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    Millard Fillmore Letter Signed. Seven pages, 8" x 10", Washington, April 27, 1852, to Dr. Thomas M. Foote. After discussing his reluctant candidacy in the upcoming presidential election, "I regret having yielded so much to the solicitation of my friends, as to suffer my name to remain before the public as a possible candidate for nomination by the Whig Convention...," he talks at length about the status of the splintered Whig Party, divided into pro- and anti-slavery camps after the passage of the Compromise of 1850: "It is impossible now to foresee what is to be the result of this never dying contest between the North and the South. You have doubtless seen from the papers the difficulties which occurred in the Whig Caucus to fix the time and place for holding the Whig National Convention. My own impression was, and still is, that it was unwise to have introduced a resolution into that Caucus approving of the Compromise...it was unnecessary to repeat it, and those who favored the Compromise were in danger...of having it evaded, or having it voted down indirectly on points of order, thereby giving an impression to the world that the majority were against it, when this was not true...But the question is really of such vital importance to the South, and indeed...to the North...It will present itself at every turn, and it must be settled at the National Convention, either by nominating an open and avowed supporter...or by adopting resolutions approving it; or the South will undoubtedly secede in a body from the Convention...You may have noticed that in the Congressional proceedings most measures are carried by an union of the conservative Whigs and the Conservative Democrats, while the Secessionists of the South and the Abolitionists of the North vote together. It is not possible that this state of things should continue with its natural consequence of sectional parties, and this Union endure."

    With regard to the Whig Convention, he reports that "The Union Party of Georgia...has refused to send delegates to either Convention, but the Secessionists of that state have elected delegates to the Democratic Convention...it is not improbable that some of the Whigs may send delegates to the Whig Convention...I doubt not the example set b the Union Whigs of Georgia will be followed by those of Alabama, and Mississippi, and possibly by the Cooperationists of South Carolina." Of the state of the Democratic Party, he declares that "...They are divided on principle, and contending fiercely about fiercely about candidates...[Lewis] Cass is probably the strongest man, but he cannot get 2/3rds of the vote...[James] Buchanan is opposed with less ferocity and supported with less zeal...and the same may be said of [Stephen A.] Douglass...I am therefore inclined to think that the result will be, that all these prominent men will be dropped by the Convention, and some new name taken up, possibly Dickinson...or Jim Boyd of Kentucky: and such a nomination would be more likely to succeed than that of any of the prominent candidates now before the public." Fillmore was correct that the serious candidates for the nomination would not succeed. In the end, it was Franklin Pierce that secured the nomination from his party (Democratic) and, ultimately, the presidency.

    With a holographic postscript. Slight separation through the main vertical fold, especially at the lower edge. Light spots of foxing.

    W.C. Putnam Collection for the benefit of the Acquisition and Conservation Fund of the Putnam Museum.




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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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