|Chase had visited his former Dartmouth College classmate Thomas Sparhawk, a physician who apparently resided in Massachusetts, during his campaign trip to the Northeast in October. Charles Franklin Emerson, ed., General Catalogue of Dartmouth College . . . ( Hanover, N.H., 1910-11), 242; John Greenleaf Whittier to Chase, Nov. 9, 1860 ( Chase Papers, L.C.).|
|According to Robert Barnwell Rhett, Congress lacked authority to enact the Fugitive Slave Law. Rhett made his comments in the U.S. Senate on Feb. 24, 1851, two months after he assumed the seat vacated by the death of John C. Calhoun. Bio. Dir. U.S. Cong., 729, 1709; Congressional Globe, 31st Cong., 2d sess., 1851, appen., 318.|
|Whittier had two sisters: Elizabeth Hussey Whittier ( 1815-64), the closest of three siblings, and Mary Whittier Caldwell ( 1806-61). John B. Pickard, ed., The Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier ( Cambridge, Mass., 1975), 1:11.|
Autograph copy. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania ( micro 14:0106).
Columbus, Nov. 30, 1860
"My dear x x x x,1
x x x x x x x x
Would to Heaven that it were in my power to compose the strife which now disturbs2 the peace of our country. Certainly there is, in my heart, no feeling but good will towards every part of it
But what can be done? I mean what can3 be done by a private citizen? If the Executive powers of the nation were in my hands I should know what to do. I would maintain the Union, support the Constitution, and enforce the laws.
And just here let me say that in the Commercial's' report of my Covington Speech (of which a copy directed to Mr. H-----'s address4 is mailed with this letter) a passage is left out which appears in the verbatim report of the Gazette.5 After stating, as my chief objection to the Bell- Everett Platform, that it proposed nothing which all parties did not agree to, &, therefore, was inadequate to the demand of the timer,6 I went on to say that what seemed to me the distinguishing characteristic of the party supporting Mr. Bell and also of the party supporting Mr. Douglas, in the South, was a true devotion to the Union & a resolute determination to sustain it, against the designs of disunion, entertained by a portion--though I hoped not a very large portion--of the supporters of Mr. Breckenridge:7--so that in the South, whatever might be the case in the North their platform did propose a practical