P. M. POWELL'S LETTER TO EDITOR, W. W. HOLDEN
August 01, 1860 issue of the WEEKLY STANDARD (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Transcribed and Posted by Myrtle Bridges
February 01, 2003
Mr. Editor: I have been in very bad health nearly all summer-the most of the time in bed-consequently
I have not been out or mixed with the people at all. I take no opposition paper but the Fayetteville
Observer; but from the editorials in that paper, and the many extracts from kindred prints, one would
be led to suppose that Mr. John Pool would lead Gov. Ellis by thousands. I do not regard the last
Gubernatorial election as a fair test of party strength in North Carolina; but the Democratic party
proper was certainly from 10,000 to 12,000 majority then.
Now, for Pool to be elected by thousands, as the Opposition press and Opposition speakers and cross-road
politicians would have us believe, he must get the whole Whig strength, and a very large proportion of
the Democratic vote besides, or import votes from abroad.
Seeing what I have seen and heard, I have made it my business for some time to inquire of such persons
as I could see, if they could tell me who it was that had changed-what Democrat would vote for Mr. Pool?
I have made this inquiry from gentlemen from Chatham, from Richmond, from Moore, from Montgomery, from
Stanly, and from Randolph, and not until today an intelligent gentleman, a practicing physician, and a
strong Whig, who resides at New Market, in Randolph county, called to see me, and I asked him the same
question, and he said that he knew of four voters in Randolph that would change their votes. I asked
him how he knew it. He remarked that he heard them say so, but that two of them were Democrats and
they would vote for Pool, and two were Whigs and would vote for Pool, and two were Whigs and would
vote for Ellis.
The Opposition have resorted to every stratagem for years in North Carolina to put down the Democratic
party, such as changing names, changing issues, supporting men of the Democratic party in preference to
men of their own party, against the regular Democratic nominees, and now they are trying to carry the
election by pretending that Pool is going to make a "clean sweep;" and to make their purposes doubly
sure, they have started a report that Ellis is so well convinced that he will be beaten, that he has
actually quit the canvass, and that Mr. Craige has taken his place. This last item of news is not only
a common talk through the country, but is actually published in the Opposition papers in different localities.
Now, Mr. Editor, it is certainly a very bad cause indeed that requires a party to resort to such subterfuges
as these and many, many others not here enumerated, to foist itself into power.
The day of bragging and misrepresentation is nearly past, and the result will show the truth of the matter;
but if I have been correctly informed, and my information has been derived almost exclusively from Whig
friends who have called to see me, Gov. Ellis will poll the full Democratic vote.
Let every Democrat go to the polls and vote, and the result will show, as it has heretofore done, that all this
is for effect, and without the shadow of foundation in truth. P. M. Powell, Powelton, N.C., 21st July, 1860
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