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2. LETTER II.[1]

Dear Uncle Joshua:—I spose you learnt by my letter
t'other day to cousin Ephraim, that you had lost the bushel


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of corn you bet about the Speaker in the Legislater—I mean
that Legislater they call the House—for Mr. White got it
first, and then Mr. Goodenow got it, and he's kept it ever
since. And they say he'll be Speaker all winter, although he
don't speak near so much as some of the rest of 'em. There's
lawyer Ruggles, of Thomaston, that used to be Speaker, and
folks say he made a very smart one. And there's lawyer Boutelle,
of Waterville, who's got eyes sharp enough to look
through anybody, and who makes 'em all as still as mice
when he-speaks. And there's lawyer Smith, of Nobleborough;
he looks very much like a man I saw in the museum, that
they called Daniel Lambert, only he isn't quite so large.
But my patience! he's a real peeler for speaking, and sometimes
he pours out his voice so as to make me jump right up
on my feet. If I was going to bet who would be Speaker
next year, I should bet upon him before anybody else. And
there's lawyer Bourne, of Kennebunk, and lawyer Kent, of
Bangor, and lawyer Norton, of Milburn, and Dr. Burnham, of
Orland, and Dr. Shaw, of Wiscasset, and Dr. Wells, of Freeport,
and Parson Knowlton, of Montville, and Parson Swett,
of Prospect, and some others, if I could only think of 'em.
Now, most any of these speak more than Mr. Goodenow does;


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and still Mr. Goodenow is called the Speaker, because they
voted that he should be.

They've disputed two days more about that poor Mr. Roberts
having a seat. I can't see why they need to make such
a fuss about it. As they've got seats enough, why don't they
let him have one, and not keep him standing up for three
weeks in the lobby and round the fire. It's a plaguey sight
worse than being on a standing committee, for they say the
standing committees have a chance to set most every day.
But in the dispute about Mr. Roberts last Wednesday and
Thursday, the difficulty seemed to be something or other about
a primy facy case. I don't know what sort of a case 'twas, but
that's what they called it. Some said he hadn't got any primy
case, and he mustn't have a seat till he had one. The others
stood to it that he had got one, and a very good one. Mr.
Ruggles said it was full as good a one as the gentleman from
Portland had. And they read about twenty papers that they
called depositions, about the town-meeting of Waterborough;
but they didn't seem to say anything about the primy facy case.
About one-half of 'em said the town-meeting was adjourned,
and t'other half said 'twasn't. And one of the depositions
said there was some of 'em at the meeting agreed that Mr.
Roberts shouldn't be elected at any rate; and if they couldn't
prevent it any other way they agreed to keep up a row till
midnight. And when they brought in candles in the evening
they knocked 'em all over and put 'em out. So they all had
to clear out; and some said there was a vote to adjourn the
meeting, and some said Mr. Roberts adjourned it alone, and
some said 'twasn't adjourned at all. And one of the depositioners
said Mr. Roberts offered to give him as much rum as


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he would drink if he would only say the meeting was fairly
adjourned. But all the depositions didn't convince but sixty-nine
members of the House that Mr. Roberts had a primy facy
case, and there were seventy-five convinced t'other way. So,
after they had disputed two days, they voted again that Mr.
Roberts shouldn't have a seat yet.

Oh dear, Uncle Joshua, these Legislaters have got the State
into a dreadful pickle. I've been reading the Portland Argus
and the Portland Advertiser, and it's enough to scare a Bunker
Hill soger out of his seven senses to see what we are all
coming to. According to these papers there are two very
clever parties in the State that are trying with all their might
to save us from ruin. They are called Democratic Republikins
and National Republikins—and you'd be perfectly astonished
to see how hard they've worked, as these papers say, in both
Legislaters, to set things right, and get business a-going on
well, so that we can have a Governor, and live in peace and
harmony, and not break out into civil war, and all be ruined
in a bunch. But it's doubtful if they'll make out to save us
after all; for there is such a set of Jacksonites and Huntonites,
that are all the time a-plotting to bring us to destruction,
that I tell you what 'tis, if something isn't done pretty soon,
it'll be gone goose with us.

These Jacksonites and Huntonites seem to have a majority
in the Legislaters; and they've been making a proper bother
for a'most three weeks, so that the Democratic Republikins
and the National Republikins couldn't do nothing at all.
And sometimes I'm really afraid they'll have to break up and
go home without doing anything; and if they do, they say
we shall all be afloat, and there's no knowing where we shall


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land. The Republikins appointed a committee to count the
votes for Governor, and the committee told 'em t'other day
there was thirty-nine majority for Mr. Hunton, and he was
elected. But then these Jacksonites and Huntonites went to
disputing about the matter, and some say they will dispute it
this fortnight yet. What a blessing it would be if the Legislaters
were all Democratic and National Republikins. The
people are growing pretty mad at all this botheration, and I
can't tell what'll be the end on't. But I shall write again to
you or Cousin Ephraim pretty soon. So I remain your loving
neffu till death.


Editorial Note.—It was the rule at the meeting of the Legislature to
admit all to a seat who could produce a certificate of their election, which certificate
was considered prima facia evidence that they were duly returned as
members. The Portland Argus and Advertiser, were the leading papers of
the two parties; and as matters began to grow worse and worse in the Legislature,
the Argus constantly affirmed that the Democratic Republicans used
every endeavor in their power to organize the government and proceed in the
public business, but that the Huntonites would not let them. And the Advertiser
as constantly affirmed that the National Republicans used their utmost
endeavors to proceed in the public business, but the Jacksonites would
not let them.