G[ulian] C[rommelin] Verplanck to MVB, 6 December 1828
Saturday Decr. 6th
My dear Sir
Since my arrival <
illegible> I have taken every occasion which offered to learn the opinion here as to the new cabinet with out myself taking any more part than was absolutely necessary. I soon observed that there was in some quarter a great desire that you should not be here. It was said that you would not accept anything here, that you were better off as Governor &c. to all which I could say nothing but that, there was no authority for expressing this is as your opinion. It was rumoured too that you [h]ad given a pledge on your nomination to remain Governor if elected. This I could flatly contradict not only as a member of the Convention but as Chairman of the Committee who alone confered or communicated with you on behalf of the Convention. Judge White and the sound men of the West look to you being in the cabinet, most of them I think as Secretary of State. Tho. P. Moore, however has different views which are worth considering. He says that the election in the West has so much put upon the ground of breaking the succession, that no one should take the office of Sec. of State who has any higher prospects however future contingent. In the west says he, “four year hence with V.B. & McLean of Ohio we can beat the devil” – but not with V.B. as Sec of State. He is wanted in the cabinet & must be there. The Treasury has been filled by Hamilton, Gallatin & Crawford, has as much dignity more public interest in its measures & far more patronage than the other.” I find Findlay of Ohio gives the same account of the feeling got up in the West about the Heir apparent & successor in the sec of state. Moore's notion is that if you went into his plan, the Secretary of State should be a man of acknowledged ability but who for some reason or other could not look higher, say Tazewell or E. Livingston.
The other talk is various. The following may be a summary War. McLean of Ohio, Drayton, Barry, Chandler (the last recently named as the N.C. member of the cabinet & pushed by strong men though few). Navy. Woodbury, Hayne, Tazewell E. Livingston & many others. McLane cannot brook the Atty General office, though he is willing to look to the judgeship ultimately. So Rives tells me who has seen more of him than I have. Rives thinks, that sensible as M.cL. is of his own solid talent he rather shrinks from constant collision as an advocate with Webster, Wirt & the leader of the U.S. Bar.
The V.P. is not arrived but D. Green already talks of him as of course the next Republican candidate. The West, Ky especially is very sure with him & McD.
I have recommended to you several commissioners & dare I say I shall half a dozen more, all of whom are competent & respectable. I feel a particular interest however in Charles Hoffman, who is a fine young man but without those talents which will enable him to find his own way immediately. Young Inman (the painter’s brother) & R.C. Sands are also applicants. Independantly of my own wish to serve them I would advise their appointment. They [hav]e many friends and from their talents & connections [. . .] public press may be useful friends a [. . .] enemies hereafter.
I am yours truly
G. C. Verplanck