Washington Jany. 30. 1839.

My Dear Son,

It is time I should write to you, my
boy, to acknowledge the receipt of your last letter,
& to let you, & my family through you, know how
I am. I begin then, by informing you that I con-
tinue to be very well. I hope & trust I shall
remain so, the month of the Session, which
is still on [illegible] to come. When I consider that more
than two years have passed since my last at-
tack, & that my necessary change of habits is
a great trial to my health, I feel that I am
greatly favored -- & especially since I have
learned that Mr. King has had a touch, & that
Charles Treadwell has been greatly afflicted.

We have not lately had any interest-
ing debates. Creary from Michigan, a
full blooded, cold blooded Jacobin -- a
man whose appearance is as disagreable
& repulsive to me as any member of the
House is now speaking. I suspect that
Mr. Fletcher of Boston intends to reply to
him. I hope he will. He is a very able &
very excellent man -- I like him much.

I came very near witnessing an exhi-
bition of slavery, as I was going to meet our

Committee at the Capitol, this morn-
ing. Just before -- not five minutes -- a-
bout forty slaves were marched by, hand-
cuffed, on their way probably to Baltimore,
to be shipped from there to New Orleans
or some other part of the United States. What
do you think of that? And now -- an hour
after -- Creary is flourishing about the per-
fect freedom & liberty of this Country, & it will
be kept up all day. What a solecism!
And yet I see the great -- the almost infi-
nite difficulties of the subject. No one who has
not witnessed it, can form any idea of the
extreme sensitiveness of all the Southern
members, on whatever relates to slavery.
Still -- as to this District -- these ten miles
square -- set apart, consecrated as it were,
to freedom -- the administration of a free gov-
ernment, I am of opinion that slavery
might be, and ought to be, abolished.
A very small part of the money which
has been expended in forcing a few In-
dians away from their homes, would
indemnify every slave holder for the
loss of this species of property -- for property
they are here, like oxen, or cotton or any other goods. Really, I have written
to you quite a political letter. I had no
intention of doing so -- but when I take my
pen to write, I write right on. I would not
have you become a politician, my Son,
for many, many years. It is a poor
occupation for persons at any period of
life, but miserable indeed for youth. It
interferes wholly with their education. They
can't possibly understand the subjects --
so complicated indeed, the questions are, that
very few men understand them. That
is the great difficulty. The mass of the people
mean well enough, I suppose. They certain-
ly have no interest, generally, in espousing
the side of a question which they know to
be wrong -- but they have not the means of
judging what is right or what wrong --
they are carried away by names, mere
words -- they are instruments to be played
upon, by demagougesgogues, or tools for them to work
with. No, my Son. Be not forward to
become a politician. Such Such is the ten-
dency of things here, there is no danger that
you will not in due season, take sufficient
interest in political subjects. And I would have you do this. Every one has a great
duty to perform to his Country -- a great
relative duty, & it is at the same time a
great & most important duty to his friends &
to posterity.     You must have
had a great gale at the eastward. It
was very violent at Philada. & between
that place and N. York & very destructive also.
The mail which should have been here
on the evening of the 29th -- from Salem, has
not yet arrived.     It is now very
mild & delightful weather.

I am gratified indeed at your
bill school bills -- & expect to look over
your register with great pleasure. That
is your business now, my boy -- your
duty—to improve your time diligently --
to cultivate a taste -- a fondness for acqui-
ring knowledge. The field is vast in-
deed -- with all our industry, a small por-
tion of it only can be gone over, thourough-
ly. But every acquisition you now make,
is a treasure laid up for future use.

With love to the circle around you, &
that circle, so interesting to me, in the adjoin-
ing house --

I am -- Your affecte. Father,
Leverett Saltonstall