DescriptionJohn McLean Autograph Letter Signed with Two Related Letters. John McLean letter to Gamaliel Bailey, three pages, 8.25" x 10.5"; Chapel Wood; April 15, 1857. A long letter with content regarding Kansas and offering a strategy against the pro-slavery factions. In part: "I have just read your letter on Kansas in your paper of the 9th inst, with much gratification. Condense what you have said and keep it in your paper until after the election; and refer to it more or less in every paper. I fear the time is too short for proper organization. The free state party should divide the Territory, and appoint individuals in counties or townships and take down the name of every voter favorable to the cause. The party should know within a small number what the vote will be. I remember on the election of Gr. Jackson that Tom Moore, before the election, stated the number of votes that Gen Jackson would receive in every County in the state of Kentucky, within ten or twenty votes, in each county. The fact is the voters were poled. Why has this not been done in Kansas. The reason is that they are northern men, and they understand less of human nature than the people of the South... Nothing could be more ridiculous that for Gov. Robinson to resume his position of governor... I do believe, with a correction of the list of voters & with an energetick [sic] action, the free-soil party might carry a majority. If opposed by force, let them hold an election by themselves to show that they have a majority... The present is a great crisis. It requires wisdom and energy. Not bluster against the court, for bad as it is, it has decided nothing but the jurisdiction... Let us correct the evil among ourselves, and not cry out against the slave power. It is natural that slave holders should endeavor to advance their own interests; let them do so, but let us attend to ours. We have a majority of 54 votes in the house of Rep. and also a majority of free state senators in the Senate. The slavery triumphs should be changed to antislavery..." McLean's signature has been excised, and there is a small tear to the left of this paper loss. Text is complete and overall condition is excellent. Together with Bailey's letter to McLean dated April 29, 1857 responding to McLean's letter, docketed by McLean.
Also included is a period fair copy (in an unknown hand) of a May 1, 1857 letter from John McLean to Gamaliel Bailey relating news heard from his niece's husband about the political situation in Kansas. In part: "He says there are more than three anti slavery voters in the territory to one for slavery and he entertains no doubt that Kansas will be a free state... " Much more content regarding commerce in the area, and strategy to ensure that the anti-slavery voters outnumber the pro slavery powers in the Territory of Kansas.
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