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Pair of Letters to James Macmanus of Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania from two Pennsylvania Politicians, John Hasson, and E. A. Weinman, 1836, 1843, concerning Political Machinations

two letters, quarto, 3 pages, formerly folded, some wear and repairs with archival tissue, else in good condition.

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The first letter discusses the election by the Pennsylvania senate of James Buchanan, the future 15th United States President, to the United States Senate:


1.                                                                                                                     “Harrisburg, Decr 15th, 1836

Jno. Macmanus Esq.

Dear Sir,

         We have had quite a storm here for some days past which has not blown very advantageously to those who have raised it. Neither has it shaped its course towards the point at which it was anticipated it would prove most destructive, by the doings of sundrie members of Senate commonly called recreants, in non conforming to the law in relation to the election of United States senator. The election of that officer did not take place on Tuesday. From what has transpired there appears to have been an evident attempt by some of those men whose recklessness for the las two years I presume you are perfectly familiar with, to defeat totally the election of united states senator at this session. But as envy and malice always carries with them their own great punishment so in this case those men high in authority, held in violation of the wills of the people have been driven to the unenviable alternative of passing a supplement to the original law fixing the election of senator on Wednesday. This was the only refuge to which they could fly and intended for a month to cover their deep laid scheme of political depravity, But it is a covering of gauze through which all can see and just indignation of an insulted people will strip them to their last rag and expose them to the world in their own naked deformity. The democratic members of both branches had come to the fixed and unalterable determination to go into convention at the minute fixed by Law. The supplement was therefore hastily originated and passed through senate and came as hastily despatched to his exselency [sic]  for his approval, in the meantime the democratic members of Senate into the House had everything in readiness in case of any failure and before the minute arrived had according to the rule sent in their committee to introduce the members of senate into the House to go into the election on the arrival of the committee in Senate consternation was conspicuously depicted in every visage of those who had been playing this game of iniquity. The democratic members of the Senate rose from their seats secured their Lots and was in the act of moving with the committee at this instant Lord clearly in breathless haste pressed through the crowd and announced to the Senate the approval and signature of his High mightiness to the bill, All further proceedings was therefore suspended until Wednesday at twelve o’clock at which time the election took place and produced the following result viz. James Buchanan 85 T.M. McKennan 24 C. B. Penrose 21 Speaker Cunningham 1 Leet 1 In conclusion I have only to add that I need scarcely  write you on the above subject as I presume you have the whole matter in detail in the public journals before this time. I have not the time I should like to have to devote to my fellow citizens on many subjects, on account of being placed on several committees the duties of which are very arduous and require my whole attention late and early please write me soon In haste I remain …

Jno Hasson”


“Harrisburg, Feb. 12th 1843


Dear Sir,


       Your favor of the 7th is received. In relation to the district… I can only say that it is now impossible to tell in what shape the bill must pass. I have no idea that any bill which has been reported would become a law. The Senate amendments would have been concurred in without doubt, if they had not been postponed. Pomfret, you know, is not the best manager in the world. If it goes to a committee of conference I will have a pretty good committee and if we cannot agree will introduce a new bill which will pass, and perhaps your district will be confined to the counties of Lycoming, Clinton, Centre Clearfield and Cambria’ I am not sure of this, however, but will endeavour under all circumstances to take care of your interest. We have a nice party in the house on the compromise bill, it will pass I hope by a vote of 64 votes. It will pass the Senate. Thus we go. The events which now occur are full of interest, but it requires considerable nerve General McCulloch …”