University of Virginia Library

Search this document 




Page 109


Dear Uncle Joshua:—I have got so fur at last, and a
pretty hard run I've had of it to get here, I can tell ye. This
running after offices is pretty tuff work for poor folks. Sometimes
I think there aint much profit in it after all, any more
than there is in buying lottery tickets, where you pay a dollar
and sometimes get four shillings back, and sometimes
nothing. Howsomever I don't mean to be discouraged yet,
for if I should give out now and go back again, them are
sassy chaps in Portland would laugh at me worse than they
did afore. What makes me feel kind of down-hearted about
it, is because I've seen in the newspapers that tu of them are
good offices at Washington are gone a-ready. One Mr. Livingston's
got one of 'em, and Mr. Woodbury that lives up in
New Humpshire's got tother, and I'm considerable afraid the
others will be gone before I get there.

I want you to be sure and get my recommendation into the
post-office as soon as you can, so it may get there as soon as
I do. It's a week to-day since I started from Portland, and
if I have good luck I'm in hopes to get there in about a week
more. Any how, I shall worry along as fast as I can. I have
to foot it more than three-quarters of the way, because the
stage folks asks so much to ride, and my money's pretty near


Page 110
gone. But if I can only jest get there before the offices are
gone I think I shall get one of 'em, for I got a good string of
recommendations in Boston as I come along. I never thought
of getting any recommendations of strangers, till a man I
was traveling with kind of talked round and round, and found
out what I was after. And then, says he, if you want to
make out, you must get the newspaper folks to give you a
lift, for they manage these matters. And he told me I better
get some of the Boston editors to recommend me, or it would
be no use for me to go.

I thought the man was more than half right, so when I got
into Boston I called round to see the editors. They all seemed
very glad to see me, when I told 'em who I was, and I never
see a better set of true Republikans any where in the State of
Maine. And when I told 'em that I was always a true Republikan,
and my father and grandfather were Republikans before
me, they all talked so clever about patriotism, and our
Republikan institutions, and the good of the people, that I
couldn't help thinking it was a plaguey shame there should
be any such wicked parties as Federalists, or Huntonites, or
Jacksonites, to try to tare the country to pieces and plague
the Republikans so.

This don't include President Jackson. He isn't a Jacksonite,
you know; he's as true a Republikan as there is in Downingville.
I had a talk with the Boston Patriot man first. He
said he would give me a recommendation with a good deal of
pleasure, and when I got my office at Washington I must
stick to the good old Republikan cause like wax; and if all
true Republikans were only faithful to the country, Henry
Clay, the Republikan candidate, will come in all hollow. He'll


Page 111
be the next President, says he, jest as sure as your name is
Jack Downing.

Then I went to see the editor of the Boston Gazette. He
said he certainly should be very happy to give me a recommendation;
and he trusted when I got to Washington, where
I should have considerable influence, I should look well to the
interests of the Republikan party. He said there was an immense
sight of intrigue and underhand work going on by the
enemies of the country to ruin Mr. Calboun, the Republikan
candidate for President. But he said they wouldn't make
out; Mr. Calhoun had found out their tricks, and the Republikans
of old Virginny and South Carolina were all up in arms
about it, and if we Republikans in the Northern States would
only take hold and fight for the good cause, Mr. Calhoun
would be elected as true as the sun will rise to-morrow.

The next I went to see was the editor of the Boston Statesman.
He seemed to be a little shy of me at first, and was
afraid I wasn't a true Republikan; and wanted to know if I
didn't run against Governor Smith last year down there in
Maine. I told him I had seen Governor Smith a number of
times in Portland, but I was sure I never run against him in
my life, and I didn't think I ever come within a rod of him.
Well, he wanted to know if I wasn't a candidate for Governor
in opposition to Mr. Smith. I told him no, I was a candidate
on the same side. “Wasn't you,” said he, looking mighty
sharp at me, “Wasn't you one of the Federal candidates for
” My stars, Uncle Joshua, I never felt my hair curl
quicker than it did then. My hand kind of drawed back, and
my fingers clinched as if I were jest agoing to up fist and
knock him down. To think that he should charge me with


Page 112
being a Federal Candidate! it was too much for flesh and
blood to bear. But I cooled down as quick as I could, for
fear it might hurt me about getting my office. I told him I
never was a Federal candidate, and there never was a drop of
Federal blood in me; and I would run from a Federalist, if I
should meet one, as quick as I would from poison. That's
right, says he, I like that; that's good stuff, and he catched
hold of my hand, and gave it such a shake, I didn't know but
he'd a pulled it off.

He said he would give me the best recommendation he
could write, and when I got to Washington I must stick to
the old Gineral like the tooth-ache, for the Federalists were
intriguing desperately to root him out of his office and upset
the Republikan party. If the Republikans could only be kept
together, he said, President Jackson, the Republikan candidate,
could be elected as easy as a cat could lick her ear;
but if we suffered ourselves to be divided it would be gone
goose with us, and the country would be ruined. So you
must stick to the re-election of Gineral Jackson, said he, at all
and then he kind of whispered in my ear, and says he,
in case Gineral Jackson should be sick or anything, you must
remember that Mr. Van Buren is the Republikan candidate.

I told him he never need to fear me; I should stick to the
Republikan party through thick and thin. So I took my recommendation
and trudged along. I haven't time to-day to
tell you how I got along with the rest of the editors, and a
thousand other things that I met with along by the way, and
all the fine things in this great city, and so on. But I shall
write to you again soon.

Your loving neffu,