Description[1849 Ohio Senatorial Election]. Salmon P. Chase Autograph Letters (2) Signed With Two Related Letters. A great exchange of correspondence between Salmon Chase and Gamaliel Bailey regarding the 1849 Senatorial Elections in the State of Ohio. In the first letter of the group written by Gamaliel Bailey to Chase dated January 16, 1849, Bailey shares a conversation had with Joshua R. Giddings: "I have seen and talked freely with Giddings. He is moderately ambitious - he would like to be U.S. Senator, if there be a good chance of his election, if the Free-Soilers will unite upon him, he wishes to run. If they cannot and will not unite upon him, he says you and you alone, by all means, are the man. I told him he ought to write to one of his Free-Soil friends in the Legislature just as he talked to me, frankly, fully, and request the letter to be shown to you, so that his position and views might be clearly known...." Bailey goes on to critique other Senators in office: "We need a man in the Senate with the same commanding , systematic vigilant energy, and the same forecast as John C. Calhoun possesses. He is a ruler. [Daniel] Webster ... nobody. [John M.] Clayton is a ... compromiser. Hale is lazy and can't look much beyond his nose... Douglass is a tactician on a small scale - cunning, slippery, lawminded. There is room for you in the Senate..."
Chase's response is dated January 24, 1849 (writing from Cincinnati), in part: "I have since seen a letter from Mr. Giddings to Mr. Vaughan in which he says that he had written Mr. Randolph before he saw you to the effect that while he would not decline to be elected, he would desire to have me chosen if he could not be... Things are very much mixed up however, at Columbus; and it is impossible to foresee the outcome. It seems to me pretty clear, from what I can learn, that Giddings can in no event, be elected. The Taylor Whigs will not touch him, because in the first place, most of them don't want to do it themselves, and in the second place, all of them feel that to do so would offend the ruling chiefs of the party at Washington. And be especially unpleasing to old Zach himself... " Chase then lists a breakdown of what votes he could expect to receive and concludes, "I cannot say my prospect is flattering: but my chance would be fair if I had Mr. Giddings cordial support..." Four pages of densely written script, all with excellent content regarding political strategy of the day.
A second letter by Chase (writing from Columbus), dated February 22, 1849, relays the news the he was "elected by a vote of 55 to 51, all the Whig Freesoilers (so called) voted to the last for Giddings though it was apparent from the first ballot , and indeed has been well known for several days, that he could not win..."
The last letter in the group is from Bailey, dated February 15, 1849, with more like content regarding the election. All four letters are transmitted, as evidenced by either docketing or the presence of an address cover. Overall condition is near fine, with only the usual mail folds.
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