Seward predicts a victory by Clay in 1844

    William Seward (1801-1872), Statesman, Secretary of State in the Lincoln and Johnson Administrations, fine political content Autograph Letter Signed "William H. Seward." Three pages with integral address leaf, 8" x 10, Auburn, [New York], October 28, 1844 to E. A. Stansbury, marked "(Private)." A rich and detailed political letter in which Seward muses on the outcome of the 1844 presidential election between Henry Clay and James K. Polk. He writes in small part: "...those who can be excited by personal prejudice, by fears of an oppressive and persecutive aristocracy are roused and heated more than in 1840.... there is the Liberty party, which during the past three years have been suffered by our fault to withdraw from us more than any majority the Whig Party ever had... the possible civil and religious intolerance in the cities of Philadelphia and New York fostered by too many Whigs has driven nearly all the emigrant citizens from us." Seward believed the that "The Loco Focos [Democrats in this context] gain in my judgment from the naturalized citizens as much as they lose to the Whigs and lose to the Liberty Party, though not considerably The result of my best observation is that two chief parties will be nearly equal throughout the states except New York City and the City decides the Election. I believe it will be Whig." He continues discussing the acquisition of Texas, with apparent pessimism, and is confident that the cause of Emancipation will be benefited by the Whig's appeals to the pure and patriotic mass of the Liberty Party: "The mistake if it was of Mr. Clay has been more than counterbalanced by the absurd blunder of Mr. Birney and I feel quite confident that the cause of Emancipation practical will be benefited by the success of our appeals to the pure and patriotic mass of the Liberty party not to reason it by factions adhere to the shadows set before them by the papers." In the end, the Liberty Party garnered 62,000 popular votes, and probably threw the election to the Democrats and James K. Polk -- he had campaigned on a pro-Texas annexation platform. The Liberty Party was absorbed into the Free Soil Party that eventually merged into the Republican Party, in 1854, when the Whig Party collapsed. Small marginal loss affecting a few words of text, otherwise very bright and mostly clean, fine condition. Early content from Seward is difficult; this is a wonderful example. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    February, 2006
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