Tennessee Documentary History
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Title:[Letter] 1844 Apr. 20, Nashville, Tenn[essee] [to] Maj[or] W. J. Whitthorne, Shelbyville, Tenn[essee] / S[amuel] H. Laughlin : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Laughlin, Samuel H.

This work is the property of the Special Collections Library, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Special Collections Librarian, Hoskins Library, University of Tennessee, 1401 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996. (865) 974-4480.

Date: April 20, 1844
Extent: 4 p
Summary:The following document is a letter, dated April 20, 1844, from Samuel Laughlin to Major W. J. Whitthorne in Shelbyville, Tennessee. In the letter, Laughlin discusses both national and state politics. He updates Whitthorne on election results from around the country, and he warns that a fierce battle must be fought to prevail against the Whigs in upcoming elections. Laughlin, an ardent supporter of James K. Polk, was also one of the "Immortal Thirteen" who, fearing the election of a Whig, refused to meet with the Tennessee House to elect a representative to the U.S. Senate, leaving Tennessee unrepresented in the Senate for 1841-1843.
Collection:Samuel H. Laughlin

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Nashville, Tenn. [Tennessee] April 20, 1844
[added: (Private)] My dear sir,

For the posture of political affairs here, and abroad, I must refer you to the current newspapers. The Hon. [Honorable] Cave Johnson writes me, that our frinds [friends] are determined, in the House of Representatives, to adjourn by the 27th or 28th of May unless something grows out of the negociations [negotiations] in regard to Oregon or Texas which may make a postponement for a short time beyond those dates necessary and proper. — In New York , in the town elections, we have gained, judging from the Albany Atlas and other sober, calculating points. In the city, the Native American Democratic ticket has prevailed; but the Whigs are beaten badly, and knowing they would be beaten, many of them abandoned their own regular ticket, and voted for the Native ticket (a branch of the democracy mostly friendly to Tyler and Calhoun ) in order to beat the regular locossco ticket. Of three, our ticket was much the strongest, but the natives and Whigs united, beat us. The Whigs do not exult in the result—it has shown their weakness. Harper the Mayor elect, called a Whig is a Calhoun man—and has been a Tylerite.— In Kentucky , our friends are [added: P.S. [Post Script] Being in haste to save the mail, I have no time to look over and correct errors or omissions. With a friend, it makes no difference—as errors will be excused.]

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making a rush, and I verily believe will elect Butler Governor and Pilcher Lieutenant Governor next August, however the main election may afterwards go in the fall. Four or five good democratic papers have been started lately in that state at proper points — one of them a German paper at Louisville — and the best talents of the state are in the field for us on the electoral ticket and for the legislature.

In this state the Whigs intend, as we learn here, and one purpose of my writing is to inform you of it, to have a universal, simultaneous rising as soon as they hear from their nominations at Baltimore . Old [unclear: Taul ], old Col. [Colonel] Martin of Smith , and a full representation of Whig Delegates have passed here many of them and gone on. When they hear from the convention and know the result, the Whig candidates for Elector, old Barringer , John Bell , and all, will take the field. We must be prepared to breast the shock and meet them. Our candidates, and all others who can speak, or strike a stroke, must be on the alert. I have written to Mr. Rogers of Fayetteville , who will probably be your candidate for Elector, that he must be in readiness to fight; and I have written to the candidate in my own district, and to Mr. H. L. Turney for

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the state at large to be ready—to fight.

Here, with the papers, the old Union, and Star Spangled Banner, I will do the best I can, and up at home, from Fentress to Coffee , I will address the people in the course of the canvass.

I find with all my private collections and stores of books, documents, journals, debates &c. &c. [et cetera, et cetera] and with all I can procure by begging, buying and borrowing here, that there are many documents, papers, journals, debates &c. [et cetera] which it is necessary to have here for the use of the press to fight the battle as it ought to be fought. I have no personal interest in it but my love of the cause, and wish to sustain my credit as a pro tempore editor for the party. This being the case I feel free to call for help on friends who are willing if it is ever so little. I have already bought and ordered at my own charge $50 worth of amunition [ammunition] of this sort since I have been at my port. Our folks here have heavy [unclear: drafey ] and taxes on them, but will all help [unclear] as they can. Any sum from $1 to $200 can be well laid out. I therefore request you, Mr. Matthews , Mr. [unclear: Frierson ] , and any friends who may be willing to throw a mite into the common democratic treasury, to do so through you, and that you remit it to me to aid in buying documents—as I have a chance of ordering them — in the course of next week— by Thursday or Friday if you can. Every little will help.

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Also write me the prospects of things in General in your County. Write to my individual address, and freely and fully as you can. — I hope you all approve of my dealing with Gen. [General] Caruthers , and of the 1st. No of the Banner. I hope our friends will hasten and send subscriptions to Hogan and Heifs ' address for it—as it will not quit cost unless pretty numerously subscribed for. Our friend Davis will remit subscriptions for that as postmaster. I had to make some of our people here know, a few days since, that Mr. D. [Davis] is an old and true democrat. — Write as requested, while I am, very truly,

yr. [your] friend
S. [Samuel] H. Laughlin [added: Maj. [Major] W. J. Whitthorne ]. }
Major. W. J. Whitthorne Shelbyville , Tenn. [Tennessee]

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