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Mr. Gales & Seaton

My Dear Old Friends:—I wish I had better news to write
to you. I'm pesky afraid Gineral Scott is coming in. And,
arter all, I don't know why I should feel so much afraid of it,
especially on my own account, for I don't s'pose he's a very


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bad man. But I feel bad for Uncle Joshua. His whole heart
is bound up in the Post-Office, and if he should lose it, I'm
afraid it would almost be the death of him. He's had it now
more than twenty years, and he's more fond of it because it
was give to him by dear old Gineral Jackson. He loves it
now like one of his own family; and I think it would be about
the hardest one of the family for him to part with, unless 'tis
Aunt Keziah. If he should lose ary one of 'em, that is, Aunt
Keziah or the Post-Office, I know it would break his heart.
And that's what makes me feel so bad at the turn things has
took down this way in favor of Gineral Scott. If any way
could be contrived to keep Uncle Joshua in the Post-Office, I
wouldn't care a snap if Gineral Scott did come in. And I
guess there's a good deal of the same sort of feelin' amongst
a good many of the Democracy. I'll just give you a sample
of it:

There's Cousin Sargent Joel, he can't live without hurrahing
for somebody as much as two or three times a day. He got
in a habit of it in Old Hickory's time, and he couldn't leave it
off since. Two or three weeks ago Uncle Joshua and I was
in the barn, planning a little about getting out the voters to
the election, when all at once we heard somebody back of the
barn holler, with all his might, “Hurrah for Gineral Scott.”
We both started and run round the corner of the barn as fast
as we could, and who should we see there but Cousin Sargent
Joel, standing on a stump, swinging his hat all alone, and
hollering, at the very top of his voice, “Hurrah for Gineral
Scott.” Uncle Joshua looked as cross as thunder, and Cousin
Joel colored a little as soon as he see us, but he swung his
hat again, and sung out, once more, “Hurrah for Gineral
Scott, and I don't care who hears it.”

“What's that you say?” said Uncle Joshua.

“I say, hurrah for Gineral Scott, and I don't care who hears


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[Description: 688EAF. Page 393. In-line image. A man stands on a tree stump shouting with his hat raised in his hand. He is in a yard of a house, with chickens scratching the ground near the tree stump. Two men, also standing in the yard, are watching him.]
it,” says Cousin Joel, putting on his hat, and jumping off the

“Well, this is a pretty piece of business,” said Uncle
Joshua, “setting such examples as this to the neighbors.
There's many a word spoke in jest that's turned into arnest
before it's done with; and you ought to be careful how you
set such hurrahs agoin. If you once get 'em started there's
no knowing what'll be the end on't.”


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“I don't much care what'll be the end on't,” said Cousin Joel.

“Why, Joel, what do you mean?” said Uncle Joshua; “if
you are going to turn Whig, say so, and let us put you out
of the synagogue at once, and be done with it. I want a
plain, right up and down answer, are you going for Gineral
Pierce or not?”

“I s'pose I shall,” said Cousin Joel.

“Then, why in the name of common sense don't you hurrah
for him?” said Uncle Joshua, “and try and get up some
enthusiasm. You ought to be ashamed to throw your hurrahs
away on t'other side.”

“Now, Uncle Joshua, I'll tell you what 'tis,” said Sargent
Joel, straightening himself up jest as he used to at the head
of the company in Nullification times, says he, “I'll tell you
what 'tis, Uncle Joshua, I'm willing to vote for Gineral
Pierce to help you to keep the Post-Office, and I mean to; but
you needn't ask me to hurrah for him, for I can't stand no such
tom-foolery as that. I've tried it, and it won't go, no how. It
makes me feel so much like digging small potatoes and few
in a hill. But when I get right hungry for a hurrah, I give it
to Gineral Scott, and I find there's refreshment and nourishment
in that, something like real meat; it makes me feel as
it used to when we gin the loudest hurrahs for Gineral

Uncle Joshua turned away, looking rather down in the
mouth, and saying, “he didn't know what the world was
coming to.”

As near as I can find out, there's a great many Dimocrats
in this State, and other places too, that's in the same fix as
Cousin Sargent Joel Downing; they've tried to hurrah for
Gineral Pierce, and can't. Over to the raisin of Squire
Jones' barn, 'tother day, arter they all got through, Squire
Jones, who is a great Democrat, called out, “Now let us give


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three cheers for Gineral Pierce.” As quick as a look, they
all swung their hats, and about three-quarters of 'em sung as
loud as they could holler, “Hurrah for Gineral Cass.” At that,
Squire Jones flew in a rage, and told 'em they was traitors to
the party, and no true Democrat would hurrah for anybody but
Gineral Pierce. That touched the dander of the rest of 'em,
and about twenty swung their hats and cried out lustily,
“Hurrah for Gineral Scott,” and asked Squire Jones if he
liked that any better.

These things has kept Uncle Joshua very uneasy along
back, and before our State election, which came along last
Monday, he got quite narvous; and he aint no better yet.
We've been in quite a state of conboberation all the week,
trying to find out how the election's gone, but it's a hard sum
to work out. I went over this morning to help Uncle Joshua
figure up. He was setting to the table with his spectacles
on, and the papers spread all round him, and a pen in his hand,
and a dark scowl on his brow. He was thinking so hard he
didn't seem to know when I come in. Says Aunt Keziah, says
she, “I'm dreadful glad you've come in, Major; your uncle
will make himself sick working over them figures.”

Says I, “Well, Uncle Joshua, how are we coming out?”

“I'm afraid we are coming out at the little end of the horn,
Major,” said Uncle Joshua, and he looked up over his spectacles
so pale and melancholy it made me feel bad. Says he,
“I don't like the looks of it a bit; the State is on the back
track again towards Whiggery, jest as 'twas when Harrison
came in.”

“Oh, I guess not,” says I, for I wanted to cheer him up as
much as I could. “The liquor law has played the mischief
this election all round, and got things badly mixed up; but
if we sift 'em out carefully we shall find the Democrats as
strong as ever.” Uncle Joshua shook his head. Says I,


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“Let us see the figures. Here's the returns from three hundred
towns, all the State except some of the outskirts. Mr. Hubbard
and Mr. Chandler, the two Democratic candidats for
Governor, has together more than fifty-eight thousand votes,
and Mr. Crosby, the Whig candidate, has a little more than
twenty-seven thousand. The Democratic vote is more than
double the Whig vote. This don't look as though the State
was going back to Whiggery.”

“That don't amount to nothin' at all,” said Uncle Joshua;
“a good many thousand of temperance Whigs voted for Hubbard,
and a good many rum Whigs voted for Chandler; and
when the Legislature comes to meet Crosby will stand jest as
good a chance to be chose Governor as any one of 'em, and
better too if the State goes over the dam, the 2d of November,
and you may depend it's drifting that way, or else I've
forgot how to cipher. Jest look at the Legislature. Last
year in the Senate there was about five Democrats to one
Whig, and now the Whigs have elected fourteen Senators and
the Democrats only seven, leaving nine or ten no choice, or
doubtful. And then the House aint much better. Last year
we had a clear majority of more than thirty, and now it don't
look as though we should have more than ten majority. And
if the State goes for Scott, I believe the Legislature will go
that way too, Governor and all.”

“But, may be, Uncle Joshua,” says I, “the Whigs havn't
gained so much as you think for, after all. It looks bad in
the Legislature, I see, but it may be all owing to the rum
business, as you say about the Governor.”

“No, no, it isn't that,” said Uncle Joshua, with a heavy
sigh; “you may depend upon it the State has got a Whig
drift. The Congressmen tells the story, and there the rum
business has nothing to do with it. In the last Congress we
had five Democratic Representatives and the Whigs two.


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Well, now how is it? In the next Congress this State has
six Representatives, and the Democrats have made out to
elect three and the Whigs three. It's jest an even balance,
and a few more of them foolish hurrahs for Gineral Scott will
tip the State agin us.”

“Well, we must stir round,” says I, “and try to stop this
hurrah business, and may be we can save the State yet. If I
ketch Sargent Joel at it again, I'll cashier him. If Democrats
can't hurrah for Pierce they musn't be allowed to hurrah for
nobody. But, after all, Uncle, suppose we should lose this
State, the nation is safe for the Democracy. You must
remember we have a large majority of the States, and nigh
two-thirds of the members of the last Congress.”

“Well,” says he, “that don't prove whether we shall have
two-thirds or one-third in the next Congress. If the States go
on as they have begun, it will be pretty likely to be one-third.
There's only three States that has elected their Representatives
to the next Congress yet, and that is Maine, and Missouri,
and Iowa. And only jest look at 'em. Three years ago
they stood twelve Democrats and two Whigs, and now they
stand seven Democrats and six Whigs. How long will it
take at that rate, to turn our two-thirds into one-third? I'm
afraid there's a Whigh drift going over the country that'll
swamp us. Sailors tell about the big tenth wave that rolls
up and carries everything afore it, and I'm thinking it seems
te be a good deal so in politics. There was a big tenth wave
in 1840, and you remember what work it made. It looks a
good deal as if there is another big tenth wave rolling up
now, to swamp the Democracy and upset Congress. We've
got to have trying times, Major. I don't know what'll become
of the country if the Whigs get the upper hand.” He said
this with such a mournful expression that I see the tears come
into Aunt Keziah's eyes. She's a good christian woman, and


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she laid her hand upon his shoulder, and says she, “Oh, Mr.
Downing, pray don't be so worried, but trust in Providence.”

And now, Mr. Gales and Seaton, if you can say anything
to encourage us, or to relieve Uncle Joshua's anxious mind,
you would do a great kindness to your old friend,