[David] Wilmot to [Preston King], 25 September 1847
Sept. 25. 1847
My Dear Sir
I returned home last evening from a visit to Tioga, one of the Counties of my District, and found awaiting me, your acceptable letter of the 13th inst. I feel the death of Mr Wright at this time, as all overwhelming an irreperable calamity. There was more moral & political power united in his person, than in that of any other American Citizen. Silas Wright has left behind him no living man in whom is contained the elements of strength and sound guidance of character. He was the man for the crisis, and the death of such a leader has more discouraged me, than could the letters of two thousand Buchannan's. I feel deeply the want of the moral & political force of some great on the side of freedom. It is vitally important in giving proper directions at this time to the public sentiments of the North. You and I, and other good & true men, can fight the battle in our own Counties & Districts, but a want in some whom and the Nation. I agree wtih you that there is ample time to bring out Presidential Candidates, and there should be no hurry on this score. You will say, make the question popular and strong, and candidates enough will present themselves; but ^we^ want some great names to help make it strong, some one to whom we can direct the eyes of the Northern democracy. The fact that no
^democrat^ of the North known to the whole Nation has publically disclosed himself in favour of the Proviso, has a strong tendency to create the impression with the mass, that our position is weak or untenable, and either impression will exert an unfavourable message ^influence^ upon the public mind. Will not Mr Van Buren speak out, if properly called upon by a respectable portion of the Northern democracy?
Do not from what I have written, draw a conclusion, that I am greatly alarmed, and much less, that I think, or even have thought for one moment of giving up the fight. I wished from the first, and that resolution has been daily confirmed and strengthened, never to yield an inch so far as any personal consequences to myself are concerned, I am prepared for defeat, but I am intensly anxious that the principle should triumph.
Mr Buchanan backed by the patronage and power of the administration, & a dependent, servile press, may for a time illegible Penna from her moorings, (though I doubt it) but my County & District shall be as a battery of a thousand guns against him. I will fight each inch of ground, I will go into the Churches & School-houses of my district and my stand against the & the Traitor. I send you the proceedings of our County Convention. They had Mr Buchannans letters before them, when they passed those resolutions. I addressed on my late visit to Tioga a large meeting, and found the democracy of that County of the North. to the convention invited by letter signed by all its most leading & influential democrats to write out my speech for publication, and if I can find time will do so. It becomes necessary to show to friends abroad that Buck's letter has not quite upset the Proviso in this State. I have not been in Susquehanna Co. since