[The letter is undated, but editors have assigned the date based on internal evidence. ]

Washn. Thursday eveng (for
I forget what day of the month
it is [12 December 1839]

The long agony is not yet over, my dear Wife,
& when it will be I know not. So much for
departing from establishd usage & precedent. They
beat us yesterday, as you will see by the papers,
but I shd not be surprized, if they shd be obli-
ged to retrace their steps, & if after all, the reg-
ularly returnd members, should be received.
Naylor is received from Philadelphia &
Ingersoll, who had come into the House
& taken his seat, has quit. Yesterday
we had great excitement. I thought
at one moment, we should have had a
battle. Turney of Tennessee was speaking
in a very rude & violent manner -- in-
sulting Mr. Adams. The house was filled
with cries of "order" "go on" &c &c as you
will see in the report of the proceedings. He
insisted on proceeding, & said he would go on --
if there was a row -- let it come. Upon that,
Stanley of N. Carolina ran up to a desk
near, struck his fist on the desk & said "come

on" "come on, I'll take you for my part of
the work". The members gathered round --
most of them sprang to their feet. Dr.
Duncan struck his fists together. Garland
of Louisiana went up to him & said dou-
bling up his fist -- said -- you d--d rascall --
you d--d puppy. It was really frightful!
A single blow -- & no one would can tell what would
have been the consequence. The house & gallery
were filled with spectators. Excitement is
contagious, you know, & I thought of Ann's
fears, before I left home. But it passed off &
we afterwards got along more quietly than
usual. There has not been so much confu-
sion today. I tried hard to get the floor -- but
in vain. I seem to have no faculty at it, in
such a scene. Wise is our leader in this
business, by common consent.

Last night we had a very interesting
meeting of whigs, at a supper given to the
Harrisburg Delegates. Mr. [ John J.] Crittenden of Ken-
tucky presided, and made a very beautiful

speech. Mr. Clay was there. It must
have been a severe trial to him. He has for many
years been looking to the Presidency & I sup-
pose he expected to be nominated untill
within a fortnight. He was most felicitous.
He made an admirable speech -- which
was received with the most enthusiastic
feelings -- for almost every one there was
his warm friend, & would prefer him to any
other man. He told them that he was
making no sacrifice -- that the constitu-
tion -- that our liberties -- our free Institu-
tions were in danger -- that their safety
depended on effecting a change of rulers --
that the difference of opinion among whigs
had been their greatest difficulty; that
it had long been thought adviseable that
there should be a meeting of our friends
from all parts of the Country, to consult
together, & to agree on a candidate -- that
he most cheerfully acquiesced in the re-
sult, & he called on [?] all his friends to follow his example & do what
they could to promote the election of Genl.
Harrison &c &c He never appeared taller.
He raised himself in the estimation of every
one of the Company. Many other Gentle-
men spoke, & some of them very delight-
fully. I was much pleased with Mr. South-
ward of N. Jersey. He is a very finished
speaker. My friend R. Biddle was very
happy.     Who should dine with me
today but Mr. Colman. He is here
attending a silk convention.     Ask
Leverett to write to me. He should write
often. It will be an excellent exercise
for him. The more he writes, the easier
he will write. Tell Lucy her very
pleasant letter is received. If my friend
Mary Bradbury is there -- remember
me to her affectionately, & tell her I
should be very happy to see her in
Washn. & that I will shew her what
Lions there are & do what I can to make
her visit agreable. Love to all.

Ever ys. most affecty.
L. Saltonstall