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My Dear Brother : Your letter was duly received, and should have been promptly answered but that I am overwhelmed with calls and engagements.
You ask why I signed the recommendation of the Helper Book. It was a thoughtless, foolish, and unfortunate act. I relied upon the representation that it was a political tract to be published under the supervision of a committee of which Mr. Blair, a slave-holder, was a member. I was assured that there should be nothing offensive in it, and so, in the hurry of business of the House, I told Morgan, a member of last Congress, to use my name. I never read the book, knew nothing of it, and now cannot recall that I authorized the use of my name. Everybody knows that the ultra sentiments in the book are as obnoxious to me as they can be to any one, and in proper circumstances I would distinctly say so, but under the threat of Clark's resolution, I could not, with self respect, say more than I have.
Whether elected or not, I will at a proper time disclaim all sympathy with agrarianisin, insurrection, and other abominations in the book.
In great haste,
Your affectionate brother,
- John Sherman