E. P. Ferry to Richard Yates


E. P. Ferry to Richard Yates


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Waukegan Nov 14th/64.

My Dear Governor.

No one can rejoice More than I do, that you have carried the Legislature. & that you will in all human probability be Elected to the Senate. It is needless for me to say that you are preeminently Entitled to the position and that if you do not receive Every Rep vote in both Houses it will be violation of the Known and Expressed wishes of the Entire Masses of our party. As well as a great outrage upon yourself.

I do not expect any difficulty but we can never be too safe.

I would therefore suggest that it would be a good plan for you at once to address a letter personally to each Member

Elect - Who is not already positivly pledged to you. - Stating your candidacy and soliciting his vote. My opinion is that this will elicit a favorable reply in probably Every case. & thus the Matter will be positively settled.

The Writing of these letters cannot possibly result injuriously and may be very beneficial. There can be no impropriety in it as you are Known and recognized as a candidate.

There may be some Members Who are yet undecided Who Would be pleased & honored & Consequently "fixed" by a letter from "Gov Yates."

This may be placing a low Estimate upon the Mentality of Illinois Law Makers, yet my Experience is that slighter Causes frequently Control greater Minds than I think many of them have. I do not fear the result in the Republican Caucus

You will undoubtedly receive the caucus nomination but I fear some game on the part of Copperheads. Our Majority is not large. Suppose that the Copperheads could draw off Six or Seven of our men. in other Words. one more than half of our majority to the support of some Republican for whom they would all vote. The result would be his Election.

You May think this cannot be done. That the democratic Members would not find themselvs to a scheme of this kind. I know that you have deservedly many friends in that party. That you are personally popular with a great many. Yet some of the leaders May take this view.

Gov Yates is the acknowledged

head & leader of the Republican party in the state & the recognized candidate for the Senate.

If We defeat him it is a quasi defeat of the Republican party. Especially as the

Man for Whom the state will be Elected. Although he is not a member of our party.

You will recollect Gov that Senatorial Contests have thus resulted. Chase was first elected to the Senate by the Entire vote of the Whig members. With the vote of free soil democrats. When the united democracy had a large majority.

This case is not quite parallel yet sufficient to show that a political party has cast its Entire Legislative vote for a man who had been in opposition to them all his life. Merely for the purpose of

defeating the regular candidate of their opponents.

My fears may be wild & groundless. I hope they are. & I assure you they arise only from My intense desire that you should be Elected.

I know that nothing in the political future can be certain and I feel that too much cannot be done to secure your success.

Four years ago Genl Washburne in Wisconsin had as he supposed a majority of Rep Numbers pledged to him for the Senate. We rested upon this. Remained at Washington & the result Was the Election of Jim Horne. In Trust my dear Gov dont rest too securely & allow the prize

now within your grasp to escape. or be Stolen from you.

I shall return to Nashville in about ten days or two weeks. Would be very glad to see you in Chicago & Consult before I leave. I am inclined to think that a few days Could be profitably spent by you in Chicago With the Cook delegation. The importance of the nine votes from Cook Co solid for you cannot be overestimated.

If however I do not see you allow me to say that it is not my intention to return from Tenn again until spring but When the Legislature meets if there is a man Who is not for you & Whom I can possibly reach With influence, persuasion or money, telegraph Me & I will be in Springfield in 36 to 48 hours.

Recollect I will be at


Mrs Ferry sends her Kindness regards to you and Mrs Yates. She says she was much interested & pleased with your speech in Chicago & would have shook you by the hand as you went out but did not want to make herself "Conspicuous".

Very truly

Your Friend

E. P. Ferry

Ferry E P.

Waukegan Nov 14th 64

Senatorial - Suggests plan &c

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“E. P. Ferry to Richard Yates,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed September 21, 2020, http://alplm-cdi.com/chroniclingillinois/items/show/23807.