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The Mexican war is over. General Taylor has come home
to become the people's candidate for the Presidency, and
Major Downing has also returned to stump the country for
the Democratic party. But finding the tide all against him,
and everywhere setting for Old Zack, he mounts a telegraph
post and sends a hasty, though rather discouraging, dispatch
to President Polk:


Dear Colonel:—I've been stumping it round all over the
lot for two or three months, tight and tight, for our American
friend, Gineral Cass, and as I s'pose you are very anxious and
uneasy to know how it's coming out, I thought I would set
down and make out a private report, and send it on to you by
the telegraph wires, for they say they go like lightening, and
give you some of the premonitory symptons, so that when the
after-clap comes you may be a little prepared for it, and not
feel so bad. As I said afore, I've been all round the lot, sometimes
by the steamboats, and sometimes by the railroads, and
sometimes by the telegraph, and when there wasn't no other


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[Description: 688EAF. Page 310. In-line image. A man sits upon a telephone pole writing a telegraph on a piece of paper perched on top of his tophat.]
way to go, I footed it. And I'm satisfied the jig is up with
us, and it's no use in my trying any longer; and Mr.
Buchanan's speech was all throwed away, too. I'm very sure
we shall get some of the States, but I'll be hanged if I can tell
which ones. There an't a single State that I should dare to
bet upon alone, but taking 'em all in the lump, I should still
stick out strong for half a dozen at least. I see where all the
difficulty is, as plain as day. You may depend upon it, we
should elect Gineral Cass easy enough if it wasn't for Gineral
Taylor; but he stands peskily in the way, jest as much as he
stood in the way of the Mexicans at Bony Vista. As for Mr.
Van Buren, if he stood agin us alone, we should tread him all
to atoms; he couldn't make no headway at all, especially


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after we got the nomination at Baltimore. Jest between you
and me, I don't think much of Mr. Van Buren now. I don't
believe he ever was a Democrat. I think he only made believe
all the time; and I'd bet two to one he's only making believe
I wish the Old Gineral, dear Old Hickory, that's
dead and gone, could be here now to have the handling of
him for a little while; if he didn't bring him into the traces I
wouldn't guess agin.

But, as I said afore, Gineral Taylor is peskily in the way
all over the country. First, I thought I would figure round
in some of the strong Whig districts; for, thinks I, if I can
make our friends show a bold front for Cass there, it will be
such a wet blanket for the Whigs that they'll give it up.
Well, I called a public meeting, without distinction of party;
and I put it to 'em strong for Cass, and the Constitution, and
Californy forever. They all listened, and every little while
they hurra'd and clapped; and thinks I, the tide is turning—
I'm going to carry this place all hollar, Whigs and all. But
when I got through, an old rusty-faced farmer, away back in
one corner, got up and looked round, and says he, “Three
cheers for Zachary Taylor.” Thunder and cannon! if there
wasn't a roar, set me down for a liar. Why, Colonel, I han't
heard nothin' like it since the storming of Chepultapec. It
took me right off my feet. I see at once the battle was all
agin us there, and thought I better make my escape under the
smoke of it as fast as possible. At first I felt rather bad
about it. And then, agin, I thought I ought to have expected
it, for I knew the Whigs had voted that Gineral Taylor was a
Whig, and had made up their minds to go for him. So I
I streaked it off for a strong Democratic district; for I found
our main dependence must be among our own friends. Here
I called a mass-meeting, without distinction of party, for I
was sure we should get up such a roar for Cass that the


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Whigs would be dumbfounded, and be pretty likely to fall in
with us. Well, how do you think it worked? I made a
roarin' speech for Cass; told 'em what a great statesman and
great warrior he was; and how he had proved the former by
offering to swallow all Mexico, and how he had proved the
latter by breakin' his sword in a passion; and more than all
that, since the nomination at Baltimore, he was the greatest
Democrat in the country. “And now,” says I, “my friends,
three cheers for Cass, the Constitution and Californy.” Well,
they gin three good, loud cheers, and I thought that nail was
well drove and clinched. Then a blacksmith, with a smutty
nose and a leather apron on, gets up and sings out, “Nine
cheers for old Rough and Ready!” And, by jingo, it went
like a hurricane; full twice as loud, and three times as many,
as the cheers for Cass. I had a good mind to cut and run, and
give it all up. But at last I plucked up courage and faced
the storm. I called out to the blacksmith, and says I, “My
friend, when we called this meeting, without distinction of
party, it was all meant for Gineral Cass, the Democratic candidate,
and it's very unhandsome for a Whig to come here and
interrupt us in this way.”

“You take me for a Whig, do you?” says he.

“To be sure I do,” says I; “you are no Democrat to act in
this way.”

At that he reddened up so the smut on his face turned blacker
than it was before, and, says he, “I'd have you know, Sir,
I'm as good a Democrat as you are. My father and mother
was Democrats before me. I was born and bred a Democrat;
and I mean to live and die a Democrat, but I go for Old Rough
and Ready, let who will go agin him.” Then he called out
agin for nine cheers for Old Rough and Ready; and the way
they roared 'em out was a caution. I see it was no use in talking
about Whigs and Democrats—I must try some other hook.


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So I cruised round on the Free Soil territory, and got up
meetings, and preached up the Wilmot Proviso hot and heavy,
and told 'em Gineral Cass would go for it with all his might
to the day of his death. Then I thought I would get 'em
on the hip in a way they couldn't help giving me a rousing
hurra, so I called out, “Three cheers for Free Soil and Gineral
Cass!” Well, the three cheers come as quick and as true as
Paddy's echo, for it was “three cheers for Free Soil and Gineral

I begun to think the only chance was for us to try to carry
the South. So I wheeled about, and turned about, and jump'd
Jim Crow, in the slave States. I told 'em they must stir
round and elect Gineral Cass or the whole slavery business
would be upset; but if they would only elect him they might
feel safe, for they had his letters to show that he was in favor
of upholding slavery all weathers, and of carrying it into
every territory we could lay our hands on. They all answered
me very cooly, that they had much rather trust a straightforward
Southern man, that they knew had no tricks about him,
than to trust a Northern man with Southern principles; and
they reckoned, on the whole, they should go for Gineral Taylor.
As a last chance, I thought I would try to rouse 'em up
in old Pennsylvany. So I went to 'em and told 'em their coal
and iron was in danger, and the only way for 'em to save it
was to elect Gineral Cass, who would protect it to the bat's
end, for he was as good a tariff man as Henry Clay. At that,
every one of 'em—Quakers and Germans, and Dutchmen, and
all—put their finger agin the side of their nose, and said,
“Friend, we tried a tariff man last time, but we didn't save
our coal and iron by it; so we have made up our minds to
try an honest man this time—we are going for Zachary Taylor.”

By this time I was convinced the game was up, and it was
no use to stump it any longer. We've got into the current


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[Description: 688EAF. Page 314. In-line image. A man is sitting in a canoe that is about to go over a waterfall. He is drinking out of a jug mabelled "Pap." A banner or rainbow contains the words "Hope better luck next time."]
where we can't help ourselves, and are going down over the
falls of Niagara as fast as we can go; and I hope you and all
the rest of our party will be as calm and composed, and considerate,
as the Indian was that went down over them awful
falls a great many years ago. He tugged and pulled his
canoe against the current with all his might till he found there
was no chance left, and then he laid down his paddle, and
took up his bottle of rum, and sot down quietly in the bottom
of the canoe, and tipped the bottle up to his mouth, and sot
and drinked, and took the good of it, till he pitched head over
heels down the falls, and went out of sight forever.


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Now, my last advice to you, dear Colonel, and to all our
friends, and especially to dear old Mr. Ritchie, is, to set down
quiet and composed in the bottom of the boat, and eat away at
the public crib, and drink away at the bottle of the subtreasury
till the 4th of March, when we shall all pitch over
the falls together, drinking our last guggle.

I remain your dear friend,