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A Letter
by [?]


Supposed to be written by the chairman of the “Central Clique” at Concord, N. H., to the Hon. M. N., Jr., at Washington, giving the result of the election. The following verses were published in the Boston Chronotype in 1846. They refer to the contest in New Hampshire, which resulted in the defeat of the pro-slavery Democracy, and in the election of John P. Hale to the United States Senate. Although their authorship was not acknowledged, it was strongly suspected. They furnish a specimen of the way, on the whole rather good-natured, in which the liberty-lovers of half a century ago answered the social and political outlawry and mob violence to which they were subjected.

‘T is over, Moses! All is lost
I hear the bells a-ringing;
Of Pharaoh and his Red Sea host
I hear the Free-Wills singing [1]
We’re routed, Moses, horse and foot,
If there be truth in figures,
With Federal Whigs in hot pursuit,
And Hale, and all the “niggers.”

Alack! alas! this month or more
We’ve felt a sad foreboding;
Our very dreams the burden bore
Of central cliques exploding;
Before our eyes a furnace shone,
Where heads of dough were roasting,
And one we took to be your own
The traitor Hale was toasting!

Our Belknap brother [2] heard with awe
The Congo minstrels playing;
At Pittsfield Reuben Leavitt [3] saw
The ghost of Storrs a-praying;
And Calroll’s woods were sad to see,
With black-winged crows a-darting;
And Black Snout looked on Ossipee,
New-glossed with Day and Martin.

We thought the “Old Man of the Notch”
His face seemed changing wholly–
His lips seemed thick; his nose seemed flat;
His misty hair looked woolly;
And Coos teamsters, shrieking, fled
From the metamorphosed figure.
“Look there!” they said, “the Old Stone Head
Himself is turning nigger!”

The schoolhouse, out of Canaan hauled
Seemed turning on its track again,
And like a great swamp-turtle crawled
To Canaan village back again,
Shook off the mud and settled flat
Upon its underpinning;
A nigger on its ridge-pole sat,
From ear to ear a-grinning.

Gray H—-d heard o’ nights the sound
Of rail-cars onward faring;
Right over Democratic ground
The iron horse came tearing.
A flag waved o’er that spectral train,
As high as Pittsfield steeple;
Its emblem was a broken chain;
Its motto: “To the people!”

I dreamed that Charley took his bed,
With Hale for his physician;
His daily dose an old “unread
And unreferred” petition. [4]
There Hayes and Tuck as nurses sat,
As near as near could be, man;
They leeched him with the “Democrat;”
They blistered with the “Freeman.”

Ah! grisly portents! What avail
Your terrors of forewarning?
We wake to find the nightmare Hale
Astride our breasts at morning!
From Portsmouth lights to Indian stream
Our foes their throats are trying;
The very factory-spindles seem
To mock us while they’re flying.

The hills have bonfires; in our streets
Flags flout us in our faces;
The newsboys, peddling off their sheets,
Are hoarse with our disgraces.
In vain we turn, for gibing wit
And shoutings follow after,
As if old Kearsarge had split
His granite sides with laughter.

What boots it that we pelted out
The anti-slavery women, [5]
And bravely strewed their hall about
With tattered lace and trimming?
Was it for such a sad reverse
Our mobs became peacemakers,
And kept their tar and wooden horse
For Englishmen and Quakers?

For this did shifty Atherton
Make gag rules for the Great House?
Wiped we for this our feet upon
Petitions in our State House?
Plied we for this our axe of doom,
No stubborn traitor sparing,
Who scoffed at our opinion loom,
And took to homespun wearing?