Feby. 16. 1856
Time passes alike amid the proverbial delays and vexations of Washington and the hardships and dangers of the frontier. Though we cannot be with you we are constantly talking and thinking of you and watching for news of you & endeavoring to do all that we can to aid you. I rec’d you & Col. Lane & Dietzlers note at the same time I saw Gov. Chase’s message and my anxieties and sympathies were of course aroused As anything known to come from me would be very unfavorably received by the Administration I sought out some good friends of mine who I knew had the ear of the President and could exercise influence with him and impress on them a conviction that an invasion and bloodshed would certainly happen unless the President interfered, and urged them to go to Pierce (not in my name at all) and insist that he prevent it. They did so I know. Whether they were instrumental in bringing out the Proclamation I cannot tell. That document is just the low contemptible trickstering affair which might expect from Pierce, and is like the Special Message a slander on the Free State Party still as it promises protection
protection [sic] it will be to that extent at least acceptable if its promises are kept. It may very well be that if it had not been for the message of Gov. Chase and that of Gov. Clark the Proclamation would never have been issued I saw a few days ago before the Proclamation was issued a Bill prepared to the [office?] in the Ohio Legislature which was first submitted to my inspection appropriating $200.00 to pay imigrants to go [xxx] to Kansas with a provision that each man was to have a Rifle and Revolver and to sign articles to remain in the Ty. as a settler and stay at least 2 years Possibly the Proclamation may check it I hope not. I think you will have a good emigration next summer. I am constantly receiving letters asking information, and make it a point to answer. Hutchinson arrived here last evening. Parrot Johnson Latta & Philips are here and have been for some time
Our friends here as Hutchinson will explain to you are all of opinion that we should not organize the State Govt. adversely to the Territorial authorities. The Territorial Govt will not be withdrawn but on the contrary Pierce will continue it and back it by all the power of the Admin. And what is worst of all he will have the semblance of
right on his side and many men will side with him who would like to be with us if we were clearly right. This you know was my opinion in the beginning and time has only verified it, altho’ I have not proclaimed that opinion here or in the States I know that opinion is unpalatable to many mistaken friends and may injure me with them, but the good of the cause compels me to speak out among ourselves even if I suffer by it myself. If you were here you would hold this opinion as decidedly as I do. I have made very thorough examination and preparation upon the subject of this State movement and have all the authorities collected. My opinion is based on these and on public sentiment among our friends in view of the determination of Pierce to put us in the wrong if possible and turn the tables upon us. He has no other capital than that against us for all his Messages and Proclamations
There is a point to which you can go however and still keep in the right, but it ought clearly to appear in your proceedings say yr. Message and perhaps your proclamation and also in the proceedings of the Legislature that you do not intend to go beyond that point. You have according to good authority “to settle a Constitution
and frame of Govt. by the appointment of those official agents which are indispensible to the action of the State and especially to its action as a member of the Union.” So that the Legislature may organize and elect Senators. When you go beyond this you give Pierce the advantage of us. By anticipating his movements and demonstrating in advance clearly and manifestly that you intend to stop at that point you will forestall and defeat him. Hutchinson will explain to you more fully.
Pierce takes the ground now that we intend to go on and supersede the Territorial Govt entirely and if he can break up and avert the Legislature before you can show a contrary intent, he will do so and be glad to do so, in order to infer our intention to submit the Territorial Govt from the previous proceedings. In this he should be forestalled. If you can do so it will be a victory for us and a defeat for him.
A H Reeder