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Lot 35: Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, ("Houston"), 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.)Platinum House
December 18, 2012
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
35. Houston, Samuel. Autograph letter signed, (“Houston”), 4 pages (9 ¾ x 7 7/8 in.; 248 x 200 mm.), “Huntsville,” 1 August 1853 to Benjamin B. French; mounting remnants on first and fourth pages.
I trembled for the democracy for the union and for my country.
Houston writes with great characteristic zeal: You will allow me . . . to congratulate you on your appointment of commissioner of P[ublic] Buildings. That is a bright streak in the dark cloud which has hung over our political atmosphere. I understood, previous to leaving the city, that Genl. Pierce had refused your very respectful appointment and that he had assigned as a reason that you were from ‘Concord’ I am glad that you have received one; worth something, if not equal to your merits. Well French, you know my zeal and activity in the Congress and my intense anxiety for the success of the party. When the victory was won, I claimed nothing, but I made a personal request of Genl. Pierce that Mr. Seaman should be appointed to a place filled by Mr. Zamora, Whig, and assured him that it was the only personal request that I would ever ask of him. He has not granted the request and of course it will not only put an end to personal requests but to personal intercourse. This will be on the ground that the want of personal respect on part of the President for me has caused him to reject the application and I am not so bountiful in my liberality as to cherish respect for those who do not retain for me a small portion. The recommendation in Mr. Seaman’s favor was of the most imposing character, independent of my only personal request of the President. French, I fear we have fallen upon evil times. When Mr. Hunter, a disunionist, was called by the President to accept . . . and form his Cabinet I trembled for the Democracy, for the Union and for my country. But yet I had hopes! When I saw in many instances where he could ... that he preferred Ultras to old line Democrats, and when I saw that the President was driven to such straights that he had to look among the rubbish of the old ‘Southern’ I felt that hope in discretion and patriotism was at an end. I hope our destiny will ward off the evils which seem to be marked by such measures. At all events European powers will be furnished with amusing food for speculation.
A fine letter with interesting political content.