L[ouisa] C[aroline] T[uthill] to MVB, 2 July 1833
July 2nd 1833.
I am going to write a very plain and a very bold letter. For so doing I can offer no apology—the case admits of none. I throw myself entirely upon your generosity and trust implicitly to your honor.
I wish to be the wife of the president of the United States! A very modest wish. Let me give my reasons. Ambition. Ambition. You, my dear Sir, fully understand the noble word. I despise the man, who cannot find its meaning deep in his own bosom, and though by it, [“]rebel angels fell”, it is no “sin” in mortal woman. What I have dared to attempt, I have ever found means to accomplish. In this instance, your cordial co-operation, your efficient aid, will alone insure success.
My other reason for desiring to be the wife of Andrew Jackson, may not be so easily understood. It is equally sincere. Having shared with him his elevation and his power, I ardently wish to make him happy in retirement, to render his declining years the best of his life. I am now thirty three, (what an effort for a woman, to declare her age!) and the summer of life, that ^period^ to which belongs maturity and vigor, would be devoted to the venerable man. His dignified simplicity of manner, his natural politeness, won my regard. At the Hermitage, I could find true contentment! There, as the cheerful companion, faithful friend, and tender nurse, I would prove, that my ambition was not entirely selfish.
All the influence that I should possess in the station to which I aspire, should be exerted (pardon me!) for Martin Van Buren. Happy, that he has infinitely more powerful aid, to his cause I devote myself, with the constancy and zeal of a martyr.
Do you ask, my dear Sir, How you can aid me? Write to me. Tell me where I can become aquainted with his Excellency. Tell me how to gain those affections which you have completely won, and all is accomplished.
No human being shall ever suspect me of this daring departure from the ordinary rules of propriety. My secret is safe with you. With me, your reply shall be equally safe.
With all my unbounded ambition, I am true woman still. My face is crimsoned with blushes, and my eyes fill with tears, at the idea of subscribing to such a letter, a name that has hitherto been ‘sans peur et sans reproche’. How can I do it? Can you not guess it? Impossible.
“O write it not my hand, the name appears
Already written, wash it out my tears!
In vain Louisa Tuthill weeps and prays,
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.”
Andrew Jackson to MVB, 25 July 1833.
Possible forgery; see Louisa C. Tuthill, 8 August 1833.