                  1873-4      "       693,000,000,   "
  _Great Britain_ 1872-3   Exports   £311,000,000,      $1,555,000,000
                  1873-4      "       297,000,000, or    1,985,000,000
                  1872-3   Imports    371,000,000       --------------
                  1873-4      "       370,000,000       --------------
  _France_        1872.    Exports  3,679,000,000 francs, $735,000,000
                    "      Imports  3,447,000,000 francs, $689,000,000


"The present product of gold and silver, or rather the product for
1873 and 1874, is estimated by the director of the Mint in his last
report at $70,000,000 per annum. For the five years, from 1871 to 1876
inclusive, an average of $60,000,000 per annum would probably be about


  Exports   1870   $43,882,000
     "      1871    83,400,000
     "      1872    72,727,000
     "      1873    73,417,000
  Imports   1870    26,417,000
     "      1871    21,268,000
     "      1872    13,742,000
     "      1873    21,478,000


[56] _Rochester Union and Advertiser_, of which Purcell was promoter.

[57] Mr. George W. Smith, my colleague as Executor of Mr. Tilden's
Estate and at the date of the following letter his private Secretary,
writes me:

"The horse General Dix refers to, and which he had in Virginia, was
a gray horse, about sixteen hands high, and a remarkably easy-riding
horse. Mr. Tilden, I think, bought the outfit off him--horse, saddle,
and bridle--just before General Dix went to Paris, and paid him $300.
Before the general's return from Paris, Mr. Tilden put the horse in
part payment of another horse. The general never recovered him."

[58] An expert accountant employed by Mr. Tilden to report upon the
bank accounts of persons implicated in the frauds of what is known to
history as the Tweed ring.

[59] A lawyer who had been a member of the law firm of Brown, Hall
& Vanderpool, and at the time of writing this letter was Mayor, and
inculpated with Tweed and others in municipal frauds.

[60] A famous dealer in horses in the New York market from Kentucky,
and who supplied Mr. Tilden with his best riding and coach horses.

[61] This no doubt refers to the nomination of Greeley for President.

[62] Mr. Tilden spent most of the summer of 1873 in Europe, his first
visit to the Old World. He bore with him the above enumerated letters
of introduction from Mr. Evarts.

[63] Mr. George W. Smith, Mr. Tilden's private secretary, informs me
that, according to his recollection, Mr. Tilden did not cease to be
chairman of the State committee until he was nominated for Governor in

[64] This address was found among Mr. Tilden's papers, and was written
by him at the request of the Mayor.

[65] Son of Judge Campbell, once a surrogate of New York, and, like his
father, a Democrat.

[66] Former Secretary of State.

[67] Presumably then managing editor of the _Evening Post_.

[68] Referring to the approaching election of State officers, at which
the Governor's canal reform policy was to be submitted for the first
time to the popular crucible.

                          [End of volume I.]

Transcriber's Notes:

    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were
    silently corrected.

    Punctuation normalized.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

    Large blank spaces in text denoted by ____.

    White Right Pointing Index symbol is denoted by =>.

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We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.