Robert Toombs to W.W. Burwell 11/20/1857

    Source citation
    Toombs, Robert, to W.W. Burwell, Stewart County, GA, 20 November 1857. As printed in The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander Stephens, and Howell Cobb, Vol. 2, ed. Ulrich Bonnell Philips. Washington D.C.: American Historical Association Annual Report, 1913, p. ###.
    Author (from)
    Robert Toombs
    Recipient (to)
    Burwell, W.W.
    Date Certainty
    Wes McCoy
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible.
    My Dear Sir:

    Your letter of the 6th inst. was forwarded me at this place and received only yesterday. I have been spending the last month (except a few days in Milledgeville two weeks ago) on plantation enjoying myself keenly with farming operations, hunting, ect., ect., and regret that my vacation is running rapidly to a close. I found no difficulty whatever in my election. Govr. McDonald came down to the capital and urged his own claims vigorously up to the nomination but was not able to command half a dozen democrats against me and the Americans thought it quite unnecessary to throw away their votes on a “dead rabbit,” altho’ some of them were excessively hostile. I very fully agree with you upon the necessity of defeating the Kansas policy of Walker and those who palliate, justify, or support it. Before my election at Milledgeville I made a “clean breast” of it upon this subject and was warmly and cordially supported by the great mass of the party, and few “King’s men” who dissented were not string enough to raise the standard of rebellion and therefore quite gracefully acquiesced; I determined that my future should be untrammeled, and I was gratified to find the majority of the Democrats of Geo. Fully up to the same mark.

    I have been trying for several years part to bring around [to] Mr. Hunter, who is really an able and honest and faithful Southern man, all those persons at the South who were struggling for sound principles and just government rather than for the promotion of themselves th [r] o some particular aspirant to the Presidency; but his own timidity and especially his dread of the great power of old Tom Ritchie in Virginia has frequently embarrassed me a good deal. I deem his cooperation of primary importance to defeat those Southern men with Northern principles to whom you refer. They can be easily defeated with him cooperation. They must be at all hazards, with him or without him. I will seek an early opportunity to have a full understanding with him when I get to Washington and I do not doubt but that we shall agree thoroughly for the future. Our policy is the same and there shall be nothing on my part to prevent a cordial co-operation. Mr [Wise?] can do nothing except thro’ the folly of his opponents. Besides he is crazy for the Presidency and that disease unsettles the best of intellects.

    I shall be very glad to have you at Washington next winter, and have already been endeavoring to make satisfactory arrangements. At the last session [Judge?] Butler offerd to decline the chairmanship of the judiciary committee in my favour, the committee were also desirous of the arrangement. I privately urged him not to do so because I preferred waiting until the results of my re-election was known. If the same counsels prevail and it is tendered me I shall accept it this winter, in which event if that place (Clerk of that Com.) suits you it shall be at your disposal; and besides I should esteem it a great personal favour for you to accept it. We are all in good health. It is a little uncertain when I will be in Washington.

    P.S.- There is a strong disposition in the south to make Stephens speaker, especially to defeat Orr who is in full sympathy with the Walker people. Stephens does not want it, would prefer Letcher of Va. One or the other might be elected, and I wish you would press that view before the public in some suitable form.
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