Of the many differences between America today and America during the House Divided era is the relationships between politicians and persons of a more controversial quality. 150 years ago, politicians associated and communicated with persons whose national stature would make such contact disastrious today. For example is a letter written by the infamous John Brown to Massachusetts Congressman Eli Thayer. In the letter, Brown asks Thayer, a Republican and adamant free-soiler, “to have Mr. ALLEN & Co. send me by express one or two navy-sized revolvers as soon as may be.” Putting aside the fact that Brown speaks of shipping weapons very casualy, it is both interesting and astonishing that a U.S. Congressman was so openly conspiraring with a notorious figure like Brown. It is not something likely to happen today.