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Mr. Gales & Seaton

My Dear Old Friends:—When I am in a dilemma I always
feel sure I shall be safe if I throw myself into your hands.
And I am in a dilemma now, 'cause I've got to send a little
private official dispatch to Gineral Pierce, and I can't find out
what paper is the organ to send it through. I've been hunting
and hunting over the papers, from all parts of the country,
that come to Uncle Joshua's Post-Office, to try to find out


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what paper is Gineral Pierce's organ; but the more I hunt
the worse I am off, and the darker and more puzzlin' the
question grows. Some of the papers says the Washington
Union is the organ, and some says 'tisn't.

Sometimes the Union comes out with a fust-rate Dimocratic
leader, loaded down with true, solid Dimocratic principles,
that goes into the ground clear up to the hub. Wal, then
the papers says, “that's by authority; the Union is the organ
of the Administration, and no mistake; it's jest as clear as
preachin'.” Then the next thing, may be, it comes out with
another Dimocratic leader, puffing the Dimocratic Government
of Russia sky-high. Wal, then the papers goes into a flutteration
about it, and says the Union isn't the organ of the
Government, any more than a toad wants a tail, every bit
and grain.

But the Union says 'tis the organ, and the New York
Evenin' Post, and some of the rest of 'em, eenamost swears,
up hill and down, that 'tisn't the organ. So there they have
it; and how are we, away down East here, to tell which is
what? And then some of the papers said the Republic was
to be the organ, and was cut down near about one-half in
size to suit the times; and some said a true-blue Dimocratic
organ was going to be moved up from New Hampshire; and
some said a bran new organ was going to be made right up
out of whole cloth, and an editor was going to be brought up
from New Hampshire to edit it. So what the upshot of the
business is I can't find out.

I'm most afraid the Gineral hasn't appointed any organ
yet; and if he hasn't, that's very bad; for the organ aught
to be the very first appointment made. But I know the
Gineral has had a very hard time about some of his appointments,
so I can't so much blame him. So here you see was
my bother that I was in; I had to send to the Gineral something


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that aught to go through the organ, and I can't find the
organ. Finally, arter consulting Uncle Joshua about it, he
said I'd better write to you, for you would know as much
about it as anybody, and if there was an organ you could
send my dispatch to it, and if there wasn't, you could put it
in the Intelligencer—and for his part, he always thought the
Intelligencer was about as good as an organ to put anything

So now, Mr. Gales & Seaton, if there isn't no organ in
Washington nor nowhere else in America, I shall have to
depend on you to get my dispatch along to the Government
the best way you can, and I'll try and do as much for you
any time.

Dear Gineral:—I'm afraid you've thought strange of it
that I haint writ to you afore now, for so long time past; but
I couldn't, I've been so busy cruising round among the fishermen
down to New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, and the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, that I couldn't get no time to write, nor
couldn't find no Post-Office to send it. Ye see, Gineral, I didn't
accept your invitation to take a seat in your Cabinet, 'cause
I'm one of them sort that can't bear setting a great deal. I
can't stan' it without I'm up and knocking about pretty much
every day; and I understood the Cabinet had to set nigh
about half the time, so I told you I should a good deal rather
have some foreign appointment, where I could stir myself.
And you told me the foreign appointments was pretty much
all spoken for, twenty times over, but you would give me a
commission as Minister-Gineral, and I might go round and
look after the interests of the country wherever I thought

No Page Number


[Description: 688EAF. Illustration page. The Major is standing up in a rowboat, being addressed by a sailor who is standing on the deck of a larger fishing boat next to which the rowboat has drawn. The sailor points to the mast of the boat, and another sailor is bending over some ropes at the prow of the boat. In the background there are many more fishing boats. One bears an "S" on its mainsail.]


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best. Now that was jest what I liked; you couldn't a gin
me no appointment that would suit me better.

Wal, my first cruise, Gineral, has been away Down East,
and a little beyond; for I thought 'twas high time them fishermen
of ourn down there was looked arter; I heard they
was getting wrathy, and the Britishers was flockin' in there
with their armed vessels agin, and there was pretty likely to
be a muss if 'twan't seen to; and I knew it would be a good
cool place in this hot summer weather, so I sculled off. I
went all along the coast, and boarded the fishermen, and
talked with the skippers, and give 'em good advice. I'm
sorry to say their backs is up pretty round. They swear
they'll never stan' that straight line “from headland to headland,”
no way you can fix it. They say the codfish and the
mackerel are a good deal thicker inside the line than they are
out, and they are bound to go where there's the best fishin',
let who will stan' in the way. Wal, Gineral, since most
all our politicians and office-seekers is doing the same thing,
and setting of 'em the same example, I couldn't find it in my
heart to blame 'em much, for who is there among 'em all,
politicians and office-seekers, that stans much about any
straight line from headland to headland when they think
there is any better fishing t'other side of it?

Howsever, I guess you may calculate the fishermen will
remain quiet this summer, if they are allowed to fish where
they are a mind to, and the British vessels don't crowd 'em
too hard. But if they do, you must look out for a regular
row, that'll stir the whole camp of Young America. I got
home last week, and have been overhauling the newspapers,
and having talks with Uncle Joshua, and larning how things
is gitting on. I see that you and some of the Cabinet have
been on to New York to see the openin' of the Crystil Palace,
and had a good time. I'm glad to find your Administration


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is getting on so swiminly, and that you've got such a fust-rate
Cabinet round you. I like Mr. Marcy better and better; he's
such a prudent man and a fust-rate Dimocrat. I always heard
he was prudent and savin', and wasn't ashamed to have his
clothes mended as long as they was decent, before he would
go into any extravagance to get new ones. And I'm right
glad he's agoing to set sich a good example to the country by
making our foreign Ministers and Consuls follow his prudent
ways. His circular of the first of June has been worth a
hundred dollars to me right off, to begin with. When I got
home I says to Uncle Joshua, says I, “Uncle, I want you to
lend me a hundred dollars, and I'll give you an order on the
President for it, to take it out of my salary; for I'm agoing to
take a tower to Europe with my commission of Minister-Gineral,
to see that England and France puts a stop to that Russian
war, and I've got to get a bran new rig for a court dress.”

Uncle Joshua laughed, and says he, “Major, you can save
yourself all that trouble and expense. I guess you hain't
seen Mr. Marcy's circular. Our foreign Ministers and Consuls
now have all got to wear the plainest home-spun clothes,
jest as Dr. Franklin did when he was a Minister in the
beginning of the government. The circular says, `It is to be
regretted that there was ever any departure in this respect
from the example of Dr. Franklin.' And it goes on and lays
down the rules about plain clothes in a most thorough Dimocratic
manner. And the Union newspaper—I don't know
whether it's an organ or not, but it puts on airs and speaks
as though it was talking by authority—and it says the Administration
is determined to `exhibit the same progressive
American spirit' in the clothing business that it does in its
other foreign relations; and that `it is time to restore the
strongly-marked republicanism' of Dr. Franklin's clothes. So,
Major, your clothes is all good enough now, and jest the right


Page 410


[Description: 688EAF. Page 410. In-line image. A stocky man is wearing a costume resembling natice american dress. He wears a shirt with a native american key deisgn and stylized stick figure on the front. Over this he wears a shawl with a sun design on it. His hair sticks straight up and out all over the place. He wears moccasins and is smoking a peace pipe. He looks quite unhappy.]
sort. Only may be you better take with you my long drab
surtout and my broad-brim hat, for perhaps they'd look a little
more like Dr. Franklin than yourn does.” And then Cousin
Nabby spoke up, and says she, “Yes, Cousin Jack, and I've
got half a dozen pair of blue woolen stockins already knit for
you; so you'll be all fixed up nice and warm.”

Wal, now, Gineral, I feel a great deal relieved about this


Page 411
dress business; it will save so much expense, and, besides, I
shan't feel afraid now to go to any royal Court in Europe, and
face the finest on 'em. The fact is, Gineral, since Mr. Marcy's
circular has sot me to thinkin' on this matter of dressin' for
our Ministers, I don't know but it would be more Dimocratic
and American to go a step beyond Dr. Franklin, and take the
real aborigin style. There aint, to my mind, nothin' more
becomin than a buffalo-robe or a handsome blanket, with the
fine worked Indian leggins and moccasins; and then an
American Minister would be knowed everywhere as soon as
he was seed. They might paint or not, as they pleased, but it
would be real American, and beat the Turks in pictureskness,
and besides look Roman like too. Give my respects to Mr.
Marcy, and hint this Indian notion to him. I am sure it
would take like wild-fire.

And, Gineral, you've got another real whaler in your Cabinet,
and that is Gineral Cushing. It seems to me, if that
man lives, he's agoing to outstrip Gineral Jackson. I had no
idea there was so much grit in him till he made that speech
t'other day at Newark, in the Jersies. Since I've read that
speech I feel all over like an old Roman. It seems as if I can
see our country marching right up to the very tip-top of the
world's mountain and kicking all the rest of the nations down
to the bottom of the heep. That old Greke, that folks tell so
much about, never poured out sich a grist of oratory in all his
born days. I can't help copying a little piece of it out of the
newspapers into my dispatch. Here 'tis:

“There is a destiny to a Republic. There is a law of its
existence as clearly and undeniably as there is a law of the
existence of a human being, that he shall begin in youth, that
he shall grow in juvenescence, that he shall harden into manhood,
that in the plenitude of his manful strength he shall
overtop the nations around him. [Applause.] We are now


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the men of the modern Rome. How was it with the old
Rome. She conquered. She went on annexin' according to
the law of her existence [applase], and so long as she proceeded
in the application of that law of her existence, no
earthly power could withstand her progress. [Applause.]
I say that was the destiny of ancient Rome, and it is the
destiny of modern Rome. There can be no pause in our
progress, except the pause of decay; when we cease to
grow we shall begin to perish. [Applause.] I say, when
we cease to grow we shall begin to perish; for upon us as a
republic is impressed, not a curse, (though it was a curse to
him who thrust from his door the thirsting Saviour on his way
to Calvary;) it was his curse that vengeance of God should
pronounce over him as the perpetual sentence of his sin—
march, march, march; for him there was no pause. I say, as
on him was pronounced the curse, on us has been poured
down the benediction, [applause;] for us that same Divine
voice has said, March, march, march—onward, upward, so
long as there remains a celestial hight in the infinite regions
of greatness which it is possible for human power to scale.”

That speech came over Cousin Sargent Joel like a steak of
lightning. He went right to work and scoured up his old
fire-lock as bright as a pewter-platter. And now, from
mornin' till night, with his fire-lock on his shoulder, he marches
about the house and round the barn in a military step, sayin'
to himself as he goes, “March, march, march; we are the
men of modern Rome! March, march, march; annexin' day
is close at hand! March, march, march!”

But, Gineral, I must be in a hurry, and be off on my tower
before the countries is all annexed. So I subscribe myself
in haste, your faithful friend and well wisher,