Washington, D.C. May 1868.  pp. Single sheet, folded to 6-3/4" x 9-7/8." Entirely in neat ink manuscript, signed in ink by Walker [a few smudges]. Very Good. Marked "Confidential" in upper left corner.
Robert J. Walker [1801-1869] was a Democratic politician, lawyer, economist, U.S. Senator from Mississippi, and President Polk's Secretary of the Treasury. He established the Independent Treasury System and wrote the Walker Tariff. Despite his Mississippi connection, he remained loyal to the Union as a War Democrat.
Walker supports Hancock as the best candidate to dismantle Congressional Reconstruction. His Letter to Seymour-- who would, ironically, be chosen in July 1868 as the Democrats' presidential nominee-- explains Walker's opposition to the Radical Republican agenda. "The great contest between a written Constitution and Congressional despotism will be decided by the success or failure of the Democratic party in the coming Presidential conflict." Hancock, devoted to the rule of law, is the Democrats' perfect candidate. "Whilst a soldier during the late unfortunate Rebellion, he has shown a fixed and unalterable affection for the Civil Liberties secured to every American by the Constitution." As a post-War military commander, "he submitted himself IN PERSON to the jurisdiction of a civil tribunal," when Mary Surratt sought release from prison. Reluctantly accepting the President's call to command "two sovereign and independent parts of the Union," he promised, "in an order that will live forever, that the civil rights secured to us by the Constitution were still the heritage of the American people." [capitals are underlined in original.]. Item #36884