1846: William T. Sammons to Hon. Hugh White

Hon. Hugh White

In this letter, William T. Sammons (1800-1873) shares his opinion of political matters with his congressman, Hon. Hugh White (1798-1870) who was a Whig and served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1845 to 1851, representing upstate New York. Sammons expresses relief that the Oregon Question seems to have been resolved by a treaty with England, but he worries that the War with Mexico and the agitation between the manufacturing and agricultural interests in the United States triggered by the Tariff of 1842 (sometimes called the “Black Tariff”) may yet create uncontrollable conflict. Clearly he has no confidence in the Polk administration to bring these matters to a peaceful conclusion.

William T. Sammons was the son of Maj. Thomas Sammons (1762-1838) and Mary Wood (1773-1851). William was married three times and had children by at least two of his wives. Later in life, William relocated to Will County, Illinois where he died.

Hugh White graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., in 1823; studied law but did not practice; entered business at Chittenango in 1825 and afterwards at Rondout; active in the building of the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad; moved to Cohoes, N.Y., in 1830; was greatly interested in the development of water power from the Mohawk River; organized the Rosendale Cement Works; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Congresses; chairman, Committee on Agriculture (Thirtieth Congress); resumed his business activities; and died in Waterford, N.Y. (Source: Library of Congress)

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Page 2

TRANSCRIPTION

Addressed to Hon. H. White, Member in Congress, Washington D.C.

Sammons Ville [New York]
July 18th 1846

Dear Sir,

I return you my thanks for the various publick documents I have received from you during the session of Congress. I received a number of speeches from you from different members on the Oregon Question. That matter produced a stronger sensation on my feelings than any other question that was before us as a Nation. A war with England could not be a small one. United States and England — two of the most powerful Nations in the world who for a time to a great extent have laid by the sword for the plough shares and mind seemed to be employed in entirely different channel than to invent machinery for the destruction of man.

Prof. Samuel F. B. Morse, whose “wonderful improvement” conveys intelligence “with lightning speed.”

[This,] when every improvement seemed to be going forward in the arts and sciences in the improvement of machinery and mechanical invention where a fair specimen may be had, I have no doubt, at the Patent Office at Washington and also the wonderful improvement that has lately been made by Prof. [Samuel F. B.] Morse of conveying intelligence from one portion of our country to another with the speed of lightning — all this to be laid by and the resources of the Nation to be gathered up for the purpose of building Navies, equipping Armies &c.

And why is all this? Is it to satisfy the ambitious notions of such men as [William] Allen, [Lewis] Cass, and company, or is it believed that we can conquer or destroy England? That will not be be thought of. The only thing that in my humble opinion I could see grow out of it would be a long and bloody contest and finally to be settled by treaty with an immense National Debt. But thanks to a kind Providence, that matter appears to be settled.

But we have others that is not. The War with Mexico and a War with certain men on the Tariff of 1842 seems to be matters which are agitating the country and how we are to get out of it, it may be that Mr. Polk and his friends may answer. My opinion is with no credit to him or his friends — but time will show the result.

As to the political situation of our state [of New York], you no doubt understand that better than I do. All I can say is we are watching the movements of the Convention and what effect that may have on the Political destinies of this state. Time also will show. And who the next candidates for Governor will be, I cannot say. I, however, think [Silas] Wright will not be taken up. But of that, we shall also see if time permits.

But I must draw my scroll to a close and in so doing that the assurance that I shall be pleased to hear from you as often as convenient and in so doing you will much oblige your friend, and humble servant, — Wm T. Sammons

FOOTNOTES
  • Sammons probably refers to Silas Wright, Jr. when discussing the gubernatorial candidates. Wright served as the Governor of New York from 1845 to 1846 during which time this letter was written. His democratic administration was not viewed favorably by the Empire State voters however and he was defeated in his bid for re-election by the Whig candidate, John Young. Wright died the following year.
  • In his annual address to Congress on December 2, 1845, Polk recommended giving the British the required one-year notice of the termination of the joint occupation agreement. In Congress, Democratic expansionists from the Midwest, led by Senators Lewis Cass of Michigan, Edward A. Hannegan of Indiana, and William Allen of Ohio, called for war with the United Kingdom rather than accepting anything short of all of Oregon up to Parallel 54°40′ north.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Spared & Shared 12

Saving history one letter at a time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

Franklin S. Twitchell

Co. B, 13th Connecticut Infantry

The Civil War Letters of Henry E. Mumford

A Colored Soldier of Co. B, 29th Connecticut Infantry

No Babies Play

Letters of Joseph Hazen, Co. F, 20th New York Cavalry

I Long to See You Again

The Civil War Letters of Willis McDonald, Co. F, 17th Connecticut Infantry

I stood in my tracks

The Civil War Letters of Benjamin F. Hulburd, 7th & 2nd Vermont Infantries

This fight will tell the story

Letters by Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V.

The Rebecca Breidenstein Collection

Letters addressed to Rebecca by both her first & second husbands during the Civil War

The Smoke of my Rifle

A small collection of letters by Capt. Augustus Alonzo Hoit of Co. G, 8th Maine Infantry

Trumpet of Freedom

Civil War Letters of Cyrus E. Ferguson -- a soldier and bugler of the 15th Iowa Infantry

The Bowdoinham Letters

Civil War Letters addressed to the Brown Family of Bowdoinham, Maine

"I am for war, till slavery is dead"

The Civil War Letters of Jerome Bonaparte Burrows, Captain of the 14th Ohio Independent Battery

"All glory to our flag -- and to those who defend it!"

Seven Civil War Letters by Col. Augustus Abel Gibson

"Mother, don't worry about me"

The Civil War Letters of Caleb & John B. Chase, 3rd & 9th Minnesota Infantries

"They will get but little duty out of me"

The Civil War Letters of Silas Townsend, 29th Mass Infantry & 3rd Mass Cavalry

"Teach my Hands to War..."

The Civil War Letters of John Hancock Boyd Jenkins, 40th New York Infantry

"It is Life or Victory Now"

The Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Caress, Co A, 50th Indiana Volunteers

In the Trough of the Sea

The Civil War Letters of Dr. Allen Smith Heath from Aboard the USS Daylight

From the Bottom of My Heart

The Digital Archives of the Hodgdon/Rayner Letters

Spared & Shared 10

Saving history one letter at a time...

When I Come Home...

The Civil War Letters of George Morgan of Company F, 11th New Hampshire Infantry

%d bloggers like this: