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Last evenings mail My Dear Sir, brought me your kind favor of the 8th inst, written on the ev'e of your departure from Washington.
That our friends are in high spirits I can readily conceive, particularly those, who take as deep an interest as I do in your fame and future advancement, for you never occupied so proud a position as you do at present, whether you are destined to wear the purple or not.
But I must tell you that of the Democracy as a party, I think in the utmost peril. They have tendered so many issues during the late Session of Congress, that nothing can possibly prevent the Whigs from electing their Man, but the possible Union of the independent Men of all parties, constituting, if left to themselves, the great body of the people, on you, because on some of these trying Questions, you occupy middle ground.
With the tariff, two Veto Messages, Sub Treasury and the Mexican War, (with its enormous expences), wantonly provoked as it is charged, by the Democracy, we have too much weight to carry. The Sub Treasury alone killed Van Buren in 1840. But how vastly has Polk complicated the difficulties of his party ?
I begin to think such are the follies and perverseness of Men that hereafter no party will remain in power, more than four Years. Ignorance under our Government is gradually gaining on knowledge, and profligacy on moral worth, until I believe we shall settle down into one of the most corrupt and disgusting Anarchies that ever disgraced the civilized World, of which Felix Connell and Sam Houston, may be regarded as the personal Exponents. These are gloomy portents, but I believe they will prove true, for the influence of virtue and Genius, in our Democracy, seems daily to be losing its authority.
I should have some hope, indeed of the Country if it had the intelligence and discrimination to place you at the head of Affairs. And in spite of these omens, I believe our prospect of consummating this blessing, is far more auspicious than ever, if we avail ourselves of the favorable conjunction which the difficulties of the Country, in the next two years are likely to present. But in the long run I fear we must inscribe on the White House this Icibel not libel, (except on the ground the greater the truth the great the libel) The Temple of Demagog-ism inscribed to the Genius of Mediocrity dulness Ignorance and Deceit.
I shall stop for a day or two at Washington on my way to New York next week, not to seek an office, but to convince Polk, that I am [a] free sjjoken Man, at least as far as I can be so, within the verge of civility and that due respect, which belongs to his high station. If he does not change the mode of carrying on the Mexican War which in fact is more properly speaking a War against the Treasury of the U. S. , waged ~by ourselves, his administration in public confidence will not live to see the commencement of the next Session of Congress.
I need not say that in going North I shall exchange the sign and token of confraternity with your friends where ever I meet them and inculcate the Watchwords of Hope Union and energy. I now use no reserve, and I am happy to say, that I meet wherever I go with few Men at the South, of either party, who do not admit, when pushed home, that in Genius experience and virtue you are better qualified than any Man in the United States for the Helm. God grant us, I say a victory out of which, a new Lease for the Government may be constructed.
If you should have any suggestions to make, pray drop me a line directed to Washington, where I shall be there probably on the 22 d and remain until the 25th ins't.
With my best respects to your Lady I remain My Dear Sir Ever with esteem Most faithfully and resply
You friend and ob't. Sev't.
P. S. I owe Mr. Clemson a long Letter on some mining operations in Coal on the Banks of the Big Warrior near Tuscaloosa, where he thinks we might spring a principality, I mean to have it examined this Winter, if I can find a suitable Agent.
What a blessed con juncture of circumstances does the modification of the respective tariffs of G. B. and this Country present occurring as they do similtaneously as the omen of Peace and a benef ecent intercourse between two such great nations. The admission of Maize duty free into England is calculated to confer I believe in the end an incalculable blessing on both Countries. It will give to the laboring poor of G. B. a cheap and nutritious food and to the South probably a source for diverting a portion of our Labor from the cultivation of Cotton. One of the objects of my visit to the North is to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the process of kiln drying corn preparatory to its being ground and bolted into Meal. I think of making an experimental shipment next Winter to Liverpool from the Chattahoochee where I shall harvest an excess of Corn over and above my consumption of at least 10,000 Bushels altho I run 70 Ploughs and have 80 Mules and horses. If I can nett 60 cents pr bushel for Meal in Liverpool I can make $2 by Corn where I make $1. by Cotton at 9 Cents pr. H.
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.