William T. Sherman to Ellen Sherman, November 10, 1860, in Walter L. Fleming, ed., General W. T. Sherman as College President... (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1912), 304-305.
Transcription adapted from General W. T. Sherman as College President (1912), edited by Walter L. Fleming
Adapted by Michael Blake, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from General W. T. Sherman as College President... (1912).
Alexandria, Nov. 10, 1860.
. . . We have had a week of cold rains but it has cleared off, and to-day is bright and warm. I am going into town today and will leave this at the post-office. The election came off on Tuesday and resulted in Alexandria in a majority for Breckenridge, next Bell, next Douglas. Of course there were no votes for Lincoln. Indeed he has no ticket in this state.
I received a note from a friend advising me to vote. I thought the matter over and concluded I would not vote. Technically I was entitled to a vote as I entered Louisiana just a year ago, but I thought I ought not to vote in this election, and did not. I would have preferred Bell, but I think he has no chance, and I do not wish to be subject to any political conditions. If I am to hold my place by a political tenure I prefer again to turn vagabond.
I would not be surprised to learn that my not voting was construed into a friendly regard for Lincoln, and that it might result in my being declared a public enemy. I shall however rest under a belief that now as the election is over all this hard feeling will subside and peace once more settle on the country. We have no returns as yet. Maybe the mail tonight will bring some returns from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, those large states that determine this election, but I do not count on any clear knowledge till next Monday.
We began our recitations last Monday, and things have settled down into order and system. . .
No matter which way we turn there arise difficulties which seem insurmountable. In case Lincoln is elected they say that South Carolina will secede and that the Southern States will not see her forced back. Secession must result in Civil War, anarchy, and ruin to our present form of government. If it is attempted it would be unwise for us to be here. Still I hope for quiet. . .