Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nelson Linsley Letter, New Haven Connecticut 1860

Four page letter from New Haven, Connecticut, dated May 14, 1860,
from Nelson Linsley, a Melodeon Manufacture in New Haven operating under the firm of Treat & Linsley with rich political content discussing the upcoming election, the Charleston Convention, the "Negro" question pertaining to the Slavery, one that had divided the country at that point & would see the rise of Abraham Lincoln a few Months later to be the nominee and mark his landmark Presidency.

He writes to his friend Anderson. Transcribed in part:

"New Haven, May 14, 1860

Friend Anderson

It was with much pleasure that I received yours of the 25th of Apr I believe that I made out to get at the meaning generally & as regards the of the paper I concluded that it was some new fangled style some French of Spanish or some other fashion which had not reached this part of the world yet as I regard economy that I think is a good -- which prehaps (sic) it would do well for some to cultivate,

As regards your politics I am glad to hear that you are giving both sides your consideration & I think if you will carefully examine the merits & decide candidly that there yet some hopes for your salvation politically the Charleston Convention have broken up as you are probably aware without making a Nomination but it makes but little difference who the man is.

Principles are what we are after in reference to the Negro question
I for one do not think that they would trouble it at all if the Democratic party did not commence the agitation
I have watched the house & senate with considerable interest the present session & if you will observe whenever there has been anything said on the question it has been brought up by the Democrat Members in every instance
The Republican principle is not to extend, unless the new states want it, but let it remain where it is as long as its residents fit
then give it a fair chance to vote for or against it and not do as they did in Kansas.

I don't see how any candid man can find fault with this if they do
I cannot help it if that is all we must wait the result if the world was made up of men of Intelligence I should not fear for the result but there ar

for so many that vote who do not know their right hand from their left in politics that it is doubtful care to say the least
I shall have to stop for the present for I cannot see.

May 21...I am pretty tired we have packed and sent of 12 Melodeons today the largest number we ever sent in one day
but to the letter I told Mr. Treat what you said about his voting for you when you go up for Congress & he says that he will do it, if you are a Republican & I think he would, for he thinks you are about right otherwise & we have our hopes in this respect\
it is dark again so good bye

I am going to bring this epistle to a close this time Sartain...I have been to Branford...had a letter from Hough he intimated as if our Southern Friends might possibly come North this summer well if you do we have some grape wine of our own manufacture which if you get here before it is gone I will treat you so hurry up or you lose...
I have to go to Guilford to attend court tomorrow...One of my uncles the heirs are going to try and break the will...
Look for papers next mail...Nelson Lindsley."

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