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Moses Dawson to MVB, 4 Feburary 1843

Dear Sir

You will no doubt have heard that General Cass has been perambulating the states of the Union in search ("not of a father" like Marryat's Japhet) but of people willing to making him a father to our great Republic. After meeting with a newspaper flattering reception at Columbus—he has made his entree into of Great City on the evening of thursday last—where he was received by Mr. David Disney who represented the paper Bank adherents here. A public meeting had been held a few evenings previous to <dearch> up a plan of proceeding for his honourable reception. At this meeting Mr. Disney addressed the meeting ^it^ while a committee was reading over an address and Resolutions for the meeting.

In this address Mr. D enumerated all the valuable services of the General and most ardently recommended him to the national Convention as a Candidate for the Presidency in 1844. And whether by compact or by accident I cannot say but as I understand the report of the Committee was almost a literal transcript of Mr. Disney's speech—and some who were present thought it possible at least he might to save time and trouble to the Committee have brought the report cut and dry in his pocket to the meeting. At that meeting a Committee of Reception was appointed 36 in number—and ^as^ if the democrats had been too scarce to make up the number about one half were good sound Whiggs. Such as Jacob Bennet your old Colleague in the senate and Mr. Sam W. Davis now Mayor and the quondam Cashier of the Farmer's and Mechanics Bank of Bankrupt notoriety

From observations I have made in passing by the Denniston House where the General holds head quarters there appeared to be a plentiful scarcity of friends paying court to the General. To raise something of an excitement the freemason Lodges of the City held a general meeting on thursday evening and a Resolution entered into to write the General to make them a visit on friday evening.

Preparatory to this meeting visit and General call was made of the members of the three lodges—and in consequence the largest meeting attended since the days of the Visit of General Jackson or General De la Fayette—and waited patiently for the advent of the General and his escort. Where lo and behold a verbal message delivered by Mr. Elam P. Langdon—as well as can understand as follows—That "General Cass had a great number of devoted friends at Harrisburgh Penn. and that not wishing to injure their feelings he could not consent to meet free masons clothed in their masonic paraphernalia—aprons" &c

This message was received with great dissatisfaction and many of the ^almost all the^ brethren went off immediately—the business of the lodge being closed—and the General and his escort came into the Lodge room remained a few minutes in the room without sitting down and then retired to attend the theatre

This proceeding and message of the general gave great offence to the masons of this City—and I presume will not be more pleasing to the General's friends the Antimason of Pennsylvania—nor will any apology founded on his not visiting the Masons in regular masonic fashion in their Lodges room be received as satisfactory to those who consider a freemason Lodge room to little better if better at all than Pandemonium itself

I am sorry to remark that ^three^ are so many among our friends who are so willing to multiply Candidates for the Presidency and by that means very likely to produce confusion and even distraction in the Convention—but such persons there are among us—and when asked what you have done since your nomination here a few months ago at one of the largest meetings ever held of this City and county to forfeit their confidence? They answer nothing, nothing. They continue to have the same confidence in you that they are ^always^ had but think there is no harm in giving the Convention a large Choice. Some few indeed, have used the hacknied Whig argument ^of^ more than one term. I must however say that the malecontents are confined ^to^ those ^whom^ I call the ragmen and they are not formidable in number and I believe are every day diminishing ^in^ number.

We had a large meeting on the 7th. ult to celebrate ^the^ Victory at Orleans on the 8th. January 1815—and one of the regular toasts was calling for your restoration—in words following

"Martin Van Buren Ex president of the United States—the Victory of the democratic party will then only be complete when he is restored to the presidential Chair"

It is greatly desired here in the West that the convention should be held in this City and that General Jackson should be its president. I presume that the democratic members of Congress will most probably after adjournment take some action in the matter. I have written by this Mail to senators Allen and Benton on the subject and I hope that they may succeed in having such arrangement effected.

The facts of the above statement may be relied upon. I had my information from your good and stanch friend Mr. Wm. <Ver> who was present on the occasion.

I am Sir with great respect & esteem

your Obedient servant

Moses Dawson

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 12 (5 March 1841-31 December 1844)