Elizabeth Wells Cumming1858-04-21Alfred CummingMy dear husband,All the floating rumors against you for the last fortnight, I had hoped were only the result of a disappointment on the part of certain persons, who had hoped (naturally or professionally, I should say) for a chance of promotion if a war were to take place, which hope would be destroyed if you succeeded in peaceably establishing your government. But they have increased in intensity -- & now I am convinced there is a settled purpose to misrepresent you at Washington. I have heard too much from too many different sources to doubt any longer -- names of individuals have in nearly all cases been withheld from me & I asked no question 1.In this letter (I wrote to you another this morng) I will tell you what has happened within this last hour. The gentleman (who gave me fish) called this aftn (the 2nd time to day) & said he called full of anxiety to know if I had sent my letters-- 44 --yet to you -- if the express had gone. "I was at Fort Bridger this morng after I left you, & heard groups of officers talking in a loud & excited manner -- Talking of the Governor's having compromised the honor of his country by his seeking peace on such terms as they chose to suppose he had." The "gentleman" said he had very little to say to any one, he was on his own business, & had already said very freely all he had to say on the matter, but that he wished you might know & be able to defend yourself by keeping the strictest record of your doings & copies of all letters & papers you might write. 2 "I would give any thing to see him for fifteen minutes & tell some things to him." "Will you write them & let me enclose them?" He declined. "Will you tell me. I will mention no names." He paused -- "No -- better not -- Much that I virtually know, is only inferential. My end will be answered in coming here, if you warn him that I see reason to think a large party has arrayed itself against him & this procedure of his, & that he must be armed with defences against the misrepresentations, which take their rise chiefly, I believe in wounded pride. & some of which emanate from men he now, I have reason to believe, he esteems his friends. These defences will be chiefly in keeping the most careful & exact record of every thing which he is concerned in, & copies of even the smallest note he may write." He also said that he had heard letters giving these distorted views of your late course of procedure were preparing for Washington. He had also heard that Col. J was to send your letter to him (Col. J.) & a copy of the Col's reply to you to Washington by express immediately. He did not know there was anything in this, unfriendly to you, but he-- 45 --inferred there was from the manner of the persons who told it to him. He wished you could get your acct. of matters & things all ready for Washington in time to prevent any prepossession. 3I have feared to worry you by saying too much in my morning's letter -- but the anxiety of this "gentleman," his coming a second time to day, united with his evident desire not to become too active in the matter -- "It is none of my business, but I hate to see people acting against a man behind his back," united to the fact that I have heard similar things from others, has induced me to write all this. 4Farewell again, my own dearest husband. God be with us -- & I do believe, that though clouds may overshadow the righteous man for awhile, yet it is only for awhile, if one will only act prudently & calmly & with self-possession while the cloud lasts.The "gentleman" said that he said to one man who complained of your course, "You are vexed, because one man has tried to do his duty, & you have all been idling here."You will know better than I how much weight to attach to all this. I thought it best to tell you what I have heard, imperfect as my information is -- for the advice the "gentleman" gives about "records" & "papers," is excellent in any case -- It can do no harm to do it, & under certain circumstances, I see it may do much good.Again Farewellyr affectionate wife.