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[579]

From The Boston Globe we extract:—

The following letter from Vice-President Wilson, written while he was Senator, is interesting as corroborating the statements in Sumner's suppressed speech. This letter was written only eight days after the death of Lord Clarendon, the event which, according to Secretary Fish, fixed the time for Motley's removal. The letter was written ‘after much reflection.’ The report of the contemplated removal must have gained circulation and credit more than a week before the date of the letter to have enabled Wilson to give much attention to it.

United States Senate Chamber, Washington, July 5, 1870.
President grant—Dear Sir: After much reflection I have decided that duty demands that I should write to you my views touching the proposed removal of Mr. Motley. I fear you will make a sad mistake if you remove him, and I beg of you to consider the case carefully before acting. His removal is believed to be aimed at Mr. Sumner. Right or wrong, this will be the construction put upon it. Can you, my dear Sir, afford to have such an imputation rest upon your administration? Mr. Motley is one of the best known and most renowned of our countrymen. In letters he is recognized as one of the foremost living authors of our country or of the world. Office can add little to his reputation. Removal from office, while it will wound his feelings, will not affect his standing among the most cultivated of the age. I assure you, my dear Sir, that the men of Massachusetts, who gave you more than 75,000 majority, are proud to number Mr. Motley among their most loved and honored sons. They remember that during the war his pen, voice, and social influence and position were on the side of his struggling country. They were grateful to you for his appointment as Minister to England. I need not say that they are surprised at the rumor that he is to be removed. They are pained to have it said that his removal is on account of Mr. Sumner's opposition to the Santo Domingo treaty. His removal will be regarded by the Republicans of Massachusetts as a blow not only at him, but at Mr. Sumner.

There has been much feeling about the treaty. Imprudent words have been uttered, as they always are when men's feelings are excited. Perhaps Mr. Sumner may have said things that may have been distasteful to you, but the people of Massachusetts are with him as ten to one. Holding on general principles that the prominent interests of the country would be advanced by a foothold in the Gulf, and wishing to sustain your Administration whenever I could do so, I voted for the treaty, though I knew that nine-tenths of the people of my State were against it. I had nothing to gain and something to lose by such a vote. I am ready to take the consequences of that vote, but I am not insensible to the fact that the dismissal of Mr. Motley, under present circumstances, will not only be a loss to your Administration, but a blow to me. Personally, I ask nothing, but I do entreat you, before acting, to look well to the matter. Your Administration is menaced by great opposition, and it needs peace and unity among the people and in Congress. The head of a great party, the President of the United States has much to forget and forgive, but he can afford to be magnanimous and forgiving. I want to see the President and Congress in harmony, and the Republican party united and victorious. To accomplish this, we must all be just, charitable, and forgiving.

Very truly,


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