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Andrew H. Reeder to William Hutchinson

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Easton Pa Aug. 25 1856
My Dear Sir Yours of the 8th has been duly recd. & afforded me much pleasure. I have for some time felt the want of a faithful and reliable correspondent in the Territory and most thankfully accept your offer. I shall devote the whole summer and fall to laboring in connection with the National Kansas Committee all over the North to raise men and money for our unfortunate Ty and reliable news from home is very desirable if not indispensable My labors have been interrupted by an attack of Sciatica which has laid me up useless for four weeks. I was attacked here a few days after my return from the Buffalo Convention and at the end of two weeks started for Washington to attend to the contested Seat and Kansas affairs generally. I was not quite well but my anxiety to be there induced me to start expecting to recover on the way and in Washington. But on the contrary I had a relapse in Phila. which laid me up helpless for two weeks more. I have since then been here recovering and attending to some private business and today I leave for N. York and other places solely on the cause of Kansas. Our National Executive Committee meets at Saratoga on the 27th

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and there are some matters which I consider important to be urged upon their attention We have now a good organization for the aid of Kansas and a number of first rate men deeply interested in the matter and with whom Kansas is above and beyond everything else, and not withstanding this I am chafed and worried to see that the results are so small and unsatisfactory. If we were to follow the example of the South and drum up in the cities a set of cut throats and vagabonds who will go anywhere for whiskey and who will support [xxx] [xxx] by plunder and outrage we could have sent more men, but I doubt whether we would not have repented it. The blocking up of the River also is much against us, as the Iowa route is very expensive. The party sent out with Lane cost a great deal of money in transportation and provisions compared with the River route as it was necessary to buy a number of teams in addition to those hired. I have carefully avoided receiving any money myself and have never taken a dollar of the Subscriptions raised. My original plan which I had adopted at our Cleveland and Buffalo Conventions was to have it all go into the hands of our National Exec Committee. I speak in N. York City tomorrow evening and I shall then go on uninterruptedly from place to place where I can do the most good and raise the most money

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I make no partisan stump speeches for any man. I call my own meetings without distinction of party and speak for Kansas and nothing else. I appeal as did our Legislature at Topeka on the 4th July to all parties, and I claim to belong to no party but the Free State party. I seek to obtain the ear and the confidence of democrats Fillmore men and Republicans and I think I have succeeded to a considerable extent. I have had money and sympathy from all three. I do not hesitate however to denounce so much of the Cin. Platform as assails us. Our friends in Boston agree with me that this is my best course and one which will do the most good for Kansas, and as to Fremont if an earnest proclamation of the wrongs of Kansas from one who devotes himself to her cause exclusively will not help Fremont I am sure that the sinking of the distinctive character of my mission into that of a partisan stump speaker will keep him still less whilst it will narrow my filed of operations and cripple all I can do for Kansas. I find many men (principally Republicans and men of the Liberty party) who go for Kansas with all their heart and in all sincerity and again I find among the Republicans many cold hearted selfish politicians who think they lay us under ponderous obligations by voting in the same way they would have voted if they had never heard of us—who are very willing to use us for political capital but who button up their

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pockets and tell us that if we will only help them into office we will not want any men or money at all. This class of people are very willing to ride us as a hobby but will not [xxx] us with anything but Resolutions. Fortunately, they are not very numerous. I found the worst specimens of them in Columbus and Cleveland The Democrats are as a general thing afraid of the South in public and there are a great many of them whose cause cannot be reconciled with the idea that they would vote to keep Slavery out of their own States if the question was presented to them. There is still in Penna. a great deal of true and sincere sympathy amg some of the Democrats for us which although it does us little or no good now, must inevitably have an influence on Buchanan if he shall be elected. They say that Kansas must and shall be free but they cannot be argued out of the belief that Buchanan feels right on the subject and will do us justice. So strong is this feeling that if he does not, the South must after that give up all hope of Penna. But in the mean time we should encourage that feeling if it is the best we can get rather than to drive them away from us by quarreling with and abusing them because they will not go farther The Fillmore men are a strange compound harder to understand than either of the other three. I have found among them many warm and [xxx] friends and contributors and many men more ultra for the South than democrats. Whilst the Republicans in their platform [xxx] [xxx] for us and the Democrats give us the cold shoulder then Fillmores are in their creed neutral. Their candidate however is liable to the same objection as Buchanan, that he could never do anything for us of much consequence without quarrelling with his principal supporters.

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I think I can see that our Kansas issue is not yet fully before the public and that let who will be elected it will overshoot this Presidential election and come up about Dec. 1857 in the form of a free and a Slave constitution both before Congress and an array of men and parties on the one side or the other. Then will come the great strife on the main question and then we will need the hardest and the strongest blows. This makes this falls congressional election of great importance and I have not forgotten them. In the mean time however we must have men and money
We are just now much exercised by the telegraphic news of the fights at Franklin Ft. Washington Lecompton etc. and look anxiously for further details
You can write me under cover to “ B. G. Clarke Merchants Hotel N. York City”
Remember me most cordially and warmly to all our friends and assure them that I never lose sight of our common cause. I shall labor in all sincerity and to the best of my judgment for it
Yours Truly A H Reeder

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