ST. PAUL, [MINN.], March 17th, 1860.
DEAR SIR: I am unknown to you but send you some copies of my writings over the signature of “Kasota” in the Henderson Democrat, the editor of which is from the same town as myself, Baltimore. In [one] of those numbers the editor takes occasion to pay a handsome tribute to me. I had previously written some articles for the Winona Democrat and that editor [has] done the same. I am not a professional writer. I am a private gentleman and never sacrifice my private position for any purpose as I wish to preserve a pure record politically, morally and religiously. My father’s family are from Hartford Co[unty] State of Maryland, about 18 miles from Baltimore and date their residence in that locality anterior to 1650. My brother wrote a digest of the Laws of Maryland and the date 1650 I give you is from an accidental reference in that digest, a deed drawn by Jno. Norris of Hartford Co[unty], the deed in question being cited to prove what constituted a valid deed. My mother’s family are equally ancient in their locality in the same State, Worcester Co[unty], though I have no particular dates to refer to.
Some short time since a gentleman in this city, Dr. Thos J. Vaiden, mentioned to me in conversation he had been a class-mate of yours in Virginia, he himself being a Virginian. As I intended to forward you to-day a newspaper in which you are nominated for the Presidency it occurred to me that Dr. Vaiden might in some measure give me a line or two stating generally my character. I know he has no particular information on that subject. I have only been here about 10 or 11 months, though the Reverend Mr. Neill, the author of the History [of the] State of Minnesota and a gentleman the most prominent of all others here in the literary circular, is a relative of mine. Dr. Vaiden thought my being spoken of by the Editor of the Henderson Democrat was sufficient to satisfy you that the gentleman now addressing you was a gentleman of character. On the 11th of June 1840 I rec[eive]d a commission in the U[nited] S[tates] Navy as Purser which I resigned in about five years afterwards. I was unanimously approved by the Senate, all the Whigs coming to my rescue as there was [an] effort among the Democratic Senators to induce the President to withdraw my name in order to have some of their particular friends provided for, but the attempt signally failed.
I also recollect some circumstances which lead me to conjecture that you were in some measure aware of these movements, at that time generally, as I heard it stated a gentleman of y[ou]r name, a brother or a cousin, was an applicant at the time for a commission as Purser and the gentleman in question no doubt knows and perhaps yourself, the rush made by Senators for their respective applications for the position referred to.
This is to advise you that I send you per to-day’s mail a copy of the Henderson Democrat 10th inst., nominating you for the Presidency and Caleb Cushing for the V[ice] P[residency] and if I can obtain another copy which I expect to I will forward it to Mr. Cushing if I can find out his address.
I know it is contrary to etiquette to write hurried letters but when time presses on us we have to do the best we can.
[P. S.] It gives me pleasure to say that Dr. Vaiden expresses gratification at the commanding position you now occupy in public estimation.