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Asks leave for his son if danger should strike Washington. Wishes separation could be done in peace.
letter, McIlvaine, Chase
McIlvaine, Charles Pettit, "Letter to S. P. Chase" (1860). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 44.
Cincin April 11, 1860
Cinc. Ap. 11. 1860
My dear Sir -
[Imprivisio] This is not a business letter. Therefore don’t be troubled with it in business hours. Put it in your pocket to be read when it will not [intercept] you under your [accumulated] cares.
I begin by thanking ^ you ^ for your kind attention to my previous letter, + that you took before to write me a few lines about each, which under your pressure was a good deal.
From all appearances, I think it very likely an attempt will be made on Washington. If the Southerners should get possession, especially such as McCullough will there will probably be much of a reign of terror for a while. At any rate an attack + defences would make much [consternation], + to persons of feeble health, suffering. My [?] is this. My son, in your department, has a great deal of spirit [then] strength of body - Is nervously excitable with little physique to bear excellent. While I could go into the ranks in such a struggle, + he would ask no [?], I should be very anxious about him. In case you should see such a [?] could you kindly communicate with him, however confidentially, + give him leave of absence for a little, in case the public service in his [formation] would [well] be impaired + his place would not be high [?]. He will have no idea of my having then written you + it is what he would not [?] of, but an account of his [??], I write. I dislike exceedingly giving you the [?] of answering me. But a home will do.
I deeply sympathize with the [?], difficulties, purplex[ed], [anxious] of the [?] I never know how to pray for the Pres. + his Counsellors + the Country as of late. It seems after that my [?] personal wants are less prayerfully presented to God than the [will] of the Govt. I do not know Mr. Lincoln but God knows how often he + his advisers are on my heart + [?] at [this time]. [?] I suppose will come, + perhaps her [?] I am not [?] of the recovery of the se[?] state. It is a relief to get [?] of that much [?] But I would the [?] and be [?] peace. If not, my heart is with the Sword of Govt against a doctrine of d[?] [??] all Govt but a [?] & doctrine of slavery, the logical consequence of which is the African Slave [?] as a blessing + a duty. These doctrines I mean when embroiled in such secession + such treasonable acts towards our Govt. as we are [?]
Yours very truly