New York March 17, 1860.
My dear friend -- I took the article from the German (Cin) paper to the Tribune & found another Gaz. & took it to the Post. It appears in both those papers.
The contest for the Presidency is between yourself and Seward. His late speech has improved his chances some. Jersey men say he cannot carry that State, & so say many from Pa. Mr. Denning Duer, son-in-law of the late James G. King, M. C. from N. J., Judge Marsh, Mr. H. M. Lowe, &c are among the delegates from N. J. I think there are men in that Delegation who will stand by and urge you. Mr. Duer prefers you. I think a former law partner of Mr. Barney is also a delegate.
I hear you made friends at Albany. Mr. Littlejohn, said to one of your friends, you were his second choice for the Presidency. We were expecting you here. Dinners at the houses of several gentlemen were ready for you in a quiet way, and many were on tip toe to see you.
Mr. Lincoln, of Ill. told me he had a very warm side towards you, for of all the prominent Reps. you were the only one who gave him "aid & comfort" -- I urged him by all means, to attend the Convention. I was pleased with him, & paid him all the attention I could. Went with him to hear Mr. Beecher & Dr. Chapin. Mr. Barney went with him to the "House of Industry" at the five Points, and then took him home to learn. He was very much pleased with Mr. Barney. What a strong, steady, working, glorious friend you have in Hiram Barney! It is really worth living to have one such friend, so true a man. He is very kind to me. I tell him he must make friends with the Seward men. Keep in with them -- Say not one word against Seward, & if he can go to the Convention, he must cast the first vote for Seward. He hesitates, but I think it best. I would not say one word to baffle Seward's friends, I tell him, for if Seward is nominated, four years will soon come round, & then we may want their help, & he can plead former services.
I think the Bates movement has accomplished all that was intended -- Dana prefers you to Seward. Thinks Seward would make us harder work than any other man. I see it reported that Banks will not allow his name to be used against Mr. Seward. Guess Weed has slept with him. Banks don't amount to much. Think he has reached the end of his rope. He is slippery. Mr. Truman Smith prefers you to Seward.
I shall try & go to Conn. some evening next week. Be of good cheer. Let us work & wait.
With kindest regards,
James A. Briggs.