Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to JACOB COLLAMER, dated September 11, 1848.

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Burlington Sept 11' 48

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Dear Sir

You have no doubt learned, that there is no choice in this Congressional District, and that the political aspect of this whole region is in a very doubtful and disturbed condition. I have no doubt the district may be saved, but, as we have very few Whig Debaters, and the Freesoil orators are active, unscrupulous and numerous, it will require some effort to resist them. I addressed ten meetings, eight in this county, one at St Albans and one at Vergennes, and from what I saw on those occasions, I am confident we can, by bringing the trouble home to our friends, reclaim some wanderers, and check the disposition of the remainder to go astray. As soon as the smoke has cleared off, so that the weak points can be ascer-

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tained, I propose to renew the canvass. As I have gone over this county pretty thoroughly, I do not care to speak, except in the other parts of the District, and if I can get five or six respectable meetings in each of the other counties, I shall have accomplished all that I can do with effect. As I speak from five to seven hours a day without any fatigue, I can hold two or three meetings every day, & shall therefore have time to spare, after going over the ground here, & it has occurred to me that I might with you. If agreeable to you therefore, I propose that at such time as suits your convenience, you make a few speeches at the most important points in this district, & I will attend ten, or if need be, twenty meetings in your counties. In speaking, I have uniformly referred to the great importance of the senatorial election, & have mentioned you as a prominent candidate. I am satisfied that a visit here

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would be useful to you in this respect, and particularly in Franklin County, where I do not think your strength is so great as in some other parts of the state.

I am strongly inclined to think that the legislature ought to make the trial final by . There are three districts which have failed. It would be a serious inconvenience to have three fourths of the state called out again in January, & I am moreover persuaded that the sooner this question is decided, the better are our chances of success. If you concur with me in this, will you suggest the matter to such persons as are likely to be influential in bringing about a change

Yours very trulyGeo P MarshHon. J. CollamerWoodstock

References in this letter:

The Whig Party was one of the two dominant political parties in the United States in the second half of the 19th century. It grew out of the National Republican Party and several smaller parties, such as the Anti-Masonic Party. Members of the party were divided into the Northern Whigs, mostly abolitionists, and the Southern Cotton Whigs, who were in favor of slavery. In 1848 Zachary Taylor, the Whig candidate, was elected president.

Begun in 1847 as part of the opposition to the extenision of slavery into new territories, the Free- Soil Party was composed of New York Democrats and antislavery Whigs. They backed Martin Van Buren in his failed bid for the Presidency against Zachary Taylor, but were successful in electing Salmon P. Chase of Ohio to the U.S. Senate and thirteen representatives to the House. In 1854 they were absorbed into the newly formed Republican Party.

Jacob Collamer (1791-1865), was a judge, a representative and a senator in Congress, and Postmaster-General under President Taylor. His statue stands with the statue of Ethan Allen as the representatives of the state of Vermont in the Capital building in Washington D. C.