George Fisher to R.M.T. Hunter, 1860, in Annual Report of the American Historical Association For the Year 1916, Vol. II, Correspondences of Robert M.T. Hunter 1826-1876, ed. Charles Henry Ambler (Washington: United States of America Government Printing Office, 1918), 311-312.
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Morris Grundy Co., Illinois, March —, 1860.DEAR SIR: I have received a packet of your speeches, for which please accept my thanks.
The New York Tribune, edited by Greeley, has done more for the success of the Black Republican cause, than is generally admitted; the Tribune is scattered profusely over the Northern States. The dispersion of the black Republican ideas among the people, through Greeley’s paper is the principal cause of their success. We should fight them with the same weapons. I beg leave to suggest that a news paper be published, in the city of New York, with a first class editor, having correspondence all over the world, giving all the interesting matter at home and abroad, commerce, agriculture &c. The political page to be National Democracy. To put such a paper into full operation is no small work; it can be done and made profitable, in this way. The Senators and Representatives, at Washington, resolve to establish such a paper, select the Editor or Editors, give them the creed political; then send agents over the Union to procure subscribers, (send no circulars, because they are not attended to). These agents to call on all the Post Masters of the larger Post offices, and urge them to procure subscribers for the National paper. We have over 29 thousand Post offices; they can be made average four subscribers to the post office, this will make over one hundred thousand. Our chance is better, take the Union over than Greeley’s, because he is confined to the North, our field would be the whole confederacy. It would take a large sum of money to start, but if preserved in would succeed and be profitable to the owners. We have been losing ground in the North, for the past few years, this ground must be retaken, but it will require a powerful effort to accomplish it. I can conceive of no better plan than in scattering our opinions broad cast over the land, by a well conducted paper. We have too many superficial notions to be successful, our opinions should be one. We should advocate nothing but what is right and constitutional. Make the paper so cheap and interesting that every person would wish for a copy.
I am a stranger to you, but you are [a] Democrat of the true stripe and this is my excuse for communicating my opinions to you; I consider all true democrats of one family. I should be pleased to have your views on the propriety of establishing a National paper. To be certain that you are not writing to an enemy, I refer you to President Buchanan.