Hammond, Jabez D.
Autograph Letter Signed, Cherry Valley, New York, July 21, 1849 to future New York Governor Horatio Seymour, Utica

quarto, 2 pages, plus address leaf, two small nicks along foredge, else in very good, legible condition.

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“My Dear Sir,

             … In the enclosed address I have gone further than many of my Free Soil Friends will approve. On the other hand, I do not believe that the ‘Platform’ to use the fashionable phrase of the day, of Mr. Croswell can be acceded to by the Radicals. He would declare his opposition to the extension of slavery and yet would vote for candidates for Congress who would vote for its extension or at any rate would vote against restricting the extension. This will let in as many Doughfaces as may be required by the Southern Market. Mr. Shaw of the Journal who as well in the English as Yankee sense of the word “clever” is really a clever man apprehends evil from “agitation” I admit agitation is an evil, but if there is an union of the Democracy there can be no “agitation” among the Democrats of the North. If the South choose to agitate they are responsible for the consequences.”

           Expressing the quandary of many moderates in the Democratic Party on the slavery issue at a time when the Free Soil Party was attracting more “radical” Democrats to its ranks. Jabez Delano Hammond (1778-1855) was a doctor, lawyer, writer and veteran politician who had served in Congress thirty years before. This letter expresses his own ambivalence, which he apparently found troubling, as he disparaged “Doughfaces”, meaning Northern Democrats who were easily swayed by Southern colleagues on this burning question.