With Mary E. Barns letter 1/6/65
Office of the Daily Union
Rock Island, Ills., Jan 30, 1865
Hon Richard Yates
My dear Sir
I have intended to have written to you long before congratulating you on your election to the United States Senate, but a press of business has prevented me from doing so until the present moment. I am truly gratified that you triumphed over all your enemies. This gladness arises from no personal considerations, but on another and nobler one of justice to a worthy public officer who has been faithful in many things. I have always claimed that you alone among all the able defenders of our faith in this state are best entitled to the proud distinction of representing the Empire State of the West in the highest Councils of the Nation. I hope your course during the next six years may be a brilliant one and that you will place your name still higher on the roll of fame.
Your election to the Senate is the more gratifying from the fact that you are the soldiers friend; and also the other fact that you have been able to crush out the politicians who were determined to destroy you You were traduced and villified from one end of
the state to the other Many of those who embraced your cause at the start became lukewarm and finally abandoned you altogether when they thought they could gain better positions by so doing, and thus wounded you in the house of your friends.
This was the case in this vicinity I am sorry to say The men who were elected to the Legislature from this Senatorial District and County, were pledged to your cause before the nominations were made; that was the issue, and how basely they betrayed you the sequel will tell. I was a member of the Senatorial Convention that nominated Mr. Webster, and before the nomination was made I was requested to put the question to him if he was nominated and elected if he would vote for you for Senator. He replied unequivocally "I will." The same inquiry was put to Mr Lloyd before his nomination to represent this county in the lower House, and the same reply returned.
The inquiry naturally comes up what was it that induced them to falsify this profession after election made before I will answer: Three days before the meeting of the Legislature Mr Washburn visited Rock Island and a private meeting was called of his friends in one of the Parlors of the Island City. To this meeting the newly elected Senator and Representative were invited I was also invited but did not go. I saw through the game
and could not be made a party to it. The principle figures in this meeting were Judge Wilkinson (who has played two faced) and Mr Miesdale our Post Master, who has always been a Washburn man It was decided that Mr Webster and Mr Lloyd must go for Washburn for Senator because he, Washburn, had done so much for Rock Island in times past, and Dick Yates had done nothing. Washburn had [illegible]ed the bill through Congress to build an arsenal on the island and he would do still larger things for the city if he was Senator. We cant look with these important men and [expectants?] of Legislative honors and they sold a true man for a less price than Judas sold his master, and the only regret is they did not carry out the parallel and go hang themselves as Judas did. Those men proved themselves men of straw, and no doubt today imagine themselves great men because they happen to be bobtails in a Legislative body. Poor jacks they have made their beds in the [illegible] then let them lie for the brief span of their political existence We will take care of them in the future and see that they do not soon have another opportunity to [stick?] our cause by believing their professions and promises.
Friend Yates, looking the ground all over you have much cause to feel proud of the noble stand which your friends have taken in your behalf. I hope
you may live to see the last of your betryers politically damned and buried so deep beneath public contempt that they will have no resurrection. It should do such persons good to be jibbeted at some cross-way where the winds of heaven might fan their carrion carcasses. Such an airing might do them good. I always feel like holding my nose when I come between such persons and the wind.
Now Senator I have a record personal to myself. I have labored for many long years in the cause of Freedom, and never yet held a civil office I never asked for one. In 1854 I joined the Republican party and was honored in 1856 when seat in the Philadelphia Convention that nominated Fremont. I represented the 27th New York Congressional District in the Convention. Since that time I have labored incessantly for the triumph of those principles
I served my country in the Mexican War in the 2nd Illinois Infantry and was wounded at the battle of Buena Vista and at the end of the war honorably discharged. In this great rebellion I served two years and would have been in the service to-day or in heaven but for Gov Gambles Enrolled State Militia, who would not allow me to [illegible] a rank on the head whenever I could find one. [Be let?] the pass.
What I want is the Rock Island Port Offer for the next four years. Will you help me to get it? Dr. Trusdale has had it four years which is long enough. The Department has adopted the plan of giving those appointments to editors in other places and I know no reason why the rule should be varied here.
I am not personally acquainted with Gen Harding. He will have the recommendation. Will you see him for me and fix the matter? I am entitled to the place on the ground of service I have labored hard and spent much money for the present administration I ask for nothing but what is right. The present incumbent is no friend of yours or Gen. Harding.
Excuse this hasty letter I have no time for sentiments. I would like something better but these are too many after places Let me hear from you and believe me
Yours truly & faithfully to the last
M. S. Barnes