AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, UNDATED, TO UNKNOWN RECIPIENT: "IN YESTERDAY'S PAPER, YOU SAY THAT I AM DOWN ON THE KNOW NOTHINGS, IN THE INDEPENDENT, CALLING THEM PROTESTANT JESUITS. I HAVE NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT THEM IN THAT, OR IN ANY OTHER PAPER. I AM NOT THE EDITOR, NOR ONE OF THE EDITORS, OF THE INDEPENDENT, BUT ONLY A PASSENGER. WHATEVER I PUBLISH HAS MY SIGNATURE, & NOTHING IS [--] HAS IT NOT. I BELIEVE THE EDITORS OF THAT PAPER HAVE EXPRESSED AN UNFAVORABLE OPINION OF THE KNOW NOTHINGS. WHATEVER I MAY HAVE THOUGHT, I HAVE SAID NOTHING. BUT I WILL NOW SAY THAT I THINK THE NEW YORK KNOW NOTHINGS HAVE BEEN DOWN ON THEMSELVES, & I AM GLAD OF IT. | H.W. BEECHER.
[1852?]. 7-1/2" x 9-1/2". One leaf of chained paper. Ink manuscript letter on recto, blank verso. Signature of H.W. Beecher at end. Top and bottom edges reinforced on verso with thin strips of woven tape. Very Good.
Four lines at the head, which are crossed out, read: "Henry Ward Beecher, Standing by your comments yesterday, says to us, personally, that one paragraph yesterday, saying that he was 'down on the Know Nothings' in the Independent." Beecher may have started writing the letter in the third person, then thought better of it and decided to write in the first person. Pencil notation at the bottom: "Boston, Nov. 10, 1852." Item #34910