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Augusta County: N. Sargent to Alexander H. H. Stuart, August 12, 1859

Sargent praises recent "articles" of Stuart's in Whig newspapers, discusses the issue of slavery in relation to national politics and the upcoming presidential election.

August 12, 1859


I have noticed & read with much interest, My dear Sir, your articles in the Whig, and I have been gratified to observe the favor with which your proposition has been responded to in the State. I have taken some pains to impress the minds of several influential men as to the importance of holding the convention & of inaugurating, & thoroughly organizing the "Opposition Party" in Va, & the South. I spoke to I. S. Gallagher and his br of Charleston Free Press, before your first article appeared, & got them [unclear: unlisted]. They have barbed you up zealously.

There is a good article in the Whig of the 11th yesterday, which sounds like your voice.

I hope you will have an address prepared, & I shall then be sure it will be just right: sound, moderate, conservative, conciliatory. You are right when you

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say "we must be content to stand where our fathers stood". That is the only safe ground we can stand on.

The course taken by Goggin & Bell, of Ky in their canvasses, has hurt us very much, not only with conservative men at the North, but by creating a schism among ourselves. I can never subscribe to the doctrine that Congress must protect slavery in the Territories; never. We must repudiate that vagary.

The democratic Party at the South has run upon a rock upon which they must split the African Slave trade. I am glad to see Phillips, late of Ala, & Reuben Davies M. C. of Miss, coming out against it.

Wise, like a man detected in a conspiracy to set fire to a building, has the hardihood to acknowledge his complicity, but rails and bellows in the most furious manner against

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the rascality of treachery, & the publication of a private letter! He is like a pheasant that makes a great flutter till her chickens have all hid, & then flies away.

I have seen "Hancock". His purpose is made apparent. What would the South say to Foot of Vt.? If the North object to Bates, Bell, Crittenden, Reves &c, suppose Va. shd. offer, in a spirit of magnanimity & compromise, to take Foot--a nominal republican, but a truly conservative man? I throw out this idea for you to turn over and reflect upon. The North couldn't object to him, & the South wd. be safe with him. But he must be better known to some of the "controlling spirits" of the South, before they would agree to this.

I do not think Fillmore could be run with any chance of success, such is the bitter & inappeaseable hostility to him on the part of the republicans; hence I mention Foot.

I hope you will find your farming

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and distilling operations pecuniarily successful. I shall be most happy to drink your health in your own "old Wheat" whenever you may afford me an opportunity.

I have a small place near this city, around & near which a good many are now buying & building. It is 4 1/2 ms. N. N. E. from the capitol & contains 60 7/8 acres. I shall plant to acres of it grape vines next spring, for which some of it is well suited. Population is pushing out in that direction quite fast.

Believe me most sincerely
Your friend & obat

N Sargent

Do not neglect the Whig--keep the public mind astir
I do not think that Douglas will be the Charleston nominee, If not, & the Opp. are united we shall succeed Hon A. H. H. Stuart

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