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KMcI 600213




letter, McIlvaine, Chase


Cinc. Feb. 13 1860

My dear Ex. Gov. + elect Senator —

Shall the tree be cut down? What tree? Do you think I mean some political [?] of the ground? Not at all. I mean an oak tree. Alas - how few of our political trees are [hearts] of oak. I mean an oak tree which professes to be on your ground + is really on mine; that is, the fence is not on the line between us, + it is necessary therefore that the ^ tree ^ should “define its production.” It is not “on the fence,” but on the wrong side of i, leaning over it. Its position is [thus]; the present fence is not on the exact line between you + me. When placed there it followed a [?] rail fence, without pretending to exact[?] As surely of that line was afterwards made + the[n] it was found to [?] a little on your side of the fence, so that the tree I speak of is on my side of it. This I have known for several years, + as I have needed wood, have felt a considerable disposition to decree its execution, but have de? till I could consult you. [Mr.] the axe is laid to the root. What shall I do Do you say I may cut it down? IT is all on me, except the lower part of its trunk, hanging over my ground, longing to rest upon it, breathing the atmosphere that cover my ground, + no doubt its roots are [?] all under my soil. Shall I [?] the [?]?

The great inducement is, I want the wood, + the great argument is, that the tree is mine; but considering that the fence makes it visibly yours, I would fain escape of a fence (pardon the pun) by asking your consent that it shall fall, + be the food of my kitchen stove. When you shall be again in the Senate, you may have more difficult claims to settle.

Yours very truly

C.P. McIlvaine.

Letter to S. P. Chase