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Page 63


Dear Cousin Ephraim:—I spose you expected me to write to
you agin long afore now and tell you something more about
these Legislaters, and I meant to, but I couldn't very well;
for I'll tell you jest how 'twas. Some days, when the Legislater
would get into a plaguey hobble, I would think to myself,
well, soon as they get out of this snarl, I'll write to cousin
Ephraim and tell him all about it; but before they got fairly
out of that, they'd be right into another; and if I waited till
next day to see how that ended, my keesers! before night
they'd all be higgledy piggle, in a worse hobble than they'd
ever been in afore. So if I wait to tell you how it comes out,
I believe I shall have to wait till haying time. Another
thing I've been waiting for, was to tell you who was Governor.
But, O dear, I can't find out half so much about it now,
here in this great city of Portland, where all the Governors
live, as I could six months ago among the bear-traps and log
houses in our town, way back in the woods. Last August,
you know, according to the papers, we were going to have
two Governors right off, sure as rates—Mr. Hunton and Mr.
Smith. Well, now it's got to be the first of February, and we
haven't got one yet. And, although the Governor-makers


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have had four or five under way for a month past, some think
it very doubtful whether they will get one done so as to be fit
to use this year. There's Mr. Hunton, and Mr. Smith, and
Mr. Cutler, and Mr. Goodenow, and Mr. Hall, have all been
partly made into Governors; but when in all creation any of
'em will be finished, I guess it would puzzle a Philadelphy
lawyer to tell. I stated in my letter to Uncle Joshua, that
there were two very clever parties in the Legislater, the
Democratic Republikans and the National Republikans; and
they are so, and very industrious, and try to make things go
on right; and I really believe, if the confounded Jacksonites
and Huntonites didn't bother 'em so, they'd make us a Governor
as quick as I could make an ax handle. It is enough to
do anybody's heart good to see how kind and obliging these
Democratic Republikans and National Republikans are to
each other, and how each party tries to help the other along;
and it's enough to make anybody's blood boil to see the Jacksonites
and the Huntonites, jest like the dog in the manger,
because they can't eat the hay themselves, snap at these two
clever parties the moment either of 'em sets out to take a
mouthful. I'll jest give you an instance of the kindness that
these two clever parties show to each other. You know the
Constitution says when we haven't any Governor the President
of the Sinnet must be Governor, and when we haven't
any President of the Sinnet, the Speaker of the House must be
Governor. So when Governor Lincoln died Mr. Cutler was
Governor for awhile, because he was last year President of
the Sinnet. Mr. Goodenow is a National Republikan, and
when he was elected Speaker of the House, the Democratic
Republikans told him as there was no President of the Sinnet


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elected yet, it belonged to him to be Governor, and tried as
hard as though he had belonged to their own party, to encourage
him to go right into the Council Chamber and do the
Governor's business. But the National Republikans didn't
dare to let him go, for he was elected Speaker by only one
majority, and they said if he should leave the chair, it wouldn't
be five minutes before a Jacksonite would be whisked into it,
and then the two clever parties would all be up a tree. Well,
jest so 'twas in the Sinnet after Elder Hall was elected President,
only the bread was buttered on t'other side. Elder Hall
is a Democratic Republikan, and there was a great deal
tougher scrabble to elect him than there was to choose the
Speaker of the House. But as soon as he was elected, the
National Republikans went to him very kindly, and said,
“Elder Hall, by the provisions of the Constitution you are
now fairly Governor of the State till another Governor is
qualified. Don't be bashful about it, but please to walk right
into the council chamber, and do the Governor's business.”
But the Democratic Republikans said that would never do, for
if he should, the Sinnet Board would be capsized in an instant
and the Huntonites would rule the roast. So there was a pair
of Governors spoilt when they were more than half made,
jest by the mischief of the Jacksonites and Huntonites.
And the consequence is, that Mr. Cutler has to keep doing the
Governor's business yet, whether he wants to or not, and
whether it is right for him to or not. They say the poor man
is a good deal distressed about it, and has sent to the great
Judges of the Supreme Court to know whether it's right for
him to be Governor any longer or not. If the Judges should
say he mus'nt be Governor any longer, we shall be in a dreadful


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pickle. Only think, no Governor, and no laws, but everybody
do jest as they're a mind to. Well, if that should be the
case, I know one thing, that is, Bill Johnson will get one
good flogging for calling me a mean puppy and a coward last
summer; I've longed to give it to him ever since; and if the
Legislater don't make a Governor this winter, I shall come
right home, and Bill must look out. What a pity 'tis they
should waste so much time trying to make so many Governors;
for, if they should make a dozen, we shouldn't want to
use but one this year; and it is thought if they had all clapt
to and worked upon one instead of working upon so many,
they might have had him done more than three weeks ago.

Your lovin cousin,