Your letter of the 26th instant is received, and I must say in reply to it, that if we could procure the assent of the South and the North to the propositions contained in it, it would in my opinion be as just and as equitable a basis for settlement as could well be made. But alas! Who can control the mad passions now in operation? It is and has long been my opinion that the settlement if 1850 would finally produce more disastrous consequences than any thing which ever occurred. The fugitive slave clause in the constitution was respected before that period. Now, it is in operation & it has been so in effort ever since that celebrated settlement. The embers of the volcano came then ignited and the subsequent organization of a territorial government in Kansas without any guards against foreign & fraudulent voting only fanned the fire & set it in a blaze. Burton/Barton writes me that then are now three or four southern states which are nearly unanimous for dissolution. Should within Cuba or any considerable part of either Mexico or Canada be annexed, the danger would become still more imminent.