Letter to Usher F. Linder
WASHINGTON, February 20, 1848.
U. F. Linder:... In law, it is good policy to never plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you cannot. Reflect on this well before you proceed. The application I mean to make of this rule is that you should simply go for General Taylor, because you can take some Democrats and lost no Whigs; but if you go also for Mr. Polk, on the origin and mode of prosecuting the war, you will still take some Democrats, but you will lose more Whigs; so that in the sum of the operation, you will be the loser. This is at least my opinion; and if you will look around, I doubt if you do not discover such to be the fact among your own neighbors. Further than this: by justifying Mr. Polk's mode of prosecuting the war, you put yourself in opposition to General Taylor himself,