Lot 36: Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)Platinum House
December 18, 2012
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
36. Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.), “Huntsville,” 11 October 1853 to Benjamin B. French; mounting remnants on first and fourth pages, marginal fraying and browning.
It is not the first time, both in public and private life that we have men suffer more from their friends than from their enemies.
Exasperated with the current political machinations afoot, Houston relates he is taking a reprieve in Independence. He then proceeds on a rant on happenings in Washington.
Houston writes in full: I am about to remove to a situation distant and west from this place about seventy-five miles. Independence is the site and it is pleasant and very healthful. This you know will keep me rather in a mess and take much time to do but little. I am not posted well as to the great work at Washington but it does seem to me that too much of the Union is with defenses, and apologies of the administration and too many . . . were made going and returning to the crystal palace. If such things are done in the green time, what will it be in the dead? It is not the first time, both in public and private life that we have men suffer more from their friends than from their enemies and that a man’s worst enemies are that of his own household!! Is it so or not with the President? You and I have known long acquaintance, and you can judge of the sincerity of my assurances when I give them. Now God knows that no man was more anxious for Genl Pierce’s success than I was during the canvass and no man wished him a more glorious administration than I did. I thought he deserved it, and the country needed such a one. I did not dream that at this day the organization of the President would be catching at every word, saying or almost, of him to sustain his position before the American people. Straws may do to indicate the currents of the winds, but they will not do for the foundation of fame’s pillars. I feel deeply but say nothing until I can see you, when we can communicate fully. I am much gratified at what you tell me about Seamans! Is it fixed sure? My wife has urged, and my wishes urge me, as well as my desires, not again to return to the Senate but a sense of duty will cause me (God willing) to try once more.
A fine letter revealing Houston’s bold opinions on the politics of the time.