The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

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2. In his report to Congress, December 3, 1860, James Buchanan had suggested passage of an "explanatory amendment" to strengthen slavery, possibly implemented through a constitutional convention. Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., 2d sess., 1860-61, appen., 4.
3. Congress had reconvened on December 3, 1860. The House's counterpart to the Senate's "Committee of Thirteen" was a "Committee of Thirty-three," with one member from each state. Bio. Dir U.S. Cong., 167; Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., ed sess., 1860-61, 6; Potter, Impending Crisis, 530.
4. Chase sent such advice to Henry Wilson and James W. Grimes. Chase to Wilson, Dec. 13, 1860 ( Chase Papers, L.C.); Chase to James W. Grimes, Jan. 14, 1861 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.).
5. On January 12 and 14, Ohio's House and Senate approved a series of resolutions that called on the national government to address the South's grievances, yet, in the words of one report, also pledged "the whole power and resources of Ohio, whenever necessary, to maintain the power of the Federal Government over all rebellion whenever and whatever it may be." Appletons' Annual Cyclopædia and Register of Important Events . . . , 42 vols. ( New York, 1862- 1903), 1:556; Columbus Gazette, Jan. 12, 1861.
6. The legislature passed the resolution on January 14. "Resolved," it read in part, "That we hail with joy the firm, dignified, and patriotic Message of the President. . . . "Appletons' Annual Cyclopædia, 1:556.


Autograph letter. Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (micro 14:0470).

Columbus, Jany 28, 1861

My dear Sir,

My letters from Washington alarm me, though not easily alarmed. The defence of the city is said by one who certainly knows if anybody knows to be inadequate and the President is represented as incredulous and apathetic.1 My hope is that the investigations authorized by Congress will expose the danger, and secure a remedy if really considerable.2

Another danger is greater still and more imminent--and that is the disruption of the Republican Party through Congressional attempts at compromises. Our only safety from this danger lies in the adoption & maintenance of the simple watchword-- Inauguration first-- Adjustment afterwards.-- Let the word pass from the head of the column before the Republicans move. I know the temper of the people, and I know that the Republican Party will be defeated in Ohio next fall if the pledge given at Chicago is violated by the passing of an enabling act for the admission of New Mexico as a Slave State or by the proposal by Congress of the Amendment to the Constitution recommended by the Committee of 33.3 The people are vigilant and zealous. They have been often deceived in their hopes, and fear being again deceived. The friends of Compromise, so prominent Representatives write me, pretend to have your sanction to these measures. I know it cannot be so, but the persistent representations to this effect are doing much damage. Let me beg you to say if you have not already said to some trusted Senator & some trusted Representative that you desire the


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