New York April 23. 1861.
My dear Sir,
Will you allow me to press upon your consideration the necessity, indispensible it appears to me, of keeping open the usual passage from the free states to the National Capital? To go around through it, is a confession of weakness, & tends to demoralise us.
It appears to us perfectly clear, that it must now be assumed, that all the slave states, excepting Delaware & perhaps Missouri, are, or will be, against us; & to omit any measure of precaution, for the sake of conciliating them, would be likely to lead to the same disasters which a similar policy has led to at Harper's Ferry, Baltimore & Norfolk. Let me beseech you to take possession of, and strengthen every stronghold, in every slave state, where it can possibly be done, regardless of threats or entreaties--
By a vigorous, uncompromising policy, you can command all the resources of the North; any other policy will fail at last—
With gt. respect
Yours in [ illegible]
David Dudley Field