April 24, 1863

Portland

Dear General,

I take the liberty to write you in behalf of Gentlemen of this city upon a matter which they do not wish to make the object of an official Communication. It is their opinion and they represent the leaders of the Republican Party throughout the state that the Copperheads as they are called confidently expect to carry the state in the fall elections, and that local men of every name must put forth their most earnest efforts to defeat them. It is a most sacred duty not only to the state but our country. To insure success and the defeat of rebellion  here in our midst, it is the desire of Republicans to advance a Union candidate for Governor upon whom the whole loyal heart of the state and the votes of every man who loves liberty, his country, and the right.

I am assumed that the best and most influential men of the Republican party write in naming yourself as the man who in their opinion, can best thus unite the people and heal the state.

Many in this vicinity are anxious to know what are your views upon this subject and if you would accept the nomination. The expression of your feeling and opinion if you see fit to communicate it to me, would not of course be made public, but would be seen only buy a few who have influence and control in political matters and who desire thus to hear from you that they may be able to act understandingly.

I hope you are well and I that God will abundantly strengthen you for your responsible duties and bless you spiritually.

Please give my regards to Charles.

Yours very truly, J.B. Gilman

J.B. Gilman to Oliver Otis Howard [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]