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MY DEAR SIR: I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 26th ulto by the last mail. Your not being able to comply with the requests contained in my communication of a previous date was of no consequence, as it seems the office of Secretary for the Territory was filled before the application of any Individuals from this quarter could be submitted to the Executive of the U States. I regret it, not that the Person appointed I may not be very meretorious and fully equal to the duties of the station to which advanced, but that the people of this Territory, like the citizens of the States generally, feel very sensitive on the subject of having their public officers sent from abroad. It brings more home to them their colonial condition, and increases that restlessness which too many of them manifest on that subject. In the early organisation of our government These appointments from abroad were unavoidable, but since the increase of our strength by a population that would not lose in character and intelligence, by a comparason with that of older communities; it would be more gratifying to have those who are to administer our laws and protect our rights selected from those who are acquainted with our wants and resources. There is another subject which has likewise given much dissatisfaction to a very respectable, though limited portion of our population; That is the neglect of the old inhabitants in all the appointments made among us. It was bad policy not at once, by a proper confidence in their ability and patriotism, to have early convinced them that they had been received into the American family. You will excuse my enlarging on these topics; I have done so, that if concurring in opinion with me, you may lend your influence to have the qualifications and character of applicants from the Territory weighed in the same scale with those from other quarters.
I thank you for the flattering expressions of your wishes in relation to my political prospects. You may be assured that neither myself or friends are dispirited. We are contending for principle in the triumph of which we have every confidence. Indeed the day would have been with us at the late conflict; but for a manoeuvre to split the votes by a third candidate, and for the appeal made at the last moment to the good, I should say in political affairs [the] weak, feelings of a community by the present incumbent. His character was at stake and he threw himself upon the humanity of his constituents to save him from the odium which the loss of election would render inevitable. A sufficient number were operated on to turn the scale; [and] send him back to Washington the representative of a minority of the People of Florida.
It would afford me pleasure to hear often from you and I would esteem it as a favor if during the session of Congress you would forward me copies of all public documents that would be interesting. The Reports of the Heads of Departments would be particularly acceptable to Yours ob
- James Gadsden
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.